Part-motivational tome/part- memoir, this book from Duke Men's Basketball Coach Mike Krzyzewski is, as the title suggests, a blending of sport and life lessons learned during Krzyzewski's twenty-year coaching career. "I am a believer in the power of words," says the author and the book reflects this in its organization of the book through words--such as passion, excellence, and integrity-- that Krzyzewski often employs his players to visualize during a game.
Many of the anecdotes are interesting. (The stuff about serving under Bobby Knight is particularly revealing, and many of the chapters are inspirational--though the book tends to go down the self-help path a few times.) Still if you're looking for a great holiday book to enrich your life as a student, coach, parent, or fan the book is definitely worth picking up.
The Blind Side
Author Michael Lewis first came to prominence a few years ago with his controversial book "Moneyball" about the statistical-analysis approach to baseball evaluation. This time in "Blind Side: Evolution of the Left Tackle" he illustrates the fascinating transformation of this anonymous blue-collar position to that of a highly- paid football rock star.
But the most interesting aspect of the book is its narrative of young high school left tackle, Michael Oher, who, despite his Memphis housing-project background and lack of rudimentary scholastic skills becomes the focus of a controversy involving college boosters serving as legal guardians and an extensive NCAA investigation. A fascinating read for anyone interested in the lengths some people will go to get a 'quality' left tackle.
Last season Pittsburgh Steeler running back Jerome Bettis decided in his last season as a professional athlete to keep a journal. The result is a fascinating look into the final days of a Hall of Fame athlete as he reflects on his journey to the NFL and the remarkable experience of winning the Super Bowl.
Designed as a coffee table book one would expect this book to be a pretty tame athletic memoir. But "Driving Home" has some surprising nuggets--including a diary of what it's like the day after a football game. In addition the collection of great archival photographs make this book a good gift choice for those interested not only in football but the long road Bettis took from Mackenzie High School in Detroit to the pinnacle of winning a championship.
What would do if you were 17 years old and swimming in the Pacific Ocean when you came across an abandoned gray whale looking for its mother? This is the premise of Lynne Cox's memoir about her life-changing experience with the whale she came to name Grayson.
Using the experience as a platform to riff on her passion for swimming and the value of pushing beyond your comfort zone Cox provides an engaging account of how physical activity can be about much more than being active. Suitable for all ages.