“The Athlete has a Teachable Spirit. They want to learn and improve and bring an enthusiasm for continual improvement every day.
Do you?” – Dr Bruce Brown (see below)
Andersonn, Will: Will You Still Love Me If I Don’t Win? If your athlete is 8-12, here’s a good place to start. Ways to help parents and their children avoid the emotional pitfalls of youth sports and get the most out of their sports experience.
Beswick, Bill: Focused For Soccer. Manchester United’s first sports psychologist fills the largest lecture spaces at the National Soccer Coaches Association Conventions. Here’s why.
Bigelow, Bob: Just Let the Kids Play. Former NBA player, now a commentator on the youth sports experience. Key line: “What we are in youth sports to do is to build better children.”
Bloom, Benjamin: Developing Talent in Young People. The definitive study of talent development, both in and out of athletics. Demonstrates the folly of attempting to identify talent before puberty, identifies influences which maximize talent development.
Brown, Bruce: The Call to Coaching. Great ideas for coaches about the role that youth sports can play in character development, and how strength of character impacts teams. Highlights include “Spotlighting“, “Positive Conditioning“, “The Qualities of Great Athletes” and the chapter on “Great Teams”.
Brown, Jim: Sports Talent. Developing the gifted athlete. Specific sections for many sports.
Damon, William: Greater Expectations. “Exposes the low standards that children are confronted with in our homes, our schools and throughout our culture.”
Coyle, Daniel: The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How. The physiology of getting better, with profound implications about the differences between teaching skills and teaching the tactical elements of soccer.
DiCicco, Tony and Hacker, Coleen: Catch Them Being Good. Women’s National Team Head Coach and Sports Psychologist team up to discuss player and team development.
Dorrance, Anson: Training Soccer Champions. Player Development at UNC Chapel Hill, and a trailblazing book about coaching female athletes. Key line: “Female athletes have the superior understanding that relationships are more important than the game.”
Dorrance, Anson and Averbuch, Gloria: The Vision of a Champion. The UNC Chapel Hill program in depth, written in part for the high level U15-18 player. Chapter 11 is a must read for parents.
Doyle, Dan: The Encyclopedia of Sports Parenting. The first of three volumes.
Dweck, Carol: Mindset: The New Psychology of Success. We begin every Coerver session with the words “Let’s Get Better”. That’s a reflection of a “growth mindset”, an affirmation of the idea that we all can always improve. It stands in contrast to the “fixed mindset” that holds we are limited by such things as IQ, athleticism, etc.
Farrey, Tom: Game On: The All-American Race to Make Champions of Our Children. A look at how some youth sports organizations really go over the top, and how to deal with it.
Gladwell, Malcolm: Outliers. Includes a wonderful view of the “Relative Age Effect” so often seen in
selection for higher levels of sports training, where the oldest get disproportionately selected.
Gregg, Lauren: The Champion Within. A coaching manual for high level player development, by the long time Women’s National Team assistant coach. Good sections on nutrition and sports medicine.
Longman, Jere: The Girls of Summer. The ultimate account of the U.S. Women’s National Team in the 1999 Women’s World Cup.
McGinniss, Joe: The Miracle of Castel Di Sangro. A great read for a Soccer Dad.
Silby, Caroline: Games Girls Play. Grad school level sports psychology.
Sokolove, Michael: Warrior Girls: Protecting Our Daughters Against the Injury Epidemic in Women’s Sports,” Why? Early specialization in a single sport, lack of adequate recovery time and a focus on results over development at younger and younger ages. Here’s a guide to safety and sanity in sports for young female athletes.
Thompson, Jim: Shooting In the Dark. A male coach’s hilarious first experience coaching female athletes.
Thompson, Jim: The Double Goal Coach. The Positive Coaching Alliance founder’s prescription for a mastery approach to youth sports. Terrific chapter on “Empowering Conversations” between parent and child.
Tutko, Thomas and Bruns, William: Winning Is Everything (and Other American Myths). Hard to find book. Tutko was the first to zero in on the trend toward “win-at-all-costs” in youth sports.
Wolff, Rick: Good Sports. Sports Illustrated columnist’s “concerned parent’s guide to competitive youth sports“.
Wooden, John: They Call Me Coach. A must for every coach’s bookshelf.
Wooden, John with Jamison, Steve: Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court. Particularly strong on the subjects of Preparation and Accountability which are
elements in the “Qualities Of A Great Athlete” (article above)
Zimmerman, Jean and Reavill, Gil: Raising Our Athletic Daughters. Gender equity and other issues in girls’ and women’s sports. The section on eating disorders is sobering.