book changed my life

Top 7 Mental Toughness Books of 2017 (So Far)


When No One Was Watching- Carli LLoyd

I always enjoyed watching her compete for the US Women’s Soccer team. You could see her passion and effort in her play. Besides, she had one of the coolest goals of all time from mid-field no less. This story discusses the long journey for her and her super-intense work-ethic.  She was always passed over and that is what drove her to be successful. My favorite line from the book- If you empty the bucket in practice, it’ll never be empty for you in the game. 



Find A Way- Diana Nyad

Probably one of the most sickest feats in all of sports! Swimming from Cuba to Florida Keys. Over 110 miles and over 50 hours of non-stop continuous swimming fighting off boxed jelly fish, sharks, hypothermia, you name it. She began this epic journey when she was 25 years old, but completed it on her fifth attempt at the age of 64. Her mantra- you guessed it “Find A Way.”




Living With A Seal- Jesse Itzler

Any book that makes you want to tweak your own work-out is a perfect one for me. A hilarious, yet inspiring story about how A Navy SEAL came to live with Jesse and his wife Sara Blakley (founder of spanx). It is a no-nonsense book on simply getting better and the entire mission is about getting better every single day. “Seal” trains Jesse with such an extreme vigor that there is frankly little time or regard for anything else in life. Jesse a marathoner to begin with ends up performing feats he didn’t think he’d do and getting tougher in the process.



How the Mighty Fall- Jim Collins

I thought Good to Great was well, great. This book made the top 7 mental toughness books because in many ways, this book was even better than Good to Great! One of the lines from the book is all successful teams are successful the same way, all unsuccessful teams fail in their own way. It delves into the five stages of how the mighty businesses simply failed. This book is a must read for any coach, entrepreneur or c-level executive. It is an extremely fast read, so be prepared to read it twice for steps your business can take to avoid the downfall.



Surfacing- Siri Lindley- 

There is something truly special about a coach. A coach is someone who takes you someplace that you want to go. Siri is known as one of the best triathlon coaches in the world. This biographical account begins with her childhood, the hinge moment of competing in triathlons and her epic international wins and place atop the sport. Her story also includes her courageous act of coming out as gay and her journey of transitioning into coaching. An excellent read for any coaches or athletes.



Legacy- James Kerr

The story of the all-blacks! What the All Blacks can teach us about the business of life. It’s a must read for ANY LEADER. How you develop leadership, ownership, and accountability. Basically, can you leave the jersey in a better place than how you found it, because Better Men make Better All Blacks! 




The Mindside Manifesto- Dr. Bhrett McCabe

“Manure may not be pleasant, but before fertilizer, it was the go-to solution for crops. So for growth to occur, success has to push through layers of crap.” Love this line amongst all of the nuggets of training the mental game and developing a competitive mindset. I’ve known Dr. McCabe for several years now through the PGA and tours and we agree on many aspects of the mental preparation. Except, he takes it way beyond general sport psychology books in challenging the reader to create your own manifesto. This book makes my list for the top 7 mental toughness books. A solid read for athletes.


Dr. Rob Bell is a Sport Psychology Coach. His company DRB & associates is based in Indianapolis.  Some clients have included: University of Notre Dame, Marriott, and Walgreens. Check out all the books on Mental Toughness