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Against the Grain: A Coach's Wisdom on Character, Faith, Family, and Love Hardcover – May 13, 2014
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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John Feinstein, sportswriter and bestselling author of A Good Walk Spoiled
"Bill Courtney has nothing to prove to anyone as a football coach, as a businessman and as a human being. But if you want proof that his life has been fascinating, Against The Grain gives you all need. Enjoy the ride."
Praise for Bill Courtney
Yogi Roth, Former QB coach at USC and New York Times bestselling co-author of Win Forever and From PA to LA
The role for a coach is often defined by wins and losses. Coach Courtney is a unique coach who understands that his role is not about a trophy, but about developing the next generation of leaders across the globe.Against The Grain speaks directly to that audience, both young and old, and is a must read for anyone who strives to impact others.”
Pete Carroll, Head Coach of Superbowl XLVIII Champions Seattle Seahawks and New York Times bestselling author
Coach Courtney is an ultimate competitor with a passion for excellence. He continues to be an inspiration to coaches and players all around the football world from high school to college to the pros and also those from off the gridiron as well.”
The star of a new documentary is a leader for our times.”
Phil Jackson, NBA Coach and New York Times bestselling author of Eleven Rings, from the foreword
"His success serves as a moving example of what can happen when people in authority care about others - not just about winning the next game or securing the next client.”
Ron Shelton, director of Bull Durham
"The old fashioned values of Coach Courtney come across as revolutionary in the cynical contemporary world, full of detail and anecdotes worthy of a Southern Preacher, but without the guilt.”
Jeanie Buss, President of the LA Lakers
Sports is not the only realm where coaching counts. Bill Courtney has written a book that demonstrates to the beaten down executive that by peeling down to the values of character, commitment and leadership you can find your way back to a successful business and a meaningful life.”
Pam Shriver, International Tennis Hall of Fame & ESPN Broadcaster
I was as inspired, especially by the chapter on perseverance. Everyone faces adversity and if you persevere through the tough times, you will become resilient which will lead to success. ”
About the Author
Michael Arkush has written 12 books, including Rush! and The Fight of The Century. He and his wife, Pauletta Walsh, live in Oak View, California.
Top customer reviews
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Bill writes about solid principles that DO NOT change and he does it with amazing sincerity. Coach Bill has challenged me to "step out of my comfort zone" and quit waiting for OTHERS to make a difference.
Entitlement is rampant in our society and it is death to the soul. It has no socioeconomic boundaries. Everyone can suffer from entitlement. Presidents of companies, new grads, even a 47 year old guy who is blessed beyond what he deserves (that is me). Bill writes that if we truly understand grace and forgiveness we want to extend that to others and it is our greatest joy. By the Way, if you've not seen the movie "Undefeated", watch it, and I hope the movie and this book together blesses you as much as they blessed me!!!
One of the things I really enjoyed while reading Against the Grain was seeing how Billy's thoughts on leadership have coalesced since I knew him in his 20's. Even then as a fresh college grad his focus was on character. Many of the principles he presents resonate with what I'm learning about leadership: the fundamental importance of serving those you lead, the power of grace, the importance of understanding responsibility versus duty.
What gratifies me most about seeing the differences between Coach Courtney at age 22 and Mr. Courtney in his 40s now is this: he developed. It's not that he's a better person now than he was then; it's that he's more effective. He has reflected on his principles and values, he's focused his choices based on those reflections, and he's become more effective at everything he does now. His articulations of those lessons in Against the Grain are his gift to us.
Many of us have heroes from our childhood, and Coach is one of mine. That said, I don't want to be like Billy. His life, as far as I can tell, has always been a ridiculous hurricane of activity and risk that I have no appetite for. I do, however, want to develop like him. I want to take advantage of the privileges I have, the knowledge I've gained, the grace I've been afforded, and the values I've developed. I want to use them to raise my own four children to become Christ followers, to make life a little better for the men and women who work with me, to be a worthy husband, and to fulfill better all of those responsibilities tomorrow than I do today.