Your role as the parent of a youth athlete is so much more than just driving them to practice, packing healthy snacks, and making sure they have all their gear.

You’ll want to guide, advise, and support them. And you’ll also want to understand how the mind of today’s athletes work. Here are our top 5 picks for the best books for parents of young athletes:

  1. Raising an Athlete: How to Instill Confidence, Build Skills, and Inspire a Love of Sport by Jack Perconte

Raising an Athlete is written by a man who has been there as an athlete (major leagues), youth sports coach (28 years) and parent (3 athletes). He knows what you are going through and how to turn things around when the pressure on your child, or you, seems to be too much.

  1. The Pitcher’s Mom by Heather Choate Davis

Bottom-of-the-ninth dreams are the stuff that young boys are made of. But boys grow. Destiny arrives on the doorstep –or, more likely, fails to– and all the while mothers look on, impotent witnesses to the great unknown. Such is the turf of The Pitcher’s Mom, a novel about big dreams, cup shopping, bleacher barbs, sore arms, mothers and sons, wrestling destiny, and the sacrifices we make for love.

  1. Bring Your “A” Game: A Young Athlete’s Guide to Mental Toughness by Jennifer L. Etnier

Bring Your “A” Game introduces key strategies for mental training, such as goal setting, pre-performance routines, confidence building, and imagery. Each of the seventeen chapters focuses on a single mental skill and offers key points and exercises designed to reinforce the concepts. The book encourages athletes to incorporate these mental skills into their daily lives and practice sessions so that they become second nature during competition.

  1. Feeding the Young Athlete: Sports Nutrition Made Easy for Players, Parents, and Coaches by Cynthia Lair

In Feeding the Young Athlete: Sports Nutrition Made Easy for Players, Parents and Coaches, simple nutritional lessons are organized into 10 Essential Eating Guidelines and recipes for cooking healthy meals and snacks with whole grains and vegetables. These recipes and eating tips offer a gateway for young players, parents, and coaches to improve performance and establish lifelong eating habits.

  1. Just Let the Kids Play: How to Stop Other Adults from Ruining Your Child’s Fun and Success in Youth Sport by Bob Bigelow

Just Let the Kids Play is the first book to identify the youth sports systems as the cause of the problem and offers practical ways to rebuild them so they better serve the physical and emotional needs of children.

First-round NBA draft pick, part-time NBA scout and youth coach Bob Bigelow joins journalists Tom Moroney and Linda Hall to put youth sports under harsh review. They explain the controversial belief that elite traveling teams at young ages should be abolished and replaced with equal playing time, team parity and shortened seasons, among others. Focusing on soccer, basketball, baseball and hockey, they highlight ten programs nationwide where these principles are working and offer ways to integrate them into existing programs without sacrificing a child’s chances for success. Soccer moms and hockey dads will discover that it really is possible to sleep in on Saturdays without sacrificing their child’s future!