Mike Due ('87) explores value of coaching youth sports in new novel 'Tough as Nails'

For immediate release…
Friday – June 6, 2014

Local author and 1987 Northern Kentucky University alumnus Mike Due has released his fifth book which is his most personal effort to date.

Previous works such as Of Honor and Deceit and the Immaterial trilogy focused on the larger topics of morality, government cover-ups, and international intrigue. In Tough as Nails, Due finds moral dilemmas in everyday life in small-town America.

The story revolves around an inexperienced youth soccer coach, Mark Bohansen, as he navigates the unfamiliar territory of a soccer pitch. Quickly Coach Bo learns there’s more to coaching than teaching the rules of the game. He soon becomes a mentor to a number of kids whose home lives are far more challenging than any soccer match.

Rife with many funny, surprising, and heart-touching stories picked from the author’s real-life experiences as a youth soccer coach, the storyline also serves as a vehicle to ask some of the tough questions of life. In particular, it serves as a case study for how involved coaches should become in the family lives of their players — especially in cases of perceived child neglect.

The story also examines other issues such as small-town gossip, questionable parental behavior at public athletic events and a coach’s struggle to instill a balance between keeping the game fun vs. competitive aggressiveness.

Robert Sheehan, head coach of the NKU woman’s soccer team, offers additional perspective in the book’s opening pages. Sheehan, now a Division I coach with a 17-year track record of success, reinforces the message of Due’s storyline that coaching youth sports is a critical social function that can be far more rewarding than one might initially expect.

Tough as Nails is now available on Amazon.com in print or Kindle format. Print copies can also be ordered through most other bookstores.

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