Good Minds Suggest—Shawn Johnson's Favorite Motivational Books

August, 2012

Shawn Johnson American gymnast Shawn Johnson hasn't taken a breather since she brought home four medals from the 2008 Olympic Games—including a women's all-around silver and a gold on the balance beam, her favorite apparatus. The diminutive star stayed in the public eye post-Beijing, winning the eighth season of the TV dance competition Dancing with the Stars and pursuing a comeback. Following reconstructive knee surgery in 2010, the fierce but charming competitor battled her way back into international contention, only to recently announce her retirement from gymnastics. Her memoir, Winning Balance, follows the accomplished athlete's path before and after the Olympics and illustrates the mental toughness required from an elite gymnast. The Iowa native shares her favorite inspirational reads.

You Go Girl!: Winning the Woman's Way by Kim Doren & Charlie Jones
"This is the one book I have continually returned to throughout my career to help motivate and inspire me in my sport. It is a collection of memoirs from the most notable female athletes. It always gave me something to connect to and identify with when times got hard or even during times of great success. It's a book every female athlete should read!"


Mind Gym: An Athlete's Guide to Inner Excellence by Gary Mack
"Another book I've read countless times. It's an athlete's guide to 'inner' excellence. During the most intense and pressure-filled period of my career, this book taught me a lot about how to stay calm and compete with grace under pressure."


Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity by Drew Brees
"This book was very inspirational to me. It inspired me in my comeback in relating my career and knee injury to his struggles and injuries in the NFL. It gave me someone, even though in book form, to aspire to be like, and it definitely set a standard. It gave me hope that, like him, I could conquer anything."


Every Second Counts by Lance Armstrong
"Lance Armstrong has been a true inspiration of mine since I started my career in gymnastics. His fighting will and athletic ability is second to none, and in this book he taught me it's the little things that matter most...that can be life changing and career defining. It put things in a different light and gave me a new perspective that I will forever hang onto."


Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
"I know, I know...I got drawn into them like everyone else. I read all of them during the Olympics in Beijing. They were a great escape for me and gave me a distraction amid the chaos. Team Edward all the way!"



Vote for your own favorites on Listopia: Motivational Books



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message 5: by Danna (new)

Danna Shawn Johnson - I must read your book. You are an inspiration to me. I am an ex-gymnast and had to quit because of injuries. I am sad you have had to retire. I have missed watching you this Olympics.


message 4: by Michael (new)

Michael Hi Shawn

Thanks for sharing your top five books for motivation based on your own readings and professional achievements.

May I suggest a book you might not have heard of? It's a book by a fellow Australian author and in my view is on the top group of books to influence my thoughts, feelings and actions in life.

The book title is Software for the Brain written by Dr Michael Hewitt-Gleeson.

A Google and Youtube search will bring you closer to his books.

The reason I like Software for the Brain is because it tells the reader in plsin language how to escape from your own mind trap... and set yourself free to achieve ten times more than you thought possible.

Thanks again Shawn for sharing.

Michael Searles
Melbourne, Australia


message 3: by Abel (new)

Abel Dzobo Thanks for the inspirational library you possess. will check out some of the titles. keep inspired and inspiring


message 2: by Your (new)

Your Thanks for sharing Shawn. I miss not seeing you perform at the Olympics. Let me suggest and addition to your list which is "Your Two Sense Worth." I believe you will find it very motivational. Take care and the best always.


message 1: by James (new)

James Oh Thanks for sharing, Shawn


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