Keeping Your Head in the Game

Keeping Your Head in the Game

Untold Stories of the Highs and Lows of a Life in Sport


Brought to you by Penguin.

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.

© Gary Bloom 2021 (P) Penguin Audio 2021


  • Love this book. It's about time someone wrote about the emotional life of athletes and Gary really does this justice. These are some cracking tales and it's a great read
    Nigel Owens MBE, rugby union referee

About the author

Gary Bloom

Gary Bloom is a leading clinical sports psychotherapist who works with elite athletes. He also hosts the award-winning talkSPORT radio show On the Sporting Couch, where he speaks with athletes about difficulties they have had during their careers, and has commentated for over 20 years - notably on Channel 4's iconic Football Italia. Registered with both the BACP and the UKCP, psychotherapy's governing bodies in the UK, he is one of the only sports psychotherapists working within a football league club. This is his first book.
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