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Go Big: Make Your Shot Count in the Connected World

Go Big: Make Your Shot Count in the Connected World

4.4 11
by Cory Cotton

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It began with a free sandwich, a simple camera, and twenty “I can do better than you” shots. From that afternoon of friendly competition, six college guys created Dude Perfect, a YouTube group that specializes in the craziest basketball shots you can imagine. Within months, the guys went from shooting backyard trick shots to starring in GMC truck


It began with a free sandwich, a simple camera, and twenty “I can do better than you” shots. From that afternoon of friendly competition, six college guys created Dude Perfect, a YouTube group that specializes in the craziest basketball shots you can imagine. Within months, the guys went from shooting backyard trick shots to starring in GMC truck commercials and standing on an L.A. Red Carpet. Listed by Advertising Age as one of YouTube’s Hottest Brands, Dude Perfect’s videos have reached and inspired hundreds of millions with one contagious message—the very phrase they championed from day one—Go Big. By leveraging the connected world, Dude Perfect’s dream became a reality, and now, they want the same for you. Written by one of the dudes himself, Go Big tells their story and unveils their secret: five practical principles for taking your passions, skills, and dreams to the next level. Are you ready to Go Big?

Editorial Reviews

Cory Cotton, the author of this book, is a recent Texas A&M University, who, with a dream, a simple camera, and five self-confident friends launched Dude Perfect, a friendly, high-flying basketball competition that started on YouTube (45+ million hits) and then slam-dunked its way into commercials, TV appearances, and business success. Written with freshness of a true adventurer, Go Big implores readers to take to the air with their God-given dreams. (P.S. The book's feature present Dude Perfect trick shots and links to online sights for video content.)

From the Publisher
What stands between you and your dream? Listed by Advertising Age as one of YouTube’s hottest brands, Dude Perfect has used its crazy basketball shots to reach and inspire hundreds of millions with a contagious Go Big philosophy. By leveraging the connected world, the Dude Perfect guys’ dream became a reality, and now, they want the same for you. Written by one of the dudes himself, Go Big tells their story and unveils their secret: five practical principles for taking your passions, skills, and dreams to the next level. Are you ready to Go Big?

Product Details

Tyndale House Publishers
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7.00(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt




Copyright © 2011 Cory Cotton
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-6137-6

Chapter One


I got home from class about 2:00 p.m., and the guys were in the backyard playing basketball, or so I thought. I laughed as I heard Tyler shouting victoriously, "Boom!" I walked through the empty house, out the sliding door, and into the backyard. As it turned out, I wasn't the only one laughing. Sean, too, was almost in tears as Tyler strutted up to and around me, passionately reliving what I'd missed only moments before.

See, Ty does this ridiculous thing where he makes one-sided bets like, "If I throw this pocket knife into that tree all the way across our yard, you owe me twenty bucks." It's an obviously-there's-no-way-I-can-do-this kind of bet because if he misses, he doesn't owe the other person a dime. I realize I could have done a million different things with that twenty-dollar bill, but it ended up in Ty's wallet instead. Why we let him do this I don't know, except that the stuff he says always sounds so ridiculous. All that to say, this was another one of those sucker moments, and Garrett, like we all have, fell into Tyler's clever trap.

Slapping the basketball repeatedly as he spoke, Ty built up anticipation. "Jimmy John's sandwich. Twenty-yard hook shot. Opposite side of the yard." Garrett couldn't resist. "Deal."

Ty swished it, earned a free lunch, and shared a resounding "boom!" with the once peaceful neighborhood. That was the hilarious celebration I'd walked in on. As we laughed in the backyard that sunny afternoon, we had no idea that the next couple of hours would change our lives forever.

But before we go there, I want you to think about something. For us—for Dude Perfect—our journey began in the fun of this one moment. When Tyler made that shot, an abnormal level of excitement welled up in us, and we noticed it. I'm not talking about some magical moment; I'm talking about a simple "ha ha, that was awesome—like, really awesome" moment. Others might have smiled and moved on; it might not have struck them the same way. But to us, because of our love for basketball and competition, we thought it was really exciting. And as you'll soon see, the rest of our story—backyard, front page, red carpet, and all—has been a continuation of that initial excitement.

Now, having explained that, I want to ask you two simple but potentially life-changing questions:

• First, have you paid enough attention to the things that excite you? Have you taken notice of the moments that are awesome—like, really awesome?

• And second, what are those things? What is it that thrills you? What is it that's almost unnaturally exciting to you?

The reason these questions are so important is that your unique answers are exactly that: unique. Because of who you—and you alone—are, you're wired to be extra passionate about certain things.

