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Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life

3.79  ·  Rating Details ·  1,081 Ratings  ·  118 Reviews
"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'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 ...more
ebook, 96 pages
Published April 17th 2005 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 2005)
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This is a nice story about how a tough coach inspired some high school kids to do more with their lives, including the author.

It is also a story of a generational divide, and how modern parents are accused of "helicoptering" and sheltering their kids too much, which makes it more difficult for the coach to do his job.

The book has a lot of meaning, despite being only 90 pages long. Michael Lewis attended a wealthy private school in New Orleans, and Billy Fitzgerald was his baseball coach. Coach F
May 31, 2016 Darwin8u rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
“It was as if this baseball coach had reached inside me, found a rusty switch marked: 'turn on before attempting use' - and flipped it.”
― Michael Lewis, Coach: Lessons on the Game of Life


I recently had lunch with an old friend of mine and her sister. Their father was one of those iconic baseball/football coaches in Oregon who recently had a celebration on his 50th year of coaching (or something close). This is a guy, who, by the accounts of his daughters was so tough he probably would be fired
Eric Wilbanks
Jun 01, 2012 Eric Wilbanks rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family
I won't bother to repeat all the basic details already covered by other readers except to say, Yes, it's short (I'm estimating 8,000 words), but it really packs a punch. As a father of four (3 boys, 1 girl), the themes really resonated with me. This quote seems to sum it up much better than I would be able to do:
"Fitz gave another one of his sermons. They were always a little different but they never strayed far from a general theme: What It Means To Be A Man. What it meant to be a man was that
Emmett Novick
Nov 21, 2014 Emmett Novick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Coach is a very good book. It explains how this one coach at a Tennessee high school was so good that he created a legendary school and a legendary program. This coach is called Coach Fitz. At the school he coaches for, Newman, the famous NFL quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning came through his program for baseball, and they don't even care to recall their football coach, because Coach Fitz was that good. This book explains just how good he was.
Dec 19, 2008 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Short and sweet. A one-day read.

A very compelling story of a generational clash (old players and current generation players) with a legendary coach being the subject of it all.

Teaches lessons about complacency, the virtue of struggle even against overwhelming odds, dedication to team and self, and many others.

Loved it.
Mar 14, 2014 George rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

What price sissification?

COACH: Lessons on the Game of Life, by Michael Lewis begs that question. And hints at what a tremendous lose it is when self-respect is no longer to be earned but becomes merely a facetious, meaningless, spoon-fed entitlement.

Recommendation: Parents, please love your kids, and please read or listen to 'COACH.'

"The coach's message was not simply about winning but about self-respect, sacrifice, courage, and endurance."— synopsis

MP3 audio book editio
Jan 13, 2008 Audrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author of this book spoke at my graduation from Tulane Graduate School--for someone I never heard of he gave a wonderful and inspiring speech. I bought the book for my spouse shortly thereafter for Father's Day, it is very short so I thought it would be ideal given his non-work related literature phobia. It took me less than 2 hours to read this book today, served as nice dose of life coaching, told in a magnetic fashion.
Mar 07, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Growing up we all had "that coach" - the one who said something you still repeat, or the one who went the extra mile for you or the whole team. Those who have been blessed with great coaches share stories and remind us what an impact our own words have on our players now that we are the coaches. Give this to your coach as a thank you.
Jan 27, 2009 Jihae rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love everything Michael Lewis writes so I am overlooking the fact that this is basically one long article (you can read it in an hour) posing as a book, very slim on content. I am puzzled why there are wholesome-america photos that you would normally find already inserted in the photo album. Why?
Apr 01, 2008 Matt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very good short book. Deals with being part of a team, making committments, being a parent, and understanding what some brilliant coaches are trying to teach us at young ages through their unconventional ways. I strongly reccommend this book to anyone whether you have an interest in baseball or not.
Michael Lewis (Moneyball, Liar's Poker) writes a slim memoir of Coach Fitz, his high school baseball coach at a private school in New Orleans. It is reminiscent of Tuesdays with Morrie. Lewis comments on the differences between students and parents when he was in high school and now.
Jul 05, 2008 Katie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A simple, short book (more an article, really) on the role a former coach had on the author's life and how coaching times have changed. I'm not very into sports, but wanted a quick, light and enjoyable read one evening and this did the trick.
Aaron Hubbard
Jul 09, 2010 Aaron Hubbard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book to see the impact a good coach can have on the lives of youth. If you are a fan of Michael Lewis this could be even more interesting as you will see where he met some of the people he writes about in other books.
I read Lewis' The Blind Side,and I liked it so much that I had to get my hands on all his other books and read them. This was a wonderful tribute to Lewis' favorite coach. And it's full of lessons for life. A very short, but good read.
Jun 01, 2009 Tagg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A quick (30-minute) read but great insight into one of the traps of modern parenthood--overprotecting your child and not letting them learn lessons the hard way
Apr 20, 2010 Chazzle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I need to find my inner Coach Fitz much more often.

