Serve to Lead 2: leading high school baseball coach shares his story, despite the odds.

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By Wil Crews
sportscrews@opelikaobserver.com

Written by Glenwood Athletic Director and Head Baseball Coach Tim Fanning, “Serve to Lead 2” is part memoir, part travel book, part baseball coaching instruction and 100% lessons learned through a life of service.

“I just started thinking about all the experiences I’ve had as a coach and the beautiful things I’ve seen, and felt like sharing that can impact a lot of lives,” Fanning said on his inspiration behind writing the book. “Finding a way to tie this thing together to make it common for all people was important to me.”

Fanning has been the baseball coach at Glenwood High School for 17 years now, winning eight state championships and coaching numerous All-Americans. He is also the founder of “Serve to Lead,” a non-profit that shares a name with his first book and uses Christ to impact lives around the world through field construction, equipment donations, how-to clinics, Bible distribution and helping communities.

“My whole goal is to inspire kids to be servants in this world,” Fanning said.

“Serve to Lead,” garnered praise and accolades when it was released in 2017. Since that time, Fanning was faced with his greatest challenge in life yet when he was diagnosed with Stage 4 colon cancer.

“I had to fight a lot when it came to that, and one great way I found to do it was to write,” Fanning said.

While “Serve to Lead 2” is not intended to be about “How-To’s,” the book explores a way of being for a coach, a parent and a Christian man. Fanning tells a story of humble beginnings, unfortunate circumstances and adversity — and how overcome those things through a servant’s mentality.

According to the book’s website, “Serve to Lead 2” will let you: lead by serving others, help your players mature from teenagers, get rid of the world’s perception of you, reach your potential as a servant leader, get parenting lessons and learn from game situation stories and examples.

Furthermore, the book will help you learn: the “un-sexy” secret to waking up chock full of inspiration each morning, one thing you must never do if you want to show up as the best version of yourself, the single biggest thing Fanning learned in his first six months battling cancer, how to use mission trips to mold young people into servant leaders, what most doctors believe is the No. 1 key to recovery from illness, how to win games … the right way, what to say in your end of year speeches, why it’s a must for coaches to attend conventions, one of the biggest problems crippling our country today, Fanning’s simple philosophy of “Raw Love,” what you must do with your kids to teach them a love of serving others and a simple way to enjoy greater peace of mind as soon as today.

That’s just a taste of the knowledge and experience readers will get when they dive into “Serve to Lead 2.”

Gene Stephenson, the third winningest coach in NCAA D1 history (seven college world series appearances with Wichita State University between 1978 and 2013) said, “Coach Fanning has hit a ‘home run’ with this book.”

Auburn University Head Baseball Coach Butch Thompson quoted it saying the book “refocused my intention to be a better servant.”

Seventeen-year MLB veteran and former Auburn University player Tim Hudson said it “shines light on who and what is important in life.”

The hard copy of “Serve to Lead 2” sells for $35. However,  customers can receive the book for a special $25 pre-order price, which includes an e-edition of the book too. Additionally, if customers are unsatisfied with their purchase at any time, they can email Fanning at Admin@servetolead2.com and promptly get a refund — plus keep the book.

To learn more about “Serve to Lead 2” or to get your copy, go to servetolead2.com.

“It’s so easy to be wrapped up in yourself and lose sight of what is beautiful around you,” Fanning said. “And that’s the whole goal: to honestly wake people up to quit worrying about what the world thinks of you and what the world is telling you is important.”

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