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Coach: Lessons On The Game Of Life Hardcover – May 17 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 96 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton (May 17 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393060918
  • ISBN-13: 978-0857091086
  • Product Dimensions: 13.2 x 1.5 x 18.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #105,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From 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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Michael Lewis, is the best-selling author of Liar’s Poker, Moneyball, The Blind Side, and Flash Boys. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and three children.

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By Ian Gordon Malcomson HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on April 30 2009
Format: Paperback
Here is a neat little essay about a man's fond but sometimes troubled recollections of his distant past. Michael Lewis, the famous financial writer of books like "Liar's Poker", has penned a very fitting and tender tribute to his old coach Fitz back in prep school in Louisiana. Lewis had this man as his varsity baseball coach in the fifties and came to respect him for his mental and physical toughness. Coach Fitz was a person who never tolerated a casual and slovenly attitude in his players, and would be the first to ream out anyone who was so inclined. Though his words were often harsh, the players knew that he always had their best interests at heart. His winning tradition at the state level spoke for itself. Now, closing in on retirement and the magic moment when the school is about to rename its field house in his honor, Coach Fitz faces the crisis of his life. This is a new generation of athletes and many of the players and their parents want him fired because his `poor' interpersonal skills. His players no longer want to play for him because he is demanding too much from them and embarrassing them into the bargain. Parents are up in arms because their children are not getting enough playing time. Into this imbroglio steps Lewis with praise for Coach Fitz and some stern advice for the whiners and complainers who want to oust him. Quite often in life, the true measure of any leader comes in his or her ability to say the unpopular things that others would rather not hear. There are times in this short epistle when Lewis laments the fact that varsity sports across America has turned into a war between parents and coaches over what is best for the players.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It touches on many of the same themes as Whiplash on an autobiographical look at the author's old coach. It's a great book to read to give you perspective as to why people are sometimes hard on the ones they mentor, coach and teach. Quick read and a must read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A tremendous short story by a great author. A must read...
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a little confused by this book.

It's the third one I've read by Mr. Lewis (and I've seen movie adaptations of two others), but even considering the subject matter and what it meant to him, it just doesn't have the usual 'oomph'.

This book is about his beloved high school coach, 'Fitz', but it's more a truncated polemic about misplaced societal values, how 'entitlement' has taken us away from those values, and about parenting that's not quite rooted correctly and clearly not executed in the best way imaginable.

While well-intentioned, I believe that what the author set out to do could have been better accomplished either in a long-form essay...or a book using 'Fitz' as the touchstone and go-to reference throughout, but incorporating much more from modern American life that illustrates what he's maintaining.

As a final stab, I really don't think that the message was relayed as poetically as it deserved.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars 78 reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works both as social commentary and portrait of one man July 28 2005
By joseph crowley - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Michael Lewis has combined a healthy curiosity about how organizations behave with an engaging narrative style to produce the eye-opening Liar's Poker, Moneyball and New, New Thing, among other books.

In this short portrait of his high-school baseball coach, Lewis merges a study of that individual with an affirmation of the effect of his values on the boys who played on his baseball team at a toney prep school, along with an essay as to why such a manly, hard-core method is pretty much forbidden by the realities of parental pressure today.

The book fundamentally expresses gratitude for the author's good fortune to have been at an elite high school in a spartan era. It does not fully explain the basic motivation of the coach, but leaves a melancholy impression that his type of dinosaur is needed now more than ever, just when the system seeks something different.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Target Audience Young Adults Sept. 16 2005
By Astrogal - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I differ with previous reviews lamenting the brevity of the book. Obviously, adults reading the book were thinking in terms of adults. I read the book thinking about my 12-year old grandson and felt it was a perfect book to send him at this stage in his life.

This is exactly the type of book you would want to send your grandchildren or have your own children read.

It sends a powerful message and being written by someone having been coached by this person at the age of 13 makes it even more valid.

It may be short, but that's the beauty of it. It keeps your interest, gets the point across and leaves you wishing for more or better yet, offers the opportunity for discussion with young adults.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lessons On Society Losing Its Way March 12 2006
By Thomas M. Loarie - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Best selling author (Moneyball, Liar's Poker, and the New New Thing), Michael Lewis has written a little (90 pages) jewel with "Coach." Lewis reflects on his life at Isidore Newman School and the impact that his baseball coach and teacher, Billy "Fitz" Fitzgerald, had in shaping his life.

Fitz entered Lewis's mind at age 12 and has stayed there ever since. Think about that rare teacher or coach that has stayed with you into your adult life; reminisce with Lewis as he rediscovers the attributes of this relationship and its impact on his life.

Lewis's catalyst for this book was hearing that a former player was organizing an effort to remodel the old school gym and have it named after Fitz. Current players and their parents were doing all they could to persuade the headmaster to get rid of Fitz, while at the same time, cash was pouring in from former players and their parents.

This conflict allows Lewis to contrast a time when Fitz worked tirelessly to give his boys a sense that their lives could be something other than ordinary with a time - today - when values and character are less important. Fitz's effectiveness ended when he could not adapt to the change - the culture of "kids being bestowed with a sense of self-esteem at birth."

The system of values he attempted to instill is no longer in alignment the parents nor with the culture. His system is no longer wanted - it is not "in" - and is no longer tolerated. Getting rid of him is the only solution.

"Coach" transcends the events surrounding Fitz and the gym, revealing the dark side of today's society which has lost its way, one no longer wanting to develop kids for a life filled with honorable values...and meaning.
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars Aug. 19 2016
By Michael Keating - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great for Dads and sons to share to understand life.
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Lesson for all Oct. 13 2016
By G. M. Brassesco - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book!