If you're passionate about volleyball and looking to enhance your skills, gain insights from experts, or simply indulge in some of the sport's best stories, then you've come to the right place. In today's article, we take a look at the best volleyball books. Our list has a mix of drill books, biographies, and coaching books. By including some diversity, I'm hoping to not only highlight the very best books from these sub-categories but also cater to players, coaches, and fans alike.
Why Volleyball Books Matter
Before we dive into the recommendations, I talk often about the word "perspective." What's a good book to me may not be as interesting to you. Why? Because we're different people, with different backgrounds, thoughts, and ideas about the game. My challenge to you today is:
As you go through these books, think about which ones appeal specifically to you. Are you a player trying to make your middle school team? A high school coach? A season ticket holder to your favorite university team?
From there, just like sports, you're going to get out what you put in. Be open to new ideas, embrace different ways of doing things, and if you're already really good at something, think about how you can become 1% better.
The books below matter, not because they're stand alone gold mines. They matter because they present an opportunity for you to become something better than what you are today.
With that, please enjoy the list.
The Best Volleyball Books
The Volleyball Coaching Bible
For aspiring coaches and seasoned mentors alike, "The Volleyball Coaching Bible" is an indispensable guide to honing coaching skills. Authored by legendary coaches Donald Shondell and Cecile Reynaud, this book covers every aspect of coaching, from developing effective strategies to fostering a winning team culture. The amalgamation of insights from these distinguished coaches makes this book a treasure trove for both beginners and experienced coaches striving to bring out the best in their teams.
The Miracle Season
Sometimes, volleyball transcends beyond the court and becomes a testament to the resilience of the human spirit. "The Miracle Season" by Kathy Bresnahan is a poignant true story that narrates the journey of the Iowa City West High School girls' volleyball team. This emotionally charged book follows the team's pursuit of victory after enduring a tragic loss. It beautifully illustrates the power of teamwork, determination, and the impact of sports in healing hearts and communities. We also featured this book in our list of best books for teens and young adults, and it eventually became a movie. Check out the trailer!
The Volleyball Drill Book
This is really my "go to" recommendation for volleyball coaches. The book, from the American Volleyball Coaches Association, is loaded with information on all facets of the game. It also contains detailed diagrams, illustrations, and practice advice to help you run an efficient practice.
Author Whitney Bartiuk has been coaching volleyball since 2008 and runs her own website, which contains a plethora of volleyball resources to help new coaches. While the book above is the resource for drills and practice plans, this book is more about developing a coaching philosophy, thinking about how to structure try outs, roles of yourself as a head coach and other as assistants, and so much more. This is really good refresher for any parent "volunteering" to coach their child's team because it does a great job of pointing out all the things that you probably used to know but haven't thought about for a long time.
This memoir begins with Misty's early life and her introduction to the world of volleyball. She shares her experiences growing up in a family deeply involved in the sport and how she fell in love with the game from a young age. As readers follow Misty's journey, they gain insights into the dedication, hard work, and sacrifices that paved her way to becoming a volleyball legend.
One significant aspect of this book is Misty's partnership with her beach volleyball teammate, Kerri Walsh Jennings. Together, they formed one of the most formidable and successful duos in beach volleyball history, achieving multiple Olympic gold medals and other prestigious titles. Misty shares the dynamics of their partnership, the highs and lows they experienced together, and the unbreakable bond that extended beyond the sport. Check out the clip below from the duo's gold medal final in London.
2023 - 2024 NFHS Volleyball Official Rule Book
There's not a lot to be said here, other than, "Don't be one of those coaches that's arguing about things you're not sure about."
Karch Kiraly is a volleyball legend. A three-time Olympic gold medalist himself, he also coached the US women to gold in the 2021 Olympics. Karch talks about what it takes: mental fortitude, making every minute count, and developing the willpower to overcome adversity. A fantastic book from someone who's been where you may be dreaming to go.
For some great vintage highlight clips from Karch's playing career, check this out!
Dream Like a Champion
John Cook took over the Nebraska women's volleyball program in 2000. Since, the Huskers have won 4 national championships, made 7 NCAA semifinal appearances, and achieved the highest winning percentage in women's division one volleyball. The guy knows a thing or two about volleyball.
I love the fact that Cook shares his evolution as a coach (he started as a football coach) and talks about how culture has allowed his program to continue to grow.
Before You Go
Speaking of college, both the men's and women's NCAA Championships use Molten volleyballs. The women play with the Molten Super Touch, while the men use a ball call the FLISTATEC.
Reading a book is one thing. Taking what you learned and doing something about it is another. Be that person that puts ideas into action.
For more book recommendations by sport, please visit our Recommendations page. I'd also recommend our Motivation page, which has some great stories across a variety of sports. Last, I get a lot of questions from athletes and parents alike about what their teenagers can do
John Willkom is the author of Amazon best-selling basketball books: Walk-On Warrior and No Fear In The Arena. John is an avid reader, sports fan, and father to two incredible little girls.
Check out healthy energy drinks from Celsius: