Sometimes, we all need a little motivation.  Our endless pursuit of our goals can sometimes be discouraging, causing us to lose focus and question what we do. What you need to know is that everyone – athletes, coaches, entrepreneurs, political figures, managers – can lose motivation from time to time.  The road to success is built with many peaks and valleys, so we have created a list of the 16 best motivational books to help you reinvigorate your passion and fuel your drive to the top.

Whether you need a kick in the backside or some inspiration from those who have persevered, this list of motivational books has something for everyone.  Sometimes we need to just take a step back and realize that although training your body is great, you can get to where you want to be unless you train your mind as well. So grab a cup of joe, dive in and pick a book (or two) from this list to help get your mind right so that you can get your grind right.

The 16 Best Motivational Books To Help You Achieve Athletic Success


16 Unbeatable Mind – Mark Divine

unbeatable mind mark divine best motivational books for athletes

Former NAVY Seal and CEO of Sealfit, Mark Divine, takes you on a journey to make your mind stronger than ever before with the latest revision of his mental toughness book Unbeatable Mind. This book will strengthen the wy that you think and teach you the process of creating an optimal self-development environement.  Through Divine’s 20X factor philosophy, gets you to answer one simple question: Are you living to your potential?

In Unbeatable Mind, you will learn some amazing mental exercises and techniques to help you work towards achieving your potential. divine’s unique plan that we’ll help you self reflect in understand that outside distractions are the biggest killer of our dreams.  Unbeatable Mind will help you wake up and realize that your future success in life will be determined by nobody except yourself. This book will show you how to eliminate your fears, overcome your negative mindset, and teach you how to connect with yourself on a deeper level so that you can understand what makes you tick. You’ll learn how to clear emotional hurls step into the shoes being your own master, as well as become a leader for repairs. Unbeatable Mind has shown players and coaches around the world how to adopt in the NAVY SEAL mentality and achieve what they want to in athletics and life.

15The Golden Rules – Bob Bowman

bob bowman the golden rules best motivational books for athletes

Bob Bowman, known as the coach behind the record-breaking run of Michael Phelps, is argued as one of the most successful coaches in sports history. Bowman is an intense competitor that is dedicated to his athletes achieving greatness.  Most importantly, Bowman is known for his innate talent of identifying athletes that have the heart and desire to be a champion.  In his book, The Golden Rules: 10 Steps to World-Class Excellence in Your Life and Work, Bowman shows you his 10 key rules that everyone should live by.

The Golden Rules is one of the best motivational books from one of the best motivational coaches in the world.  It’s full of simple life lessons that we tend to veer away from as we get distracted but are essential in achieving success.  Bowman’s book is full of anecdotal experiences of how he motivates athletes to achieve the goals that they set for themselves every day.  You’ll learn that taking risks is the key to success in any pursuit in life, and that persistence is the key to achieving that success.  You’ll understand what it takes to be a successful athlete once you start applying Bowman’s rules to your life, which is what makes it one of the most simple and best motivational books you can read.

14Extreme Ownership: How U.S Navy Seals Lead and Win – Jocko Willink

extreme ownership jock willing best motivational books for athletes

Jocko Willink is a true American hero.  The former NAVY SEAL has seen it all when it comes to the atrocities and heroism that are found in war, and he details those firsthand experiences in his latest book, Extreme Ownership. This is not one of the best motivational books for athletes, but this is one of the best motivational books that anyone can buy, hands down.

Willink takes you on a gripping Journey describing the acts of heroism, sacrifice, in hard-fought victories throughout the members of SEAL Team Three’s Task Unit Bruiser. The central theme of Extreme Ownership is to help teach you that leadership at every level  is the most important quality that determines whether a team will succeed or fail. In great detail, Willink describes the mind-set and values that allow SEAL units to accomplish missions when the odds are completely stacked up against them.

In Extreme Ownership, you will learn all about the NAVY SEAL mind-set and how to apply it to any team or organization.  Each chapter in Extreme Ownership focuses on one specific topic and will teach you how to implement that topic in any leadership environment. This book is full of powerful instructions that will challenge you and teach you how to be the ultimate leader.

13Chasing Excellence – Ben Bergeron

chasing excellence ben bergeron best motivational books for athletesWhen it comes to training elite athletes, world class trainer Ben Bergeron knows what he is talking about.  Bergeron has helped develop some of the worlds fittest athletes, but his approach is much different than other elite Crossfit coaches. In Chasing Excellence, Bergeron will show you that greatness is not just for the elite, that winning is a result and not a goal, and that character – not talent – is what will determine your success in life.

