Keeping Your Head in the Game: Untold Stories of the Highs and Lows of a Life in Sport
Elite athletes play out their lives in the most public of arenas. Everything they do is analysed in real time and then picked apart in the pub and in the press afterwards. ‘Why did they miss that penalty?’, ‘What made them fall at the first jump?’, ‘That press conference was a bit weird.’ We can all speculate, but what’s really going on?
In Keeping Your Head in the Game we peer into this highly confidential world. We follow the journeys of ten athletes in their therapy sessions with sports psychotherapist Gary Bloom, from a rugby player arrested for a drunken brawl, through a homesick cricketer on tour, to a snooker player struggling with his feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem.
Structured around the emotions we all experience on a daily basis – shame, anger, fear, jealousy and envy, love – chapter by chapter, the book reveals, explains and attempts to resolve the inner traumas that have an impact on the performance of these sports personalities. Seeing how they overcome their demons is a powerful way of tackling our own and, as Gary says, happier players play better – in sport and in life.
‘For anyone interested in competitive sport, what people have to do to get to the top and what that can do to the human psyche‘
Catherine Jackson, journalist and former editor of Therapy Today
‘It’s amazing how clubs invest in repairing the bodies of their players whilst largely ignoring their minds. Elite athletes are just as fragile as the rest of us. Happily change is on the way and this must-read book will only accelerate that‘
Jon Champion, football commentator