Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hard Work

Next in the line of books I received at Christmas time is this (auto)biography of Roy Williams, coach of my beloved North Carolina Tarheels men's basketball team.

It is often easy to forget, but there is no reason to assume that just because a person is extremely good at something, the rest of the person's character will turn out to be good too.  No place is this truer than the sporting world (*ehem* Mr. Woods).  Not so with Roy Williams, who happens to be an extremely successful coach (a Naismith Hall-of-famer and the winningest active coach by percentage among NCAA coaches) and, by all accounts, a genuinely good person.

The book follows Coach Williams' rise to basketball royalty from his meager beginnings as a stat tracker sitting in the upper deck of Carmichael Auditorium as an underclassman at UNC.  Along the way, we are treated to recollections about his career, philosophy (basketball and otherwise), and personal life.

Something that becomes immediately apparent when you look at Coach Williams' life (at least the portions he has chosen to share with us in his book) is that he is a fairly uncomplicated person.  He has lived his life with an almost single-minded approach to any task:  an uncompromising devotion to outworking everyone around him.  In a sport where a sense of entitlement seems to pervade the culture of both players and coaches, Williams' example should be lauded.

At the suggestion of a friend, I'm now going to include a rating for each review to serve as a quick way to determine my overall feeling about a given book. I will be staying with the theme of the blog and using a five hamster rating scheme.

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