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People look at champions in any sports, and at those who have reached great heights in any field, and most often exclaim that sheer natural genius is the secret behind their success. This book questions the idea behind that claim and explores the real reasons that lead to the phenomenal performance of the athletes. InBounce: How Champions Are Made, the author, himself a champion table tennis player, draws from his own life and from the lives of other champions, as well as some recent researches into the reasons behind human excellence in various fields, to argue that it is not nature, but nurture, that creates champions. He quotes from various researches, and from the life story of champions to stress the importance of countless hours of training, and the cultivation of the right mindset as the driving force behind success in any field. He points out the numerous hours of practice put in by someone like Mozart, who was considered a child genius. Does genetic makeup play a role in excellence? Are some races naturally superior in certain fields than others? The author takes up the obvious excellence of African athletes in racing events. To many people, this would be a case in favour of genes over effort. He then shows how it is these athletes have been able to excel in such sports. First, he narrows down the region they come from, not all of Africa, but Kenya is the origin of most of these athletes. Especially, from the mountainous regions of Kenya. Children living in these regions have to run around 20 km each day just to attend school. Over the years, this accumulates to several thousands of hours of practice, and it gives them an edge in athletic events. Practice, not genes. He says that even people viewed traditionally as geniuses, born with natural talents in their respective field, cannot skip the practice part. Putting in hours of effort is what makes them champions. The author says attributing excellence to a god given gift, a natural attribute that sets them apart, is detrimental in the broader sense. It will just discourage the majority who will just give up even without trying, as they will be conditioned to think it would produce little result, as they do not possess the natural gift for excellence. Using examples from the lives of athletes, musicians, and achievers from other fields, and quoting from various studies,Bounce: How Champions Are Madeshows the importance of effort and mindset in achieving success. It shows how opportunities, the willingness to use those opportunities, and the resolve to put in unstinting effort and thousands of hours of practice are the main ingredients to achieve excellence in any field.
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