Reading has been a passion for Oregon State coach Terry Liskevych since he was a young kid. When he traveled the world as head coach of the U.S. women’s Olympic team, he would frequently visit used book stores in faraway cities, continually stoking a personal library that often exceeded the shelf space in his home office. As he once said, "Book reading broadens your horizons.” He believes that today more than ever.
It won’t surprise you to learn that plenty of the books he has read over the years are about other coaches and their philosophies on building teams and teaching athletes. Here, you'll find a list of 11 of his favorites, with a quick take on why he liked them. These are books that helped him shape his philosophy, and they can help you shape yours, too.
Brent Rushall & Daryl Siedentop – “Daryl Siedentop was my Ph.D advisor at Ohio State. This book is the bible of operant conditioning and behavior modification. It talks about how a coach can use behavioral psychology for success with a team.”
Neil Amdur – “This book changed my life. It’s about a football coach, George Davis, who coaches by democracy. Players choose the position they play and their starting lineup every week. He won 54 games in a row.”
Bill Walsh (with Brian Billick and James Peterson). This book is out of print, but if you can get your hands on it, it will off you great insights into the philosophy of coaching.”
Tom Farrey. “A fascinating analysis of how our sports system works and how it compares to other sports systems in the world.”
Kathleen J. DeBoer. “A very well-written book that makes you think about the differences between coaching males and females.”
W. Timothy Gallwey. “This book helps you understand that you’re in control of your mental game.”
James Kerr. “Intriguing story of championship rugby teams in New Zealand. Thisbook gave me some great ideas on leadership and organization.”
Alan G. Launder. “This book gives every coach a toolkit for how to organize practices in a meaningful way.”
Terry Orlick. “Many great ideas in this book about different ways to improve the mental game.”
Rainer Martens. “The first primer on coaching in the U.S.”
Anson Dorrance (with Tim Nash). “A close look at what made Anson Dorrance one of the great coaches of all time.”