The popular ESPN basketball analyst and former Duke player looks at the true meaning of toughness.
If anyone knows tough, it’s Jay Bilas. A four-year starter at Duke, he learned an incomparable work ethic under coach Mike Krzyzewski, battling against the greatest college players in the game. After playing professionally overseas for several years, he returned to Duke, where he served as Krzyzewski’s assistant coach for three seasons, during which the Blue Devils won back-to-back titles. A graduate of Duke Law School, he has since become one of basketball’s most recognizable faces through his insightful, intelligent work on ESPN’s SportsCenter and College GameDay.
Through his ups and downs, on and off the court, Jay learned the true meaning of toughness from coaches, teammates, and colleagues. Now, he discusses 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, Bill Self, Curtis Strange, and many others—Bilas redefines what it takes to succeed.
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“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