Book Review: ‘Graduation’ by Brentford goalkeeper Richard Lee
14:50 19 January 2012
Brentford goalkeeper Richard Lee’s book ‘Graduation’ is a unique book, combining football and how to train your mind to improving you as a person.
Lee opens his soul about his relationship with football over the past 12 months, conceding there were times when he hated the game and the focus on the psychological aspect of the game could provide an appealing aspect to readers for Brentford and non-Bees fans alike.
Lee suffered from acute mental anxiety and would "succumb to chronic nerves before games" and serious injuries led to him "consider what I do many times over the years before carrying on."
Lee invites you into his mind and how he worked through these situations and refers strongly to needing a 'Why'.
From being dropped after the first pre-season friendly where he conceded five goals against Fulham and looking destined for the Brentford scrapheap, to becoming the hero against Everton in the Carling Cup victory, making important stops in normal and extra-time as well as saving Jermaine Beckford's penalty, ensuring his place back in the first-team before sustaining a career threatening injury which ruled him out of a Wembley final.
Hypnotherapy played a role in his turnaround at Griffin Park and he describes hypnotist Dave Sabat as a "mentor" and Lee writes that "Dave had made a suggestion for saving a hypothetical Jermaine Beckford penalty," which turned out to be more of a premonition.
There are some romantic descriptions; a goal-post is referred to as a "cylindrical object" and Lee describes himself as "dripping with arrogance" after saving two penalties in a row in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Area Semi-Final shoot-out against Charlton (he also saved the next penalty).
This was a book which was hard to put down and made complicated theories about the mind easy by using the football analogies.