Coaching Athletes to Be Their Best

Motivational Interviewing in Sports

Stephen Rollnick, Jonathan Fader, Jeff Breckon, and Theresa B. Moyers

HardcoverPaperbacke-bookprint + e-book
November 4, 2019
ISBN 9781462541270
Price: $60.00 $51.00
218 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
November 4, 2019
ISBN 9781462541263
Price: $25.00 $21.25
218 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
October 29, 2019
ePub and PDF ?
Price: $25.00 $21.25
218 Pages
print + e-book
Paperback + e-Book (ePub and PDF) ?
Price: $50.00 $27.50
218 Pages

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“MI is a scientifically validated technique for strengthening relationships through effective communication. This book shows how to use MI to connect with athletes and help them find solutions to problems. It is easy to read, with lots of real-life examples and practical suggestions for getting athletes to take ownership of their actions. If you want to have a positive impact on athletes, develop trusting relationships, and enhance motivation, then this book is for you. I highly recommend it as a text for Psychology of Coaching classes; effective communication between coaches and athletes is central to making sports a positive experience.”

—Robert Weinberg, PhD, Department of Kinesiology and Health, Miami University

“The information age offers endless possibilities that can help teams and organizations succeed. But we can never forget the importance of connecting as people and building a winning culture of communication, trust, and teamwork. I appreciate the insights of Coaching Athletes to Be Their Best, and its focus on the motivational power of a common purpose.”

—Hall of Famer Joe Torre, four-time World Series champion manager of the New York Yankees and MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer

“This truly useful and inspiring book will enable coaches to apply MI mindsets and skills immediately to benefit their athletes and teams. The clear, uncluttered language addresses coaching challenges and solutions. The authors simplify MI without losing its essence, making the book uniquely relatable for a diverse readership. The Toolbox in Part II will help coaches rapidly enact changes to promote their athletes’ success. I recommend this book to anyone hoping to learn evidence-based skills for improving performance and clinical outcomes. The book will have an impact far beyond athletics—the writing is so accessible that all professionals beginning or refreshing their practice of MI will find it compelling.”

—Karen S. Ingersoll, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences, University of Virginia

“MI has been a critical aspect of my sport psychology work for 15 years. Finally, there is a book specifically applying MI to sport, from an all-star group of authors. Straightforward enough for coaches to apply, yet nuanced enough for counseling professionals to learn from, this is a foundational book for the field.”

—Mark Aoyagi, PhD, Professor and Director of Sport and Performance Psychology, University of Denver

“To help athletes reach their potential, I try to understand their personalities, see what makes them tick, and ultimately find their ‘drivers.’ Using MI would definitely help this process. Anyone who aspires to be as good a coach as he or she can possibly be should read this book.”

—Matthew Maynard, MBE, Head Coach, Glamorgan County Cricket Club, United Kingdom

“This is the first book devoted to the use of MI—an important tool whose efficacy is well documented in many real-world settings—in sports. MI helps the sport psychologist, coach, or other professional ask the right questions that enable athletes to find their own answers. It is applicable in a wide range of sports contexts and with athletes of all ages and abilities. MI should be one of the first tools in the toolbox of the sport and exercise psychology practitioner. Including many helpful examples, this is an invaluable text for students in sport psychology graduate programs and individuals seeking professional qualifications in the field.”

—Ian Maynard, PhD, CPsychol, FBPsS, School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Science, University of Essex, United Kingdom

“Motivation and behavior change are the core of what many of us in the sport and performance industry live and breathe every day. This book is a great resource for understanding MI as a tool to better understand and leverage athletes’ own motivation to unlock their potential. The book provides a conceptual understanding of MI, as well as practical applications. Extremely user friendly, it gives you guidance you can apply to virtually any situation or behavioral challenge.”

—Angus Mugford, PhD, CMPC, Vice President of High Performance, Toronto Blue Jays

“This book is a 'must have' for coaches in all sports. As a coach, I want to guide my athletes to greatness, and get frustrated when I am unable to effectively do so. This book provides insight and instruction on how to use MI to help my athletes determine their own course of action and become the performers they want to be.”

