These women athletes have two things in common. Talent and drive. In order to be the best, they gave up everything to devote 100% time and effort to develop their skills. No matter what sport you love, there’s a book on this list for you. Surfing. Baseball. Gymnastics. Soccer. Basketball. Tennis. Be inspired by these women and decide if you have what they have.
Soul Surfer by Bethany Hamilton
Bethany Hamilton, a talented teen surfer, had her arm ripped off by a shark while surfing alone near her home in Hawaii. She survived, learned to surf with one arm, and continued to be a top contender in surfing championships.
Mo’ne Davis: Remember My name by Mo Davis
Mo’ne was 7 years old when she was discovered by a rec center coach. She excelled in all sports, but eventually decided on baseball, a sport with few girls. Her team made it all the way to the Little League World Series and placed 3rd out of thousands of teams. She was such a phenom that she made the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine.
Rising Above: Inspiring Women in Sports by Gregory Zuckerman
No matter what sport you play, there are always setbacks, embarrassments, times you want to quit. The women highlighted in this book have overcome obstacles that would cause lesser people to throw in the towel. They not only overcame their challenges, they became the best in their sport.
Hope Solo: My Story by Hope Solo
While Hope didn’t have a tragic childhood, it wasn’t one people would envy. With hard work, she was recruited by the top universities , played alongside soccer’s best, and competed in the World Cup and Olympics. Her ups and downs prove that anyone can make it to the top.
My Shot: Balancing It All and Standing Tall by Elena Delle Donne
Elena Delle Donne was accepted on full scholarship to the #1 university for women’s basketball, then burned out. She switched to another sport, then fought her way back to be one of the top recruits in professional basketball. We all have setbacks we can overcome.
Alex Morgan (Epic Athletes) by Dan Wetzel
Women’s soccer is highly competitive. Making it to the national team is a long shot. Alex Morgan got a late start. She had remarkable speed, but lacked the team skills the other girls had learned at a much earlier age. Once she caught up, she was a force to be reckoned with.
Courage to Soar by Simone Biles
When Simone was 4-years-old her mother lost custody of her. She was adopted by her grandparents and enrolled in gymnastics classes. She made it into the elites and experienced the typical ups and downs of being a gymnast and a teenager. Her sacrifices and choices would ultimately lead her to become the most decorated American gymnastic.
Fierce by Aly Raisman
Aly Raisman learned early on that becoming an elite gymnast meant practicing twice a day, every day, for years, suffering injuries and realizing that competition nerves can bring down the best athlete in a matter of seconds. She chose it and doesn’t regret it. She is one of only a few gymnasts who have participated in two Olympics.
Serena Williams (Legends in Sports) by Matt Christopher
Serena Williams, grew up in a lower middle class family, coached by her father. Despite her lack of early formal training, she and her sister, Venus, had raw, natural talent that vaulted them to the front of the tennis elite. They overcame racial prejudice, jealousy from other players, and miscalls by referees to earn respect.