Take a moment and think about what this might look like in your life. Maybe people give you a hard time about something you care a lot about, something that isn't nearly as fascinating to them as it is to you. Maybe it's something you used to be passionate about, but because of other responsibilities, you've had to shelve that dream for a little while. Maybe it's something you've never even told anyone else about; it's a closet dream, something you assume others wouldn't understand, something you've kept hidden for a long time.

I've probably never met you, but let me tell you what I already know about you. I know you have an answer to those questions. And I know that, whatever your answer, you've thought a lot about that thing before. What I don't know is what you've done about it.

At some point or another, chances are you've wanted to take your unique passion to the next level. Maybe you've done that; maybe you haven't. But in order to measure that, we have to decide what exactly "the next level" is. In the end, that definition is up to you, but let me show you how it played out for us. After I finish this story, we'll offer you our suggestion, and I think you'll like the sound of it.

* * *

Before I pulled into the driveway, Garrett, Tyler, and Sean had been shooting around in our grass backyard, breaking in the goal we'd purchased only a few days earlier. Turns out, without a place to dribble, all you can really do with a basketball goal is shoot on it.

As I laughed about the sandwich-winning story, Ty decided to prove it by shooting again from an even farther distance. Wanting to save the moment, Sean grabbed a camera. That, Sean, was a clutch idea. Changing it to video mode, Sean pressed the record button, and a couple of shots later, swish. Ty screamed, "Yes!" and threw down his hat in celebration. When we saw the shot on camera, it was obvious what we had to do next.

Camera rolling and competitive juices flowing, we tried to outdo each other. Standing on a rail. Backwards in a chair. Off the chimney. Over the fence. We'd shoot and show, shoot and show. It was a blast: some of the most competitive guys you could meet, a camera, and a basketball.

The defining moment came when Ty stepped up to a tree about thirty yards from the basket. A backwards over-the-header from that distance was ridiculous, and though Sean pointed the camera at him, I knew Ty was wasting our time. He'd already named a few of his shots for the camera, but this one was tougher to define. He simply said, "This shot doesn't even have a name." He let it fly, and with the ball in the air, he said, "Hoo-ha" ... swish. Facing the opposite direction, Ty couldn't see it go in, but our reactions gave it away.

We all rushed toward Sean, dying to see the replay. We were impressed before we watched it again, but seeing it on camera turned out to be the drive for everything that followed. In real life, that shot had looked sweet; on camera, it looked fake. And that was a very good thing. Because Ty couldn't see it swish, his blank stare into the lens seemed to say, "No big deal." It looked hilarious. We didn't think anyone would believe it, but we wanted to know for sure. That was when we decided to make a video.

We kept making shots, but it was getting dark. So we soaked up all the time we could, called it a night, and went inside to check out the day's footage. We liked the shots we'd made, but we knew we didn't have enough to make a full video. We thought about other shots we could do the next day, and we smiled when Tyler said what all of us were thinking: "I want to go bigger." We wanted to shoot farther, more difficult shots. For round two, we wanted to go big.

Our classes ended at different times the next day, but we all came home as fast as we could. No one wanted to miss out on our new hobby. And, more important, no one wanted to be outdone. With camera charged, we went to the backyard and started recording. After a few mediocre land shots, our attention turned toward the roof of the house. We had bounced a few off of the roof, but we hadn't shot any from it yet. Unsurprisingly, Tyler was the first to scout it out, and with the camera's record light on, he invented what would turn out to be his favorite type of shot. Looking back over his shoulder, Tyler declared, "This is the laser shot." Like the former high school quarterback he is, Tyler took the ball in one hand and unleashed a rocket, sending a frozen rope through the net on his very first try.

As the day progressed and our creativity grew, we knew we'd have to move the goal off-site to go even bigger. We headed to a nearby park and unloaded. To say the least, we caused some comical confusion as we rolled our goal past the people playing on the park's outdoor basketball court. Excuse us, fellas; we brought our own. After making some sweet shots there, we only needed one more shot to finish our video—a really far one. Distance-wise, we hadn't pulled off anything too impressive yet, so we set our sights on something big.

On our way home, we passed a friend's house, one with a front yard large enough to distance the house at least forty yards from the street. We'd found our big finish: forty yards from our friend's roof into the goal in the back of the truck. We rolled the camera for about ten minutes. It was windy that day, but with a little patience, Tyler nailed it. Somewhere in between excited and exhausted, we called it a wrap.

That night, as we crowded around the kitchen table and two days' worth of footage, a certain clip caught our attention. On day two, Sean and Tyler had filmed an introduction to begin our trick shot video. They'd set up two chairs in the backyard, and since they were the only ones there at the moment, Sean had set the camera on the rail of our deck. He pressed the record button, looked at the screen, and the view was exactly what he wanted. Pleased, he said, "Dude, perfect." We instantly loved it. Our name, our brand, and the phrase in all our videos was born.

