The 10 Best Mental Toughness Books For Athletes

best mental toughness books for athletes

Below is a list of the best mental toughness books we’ve read that will help you focus and get in the right state of mind.

If you’re an athlete and you’re going through adversity, get used to it.

Adversity and athletes go hand in hand. No matter what sport you play, you will continue to have setback after setback as you work your tail off. Being an elite athlete is a grind and a grueling process not only on your body, but on your mind as well. But, that’s not what matters. What matters is if you stay mentally tough, believe in the process and keep working to achieve your goals.

If you’re having a hard time doing so, then you’ve come to the right place.  Our list of the absolute best mental toughness books out there will help you develop the mental strength, fortitude, and focus that you need to overcome adversity and be successful.

The Champion’s Comeback – Jim Afremow

the champion's comeback best sports mental toughness books

If you want to overcome adversity and be the champion of your comeback story, then you need to read The Champion’s Comeback: How Great Athletes Recover, Reflect, and Re-Ignite by Jim Afremow. Dr. Afremow is a world renowned Sports psychologist that has written several mental toughness books. What makes The Champion’s Comeback one of the must read mental toughness books is that Afremow presents winning strategies to help struggling athletes create a mentally tough mindset. The book emphasizes the psychology behind commitment and offers tips, mental training exercises and motivating comeback stories from athletes.  This book is the perfect blueprint to help athletes overcome adversity and focus on staying on their path to achieve greatness.

Unbeatable Mind – Mark Devine

unbeatable mind best sports mental toughness books for coaches and athletes

It’s hard to argue that something is tougher than a NAVY Seal. If you’re an athlete that’s looking to strengthen the way you think and sharpen your mental-state, you need to pick up Unbeatable Mind by Mark Devine. This is one of the best mental toughness books that you can read to help put you in an offensive mindset and take control of your life. Devine’s book has helped thousands of coaches and players starve their fear, overcome negativity, and raise their emotional intelligence. If you want to sharpen your mind, heighten your focus, and keep your eyes on the prize, then you can’t go wrong with this book. 

10-Minute Toughness: The Mental Training Program For Winning – Jason Selk

10 minutes toughness best sports mental toughness books for athletes

Backed by former Olympic Gold Medalists, NFL & MLB Players, and elite coaches is Jason Selk’s 10-Minute Toughness.  Selk’s guide to mental training is one of the best mental toughness books that athletes can read for several reasons. 10-Minute Toughness provides you with a daily routine to master your mind in only 10 minutes a day. This book is psychobabble free and provides you with a program that will help you not only set your personal goals, but help you achieve them as well. 

Relentless: From Good To Great To Unstoppable – Tim S. Grover

relentless tim grover best sports mental toughness books for athletes

Relentless by author Tim Grover is on several of our lists for the best books for athletes. The reason why is simple: This book is simply that damn good. It’s one of the best mental toughness books that you can buy because it’s direct and brutally honest. If you want to be an unstoppable athlete and keep going when everyone else gives up, you have to pick up Relentless. Grover’s blueprint of “The Relentless 13” will help any athlete develop grit, adapt to any situation, control their mindset, and develop an attack first mentality. Praised by Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Coach Mike Krzyzewski, Grover’s leadership will provide you with the guidance you need to be successful.

Mental Toughness: Develop An Unbeatable Mind – A.C. Drexel

If you’re looking for short mental toughness books that are a quick read, straight to the point and provide you with a refreshed mind, you should go with Mental Toughness: Develop An Unbeatable Mind by A.C. Drexel. This 96 page book will help you take control of your life and develop an invincible mindset that will put you in a winning mindset. Drexel’s book will teach you how to develop the traits of an unbeatable mind, master your emotional intelligence, and learn how to apply his principles to your daily routine. Mental Toughness has several techniques that will help athletes reshape their character and build the mental stamina that is necessary to power through adversity.

Peak Performance – Brad Stulberg & Steve Magness

peak performance sports mental toughness books for athletes

Want to pick up a book that is going to help you reach your potential? Go with Peak Performance. It’s one of those mental toughness books that will inspire you to reach your potential by diving into the science of great performance. Stulberg and Magness will show you how to keep performing at the highest level, avoid burnout, and teach you the secrets that elite athletes and high achievers use to be the best every day. Peak Performance will provide you with a playbook for success and allow you to harness the power of positive thinking within your own mind that you never knew existed.

Don’t “Should” On Your Kids: Build On Their Mental Toughness – Dr. Rob Bell

don't should on your kids dr rob bell best mental toughness books for parents and athletes

Are you the parent of a child that’s letting adversity get the best of their performance? It’s hard being an athlete in today’s professionalization of youth sports. Fortunately, Dr. Rob Bell has come up with a game plan to help you communicate effectively and empower your child. Don’t “Should” On Your Kids is one of those mental toughness books that shapes the mind of young athletes and parents at the same time. This cutting-edge book will help you teach resiliency and provide you, as a parent, with actionable steps that will help you teach your child all about mental toughness. Build a stronger bond with your child and show them that you’re there for support by picking up this book and applying Bell’s principles on a daily basis.

Think Like A Warrior: Five Inner Beliefs That Make You Unstoppable – Darrin Donnelley

think like a warrior sports mental toughness books

Power your body, your mind, and your soul with Think Like A Warrior: The Five Inner Beliefs That Make You Unstoppable. Donnelly’s book will help you develop mental toughness, utilize the power of positive thinking, and teach you how to be a positive leader in your life. Think Like A Warrior is simply one of the best mental toughness books that pulls from the life-changing lessons from some of the greatest coaches in history. This inspirational and emotional story tells a tale of how a desperate college football coach develops a new mindset and changes his life forever. We guarantee that it will inspire you to take control and change your life too.

Talent is Overrated: What Really Separates World Class Performers From Everyone Else – Geoff Colvin

talent is overrated best mental toughness books for athletes

Are you one of those athletes that believes that people are just born with an amazing ability? Well, if you do, you’re wrong. And, Talent is Overrated will show you where so many athletes go wrong with their work. Dedicated hard work, deliberate practice, and drive are the obvious traits when it comes to excelling. However, what Colvin dives into is much deeper and asks the reader what their excuse is to not be your best. This is one of those mental toughness books that makes you ask yourself: “Am I really doing my best work and am I putting in my best effort?”. It’s a book that is motivational soup not only for the athlete’s mind, but for the athlete’s soul as well.

Grit: The Power of Passion & Perseverance – Angela Duckworth

angela duckworth grit best mental toughness books for athletes

Just like Talent is Overrated, Grit touches on what it takes to be successful not only in sports, but in life as well. Duckworth’s book will show you that the most successful athletes in the world share one common characteristic: They’re gritty and never quit. This is one of the best mental toughness books for athletes bar none because it doesn’t only sharpen your mind and inspire your soul, it also provides you with reasons why you should be as tough as you can be. If you buy one book today, you can’t go wrong with picking up Grit. It will open your eyes and change your life.


You can pick up several of these titles on our list of 10 Best Mental Toughness Books For Athletes for free when you sign up for a 30-day trail of Amazon’s Audible or Kindle Unlimited.

They are the perfect companion for athletes that like to listen and athletes that like to read while they’re on-the-go with their mobile device.

Pick one of these up today so that you can sharpen your mind, inspire your soul, and thicken your skin in the pursuit of your dreams. 

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