Coach: 25 Writers Reflect on People Who Made a Differenceby Andrew Blauner, Bill Bradley
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Twenty-five celebrated writers share the inspiring words and timeless wisdom of the athletic coaches who changed and influenced their lives and pass on the sage advice they received. Now features a new preface by David Duchovny.
- Grand Central Publishing
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- Hachette Digital, Inc.
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- 394 KB
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By Andrew Blauner
Warner BooksCopyright © 2005 Andrew Blauner
All right reserved.
ForewordBy Bill Bradley
LEADERSHIP MEANS GETTING PEOPLE TO THINK, believe, see, and do what they might not have without you. It means possessing the vision to set the right goal and the decisiveness to pursue it single-mindedly. It means being aware of the fears and anxieties felt by those you lead even as you urge them to overcome those fears. A great coach embodies these qualities and transforms them into a force that can effect powerful changes in those they lead.
My high school coach, the only man who would ever be "the coach" to me, was like a monk, withdrawn personally and unsociable in town circles; unreachable by the power of the company, the church, the bank, or the mayor; rigid with discipline and sparse with compliments; inspiring to boys like me, cruel to those unprepared or unwilling. Never did he confuse his roles. He was not the college counselor, family adviser, tutor, athletic businessman, or budding politician. He aspired only to be the coach. It was a calling. If in my years as a New York Knick there would be thousands of words written about passing and teamwork and hitting the open man, it would not be new. It would be the "coach's" game, which by age seventeen was second nature to me. The really great coaches engage their players in a quest to be the best. Some bark their orders; others are more like machines, with a clipboard full of practice drills. In the right player-coach relationship, a quiet "well done" can go a long way. By talking candidly about the problems of adolescence or the vagaries of the parent-child relationship some high school coaches extend their reach to life off the court. Their players may never become pros, but because they learned the values of the game they are better prepared for life. Many people in all walks of life will tell you that their lives were turned around by a coach who took an interest in their total well-being. But, no matter your relationship with that person who will always be "the coach" for you, you will hear their words like a record every time you meet challenges or set out to accomplish goals. It is only then that you fully realize how they shaped you and how their vision still drives you.
In this book you will find powerful stories about the ways in which a coach changed the direction of someone's life and coaxed that person into taking a harder, more rewarding path. There are also a few recollections of coaches who had a negative effect on an individual's life. As you read the words of each writer, you will see that the story of a "coach" and their "player" serves as an allegory that illustrates the most basic, but most important aspects of human interaction. These individual stories taken together form a narrative of value that shows us the powerful reward of vision, hard work and the belief that together we can be something bigger and better than if we never listened to, learned from or engaged with the people we encounter in our lives.
BILL BRADLEY has been a three-time basketball All-America at Princeton, an Olympic gold medalist, a Rhodes scholar, and a professional player for ten years with the New York Knicks during which time they won two NBA championships. He served in the U.S. Senate from 1979 to 1997, and in 2000 he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States. He is the author of several books, including Life on the Run and Values of the Game.
Excerpted from Coach by Andrew Blauner Copyright © 2005 by Andrew Blauner.
Excerpted by permission.
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Meet the Author
Andrew Blauner is the founder of Blauner Books
Literary Agency. He is the editor of Coach: 25 Writers Reflect on People Who
Made a Difference; Brothers: 26 Stories of Love and Rivalry; and Central
Park: An Anthology. He is also coeditor of Anatomy of Baseball. A graduate of Brown University and
Columbia Business School, he is a member of PEN and the National Book Critic
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