Matthew Syed

Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice syed-small Black Box Thinking: Why Most People Never Learn from Their Mistakes--But Some Do

Matthew Syed is a British journalist, broadcaster and author of Bounce, a book described as “a must-read for anyone interested in the science of success, and the mindset and culture that support it”. He has won numerous prizes for his writing including Feature Writer of the Year at the SJA Awards and Sports Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards. He is also a three-time Commonwealth table tennis champion and a two-time Olympian.

Bounce, which is an international bestseller, has been published in nine countries.

Praise for Bounce:

“A fascinating subject and Syed is a dazzling writer ”

Owen Slot – The Times

“A gripping examination of the hidden forces that come together in the making of a champion.”

Michael Atherton – former England cricket captain and award winning writer

“The most important book I’ve read over the past six months”

Peter Orszag, distinguished economist and former member of Obama’s cabinet, in the New York Times

“Insightful and entertaining, Syed takes us a step deeper into the world of sports, showing us how much we can learn about our own behaviour.”

Dan Ariely, New York Times bestselling author of Predictably Irrational

“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 15.”

Gabby Logan – BBC TV Presenter and former international gymnast

“A cutting edge dissection – and ultimate destruction – of the myth of innate talent in the pursuit of excellence. Syed synthesises his evidence with the precision of an academic, writes with the fluidity of a journalist and persuades with the drive of a sportsman. Read this book now – before it’s too late. There are no excuses!”

Mark Thomas – Professor of Evolutionary Genetics at University College London

“Matthew Syed was an exceptionally fine table tennis player and he is an exceptionally fine sports writer…. In the end this book is about the human brain. It is funny and tragic, learned and urgent – the story of the extraordinary capacities we all possess, the irrationalities that drive us to succeed or fail, the opportunities we are given or miss out on.”

Howard Jacobson – award-winning author of Kalooki Nights

“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 and Olympic gold medallist

“Compelling and, at times, exhilarating – Bounce explains high achievement in sport, business and beyond”

Michael Sherwood – Chief Executive Goldman Sachs International

“The “Book of the Week” is “Bounce” by Matthew Syed. The author and former table tennis world champion looks at why people like him get to the top of their fields. Syed says our obsession with talent rather than hard work has caused more harm than we imagine, leading to blow-outs like the collapse of Enron. He explains why athletes choke. He looks at whether blacks are better runners and much more.”

Fareed Zakaria, award-winning presenter on CNN

“When a book includes subject classifications as diverse as sport and outdoor recreation, Europe, mathematics and popular science, you know you’re not in for a run-of-the mill sports book. Indeed, it’s so wide-ranging that a chapter discussing motivation assesses strategies for understanding educational achievement, morphs onto an examination of Nick Bollettieri’s tennis academy and ends with an analysis of Enron’s hiring and promotion strategies (yes, really)… It’s impressively researched, forcefully argued and… extraordinarily interesting and thought-provoking.”

The Bookseller

“Everything Matthew Syed writes is worth reading”

Lynne Truss, best-selling author of Eats, Shoots and Leaves

“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