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Matthew Syed

speaker location icon London, UK

Author, Black Box Thinking (2015)

Author, Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice (2010)

Award-winning sports journalist

Matthew Syed is a columnist and feature writer for The Times. He writes a column on sport as well as penning reviews, opinion and interviews. He has won numerous prizes for his writing, including Sports Journalist of the Year at the British Press Awards and Sports Feature Writer of the Year at the Sports Journalist Association Awards.

His first book, “Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice” (Fourth Estate, 2010), is a critically acclaimed work on the psychology of sport.

His second book, Black Box Thinking, followed in 2015. It describes a new approach to high performance, a means of finding an edge in a complex and fast-changing world. It’s not just about sport, but has powerful implications for business and politics as well.

Matthews next book will be published in 2018.

Before becoming a writer Matthew was the England table tennis number one for almost a decade, three-times Commonwealth Champion, and twice competed for Great Britain in the Olympic Games (in Barcelona in 1992 and Sydney in 2000). He is now also a regular sports commentator on sport for radio and television. His film for the BBC, China and Table Tennis, won the bronze medal at the Olympic Golden Rings ceremony in Lausanne.

Matthew was one of the co-founders of TTK Greenhouse, a charity which empowers youngsters through sport, and supports more than 10,000 young people on 31 full-time school programmes.

Our Comment

"Matthew’s ability to speak authoritatively about success in sport is due not only to his extensive experience as an award-winning sports journalist, but also to his participation at its very highest levels, including as an Olympian."

The myth of talent and power of practice (2013)

Discussing pressure in sport (2011)

[youtube http://edition.cnn.com/video/?/video/sports/2011/05/12/thomas.matthew.syed.athletes.cnn]

Black Box Thinking: Why Some People Never Learn from Their Mistakes - But Some Do by Matthew Syed

Using a cornucopia of interviews, gripping stories, and sharp-edged science, Syed explores the intimate relationship between failure and success, and shows why we need to transport black box thinking into our own lives. If we wish to unleash our potential, we must diagnose and break free of our failures. Part manifesto for change, part intellectual adventure, this groundbreaking book reveals how to do both.

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