Home 30 Books That Will make You a Better Coach

30 Books That Will make You a Better Coach

Mastery_Cover
Leadership
Strategy
Communication
Practice

Become an industry icon and leave a legacy you can be proud of

Rating: 4.5/5

THE how to guide on how to master your craft by approaching your career and learning strategically. Robert Greene is a master researcher and writer and has used his skills to deconstruct the pathway to excellence that has stood the test of time throughout the ages. This content is not based on one or two experiments, this book is based on the lives of hundreds of histories highest performed people across various fields.

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Leadership
Culture
Communication

Create and foster an attitude of learning and excellence in your athletes.

Rating: 4/5

Feedback is essential, but the RIGHT feedback is crucial if your goal is on developing world class talent. This book shows us just how important a process focus is when delivering feedback, while instructing how to frame feedback to ensure athletes continue to push themselves, expand their limits and work toward reaching their potential, rather than limit their exposure to failure.

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Leadership
Management
Strategy
Culture
Communication

Create a culture of collaboration, creativity and candor

Rating: 4.5/5

After reading this book I understood why Steve Jobs came back to Apple and created a company that dominated several markets. When jobs bought Pixar after being ousted from apple, he spent alot of time with Ed Catmull. Through this association he learned what great leadership looks like.

In this brilliant book, Ed Catmull shows us how to see what is usually overlooked and lead through humble authentic action during times of abundance and crisis.

Read this book to learn how to set up an environment where many interdependent experts are required to work together collaboratively to create an end result.

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Culture
Communication
Practice

Design and Deliver World Class Sessions, Become a World Class Coach

Rating 3.5/5

A unbelievably practical book for coaches. Lemov and his colleagues have scoured the planet and the history books to learn what works best when teaching people, and how to model these methods effectively.

The depth and breadth of the research and experience in this book is significant, but true to their expertise, the authors have delivered it in a way that does not alienate the reader, very clear, very concise and very effective.

Letters of a stoic
Leadership
Communication

Become a Wise and Respected Leader

Rating: 5/5

Seneca was an advisor to Nero, emperor of  Ancient Rome. His writing to his cousin Lucilius can teach us a great deal about how to live well, and be an exceptional example to others by cultivating a strong character.

Seneca also wrote about how t think about timeless issues faced by the everyday man, including but not limited to:

How to inoculate yourself from criticism & outside opinion.

How to learn, and what is worth learning

How to deal with death, pressure and pain.

Built_to_Last_(book)
Leadership
Management
Strategy
Culture
Communication

Build a successful team, department, program or organisation from the ground up

Rating: 4/5

If you are bringing together a team of people with different backgrounds, environments and expertise, this book is a must. Many organisations talk about, values, pillars, principles etc without actually knowing the difference between a strong core ideology and an oppressive set of rules.

This information presented in this book is grounded in rigorous research from some of the worlds most credible sources. But don’t worry the content is not overly academic or inaccessible as a result of its creation. Anyone can read this book, and anyone leading teams or people in sport probably should.

good-to-great-book-review
Leadership
Management
Strategy
Culture
Communication

Leapfrog your competitors and forge a dynasty.

Rating 4/5

Brilliant follow up to ‘Built to Last’, which delves deeper into the common themes that exist among the worlds highest performing organisations. Collins dissects and describes not methods, but models or ways of thinking to answer questions like

  • How can we assess our leadership?
  • How do we attack opportunities effectively?
  • How can we leverage and use innovations in technology effectively?
  • How can we establish a strong and successful culture?
  • How do we best choose what to focus on and what to ignore?
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Culture

Create a cohesive culture and improve athlete engagement.

Rating 3.5/5

One of the books that influenced on creating a culture of excellence and the creation of this website. Learn how understanding and using play can help you to;

  • Foster strong relationships among your athletes
  • Improve their well being and increase retention of talent.
  • Combat stress and improve concentration during competition.

