Oxford United are proud of the way we are promoting good mental health and a key part of that is the work that Club Psychotherapist Gary Bloom has been doing over the last two or three years.
Oxford based Gary has been working with all areas of club from First Team through the Academy, while also working with sports people from a huge range of different sports and levels.
Now he has put some of those experiences in to a new book called Keeping Your Head in the Game: Untold Stories of the Highs and Lows of a Life in Sport
Which is available from Penguin books
“The book is about ten fictitious sports stars who enter the sort of therapy that I offer through my work” he told us. “You don’t necessarily have to be in to sport to read the book because all the stories contain insights for all of us for everything we face in our lives as well.
“The things that affect sports stars affect us all and that is what my work is all about - if you are treating a footballer you aren’t necessarily talking about football, it’s usually about their lives in general.
“Through the lens of working with sports people, going behind the dressing room door and hearing the stories from those situations hopefully people will learn about more than just sport.
“The publishers say it is a ‘self help’ book but it isn’t a ‘how to’ book, it is actually stories about the sort of people I come across every day through my work. It is about being the best version of ourselves, understanding ourselves better and understanding our relationships better. That’s what the book is about.
“I still think football lags behind other sports in this field: I work with a lot of other sports so I can say that. But I am so proud of Oxford United and what we are doing. I believe we have gone further than any other club in the country. We are right at the heart of things because of the belief system of Karl Robinson in particular who believes that player care is hugely important.
“It’s not an Oxford United book although I have learned so much from working with the football club and my knowledge base has grown from doing it. But I hope it is a book that people, not just Oxford fans or football fans, will enjoy and can take something away from.”