While experiences will always be a coaches best teacher, some lessons can be learned from books from experts and seasoned coaches that prove to be valuable for every coach at any level of their career.

Coaching means dealing with different personalities, team dynamics, relationships, demanding players, and other challenges. Through books, coaches can learn how to think creatively, gain coaching insight and inspiration, and even learn a few tricks and strategies.

Here are the top 5 books that all sports coaches should read:

The Winner Within by Pat Riley

Pat Riley is arguably one America’s greatest coaches. The Winner Within is his game plan for team players in all of life—not just on the court but in business, at home, and in personal achievement.

In this book, Riley shares his winning strategies that inspire change, motivate teamwork, and reveal the winner within us all.

Leading with Heart by Mike Krzyzewski

In Leading with the Heart, Coach K talks about leadership and how it is earned and practiced. He shares how you use it to move your organization to the top. He talks about the importance of trust, communication, and pride and the commitment a leader must make to his team.

This book aims to inspire anyone who loves college basketball or anyone who simply wants to compete in today’s challenging environment.

You Win in the Locker Room First by Jon Gordon & Mike Smith

In You Win in the Locker Room First, the authors outline a step-by-step strategy for building a thriving organization.

They provide a practical framework that gives leaders the tools they need to create an amazing culture, lead with the right mindset, promote healthy relationships, enhance teamwork, perform at a higher level, and avoid the pitfalls that have sabotaged leaders and organizations in the past.

Wooden on Leadership by John Wooden

In Wooden on Leadership explains step-by-step how he pursued and accomplished this goal. The book focuses on Wooden’s 12 Lessons in Leadership and his acclaimed Pyramid of Success. It outlines the mental, emotional, and physical qualities that are essential to building a winning organization.

This book will show you how to develop the skill, confidence, and competitiveness to “be at your best when your best is needed” while teaching your organization to do the same.

Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success by Phil Jackson

In Eleven Rings, Jackson describes how he:

  • Learned the secrets of mindfulness and team chemistry while playing for the champion New York Knicks in the 1970s
  • Managed Michael Jordan, the greatest player in the world, and got him to embrace selflessness, even if it meant losing a scoring title
  • Forged successful teams out of players of varying abilities by getting them to trust one another and perform in sync
  • Inspired Dennis Rodman and other “uncoachable” personalities to devote themselves to something larger than themselves
  • Transformed Kobe Bryant from a rebellious teenager into a mature leader of a championship team.

Eleven times, Jackson led his teams to the NBA championship – six times with the Chicago Bulls and five times with the Los Angeles Lakers.