An important book for all coaches at high levels of sport, to address burnout, conflict and erratic behavior common among young athletes.

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Strategy
Communication

Connect, understand and influence anyone, quickly.

Rating: 3/5

This book gives a great introduction to Neuro Linguistic Programming, which is just a fancy way of saying; the science of how the brain interprets information.

Read this book if you want to understand why some people are frequently misunderstood, misread or even opposed, and how to begin to develop strong relationships with those you care about, coach and manage.

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Leadership
Management
Strategy

How to think at an elevated level as a leader

Rating: 4.5/5

Content that stands the test of time is of the highest value and this book is full of it. Originally published in 1967, the concepts in this book ring true for today’s leaders and offer insightful, valuable ways of tackling common challenges for coaches including:

  • How to make a difference & leave a legacy
  • How to manage talent
  • How to recruit talent
  • How to make good decisions
  • How to think about strategy
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Leadership
Management
Communication

Orchestrate and implement effective organisational change

Rating: 3.5/5

An extremely practical book which gives leaders an easy to understand, easy to implement tool for managing and influencing behavioral change among subordinates. Based on some solid social science, you can be sure these ideas have been validated and I can tell you from experience the model they present works brilliantly when applied in its entirety.

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Leadership
Management
Strategy
Communication

Prepare your people for organisational change, and ensure it sticks.

Rating 2.5/5

People hate change, only very few leaders are effective at truly creating change. Here you will learn how to think through the ramifications of organisational change in order to avoid the very common mistakes ambitious people make when attempting to instigate progress and evolution in organisations.

power
Leadership
Strategy

Outwit manipulative people and protect yourself from workplace politics

Rating: 4/5

Power and status are major addictions in our society, and unfortunately this means some people act from or for questionable intentions. This book can help its reader recognise and avoid the power games that can cause distracted purpose and ultimately stifle progress and achievement.

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Communication

Get good at the hard conversations after you've made the hard calls, and maintain respect and rapport with those you manage.

Rating 3/5

Fear of conflict or misunderstanding can cause many coaches to avoid the tough conversations that are at times very necessary. This can damage relationships and impede a coaches efficacy.

This book, by the same authors of ‘Influencer’ is again based on some very solid social science. The authors teach you how to prepare and execute difficult conversations in a way that can enhance relationships and respect. communication can have on performance and progress

The_One_Minute_Manager
Leadership
Management
Communication

Master the delivery of short, sharp and effective feedback.

Rating 3.5/5

The best coaches are excellent at delivering feedback in a way that is effective and respectful. This book is all about how to deliver effective feedback without wasting time tiptoeing around people. Athletes need feedback and research has shown people prefer even negative feedback if the alternative is no feedback (which is the same as ineffective feedback)

The book is true to its credo, short and sharp but quite effective at teaching the framework underpinning ‘one minute management’.

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Leadership

How to mentor and support talented young athletes during good times and bad.

Rating: 4.5/5

This book is as much about the influence a coach coach have on an athlete as it is about Andre Agassi’s career in tennis. I once had the pleasure meeting Gil Reyes, the other main character (Agassi’s Strength & Conditioning Coach) and the man lives up to the myth. There are no cutting edge strategies, methods, tools or tricks in this book, just a valuable recount of how Reyes became for Agassi far more than just a coach, but a mentor.

bounce
Management
Culture
Communication
Practice

Understand the Broader and Deeper Influences on Talent, Ability and Performance

rating: 3.5/5

This book explores many concepts forgotten, ignored or unknown by information Malcolm Gladwell in ‘Outliers’. Matthew Syed was a world class tennis player in his own right, but just happens to also be a bloody good writer. He combined both talents to explain a bit more about what separates the elite from the rest. I you want to dig a bit deeper than ’10 000 hours = mastery’ then start with this book.

