The 16 Best Volleyball Books for Coaches and Players

Although nothing can ever beat experience when it comes to learning, reading volleyball books about other players' and coaches' expertise will have an impact on how you teach or play the game.

From inspirational memoirs of famous athletes' volleyball journeys to informative manuals written by veteran coaches, this list of 16 volleyball books has everything you need.

You'll learn new things and some stories might even make you laugh or cry.

Let's get right to it:

Must-Read Volleyball Books:

1. “Thinking Volleyball” by Mike Hebert

Thinking Volleyball

Hall-of-fame volleyball coach Mike Hebert goes beyond teaching basic skills, drills, and systems to share his unique insights for a more analytical way of coaching.

This is a deep-thinking book. And he applies his Ph.D. in philosophy to teach you about decision making, promoting a positive gym culture, strengthening team trust, and thinking outside the box.

Insights and Strategies for Winning Volleyball

Mike Hebert started coaching in 1976, and throughout his career, he’s handled teams from the University of Pittsburgh, University of New Mexico, University of Illinois, and the University of Minnesota.

In this book, he talks about his experience in coaching collegiate volleyball, sharing even the technical aspects.

This book has a ton of knowledge on all phases of coaching and will help you become a better coach.

3. “Misty: Digging deep in volleyball and life” by Misty May-Treanor and Jil Lieber Steeg

Misty - Digging deep in volleyball and life

This volleyball book is an emotional and inspirational read, particularly to young female athletes.

Misty shares what it’s been like for her as a professional athlete--scores, tournaments, and training, but she doesn’t shy away from intimate details of her life either.

She talks about growing up under athletic parents, problems with her alcoholic dad, and the loss she felt when her mother died of cancer.

This is definitely a valuable book to anyone who loves volleyball.

4. “The Volleyball Handbook” by Bob Miller

The Volleyball Handbook

Bob Miller coached volleyball for more than 50 years, leading his teams to numerous state championships and WPIAL titles.

In this book, he shares his experience, practical advice on coaching boys’ and girls’ volleyball teams, and his exact methods that led to multiple team victories.

This book will help coaches expand their players’ potential and positively change the way they coach.

5. “Aggressive Volleyball” by Pete Waite

Aggressive Volleyball

In this book, head coach Pete Waite shares techniques and lessons from 20 years of coaching volleyball.

It’s filled with drills and concepts that will surely challenge players, and it’s a great book to read if you’re looking to take your team to the next level with an aggressive type of play.

6. “The Volleyball Coaching Bible (The Volleyball Coaching Bible, #1)” by American Volleyball Coaches Association

The Volleyball Coaching Bible

Who better to learn volleyball coaching from than the best volleyball coaches?

With insights from Mike Hebert, Russ Rose, Mary Wise, and other respected names in the field, The Volleyball Coaching Bible is filled with guidance to help you coach and condition your team into the best they can be.

And with 24 top volleyball coaches sharing their own strategies and methods for winning, you can pick and choose which ones to imitate and hopefully help lead your team to victory.

7. “The Volleyball Coaching Bible Volume II (The Volleyball Coaching Bible, #2)” by American Volleyball Coaches Association

The Volleyball Coaching Bible Volume II

After the success of the first book, 20 top volleyball experts, with the guidance of venerated coach Cecile Reynaud, collaborated on a second book to help you improve your coaching skills more.

It’s a guide to help you uncover your athletes’ potential, training and conditioning them, and it’ll help you analyze your opponents too.

Everything you need to build and shape a successful program--be it for high school, college, or beach volleyball--is all in this book.

8. “Beach Volleyball” by Karch Kiraly, Byron Shewman

Beach Volleyball

When Karch Kiraly and Byron Shewman collaborate on a book about beach volleyball, you know it’s going to be good.

This book is great for beginners in particular because it provides extensive details on training, exercises, workouts, and technique shared by the King of the Beach himself.

If you love beach volleyball and if you’re a huge fan of Karch Kiraly, then this book is a must-read.

9. “Live Like Line / Love Like Ellyn” by Bill Hoeft

Live Like Line Love Like Ellyn

This book is based on a true story and it’ll take you on an emotional rollercoaster as author Bill Hoeft shares his experiences reaching out to the Found Family after they’ve lost a daughter and a mother.

