Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success

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9780061723759: Bounce: Mozart, Federer, Picasso, Beckham, and the Science of Success

Everyone knows that David Beckham crosses the ball better than anyone else and that Tiger Woods never "chokes". But what are the hidden factors which allow the most successful sports stars to rise above their competitors -- and are they shared by virtuosos in other fields? In Bounce Matthew Syed - an award-winning Times columnist and three-time Commonwealth table-tennis champion - reveals what really lies behind world-beating achievement in sport, and other walks of life besides. The answers - taking in the latest in neuroscience, psychology and economics - will change the way we look at sports stars and revolutionise our ideas about what it takes to become the best. From the upbringing of Mozart to the mindset of Mohammed Ali - via the recruitment policies of Enron - Bounce weaves together fascinating stories and telling insights and statistics into a wonderfully thought-provoking read. Bounce looks at big questions - such as the real nature of talent, what kind of practice actually works, how to achieve motivation, drugs in both sport and life, and whether black people really are faster runners. Along the way Matthew talks to a Hungarian father whose educational theories saw his daughters become three of the best chess players of all time, meets a female East German athlete who became a man, and explains why one small street in Reading - his own - has produced more top table-tennis players than the rest of Britain put together. Fresh, ground-breaking and tackling subjects with broad appeal, Bounce is sure to be one of the most talked about books of the year.

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Product Description:

Essential reading following an astounding summer of sport; if you've ever wondered what makes a champion, Bounce has the answer. 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.

From the Back Cover:

Why have all the sprinters who have run the 100 meters in under ten seconds been black?

What's one thing Mozart, Venus Williams, and Michelangelo have in common?

Why are baseball players so superstitious?

We love to win and hate to lose, whether it's on the playing field, 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, from genetics and race to sports and politics, Bounce shows how competition provides a master key with which to unlock the mysteries of the world.

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