From the NBA’s most sought-after trainer and skills coach comes a “backstage pass to a part of the NBA that most fans never see” (Pete Thamel, Yahoo Sports)—how superstars like Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, and Kevin Love work to excel at the game.
When Rob McClanaghan failed to make the Syracuse basketball team as a walk-on freshman, he asked the coaches what he needed to do to achieve his goal the following year. They all agreed: get stronger. So that’s what he did. For months, Rob traded fraternity parties and hanging out with buddies for hours in the gym lifting weights and shooting baskets. He was single-minded; the only thing that mattered was defying the odds. He returned to Syracuse for his sophomore year thirty pounds heavier and caught the coach’s eye.
In Net Work, McClanaghan’s “experience, knowledge, and keen understanding of the sport jumps off the pages” (Bob Iger, CEO of the Walt Disney Company) and he delivers what he brings to each of his training sessions: the same grit and spirit that got him into the college game. He calls it “the grind,” and he knows that without it, even the most talented players will come up short. McClanaghan pushes his clients hard; he does whatever he can to drive his players to the edge and to simulate fourth quarter, at-the-buzzer adrenaline and fatigue.
An all-access pass to the practice courts of the NBA, Net Work combines McClanaghan’s hard-earned wisdom—both on and off the court—with rare glimpses into the dues-paying life of professional athletes determined to stay at the top. McClanaghan shares stories of working one-on-one with some of basketball’s greatest names, explaining how each athlete works to shore up his offensive and defensive weaknesses; perfect his nutrition; treat injuries; build mental toughness; and find occasional refuge from the glare of the spotlight. This book is life inside the NBA as you’ve never seen it, where players differentiate themselves by their willingness to put in relentless “net work.”
Basketball trainer McClanaghan has an impressive list of clients, including MVPs Stephen Curry and Russell Westbrook, but in this debut memoir he misses an opportunity to translate his expertise into prose. Instead, he provides a chatty mix of anecdotes (like the time he briefly coached Michael Jordan's son), concluding with banal lessons on how to succeed, and his own picks for the best players in certain categories (such as, for best defender, Dennis Rodman). Despite McClanaghan's not being a great player himself, his hard work and sustained focus landed him a spot on the Syracuse roster as a walk-on, and those habits eventually led to a job with a major sports agency, as a trainer for clients hoping to be drafted by an NBA team. That step, in turn, resulted in his being hired by individual players such as Derrick Rose and John Wall. Impress-ively, McClanaghan not only gained the respect of extremely gifted athletes but became friends with many of those he worked with, including Memphis Grizzlies' Kevin Love, who bravely went public with his emotional struggles. Despite his unquestioned credentials, his "Twelve Rules for Becoming a Baller" offer mostly platitudes ("Have fun"). NBA fans seeking an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at how the very best in the game prepare will be disappointed.
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Tremendous insight from the ultimate insider
Loved this book! Rob’s incredible journey from the court in the woods in Rhode Island to the polished hardwood of the NBA is truly inspirational. But this book is not just a basketball book; its a book that provides a plan to achieve personal growth and success.
Net Work is a great and entertaining book!