12 months ago
This article showcases our top picks for the Leadership Books For Athletes. We reached out to industry leaders and experts who have contributed the suggestions within this article (they have been credited for their contributions below). We are keen to hear your feedback on all of our content and our comment section is a moderated space to express your thoughts and feelings related (or not) to this article This list is in no particular order.

Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

This product was recommended by Jon Brodsky from YouNow

Athletes tend to already be very competitive and have a good understanding that you need to put in the work to get results, which means that about 90% of business books are useless for them. While there are tactical books for every industry, I usually find that athletes who work for me are missing training in looking at other people’s mental game; they are so used to metric-based results mattering that they sometimes miss that you have to understand who you are playing against as well. That’s why I’m a fan of Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kanheman. It helps you see what your own blind spots are, and where others have them as well.

InSideOut Coaching by Joe Ehrmann

This product was recommended by Sai Blackbyrn from Coach Foundation

This book assists coaches in understanding the greater significance of their work. Joe Erhmann, the author, has been referred to as the most significant coach in America. Ehrmann discusses the value of coaches in people’s lives as well as his experiences as a professional football player, collegiate All-American, and current high school coach. He outlines the distinction between transformational and transactional coaching as well as methods for achieving your greater goals as a mentor, leader, and coach of athletes, whether they are amateur or professional. As part of their training and certification to become a coach, we think every coach should read this book before they begin coaching.

Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson

This product was recommended by Brian Clark from United Medical Education

Phil Jackson the legendary coach for Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers describes the methods that led him to win 11 championship titles. His methods and approach were very unique and effective in handling some of the biggest names in basketball and the most successful basketball teams. His Zen beliefs and scientific approach to the sport are described in a very detailed manner in the book along with his upbringing and childhood. For anyone who wants to learn more about what went into the mind of the most successful coach in basketball history, this book is a perfect choice.

The Score Takes Care of Itself by Bill Walsh

This product was recommended by Alex Estrada from Give Him This!

Whether you’re in sports or business, Bill Walsh’s “The Score Takes Care Of Itself is a must-read for anyone who’s learning how to develop a winning culture within an organization. This book is not just about football; it’s about becoming the best at whatever you do. Bill Walsh shares his insights and philosophy on leadership, success, and life. He stresses the importance of setting goals, developing a plan, and working hard. This book helped me be a better leader for a growing team while continuing to deliver industry-leading results. If you’re looking for a guide on how to become a great leader, coach, or manager, I highly recommend this book.

The Power of Positive Leadership by Jon Gordon

This product was recommended by Brandon Wilkes from The Big Phone Store

There are many leadership books out there, but one of the best for athletes is The Power of Positive Leadership by Jon Gordon. In this book, Gordon discusses the importance of creating a positive culture within a team, and how that can lead to success both on and off the field. He also talks about the importance of setting goals and staying focused, and how positive leadership can help athletes achieve their full potential. This is an excellent book for any athlete who wants to learn more about leadership, and how to create a positive environment for their team.

The Power of Positive Leadership by Jon Gordon

This product was recommended by Mark Joseph from Parental Queries

This book is all about how to be a positive leader in your team or organization. It’s full of great stories and tips on how to create a positive culture in your workplace.

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni

This product was recommended by Mark Joseph from Parental Queries

This book is a classic in the business world, and it’s just as relevant for athletes who are trying to build a successful team. It’s full of helpful advice on how to overcome the five dysfunctions that can plague any team: trust, conflict, commitment, accountability, and results.

The Lean Startup by Eric Ries

This product was recommended by Mark Joseph from Parental Queries

This book is a must-read for any retiring athlete or anyone in general who wants to start their own business or organization. It’s full of practical advice on how to get your business off the ground quickly and efficiently.

Mindset by Carol S. Dweck

This product was recommended by Kevin Harris from NANBF

In my opinion, this is one of the best books an athlete or aspiring athlete can read. This book takes a deep dive into our mindset as people and the way we approach a variety of things in life. You can apply the lessons of this book to all aspects of your life, so athletes will find it very useful for their area of expertise. Dweck discusses the idea of having a “growth mindset” and how we can use it to improve ourselves, which is one of the most important motivators when it comes to sports, fitness, etc. If you want to be a leader in the world of athleticism, then this is one of the most important lessons you can teach. It is an absolute must-read!

Fighting Your Battles by Jonathan Evans

This product was recommended by Tiffiney Hatem from two|pr

Jonathan Evans has fought nearly every battle and has come out the other side with insight and tactics in his new book to share as he processed his time in the valleys of life. Fighting Your Battles: Every Christian’s Playbook for Victory over Life’s Challenges (Harvest House, 09/06/22) is the book born out of Evans’ time fighting against illness, injury, death, miscarriage, and even the darkness of success. Evans opens with, “And like the mail you get in your box marked “Occupant,” trouble doesn’t care who lives where you live. But it has your address.”