—Matt Rhule, Head Football Coach, Baylor University

“An outstanding resource for any leader who wants to build relationships so strong they can bear the weight of truth. This book delves into what MI is and gives you practical ways to use it in a variety of circumstances. If you are a coach of any kind, the strategies taught in this book will enable you to help your athletes help themselves. I will continue to refer to these tools to help me better serve the athletes I work with.”

—Justin Su’a, MS, Mental Skills Coach, Tampa Bay Rays

“This unique book brings MI into the world of sports coaching. MI is radically different from the way coaches traditionally have tried to solve challenges with athletes and teams, by prescribing solutions to problems. By building relationships, listening empathically, and meeting athletes where they are, the book shows how coaches can stoke the athlete’s own internal fire to change. Ample scripts illustrate which communication strategies work, which don’t work, and why. A strength of this book is its focus on the coach–athlete relationship, which is often overlooked at all levels of sport. The authors teach coaches how to build a strong relational base as an essential precursor to any effective behavior change. A 'must read' for both coaches and mental health professionals who work with athletes.”

—Deborah Roth Ledley, PhD, private practice, Plymouth Meeting and Narberth, Pennsylvania

“Sport can be compassionate yet ruthless, joyous yet heartbreaking. Can conversations in sport get better? Yes, just like in all high-pressure working environments, they can—with a strong foundation of care, trust, and more skillful communication. This book has the potential to improve communication between coaches and players, and to positively affect team culture.”

—Imtiaz Ahmad, MD, Head of Medical Services, Queens Park Rangers Football Club, United Kingdom

“Beautifully presents the art and science of building relationships on curiosity and empathy. One of the most significant accelerants for unlocking human potential is found in the relationships we have with others, ourselves, and our craft. MI can enable coaches and psychologists to unlock the solutions that lie just beneath the surface of everyday challenges. I highly recommend this book.”

—Michael Gervais, PhD, sport psychologist; cofounder, Compete to Create

“The ideas, skills, and strategies presented in this book are so applicable in everyday life that it would be easy to underestimate their transformative power. The book is a treasure trove of interpersonal coaching skills. Emphasizing affirmation over praise is just one example of a subtle change with potentially revolutionary consequences. This book is essential reading for coaches, senior leaders, and executives in sport.”

—James Vaughan, MPhil, Head of Football and Coaching Psychology, AIK Football Club, Sweden; cofounder, Player Development Project

“This book provides a brilliant approach to relationship coaching that will resonate with coaches and today's generation of athletes, allowing both to reach new levels of performance and quality of experience. I deeply believe that the strongest leaders, managers, and coaches continually grow and try to find the most effective strategies. This book teaches a unique approach and guides the learner with robust examples of its application.”

—Kathy Delaney-Smith, all-time winningest Ivy League basketball coach, Women's Basketball, Harvard University

“Earlier in my career, I didn't understand why many players appeared defensive and resistant to suggestions about changing their behaviors. MI taught me that it wasn't the content of my messages that was the problem, but how I was communicating. MI concepts have become an integral part of my daily communication with players—and these are the concepts you will learn about in this brilliant book. I know where I will be heading the next time I am struggling to make that initial key communication breakthrough with a player! If you wish to build quicker relationships with your athletes, and deliver those vital corrections without causing resistance, buy this book!”

—Matt Wells, First Team Coach, Fulham Football Club, United Kingdom

“This book is essential reading for any coach who wants to build a robust toolkit for leadership. The authors, all experts in MI, provide an effective way forward for the coaching impasses that arise with demotivated, disengaged, or entitled athletes. Their paradigm-shifting approach is especially important for coaching the current generation of athletes, who are particularly expectant of a collaborative approach.”

—Michael W. Otto, PhD, Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, Boston University

“The book is loaded with valuable strategies for connecting with athletes in a way that will truly prepare them to compete at the highest possible level. It validated many of my methods, as well as teaching me immensely helpful new methods. Read this book and read it again. Fill it with notes in the margins and use it as a guide for 'being your best' as a coach. Your athletes will thank you for it!”

—Steve Rainbolt, Director of Track and Field and Cross Country, Wichita State University

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