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Graduation: Life Lessons of a Professional Footballer [Paperback]

Richard Lee
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 Jan 2012
The 2010/11 season will go down as a memorable one for Goalkeeper Richard Lee. After more than ten years at Watford FC, Richard signed for League One outfit Brentford FC, but soon found himself cast aside. Dropped after one game and behind three other goalkeepers before he would get another opportunity - Richard would take on his toughest challenge to date! Cup wins, penalty saves, hypnotherapy and injury would follow, but these things only tell a small part of the tale. Suffering from acute mental anxiety throughout his career pushed Richard into making a choice between fight or flight. Could he overcome his fears or take the easy road out and quit? Fortunately for Brentford fans, he chose to fight. Throughout this book, Richard shares his understanding of the mind and how to apply it for high-level performance. Filled with anecdotes, insights, humour and honesty - Graduation uncovers Richard's campaign to take back the number one spot, save a lot of penalties, and overcome new challenges. What we see is a transformation - beautifully encapsulated in this extraordinary season.

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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: 282,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, Original & Thought Provoking 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More than a football book 12 Jan 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This is by far one of the most intelligently written "football" books I have ever read. I came here as a goalkeeping brentford fan and quickly realised that this was a mere backdrop to an insight into the world of the most psychological positions in the highest pressure arenas. If you cannot apply the contents of this into your own thinking then more fool you!
However, the greatest feat is the fact the Lee weaves an actually narrative - far from being preachy, it is drenched in real, personal examples - albeit ones that I've actually watched him go through as a fan!
He talks of many idols, and perhaps it would be nice to see the books he refers to with regards NLP (Edit: he does in the Q&A!), but this is more than made up for with an extensive QA session at the end from players fans nd other keepers
Quote literally something for everyone.

Working in sales there are a number of books which talk hyperbolically of these ideas. This is a man who has been there, done it, got the (number 1!) shirt!
Englands englands number one!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I love it
Great read
Published 1 month ago by Mike M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Fantastic for all goalkeepers and anyone who wants to hear about real life situations in relation to psychology. Read more
Published 2 months ago by DM
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb thought provoking piece of work
Well the myth is footballers are not too bright and some of the biographies they 'write' would support this but this book, an account of one season at Brentford F.C. Read more
Published 7 months ago by D. Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read!
Very interesting. Exact description, prompt delivery. I'm very happy with this purchase. Works great and it was exactly what I was looking for.
Published 11 months ago by Adeoye Adekoyejo
2.0 out of 5 stars Graduation
Started off well but became repetitive and quite hard work as the book wore on. Also far too much time at the end with the Q&A's with other goalkeepers, didn't really see the... Read more
Published 12 months ago by David Heavens
5.0 out of 5 stars Graduation by Richard Lee
I am not one for reading, in fact I have only read about 2 books in the last 5 years if that! But I read this book after speaking to Richard regarding a business opportunity and... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Lee McClay
5.0 out of 5 stars You will not regret buying this book !
If you are a goalkeeper then this is a book you must have on your shelf but let's be honest a book on the shelf is great but in your hand reading it will be a million times more... Read more
Published 21 months ago by SimonC
5.0 out of 5 stars Honest, Refreshing, Gripping, Interesting and Fun
I'd like to start by saying I am not a Brentford fan, so don't think this book is only for Brentford fans, it's not. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Alan Wright
3.0 out of 5 stars Graduation
Didn't take long to read, could have been more of an insight into being a professionasl football but overal very bland
Published on 21 Oct 2012 by bigboybath
5.0 out of 5 stars Ed Bloom
I just want to start by saying that I am not a reader!! I was recommended by a friend at work that I had to read Richard Lee's - Graduation - A life lesson of a professional... Read more
Published on 11 Sep 2012 by Ed Bloom
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