The_7_Habits_of_Highly_Effective_People
Leadership
Management
Strategy
Culture
Communication

Master your Craft & Differentiate Yourself in a Competitive Market Place

Rating: 4/5

Jordan once said ‘Let your game be your promotional tool’, if you want a blueprint on how to master your craft and develop your abilities such in a way that differentiates you from others, read this classic.

The best think about this book is that once read and applied for yourself, you can apply its concepts to any athlete in any sport. The principles of engineering excellence in this book apply to any endeavour. knowing them and using them will help you in your own career, but teaching them will make you a better coach also.

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Leadership
Culture
Communication
Practice

Engineer Athletic Excellence

Rating 3.5/5

This book comes from another angle to understand elite performance, the coaches viewpoint. The task here is to discover how top coaches and teachers develop & nurture talent and the commonalities that arise across disciplines. Coyle has traced world class success and results back to its roots and put together a kind of blueprint which allows the reader to model the methods of some of the worlds finest coaches to learn how to:

  • Setup an environment and culture of purposeful practice.
  • Connect and communicate with athletes as a mentor.
  • Cue movement and skill using the the science of skill acquisition.
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Leadership
Management
Communication

Make a Seamless Transition When Promoted to Higher Levels of Responsibility

Rating: 3.5/5

Most people know mostly what to expect when stepping up into higher levels of management or coaching, but no one knot’s everything. This book details the mistakes most people make when promoted in order to inoculate its reader from critical error. A useful guide for those who want to avoid the most common pitfalls most people face when promoted to a position of more seniority.

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Strategy
Practice

Practice Better to Develop Skills in Yourself and Others

Rating: 3/5

‘Bounce’ focuses on understanding the athletes pathway to excellence, ‘The Talent Code’ looks hard at experts who mould and guide talent, whereas this book helps us understand elite practice better. Other authors have called it Deep practice, purposeful practice but Colvin calls it ‘Deliberate practice’ and sets about explain what differentiates this method of acquiring and perfecting skills from everything else.

toughness
Culture
Communication
Practice

Forge World Class Competitors Through Training

Rating: 4/5

At the elite level, every athlete has achieved a certain degree of physical capability, this is rarely the determining factor when it comes to world class performance. The most untapped opportunities lie in understanding how to develop grit, belief and resilience in athletes through training. This book offers a kind of roadmap that can help coaches structure an environment, training and approach which builds these intangible qualities in athletes.

 

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Culture
Practice

Develop Athletes Using the Elements of Optimal Arousal & Experience

Rating: 4/5

Most of the time, we do best when we get our of our own way. This book shows you how to do it for yourself, and how to help others do the same in order to improve performance, well being and resilience among your athletes through training.

A brilliant book with many applications for elite sport, the author has much to teach us about how to create an environment where athletes thrive on all levels and reach their potential.

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Strategy
Communication

Develop Deeper Insights Into Team and Individual Behaviours

Rating 4/5

People are not inherently rational, logical creatures. In many ways we are still driven by urges and instincts that are no longer relevant. This book educated its reader to gain a deeper understanding of why we do the things we do, and what is driving these decisions.

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Leadership
Management
Strategy
Culture
Communication

Develop Self Starting Athletes and Teams Who Demand Success for Themselves and Their Team

Rating: 4/5

The best athletes are those who think for themselves, notice what works and what doesn’t work and collaborate with experts to improve results. Compliance is a buzz word for leaders who prefer control to performance, and this book is the antidote for this type of leadership.

What happens when you create an environment of complete transparency, autonomy and self determination? breakout success. This book details how a young exec took over his fathers company and decided to turn conventional business wisdom on its head. The results are stunning, the story is entertaining, and the lessons are groundbreaking.

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Leadership

Build Resilience and Perspective During Tough Times

Rating 4.5/5

One of the most important books ever written. I am yet to meet a person who has read this book and whom hasn’t judged it life changing. The book shows us how to deal with the challenges life throws up every so often, and how to use these experiences for growth and development rather than lose hope.

I have recommended this book to more injured athletes than I can remember, and the result is always the same; renewed vigor, focus and purpose.