In Chasing Excellence, Bergeron will take you through a dramatic and entertaining story about the top contenders and their struggles at the 2016 Reebok Crossfit Games. This book explores the step-by-step process that help the fittest athletes in the world achieve excellence. Not only will you learn how these athletes use positive character traits to “level up” their game, you’ll also learn about the method behind the mindset that has produced some of the greatest athletes in the world’s most grueling sport.  This is one of the best motivational books that you can buy because it teaches you that you can

12The Brave Athlete – Simon Marshall

the brave athlete simon marshall best motivational books for athletesNeed one of the best motivational books so that you can teach yourself how to calm down while facing adversity? Then you need to pick up The Brave Athlete: Calm The F*ck Down and Rise to the Occassion. This book is the ultimate resource for all of those athletes that sabotage their thoughts by helping you solve 13 of the most common mental brain farts that athletes face every day.

What you will learn in The Brave Athlete is that you don’t have one brain, you actually have three; your ancient chimp Brain that actually keeps you alive, your modern professor brain that helps you understand the world, and your computer brain that runs your habits, both good and bad. All three of these brains are fighting for control inside your head and are the reason why you get nervous for a game, choke under pressure, quit when faced with adversity, make dumb mistakes, and worry about how you’re playing.

The Brave Athlete willl help you take control of your mind so that you can train harder, Play quicker, and enjoy the process of becoming a better athlete. The reason why this is one of the best motivational books you can buy is because it offers a brain training guide for athletes that is based from clinical science and real world experiences. This book isn’t it outdated and provides a set of brand-new mental skills that actually work because they challenge the thoughts and feelings that you don’t need. With this book, you will solve your problems, become mentally strong, intern your brain into your most powerful asset.

11Win at Losing – Sam Weinman

win at losing sam wienman best motivational books for athletesWhen making the ultimate list for the best motivational books for athletes, our list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t have a book that tight you how to make the most out of adversity. Sam Weinman’s Win at Losing will teach you just how to do that. Weinman’s inspiration for Win at Losing came from having a hard time in communicating that losing plays a critical part to success in life to his two children that are involved in sports. He has studied the impact that losing has on a person’s success throughout his entire career and was determined to find a way to show his children that setbacks are a huge reason why people become successful.

In Win at Losing, Weinman sets out and interviews successful professional athletes, movie stars, and business executives to show you that you can overcome defeat and be stronger then you were previously before because you had that experience. This is one of the best motivational books that you can buy from a teaching standpoint because Weinman takes you on a journey using real life examples of massively successful people overcoming adversity.  Win at Losing will show you that your most difficult moments in life are going to be your greatest opportunities, and show you the blueprint on how to handle rejection to achieve what you want in life.

10Mind Gym – Gary Mack

gary mack mind gym best motivational books for athletesNotable sports psychologist Gary Mack’s book Mind Gym: An Athlete’s Guide To Inner Excellence has a ton of praise from professional athletes. However, that isn’t the only reason why Mind Gym is on our list of the best motivational books that athletes can read to become mentally sharp.

In Mind Gym, Mack teaches why developing your mind’s focus is just as important as your developing your physical skill.  Your mind directly affects your physical performance and its up to you to start developing your mind to make it work for you.  through more than 40 lessons and success stories from mainstream athletes, you will learn Mack’s Mind Gym System that is full of techniques and exercises to help elite athletes workout their “mental muscle”.  If you’re looking to become focused, mentally tough, and driven towards your goals, this is one of the best movitaional books you can buy to put your mind in the right spot.

9Grit – Angela Duckworth

angela duckworth grit best motivational books for athletes

How many times have you heard that athletes are soft today? Millennial’s don’t get a lot of praise when it comes to how mentally tough they are, especially when it comes to athletes. However, we have one of the best motivational books that you can read to help develop resiliency in mental toughness. Angela Duckworth’s Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance is a New York Times bestseller, and once you pick up this book it will be easy for you to see why. Duckworth explains that athletes in their pursuit of be success need to understand that the secret to success is not talent, but a special skill of passion and persistence called Grit.

