By

Brandon

‘I’m Not The Lone Wolf’

It’s 11:30 the morning of August 4. Urban Meyer just got out of a two-hour meeting with his staff. He’s wearing white running shoes, red Ohio State athletic shorts and a white long-sleeved OSU Dri-FIT shirt. In two days, the team arrives and fall camp begins. He’s had the busiest month of his life getting ready for...
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The Psychology, Neuroscience, and Pure Magic of Being Killer in the Clutch

Down three in the final seconds of Game 5 during the Western Conference semifinals, James Harden juked left and then went right, burning past Manu Ginobili and then pulling up for the open three—and he got stuffed. Ginobili’s hand came from behind him like the Angel of Death. Game over. Clutch. Clutch like
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The Baseball Player and His Broken Brain

  This is not a story I wanted to put into print, but leaving it out would feel dishonest.When my hunt for This Stuff began about three years ago, it was personal, and many people only opened up after they heard some of my story. It seemed to unlock an unspoken trust. If this guy’s...
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A Conspiracy of Comfort: Why It’s Time to Rethink What Coaches Wear

Stan Van Gundy is running away from me. OK, not running. But he is moving quickly across the parking lot of the Quest Multisport facility in Chicago, his forehead peppered by beads of sweat, strands of his thinning salt-and-pepper hair waving in the wind. (As always, his mustache is magnificent.) He makes for a black...
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MLB Prospect Casey Thomas’ Gym Rat Heart, Cool West Coast Vibe Lost at Just 24

  My latest for Bleacher Report is about the day Oakland A’s rookie prospect Casey Thomas dies a few weeks ago, and about the way he lived — all at once willing to work hard, but also according to his trademark phrase: “Own your flow.” When news broke of his death a few weeks ago, B/R editors...
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For Love of the Game: Chasing Big League Dreams For 12 Bucks an Hour

Kyle Johnson brought his wife and their two young daughters with him to spring training this year, here in Port St. Lucie, Florida. It was about $3,000 more expensive than in 2016, when he crashed on a friend’s couch in Jupiter, 35 miles south, to save money. A speedy 27-year-old outfielder, Kyle—like all baseball minor...
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NOT QUITE LIKE MIKE

Confetti, cracked dreams and crying in front of Jordan: what it feels like one year later for UNC's Marcus Paige, whose one shining moment got erased by the ultimate March Madness buzzer-beater.
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“We have decommissioned natural selection and must now look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become.” – E.O. Wilson (Via this convo between Steven Kotler and Jason Silva)  
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NO LOVE: A Fighter on his Way to Prison. A Kid with Cancer. A Promise that Saved Them Both.

  Cody Garbrandt walks down Third Street in tiny Dennison, Ohio, the gleaming UFC title belt slung over his shoulder. Decorated trucks and floats line the street. He’s flanked by his stepfather, his mom and his girlfriend, Danny, who carries her small white Chihuahua. A crowd swarms. People ask for pictures. Cody poses for a...
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The Performance Enhancer For Your Brain: How Elite Athletes are Using EEG to Get a Mental Edge

Many thanks to Sports Illustrated for running this excerpt from Head in the Game. It’s about how great athletes are using EEG technology to study and train their brains, much like they use film, personal trainers, and the like the study and train their bodies and their skills. Beyond their sports, too, it is having profound...
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Steph Curry’s Secrets to Success

Brain Training, Float Tanks, and Strobe Goggles for B/R Mag at Bleacher Report (a Head in the Game Excerpt)
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Qiana Joy won

Remember Qiana? She’s the super-sweet girl who worked at my kid’s daycare who came down with cancer. Well, today, it became official: She kicked cancer’s butt. Here’s her Facebook post, with her friend Erika. F*** cancer. Go Qiana. Be joyful y’all.  
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Head in the Game launch party

  Head in the Game (Dey Street Books) is my first book from a big publisher. It comes out on Feb. 28. Thus, a party. If you’re reading this, you’re invited, however you happened to stumble across it. Said party shall take place at the Carolina Ale House in Greenville, North Carolina–my hometown!–on Friday, March...
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He Never Would Have Made A Single Mark

  NATHAN: You know this guy, right? CALEB: Jackson Pollock. NATHAN: Jackson Pollock. The drip painter. He let his mind go blank, and his hand go where it wanted. Not deliberate, not random. Someplace in between. They called it automatic art. Nathan gazes at the canvas.  NATHAN: Let’s make this like Star Trek, okay? Engage intellect. CALEB: What? NATHAN: I’m Kirk....
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Your cell phone vs. NASA computers in 1969

Working on some blog posts that compile some of my favorite passages from some of my favorite books that I read while researching Head in the Game, but had to go ahead and share this line from The Future of the Mind: “Your cell phone today has more computer power than all of NASA when it...
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Books I Read to Figure Out the Brain

When I started working on Head in the Game, I knew next to nothing about the real science of the brain. Biology and science were my least favorite subjects throughout school; I slept through the one biology class I was required to take in undergrad. So when it came to understanding the brain and how...
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The Daily Dawn Shot

Or, my new goal for 2017—taking a picture of the sunrise every morning and uploading it to Instagram—and why.
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Deleting Twitter and Facebook

As a belated Christmas gift to myself I am deleting Facebook and Twitter from my phone for at least three weeks. Twenty-one days. The time it takes to break and build habits. Call it an experiment. Starts yesterday, Jan. 2. My goal: Make it 21 days without downloading the apps back onto my phone. My...
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Head in the Game and Beyond: Welcome to the Ride

Many of the athletes and scientists featured in Head in the Game say that what they are doing has the potential to change the world. I am generally averse to such grandiose claims, but in this case, they are more right than they are wrong. I am humbled and awed by the work being done in the...
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The Linebacker, the Dead Body, and a Pizza Delivery From Hell

Napoleon Harris may not be Bruce Wayne—he was in the NFL and politics, and he's real—but for at least one night, to one community on Chicago's South Side, he was as close to Batman as this world has to offer
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Qiana Joy

I’m on deadline, but I gotta tell you about my shirt. And really, I just want to tell you about the shirt so I can tell you about Qiana. You say it “key-ah-na.” She’s this girl who works at our son’s daycare. Well, worked. She used to work there. She was diagnosed with this rare cancer a few...
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