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Leadership
Communication

Be an Effective Leader People Love, Listen to & Respect.

Rating: 4/5

There’s a good reason this book is still in print. Its lessons are timeless. This book will teach you how and why to:

  • Become more likeable
  • Change others minds
  • Lead people to improved performance

The lessons in this book make its reader infinitely more wise and able to effectively work with others and produce results. And in the end, that is what coaches are paid for.

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Leadership

Help athletes transform a low point into a turning point.

Rating 3.5/5

A brilliant story that promotes the benefits of self awareness, self discipline and control. Millman, himself a former world class athlete has used his own experiences with injury and setback to teach others how to find strength and purpose from any challenge. I have often gifted this book to injured athletes along with ‘Mans search for meaning’ as a means of helping them to regain perspective, focus and purpose during tough times.

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Management

Conquer the 'Busyness' sickness, and Reclaim Time for Stronger Relationships

Rating: 3.5/5

When you combine passion, perfectionism and the drive to help others, it can be easy to let yourself be spread pretty thin across many areas. The danger here is that it can be quite difficult to get anything done or do a good job on anything when everything seems important.

This book is all about teaching you how to discern the critical from the trivial. The 80/20 rule is fairly well known but not many people actually know how to apply it in their lives. This book helps you use this universal law to de-clutter your life and reclaim lost time, energy and focus. A game changer for sure.

Gates_of_Fire_hardcover_image
Leadership
Culture

Create a Culture of Excellence, Professionalism and Camaraderie

Rating: 4/5

One of the most entertaining novels written about Mastery, by a Master. This book is so enlightening and true to history that many universities use it as the basis for their teachings in History covering the Hellenic period.

Craig Bellamy used many of the concepts in this book to Mould the Melbourne storm team that dominated the National Rugby League competition in Australia for the better part of a decade. Need I say more.

I would love to hear about other books you have found useful as a coach, or additional information you could add to any of the reviews above. Comment below to join the discussion!

30 Books That Will make You a Better Coach on September 8, 2015 rated 4.5 of 5
  • http://www.hardcoretrainingsolutions.com Coach Sahil M

    Great list – some of these are classics and a must read. I’d also add War of Art to the mix since coaches now have to create content and sometimes get stuck (the writer’s block etc.) and Pressfield is a master at giving you the kick in the ass you need. I’d also add this: https://instagram.com/p/8bhcV3nWPp/?taken-by=doyouevenhustle – really gives you a handle on motivation which is key when you want to influence change in people.

    • http://faction-elite.com Terry Condon

      Hi Sahil, thanks for sharing mate. Yep I hear Drive is a great book. I watched his Ted Talk and figured he’d summarised it for me so have been a little lazy in reading it haha. I did use three of his main pillars in this post about improving engagement in sport. Check out ‘On Creating a Culture of Excellence Parts 1 & 2 if your interested in how these concepts apply to sport. http://faction-elite.com/on-creating-a-culture-of-excellence-why-work-life-balance-is-a-distraction/

  • Jason Stacy

    Excellent list!!! I’ve read most but saw a couple I’ve just downloaded!! Thx for the share!!!
    A couple I would consider adding,
    The little book of talent by Daniel Coyle
    Top Dog the science of winning and losing by merriman and Po bronson
    The Rise of superman by Steve Kotler
    Ego vs EQ by Jen shirkani
    Legacy by
    Teach like a Champion by Doug Lemov
    Just realised I could keep typing. I’ll stop for now…. Thx again loving your work brotha

    • http://faction-elite.com Terry Condon

      Thanks Jase, yeah little book of talent could be added for sure. Top dig I have on my ‘to read list’ so thanks for the recommendation. Others are all worthy mentions also. Thanks for sharing mate.

      • Jason Stacy

        Yeah, the little book is one of the first books I give to any new athlete and coach I work with.
        Simple to the point and easy to apply info.
        Thx!

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