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Graduation: Life Lessons of a Professional Footballer Paperback – 6 Jan 2012


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Product details

  • Paperback: 228 pages
  • Publisher: Bennion Kearny Limited (6 Jan. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957051123
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957051126
  • Product Dimensions: 14.8 x 1.2 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 243,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Marcel Eger on 17 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
I am a team-mate of Richard at Brentford FC since 7 months. Because english is not my first language - I'm german - , please don't mind any wrong spellings or grammars. And therefore don't think that all footballers are stupid :)
The best example against this is the guy who wrote this book! I really appreciate his guts to write down his inner feelings, such as fears and questions about himself. And then publish it! He did a great job in telling us about what's happening in a mind of a person in the football world who is under pressure, struggles with injuries or rejection by the "gaffer". And - what is even more impressive in my opinion - how to reflect himself and handle all the negative attributes of this job with a positive and optimistic attitude towards his person and his environment.
Rich gave me a copy of this book last week on Tuesday after training. I started reading on my way home. Don't worry, I take the tube... And I finished it the same day. It's easy to read, but not unsubstantial at all. I could see myself in many situations he went through as well. I was often like: "Yeah! Yes, exactly!"
This book is a most-read for footballers! But I'm sure it is in the same way transmittable to any other job or different situations in life.
I'm a centre-back and it gives me a very good feeling to have someone like him behind me on the pitch. But even more important for me were the perceptions that I took out of his words for my personal life and future.
Just Do It ;)
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. Waterman on 6 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is a long-established viewpoint that goalkeepers, if not mad are totally different from their team mates and Brentford goalkeeper Richard Lee has certainly brought out a book that stands out from the norm.

Using the structure of a diary of a roller-coaster 2010/11 season at Brentford as his framework, Lee provides an acute, revealing and painfully honest account of how it feels to be a professional footballer and the way in which he has transformed his outlook, training and preparation in order to maximise his playing potential.

Lee opens himself up to the reader as an intelligent man quick to question himself and also riddled with fears and self-doubts who is not even a particular fan of the sport in which he makes his living. Yet he is open and perceptive enough to challenge the traditional preconceptions of life as a footballer and search out and then institute his own methods of preparation and training both his mind and body which result in him producing the best and most consistent form of his life.

But don't think it was an easy ride. Lee was brought in from Watford as first choice, was dropped before even playing a League game, fought his way back from third to first choice, was the hero of several heart stopping penalty shootouts, suffered the dressing room gobbledy gook of a manager in Andy Scott who he claims was a poor man manager and who was to end up with the sack, and suffered the heartbreak of missing a Wembley final through injury after doing so much to help the team get there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Neil Greig on 19 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
I am a member of staff at Richard Lee's present club Brentford, so have had the opportunity to get to know Richard on a professional level for some time. With that in mind, I was present to witness the rollercoaster journey that Richard experienced during the season he discusses in this book. A book which I was intrigued to receive a copy of last week and one that I was unable to put down for more than a few minutes at a time. The book is an easy read due to the relaxed style of writing that Richard has adopted, ensuring that it can be picked up and focussed on clearly at any point.

Richard's account of that period of his career is not only an honest, accurate account but also one delivered with great diplomacy given the extreme stresses that he encountered during that time. Richard depicts a number of experiences that he faces in his professional capacity and links them succinctly to his own recipe of psychological and thought management processes. These processes enable to him focus on the goals that he sets himself for success and the route he intends to follow in order to get there. Richard clearly discusses his thought processes and expands on them to the point where it is clear that many of his techniques can be applied to a great variety of experiences in any field.

Richard is a rare charactor in the industry in which he chooses to ply his trade and portraying himself in a book of this nature is both brave and pioneering. I would recommend this book, not only to young sports people, but to any individual who feels they have lost their focus and needs to reassert some clarity using simple but affective exercises of the mind.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By K. Richardson on 17 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
Richard Lee is one of Brentford FC's most popular players currently in the squad, having risen to first choice goalkeeper last season and is now reliably expected to stop any ball that goes anywhere near him. It's about his first season at Brentford that he has written in Graduation and the mental journey that he undertook to get to the number one spot.

It is unusual for a footballer, especially not a famous Premiership player with an over-sized ego, to write a book. It's even more unusual for a player not to need a ghost writer. More unusual still is one who can actually write coherent prose. A quick glimpse at Brentford's squad on twitter shows that written English is not necessarily their strong point, but then that's not why we like them.

Graduation is a warm, conversational read. It's carefully crafted as a mixture of autobiography and personal development techniques. As such it's for the football supporter, or the armchair psychologist or both.

Last season was a roller-coaster year for Brentford supporters and Rich gives us an insight as to what that roller-coaster looked like from his position in goal. At first assigned to the bench he had to fight his way to favoured goalkeeper, beating Everton on penalties at home in the process ("better than sex") and reluctantly but sensibly giving Wembley a miss. Brentford had managerial problems and eventually got rid of the then manager Andy Scott with team mate Nicky Forster taking temporary charge with a dramatic effect on the squad's attitude. If you were there you know all this. Rich shows admirable professional reticence in discussing his differences with Andy.
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