Reading List: Great Books for Mindset

If you’ve been in the roller derby game for a minute, you’ve probably realised (or been told repeatedly) that at least half of what determines success is mental.

Mental toughness, mindset, attitude… all of these things basically mean the same – how you think, what you think about and how you deal with things – and they have an absolutely massive effect on your performance, progress and enjoyment of whatever it is you’re doing.

They are things that can be applied to every aspect of your life, not just to roller derby. And, if practiced regularly, can have an extremely positive effect on your relationships, mental health, stress management, sense of worth, self esteem and achievements.

So yeah, IMO, all this stuff is pretty good and I think you should find out more about it!

Enter, the Reading List! A bunch of books* wot I have read and think are good.

The Reading List

Bounce: The Myth of Talent and the Power of Practice. This was one of the first books I read on talent and it was really eye opening and inspiring. In it, Matthew debunks the myth of talent, reveals the real secrets of sporting success and finds out why certain groups of people are better at certain things. 

Mindset: This book delves into the differences between a fixed and a growth mindset and shows you how the right mindset can help you be successful. If you’re a coach, read this! It will show you how to help create a growth mindset in your students/skaters.

Mind Gym: This is a classic sports mindset book that uses anecdotes and examples of successful athletes to drive home the importance of mental toughness. Some of the references were lost on me (because I’m British and have no idea about basketball) but it gives you practical advice on strengthening your own mind.

The Obstacle Is The Way: Featured in Iron Octopus’ Roller Derby Book Club, this book teaches you how to turn adversity into an advantage without just saying, “think positively!” It can be applied to sport, business, relationships… any aspect of your life really and introduces you to the philosophy of Stoicism. (I once heard Bloody Mary of Texas be described as Stoic when she jams so I’d take being Stoic as a massive compliment!)

Better Than Before: This isn’t strictly about mindset but delves into creating habits by figuring out what kind of person you are so you can choose the best ways to create and keep good habits and break bad ones. Habits, in my opinion, are the cornerstone of building a good mindset because successful people have good habits – such as training when they don’t want to, tracking their progress etc.

The Talent Code: In this book, the author uses neuroscience to dissect what talent really is and dispels the myth that people are just born great. He shows us that we have a lot more control over what we’re good at than we think and investigates “talent hotbeds” around the world. This is also another great one to read if you’re a coach.

Books I’m Reading Now/About To Read

If you prefer to life-hack your reading so you just get the essentials or if you prefer audio books, sign up to Blinkist.

Blinkist is an app which summarises loads of fantastic books so you just get the juicy, most important bits and you can either read or listen to them.

I love to discover new books, so if you have any book recommendations, send them my way!

Happy reading.


*These are affiliate links which means, if you buy them through that link, I get a wee bit of commission. You never pay any extra but it means you help to feed a girl and keep this blog alive!

P.S Derby Brain: Mental Toughness for Freshies is still available!

derby brain mental toughness for freshies
Buy Now