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?
Gary Bloom is a sports psychotherapist. He works with footballers, cricketers, rugby players, jockeys, Olympians and many other athletes besides. They might seem like superheroes on the pitch, but in the dressing room they're just like anybody else, subject to the same emotional pressures that affect us all.
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 Gary, 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 inner traumas that have an impact on the performance of these sports personalities are revealed, explained and resolved.Seeing how they overcome their demons is a powerful way of tackling your own and, as Gary says, happier players play better - in sport and in life.
Absolutely fascinating . . . a genuine MUST for anyone interested in the human side of sport . . . very readable and accessible . . . It is comforting to realise that everyone - from global superstar to young aspirant - suffers from profound uncertainty of one sort or another . . . This book will promote greater kindness and understanding . . . Heartily recommended for any 'thinking' sports-lover