Summer Reading Assignment: Toughness

The title’s deeper meaning is that true toughness isn’t exemplified by testing your pain tolerance, or even seeing who can win in an arm-wrestling match. The author obviously chose this because the book’s main focus is on basketball and in order to be an NBA-worthy basketball player. Jay Bilas refers to toughness multiple times throughout the book. One example is when he talks about a particular player on the team. Even though the player was younger than most of the other players he became a leader and showed his toughness by doing this.

My initial reaction to the end of the book was very cathartic. After reading the final pages I felt very good about myself since a lot of ways Bilas described toughness I could relate to in my own life. I realized that I am also a lot tougher in some aspects of my life but also very meek and vulnerable in others. I realized this because Bilas talks a lot about the characteristics of truly courageous people.

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The best part of the book for me was in Chapter 5 where it talks about the player Mark Alarie. This is my favorite portion of the book because it is almost an exact story of me when I was a freshman. The title of the chapter is “Persistence” because of Jay Bilas worked harder than his friend and training buddy to beat him in the mile in order to impress the coaches.

The dominant theme that pertains to this book is that hard work beats talent.

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This is the primary theme in this book because Jay Bilas was not the tallest, strongest, fastest, or most athletic player, but he had what counted the most, which was the competitive spirit. He also was very easy to teach and was a great listener, while most of the other cocky and egotistical players were hard-headed and temperamental.

The main pattern that I have noticed throughout this book is that in order to be successful in not only basketball but in life you have to push through the solemn times and hope for better ones. They add to the overall understanding of the book because it enables the reader to see the simple solution to a successful life. That solution is simply working harder than your opponent.

The effect that this book has on my beliefs is that it has confirmed my belief that in order to win, to be successful, and to be genuinely happy with one’s life is to compete. The effect that the book has had on my thoughts is mainly along the lines of: is it possible to be too tough or determined or competitive?

If I could make changes about the book I would first make the story start with how Jay Bilas ended his basketball career and then end the book with how he started it. I’d want to do this because sometimes when a book isn’t in the correct order that it should be it adds complexity to the book, which I feel like this book is missing a little bit of. I would also add more to the background of Bilas’s background. I’d do this because a lot of habits form when people are children.

The type of readers that would enjoy this book the most are athletes. This is obviously becoming the book is about a sport. This causes the book to be much more relatable for the athlete rather than a horror book.

I would recommend and read another book by this author. I would recommend this book because it really spoke to me and gave me an enormous amount of advice on how to be a better person as a whole. I would also like to read another book by this author because I’m sure that he has other great sportsbooks that would appeal to and entertain me.

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Summer Reading Assignment: Toughness. (2021, Dec 04). Retrieved from

Summer Reading Assignment: Toughness

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