Authors: Matthew Syed,
Two-time Olympian and world-renowned sports writer, Matthew Syed reveals the answer to the questions that cross every fan’s mind. Find out what your favorite champions are made of, if talent really has more impact than practice, the effects of using drugs and other answers to what leads to success in champion sportsmen.
Video Review of Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice by Matthew Syed,
Quotes & Tip from Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice
Putting in the Hours
Child prodigies amaze us because we compare them not with other performers who have practiced for the same length of time, but with children of the same age who have not dedicated their lives in the same way. We delude ourselves into thinking they possess miraculous talents because we assess their skills in a context that misses the essential point. We see their little bodies and cute faces and forget that, hidden within their skulls, their brains have been sculpted—and their knowledge deepened—by practice that few people accumulate until well into adulthood, if then. Had the six-year-old Mozart been compared with musicians who had clocked up 3,500 hours of practice, rather than with other children of the same age, he would not have seemed exceptional at all.
So far the focus in this book has been on the quantity of practice required to reach the top, and we’ve seen that it’s a staggering amount of time, stretching for a period of at least ten years.
When most people practice, they focus on the things they can do effortlessly,” Ericsson has said. “Expert practice is different. It entails considerable, specific, and sustained efforts to do something you can’t do well—or even at all. Research across domains shows that it is only by working at what you can’t do that you turn into the expert you want to become.
It is easy to see why aspiring sportsmen are so keen to work with top coaches. It is not just that they receive expert advice during the training sessions; far more important is that great coaches are able to design practice so that feedback is embedded in the drill, leading to automatic readjustment.
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