Athletes Top Reads – A List of Motivational Books for High Performers [Updated Regularly]

Fri 3rd Mar 2023

Ever wonder what books are read by individuals who perform at a high level, like professional athletes?

Over the past years, we have collected the top reads of our past trailblazing athlete & military placements. We have gathered the list into this blog article for you to access anytime.

A set of various reads guaranteed to inspire you in many ways, help you find success, both in business and beyond, confront challenging circumstances, and lead your teams effectively!

The add-victor team’s list, including Steve White-Cooper’s favourite books, CEO & Founder of add-victor:
  1. Team of Teams by General Stanley McChrystal
  2. The Boys on the Boat by Daniel James Brown
  3. 32 Ways to be a Champion in Business by Earvin Magic Johnson
  4. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
  5. Open by Andre Agassi
  6. Legacy by James Kerr
  7. The Mind Management by Dr Steve Peters
  8. Leadership in War by Andrew Roberts
  9. The Snowball by Warren Buffett
  10. High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard
  11. The Sports Gene by David Epstein

Tyler Bernardini’s List, Professional Basketballer to Corporate Banking:

1. The Undoing Project by Michael Lewis
2. David & Goliath by Michael Gladwell
3. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

Adedayo Adebayo’s List, former Bath & England Rugby Union Player:

1. My Name is Why by Lemn Sissy
2. Gurkha Odyssey by Pete Duffell
3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Kathryn Fowler’s List, GB Water Polo player to Asset Management:

1.Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
2. Beyond the Horizon by Richard Parks
3. Energy Trading & Investing by David W. Edwards

These books capture the varying interests of Kathryn; from important social dialogues, inspiring stories of adventure and discovery -which she aptly read as she transitioned from sport to industry-, to sector insights she has built her second career in.

George Messum’s List, Captain of Oxford University’s Rugby Team to FinTech:

1. Turn the Ship Around by L. David Marquet
2. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
3. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

Holly Norton’s List, GB Rower & World Champion to Investment Banking:

1. Outliers by Malcom Gladwell
2. Think & Grow Rich by Napolean Hill
3. Daring Greatly by Brené Brown

Marija Mirkovic’s List, Australian ATP top 250 professional Tennis Player to Finance:

1. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
2. Shadowplay, Behind the Lines & Under Fire by Tim Marshall
3. The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andrić

Nikki Emerson’s List, GB T53 Wheelchair Racer to Head of Business Development & Partnerships at Six Nations Rugby:

1. Prisoners of Geography by Tim Marshall
2. Phantoms in the Brain by V.S. Ramachandran & Sandra Blakeslee
3. A Little History of the World by T.H Gombrich

Christine Pedersen’s List, 4x Norwegian National Swimming Champion to Corporate Banking:

1. Educated by Tara Westover
2. You Play the Girl by Carina Chocano
3. 21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

A curated list around the value of education, the gender norms etched into western society, and the greatest problems we’re faced with in the 21st century and tips to combat them.

Alan Campbell’s list, 4x Olympic GB Rower to Investment Management:

1. Before an Olympics by Inner Game of Tennis
2. About Rowing by Assault on Lake Casitas
3. About Business by The Speed of Trust

Leah Wilkinson’s List, GB Hockey Player & Most Capped Sportsperson in Welsh History:

1. My Own Words by Ruth Ginsburg
2. The Art of Resilience by Ross Edgley
3. The Northern Lights Trilogy by Philip Pullman

A balanced list of reads; a book to inspire, a book to promote resilience, and a book to help relax.

Shauna Mullin’s List, Olympic Beach Volleyball Player to an Exciting Career in Digital Product in Finance:

1.The Guide by William Holden
2. Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by E. Favilli & F. Cavallo
3. A Good Time to be a Girl by Helena Morrissey

Lawrence Clarke’s List, Double Olympic 110m Hurdler to a Successful Career in Banking:

1. Seven Pillars of Wisdom by TE Lawrence
2. Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
3. Dictionary of Dates by Everyman’s Library

Jane O'Donoghue’s List, Professional World No.2 Tennis Player to Banking:

1. Who Moved My Cheese by Dr. Spencer Johnson
2. Grit by Angela Duckworth
3. Winning Ugly by Brad Gilbert

Nils Mordt’s List, Saracens Centre & Commonwealth Silver Medallist to Banking:

1. Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
2. Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
3. 11 Rings: The Soul of Success by Phil Jackson

Matthew Holliday’s List, former GB canoeist to Corporate Banking:

1. Black Box Thinking by Matthew Syed
2. The Chimp Paradox by Steve Peters
3. Treasure Islands by Nicholas Shaxson