We use cookies to give you the best experience and to help improve our website. By using our website you are accepting our cookies.  Learn More

05 Apr 2018 7,349
Talent and Performance

My Top Five Books for Sport Coaches

Paul Connolly offers his pick of the best resources available to help develop your coaching skills

As a member of the Talent Performance team at UK Coaching I work on the Aspire, Strive and Have the Talent Foundation Programme series with the team. Throughout my career in coaching, there are a number of resources that have really helped me to develop.

Previously, whilst 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.

This blog post gives you a quick round up of my top five recommendations, and explains how they have helped me.

1. Sport Psychology Interventions, by 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.

2. Athlete-Centered Coaching: Developing Decision Makers, by Lynn Kidman

This book offers coaches insight in how to enhance athlete-learning and development through sport.

All the coaches believe in sharing power with the athlete, enabling athletes to be masters of their own destiny and to reach their full potential.

3. The Psychology of Concentration in Sport Performers: A Cognitive Analysis, by Aidan P. Moran

The book focuses on concentration and sport performance and looks at the reasons why athletes often ‘lose’ it at the very time when they need it most.

It also considers the success of techniques alleged to enhance concentration.

4. Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Leading Organisation, by John Wooden

John Wooden is 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!” This quite nicely puts the book into context.

5. Woolmer on Cricket, by Bob Woolmer

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.

Top 10 Qualities You Need to be a Coach

Golden nuggets of advice that will help you build a toolkit of essential skills and behaviours so you can tackle any coaching challenge

Expand your knowledge

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

Learn to be quick, be smart and restart a heart with our free life-saving digital learning toolkit  – includes an online course – that will enable you to act swiftly and effectively in the event of a sudden cardiac arrest

Learn how to save a life

Join the Club


Be part of our club that supports coaches of all levels, sports and activities and helps you develop your skills, make great savings, connect with coaches and much more!

Related Resources

  • How Coaches Can Learn from Psychology to Analyse the Self

  • What is Great Coaching?

  • Why Mastering The Coach-Athlete Relationship is Important


Unlock the secrets of #GreatCoaching


Join our exclusive UK Coaching Club to enjoy 12 months' unlimited access to industry-leading resources, member benefits and offers that will help you transform your coaching.