5 Great Books For Sports Psychologists

Successful sports psychologists need a wide variety of advice and techniques, and that’s why we’re excited to recommend these 5 Great Books For Sports Psychologist. Each of these books provides unique information about the mindsets that make athletes and coaches great.

1. Coach Wooden’s Pyramid of Success

Success doesn’t appear magically; it takes a solid foundation to achieve and maintain. That’s what the daily readings in college basketball coach John Wooden’s book aims to develop. Wooden provides game-tested exercises and advice to develop self-confidence and faith. Each “step” in the book builds upon previous steps to form the pyramid of success. It’s a goldmine of actionable advice, laid out in simple terms; that’s why it’s number one on our list of five great books for sports psychologists.

2. The Champion’s Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive

What transforms a great athlete into a champion? Physical strength and raw talent are important, but what truly sets sports legends apart from the pack is an entirely different kind of game: their mental game. That’s the focus of the second book (a very close second) in the five great sports psychology books. The Champion’s Mind provides athletes with scientifically sound advice on how to get “in the zone.” Written by leading sports psychologist Jim Afremow, this fun-to-read book offers the same techniques and advice Afremow has used to propel Heisman Trophy winners and Olympic athletes to peak performance.

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3. Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise

Peak isn’t a completely sports-oriented book, but that’s part of what makes it so valuable. Number three in our list of 5 Great Books For Sports Psychologists provides unique exercises that promote faster learning and sustained success in all areas of life. It’s the culmination of more than 30 years of Anders Ericsson’s research, and at its heart lies an inspiring message: nearly everyone can become great. Achieving even the most difficult tasks is a matter of setting attainable goals, and identifying both positive and negative performance patterns.

4. The Mindful Athlete: Secrets to Peak Performance

George Mumford is a legend in sports psychology. His most famous client is Michael Jordan, who gave Mumford credit for transforming him into a better player, but more importantly, a leader. So it’s only natural that his book, The Mindful Athlete, makes an appearance in the 5 Great Books For Sports Psychologists list. Like the title implies, Mumford’s main focus is the practice of “mindfulness.” He’s fantastic at explaining difficult concepts through stories and even pop culture references. It’s also a compelling book, because it details Mumford’s inspiring triumph over adversity.

5. How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind over Muscle

Nobody understands the mental discipline needed to “go the distance” quite like a runner. That’s why Matt Fitzgerald’s one-of-a-kind book, How Bad Do You Want It?, nabs the number five spot. This unique book puts you right in the middle of the action of marathons, triathlons, cycling races and more. Another original feature is the book’s focus on athletes’ “moments of transformation,” when they realized that it wasn’t their muscles controlling them, but their minds. Its usefulness goes beyond the world of sports; through easy-to-apply exercises, it shows you how to develop a winning attitude about daily life.

Related Resource: What Careers are in Sports Psychology?

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It was difficult to narrow down this list, but we stand by our choices. Hopefully you and your clients get as much out of these 5 Great Books For Sports Psychologists as we have.