Great books on sports, psychology and performance.
The Sports Gene – David Epstein – if you are in any way a sports and science geek this book has fantastic statistics, references really interesting research and includes interviews with some of the brightest brains in the business. One of those books you’ll find yourself quoting from for years.
Black Box Thinking – Matthew Syed – a simple manifesto – that failure is needed to succeed. Brilliant use of case studies, exemplars and research to bring the ideas to life and leaves you feeling much more positive about screwing up.
Runner – Lizzy Hawker – Talented ultra runner and talented writer. Written with such feeling and humility you can almost feel your legs tighten up as you read the miles alongside her. Warning: hide your credit card before reading so you don’t get inspired and enter an ultra!
Nudge – Richard Thaler & Cass Sunstein – full on pop psychology – but a book you’ll keep thinking back to every time you spot a ‘nudge.’ How simple tweaks to things we do can make a big difference in behaviours. Can be used everywhere; to cut obesity levels through to increasing organ donations.
Sort Your Brain Out – Jack Lewis & Adrian Webster – really simple (over simplified if you have any science background) but cute way to make you thing about the decisions you make and how to make your brain work harder for you.
Faster – Michael Hutchinson – fabulously written, as funny as Dr Hutch’s books always are but full of cute stats and tips from one of the UKs best cycling time trialists.
Project Rainbow – Rod Ellingworth – fantastic insight into how British Cycling and Sky fulfilled their objective to win the Road Race World Champs. The slight feeling that you are reading a job application and CV for the author is made up for by the levels of details and excitement you get reading – even though you know the result!
Outliers – Malcolm Gladwell – looks at what those who sit far off the normal curve of success have in common. Suggests that it is not simply personality that drives people, but often their upbringing.
Age is just a number – Dara Torres – An Olympic Gold Medal swimmer made a come back and raced in Beijing at the age of 41. She won 3 silvers. Brilliant advice on how to develop your training as you get older and never to use age as an excuse.
Feet in the Clouds – Richard Askwith – regular guy, gets into fell running, takes on one of the toughest challenges of them all, the Bob Graham Round.
The Champion’s Mind – Jim Afremow – A bit of a ‘DIY sports psych’ book but with great stories for how champions use those tools. More of a dip in and out when you need to know something than a read in one chunk but helpful if you can’t afford the time or money to get mental skills training.
Any you’d like to recommend back?