Top 5 Books for Coaches
One of the best methods for coaches to improve is to read from different perspectives. I like to encourage books that challenge thinking and get you thinking about how you set the conditions for your athletes’ success.
A frequent question I get is about my top suggestions for such books. I’ve narrowed it down to five. Now, you should understand that I’m picky about my book recommendations, and that informs my suggestions. I like books that are based heavily on research. At the same time, I don’t enjoy books that only state research and are so dry and boring that it’s hard to mentally digest. Lastly, the final criteria are that a book should have practical insight to real life concerns. I’m not a fan of books that serve to write in a way that needs to be translated into the way most people understand in order to use the information.
With those criteria in mind, here’s my top 5 book recommendations for coaches to read:
1. Mindset by Carol Dweck This book is listed first because the bulk of the work I do with athletes is based on their internal belief about their skill. Coaches give feedback and coaching to athletes and often don’t understand why the coaching isn’t interpreted properly by the athlete. The mindset of the athlete is heavily influential in the process of taking coaching and being able to do anything with the information.
2. Talent Code by Daniel Coyle The message of this book is about how talent development is not what most people think. Talent ‘hot beds’ are not found in the multi-million-dollar facilities that parents send their 8-year-old children to. Interesting read for coaches and parents.
3. Culture Code by Daniel Coyle Daniel Coyle captures the value of culture and how to break the code so eloquently. So many coaches talk about culture without a good understanding of how the little things create a culture that influences individual performance.
4. Dare to Lead by Brené Brown This powerful book caused me to re-look how I understood and taught leaders. She breaks down the research on vulnerability and trust for leaders concisely. This approach can really take your coach-athlete relationships to the next level.
5. Five Dysfunctions of a Team, Patrick Lencioni The parable in this book is a relatable story that helps to tell the story of how great teams can implode from the inside out. As a coach you can do a lot right, but if you allow any of these dysfunctions to wiggle into your team, you are going to have problems.
If you’ve read any of these books, I’d love to hear your insights into the application of the information for coaches.