How you parent will determine what kind of athlete your child becomes, because athletes aren’t just born, they are raised. Sure genetics play an important role in sports. And since you can’t control genes, shouldn’t you at least kind of understand them, so that as a parent you can determine things like what sport might best suit your child or what areas they are most likely to succeed? The influence sports parents have on their young athletes is monumental. Which means, the way you parent will shape how much grit, persistence and passion your child will have. It will have an impact on how your child overcomes fear, anxiety, and disappointment. If you want your kid to experience success playing sports then you need to put some in some work too. Really. Here is our essential reading guide for all sports parents. You will find the pages in these books filled with incredible, well researched and proven pieces of information that we hope will be as helpful to you as they have been to us!
by Angela Duckworth
If there is one thing an athlete needs to succeed it might be grit. In Angela Duckworth’s best selling book, the psychologist writes about how the secret to success isn’t about talent but has more to do with a special combination of persistence and passion. Leaning on research and interviews she did with CEO’s, Spelling Bee finalists, cadets at West Point and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll, Grit is an insightful read. The good news is unlike god- given talent, grit can be learned….and parented.
The Talent Code
By Daniel Coyle
Coyle’s focus is on groundbreaking studies in neurology and his first-hand research from visits to some of the world’s greatest “talent hotbeds” in the world. This is a book that digs into how world-class talent is developed. I was grabbed by the research on how much time top talent observes other top talent and the role struggles play in success. The Talent Code breaks down the factors that lead to an athlete achieving greatness and also deconstructs pre-existing theories.
The Sports Gene
By David Epstein
David Epstein was one of ILTWYP’s first contributors and his post on 5 crucial reasons kids should play multiple sports is still one of our most popular articles. In his captivating book, Epstein examines what genetic factors lead to great athletes. Science is the backbone of his theories and in particular, he focuses on body types and traits that are predestined for a particular sport. For example, there is a formula of wingspan to height that favors NBA players and a keen eyesight is determined to be the separating factor for a group of MLB players.
The Mindful Athlete: Secrets to Pure Performance
By George Mumford
Author George Mumford is a mindfulness/meditation coach with extensive experience coaching Olympic athletes and collegiate teams. He’s known for his work with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers during their championship seasons in the late 1990s and early 2000s. As part of Head Coach Phil Jackson’s support staff, Mumford helped lead the Bulls and Lakers to a total of 11 NBA championships, specifically by helping star players such as Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant refine their concentration through insight meditation training. It’s a great read for both older athletes and sports parents. There is so much wisdom splashed across the pages, I found myself circling and underlining constantly. And Mumford goes much deeper than just sports, this is a book about life and how to take action on becoming the best person and player possible.