Caroline (the daughter) is the heart and captain of her high school volleyball team set to win its second state title. She was so important to the whole group that her sudden death really hit the team hard.

This is a story about grief, family, friendship, and community.

It’s both heartbreaking and uplifting, and it made such an impact that Sean McNamara directed a film called The Miracle Season that’s based on the book.

10. “Dream Like A Champion: Wins, Losses, and Leadership the Nebraska Volleyball Way” by Brandon Vogel and John Cook

Dream Like A Champion

“If you remain open-minded, your ego will evaporate with experience.”

This is one of the best quotes in the book for coaches and even applies to life outside of sports.

And there are even more beautiful insights like that one as John Cook relates his story starting out as a football coach to becoming a volleyball student to becoming the head coach of the Nebraska Women’s Volleyball Team in 2000 where they won the national championship on his first season.

He led the team to more wins and even got the nation’s top winning percentage in women’s volleyball.

11. “Big Girl in the Middle” by Gabrielle Reece

Big Girl in the Middle

Gabrielle Reece was tall as a kid and by the time she was 18, she was a professional model.

She started playing volleyball when she was in high school and that helped her win an athletic scholarship to Florida State.

This book highlights her life as both a model and an athlete.

Her imposing figure makes for amazing magazine covers as well as an intimidating opponent in the court, and the way she deals with this balance of femininity and athletic strength makes her a great role model for all female athletes.

12. “Coach Your Brains Out: Lessons on the Art and Science of Coaching Volleyball” by John Mayer and Billy Ketch Allen

Coach Your Brains Out

Coach Your Brains Out started as a hit coaching podcast, and it’s now a book of compiled knowledge from volleyball experts they’ve interviewed throughout multiple episodes.

From chapters on mindset and motor skills to culture and leadership, this book makes research on sports more understandable, hence easier to apply.

The best thing is a lot of its lessons are universal and could be applied to coaching on other sports.

13. “The Untold Story of William G. Morgan, Inventor of Volleyball” by Joel Dearing

The Untold Story of William G. Morgan

Although William G. Morgan is well-known for inventing volleyball, his complete story hasn’t been recorded until now.

The Untold Story of William G. Morgan is a concise biography of the father of volleyball, from his early life in New York to his time in Massachusetts where he started creating the game.

Dearing then recounts how volleyball evolved as it spread around the world, and some of the rules’ evolution might surprise a lot of fans.

14. “We Were Kings: A Deep Dive Inside the Lives of Professional Beach Volleyball Players” by Travis Mewhirter

We Were Kings

A lot of people seem to think beach volleyball players live the lavish life, filled with sponsorships, commercials, and prize money.

But that’s not always the case as sportswriter and professional beach volleyball player Travis Mewhirter shows in this book.

With more than 100 accounts of beach volleyball players, Travis details the hardships these men and women face every day all to play the game that they love.

15. “Volleyball Coaching Wizards: Insights and Experience from Some of the Worlds Great Coaches” by John Forman and Mark Lebedew

Volleyball Coaching Wizards

Volleyball Coaching Wizards has a mission to find the best volleyball coaches, interview them about their experience, philosophies, and strategies of winning, and to share them for other coaches’ inspiration.

In this book, eight master coaches of volleyball--Carl McGown, Giovanni Guidetti, Ruth Nelson, Jefferson Williams, Teri Clemens, Garth Pischke, Tom Turco, and Craig Marshall--share their expertise in one place. All for your reference!

16. “Volleyball Coaching Wizards - Wizard Wisdom: Insights and experience from some of the world's best coaches” by John Forman and Mark Lebedew

Wizard Wisdom

Following on their mission to collect insights from prominent and accomplished volleyball coaches, John Forman and Mark Lebedew publish another book filled with helpful information for beginner and seasoned coaches alike.

With wisdom from successful coaches like Jan De Brandt, Sue Gozansky, Mick Haley, and so many others, this book should be treasured by volleyball coaches of all levels and categories.

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A review two-fer - Volleyball Coaching Wizards - June 15, 2020

[…] Volleyball Coaching Wizards and the Wizard Wisdom books appear on a list of The 16 Best Volleyball Books for Coaches and Players by the Volleyball Expert […]


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