Top 10 Best Books for Student-Athletes

List of best books for building an athlete

10. The Champion’s Mind

Sports participation—from the recreational to the collegiate Division I level—is at an all-time high. While the caliber of their games may differ, athletes at every level have one thing in common: the desire to excel. In The Champion’s Mind, sports psychologist Jim Afremow, PhD, offers the same advice he uses with Olympians, Heisman Trophy winners, and professional athletes, including: Author: Jim Afremow Originally published: 2014

9. Toughness

If anyone knows tough, it’s Jay Bilas. A four-year starter at Duke, he learned a strong work ethic under Coach Mike Krzyzewski. After playing professionally overseas, he returned to Duke, where he served as Krzyzewski’s assistant coach for three seasons, helping to guide the Blue Devils to two national championships. He has since become one of basketball’s most recognizable faces through his insightful analysis on ESPN’s SportsCenter and College GameDay. Author: Jay Bilas Originally published: 2014

8. Bring Your ‘A’ Game

Bring Your “A” Game introduces key strategies for mental training, such as goal setting, pre-performance routines, confidence building, and imagery. Each of the seventeen chapters focuses on a single mental skill and offers key points and exercises designed to reinforce the concepts. The book encourages athletes to incorporate these mental skills into their daily lives and practice sessions so that they become second nature during competition. Author: Jennifer Enier Originally published: 2009

7. Relentless

For more than two decades, legendary trainer Tim Grover has taken the greats—Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade, and hundreds of relentless competitors in sports, business, and every walk of life—and made them greater. Now, for the first time ever, he reveals what it takes to achieve total mental and physical dominance, showing you how to be relentless and achieve whatever you desire. Author: Tim Grover Originally published: 2014

6. The Talent Code

Talent. You’ve either got it or you haven’t.’ Not true, actually. In The Talent Code, award-winning journalist Daniel Coyle draws on cutting-edge research to reveal that, far from being some abstract mystical power fixed at birth, ability really can be created and nurtured. In the process, he considers talent at work in venues as diverse as a music school in Dallas and a tennis academy near Moscow to demostrate how the wiring of our brains can be transformed by the way we approach particular tasks. He explains what is really going on when apparently unremarkable people suddenly make a major leap forward. He reveals why some teaching methods are so much more effective than others. Above all, he shows how all of us can achieve our full potential if we set about training our brains in the right way. Author: Daniel Coyne Originally published: 2010

5. Mind Gym

Gary Mack explains how your mind influences your performance on the field or on the court as much as your physical skill does, if not more so. Through forty accessible lessons and inspirational anecdotes from prominent athletes–many of whom he has worked with–you will learn the same techniques and exercises Mack uses to help elite athletes build mental “muscle.” Mind Gym will give you the “head edge” over the competition. Author: Gary Mack Originally published: 2002

4. The Boys In The Boat

The #1 New York Times–bestselling story about American Olympic triumph in Nazi Germany and now the inspiration for the PBS documentary “The Boys of ‘36′.” For readers of Unbroken, out of the depths of the Depression comes an irresistible story about beating the odds and finding hope in the most desperate of times—the improbable, intimate account of how nine working-class boys from the American West showed the world at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin what true grit really meant. Author:  Daniel James Brown Originally published: 2014

3. Grit

In this instant New York Times bestseller, Angela Duckworth shows anyone striving to succeed that the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent, but a special blend of passion and persistence she calls “grit.” “Inspiration for non-geniuses everywhere” (People). Author: Angela Duckworth Originally published: 2018

2. The Obstacle Is The Way

“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.” (Marcus Aurelius) We are stuck, stymied, frustrated. But it needn’t be this way. There is a formula for success that’s been followed by the icons of history – from John D. Rockefeller to Amelia Earhart to Ulysses S. Grant to Steve Jobs – a formula that let them turn obstacles into opportunities. Faced with impossible situations, they found the astounding triumphs we all seek. Author: Ryan Holiday Originally published: 2014

1. Extreme Ownership

Bestselling leadership book that took America and the world by storm, two U.S. Navy SEAL officers who led the most highly decorated special operations unit of the Iraq War demonstrate how to apply powerful leadership principles from the battlefield to business and life. Detailing the mindset and principles that enable SEAL units to accomplish the most difficult combat missions, Extreme Ownership demonstrates how to apply them to any team or organization, in any leadership environment. A compelling narrative with powerful instruction and direct application, Extreme Ownership challenges leaders everywhere to fulfill their ultimate purpose: lead and win. Author: Ryan Holiday Originally published: 2014
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