We didn't set out to create a company, and we had absolutely no idea about the adventure ahead of us. What we did know was that we were doing something that excited us, something that stemmed from our love for competition. We knew we were having fun.

Now I promised you our suggestion to the "next level" question I asked earlier, and here it is. If you're not consistently getting excited about what you're doing, maybe you shouldn't be doing it. We're just college students, but already we've seen too many unenthusiastic answers to the question "What do you do for a living?" So here's a thought: if you don't have to fight back the urge to smile when you answer that question, you may need to reevaluate what you do.

Before you roll your eyes, let me explain. First of all, I realize that passion isn't everything, and not every passion is created equal. There are some passions that might be better if they remained hobbies. But while passion isn't everything, it is crucial. Passion is a good indicator of where your best efforts will be spent. We'll talk about this over the course of the next two chapters, but it's worth considering now: are you more likely to go big, to do the hard work necessary to achieve excellence, for something that excites you or for something that bores you? Getting excited puts you in a better position to take your shot and make it count. Passion may not be everything, but it's definitely worth your careful attention.

I also realize that not everyone is in a position to drop everything immediately and follow where their excitement leads. It's a lot easier for college guys with limited responsibilities to make trick basketball videos and travel promoting them. For someone working two jobs just to make ends meet, it's much harder to start chasing a dream. But thinking about what gets you excited is worth doing, whatever your next step is. When you know what it is that gets you excited, you'll be in a better position, now or in the future, to capitalize on the opportunities that come your way—or to create your own opportunities. Discovering your passion is always the first step, whether you take what you're excited about to the next level immediately or somewhere down the line.

And getting excited isn't about the money. Why? Because this book isn't a get-rich-quick scheme. Do we legitimately believe that you can make money doing something you instinctively love? Yes. Have we? Yes. But for anyone who does something they love for a living, the smiling answer to the what do you do question almost never comes from the money; it comes from the job itself. We believe that everyone has something significant to offer, and doing something you love may be your best opportunity to offer it. So that is our suggestion. In the connected world we live in, we've been able to go big with a passion of ours. In the same way, we want to help you make your shot count and go big with what you love. Now if that feels unrealistic, you need to keep reading. And fast.


Excerpted from GO BIG by CORY COTTON Copyright © 2011 by Cory Cotton. Excerpted by permission of TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Cory Cotton, a graduate of Texas A&M University, is one of the founders of the five-man trick basketball shot team known as Dude Perfect. Since its appearance two years ago, Dude Perfect has garnered more than 47 million views of its online content and has been labeled as one of You Tube’s top 10 most in-demand brands. An experienced writer and speaker, Cory has been privileged to speak live in front of millions on several television shows, including Fox’s Studio B and CBS’s The Early Show. Alongside his brother, Coby, he performed and spoke in front of the 13,000 attendees of the Catalyst Conference, one of the world’s largest leadership events. Cory is involved in promoting several charities, including Compassion International and Visiting Orphans.

