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Posted in: Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

What one book has influenced you most as a coach?

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  • LawrieOK

    Loved this book so much I bought copies for the two Level 3 candidates I am mentoring atm.

  • Ralph
    On 19/06/15 4:41 PM, Steve Price said:

    I'm an avid reader,

    although i recently conversed with a coach who thought little of academia and reading, im hartened you are not that type.

    if you've not read yet, i'd strongly suggest Jonny Wilkinsons autobiography

  • StevieP

    Hi Ralph, yes I've read his autoboigraphy. Comes across as a very dedicated professional, which showed in his performances

  • IanMahoney

    'Winning'       by Frank Dick

    Find out how one man with a powerful team talk. brought out even better performances that he demanded.

    A question doing the 'rounds' at the moment how hard shou;d coaches push

    The priniples in this easy short readable book will answer that question concisely!

  • oranjesoccerschoolindia

    soccerbrain by Dan Abraham

  • MarcusTT

    Hi Steve

    Unlike yourself I have only red three books from cover to cover in my life (I am 58)  This is not something to be proud of especially as a Table Tennis coach I know I should read more.  However the second book I red was titled Bounce written by Matthew Syed (ex Table Tennis number one in the UK)  To me this book made complete sense as it gave many, many  examples of where, to succeed, it just boiled down to an estimated 10,000 hours of productive practise under a good coach.  I think it gives a good rounded case that to get to the top in any sport you are not born with ability but it is through shear hard work and dedication that you will achieve the highest level.  I think many aspiring individuals in any sport could benefit from reading this book.  Please let me know what you think.


  • shootcoach

    Hi Marcus.  Like you I found Bounce a very good book, with the contents suitable to any coach and sport. I also found How To Perform Under Pressure by Hendrie Weisinger and J P Pawliw-Fry full of some great material. Then there is my copy of Prof Steve Peters, The Mind Management, which has been lent out to many of my athletes.

  • StevieP

    Hi Marcus

    I recently read Bounce for the second time and like you I believe that it sets out some very straightforward advice about hard work, persistence and the 'right kind of practice' in order to succeed, rather than this assumption that talented people are just born talented.. I've also just finished reading a new(ish) book by Matthew Syed called Black Box Thinking. This is all about how learning from mistakes is critical to progress in all walks of life. A very different read to that of Bounce but some very interesting perspectives on the learning opportunities that failure provides

  • tonylibert

    I'm pretty sure after several days reflection on this subject that I would choose two works that in my opinion we're formidable over my last 30 years. The works of Marcus Aurelius and the complete works of Mark Twain. I consider them to be exemplary in personal relations and teamwork along with incredible philosophical reasoning. You will also find a sense of adventure and keen problem solving within these two that is almost unequaled. I have read a plethora of books on sports and will name Tarasovs Road to Olympus as my fave with this quote as my fave. "I watched as the North American players practiced and I was in awe. I wrote down everything they did , it taught me so much. When we practiced they shook their heads and walked away,I knew then that we would not lose to them"

  • Frithy77

    Hi Steve. A great topic. For me there are a number of books that stand out, basically because firstly they ended up changing the way I did my job as a coach and over the last three years have led me in to the work I do now. As part of the ECB Level 4 process we were given the Talent Code by Daniel Coyle. Reading that Carol Dweck's work really resonated with me and the particular challenges I was facing in my current role. I then got Mindset by Carol Dweck and I've not looked back. I've gone from cricket coach to Education Development Officer for our local authority in change of developing growth mindset across 27 schools and taking it overseas too. We've even had the opportunity to write our own book for sport on applying Dweck's work. To complete the circle it was great to send Daniel Coyle a copy of our book as a thank you.

    So those two books would be mine, as they've fundamentally transformed my professional life as well as impacting on how I parent my six year old, which is perhaps, for me, where their greatest value lies.

    Like others The Chimp Paradox, Legacy, Inner Game of Tennis have all been great reads and shaped my coaching philosophy but none quite as much as Carol Dweck's work.

    The power of a book!

