Chris Krause Special Contributors

5 Books That Prove Why Athletes Should Read

chris krause describes lessons from playing football in college at Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Illinois
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The following is a post from our founder, Chris Krause, who is a regular contributor to this blog. Chris, an alumnus of Vanderbilt’s football program, founded NCSA Athletic Recruiting in the belief that every gifted student-athlete should have the opportunity to play their sport in college.

There’s that dumb jock stereotype that says that athletes can’t also be gifted students, and that’s just not true.

I’m not sure what has driven my love for reading over the years, whether it’s my thirst for education, or just the unique pleasure a good book can bring to our lives. I know that my passion for entrepreneurshipm along with my passion for life and living it to the fullest, are the two primary drives for me in any book aisle.

I also have a deep interest – some may call it an obsession – with history, a trait I’m learning my seven year-old son has inherited, which is another major literary draw for me.

I set myself the task of sharing five books to prove why athletes should read to better themselves, but with a variety of interests spanning business, passion for life, and US and World History, it’s trickier then I realized to narrow down my library shelves with recommendations.

But I love a challenge.

Check out my top five list for student-athletes, parents, aspiring leaders, go-getters, and life lovers. I whole-heartedly believe no matter where your particular interests lie, there is something for everyone below. Happy reading, Athleaders!

For athletes who to pursue self-discovery

I recommend The Charge.

I honestly believe every person on the planet should read this book. That’s not an exaggeration.

This book is not just a guide, but a tool to self-evaluate and discover how to be the best you can be in every facet of life – school, work, relationships. The book is fun, it’s motivating, and when put to use, can single-handedly change the way you approach the good and bad that life throws your way. It will make you better one chapter at a time.

For athletes who are driven by passion

I recommend The Dream Manager.

This book is also a great motivator, but different in the sense that it really helps you identify life goals and dreams, and offers incredible supplements and education to keep those goals and dreams at the forefront and on track. Whether it’s a 30-day, 90-day, 1-3 year, or 5+ year endeavor, The Dream Manager not only bubbles these underlying wants from life to the surface, but better yet, helps you plan to achieve them.

For athletes who just want a great sports story

I recommend The 5 Love Languages (series).

No, this isn’t just for people going into a romantic relationship.

Trust me. I believed that stigma about the book, myself, when someone first recommended it to me. But eventually I read it as required reading at a business retreat I attended (seriously!) and have revisited it many times since.

This is a guide to understanding interactions and reactions with significant people in all areas of life; family, work, friendships – and to recognize we all feel things differently, and can enhance our interaction and communication by coming to terms with this fact and learning how to handle it. There are also many books in the series now – editions for kids, teens, and adults. I highly recommend them all.

For athletes who have ever had a dream

I recommend
I had to throw my favorite classic on the list. I know a lot of you read this in English class at some point, but there’s a reason why it’s a classic, and I strongly urge you to revisit it. Since I read The Great Gatsby in high school, it’s been one of my favorite books of all time. A mix of suspense, history, and colorful characters, this classic still entertains decades later.

For athletes who want to play their sport in college

I’m still so proud of Athletes Wanted, the book I wrote to help student-athletes and their families understand the recruiting process. There’s no better feeling than receiving news from athletes who were able to empower themselves and others through the life lessons of sports because they could play their sport in college.


The scouts at NCSA Athletic Recruiting can help you pursue your paths to self-discovery, your passions, your dreams and play your sport in college. Get started today with a recruiting profile.

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About the author
Laura Chmiel

Laura Chmiel is a marketing coordinator and a lead writer for NCSA Athletic Recruiting. As someone with a passion for athletics and education, she graduated from Indiana university with a B.S. in Elementary Education. After school, she gained first-hand experience helping student-athletes and their families get to college.