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Our favorite reads for NICA coaches

It’s time to curl up with a good book and get inspired!
As the days get shorter, and the weather turns colder (in many of our leagues, at least!) we’re looking forward to cozying up on the couch next to our trail dogs with a cup of tea and a good book. For coaches who are just finishing their time with their teams, the off-season is an excellent time to reflect through reading! For our spring coaches who are starting to plan and ramp up their season, it’s the perfect moment to be inspired by a good book!

Here are a collection of favorites from the NICA team:

Inside Out Coaching by Joe Ehrman

“This is truly the original great work of how to become a transformational coach. Coaches have great power to do good or to do harm. For me, Ehrman’s work detailed how to become that coach that ensures that my leadership and coaching philosophy turns sports into good and that I coach and lead in a way that makes a positive impact in other’s lives.” – Amanda Carey, NICA President

Good for a Girl by Lauren Fleschman

“Fleshman’s writing helps us think about how we can better support girls and women on our teams – and the lessons here are applicable to all athletes who are underrepresented in our sport.” – Emily Green, VP of Development

Good for a Girl is not just an inspiring and empowering athlete-memoir, it’s a series of urgent calls-to-action regarding how we can create a better environment and future for female athletes. This is a key read – not just for female coaches, but for all of our coaches. It illuminates how many modern sports mindsets and practices are failing girls and women in sports. What’s even better: Fleshman offers practical advice on how to start creating more inclusive and healthy environments for girls (which in turn impacts all athletes for the better).” – Em Meier, Coach Education Manager

Vital Connections: Harnessing the Power of Relationship to Impact Lives of Young People by Lou Bergholz

“All of Bergholz’s work has had a profound impact on how I coach, how groups create positive, enduring cultures and how I relate to young people. However, Vital Connections is the best practical resource I’ve seen on how to engage with and connect with youth to build trusting relationships. Coaching truly is all about caring and connection and Vital Connections helped me understand how to bring that to my coaching and leadership practice.” – Amanda Carey, NICA President

Every Moment Matters by John O’Sullivan 

“This book gives coaches concrete examples of how to build relationships with their athletes, and help athletes build relationships with each other. Championship programs are built by focusing on athletes’ long term social and physical development. This book inspires coaches to put their positive coaching philosophies into action.” – Mike McGarry, Director of Coaching & Education

Every Moment Matters is full of actionable insights that help you intentionally make the most out of the large and small moments that you have with your athletes, thus being the best coach that you can be for them.” – Emily Green, VP of Development

The Coach’s Guide to Teaching by Doug Lemov

“Coaches are teachers. Lemov focuses on teaching and learning for coaches, helping coaches develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities to be great teachers. While many of the examples in the book come from traditional sports and invasion sports, the concepts and ideas can be applied to all sports. ” – Mike McGarry, Director of Coaching & Education

Coaching Better Every Season by Wade Gilbert

“Honestly my go-to book for season planning. There are fantastic templates, replicable ideas, and easy-to-implement activities to help develop your athletes, coaches, and your team – everything from goal-setting to season planning to icebreakers and culture-building ideas. It balances research-backed, proven coaching strategies with super-concise, practical takeaways you can put into action immediately. I keep it on my desk and will often flip it open to a random page for inspiration before I head to practice.” – Em Meier, Coach Education Manager

What books (or podcasts, TED talks, etc.)  would YOU suggest to your fellow NICA coach? Let us know what authors have inspired your coaching path and philosophy. And, if you’re looking for a great gift idea for a fellow coach (or yourself) consider picking up one of these reads! And…once you finish a book, let us know what you think!

Special thanks to Shimano, a NICA platinum level partner

NICA Partners are enabling NICA to reinvent youth sports and engage families in a thriving cycling community, for life.

Our partners’ commitment to NICA’s mission has a huge impact on our student-athletes, their families and communities across the nation. NICA partners are changing the world by getting #MoreKidsOnBikes!