Matthew Syed is an Olympic athlete His sport is table tennis He writes about how he s realised that his prowess at the sport has nothing whatsoever to do with any innate talent or any quirk of genetics but is entirely due to careful, purposeful practise.Syed is clearly a fan of Malcolm Gladwell and references Gladwell s book Outliers several times Having read Gladwell s David and Goliath, but not Outliers, I m tempted to assume that most of Gladwell s books are pretty same y There s definitely a certain amount of overlap between Bounce and David and Goliath.Not necessarily a bad thing Syed is trying to make a point that many others have made in the past In spite of being backed by strong evidence it s a point that continues to be ignored The point is that talent is a bit of a myth, that experts are good at what they do because they ve worked hard at it.It makes sense There s no evidence for a gene that encodes for being good at running, or good at playing piano, or good at acting, or anything Whereas there are countless examples of people being surprisingly good at something, only for it to turn out not to be so surprising after all, when you discover that they ve been working at it for years.Having come across this before I didn t find the book to be revelatory However, it is one I strongly recommend, whether to people who have already accepted this idea, or to people who have never heard it before I recommend it because the idea that practise is the only way to guarantee excellence is as important as it is motivating Syed manages to make it uplifting as well.It s uplifting because if you re good at something it s because you earned it If you re not good at something yet it s because you haven t yet practised enough but you know that you can be one day if you keep trying That s great for motivation It s great for reminding you that you might not be perfect, but you re better than you were six months ago It stops you from wanting to give up when things get tough.So yeah, read it It s very readable non fiction that made me want to go out and get good at things. Matthew Syed was an extremely accomplished table tennis player at both the Commonwealth Games and at the Olympic Games Drawing from his experiences, from looking at other sports and from talking to other people at the top of their game and others involved in music and chess,he writes about an extremely interesting phenomenon and develops the thesis that natural talent is superseded by training and hard work It is well worth reading this book for the point that he seeks to make Although he does conceed that a 5ft person is unlikely to make a successful career in basketball, the point that he seeks to advance consistently is that it is hard work and training that enables a person to succeed. Being an avid table tennis player and fan I was than familiar with Mathew Syed from his playing days Once I noticed he had delved into writing books I had to pick this up.Bounce is the first of a couple of books Syed has written and I must say he doesn t disappoint in either Both Bounce and Black Box Thinking are essential reading if you are keen to delve into psychology and especially sports psychology.Bounce touches upon many myths that souround talent and the notion of natural born talent I was hugely impressed with the 10,000 hour theory of purposeful practice and how it s been put to the test.In all an absolutely fascinating book that I simple couldn t put down Brilliant book I m a teacher of children and young people and I ve found the whole gifted and talented now able category a little dubious, with teachers applying the label subjectively and in context of peers, without an agreed consensus of criteria The fact that this book blows it all out of the water makes me happy although I ll need to write myself a summary to give those people who will no doubt argue against me Some of this is philosophical. The author first eliminates any believe in the myth of talent and the talent gene, based on many examples and scientific research explaining that success is based on hard work and practice But that s not all Many people work hard but still don t reach excellency and success Additional to working hard and practice for an average of 10 years to reach excellency and success, it is important to practice smart, and also to have the right mind set Improving, believing, perseverance, as well as a supporting surrounding supporting family, a good coach, etc is equally important Further, it is necessary to accept failures and regards them as necessary opportunities of growth, or in the author s words The paradox of excellence is that it is built upon the foundations of necessary failure.Very inspiring and motivational book, very well researched and written. Easy to read and written by a practitioner the author is an professional TT player.The basic theme of the book is that you need 10,000 hrs of practice to excel in any sport and then you need 10,000 hrs of delibrate practice, which is basically aiming to achieve in each hr of practice, the things you think are beyond your range.The author gives numerous examples of various sport personalities in 1990 s and 2000 s Kasparov, nick bollettieri etc I can relate to them at my age, but it will be difficult for today s youngsters who might not have heard much about these iconic players and coaches of the past.My only grouse is that the author barely dips into the surface of the neuroscience behind the champions and their practice perfection the book is anecdotal though it quotes some science studies in between i would have preferred a deep dive into the neuroscience psychology behind motivation, endurance in continuing to practice and how to enhance the same. The book is must read as it breaks the myth that some people have special talent to be able to make it to the top The book disproves the myth by citing lot of examples of people who worked hard to rise to the top. Winner of the Best New Writer category of the British Sports Book AwardsWhy have all the sprinters who have run themeters in underseconds been black What s one thing Mozart, Venus Williams, and Michelangelo have in common Is it good to praise a child s intelligence Why are baseball players so superstitious Few things in life are satisfying than beating a rival We love to win and hate to lose, whether it s on the playing field or at the ballot box, in the office or in the classroom In this bold new look at human behavior, award winning journalist and Olympian Matthew Syed explores the truth about our competitive nature why we win, why we don t, and how we really play the game of life Bounce reveals how competition the most vivid, primal, and dramatic of human pursuits provides vital insight into many of the most controversial issues of our time, from biology and economics, to psychology and culture, to genetics and race, to sports and politics Backed by cutting edge scientific research and case studies, Syed shatters long held myths about meritocracy, talent, performance, and the mind He explains why some people thrive under pressure and others choke, and weighs the value of innate ability against that of practice, hard work, and will From sex to math, from the motivation of children to the culture of big business, Bounce shows how competition provides a master key with which to unlock the mysteries of the worldp PLEASE NOTE When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your My Library section along with the audio Certainly made me reevaluate my own beliefs perceptions on the roles of genetics race within sport and also in everyday life Felt like it was a little repetitive at times and could have reached its objective quicker Other than that a really interesting book and one I would recommend anyone to read. Good read Recommended to me by a colleague who is a shift operations manager in fast paced industrial food production I recommend this book.