Spizman Compiles Life Lessons from Greatest Coaches
search
Arts & CultureLocal

Spizman Compiles Life Lessons from Greatest Coaches

Justin Spizman, who has ghostwritten for others, has published his first book under his own name: a collection of wisdom from 168 of the greatest sports coaches of all time.

After 35 years with the Atlanta newspapers, Marcia currently serves as Retail VP for the Buckhead Business Association, where she delivers news and trends (laced with a little gossip).

Justin Spizman, who has ghostwritten for others, has published his first book under his own name.
Justin Spizman, who has ghostwritten for others, has published his first book under his own name.

Justin Spizman has published a new book, “Coach: The Greatest Teachers in Sports and Their Lessons for Us All,” a collection of wisdom from 168 of the greatest sports coaches of all time.

“I cover a wide range of sports, from football to basketball, hockey, tennis, rugby, skating and even wrestling … just about every sport you could imagine,” Spizman said. “I grew up in our ‘big sports’ town, playing and watching all the Atlanta pro teams. I loved every second on the field. So here are the greatest takeaway lessons that everyone can apply to life and to leadership.”

In addition to being a practicing lawyer, Spizman has worked as a “book architect,” cowriting or ghostwriting books and proposals for boxing champion Evander Holyfield, NCAA basketball coach Jim Valvano and sports agent Molly Fletcher, who is sometimes called the “Female Jerry Maguire.”

Spizman’s new book is a collection of wisdom from 168 of the greatest sports coaches of all time.

“Coach” is the first book Spizman has written under his own name in almost 15 years. “This is the first book I wrote for myself as a way to return to my roots,” he said, “the culmination of so much of my work over the first half of my career as a writer.” He has helpfully divided the book into four sections and coaching styles — Team Builders, Strategists, Technicians and Closers — so that readers of all backgrounds and ages can relate to these stories.

True to its goal, the book shares lessons from a wide variety of coaches from different sports, including several marquee female coaches, such as Barbara Stevens (Bentley University), C. Vivian Stringer (Rutgers), Becky Hammon (San Antonio Spurs), Katie Sowers (San Francisco 49ers) and University of Tennessee favorite Pat Summitt.

“‘Coach’ is a cool combination of what’s historically relevant and how the game has changed alongside the study of sports, both in terms of coaches and players,” Spizman said. “We examine some big-time personalities and names, many of whom came up through different coaching trees and left their mark on sport. Then there are the stories within the stories, like the time fellow ‘tribe member’ Bruce Pearl showed up at a Lady Vols game shirtless and covered in orange body paint. It is truly amazing what some of these coaches have done for the love of the game.”

Spizman earned his undergraduate degree in speech communications at the University of Texas and his law degree at Georgia State University. He grew up playing basketball at the JCC, usually as a shooting guard. “My dad was a good athlete and came to every game of mine,” he recalled. “Sports meant a lot to me at a young age.”

Now, applying life lessons closer to home, Spizman coaches his young daughters’ teams. To build character, he often tells the players, “We didn’t win as much as we wanted, but we tried really hard and had a lot of fun.”

And watch for Spizman’s next book, “Hometown Victory: A Coach’s Story of Football, Fate and Coming Home,” to be released in May. It’s the story of coach Keanon Lowe, who is the subject of an upcoming Disney original film.

read more:
comments