2021 has given me the opportunity to read a lot of new releases, as well as books that have been on my wish list for a long time. Here are the books that have had the biggest impact on me this year, and that I feel would be of great value to other coaches/parents & players.
This will be a go to book for coaches for years to come. Doug Lemov comes from an educational and sports background. From the latest teaching techniques, planning constructive session plans, creating a learning environment, different kinds of feedback (and when to give it) and checking for understanding. If there’s one book to read as a coach of any age or ability, this is the one.
Whereas most sport leadership books are aimed towards developing the players, this book looks to assist the coach in being their best selves in order to better others. Very much a coaches self help book, any coach that has been through high pressure, burnout and imposter syndrome will really resonate with this book.
A straightforward and addictive read. Even if you think you have your habits & routines down, this book will without a doubt add something more to your day by adding small positive changes onto existing habits.
Probably the biggest change I made this year was using motivational interviewing with my players on a day to day basis. Whereas before hand I would have gone straight into ‘fixing mode’ when problems arose with a player, I know use motivational interviewing to guide them towards finding solutions for themselves. This method increased their confidence, competence & motivation.
A classic that had been recommended to me by multiple people. How to develop and drive self-motivating individuals, groups and within yourself. Sinek talks about the long term flame that having ‘your why’ has as opposed to relying on external sources as a motivation tool.
Another classic that I finally got round to reading. As coaches & parents we tend to be givers, Adam Grant discusses the huge benefit that a giver has to offer. Givers tend to be at the bottom of the pack & also at the top, Grant discusses way to keep giving without being taken advantage of and without burning out. This assists in keeping within your values & becoming successful doing so.
Different to any other book you will read. THERE IS A TIME FOR ARROGANCE! Arrogance tends to be seen as a negative, but when is it the right time to be arrogant? Players & coaches alike tend to say things such as ‘train the way you want to play’, but the preparation mindset is very different to the performance mindset. This book will teach you the difference between the two mindsets in order to assist your players to get the best out of practice & performance.
Another book that is always highly recommended within the coaching circles. What makes the All Blacks one of the most successful sporting teams of all times? Many believed that it was raw ability, but James Kerr discusses the culture that they purposely built in order to create a long term legacy.
Written by FA coach Ben Bartlett, he describes ways in which you can use a constraints led approach to get the best out of player learning & development. Bartlett backs the research up with scientific studies & also gives practical sessions and ideas that coaches can use.
A great read for any introverted coaches. England manager Gareth Southgate discusses the problems he faced as an introverted leader and how he now uses silent leadership as his superstrength.
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