5 Books Every Athlete Should Read

Sarah Haskins, Olympic triathlete
"The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle

"Psychology books like those by Eckhart Tolle have helped me learn how to stay present in my mind and to better understand negative reactions," said Haskins. "Competition is an extremely mental game. Often, people are surprised to learn how much improving your mental skills can help you to compete at a higher level."

Grete Eliassen, Professional freeskier
"Mystic Cool" by Don Joseph Goewey

"I love reading self-help books, but I have trouble finishing them because I fall asleep," said Eliassen. Not the case with her favorite, "Mystic Cool: A Proven Approach to Transcend Stress, Achieve Optimal Brain Function, and Maximize Your Creative Intelligence." "It's all about handling stress. I really like it."

Ben Hoffman, two-time U.S. national champion Ironman triathlete
"Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living" by Pema Chodron

"This might be categorized as a sort of self-help book, but I think it transcends such simple placement," said Hoffman. "It's just a good reminder of how to tackle the big challenges in life... One thing at a time."

Rebecca Rusch, three-time 24-hour world champion mountain bike racer
"The Talent Code" by Daniel Coyle

"A fascinating study on how to we 'learn' to excel in sport, music or anything," said Rusch. "It explores how great athletes learn and how our brains grow myelin to help us master any skills. It's valuable for anyone from recreational to elite athletes who just want to be better and keep developing their skills in the most efficient way."

Chrissie Wellington, three-time world Ironman champion
"The Pillars of the Earth" by Ken Follett

"It's my favorite book," said Wellington. "It's about building a medieval cathedral, which doesn't sound very interesting. But it deals with ambitions and conflict and upheaval, and it's just phenomenal. I tell everyone about it because I love it so much." Ambitions, conflict, and upheaval? Yep, that will sound familiar to most athletes.

Tell us, which books inspire you to be a stronger athlete?

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