5 Books Every Student Athlete Must Read - Carla Godsman

2020. It is fair to say everyone wants this year to be over! As we all struggle to navigate through this turbulent time, it is important to find something positive from this year. As athletes, we are used to being challenged physically, but recently it feels as though our mental strength is being tested more than ever. Mental health is an important part of everybody’s life. From an athlete perspective, we are told to be tough and love the grind. Yes, this is crucial to success, but having a healthy mind allows us to perform better. Although we can’t train, play or hug our teammates at this moment in time, this is a great opportunity for us to spend time focusing on our mental health.

1. Grit

“Our potential is one thing. What we do with it is quite another.”

Have you ever played with someone who is early to practice and last to leave? Sometimes we think people are blessed with work ethic, but this is what Angela Duckworth refers to as “grit”. Her New York Times bestseller tells us that it takes more than just talent to succeed. It takes a mixture of passion and persistence that she refers to as “grit”. Duckworth shares both her own and others research to show that you can improve grit and that it will lead to success.

2. The Catalyst Effect

The Catalyst Effect is a great book to help with leadership and how your attitude truly has an impact on those around you. It discusses how everyone can be a leader and the importance of sacrificing personal victory and focusing on boosting team performance through different skills and behaviours. This book will help you learn and practice these catalytic competencies that will your team succeed.


3. The Hard Hat

“The key to success is to be a lifelong learner who continuously works hard to

A true story about Cornell lacrosse player George Boiardi who lost his life playing the game he loved. He left such a lasting impact on his coaches and teammates, they put his jersey number on a hard hat to remind themselves of George and everything he brought to the team. Jon Gordon discusses the 21 ways George Boiardi embodied being a great teammate. An easy read with a lot of valuable lessons!

4. How Bad Do You Want It?

In this book, Coach Matt Fitzgerald examines mental toughness and how athletes improve this. It discusses the science of the psycho-biological model. Although focusing on running and endurance sport, this is important as it teaches us how to stay motivated and ignore the perception of effort that forces us to slow down.

5. Relentless

“From now on your strategy is to make everyone else get on your level.”

Tim Grover discusses 13 characteristics that make a person relentless. As a personal trainer to some of the NBA’s top athletes, “Relentless” is about pushing yourself to a level that anyone is yet to reach. With a tough-love approach, this is a another good example of a book to work on mental toughness and how to demand more of yourself.

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