Mind Game: An Inside Look at the Mental Health Playbook of Elite Athletes

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Product Details
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
6.0 X 9.0 X 0.75 inches | 1.25 pounds

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About the Author

Julie Kliegman is the copy chief for Sports Illustrated. Previously, she was copy editor at The Ringer, weekend editor and breaking news contributor at The Week, and a news fellow at BuzzFeed. Her writing on a wide variety of topics has appeared in outlets including Sports Illustrated, The Washington Post, The Ringer, Vulture, BuzzFeed, Vox, The Verge, Bustle, Washington Monthly, The Week, and more. Kliegman is a frequent guest on radio and podcasts and has been interviewed about her work on shows including SportsNet 90 The FAN, Sports Media With Richard Deitsch, New Hampshire Public Radio, BTR Daily Beat, and FM 96.9 The Game. She lives in Queens, New York.


Kliegman has succeeded in writing a book that is engaging but at the same time important.

-- "Sports Illustrated"

The focus of [Kliegman's] book, Mind Game, is on how athletes work on mental performance and the growing acceptance towards acknowledging their mental health struggles. She documents the stories of trailblazers in this area like professional basketball player Royce White, tennis star Naomi Osaka, and

Olympic gymnast Simone Biles.... Mind Game is an enlightening read for not only policymakers, but also parents of athletes. They usually go on this complex journey through elite sports with their children and this book offers insight that may be useful as their children develop as young people and athletes.

-- "Nathan's Papers: Books for CONGRESS"

At a time when sports have (finally) come to appreciate the importance of mental health and clarity, here comes Julie Kliegman with an extraordinary examination of the topic. Thorough, empathetic, and relevant, Mind Game helps us understand elite athletes--while packing practical applications that extend way beyond sports.

--L. Jon Wertheim, New York Times bestselling author of This is Your Brain on Sports

Mind Game is an important read for anyone undergoing any level of mental challenge in their life or those who want to better understand the importance of mental health in sports or everyday life. Julie Kliegman is very thorough in telling the stories of elite athletes and outlining methods that can lead to overcoming mental obstacles that lead to a more peaceful and fulfilling life.

--Mardy Fish, former professional tennis player

Thanks to the openness of professional and Olympic athletes such as Simone Biles, Michael Phelps, Naomi Osaka, Kevin Durant, and many others, we are learning about the mental-health challenges of some of the world's best athletes who previously seemed invincible. Sports journalist Julie Kliegman describes the relevant research and shares compelling and sometimes painful stories of the struggles with which many top athletes have been confronted. Mind Game sends a powerful message to athletes of all ages and abilities (as well as to parents and coaches) to prioritize mental health over performance and results, and, more importantly, to seek professional help when needed.

--Jim Taylor, Ph.D., author of Train Your Mind for Athletic Success and Raising Young Athletes

Julie Kliegman's Mind Game is a vulnerable, visceral, and essential volume examining how elite athletes handle mental health and mental illness. Kliegman writes with biting clarity that is at times funny and at others devastating. This book is a fearless look at a topic that is at once ubiquitous while also completely ignored. Absolutely essential reading.

--Katie Barnes, author of Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates