This little guy

This little guy was an enormous driving force behind my writing HEAD IN THE GAME. I don’t want to spoil the book so I won’t say much more than that — except to tease this: HEAD IN THE GAME is, first and foremost, about amazing, secret things the world’s greatest athletes are doing to change their brains, which is changing their lives, and then it’s about the massive implications that has for all of us.

But — and this will sound like a cheesy Sandra Bullock line or something, but! — researching all of this also changed my life.

In short, I was kind of a mess before Katie and I found out she was pregnant with Jonah. And before that, I was an even bigger mess. Katie showed me strength and love I didn’t know was possible in human beings, which saved me. I was working my way back to solid, and then this guy showed up in her belly. Suddenly I knew I was wildly inadequate, and nothing else mattered but becoming a better man, to be the father I hoped I could be for him.

That was the magic sauce driving me as I researched HEAD IN THE GAME. Even though I’m not really a science guy, I geeked out on thousands of pages’ wroth of articles from scientific journals and dense scientific books. Even though I’m a storyteller who loves a thrilling ride at heart, I found myself joyously writing detailed explanations of how things work inside our heads.

And all of that because this is about a bigger story: The story of all of us, and why we are the ways we are — and how we can change. How we can be better. Not just at sports, but as people. That was the most wild part of all of this: All these athletes describing this stuff not as “game-changing,” but “life-changing.”

Oh, and I did get better. Not as in “better than others” or “better than my previous self” or some such.

No, just … healthier.


P.S. I feel gross throwing a link on here to buy the book because this comes from the heart, but Katie would tell me that’s not very smart, so …

About the author

Writer-at-large for B/R Mag at Bleacher Report. Obsessed with great stories and learning about the world. Loves talking about this stuff. A little bit crazy.

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Hey, I'm Brandon, this is the HitG blog, where we go beyond the book to explore This Stuff and stay up to date on the greater HitG universe, share stories of HitG readers figuring out how to get their own heads in the game (sorry, that pun is just too easy and fun), and generally goof off a little. Oh and it's free and always will be. Don't try to pay me, I won't let you.

What is “This Stuff”?

There are so many tools for "mental engineering" — just getting the mind right, really — that there is no single clean label, so I’ve gone with the extremely scientific term This Stuff.

Book Me

I do, however, accept money for speaking engagements (albeit begrudgingly). I'd really love to do this stuff for free because I think it's amazing, but alas, I also feel compelled to contribute to my family's food, shelter, and general merriment. I speak to groups of all sizes, ages, levels of sport, and so on. Basically, I can tailor my talks to anyone. (I got my head in the game like that. Sorry! See?! I can't help myself.)

What’s Your Story?

I'd love to hear your stories about getting your head right. Contact us using the link above.

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