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Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice
 
 
Author
Matthew Syed.
Publisher Fourth Estate  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 7.75 x 5 x 0.8 inches
ISBN 9780007350544
Pages/Publication Date 296/2011
Daedalus Item Code 23121
This item is not available.
Description
What are the real secrets of sporting success, and what lessons do these secrets offer about our own lives? Sportswriter, broadcaster, and two-time Olympian Matthew Syed investigates high achievement through the stories of winning sports stars and recent findings in psychology and neuroscience, and argues convincingly that practice and encouragement are far more important than supposed talent. Along the way he explains why successful figure skaters are those that have fallen over the most, how a Hungarian father turned his daughters into three of the best chess players the world has ever seen, and why one small street in Reading—Matthew's own—produced more top table tennis players than the rest of Britain put together.

"Syed, sportswriter and columnist for the London Times, takes a hard look at performance psychology, heavily influenced by his own ego-damaging but fruitful epiphany. At the age of 24, Syed became the #1 British table tennis player, an achievement he initially attributed to his superior speed and agility. But in retrospect, he realizes that a combination of advantages—a mentor, good facilities nearby, and lots of time to hone his skills—set him up perfectly to become a star performer. He admits his argument owes a debt to Malcolm Gladwell's Outliers, but he aims to move one step beyond it, drawing on cognitive neuroscience research to explain how the body and mind are transformed by specialized practice. He takes on the myth of the child prodigy, emphasizing that Mozart, the Williams sisters, Tiger Woods, and Susan Polgar, the first female grandmaster, all had live-in coaches in the form of supportive parents who put them through a ton of early practice. Cogent discussions of the neuroscience of competition, including the placebo effect of irrational optimism, self-doubt, and superstitions, all lend credence to a compelling narrative; readers who gobbled up Freakonomics and Predictably Irrational will flock to this one."—Publishers Weekly

 
 
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