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Section 1 – Books About Disc Golf
There aren’t a lot of books written specifically about disc golf, our list starts with the 4 best and most enjoyable.
ZEN AND THE ART OF DISC GOLF
by Patrick McCormick
If you only pick up one book on this list, make it this one. In this book, Patrick McCormick shows you how disc golf is a microcosm of life. If you can succeed in one, you can succeed in the other. The challenges you face in disc golf parallel the challenges you face in life. This is one of those books that will end up with highlighter and notes all over it as you read it again and again. Signed copies available at www.zendiscgolf.com
Download the audible version of Zen and the Art of Disc Golf here.
DISCS & ZEN
by Patrick McCormick
The highly anticipated follow up to Zen and the Art of Disc Golf, Disc & Zen continues Patrick McCormick’s vision of combining success in life with success on the disc golf course. A meaningful blend of philosophy, strategy, and a mindful approach to life transfers directly to the course. Stories from Patrick’s life and time on the course serve as a perfect set of example of the key concepts taught in this book.
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO DISC GOLF
by Justin Menickelli & Ryan Pickens
Everything you would want or need to know about this awesome sport, all in one place. Finally a comprehensive guide to disc golf written by people who know what they are talking about. Endorsed by the PDGA, this is a book that belongs on every disc golfer’s coffee table!
FLAT FLIP FLIES STRAIGHT
by Fred Morrison
I’ve heard good things about this book. If you’ve ever wondered how the frisbee came into existence, here is your answer. Fred Morrison, the inventor of the plastic flying disc, the “pluto platter”, tells the story of the birth and history of the flying disc. He also provides an invaluable collector’s reference for those interested in collecting the earliest specimens of the discs we throw and love today.
Section 2 -Sports Psychology
Disc golf is 90% mental. These books will help you become a master of your own mind.
THE INNER GAME OF TENNIS
by Timothy Gallwey
The mental skills it takes to be great at one sport all transfer over to being great at any sport. The challenges we face on the disc golf course are the same challenges all athletes face on their respective fields of play. That’s why my #1 pick for a sports psychology book is one about tennis. Forget for a second that tennis itself has very little in common with disc golf. The Inner Game of Tennis is considered one of the best overall sports psychology books ever written. It’s a short read and it’s sure to help your disc golf game in a variety of ways. If you are looking for an easy to read, enjoyable, and impactful book that will shave throws from your tournament scores, this is it!
Download the audible version of the Inner Game of Tennis here.
RELENTLESS: FROM GOOD TO GREAT TO UNSTOPPABLE
by Tim Grover
There are few people in this world more well versed at excelling under pressure than Michael Jordan. Time afte time Jordan proved his abilities and talent under the highest pressure situations imaginable. It only makes sense that his trainer would have invaluable insight into peak performance under pressure. Tim Grover is the go to person for many of today’s top athletes. This book is an amazing look into the minds of the champions we all know and admire. It’s well worth a read, so much so that I even wrote a blog post about one of it’s most compelling points.
Download the audible version of Relentless here.
THE CHAMPION’S MIND: HOW GREAT ATHLETE’S THINK, TRAIN, AND THRIVE
by Dr. Jim Afremow
This is a non sports specific book. Something I really like about it is that it touches on both professional and recreational sports. There are a lot of books out there that talk about the general psychology of winning. What sets this book apart is that it is full of practical activities designed to produce results. In it there is something (or quite a few things, actually) for everyone to actually get up and do that will help them improve. That is both rare and useful when it comes to a book like this.
Download the audible version of The Champion’s Mind here.
MIND GYM: AN ATHLETE’S GUIDE TO INNER EXCELLENCE
by Gary Mack
Taught in forty short, easily digestible lessons, Mind Gym will give you all the tools you need to condition your mind to become the master of your body. Using stories from top athletes around the world, this book gives real world insight into what it takes to win when it matters. The lesson of this book, that the more you work on the inside, the more it shows on the outside, is incredibly helpful on the disc golf course.
Download the audible version of Mind Gym here.
TRAINING CAMP: WHAT THE BEST DO BETTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE
by Jon Gordon
Jon Gordon has written several books that have helped me in my professional life. In this book, he presents the essence of being a champion. He spells out step by step what it takes to be world class in anything. All of it applies to disc golf. One of the things I love about Jon’s books is that they are written in an easy to read story style. No dry text book here, just an engaging parable filled with lessons we all need.
Download the audible version of Training Camp here.
CLUTCH: EXCEL UNDER PRESSURE
by Paul Sullivan
We’ve all watched our favorite pro disc golfers crumble under pressure. We’ve also seen those same people step up and give awe inspiring performances. How is it that these people are able to be at their best in situations that would crush the average joe like you and I? Clutch does a great job of answering that question and in the process gives us the mental tools to be at our best when it really counts.
Download the audible version of Clutch here.
