Below is a list of books that I created by emailing college coaches and asking them, Can you list 3 -5 books that  college baseball coaches wish parents/ coaches would read?

I have to admit, the results were not what I expected.  I received 40 different responses from 35 different colleges, which makes for a lengthy list of books.  However, one of my predictions did hold true, and that was that there would not be a strong emphasis on hitting, pitching, and fielding mechanics.

I believe this is very telling, and we shouldn’t ignore the recommendations from the coaching leaders in our sport.  Also, what is great about this list is the amount of suggested books that can help adults in their own professional life.  After all, we are more than just parents or coaches of athletes.

If you want more information on one of these books, click on the title and it will take you to Amazon.  If you choose to purchase a book, I may make a very small amount of money, but at no additional cost to you.  Thank you, that will help keep the site going. 

Here is a link to view all of the following books (and some other resources too): The Bookcase


These three books were recommended the most frequently by college coaches.

The Mental Game of Baseball: A Guide to Peak Performance

Everyone, both coaches and parents, and players for that matter, should read this book! It is an absolute staple.

Dorfman worked in Major League Baseball for over 30 years as mental performance coach. Before you think my player(s) don’t need “mental training” to get better, consider that Dorfman worked will players such as Hall of Famer Greg Maddux and Roy Holliday.  He spent must of his time working for the Oakland Athletics.

If you are looking for something more specific, check out his other books:

The Mental ABC’s of Pitching: A Handbook for Performance Enhancement

The Mental Keys to Hitting: A Handbook of Strategies for Performance Enhancement


Mind Gym : An Athlete’s Guide to Inner Excellence
Mind Gym is another “mental training” book written by Gary Mack.  This book is endorsed by Ken Griffey Jr. and current Milwaukee Bucks basketball coach Jason Kidd.

Here is a great quote from Mack:

“Your attitude determines your altitude. Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re probably right.  The choice is yours.”


Heads-Up Baseball : Playing the Game One Pitch at a Time
Tom Hanson and Kevin Ravizza bring us yet another mental performance book, however this book is provides actionable advice and ways to measure performance. This is a book that younger players could read and study, with many coaches using this book as a team read.

Ravizza – “People realize now that we’ve tapped the physical conditioning aspect, we’ve tapped the mechanics aspect. We’re tapping the computer aspect and all the numbers. I think now they’re realizing the next edge is the six inches between the ears.”



10-Minute Toughness: The Mental Training Program for Winning Before the Game Begins

This book was recommended to me by Phil Cundari, the Associate Head Coach of Seton Hall University and 2011 National Pitching Coach of the Year.

I LOVE this book because it defines clear steps that should be taken before you begin performance. This book has totally changed the way I talk to my players. Recently I had three players, all of which are Division I recruits, reach out to me because they were struggling offensively a bit. The pressure was getting to them, all three of them were expecting breakout seasons. I used Selk’s process to help them focus their mind by “dominating self-talk”, and all reported back that they were more confident in the box, and that they had started to see their season turn around. One player went on to actually hit a home runs in three straight games. Thank you Jason Selk!

The great thing about this book is that if you are an adult, you can apply Selk’s wisdom to your everyday life, and especially workplace. Jason has another book, Executive Toughness: The Mental-Training Program to Increase Your Leadership Performance

As you could see, teaching the mental side of the game is more importanant than teaching the mechanics of the game. The players may have the perfect swing or delivery on the mound, but if they are not comfortable and confident, they will not be able to perform to their ability. We must invest time in mental training!

Here are some additional books that were recommended:


The Inner Athlete: Realizing Your Fullest Potential

Sports Slump Busting

Intangibles: Big-League Stories and Strategies for Winning the Mental Game-In Baseball and in Life


Don Mattingly’s Hitting Is Simple: The ABC’s of Batting .300 – Don Mattingly

QAB (Quality At Bats) by Steve Springer, you could check him out hereQAB


Complete Guide to Pitching, The – From current minor league pitching coordinator with Chicago Cubs and former Vanderbilt pitching coach, Derek Johnson.

Pitch Like A Pro: A Guide for Young Pitchers and Their Coaches, Little League Through High School – From former Atlanta Braves and Baltimore Orioles pitching coach, Leo Mazzone



The Baseball Coaching Bible (The Coaching Bible Series) – This book is sponsored by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

The Gold Standard: Building a World-Class Team – Coach K and I think the title speaks for itself.

Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game

Play Baseball the Ripken Way: The Complete Illustrated Guide to the Fundamentals  Cal Ripken Jr. and Billy Ripken


The Carolina Way: Leadership Lessons from a Life in Coaching – Legendary basketball coach teaches life lessons on leadership and communication.

Five-Point Play: Duke’s Journey to the 2001 National Championship – A look inside Coach K and how he took his club to the promise land.

Life Is Yours to Win: Lessons Forged from the Purpose, Passion, and Magic of Baseball Augie Garrido is the winningest baseball coach in NCAA history, we think he might know a thing or two about preparing amateur baseball players.

The Mentor Leader: Secrets to Building People and Teams That Win Consistently – Tony Dungy

They Call Me Coach – John Wooden

Win Forever: Live, Work, and Play Like a Champion – From Super Bowl winning coach Pete Carroll

Winning Every Day: The Game Plan for Success – Lou Holtz

You Win with People -A classic from Woody Hayes, legendary Ohio State football coach.


Be a Recruited Athlete-The Secret to College Recruiting: What Every Mom and Dad Should Know – Hanson has several resources for parents.

Dollar Sign on the Muscle: The World of Baseball Scouting – We turn the tables here a bit, and this resource steps into the world of baseball scouting, the act of identifying talented players.

The High School Athlete’s Guide to College Baseball – Coach Wayne Mazzoni focuses on the recruiting process, and has authored several resources specifically for high school players. Check him out at


Because we are NOT ONLY baseball coaches and parents.  


The Carpenter: A Story About the Greatest Success Strategies of All

The Compound Effect

The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work

Outliers: The Story of Success

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance

The Talent Code: Greatness Isn’t Born. It’s Grown. Here’s How.

The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success


The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable

Lead . . . for God’s Sake!: A Parable for Finding the Heart of Leadership

Leaders Eat Last: Why Some Teams Pull Together and Others Don’t

The Only Way to Win: How Building Character Drives Higher Achievement and Greater Fulfillment in Business and Life


The Go-Giver, Expanded Edition: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea

Joker One: A Marine Platoon’s Story of Courage, Leadership, and Brotherhood

Lone Survivor: The Eyewitness Account of Operation Redwing and the Lost Heroes of SEAL Team 10

The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter’s Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete

Don’t forget, you can view all of the books here, The Bookcase

* If you decide to purchase one of these books, I may make a small proceed, but at no additional expense to you. Thank you! That will help keep the site going.