Reading on psychology, sport, coaching and human development:

  • Moral Tribes: Emotion Reason, and The Gap Between Us and Them by Joshua Greene
  • Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  • The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck
  • Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect by Matthew D. Lieberman
  • Catch Them Being Good: Everything You Need To Know to Successfully Coach Girls by Tony Dicicco & Colleen Hacker
  • The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbaugh
  • What I Think About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murikami

Additional resources (e.g., research papers, articles, podcasts, & blogs):

  • Burn It All Down
    • A feminist podcast that offers a refreshing perspective on sport and social issues.
  • Engaging Sports
    • A collaborative effort among sport scholars to go beyond discussion of wins/losses and on-the-field highlights and help sport fans or stakeholders understand intersections between sport and society.
  • Edge of Sports
    • A thought-provoking, critical perspective on sports and politics in America, which debunks popular beliefs about sport as apolitical play.

Reads (from other disciplines) That Stretch My Brain:

  • Antifragile: Things that Gain from Disorder by Nassem Nicholas Taleb

Taleb puts forth an incisive explanation of the role that chaos and uncertainty in our developmental process. This work is especially germane to topics such as learning, performance, motivation, and coach pedagogy.

  • Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Douglas Stone et al.

Conversations are an essential part of coaching. This book calls attention to common self-protective maneuvers that can prevent us from understanding how we contribute to conflict and effectively navigating these contentious situations. This practical approach and illustrative examples can guide coaches to more methodically engage in conversations relevant to our athletes’ development—and that of our own.

  • Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison System; The History of Sexuality by Michel Foucault.

This article offers a brief, digestible explanation of Foucault’s worldview (which is more thoroughly treated in the two listed texts above). Foucault is a prolific philosopher who thinks deeply about how power operates in subtle ways to shape individuals and institutions. An out-of-the-box—perhaps intimidating, but no less essential—read for coaches given our position of power and place within the social institution of sport.

  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown

Brown, a professor of social work, offers encouragement and practical starting points for human flourishing (in sport and life) through an embrace of authenticity and vulnerability. This TedTalk can give you a sample of her research.

  • Wherever You Go There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

More than a psychological skill that can enhance sport performance, mindfulness is a philosophy—a way of viewing the world. Kabat-Zinn’s foundational text is a great place to explore mindfulness as a perspective and practice. To take a deeper dive into mindfulness, consider The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. This text is a little dense, but if you are up for the challenge, Tolle offers a transformative way to think differently about our thoughts, feelings, and ways of being.




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