I mentioned going to a seminar at the 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association convention in which there was a panel discussion with the subject “When Winning is Your Job”. During that session the moderator asked each of the panelists for a book recommendation. Here’s what they offered up.

Mindset by Carol Dweck is one coaches often mention. Many have also heard of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. Sacred Hoops is a well-known book by basketball coaching great Phil Jackson. The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle is a book with considerable attention in a variety of performance fields since its publication. I’ve personally read the Dweck, Jackson, and Coyle books. I recommend them all.

The other book mentioned that I have read is Training Soccer Champions by Anson Dorrance. I picked that one up years ago when I was a newbie coach. It’s where he made famous the Competitive Cauldron concept. That was the subject of one of the other convention seminars, as I mentioned. I found it a very worthwhile read, though I haven’t looked at it in years.

You will notice the lack of volleyball books in there. Not a huge surprise. Most are heavily focused on drills, training methods, etc. When you reach a certain stage in your development as a coach you come to realize that a great deal of doing your job well is on the motivation and management side of things. This is stuff which overlaps with many other sports and fields (like business). Truly professional coaches interested in continuous personal development will look for inspiration and education in diverse areas.

If you want even more reading ideas, check out this list of recommended books from the Volleyball Coaching Wizards interviews.

You can also see my volleyball coaching book reviews.

6 Steps to Better Practices - Free Guide

Subscribe to my weekly newsletter today and get this free guide to making your practices the best, along with loads more coaching tips and information.

No spam ever. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit

John Forman
John Forman

John is currently the Talent Strategy Manager (oversees the national teams) and Indoor Performance Director for Volleyball England, as well as Global Director for Volleyball for Nation Academy. His volleyball coaching experience includes all three NCAA divisions, plus Junior College, in the US; university and club teams in the UK; professional coaching in Sweden; and both coaching and club management at the Juniors level. He's also been a visiting coach at national team, professional club, and juniors programs in several countries. Learn more on his bio page.

    4 replies to "A selection of book recommendations for coaches"

    • Adam

      Not sure if you can get this book in England, but I would recommend https://coachingvolleyballchampions.ca/

      • John Forman

        You can get the Kindle edition on Amazon.

    • Bob Barrick

      What is your take on Th Language of Coaching: The Art and Science of Coaching by Nick Winkelman? I am finding it useful as I continue to revise cues for my JH VB teams. I’d like to know if others have read it and their ideas.


      • John Forman

        Hi Bob. It’s on my list, having been recommended by someone else. I haven’t gotten to it yet, though. When I do, I promise to post a review. 🙂

Please share your own ideas and opinions.