5 coaching books to help you become a better coach

Books are great resources to help you build your coaching skills, and learn more about the philosophy around leadership and team building. Continuous learning and development can help you become a better coach, benefiting both yourself and the teams you coach. 

Here are 5 books that we recommend:

1. Above the Line – Lessons in Leadership and Life by Urban Meyer

This book is written by Urban Meyer – who was a psychology student before he became a coach. He believes that trust is the foundation of great achievements and healthy relationships. The book explains how to build trust within your team, family or organisations. With a sense of trust in place, Meyer says this creates a deep bond that unites the team with a common purpose and cultivates “Above the Line” behaviour – an empowered response to the challenges we face everyday.

2. Finding the Winning Edge by Bill Walsh

NFL coach and three-time Super Bowl champion Bill Walsh delves into the basic organizational and coaching philosophies that he has used throughout his career. He goes through his methods behind evaluating and acquiring players, building game plans and overcoming the mental barriers that athletes often face.

3. InSide Out Coaching by Joe Ehrmann

Joe Ehrmann’s book explains how sports and coaching can transform lives at every level of play, right from the early years to professional years. He also explains the difference between transactional and transformational coaches. He says transactional coaches are focused solely on winning and meeting their personal needs. However, other coaches use their platform for a bigger purpose. They teach the X’s and O’s but also teach the Y’s of life. They help young people grow into responsible adults and leave a lasting legacy – these are transformational coaches.

4. The Politics of Coaching by Carl Pierson

Carl Pierson discusses the pressures of coaching and how it can push even the best coaches out of the profession. He uses his experience in coaching and political science to offer real life examples and practical advice on topics like picking teams, powerful parents, booster clubs and other issues coaches have to deal with. The book is designed to help coaches navigate their way through the stressful aspects of coaching.

5. Sacred Hoops by Phil Jackson

In this book, former NBA Coach Phil Jackson investigates the wisdom of teamwork. He explains how he helped some of the top players – Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Scottie Pippen and Dennis Rodman – to act and play with a clear mind. Not thinking, just doing; and how to respect the enemy and be aggressive without anger or violence. Jackson also discusses the importance of living in the moment, and staying calmly focused in the midst of chaos, and how to put the “me” in service of the “we”.

For more coaching book recommendations, visit Coach & Ad. 

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