Best Basketball Coaching Books: The Top 20 List

Best Basketball Coaching Books


Best Basketball Coaching Books: Always be Learning and Growing

Great basketball coaches and players are always looking to learn and grow. If you fall into one of these categories or simply love the game, this list of the best basketball coaching books was created for you. It will help shed light on some great coaches and writers that can help you improve your knowledge of the game and help you have a more prosperous life.

We hope that you can find one or several great basketball coaching books from this list below. If we have left off one of your favorite coaching books, please comment below so that we can check it out and consider adding it to the list! Also, if you are interested in more than just books, check out our list of the Top 25 Basketball Gift Ideas.

Do you enjoy listening to books on audio? Make sure you check out the Free Audible Trial that Amazon offers, and you will get to listen to some of these books for free.



Top 20 Basketball Coaching Books:




1. Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court

Book Price: $8.38

About This Basketball Coaching Book: You may know Jay Bilas as an outspoken college basketball commentator and analyst, but he also played four years at Duke under the one and only Coach K. Along with playing under Coach K, he also was a part of his coaching staff as they won two national championships. This book is all about the toughness that it takes to be successful. Toughness: Developing True Strength On and Off the Court features stories from Coach K, Bob Knight, Grant Hill, Mia Hamm, Jon Gruden, Tom Izzo, Roy Williams, Bill Self, Curtis Strange, and many others.





Eleven Rings


2. Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success

Book Price: $14.13

About This Basketball Coaching Book: When you win more championships than any other head coach in professional history, you must be doing something right. Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success is a book about Phil Jackson’s success in the NBA and doing things the right way. If you are interested in taking a peek into the mind of the most winning NBA coach of all time, this basketball coaching book is a great choice.







3. Tales from the Kentucky Wildcats Locker Room: A Collection of the Greatest Wildcat Stories Ever Told

Book Price: $19.95

About This Basketball Coaching Book: If you are a basketball junkie, there is nothing better than hearing about past basketball glories; that is why this book is so great! Tales from the Kentucky Wildcats Locker Room is all about the history and tradition of Kentucky basketball, and it is told by the players and coaches that were physically a part of the action. It is a great read for players, coaches, or fans of the game of basketball.





Sum It Up


4. Sum It Up: A Thousand and Ninety-Eight Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective

Book Price: $7.68

About This Basketball Coaching Book: Pat Summit is the winningest coach in NCAA basketball history, and there is a good reason for it. She became head coach of the Tennessee Vols women’s team at the age of 21, and this book recounts the 38 years she spent there. Sum It Up is a must-read for basketball coaches that are looking to improve their knowledge of the game and also see what winning really looks like.




Bleeding Orange


5. Bleeding Orange: Fifty Years of Blind Referees, Screaming Fans, Beasts of the East, and Syracuse Basketball

Book Price: $15.09

About This Basketball Coaching Book: When you think of a 2-3 zone defense in basketball, it is hard not to associate Syracuse and Jim Boeheim in the same thought. For years he has been winning games and even national championships at the University of Syracuse. Bleeding Orange is a candid autobiography of coach Boeheim’s career at Syracuse, starting from when he walked on campus in 1963 as a freshman.






6. Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Basketball

Book Price: $11.48

About This Basketball Coaching Book: A perfect book for beginner youth basketball coaches, this book is going to provide you all the basics. You will be able to learn how to run effective practices, how to teach the fundamentals, and more. If you are just starting with youth basketball, we highly suggest that you check out the Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Basketball.





7. Success Is a Choice: Ten Steps to Overachieving in Business and Life

Book Price: $14.34

About This Basketball Coaching Book: Between his time spent at the University of Kentucky and the University of Louisville, it is hard to argue that Rick Pitino is not one of the best college basketball coaches of all time. In his book, Success Is a Choice: Ten Steps to Overachieving in Business and Life, coach Pitino breaks down ten different keys to being successful. Success is a choice, and it is up to you to take advantage of it.







8. Wooden: A Coach’s Life

Book Price: $17.48

About This Basketball Coaching Book: When you talk about the best coaches of all time in any sport, the name John Wooden is sure to come up. His time at UCLA is that of legend with an 88 game win streak and 10 NCAA championships in 12 years. Wooden: A Coach’s Life is written by Seth Davis, and it is going to cover Coach Wooden’s life from over 200 different perspectives. This basketball coaching book is a must-read for all true fans of the game.







9. You Win in the Locker Room First: The 7 C’s to Build a Winning Team in Business, Sports, and Life

Book Price: $13.95

About This Basketball Coaching Book: You Win in the Locker Room First was a joint effort from two different authors; Jon Gordon, who is a best-selling author, and Mike Smith, who is an NFL coach that helped lead one of the greatest team turnarounds in franchise history with the Atlanta Falcons. Although this book was not written by a basketball coach, there are so many areas of this book that transfer over to being a basketball coach and living a successful life.





Players First


10. Players First: Coaching from the Inside Out

Book Price: $8.16

About This Basketball Coaching Book: Players First: Coaching From the Inside Out is about Kentucky University’s coach John Calipari and his first four seasons as the Wildcats head coach. It is a rare insight into one of the winningest college basketball programs and what it takes for Calipari to put together an elite level team of 18-year-old freshmen every year.





