If you’re looking to jumpstart your business, fuel your entrepreneurial spirit or simply find inspiration in your daily life through sports, you’re in luck. There are a trove of business-inspired-by-sports books out there that will not only get the juices flowing but also offer insight into the world’s biggest sports leagues, brands, executives and more. Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best titles you should read this year, whether you’re a businessman, sports fan, or both. (Bonus: Amazon recently reduced it's free shipping minimum to $35 down from $49, so you're just a few clicks away from some new, inspiring reads.)
Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike
by Phil Knight, $8.87 for paperback and $25.36 for hardcover at amazon.com
Most memoirs about business are full of CEO-jargon and hard to read. But in this memoir by the creator of Nike, Phil Knight the inside story on how he built his "swoosh" startup into one of the world’s most iconic brands, chronicling the disappointments, setbacks and lessons he learned along the way.
Call an Audible: Let My Pivot from Harvard Law to NFL Coach Inspire Your Transition
by Daron K. Roberts, $16.95 at amazon.com
This is one of those books you can finish in a day. In a compelling, detailed account, former Harvard Law student Daron Roberts details his journey to becoming an NFL coach without any prior experience. Roberts gives a behind-the-scenes look at the nature of pro sports through his inspiring, beat-the-odds journey.
Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers
by Timothy Ferriss, $16.80 at amazon.com
From the author of the New York Times best-selling title The 4-Hour Workweek, Ferris taps into the expertise from interviews with more than 200 guests on his podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show. In addition to accounts from athletes, including icons of powerlifting, gymnastics, surfing and more, there is also insight from celebrities, black-market biochemists and more.
The Captain Class: The Hidden Force That Creates the World's Greatest Teams
by Sam Walker, out May 16, 2017, $16.86 at amazon.com
The first part of this story comes from the desire of Sam Walker, a former global sports editor of The Wall Street Journal, to find the GOAT teams in sports. The Captain Class profiles those teams—from the Boston Celtics team from 1956-69, to the Soviet Union hockey team, to the “99ers” U.S. Women’s National team members—and takes dozens of interviews with elite athletes around the world to explain the leadership qualities of the men and women who led them to success. Out in May 2017, it’s a good summer read to preorder this spring.
Attitude: Develop a Winning Mindset on and off the Court
by Jay Wright, $18.30 at amazon.com
Sometimes sports are about more than Xs and Os, and sometimes business is about more than finance and marketing. In this book, the coach of the Villanova University men’s basketball team Jay Wright shares his competitive philosophy and core values that help to build a winning culture. You can read an excerpt from the book here, where Wright details a pivotal moment inside the Villanova halftime locker room that helped them win the 2016 NCAA tournament national title game against North Carolina.
The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse
by Tom Verducci, out March 28, 2017, $18.30 at amazon.com
Written by SI’s senior baseball writer, The Cubs Way accounts the Chicago Cubs’ 108-year journey to end the longest championship drought in sport and become the 2016 World Series Champions. Using his inside access and reporting, Verducci takes readers behind the scenes and shares how team president Theo Epstein and manager Joe Maddon built a clubhouse culture that cultivated the best team in baseball.