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Download Coach: 25 Writers Reflect on People Who Made a Difference epub

by Andrew Blauner

A collection of more than 20 essaysby well-known authors, writers and celebrities abouttheir experiences with the sports coaches who have shapedtheir lives.
Download Coach: 25 Writers Reflect on People Who Made a Difference epub
ISBN: 0446694592
ISBN13: 978-0446694599
Category: Sports
Subcategory: Miscellaneous
Author: Andrew Blauner
Language: English
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; First edition (November 2, 2006)
Pages: 304 pages
ePUB size: 1655 kb
FB2 size: 1732 kb
Rating: 4.3
Votes: 506
Other Formats: azw rtf txt docx

I am a sucker for books about those who make a difference. “Coach” is one of those books. In it Andrew Blaumer has brought together twenty-five writers to reflect on coaches who made a difference in their lives. In his Forward, Bill Bradley notes that a great coach is sensitive to the fears and anxieties of his players and transforms them by pushing them to overcome those fears.

“Coach” is filled with stories about ways in which a coach changes the direction of someone’s life and coaxed that person to take a harder, more rewarding path. There are also a few recollections of coaches who had a negative effect on an individual’s life. These narratives include stories by well-known writers such as George Vecsey ( “The Old Man”); E.M. Swift (“Why Be Last?”); Pat Conroy (“My Losing Season”); Buzz Bissinger “When I Was Young”); John McPhee (VBK); Francine Prose (“Physical Education”); John Irving (“Underdog”); David Mariniss (“The Coach Who Wasn’t There”); Frank Deford (“The Depression Baby”); Bud Collins (“Fit to Be Tied”); and George Plimpton (Golf Lessons).

These stories include the famous - Casey Stengel, Vince Lombardi, Al McGuire - and the not so famous. The common thread is that all knew the most important aspects of human interaction – getting people to think, believe, see, and do what they might not have done without him or her.

Some of the gems from this book include…
 Something lost today with our youth is the importance of competition. Trophies are awarded for just about everything, including just showing up. There should be winners and losers, and even tears.
 We need to learn early on how to win and lose. In sports, we learn how to practice, how to hustle, how to be accountable for our actions…and how to laugh at our mistakes.
 Coaches are in the business of molding and should be trying to instill something for life.
 Repetition and discipline is the key to success.
 Enthusiasm creates momentum - ”Always run off the field.”
 There is a difference between a champ and a chump.
 Sports certify the deepest resources of skill, determination, and heart
 Sports teaches us just to be… not to underachieve or overreach. (Either way you cheat the game, your name, and your unfolding life narrative. “You turn out to be just as you played.”)
 A game allows you to be bigger than you are. A game belongs to nobody. It’s in your hands. It’s waiting for you to claim it.
 A game trumps time.
 What are our families for if not to teach us how to get under one another’s skin? These lessons teach us some surprising things about men and women, our potentials and our limitations.
 “Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing” was not coined by Lombardi. It came from the movie “Trouble Along The Way.”
 Lombardi taught the idea of freedom through discipline. “The only way to be free is to discipline yourself to master the world around you.” What is true for football also is true for other professions.
 A lot of coaching is what you choose not to do, not to see.
 Every obnoxious fan has a wife at home who dominates him.
 McGuire: “coaches are so scared.” Coaching is dealing with problems and differences. Good coaching addresses the real underlying issues that contribute to developing potential, creating a team culture, and true success. Some coaches try to avoid this.
 Coaching is a mistress.
 McGuire was jealous of other coaches who were dedicated. He wanted to keep his life.

None of us escape thinking about the coaches who made a difference in life. They embodied the qualities that inspired us to become bigger and better in life.
Bought this for my he asked for it. He was very pleased.
I bought this after reading the Preface by David Duchovny in the Wall Street Journal. Thought it was about how coaches influence lives. George Vecsey's essay on Casey Stengel immediately let me know I approached the book in the wrong manner. Not the book's fault. Just read a true gem by John Edgar Wideman, pure poetry for anybody who has played pickup basketball. One or two more like that one, and I'll forget all about why I thought I was purchasing it.
I picked up this book because I thought it was

about Creativity Coaching, one of the Life Coaching

specialties I use in my professional life.

Then I saw it was about ATHLETIC coaches - and

writer's relationships with SPORTS coaches.

I rolled my eyes at myself at making such an


I decided I would read some of the selections


I turned first to John Irving - a writer whose

work I especially enjoy. His quote, "When you

love something, you have the capacity to bore

eveyone about why - it doesn't matter why." and

decided that quote may be the very reason this

book called out to me.

The other selection I found incredibly compelling

was from writer Lauren Slater. I was in tears

as I sat in Barnes and Noble reading this

lush, evocative entry. She allowed us to witness

her trip to Summer Camp and the deep sadness and

horrible inner battle she had as she separated

herself from her mother, as well as the movement

from it thanks to Coach Kim.

This would be inspiring to any kind of teacher

and any kind of writer, though those who actually

ARE athletic coaches may find it the most

helpful of all.
This book was given to me while I was in Sloan Kettering in January, by Steve Valerio and his wife Jennifer. For a couple of years while I was coaching the North Jersey Rugby Club, Steve was the president of the club. He wrote a really lovely sentiment in the front of the book, for which I am greatly appreciative.

Coach is not the type of book I'd buy for myself, but it was pretty good! I really enjoyed it. There are 25 reminiscences by a variety of people - mostly professional writers and authors - about coaches who deeply influenced them. Of course some of the essays were pretty average - to be expected when there are 25 of them - but some of them were really quite brilliant.

My favorite was by Jane Leavy (never heard of her before reading this book) entitled "Coaching Bob" and it's different from the rest of the essays. In it she describes coaching Bob - a man suffering from AIDS - on how to live his life and face his impending death.

The last three essays were by well-knwn sports writers and commentators Bob Wolff, Ira Berkow, and Bud Collins. All very good.

The fellow who gave me the book, Steve Valerio, is your typical great guy rugby player. When I started coaching North Jersey, Steve, who was called "Flash" because of his (lack of) speed, was playing wing, the speed position on the rugby field. After a while, having discerned his (lack of) speed, we moved him to wing forward, where he never let us down.
This is an anthology of articles about coaches who influenced each of the writers in the book. The pieces themselves are hit and miss with some great stories by George Vecsey, Benjamin Cheever and Frank DeFord among others, but there are also several that just aren't that interesting. The benefit is that you don't have to read any of the chapters that don't interest you and the good ones are worth the price of the book. I would recommend this for a quick read of some inspirational stories, but not as a comprehensive anthology about the greatness of coaches or what makes them special.