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My top five books for sport coaches

Paul Connolly, Coaching Advisor, blogs:

As a member of the Talent performance team at sports coach UK I work on Aspire, Strive and have the Talent Foundation Programme series with the team.

Previously while working as a Cricket coach I attained an MSc in Sports Psychology from Manchester University.  I’ve also worked as a Sports Psychologist in the Premier League and with a County Cricket Club. Throughout my career in coaching there are a number of titles that have really helped me to develop. I thought I would use this blog to give you a quick round up of my top five recommendations and how they have helped me:

Sport psychology interventions - Shane M. Murphy

This is a really useful book in looking at the philosophies of helping athletes that face special challenges. In each chapter there are real case studies that help focus on the applied issues and prevent the discussions becoming too theoretical.

Athlete centered coaching - Lynn Kidman

This book offers coaches insight on how to enhance athlete-learning and development through sport. All the coaches believe in the sharing power with the athlete, enabling athletes to be masters of their own destiny and to reach their full potential.

The Psychology of Concentration in Sport Performers - Aidan P. Moran

The book looks at why do athletes “lose” it? When in the performance they need it most? Can it be measured? Equally how successful are the techniques that which are alleged to enhance concentration.

Wooden on Leadership - John Wooden

A legendary coach who made a significant impression in coaching. A comment by Stephen R.Covey who we acknowledge in the Talent Foundation series comments on the book- “What an all-encompassing Pyramid of Success for Leadership! Coach Wooden’s moral authority and brilliant definition of success encompass all of life. How I admire his life’s work and concept of what it means to win!” Quite nicely puts the book into context.

Woolmer on Cricket

As a cricket coach I have included this book. Woolmer was a coach who articulates his belief in embracing sports science and technology in the game. His approach helped many coaches and the South African team. His innovative approach is very enlightening.

What books have helped you in your coaching and why? I’d love to know and help other coaches learn from your thoughts. Leave a comment below stating the name of the book, its author and how it has helped you in your coaching.


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