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Swing Your Sword: Leading the Charge in Football and Life Paperback – July 7, 2011
"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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I could tell that our players liked him right away. What really struck me was how sure of himself of what he wanted to do. He had such conviction and confidence in his way of doing it and there wasn't any second guessing it: "This is what we're going to do. It is going to work. It has worked everywhere we've been." I remember feeling great. This is exactly what we needed to do. (Bob Stoops, Mike’s former boss at Oklahoma)
He’s one of the most unique people I’ve ever met. He’s infinitely curious about everything. He doesn’t come in there and meet new situations with an agenda. He likes to walk straight up and ask the tough questions. He loves it when someone is real as can be. He wants to learn something new. He wants to hear another point of view on something. Mike Leach is an infinitely interesting guy. His free association is epic. Nobody has the ability to free associate like this guy. He starts going and you’re thinking, ‘O.K., where are you going with this?’ I love his re-set. His re-set line is always, ‘well, the thing is.’ Whenever he switches gears to another subject, that his comma, it’s ‘Well, the thing is. . . ‘ (Matthew McConaughey)
Mike Leach has proved he can write a book that's as good as his passing schemes. I might add that it also ranks up there with his leadership and communication skills. Don't miss this eye-opening entertainment. (Dan Jenkins)
I think he’s brilliant. Mike Leach is a renaissance man through and through. The commercials about the World’s Most Interesting Man―that’s Mike Leach. I love him so much. I aspire to live a full and rich life and he’s doing it. He’s as interested in literature as he is in football. He’s just a very complicated, well-rounded individual. He’s a real maverick and an inspiration. (Peter Berg, filmmaker, director FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS)
Mike Leach is a great leader and an amazing motivator of men. And he got screwed. He’s got fantastic ingenuity, not only on the football field, but what he did with Texas Tech. The guy was on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Magazine as the head coach of Texas Tech. Think about how unusual that is. He is just so smart and really is a great guy, and a great coach. (Donald Trump)
About the Author
After stints at Kentucky and Oklahoma, Mike Leach took over a subpar Texas Tech program that had one of the worst graduation rates in all of major college football. A decade later, Leach had guided Tech to unprecedented on-field success and the highest graduation rate of any public university in major college football. He is now a TV analyst for CBS College Sports and hosts the daily College Football Playbook show on SiriusXM. He is native of Cody, Wyoming, and graduated from Brigham Young University. He earned his J.D. from Pepperdine Law School in 1986. Leach and his wife, Sharon, have four children.
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Top customer reviews
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I have a whole new respect for Leach.
Will most likely read again.
In this book Mike Leach provides insight into his experiences and how they have contributed to his divergent thinking. Leach is all about generating creative ideas by exploring solutions from as many different angles as possible. He talks about surrounding himself with people who have different backgrounds and experiences because they have unique value to bring to the table. He walks the reader through his entire coaching career as well as the events that lead him to making the decision to become a football coach. He candidly discusses challenges he faced and obstacles he had to overcome. He identifies common obstacles faced by all people in all walks of life... fear of taking the risk. I found this to be inspiring listening to a guy with a law degree and a family stepping out and taking an assistant coaching position making $3k a YEAR. His wife supporting him and both of them working together to make it work.
The book is filled with quotes from mostly players and coaches, but there are a few other interesting quotes from outside the football circle. Listening to Barry Switzer talk about the wish bone offense and how an offense that runs the ball 90% of the time, but spreads to ball to many different skilled players is what makes it balanced. I wonder how many called the wish bone a gimmick offense?? Hearing the story of Wes Welker and reading the quote from Kliff Kingsbury could have been a book all by itself. I've always had great admiration for Welker and getting the chance to read more about him was very inspirational.
If you don't like football you probably won't like this book too much. Leach takes the time to illustrate in a fair amount of detail his view of coaching and of running an offense. He draws up a few X's and O's and talks percentage of success and how he weighed it with the risk. He covers preparation for each week and how you have to muddle through all the information to filter out the major components you are going to focus on. He talks about different types of players and that there is no substitute for hard work and confidence.
There is about 10% of the book towards the end that discusses that events that took place at Tech. Leach certainly has his opinion and is not afraid to express what he thinks about Chancellor Hance, but all in all I felt he did a pretty good job of presenting facts and backing them up. It was all part of his experience and should be included.
Hope you enjoy the read!
The most telling parts are former players/co-workers comments on Leach's management style. The chapter on the Adam/Craig James drama is particularly revealing & provides far more evidence in the form of University emails than ESPN ever reported. The book does not dive much into specific play-calling strategies or game planning.
I gave it 4-stars because I get the impression from reading other stories on Leach that he's far more eccentric than this book details. Autobiographies are rarely as revealing as the reader prefers & given that Leach wanted to coach again it's in his best interest to not make himself look too "out there". Still an entertaining read overall for fans of college football.