Why This Book? I’m a football guy, and Walsh was responsible for turning around the fortunes of my team, the San Francisco 49ers, and the principles and methodology he discusses in this book can be applied to any field of athletic endeavor. It’s a book that will transform your ideas of, and about, leadership for the better.Tiger Woods by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian

This product was recommended by Luke Lee from PalaLeather

Even if you aren’t a sports enthusiast or play golf, you have definitely heard about the rise and fall of the legend Tiger Woods, possibly the best golfer of all time. This book, while harsh at times, is a step-by-step guide to ruining your life. Tiger’s collapse is a lesson to all of us about how we cope with success, beginning with a broken household and an uncontrollable ego.

How Champions Think by Dr. Bob Rotella

This product was recommended by Lauren Cook-McKay from Divorce Answers

Successful athletes, as we can see, are champions and are considered great leaders in their respective sports and personal lives. What makes them excel? patience, optimism, confidence, perseverance, devotion to commitment, and respect for their own talent. These factors stem from the application of learned effectiveness, a philosophy discussed by the author in one of the chapters in the book. This piece is written by Dr. Bob Rotella, a director of sports psychology. Athletes could learn a lot from his philosophy and psychological perspective, especially on how they can achieve greatness in their field and in their personal relationships.

The Go-Giver By Bob Burg & David Mann

This product was recommended by Eric Jones from Couture Candy

This book changes one’s focus from obtaining to giving and adding value to others’ lives and how it ultimately leads to surprising returns. The writer here emphasizes that it is better when we don’t make everything about ourselves and introduce new ways to live life with joy and prosperity naturally. The book echoes the core idea of being a giver and applies it to the domain of leadership. It aims to give a proper perspective on service and sacrifice.

Leaders Eat Last By Simon Sinek

This product was recommended by Eric Jones from Couture Candy

The book “Leaders Eat Last” shows ways to create an environment that fosters trust and cooperation. It even leads to developing strong teams where people work together to do great things. It even suggests that leading is about permission and not position. The followers must be willing to give leaders protection, value, and, most of all, love. This book challenges traditional leaders to sacrifice those comforts to take care of their followers first, and, in turn, their followers will take care of them and each other.

Leadership Rites of Passage by Rick Tirrell

This product was recommended by Abigail Richards from Tech President

This is a good leadership book because it is very easy to read and understand. The book is made of good quality material and is hardbound. This is a good read for any aspiring leader entrepreneur because it teaches how to handle core issues in businesses and leadership. It also teaches you how to become a leader and a follower at the same time. Hence, such a good book to read.

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown

This product was recommended by Sharon Sanders from Philadelphia Weekly

This book is one of the best books I have ever read. It explains that real leadership is not about power, titles, or status. Instead, it is about taking responsibility and recognizing the help from other people. This book will help you cultivate the leadership seed in you so you will be braver in making decisions. It also gives real-life examples of successful leadership and how you can apply them in your own situations. WIth that, this is a really good book to read.

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

This product was recommended by Deniz Efe from Fitness Equipped

If you’re looking to cultivate a skill, talent, or ability – look no further. The Talent Code is a great read that will help you understand how greatness isn’t born, it’s grown. This book dives into the science behind how top performers achieve their success and reveals the principles that anyone can apply. Whether you’re an athlete, musician, artist, or business owner – this book has something for you!

The Jordan Rules by Sam Smith

This product was recommended by Mike Murphy from Fluent In Coffee

This book is perfect for athletes that participate in team sports. It describes an inside story of one Chicago Bulls season with the legendary Michael Jordan in the center of it. It shows the good and bad sides of proper leadership and the price athletes need to pay to be great. It is also a great learning tool for young athletes as it shows that even the greatest basketball player is far from perfect. By reading this book, athletes will have a clearer understanding of what it means to be a leader, even if it seems harsh to others.

Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx

This product was recommended by Paul Walsh from Weselltek

One of the best leadership books for athletes is Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx. It is an inspiring book describing the author’s reunion with a childhood football hero. It touches on building better people and teaching life lessons of working with others, leadership, and effort leading to a reward. It is a philosophical book and a good read for athletes, coaches, students, and parents.

Above The Line by Urban Meyer

This product was recommended by Cole South from Synchronize

Urban Meyer is one of the most incredible college football coaches. He shares his leadership philosophy in – Above The Line. The book focuses on staying above the line and performing better as hardworking leaders. Meyers offers his system of gaining *excellence* to guide others to do the same. The book shares powerful observations about team building, *leadership*, and empowerment. He explains his game plan that emphasizes using trust and commitment to gain success. The book is a great source of inspiration for athletes and anyone who wants to become a leader.

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

This product was recommended by Brad Burnie from Starships

I highly recommend The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek to the athletes. It guides the reader to understand that every sport has fixed rules, is played with a fixed number of players, and has a specific field. No exceptions can be made with them. The author says that these games are finite and compares them with life calling it the infinite games. It quotes leaders on why they eat last, enlightening good leadership. The book is about leadership both in the fields of sports and life.

Leading with Heart by John Baird

This product was recommended by Dan Farrant from Hello Music Theory

Leading with heart, a book by Edward Sullivan and John Baird is made for someone who needs to be a leader in any field even if they don’t see themselves or aspire to be one. The book goes through five core behaviors that great leaders delve into to connect with their teams. This book doesn’t require you to be in a position or situation where leadership is a must. As the name suggests, you need the heart to read it.

David Friedland

Bit of a gear addict.

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