Bounce by Matthew Syed


By Matthew Syed

  • Release Date: 2010-04-29
  • Genre: Psychology
Score: 4
From 154 Ratings
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Essential reading following an astounding summer of sport; if you’ve ever wondered what makes a champion, Bounce has the answer.

This edition does not include illustrations.

What are the real secrets of sporting success, and what lessons do they offer about life? Why doesn’t Tiger Woods “choke”? Why are the best figure skaters those that have fallen over the most and why has one small street in Reading produced more top table tennis players than the rest of the country put together.

Two-time Olympian and sports writer and broadcaster Matthew Syed draws on the latest in neuroscience and psychology to uncover the secrets of our top athletes and introduces us to an extraordinary cast of characters, including the East German athlete who became a man, and her husband – and the three Hungarian sisters who are all chess grandmasters. Bounce is crammed with fascinating stories and statistics.

Looking at controversial questions such as whether talent is more important than practice, drugs in sport (and life) and whether black people really are faster runners, the mind-bending Bounce is a must-read for the hardened sports nut or brand new convert.

About the author

Matthew Syed is an award-winning journalist for The Times, writing for both the sports pages and the comment pages.
He is a three-time Commonwealth table-tennis champion and competed in two Olympics. He was a contributor to the BBC coverage of London 2012. He studied PPE at Balliol College Oxford where he was awarded a prize-winning first class degree.


  • Common Sense prevails

    By jacedd_
    Bounce was a fantastic read and reconfirmed that sporting success is not achieved without dedication, focus and determination to be the best. The old saying is true, ‘ practice makes perfect’.
  • Bounce

    By VPO Bharoli
    This book is the truth about sporting achivment, and disproves sporting myth, proving that all success is the result of hard work. Truly inspirational stuff, I couldn't put it down. This book will make you bounce forwards in any area of life you apply it to. Also read Mind Gym.
  • Bounce

    By Robertoo912
    Very informative and well written with great examples , evidence and quotations from world class athletes to world renowned academics scientists and philosophers. This book completely blows apart the theory that only a select few of society can excel in life I.e talented people , this book has a recurring theme - all people who reach the top have got there by years of not just practice but progressive practice pushing themselves further and further each time.Talent is a myth there is nothing to hold us back but ourselves. Matthew syed I salute you.
  • Thought provoking and inspiring!

    By KristopherJT
    Absolutely brilliant read, so good I went and re-read it instantly. Challenges the norm and how our culture has grown up to believe such things as "blacks are better sprinters" or "I'm not very good at maths" and all of the points he makes are back up with hard evidence. Highly recommended to any keen sportsman striving for the best in their sport. Also a lot that you can relate to day to day and working life.
  • De bunking and de chunking

    By AnyGarts
    A very thought provoking and compelling read. To a certain extent de bunks, or de chunks the traditional notion of how people are considered or become talented. I would highly recommend this book as I have done to many friends and colleagues.
  • The book for success!!!

    By Spurs 123
    I'm 16 and having heard Matthew do a speech in an awards evening for my school about "talent" and the idea that anyone can do anything I went out and bought this book. Having 2 weeks on my holiday I found it a fascinating read and not only time consuming but also the spark to any mature conversation I could have with someone. It showed me that with hard work I can do anything. You can do anything. These sportsman such as Tiger Woods and David Beckham are not there by luck or genetic advantage but the work that they have put into there field and desire is why they are there. If you want to be motivated, If you are doubting your ability to do something, or if you just find the phycology behind sports and success intriguing then I can think of no better alternative. Amazing and very thought provoking. 5 STARS.
  • Bounce

    By JaapieB
    Fascinating book - great for lively debate! Especially the nature versus nurture and 10000hrs of purposeful practice! The experiments and examples are compelling. Being a golfer the sections on implicit/"chunking" versus explicit and how competitors can simply unravel under pressure was fascinating. Every coach in every sport should read this book - it can propel their charges to the next level of performance.