Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life

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Overview

There are teachers with a rare ability to enter a child's mind; it's as if their ability to get there at all gives them the right to stay forever."

There was a turning point in Michael Lewis' life, in a baseball game when he was 14 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 ...

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Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life

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Overview

There are teachers with a rare ability to enter a child's mind; it's as if their ability to get there at all gives them the right to stay forever."

There was a turning point in Michael Lewis' life, in a baseball game when he was 14 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 now 30 years later, Lewis still finds himself trying to measure up to what Coach Fitz expected of him.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781415921319
  • Publisher: Books on Tape, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2005
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged

Meet the Author

Michael  Lewis

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.

Biography

Twenty-four year-old Princeton graduate Michael Lewis had recently received his master's degree from the London School of Economics when Salomon Brothers hired him as a bond salesman in 1985. He moved to New York for training and witnessed firsthand the cutthroat, scruple-free culture that was Wall Street in the 1980s. Several months later, armed only with what he'd learned in training, Lewis returned to London and spent the next three years dispensing investment advice to Salomon's well-heeled clientele. He earned hundreds of thousands of dollars and survived a 1987 hostile takeover attempt at the firm. Nonetheless, he grew disillusioned with his job and left Salomon to write an account of his experiences in the industry. Published in 1989, Liar's Poker remains one of the best written and most perceptive chronicles of investment banking and the appalling excesses of an era.

Since then, Lewis has found great success as a financial journalist and bestselling author. His nonfiction ranges over a variety of topics, including U.S./Japanese business relations (Pacific Rift), the 1996 presidential campaign (Trail Fever), Silicon Valley (The New New Thing), and the Internet boom (Next: The Future Just Happened). He investigated the economics of professional sports in Moneyball (2003) and The Blind Side (2006); and, in 2008, he edited Panic, an anthology of essays about the major financial crises of 1990s and early "oughts."

Good To Know

Michael Lewis attended Isidore Newman School in his native New Orleans, LA -- a private college prep school that counts among its more distinguished alumni historian Walter Isaacson, children's book author Mo Willems, singer Harry Connick, Jr., and famous pro-football siblings Peyton and Eli Manning.
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    1. Date of Birth:
      October 15, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      New Orleans, LA
    1. Education:
      Princeton University, B.A. in Art History, 1982; London School of Economics, 1985

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 1, 2012

    great for young athletes

    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

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 31, 2012

    Sports

    This book rocks and an amazing read.

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  • Posted February 23, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Read this book if you have children in sports

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2007

    Attention, not only Parents, but Players

    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.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 16, 2006

    Everyone has had a coach like this

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 16, 2005

    Useful Book for Parents

    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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2005

    THE COURAGE BEHIND WINNING

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2005

    Tough Love

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2005

    Reality check for players and parents

    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!

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    Posted December 1, 2009

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