Bounce: How Champions Are Made

Matthew Syed

From the author of You Are Awesome: Find Your Confidence and Dare to be Brilliant at (Almost) Anything

Essential reading for an astounding summer of sport; If you’ve ever wondered what makes a champion, Bounce has the answer.

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.

Reviews of Bounce: How Champions Are Made

    • ‘A gripping examination of the hidden forces that come together in the making of a champion.’Michael Atherton – former England cricket captain
    • ‘A fascinating subject and Syed is a dazzling writer.’Owen Slot – Chief Sports Reporter, The Times
    • ‘I love this book. It is a must-read if you have ever wondered what sets the super-achievers and the rest of us apart – in any field, not just in sport. I only wish I had read it when I was fifteen.’Gabby Logan – BBC TV presenter and former international gymnast
    • ‘Intellectually stimulating and hugely enjoyable at a stroke … challenged some of my most cherished beliefs about life and success.’Jonathan Edwards – triple jump world record holder
    • ‘Funny and tragic, learned and urgent, Bounce is a joy to read.’Howard Jacobson – novelist
    • ‘Cutting-edge analysis and devastatingly argued.’Mark Thomas – Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at University College London
    • ‘Compelling and, at times, exhilarating – Bounce explains high achievement in sport, business and beyond.’Michael Sherwood – Chief Executive, Goldman Sachs International