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Go Big: Make Your Shot Count in the Connected World 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for young and old. It is inspirational and fun to read about an incredible experience. These young college students capitalized on a passion and now want to share their philosophies with others. I would highly reccomend this for recent graduates and for those who just need to realize that God has created them for a purpose and we can all love what we do while living beyond ourselves. Great book!
Morgie More than 1 year ago
According to the six members of Dude Perfect there are 5 practical, easy-to-follow steps to success... no mater the endeavor. This entertaining and high energy book will show you how to make your shot in the world count. * Get Excited * Own It * Blink Later * Inspire Others * Give Back will give you the same opportunity to turn your dream into a reality. Whether you are a college student or just need help moving forward in your life this book will give you the necessary tools. Go Big, Make Your Shot Count in the Connected World will continue to inspire you long after you've closed the book. But keep it handy, you will find yourself wanting to stop by often. Quotable. Motivational. Inspiring. Entertaining. Readable ... consider sharing Go Big with others. Disclaimer: This book was provided by the publisher, Tyndale House, for an honest review.
Josiah20 More than 1 year ago
This book was fun to read, and the author wrote the book in a very personal way. The book is a bout a group of guys, all friends, who decide to make the impossible shots in basketball. Their shots are amazing, and it's impressive to see their imagination of how to shoot a basketball into a basket. Have you read the book, "Do Hard Things" by Alex and Brett Harris? This book is similar to that book, except this is a book explaining their whole journey, and how the accomplished their impossible shots without giving up. One of my favorite quotes out of the book, was an experience that the whole team had while in the process of their program. "Don't talk yourself out of a Go Big idea by sitting on it for too long. Again, don't blink. Act." There are several cool things that were written by these team members into this book, that they experienced while working through the process of their Go Big Idea. Friendship, Teamwork, the feeling of giving up, inspiring others to do great things, and more. There is sections you can write in, the author asks you questions in the book, about your personal life. It helps you personally see your own life through what their teaching, it's really cool and interesting! :-) The author, Cory Cotton, was a very good writer, the way he wrote was very interesting. While taking college classes, one of them is English, and I learned, that writing with a lot of "Voice" is very important while writing. "Voice" is the ability to see what the author is feeling when he is writing the book/paper. "Voice" can be the ability to feel, sense and think the way the author is feeling in the book. Mr. Cotten has a lot of Voice in this book, and it was a really great read. Plus it's all about basketball, throwing balls into a basket ball hoop from a building, plane, and other stuff that I won't tell you because I don't want you to be spoiled.
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Vonniet More than 1 year ago
My rating is for the ease of being able to order this book for my grandson for Xmas it was so easy to fill out the order and send off. Arrived in a week and a half. Delivered to my door. I will give a review when my grandson of 9 reads
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Libbi_Heart More than 1 year ago
"A free sandwich, a simple camera, and 20 "I can do better than you" shots later, Dude Perfect was born." - Dude Perfect Have you ever had a dream? A dream that seems to big to come true? In this fun, exciting book, Cory Cotton shows a few steps to reach your dream in this super-connected world. In this day and age, a video that is posted on Youtube can reach millions of views within hours. With tools such as twitter, Facebook, and even blogger, the term "Overnight sensation" is becoming more and more common, especially in the case of Dude Perfect. Dude Perfect Received over two million views from around the world in the two hour span they were on the Yahoo! front page. In this culture, businesses that usually take 15 years to become popular can become popular overnight, so there is no reason not to "Go Big!" They use five basic principles to get your "Go Big" idea going: * Get excited * Own it * Blink later * Inspire others * Give back I loved Go Big! I thought this book was so inspiring, and it was just so much fun! I of course completely approve of the fun aspect! One of their points really spoke to me. They were saying that if you have small, realistic goals, then when you reach that goal, the reaction will be small, realistic, and nothing different then what the world has already done. When you go big and have unrealistic goals, then you are separated from the rest of the world, set apart as a different kind of dreamer, a Go Big dreamer. Overall, I would definitely recommend this book to others, without a doubt one of the most fun {yet focused} books I have read in a long time! I encourage you to watch Dude Perfect's Youtube videos, though I will warn you, once you start, it is hard to stop!
themiraclesnook More than 1 year ago
I am going to share a good book with you. Go Big Make Your Shot Count In the Connected World. This book is about how a set of friends who started Dude Perfect. You may have seen the fruit of this on Good Morning America. You may have debated is that real on You Tube or seen a commercial with their competition shots at work. What you don't know is that the fruit of something big was result over a one ended bet. I bet you a sandwich that I can. This book is about that bet however this is a very motivating book on how to fulfill your dreams. Corry Cotton is the author of this book. He has set it up so that he introduces you to himself and his other friends. This book makes you ask important questions to help give you a base for your goals and dreams. An example of the questions asked is Have you asked paid enough attention to the things that excite you? When you get excited to do what you do it puts you into at point where "Passion Positions Excellence. The guys take you step by step through how to make this dream happen. Yes true for them it was the result of a basket ball game of who can throw it this way or that . They also paid attention to other passionate people and learned from them. In the book they speak of Steve Jobs. Who doesn't know that this man is passionate for Apple? I think we all have see his passion and benefited from it. In the book there are what I call take a few moments , this is where you take the time think about what you have passion for and want and write it down. The nice thing about this book is that they even give you a few lines to write what you want down in the book so that you can keep it with the book and go back to it later. You will also find in this book through out the pages gives you Go Big Tips where you can get motivating quotes to post or for later when you are just thumbing threw the book. I will use and example of one of my favorite Go Big Tip "If you're not spending most of you time doing something that energizes you, you're not only holding out on yourself, you are holding out on those around you". It made me think of Steve Jobs and the Ipod. I love that these guys were young and have had success. I also love that they give you five principles and one is GIVE BACK. This book gets you so focused that it should be taught in a high school career class. I liked that this book addressed the world of social media. Why not use it to help with goals it brings a whole new element into this mix that your dad's leadership, goal books does not have. I love that these guys made money from there passion. It inspires me and I am older than they are. It was very refreshing to read this book. I will be having my teens read this book. I feel they can get so much out of this book. I give this book 4stars. I rate my books on a scale of one to five. one being the worst and five being the best. I now have reached the time in my blog where I have to let you know that to comply with new regulations introduced by the Federal Trade Commission; Tyndale House Publishers has provided you with a complimentary copy of this book or ARC. The opinions in my review are my own.