Bounce Book Summary – Practice Makes a Man Perfect

Author: Matthew Syed

Short Summary
Bounce Book (2010), written by table tennis champion Mathew Syed reveals the secret to success in every field of life, especially sports. Moreover, the book makes us realize the importance of practice in order to achieve goals.
bounce book

“So the question is: How long do you need to practice in order to achieve excellence? Extensive research, it turns out, has come up with a very specific answer to that question: from art to science and from board games to tennis, it has been found that a minimum of ten years is required to reach world-class status in any complex task.”
― Matthew Syed

Detailed Summary

Mathew Syed, a UK table tennis champion, writes Bounce Book. According to him, we succeed in our lives not because we are talented or lucky. But he thinks that we can learn many things from our mentors and teachers and develop any skill we want.

We have the power to develop skills, and there is no such thing as natural-born talent. Be the driver of your own car of life. Not only is luck important hard work also paves the way to success, and the combination of luck and hard work unlocks the door to success.

“If you don’t know what you are doing wrong, you can never know what you are doing right.”
― Matthew Syed

Moreover, the author has highlighted the importance of practice, and there is no doubt that practice actually makes a man perfect. He says that people who practice with patience become successful. 

Bounce Book Key Points

What do you believe talent is the more practical solution to get success in life or practice? When you have the mindset of achieving success and high performance, you can smoothly master the skills without having any trouble.

As we all know, no one is born to succeed and get stuff in life. To achieve all life’s victories, one should be an expert by practicing.

Therefore, practicing is a must and for sure thing. But how can you develop the habit of practicing?

Let’s dive into the following key points to learn more about it.

You can also read the book A Whole New Mind Summary.

Recipe of Learning

The book has described the recipe of learning, which has four ingredients I.e growth mindset, motive, practice, and opportunity.

  • A “Growth Mindset” instills in us a passion for learning as well as the ability to bounce back from setbacks. The book also describes the types of mindsets I.e fixed and growth. For learning, people either adopt one of two mindsets. Whereas people with a fixed mindset feel that their basic attributes, such as intelligence or talent, are fixed traits. Instead of growing their brains or talent, they waste their time documenting it. They believe that talent, rather than effort, is what leads to success.
  • The second ingredient to learning is Motive. Once kindled, an “Internal Motive” creates the aim and maintains drive and motivation.
  • Then Practice which is very important. The core of ability is “Purposeful Practice” with the sufficient amount, quality, and feedback. “The ten-year/thousand-hour rule” applies to quantity. Quality: Practice should be demanding at all times. It is not improving if something feels simple or automatic (e.g., driving to work). Feedback: “If you don’t know what you are doing incorrectly, you can never know what you are doing right.”
  • Last but not least is opportunity. “Good Luck” in Where, When, What, Who, and How separates the top 10% from the top 10.

Talent is Overrated; Practice is Important

The author says that talent is overrated in order to achieve our goals. It’s the practice that helps us achieve our goals, not talent or even age. To advocate this, he has given the example of Mozart in his book.

Mozart was just like any other kid! Because we compare him to the wrong set of individuals, we conceive of him as someone special – a kid prodigy. Specifically, children! On the other hand, Mozart was only a child in terms of age. He was an adult in terms of musical ability. That is someone who has spent almost 3,500 hours practicing the piano.

This gives us a lesson that when you compare him to someone twice his age who has spent the same amount of time practicing, you’ll notice that his technique isn’t quite as good.

The book also teaches us that we get motivated by people. We are motivated by a variety of things, and the best part is that some of them are even insignificant. That something, for Mia Hamm, was her coach instructing her to “turn on.” Se-ri Pak, a 20-year-old South Korean golfer, won the US Open at the age of 20.

And in a simple experiment, it was sharing a birthday with someone who had completed the assignment they were about to complete. Simply convince yourself that you can accomplish it.

Moreover, not just motivation but “inspiration by connection.” The author claims that finding even the tiniest resemblance between someone successful and ourselves can encourage us to double down on our efforts.

How to avoid choking under pressure

The author says that sometimes over-confidence leads to less practice and a greater risk of failure later on. That’s what happens to many of today’s overexposed Mozarts who choked on stage.

According to him, this has that our brain is continuously working on two levels: implicitly and explicitly. The former is an automated method of doing things, whereas the latter is a deliberate effort.

Mental processes transfer from you explicitly to your implicit brain as a result of deliberate practice. On the other hand, pressure and a lack of confidence push them back. And it isn’t going to help at all.

 Now the question is how to avoid it.

Hold on; we have a solution!

You can overcome performance anxiety by convincing yourself that it isn’t such a big deal and that the event is unimportant to you. Is it really that important whether you win or lose the Super Bowl in comparison to your health, family, spouse, or best friends? This will relieve stress and allow you to use your hard-earned abilities.

Who would I recommend Bounce Book to?

Bounce Book is recommended to those who get nervous in front of a crowd or get panic attacks before delivering a school presentation. Moreover, the book is recommended to those who degrade themselves by thinking they are not lucky enough to achieve any goals and don’t believe in the power of practice.