Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life

Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life

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by Michael Lewis
     
 

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"[Lewis] has such a gift for storytelling."—New York Times

There was a turning point in Michael Lewis's life, in a baseball game when he was fourteen years old. The irascible and often terrifying Coach Fitz put the ball in his hand with the game on the line and managed to convey such confident trust in Lewis's ability that the boy had no choice

Overview

"[Lewis] has such a gift for storytelling."—New York Times

There was a turning point in Michael Lewis's life, in a baseball game when he was fourteen years old. The irascible and often terrifying Coach Fitz put the ball in his hand with the game on the line and managed to convey such confident trust in Lewis's ability that the boy had no choice but to live up to it. "I didn't have words for it then, but I do now: I am about to show the world, and myself, what I can do."

The coach's message was not simply about winning, but about self-respect, sacrifice, courage, and endurance. In some ways, and even now, thirty years later, Lewis still finds himself trying to measure up to what Coach Fitz expected of him.

Editorial Reviews

Billy Fitzgerald is a sports legend you've never heard of. The 57-year-old former minor league catcher coaches baseball and basketball at New Orleans' Isidore Newman School; not exactly a high-profile assignment. Ubiquitously called "Coach Fitz," this veteran mentor personifies a tough-as-nails coaching philosophy seldom seen in these days of player perks and recruiting wars. Not surprisingly, his old-school ways are under fire from parents at the expensive Louisiana prep school, but this gruff mentor does have hundreds of defenders among his former players (most notably NFL quarterback Peyton Manning), who insist that Coach Fitz changed their lives. Bestselling author Michael Lewis once labored under the verbal lashes of this unforgettable man; now he, too, pays tribute to a man who taught him some of life's most important lessons.
Publishers Weekly
Lewis (Liar's Poker; Moneyball) remembers his high school baseball coach, Coach Fitz, a man so intense a room felt "more pressurized simply because he was in it." At the New Orleans private school Lewis attended in the late 1970s, Coach Fitz taught kids to fight "the natural instinct to run away from adversity" and to battle their way through all the easy excuses life offers for giving up. He was strict, but he made such an impression on his students that now, 25 years later, alumni want to name a new gym after him. But the parents of today's students aren't as wowed by Coach Fitz's tough love. They call the headmaster with complaints, saying Coach Fitz is too mean to their children and insisting on sitting on his shoulder as he attempts to coach. A desire to set these new parents straight may be the underlying reason for Lewis's slight book, though he'd probably rather have readers believe he's just written it as a paean to a man who taught him some important life lessons. The book's corny subtitle, lack of heft and hackneyed images of kites flying and fireworks exploding may turn off some readers, but those who persevere will come away with a reminder that fear and failure are the "two greatest enemies of a well lived life." Agent, Andrew Wylie. (May) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Everything Lewis ever really needed to know he learned from prickly baseball coach Fitz. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393331134
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
04/28/2008
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
93
Sales rank:
418,379
Product dimensions:
4.80(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.30(d)

Meet the Author

Michael Lewis, the best-selling author of Liar’s Poker, The Money Culture, The New New Thing, Moneyball, The Blind Side, Panic, Home Game, The Big Short, and Boomerang, among other works, lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and three children.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
October 15, 1960
Place of Birth:
New Orleans, LA
Education:
Princeton University, B.A. in Art History, 1982; London School of Economics, 1985

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Coach 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
PattyPD More than 1 year ago
This powerful little book can be read in an hour. It totally keeps a focus and takes the reader along. As an avid sports participant during the years the author refers to 14-18 I can appreciate his advice. I sent the book to my grandson and suggest every grandmother do the same - the insight will be obvious to any youngster involved in early sports competition. PattyPD
Anonymous 6 months ago
Piper
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This book rocks and an amazing read.
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Followme More than 1 year ago
This quick read will put you in the proper perspective for your child's sports endeavors. As a recovering "helicopter parent" this book reminded me to back-off and let the system work.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you have experienced life in the sports world while growing up at all you have probably encountered a coach just like Coach Fitz. Every single parent with children in sports should read this. Especially the over zealous parents causing more harm then good. You can only protect your children from the world so much. This book proves that real men and women rise up into great human beings with the right direction in life.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Anyone striving to teach children the most important of life's lessons would do well to read and share the wisdom found in this book. Despite its title, the book is well worth reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
THERE IS ALOT TO BE SAID ABOUT THIS LITTLE BOOK,HOWEVER THE LIFE LESSONS THAT I LEARNED FROM THIS LITTLE PUBLICATION OF COURAGE . ITS ALL ABOUT WINNING AND ITS WHAT YOU MAKE OF YOURSELF ON THE INSIDE. THIS LITTLE BOOK WILL HELP YOU STAND TALL AND LEARN SOME GREAT PRINCINPLES THAT WILL HELP YOU IN YOUR WORK PLACE IN OTHER WORDS ITS A GREAT PLAYBOOK FOR THE GAME OF LIFE. IF YOU HAVE A FAMILY MEMBER WHO IS CURRENTLY IN HIGHSCHOOL,COLLEGE OR A UNIVERSITY PLEASE GET THEM THE BOOK 'COACH' OR BUY IT FOR A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER CAUSE IT WILL CHANGE THERE LIFE FOREVER.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Michael Lewis reveals the reality to what has become of today's kids who don't expect to have to work hard for their rewards. It was also a reminder to me as a parent that while trying to protect my children, I must also let them experience the harder aspects of life in order for them to grow up to handle the pressures of being an adult later on. I e-mailed all of my husband's competitive softball team parents and the parents of my son's travel baseball team to recommend this book. Quick read - 2 hours tops!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is short and sweet. The subject of this book is a throw-back to the old style of coaching. I'm not talking about an abusive coach, but one who knew how to get a kid's attention. His teaching was not so much about winning and loosing ballgames, but winning at the game of life by facing adversity and overcoming those hardships that they were surely going to face and taking resposibilty for ones own actions. The subject, Coach 'Fitz' built men by instilling in them the qualities of responsibility and perseverence and doing your best. Not only the author but Peyton Manning was one of his pupils and Manning aplauds 'Fitz' and his style of coaching and he credits him with making him the man and player he is today. Coach 'Fitz' does not baby his players or bow down to today's whinning parents. He is loud and tough, but make no mistake, he has his player's best intrest at heart and prepares them not so much for the major leagues but for the preasures and difficulties of life. The author illustrates that kids may not have appreciated the coach and his meathods at the time they played for him, but he prepared them for manhood and most appreciate him now and the lessons that he taught. This a good book for fathers and mothers who have kids involved in competitive sports.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's a genuine account and very well written. Much like A Coach's Salvation but more serious in its approach. Athletes, too, must start trying to understand their coaches better.