I spent two and a half years from mid-2016 to the end of 2018 writing full-time for Bleacher Report’s B/R Mag. I spent a lot of time with and wrote feature stories about great athletes, coaches, and performers such as Olympic snowboarding legend Shaun White, World Series champion pitcher Justin Verlander, supermodel Kate Upton, college football coach Urban Meyer, UFC legend Georges St-Pierre, and more. I’ve won and been a finalist for prestigious journalism awards and received honorable mentions in the annual Best American Sports Writing anthology.
You can read some of those stories here.
Before all that, I was raised by preachers in Greenville, North Carolina.
I grew up obsessively curious and passionate about the things I learned and turning them all into stories that I wrote just for fun.
I was and still am a full-on nerd.
However, I also got obsessed with sports.
I played baseball through college and had every intention of going pro—but failed, because of fear. (More on that in a moment.)
After graduating college in 2009, I wrote THE EDGE OF LEGEND. It’s about Harlem Globetrotter Ant Aktinson’s profound college basketball journey, going from a Division I star to Division II burnout to hero, leading his hometown college to an impossible national championship. It’s one of the greatest championship stories ever.
Meanwhile, I freelanced for different media outlets, including ESPN The Magazine, GQ, Sports Illustrated, Outside, Pacific Standard, and more.
In 2015, I co-wrote BEHIND THE DRIVE with Kenney Moore, the founder of Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes, and Fries. It’s about chasing the American Dream and making people great food.
In 2017, I published HEAD IN THE GAME: THE MENTAL ENGINEERING OF THE WORLD’S GREATEST ATHLETES, with HarperCollins’ Dey Street imprint published. It’s about how fear helped me fail as a baseball player. I turned myself into a human guinea pig to understand what makes minds strong and how to make mine stronger. It did OK and got a lot of nice reviews. My favorite: “This book is a goddamned jewel.”
While I was a features writer for B/R Mag at Bleacher Report, I became recognized as one of the best young sportswriters in the country, with multiple Best American Sports Writing honorable mentions, a Livingston Award finalist spot, and contributing to APSE-winning projects.
The last half of 2018, I also worked the head writer for Season 1 of WHY SPORTS MATTER, the groundbreaking narrative podcast from Gotham Chopra, Tom Brady, Michael Strahan, and their company RELIGION OF SPORTS.
Now, in addition to writing some books, I’m building a speaking and consulting business based around teaching what I learned while writing HITG, and combining that with the people I’ve met in my journalism career.
I’ve gotten to know some of the world’s greatest athletes and performers, including
Olympic legend Shaun White
World Series ace and MVP Justin Verlander
Supermodel Kate Upton
UFC champion Georges St-Pierre
UFC champion Cody Garbrandt
College football coach Urban Meyer
And many more
Ever since I started working on HEAD IN THE GAME years ago, however, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about doing more with it than the book itself. There are tons of great stories and lessons to be had in the HITG world.
I’ve learned a ton that I haven’t shared with anyone yet.
There are lots of ways people don’t know they can get better.
So now I’m bringing together a lot of areas and people that I haven’t seen brought together before, from elite athletes and coaches, to top-level neuroscientists and psychologists, to tactical athletes — a.k.a. military veterans.
I think we all have a lot to offer each other.
So I’m going to do what I can to help.
I spend a lot of time in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Triangle, as well as Los Angeles and New York City, but still call Eastern North Carolina home so I can be close to my two young sons. They live with their mother in Greenville.