In Grit, Duckworth will take you into first hand experiences and explain why Grit is important through the eyes of cadets at West Point and finalists in the national spelling bee.  Duckworth also interviews high achievers such as Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and J.P. Morgan CEO Jamie diamond to understand how to achieve peak performance. Once you pick up this book, you will learn why effort is twice as important as your goal, how great commute learned, how passion can be triggered as well as the magic of the “Hard Thing Rule”.

If you’re looking for a book that reveals the secret to success in life and athletics, this is one of the best motivational books that you can pick up today.

8Peak – Anders Ericcson

anders Ericsson peak best motivational books for athletesAnders Ericsson, Author of Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise, has made a career studying elite performers. Whether it is World chest champions, musical geniuses, or top-performing athletes, Ericsson has devised a powerful learning strategy that will change the way you think about http://amzn.to/2fwdS6Hacquiring new skills. Peak is one of the best motivational books that athletes can pick up and start reading if they want to learn how to improve their athleticism, performance in the gym, or performance in the classroom.

In Peak, you will learn all about Ericsson’s blueprint that he has created to make sure that you improve on your skills every single day without taking a step backward.  If you want to get better at anything and have a blueprint that you can follow towards achieving your goals, then this is one of the best motivational books that will guide you through the entire process.   What’s great about Peak is that the book isn’t theoretical, it provides examples with a ton of detail of how you can apply his principles to become a high achiever.

Once you pick up Peak and start reading it, you will understand that the majority of us are going about achieving our goals the wrong way. Quite simply, Peak explains in great detail how to consistently improve your athletic performance and what it takes to be the best in the world at whatever you do.

7Peak Performance – Brad Stulberg

peak performance brad stulberg best motivational books for athletes

When it comes to being an elite athlete, it can be argued that there are a few common principles that lead to achieving great success. In Peak Performance, authors Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness take you on a journey to debunk these beliefs and explain how everyone can achieve their best. In a ground breaking way, Peak Performance dives in and studies top performers with the latest scientific insights to determine the cognitive and neurochemical reasons why top performers are such high achievers.

Shulberg & Magness’s results from their research is one of the best motivational books for athletes that want to unlock their true potential.  You will learn how to enhance your performance through High Intensity Interval Training, how to prime the body and mind for optimal productivity, and how to to channel your power of a self-transcending purpose.  Everything about Peak Performance dives into the science of great performance.  This book will give you the tools to hack your body and your mind, avoid burnout, and make the most of your time so that you can take your game to the next level.

6The TB12 Method – Tom Brady

the tb12 method tom brady best motivational books for athletes

If you need some motivation on how to become the best version of your self, there is no better person to learn from than five time Super Bowl Champion Tom Brady. In his first ever book, The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance, Brady explains in great detail how he has developed his entire system to long-term fitness. The TB12 Method is a comprehensive step-by-step guide that lets the reader understand Brady’s approach towards a healthier way of eating, exercising, training, and most of all, living.

The TB12 Method is one of the best motivational books you can buy to help get your mind right in the gym and in the kitchen. You will learn everything that you need to know when it comes to the approach, preparation, and mindset of one of the greatest athletes of our time. This book will show you a more effective approach to strength training, hydration, nutrition, supplementation, recovery, flexibility, and a whole slew of lifestyle choices that you can make to have a high performing body.

This “athlete’s bible” is filled with Tom Brady’s philosophy on how his approach has made him one of the greatest athletes of all time.  Brady’s TB12 Method is useful for any athlete; its filled with instructions, drills, photos, and in-depth studies that Brady has done himself that will teach you how to adopt a lifestyle that will enable you to perform at your highest level possible.

5The Boys In The Boat

the boys in the boat daniel james brown best motivational books for athletes

One of the greatest sports stories of team triumph has been turned into one of the best motivational books that you will ever read. The Boys In The Boat is a gripping, motivating story about how nine working-class boys from the United States showed the world what true grit is all about at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin.  It’s a story about beating the odds, sticking together as a team, and achieving greatness by digging deep within yourself to levels that you could never imagine you had.

This New York Times Bestseller takes you through an amazing journey about the University of Washington’s crew team that was made up of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers that went on to defeat the elite rowers of the world. Not only did “The Boys of ’36” defeat the elite teams on the East Coast of the U.S. as well as Great Britain, this rag tag group went on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler.  This emotional story dives into the boys’ own stories and memories from their once-in-a-lifetime shared experience and turns it into one of the best motivational books that you will won’t be able to put down.

