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Book Review -- "COACH: Lessons on the Game of Life" by Michael L. Lewis

I wish it had not taken me seven years to stumble across this little memoir written about Billy Fitzgerald (a.k.a., Coach Fitz). Nevertheless, I did at least stumble across it. Better late than never applies as well as it ever has.


I won't bother to repeat all the basic details already covered by other reviewers 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 you struggled against your natural instinct to run away from adversity" (p.77).
There's an even better quote on pages 82-83, but I'll let you read it yourself.

Here's why that quote from page 77 resonates with me personally. For the past 15 years or so, I've pondered the idea that self-discipline is listed last by the Apostle Paul in Galatians 5:22-23 perhaps because it is the "holy grail" of a truly fruitful life. More than anything, I want my children to grow up esteeming self-discipline as equally honorable and desirable compared to virtues such as love and peace. I recognize that one can be incredibly disciplined in all the wrong ways (hence the other 8 fruits), but the older I get, the more I recognize the elusiveness and value of that fruit called self-control. Even as I type this I am wearing a cheap rubber bracelet that simply says "Lose Your Quit." I can't help but think that the world might be a much better place if we would all learn this simple lesson. Too bad there isn't a Coach Fitz in each of our lives. I suppose this tiny booklet will have to suffice.

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