  • Frithy77

    Hi Sam

    I'd be interested to hear about how you are progressing with your work on mindset with your squads. What strategies have worked, what's not... yet, and other ideas you might have.

    Regards, Jeremy

  • FDNYladder111

    'The Well Balanced Child', Movement and early education by Sally Goddard  Blythe

  • BarbAugustin

    Having to narrow it down to just one is hard! For the technical side of running and programming - 'Run With The Best' by Tony Benson and Irv Ray. Tony was also my coach and remains my mentor and a close friend, so I guess that would have to be THE book.

  • Harry

    I'm not a great reader, it's something that I always promise to make more time for but never seem to find it !!!!!  I'm a junior rugby coach but one book that I found absolutely superb is actually targeted at youth soccer coaches in the U.S. - Coaching Outside the Box: Changing the Mindset in Youth Soccer, by Richard E Shaw &  Paul S. A. Mairs, A must read for anyone coaching youth teams of any sport in any country.

  • greggwoodall

    My all time favourite is "The Art of Being Brilliant" by Andy Cope. It is a simple and amusing book on life in general, but is completely applicable to sports coaching.

  • Triplepeel

    Hello!  My first post on this site!  I coach croquet - and there haven't been too many coaching books published in this field.  If you are a croquet coach, though, you have to read Croquet Secrets by John Riches (all 791 pages!), edited by Wayne Davies.  After that, you have to turn to other sports for inspiration.  I loved reading Golf is Not a Game of Perfect by Dr Bob Rotella.  When reading it, every time you come across the word 'golf' you simply substitute the name of your own sport.  Lots of great insights here!  One of the main insights for me after having been coached to play 'perfect croquet' is that for the great many players trying to coach 'perfect' is demoralising.  With the number of rugby coaches posting here, I am surprised nobody has mentioned Focused for Rugby by Adam Nicholls and Jon Callard.  Again, it's a great book, a very easy read, very practical, and has application to many other sports - including croquet!

  • MDCoach1949

    Hi Steve, many books have influenced me, but one stands out.

    What We Need Is Speed by Henk Hraaijenhof (Scientific Practise of Getting Faster).

    The reason, I have no Sports Science qualification, so any book that makes it easy to read and understand I like.

    I have  27 years of coaching experience to fall back on,but as John Wooden said "Its what you learn after you know it all that counts the most.

    Charlie Francis is still my favorite coach,a great resource for my coaching.

  • GlennSweeney

    If I had to choose 1 book ( amongst the 8 or so I also consider invaluable ) it would have to be Pat Riley"s "The winner within ) Invaluable coaching asset.

    Glenn Sweeney

  • FDNYladder111

    The Well Balanced Child.......Movement and Early Learning.....Sally Goddard Blythe

  • utescholl

    Anatomy trains by Thomas Myers and Starting strength by Rippetoe.

  • robertkmaaye

    I recently read a great book “Games for rugby training: Using touch rugby as the ultimate game-sense tool to teach rugby skills and decision making while having fun” that I thought I would add to the thread.

    It's an easy read that provides rugby coaches with a lot of great games to help develop key skills. I think it's also a resource that potentially other coaches would find useful though....for example if you are looking for alternative approaches to your warm ups? I've linked to it above if anyone is interested in it!

  • Mgkcoach

    Legacy - the story of All Black Leadership

  • rachelb

    The Sports Gene  - David Epstein..

    Terrific read. Fascinating from cover to cover

  • Nollzer

  • Diddyditri

    Some great books here and interesting to see how many steer away from sport specific and delve into psych issues.

    My recent favourite read is The Five Steps to a Winning Mindset - Damian Hughes . Easy to read and draws lots from his experiences in performance sport which can be used across sports and levels. 

    Flip - How to get the best of everything - Michael Heppell - easy read to find ways of turning glass half empty people to glass full - simple concept and easy to read. Also simple method to take away and use with coaches and athletes. 

    GRIT - The Power of Passion and Perseverance - Angela Duckworth . This adds to Dweck's work with Growth Mindset and demonstrates why some people can strive for a long term goal. 

    Keep the posts coming as new books to read now!


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