Anyway, a short book, but a great book.
Apr 20, 2008 Rick rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
another good one, easy small book read recommended for everyone
Oct 25, 2011 Monica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Very short, but great. :-)
Vicky Maday
Jun 11, 2008 Vicky Maday rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read for coaches and parents!
Karen Merrifield
Feb 13, 2015 Karen Merrifield rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Loved it
Hannah M
Dec 29, 2016 Hannah M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The other day my dad and I were listening to a podcast about Michael Lewis’ newest book, The Undoing Project. I asked my dad if he had ever read any of his books and he suggested I read Coach because it was one of his favorites. The book is a quick read, and at just over 90 pages I was able to finish it in one sitting. Throughout the book Michael Lewis looks back at how his high school experience was shaped by his baseball coach, Coach Fitz. He was a tough coach who held the team accountable and ...more
Peter Mortimer
Dec 22, 2016 Peter Mortimer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Michael Lewis writes about his highschool baseball coach Fitz and how Coach Fitz highly influenced his understanding on what dedication and defying expectations really means. Coach Fitz played a big role in many people's lives and Michael Lewis explores why this is the case and also why it is important to have someone like Coach Fitz as a mentor when growing up. The book is very short and can be read in less than two hours. I would not recommend this book to reader's who are not already Michael ...more
Dec 05, 2016 Stephen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought the book was exceptional. Very short read but impactful. If you played sports and had a great coach or even if you just had a special teacher that taught you a lot about life, then this book will appeal to you. Lots of good life lessons and a great quick read.
Bill Yeadon
Dec 31, 2016 Bill Yeadon rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I could give this 45 minute book 6 stars I would have done it. Wonderful life lessons and you don't need to be a sports fan.
I liked my high school baseball coach - thanks for reading. The normally more interesting Michael Lewis essentially presents a long-form version of a retirement speech for his old high school baseball coach - Coach Fritz. Fritz apparently has not actually retired yet and Lewis, to a very limited degree, compares the respect and, frankly tyrannical dominance, high school coaches once held over developing boys with today's coddled, over-praised student athletes. However, he does not develop this s ...more
Apr 04, 2013 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sports, biography
Spoiler alert: This was a quick audio book "read," as I listened to the author read the book on my mobile device. With quotes from Lou Piniella to Mark Twain butressed by a fable from Aesop, Michael Lewis summarized some bildungsroman-type "coming of age" lessons learned by high school baseball coach Billy Fitzgerald.

Former major league manager Lou Piniella - "He will never be a tough competitor; He doesn't know how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable." Lewis explains that it was the impo
Maxim Koretsky
Apr 07, 2015 Maxim Koretsky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Coach" is book about Michael Lewis' high school coach, Fitz. Coach Fitz is a highly successful yet controversial baseball coach. One of the problems is Fitz dealing with today's sensitive students and parents.
The book is about Coach Fitz teaching self-respect, sacrifice, courage and perseverance. Coach Fitz shows Michael Lewis how to be hard worker and excel in everything. For example, Coach Fitz once made Leo, a shortstop, who missed the state championship game because he was 10 minutes late.
Feb 09, 2016 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Picked this up at a library sale for $1.25 and read it last night. It really hit me. The basic message is if you are going to play sports, act like it means something. The coach of the title had an amazing ability to drill this message into the notoriously thick skulls of young people. Until ... parents suddenly seemed to want to protect and defend their children from life rather than prepare them for it. I am not sure how true this is across the board but it certainly happened in this particula ...more
Linda Mathews
Jun 20, 2015 Linda Mathews rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am still digesting this book. I have so many thoughts on so many different levels. I agree with the author's ideas about...

hard work,
the negative impact of parent's super involvement in their children's success,
the positive impact in making children believe that they can do the impossible,
and having children possess the knowledge that it is not winning or losing that counts but the process you go through while working toward your goals.

I do not portend to possess the key to understanding t
Feb 21, 2015 Audrey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Stars because I like it and can relate (I don't have a problem with how intense the guy was). Only three because 1) it's so short - though understandably so - and 2) it's only vaguely applicable to my life. Inspirational story, great writing. Quick read (15 minutes?).

Final quote (which I like and definitely identify with, but remains inapplicable):
"And that's how I left him. Largely unchanged. No longer, sadly, my baseball coach. Instead, the kind of person who might one day coach my children.
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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.
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“It was as if this baseball coach had reached inside me, found a rusty switch marked: 'turn on before attempting use' - and flipped it.” 1 likes
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