CHOKE: WHAT THE SECRETS OF THE BRAIN REVEAL ABOUT GETTING IT RIGHT WHEN YOU HAVE TO
by Sian Beilock
In the same vein as Clutch, Choke deals with those times when we must perform but sometimes find ourselves unable to. It takes a hard look at what really happens during mental and physical performance when we crack under pressure. It then goes on to give simple ways not to choke in stressful situations. A very handy thing on the disc golf course indeed!
Download the audible version of Choke here.
GOLF IS A GAME OF CONFIDENCE
by Dr. Bob Rotella
The title says it all. Ever miss a 10 ft. putt in competition? Ever grip lock a drive when $ is on the line? Ever get nervous before a shot that you’ve made a million times before? Watching the pros play, take note of how many shots they step up and make that would make the average golfer nervous. This is one of the main things that separate them from us. The key is confidence and this book can help.
Download the audible version of Golf Is A Game of Confidence here.
ZEN PUTTING: MASTERING THE MENTAL GAME ON THE GREENS
by Dr. Joe Parent
Zen. It’s one of the reasons many of us play disc golf. Being at one with the course. Being at one with the disc. Playing in harmony with a peaceful mind. This book will help you get all of that. More importantly, this book pays particular attention to achieving a zen mindset on and around the green. This is where you score (or add to your score) and the most important time in a round to be centered and focused.
Download the audible version of Zen Putting here.
Section 3 – Conditioning, Training, and Overall Physical Health
If our bodies aren’t healthy, we can’t play disc golf. If we don’t understand how our bodies work, it makes it hard to get them to do what we want them to. If we don’t train our bodies, we are asking for less than optimal performance at best and serious injury at worst. Not sure where to start? These books will help.
CORE PERFORMANCE GOLF
by Mark Verstegen
If you were to do nothing else in your training program than work on strengthening your core, your disc golf game would improve along with virtually all other aspects of your health. Mark Verstegen is known as the the authority on improving core strength as it relates to athletic performance. This book combines sport specific core training with a sound nutritional program. If you simply followed this book as your only fitness plan, you could make significant steps forward. It serves as a sound foundation for core strength and overall fitness.
EVERY DAY IS GAME DAY
by Mark Verstegen
This is the next step after Core Performance Golf. These are significantly more challenging programs, but ones that will take you to the next level of performance. Train like pro athletes and special forces soldiers. And do it with minimal risk of injury. Once you build the training and nutritional habits in the Core Performance Golf book, this is where you go next. Not for everyone, but if you want to operate at the top of your physical potential, this would be one place to look. It includes advanced training and nutrition for the elite (or wanna be elite) athlete.
KETTLEBELL SIMPLE & SINISTER
by Pavel Tsatsouline
I’ll be honest, there have been long stretches of time in my life where I didn’t want to devote much time to training. As much benefit as I found from the Core Performance books, they do take a good amount of time on a weekly basis. Sometimes, I just want to get it all in in ten minutes a day. That’s where this book comes in. I have found little else for working out that benefits my disc golf game like working with kettlebells. This deceptively simple program (3 stretches and 2 exercises) will have you stronger than ever and will benefit every aspect of your game.
Download the audible version of Simple and Sinister here.
Section 4 – Philosophy
Above and beyond sport specific psychology, your overall outlook on life, excellence, and competition have more of an impact on your ability to play and live well than almost anything else. Once you have addressed your physical health and strengthened your vessel, it is essential to address your mental outlook and mindset. Here are a few books to get you started down that road. And remember the Zen books in section 1. Those are a great place to start with this subject matter.
STRIKING THOUGHTS: BRUCE LEE’S WISDOM FOR DAILY LIVING
by Bruce Lee
Within the pages of Striking Thoughts, you will find the secrets of Bruce Lee’s amazing success— as an actor, martial artist, and inspiration to the world. Consisting of eight sections, Striking Thoughts covers 72 topics and 825 aphorisms—from spirituality to personal liberation and from family life to filmmaking—all of which Bruce lived by. I like to read a passage every day from this book. It provides food for thought and meditation and consistently helps to steer me along the path I strive to live on.
ESSENTIALISM: THE DISCIPLINED PURSUIT OF LESS
by Greg McKeown
Declutter your life. Declutter your career. Declutter your house. And declutter your disc golf game (and your bag!). This book is one of the most critically important books I’ve ever read. It has significantly improved every aspect of my life. One of those aspects in disc golf. The theme of this book, how to find what is truly essential and eliminating all else, has a direct impact on your score and your ability to enjoy the game. I have a select group of books that I reread regularly and this one is on that list.
Download the audible version of Essentialism here.
ESSENTIAL ZEN HABITS: MASTERING THE ART OF CHANGE, BRIEFLY
by Leo Babauta
Your disc golf game is simply a series of habits that you have developed over time. So is your life. The ability to change old habits and implement new ones is a critical life skill. This one ability can do more to change your life and your disc golf game than anything else.
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