Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court

Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court

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by Jay Bilas
     
 

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If anyone knows tough, it’s Jay Bilas. A four-year starter at Duke, he learned a strong work ethic under Coach Mike Krzyzewski. After playing professionally overseas, he returned to Duke, where he served as Krzyzewski’s assistant coach for three seasons, helping to guide the Blue Devils to two national championships. He has since become one of

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Overview

If anyone knows tough, it’s Jay Bilas. A four-year starter at Duke, he learned a strong work ethic under Coach Mike Krzyzewski. After playing professionally overseas, he returned to Duke, where he served as Krzyzewski’s assistant coach for three seasons, helping to guide the Blue Devils to two national championships. He has since become one of basketball’s most recognizable faces through his insightful analysis on ESPN’s SportsCenter and College GameDay.

Through his ups and downs on and off the court, Bilas learned the true meaning of toughness from coaches, teammates, and colleagues. Now, in Toughness, he examines this misunderstood—yet vital—attribute and how it contributes to winning in sports and in life. Featuring never-before-heard stories and personal philosophies on toughness from top players and coaches, including Coach K, Bob Knight, Grant Hill, Mia Hamm, Jon Gruden, Tom Izzo, Roy Williams, Bill Self, Curtis Strange, and many others—Bilas redefines what it takes to succeed.

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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
Former Duke basketball player and current ESPN college hoops analyst Bilas surveys an all-star cast of athletes and coaches to define the true meaning of toughness--and suggest how it can be developed. In a sports landscape increasingly dominated by chest-thumping, trash-talking prima donnas, the word "tough" is casually and repeatedly thrown around by commentators and athletes alike. The author, however, thinks that somewhere along the way, people lost sight of the proper meaning of the word. After penning a well-received, basketball-focused article on the topic for ESPN.com, he set out to rectify the problem on a wider scale. Through a series of anecdotes and insights shared by the likes of Bilas' own college coach, Mike Krzyzewski, as well as other luminaries, including Bob Knight, Roy Williams, Tom Izzo, Jon Gruden, Grant Hill, and a number of Bilas' former teammates (including Mark Alarie and Tommy Amaker), the author offers his own conception of toughness. Rather than being defined by tough talk and intimidation, it includes characteristics ranging from courage and persistence to commitment and resilience--and not just on the court. Through the use of stories from his own upbringing, college and pro playing days, career as a lawyer and experience as a broadcaster, Bilas provides personal examples of the lessons imparted by the coaches and players he quotes throughout the narrative. His clichéd reverence for his parents is predictable (though still touching), and many of the lessons imparted by the book's interview subjects are redundant. Still, for the less cynical, there is wisdom to be gleaned from Bilas, and by the end, it's easy to believe that the only obstacle to improved toughness is one's own unwillingness to work at it. A better fit for the article format, but there's enough here to toughen up even the softest players.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780451414670
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/05/2013
Pages:
272
Sales rank:
192,088
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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From the Publisher
PRAISE FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER TOUGHNESS

“Honest and inspiring, Jay Bilas explores the many tenets of toughness and shares personal stories and interviews with some of the best athletes and coaches. Toughness is critical to gaining an edge in sports and life, and this book provides lessons to help you succeed from a well-respected expert.”—Jim Nantz

“If you want the true definition of toughness as it relates to sports and life, this is a must read. Jay Bilas has acquired a wealth of knowledge from his basketball career as a player, coach, and analyst. Jay’s descriptions and illustrations are ‘Awesome, Baby’ with a capital A!”—Dick Vitale, ESPN

“Jay Bilas gives meaning to one of the most overused words in sports. Bilas explains the complexity of acquiring and utilizing all aspects of toughness, be it mental or physical, both on and off the playing field. It is a great description of a concept and value we all need in our lives.”—Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun

Tough it out. Be tough. Stay tough. How often do we hear that in sports and life? It’s the go-to answer for any problem. We all want toughness. Jay Bilas take this intangible concept and gives it concrete meaning. The inspiring and humbling stories of truly tough people are written artfully and show that being tough isn’t just a catchall cliché. It’s a transforming personal value. Jay does a brilliant job illustrating why toughness is a quality I want to cultivate in my life every day.”—Rece Davis, ESPN

“Make sure you are holding a yellow highlighter when you read this book. There is an incredible amount of wit and wisdom in these pages, thanks to the dedication, hard work, and—yes—toughness Jay Bilas demonstrated by talking to all of these people. Reading this book won’t make you tough, but it will teach you how to get there.”—Seth Davis, Sports Illustrated and CBS Sports

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