If you’re an athlete that is going through a tough time and needs some motivation in your life, then you don’t need to look any further than The Boys In The Boat.  This book will touch your mind and your heart, rejuvenate your athletic spirit, and inspire you to keep pushing forward to achieving your success.

4Relentless – Tim Grover

relentless tim grover best motivational books for athletes

Do you want to have a bulletproof mindset? For more than 20 years, Tim Grover has been a legendary trainer of elite athletes such as Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, and Dwayne Wade.  His job was to make them even greater than they were the previous day. If you’re looking to learn what it takes to be the absolute best at what you do, Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable is easily one of the best motivational books you can buy.

In Relentless, Grover dives in to what it takes to not only make yourself great, but to achieve the results that you want to by being relentless in your pursuit to achieve whatever you want in life.  This book is direct, blunt, and 100% brutally honest.  If you want to learn how to keep going when everyone else quits, how to rise to the occasion under pressure, and how to never let your emotions get the best of you, you need to look no further. You will learn “The Relentless 13” traits shared by the most intense competitors and high achievers in all walks of life and learn how to adapt to any situation.

Relentless doesn’t lack the power to get you moving, making it one of the best motivational books that you have to read if you want to become an elite athlete. It’s packed with amazing insight into the minds of the most successful athletes of our time and gives you zero fluff on how the best continue to get better.

3The Phenomenon – Rick Ankiel

best motivational books for athletes the phenomenon rick ankiel

If you’re an athlete that is lost and doesn’t know where to turn to, you need to read The Phenomenon by Rick Ankiel.  This amazing, tragic story chronicles the former St. Louis Cardinals pitcher and how he lost his once-in-a-generation ability to pitch at the drop of a hat. His mysterious anxiety condition called “the Yips” came in the middle of a playoff game on national television with the entire world watching – and it’s never left him.

The Phenomenon will take you on a journey about how Ankiel struggled to find a way to get his game back for more than four and a half years.  This gripping story from Ankle explains how he tried at all costs to fight the Yips. Whether it was therapy, medication, taboo exercises, and eventually vodka, Ankiel couldn’t find a solution to his problem. However, the inspiring part of the story is that although Ankiel could not find a solution to his problem, it didn’t stop him from finding a way back to playing in the Major Leagues.

Ankiel’s amazing turnaround story is what makes The Phenomenon one of the best motivational books that all athletes must read. Its inspiring, heartwarming, and touches on how that when there is a will, there always is a way.

2The Secret To Success – Eric Thomas

best motivational books for athletes eric thomas the secret to success

If you’re an athlete that loves motivational speeches, it is highly likely that you have come acrsoss famed YouTube motivational speaker Eric Thomas. Known widely as ET The Hip Hop Preacher, Thomas has released The Secret To Success to help motivate more people to reach their potential. Thomas is a world renown speaker that is quite arguably one of the most influential motivational speakers in the world.

Thomas’ story about how he rose to become one of the most influential motivators of our generation is nothing short of inspiring. Thomas’ high energy and inspiring message tells youth through first hand experience how to live up to their potential and achieve greatness. No matter how bad you think that you have it in life, Thomas’ inspiring and energetic message is brutally honest. His story will motivate you and help you realize that your success in life is determined by one person only: You.

1The Champion’s Mind – Jim Afremow

best motivational books for athletes jim afremow the champions mind

Do you ever wonder how and why the best athletes in the world continue to outperform the most elite competition? There’s a reason why they are a cut above their competition, and its not because they are athletically superior to their competition. In The Champion’s Mind, author Jim Afremow breaks down what makes high performing athletes so successful, and provides a blueprint of the reader in how to create their own athletic success.

Whether you’re a Division I athlete or a recreational player starting out your athletic career, The Champion’s Mind will give you the advice that world renown sports psychologist Afremow gives to Olympians, Heisman Trophy winners, and professional athletes. This book is packed with hundreds of useful tips, including how to stay humble and thrive on a team, how to stick with your sport and progress over time, and how to prepare yourself mentally for competition. The Champion’s Mind is packed with these tips, along with full workout plans, so that you can operate at your best and achieve athletic success.

So, there you have it. Our list of the 16 best motivational books that will help you get your mind right so that you can get your grind right.  Always remember that training your spirit and your mind is just as important as training your muscles.  And, make sure that you read every night and apply the principles in these books so that you can achieve greatness.

READ MORE:

Spongecoach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.