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5 sports biographies and memoirs to read for inspiration



Key takeaways:

Top 5 inspirational sports biographies and memoirs that will make you appreciate the journey of a sportsman and sportsperson:
  1. Open by Andre Agassi
  2. Unbreakable by Mary Kom
  3. Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
  4. Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim Grover
  5. Football Against The Enemy by Simon Kuper


‘Being a sportsperson is one of the fields that demand a high level of focus and consistency. If you’re struggling in these two aspects in your daily life or feeling low, picking up a sports memoir, biography or autobiography would be a great start. Getting into the minds of the legends and living their life, especially those whom you admire, is a great morale booster and a true reflection of what it takes to achieve great heights.

As the pandemic has receded,  sports is kickstarting from its brutal pause, making a great chance to watch our leagues and series that we once stayed awake at night to watch. Get into the complete game by reading some beginner-friendly sports memoirs and experience the lives of the greatest on this planet!

Do share more recommendations, reviews, and thoughts with our community at!

Open by Andre Agassi

Open by Andre Agassi book cover

Now that I’ve won a slam, I know something very few people on earth are permitted to know. A win doesn’t feel as good as a loss feels bad, and the good feeling doesn’t last long as the bad. Not even close.

The book is very candid, raw, and honest in nature. It explores the emotions that go in being a Tennis player from when he started at the age of 13 to his slam wins. It also highlights his confusion and wavering confidence on not only the losses but in the wins and how he has been navigating this game. This book is good for pick up even if you don’t have much knowledge about Tennis as a game.

"Agassi weaves a fascinating tale of professional tennis and personal adversity . . . His tale shows that success is measured both on and off the court.” —  Doree Shafrir, New York Post

Unbreakable by Mary Kom

Unbreakable by Mary Kom book cover

The first thing I did with the prize money was to buy a paddy field for Apa. He would no longer be a landless farmer in an agricultural society.

Mary Kom was born in Manipur, India to parents who were landless agricultural laborers. Her hard labor childhood prepared her body, while will and aggression helped her navigate the politics of Sports in India, especially for women. Easily one of the most inspiring women sportspersons out there.

"Unbreakable touches the chord in places where it talks about how Mary was repeatedly written off and subsequently came back stronger to prove her detractors wrong."  —  India Today

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight book cover

Like books, sports give people a sense of having lived other lives, of taking part in other people’s victories. And defeats. When sports are at their best, the spirit of the fan merges with the spirit of the athlete.

Started with a mere $50 borrowed from his father, Nike today is a global brand associated with the biggest of the athletes in the sports field. A brilliant read to not only understand how important and crucial is the relationship between shoes and the athlete but also learn brutal entrepreneurship lessons. A memoir that is rich with wisdom, humor, and lessons on building something from scratch.

"The only thing that seems inevitable on page after page of Knight’s story is that his company will end in failure. Failure, of course, is about the last thing people would associate with Nike today." —  Bill Gates

Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim Grover

Relentless: From Good to Great to Unstoppable by Tim Grover book cover
I’m not telling you to love it. I’m telling you to crave the result so intensely that the work is irrelevant.

Tim Grover is the amazingly legendary trainer to legendary athletes like Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, and Dwyane Wade. The book focuses on mental practices that he has taught for good careers and seasons to them. It makes you feel closer to these players, and what really goes into coaching someone towards great heights.

"Tim Grover is the master of mental toughness. This book is the blueprint for discovering what you are capable of achieving, getting results you never imagined, reaching the highest level of success — and then going even higher."  —  Kobe Bryant

Football Against The Enemy by Simon Kuper

Football Against The Enemy by Simon Kuper book cover
They say in Brazil, even the smallest village has a church and a football field — well, not always a church, but certainly a football field.

Football is hands down the most popular and widely played sport in the world that unites different cultures, geographies, and politics. Author Simon Kuper traveled to 22 countries during his 20s and wrote this quirky footballing travelogue. During his journey, he has met various politicians, players, and fans who give us a taste of the different ways the unique place football has in the life of the planet.

"If you like football, read it. If you don’t like football, read it"  —  The Times

Hope you enjoy this list! If you have more recommendations or have read any of these books, share your takeaways and review them with the community at —!