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How to Find the Best Books for Baseball Coaches
Baseball coaches have many places to look for great information. The internet is an ever-growing resource, with blogs and articles on virtually every topic imaginable. The problem is, how do you know what is right and what is wrong? Often, there will be two blogs with exactly the opposite advice, causing more confusion than anything.
Below are a few books that we love. By no means are these the only good baseball books for coaches; these are just a few we think are great to start with!
Book #1: InSideOut Coaching: How Sports Can Transform Lives
You might be wondering why we're starting with a book that isn't even about baseball—because so much of coaching, when done correctly, boils down to being a great mentor and a great influence for the kids we coach.
This book is written by Joe Ehrmann, and it's a great look into what impact you can have as a sports coach. It goes far beyond the typical focus on wins and losses and teaches you how to reach kids on a human level to help them become better people.
This is truly the most important thing a baseball coach can aspire to do. Be a positive and influential figure in the lives of your players, whether you're discussing baseball or (and especially) if you're not.
Read this one first to put yourself on a great path to meaningful coaching!
What Makes a Good Baseball Book for Coaches?
Not all books are created equal, and not every baseball book needs to be about baseball!
- Books about leadership. How good a coach is at leading is far more important than how much he knows about baseball. The game is about confidence, perseverance, and teamwork; three things that the kids need a leader to teach them, regardless of baseball knowledge.
- Books about positivity. Baseball can be a very challenging game, especially for young players. It's been said that it's the only game where a hitter can fail 70% of the time and still be in the Hall of Fame. Players need a coach who is positive, win or lose.
- Books about purpose-driven coaching. The lives of your players go on after they play the season with you, so you need to be teaching them how to be ready for what's next off the field as well. Kids need positive role models, and they need you to care about them as people before baseball players.
- Books about... baseball! Okay, so after all of that important stuff, it also helps to read some books about the sport! This doesn't have to be the skills of the game, just the game in general. Understand the language, the verbiage, the rules, the culture, the strategies, and the history of the game. Also, the skills and drills that will make your team better!
Book #2: The Baseball Drill Book
There are a few books out there that have a great number of drill ideas to teach the skills of baseball. The Baseball Drill Book is one of the best. It has a tremendous offering of drills for hitting, pitching, team practice, catching, and keeping things fresh and fun on practice day!
If you're unsure of how to run the drills, fear not! The book has drawings and very clear explanations of exactly what you should be doing to run the drills correctly. It has a good mix of drills based on various ages and skill levels.
Book #3: 9 Innings of Hitting
This book is written by Troy Silva and is an awesome explanation of how to coach hitting. The best part of the book is that it covers everything there is to cover in the world of hitting to make you much more knowledgeable as a baseball coach.
It isn't just about the mechanics and the physical act of hitting, though it does cover that in-depth. 9 Innings of Hitting also goes into the mental approach and the strategy necessary to be a consistently good hitter on game day. It's an easy-to-read book with lots of pictures and is sure to make your players better hitters.
Book #4: Legacy
Going back to coaching being far more than just teaching the skills of the game, this book is a great addition to any coach's library. In fact, this book is a good one for more than just coaches; it's suitable for business leaders and anybody else who wishes to be inspired and to learn how to truly lead.
This book combines ancient knowledge with modern science and teaching to create a really inspiring guide to becoming a great leader of both others and yourself.
I think that often the self-discipline piece of the equation is forgotten, but in reality, there is little chance of you succeeding in leading others if you lack the skills to control your own life and your own actions.
I recommend this book to all coaches and everybody else, for that matter.
Book #5: The Matheny Manifesto: A Young Manager's Old-School Views on Success in Sports and Life
This is another entry into the "holistic" approach to coaching baseball and all other sports. If you're wondering why there is so much of this on this list, it's because it is THE way to build a successful team, season, and program. If a coach is able to instill a culture of respect and confidence, the kids in that program will truly have a successful season.
A coach's job is to be a mentor, a role model, a positive influence, and a person who the kids can trust and respect. If those things are not put first, then they will not care one iota what you think about the game. They don't care what you know until they know that you care.
This book is written in an easy-to-read way and is highly recommended to anyone getting into the coaching ranks!
“The Matheny Manifesto illustrates a perspective we need not only in youth sports, but in our culture as a whole. By teaching the importance of respect, character, and a team-first approach, Mike Matheny gives our kids, and those who set an example for them, a positive outlook on healthy competition—and demonstrates how the most powerful lessons of baseball apply to their futures beyond the diamond.”
— Joe Torre
Best Books for Baseball Coaches
That's the list for now, if you know of other great baseball books put them in the comments below!
This a really tough list to make, and I tried to include a few current entries just to keep things fresh. The truth is that there are hundreds of books I could have chosen to be represented on this list. We'll update this list as we go, or make other lists of great books, so make sure to let us know what should be included in those!
Be sure to come back and let others know if you read any of these books, we would love to hear your thoughts on them.
Thanks for visiting!
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