5. Coaching

WHY: Your success as a coach is more related to how you interact with others than your program design.


WHY: The book outlines how the secret to outstanding achievement is not talent but a blend of passion and persistence, called GRIT. In order to be successful, you don’t need to be a genius or have an inborn talent, you need to be the grittiest. The book also provides advice on the ability to deal with failure as the only way to learn new things. This book will provide context for more specific coaching/ career resources.

WHY: The overarching theme is “deliberate practice.” The book outlines that you need to go into something with a specific goal in mind to work on, not just going through the motions. This knowledge can be applied with coaching athletes and clients. This knowledge of deliberate practice can also be applied to your own self-awareness with your coaching skills. This book will provide context for more specific coaching/ career resources.

WHY: “An excellent account of the fall and rebirth of the New Zealand All Blacks rugby team. This is an in depth look into the common problems that can arise in team cultures and how the winningest team is sports history bounced back and reclaimed their winning ways. If you come across a team with a failing culture, applying these principles can help start the transformation to making your athletes better people and improving the overall team culture.” – Nick DiMeglio

WHY: “Stemming from the book Legacy, this is a look into the techniques and rules put in place to help the Ohio State Buckeyes football program bounce back after a challenging year to win the National College Football Championship. The common theme is that there is Above the Line behavior and there is Below the Line behavior. He preached this to his team throughout the season and it not only made them a more cohesive group on the field but it made them think more deeply about their off the field actions.” – Nick DiMeglio

  • The Science of Winning by Dr. Jan Olbrecht (recommended by Ian Funk) $40 Kindle

WHY: Dr. Olbrecht’s coaching method is based upon careful planning. Coaches should take these concepts of assessment and periodizing based upon testing to optimize effectiveness.

WHY: “Our industry has an endless supply of books, online resources, and literature on every aspect of physical preparation, but the art and science of coaching has long gone unappreciated.  Conscious Coaching brings the art of coaching and communication together with the “hard” sciences of human behavior and influence.

Young coaches tend to focus on learning every detail of the Xs and Os of exercise execution, program design, biomechanics, physiology, movement variability, etc. but neglect the importance of establishing relationships, building buy in, and learning how to connect with the people they’re coaching.  Elite coaches understand that variables like commitment, consistency, and intent and motivation are far more important to the overall progress and improvement of the individual than sets, reps, or exercise selection.

The best physical preparation program in the world won’t matter if the people you’re working with don’t trust you and/or don’t like you.  Humans are social beings above all else, and regardless of the client’s individual situation, people need to have some level of connection and trust in those that they work with.

Building relationships with your clients and athletes founded on trust and communication sets the stage by which elite physical preparation programs can be implemented to optimize outcomes.

This book is a fantastic way to begin to sharpen your sword as a renaissance coach who can write effective programs, instruct exercise, and develop long-lasting relationships with people that will keep them working with you for life.” –  Justin Moore

WHY: “As someone who is highly motivated by my desire to master my craft as a physical preparation coach, this was a very informative and entertaining read for me. The book begins with an overview and identification of the keys to mastery, and then goes on to speak about finding your calling in life, the role of apprenticeship in mastery, absorbing all you can from a mentor, the importance of social intelligence, creativity and creative strategies, and much more.  Throughout, Robert Greene draws upon the fascinating stories of the great masters throughout history to illustrate the key elements of mastery. This book is essential for anyone who considers themselves a student of their craft.  I learned a great deal about how to be a better learner, the process of mastery, the importance of mentorship, creativity, and gained respect for the vital role played by social intelligence in the process of attaining mastery.” – Justin Moore

WHY: The strength and conditioning field is humbling and includes long hours with limited recognition. The lessons gained from this book include conquering your own ego by putting your higher goals above your desire for recognition.

WHY: “The best physical preparation program on the planet is worthless is the client or athlete is not compliant or lives a lifestyle that does not support structural and functional adaptations from training. To truly get results, we need to facilitate changes in the way people live their lives in and out of the gym.  We need to get them to consistently come to training, get the appropriate quantity and quality of sleep, dial in nutrition, manage stress, etc. Enter The Power Of Habit.  This book details the habit loop, how habits are formed at the level of the brain, how habits are changed, and how incredibly successful companies have used habit science to build their business and develop a culture of excellence. This book will give you the tools to help your clients make real lifestyle changes that support their goals and keep them coming back time and time again.” –Justin Moore  

WHY: Strength and conditioning/personal training is a service industry. Your success is greatly dependent upon how to interact with others. This book will help you with skills on an approach to work, interactions, and productivity.

WHY: This book will explore how we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. This book was listed as among the ten most influential books in America. The lessons and topics explored can be applied within your own life and how you choose to cope with your own circumstances and find a purpose.



  • Physical Preparation Podcast with Mike Robertson Favorite: 20 Tips for Young Coaches April 17, 2017
  • The Coach K Show Episode 31 On Empathy and the 80/20 Principle w/ Kyle Dobbs
  • Central VA Sport Performance Episode 99 with Cory Schlesinger

WHY: “I question the things that we think matter.” Cory explains why we should be open minded and adaptable. Cory also explains how systems put you in box and if you are in a box, you are limited by that box.

 Youtube Channels (Also Under Movement/Biomechanics: all recommended by Lucy Hendricks)

WHY: Scroll through these channels and learn the cues these people use while doing an exercise

 Seminars & Online Courses

WHY: Want to witness a good coach? Dr. Davidson is a game changer and always brings something new and thoughtful to the table. It is never boring, it is never recycled, and it is always thought provoking. Dr. Davidson presents a biomechanical model for training programs. He examines movement and categorizes individuals for maximum benefits and adaptations. He shows you how to do that same. My favorite and I think most valuable part of the seminar is listening to Dr. Davidson share his personal experience with clients and WATCHING HIM COACH. His seminar is one of the most encompassing and useful seminars I have attended. I cannot recommend it enough.