I'm an author and journalist and stories are my life.
I fell in love with stories as a kid. Stories gave me an escape from a hurtful and confusing world and helped me better understand it at the same time. I've spent my adult life learning as much as I can about people and the world and telling stories about what I find.
My most recent book is Head in the Game: The Mental Engineering of the World's Greatest Athletes.
I've written hundreds of stories for magazines, websites, and media outlets, including ESPN, Bleacher Report, Sports Illustrated, GQ, Outside, and more. A few examples: how supermodel Kate Upton saved superstar pitcher Justin Verlander's career; college football coach Urban Meyer opening up about battling anxiety, OCD, and depression; and Shaun White learning how to be great again at snowboarding by learning how to simply love his life.
I also wrote this non-sports story about a woman known as The Bear Lady, who lived among bears in the woods for twenty years while fighting the poachers that threatened them. I still get emails about it to this day. Yes, it is a true story.
And I've written about Tim Tebow, Floyd Mayweather, Georges St-Pierre, and lots of other people in sports.
My work was recognized as among the best by young sportswriters in the country, landing a couple of Best American Sports Writing honorable mentions, a Livingston Award finalist spot, and APSE awards. I also wrote the first season of Why Sports Matter, the narrative podcast from Religion of Sports, the company founded by Gotham Chopra, Tom Brady, and Michael Strahan.
I'll have a new book out in the fall, details TBA. And I'm writing occasional freelance stories and doing some public speaking.
I'm also writing fiction.
I live in Greenville, North Carolina, where I have two young sons with my former wife.
Here are some nice things other people have said about my work:
"We often look toward athletes and marvel at their 40 times, their vertices, their bench presses. But surely there has to be more to this whole thing. In Head in the Game, Brandon Sneed offers a deep dive into the cranial lobes of elite athletes. You'll marvel at what he uncovers."
— Jeff Pearlman, former senior writer at Sports Illustrated and New York Times bestselling author of Gunslinger, Showtime, Sweetness, and Boys Will Be Boys
"Brandon Sneed has pulled off something extraordinary: he has written a book that will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about performance. A seamless blend of brave memoir, deep science, and relentless journalism, Head in the Game is a graceful story about a revolution in sports and, ultimately, what it means to be a human being. If the brain is the new Wild West of performance training, Sneed is our thoughtful and tireless cowboy guide. A stunning work of narrative nonfiction."
— Lars Anderson, New York Times bestselling author of The Mannings and The Storm and the Tide
"Head in the Game takes us on an absorbing journey into the workings of not only high-achieving athletes' minds, but, along the way, the minds of us all. Exquisitely researched and told with a command and accessible voice, this book shares insights that are not only often revelatory, but potentially life-changing. No matter whether you come at Sneed's work as a sports freak or a student of neuroscience, this is a goddamned jewel."
— Peter Richmond, New York Times bestselling author of Badasses
"This book is so much fun. Brandon Sneed is such an engaging tour guide to a world I knew very little about. Sneed calls it 'This Stuff,' all the tools and techniques used by elite athletes to consciously alter their brains in pursuit of peak performances. In his fascinating Head in the Game, Sneed goes on a global quest to discover how athletes are merging science and technology to maximize their mental athleticism. By introducing us to techniques like hyperplasticity and neurosignaling, and tools named NuCalm and NeuroTracker, Sneed has written a thrilling manifesto that reveals the many ways we can enhance the efficiency of our brains to improve our games and our lives."
— Don Van Natta Jr., ESPN investigative reporter, Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author of First Off the Tee, Her Way, and Wonder Girl
"There's a revolution around the corner in sports that this book and Sneed's captivating voice bring into focus in marvelous detail to illuminate what lies ahead. Head in the Game is a remarkable examination."
— Brin-Jonathan Butler, author of The Domino Diaries and The Grandmaster
"This book is great. Head in the Game opens your eyes so much to the new world of mental engineering in sports that it's a feat of mental engineering of its own. Anyone looking to learn more about the world around them and how the athletes they adore do what they do should read it immediately."
— Will Leitch, author of Are We Winning? and God Save the Fan
"In his awesome book Head in the Game, Sneed pulls back the veil on one of the most important, but least talked about, aspects of sports: the mind. In an engaging, articulate, entertaining way, he shows us how the very best athletes get an edge in a world in which finding an edge is nearly impossible. This book will captivate both casual and rabid sports fans."
— Kate Fagan, espnW columnist and author of What Made Maddy Run