Top Sports Psychology Books for Athletes

Sports psychology isn't just a fad or luxury for the professional athletes. It's a legitimate science that any athlete can tap into to develop mental strength and resilience in sports and in life. The psychological aspects of sport are often the difference between first and last place and shouldn't be ignored if you are looking to boost your sports skills and want to reach your peak performance. Beyond basic physical training, nutrition and hours of skills practice, training your mind can  play an  important role in overall conditioning. Here a few of the top picks in sports psychology books recommended for athletes, coaches, trainers and recreational fitness buffs who want to improve both physically and mentally.

The Champion's Mind: How Great Athletes Think, Train, and Thrive

The Champion's Mind
The Champion's Mind.

What sets elite athletes apart from the rest of the pack? Author and sports psychologist, Jim Afremow offers a closer look at the way top athletes think, train and carry themselves both on and off the playing field. But the tips, advice and strategies he outlines are not just for athletes; they will work for anyone who wants to improve some aspect of their metal focus and resilience. You'll get tips on getting into the zone, as well as dealing with injuries and grueling training schedules, and building accountability for your long-term performance. It's a great, well-rounded book for anyone interested in sports psychology.

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Understanding Psychological Preparation for Sport

Understanding Psychological Preparation

The latest sports psychology research is outlined in this readable, practical guide. Designed to advance both theory and practice in the psychological preparation of elite athletes, this book covers everything from motivation and self-confidence to anxiety control and concentration. Quotations from successful sports performers add a practical, personal element.

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Applied Sport Psychology : Personal Growth to Peak Performance w/Power

Applied Sport Psychology : Personal Grow
A comprehensive and practical guide written to help coaches and sport psychologists develop peak performance in their athletes by using the latest advances in sport psychology. Divided into separate sections for motivation and leadership, communication, mental training, program implementation, and current issues.

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Exploring Sport and Exercise Psychology

A guide for those who are interested in exploring opportunities in sport and exercise psychology. Skills and techniques addressed include imagery training, intensity regulation, and goal setting, along with population-specific advice. Leaders in the field have been brought together to comment on their specific areas of expertise.

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Psychology of Team Sports

An excellent source for insight into the importance of sport psychology in team sports. The emphasis is on teamwork and collective growth which reflects the contemporary philosophy in coaching. Skills learned by reading the book can be put into immediate use by a coach or sport psychologist. Athletes will also benefit from understanding their relationships with team members.

Doing Sport Psychology

A 'how to' book for graduate students and professionals in the field. The text provides details of actual client - counselor sessions using a variety of methods. Transcripts of dialogue between counselors and athletes, and specifics on how coaches, physical therapists, and other professionals administer sport psychology.

Sport Psychology

Sport Psychology provides an introduction to the major psychological issues in sport today. Topics covered include personality, attitudes to sport, aggression, anxiety and stress, social influences, motivation and skill acquisition. An easy to follow book with loads of examples ranging from football to dance.

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