Winner Within


11. The Winner Within: A Life Plan for Team Players

Book Price: $12.25

About This Basketball Coaching Book: Pat Riley is one of basketball’s winningest coaches, but this book is not just about basketball. The Winner Within can be applied to pretty much any endeavor that you take on in life. This basketball coaching book will talk about leadership, mastery, personal growth, and a variety of other areas that successful people excel in.







12. Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization

Book Price: $16.91

About This Basketball Coaching Book: You bring up John Wooden’s name, and immediately your mind goes to “one of the best college basketball coaches in history.” Some of the feats that he accomplished as a coach are so incredible that when you sit down and think about them, you almost can’t believe that they actually happened. What is even more incredible, though, is that he was a better person and leader than he was a coach. Wooden on Leadership: How to Create a Winning Organization will talk about Coach Wooden’s leadership beliefs and how to create a winning organization in basketball or business.






13. The One Day Contract: How to Add Value to Every Minute of Your Life

Book Price: $5.49

About This Basketball Coaching Book: This is another basketball coaching book from Hall of Fame Coach Rick Pitino. As most of his books do, it is going to have a lot of concepts that not only apply to basketball but life in general. If you want to be more driven and find success in each day you live, check out The One Day Contract.





Leading with the Heart


14. Leading with the Heart: Coach K’s Successful Strategies for Basketball, Business, and Life

Book Price: $10.99

About This Basketball Coaching Book: Coach K has made Duke into a perennial national powerhouse, and he has done it by promoting team play and the right culture. Leading With the Heart was written in 2001, but it has so many great thoughts on; leadership, the importance of trust, communication, dealing with pride, and so much more that translates seamlessly to today. This book translates to more than just basketball and is a great read for anyone who wants to be a better person and a better leader.





Championship Team Building


15. Championship Team Building: What Every Coach Needs to Know to Build a Motivated, Committed & Cohesive Team

Book Price: $23.51

About This Basketball Coaching Book: Teams win championships; it is as simple as that. It takes a group committed to the same common goal and is willing to sacrifice personal achievements to get there. Jeff Janssen wrote Championship Team Building, and it is going to talk about what you need to do as a coach to build a team that is committed to each other and motivated to do what it takes to win.






16. Coaching Basketball Successfully

Book Price: $21.51

About This Basketball Coaching Book: Morgan Wootten is considered one of the best high school coaches of all time. Coaching Basketball Successfully will break down some of Wootten’s timeless wisdom when it comes to coaching basketball. This book will cover insights, basketball drills, instruction, Xs and Os, and so much more that goes into coaching basketball.






The Wooden-Sharman Method: A Guide To Winning Basketball


17. The Wooden-Sharman Method: A Guide To Winning Basketball

Book Price: $99

About This Basketball Coaching Book: “The Wooden-Sharman Method: A Guide to Winning Basketball” encapsulates the legendary coaching philosophies and strategies of John Wooden and Bill Sharman, two of basketball’s most revered figures. This comprehensive guide delves into the core principles that propelled both coaches to unparalleled success on the court, offering readers an in-depth look at their innovative approaches to the game.





The Hoops Whisperer


18. The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Heads of Basketball’s Best Players

Book Price: $8.26

About This Basketball Coaching Book: Idan Ravin is one of the world’s best basketball trainers. Amazingly he got there without ever even playing in college or the pros. The Hoops Whisperer will talk about some of his interactions with players like Chris Paul, Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and many other high-level players. In his book, Idan breaks down some of his unorthodox drills and the techniques that go along with his training.






19. Practical Modern Basketball

Book Price: $7.25

About This Basketball Coaching Book: There is a reason that coach John Wooden has multiple books on this list. As arguably (very arguably) the best college basketball coach of all time, he has earned it too. He was a coach that focused on every detail and considered no task too small when it came to preparation. Practical Modern Basketball will show you how he was able to be successful and how to develop your basketball players on the court and as people.





The Golden Whistle


20. The Golden Whistle: Going Beyond: The Journey to Coaching Success

Book Price: $14.99

About This Basketball Coaching Book: This basketball coaching book is endorsed by coaches like John Calipari, Coach K, and George Raveling. The Golden Whistle will break down ten golden nuggets that a young coach will learn on his way to becoming the coach who can hold the golden whistle. This book is designed to help you become a better coach and help you improve your life and the lives of the people around you.



Best Basketball Coaching Books Conclusion

A great basketball coach is always learning, growing, and ultimately becoming a better coach in all facets. This basketball coaching books list will help you learn from some of the best coaches of all time. However, not every coaching philosophy and strategy is going to fit you.

It is up to you to find what works best. Figure out the best game plan for yourself as a coach and for your team. Good luck on your journey as a coach! Once again, please feel free to recommend any great basketball coaching books in the comments we may have missed!





6 Responses

  1. I would include, “Coaching Basketball Successfully,” by Morgan Wootten. One of the best books about coaching I’ve ever read and the first one I recommend to coaches.

  2. No list of basketball coaching books is complete without: “Practical Modern Basketball” by John Wooden and “Basketball Methods” by Pete Newell.

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