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Daily Mirror- Wally meets amazing, hypnotic spot-kick stopper Richard Lee

Daily Mirror article about Richard Lee who talks about his work with Dave Sabat - Saturday 9th October 2010.


Wally meets... Brentford's amazing hypnotic spot-kick stopper Richard Lee

Spellbound under his hypnotist’s hocus-pocus, Richard Lee lay back in the last trance saloon and dreamed of being a Carling Cup hero.

And sure enough, when Brentford’s penalty-saving specialist came round from his session with ­hypnotherapist Dave Sabat, Everton found he was unbeatable.

Lee’s save from Jermaine Beckford in the shoot-out proved decisive, and the Bees’ keeper repeated the trick in his next ­appearance against Leyton Orient in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.

In fact, Lee’s career at Griffin Park has a neat symmetry: four hypnosis sessions, four cup-ties, four wins. Oh, and he’s saved his last four penalties in ‘open’ play as well.

Yes, Lee is the Bees’ knees – which makes boss Andy Scott’s decision to keep him on the bench for League games, and play the on-loan (and cup-tied) Ben Hamer all the more baffling when they are in the drop zone.

Birmingham, the next honey-trap on the Bees’ flight path to Wembley, will soon get the message if it goes to another shoot-out: Lee won’t blink first, because he’ll be under Sabat’s spell again.

He said: “I’ve always been prepared to explore different avenues to help improve my game because goalkeeping is no longer just about stopping shots and catching crosses.

“The psychology, and the mental side of the job, is huge – and after a couple of poor pre-season games, I was lacking confidence, lacking in body language and lacking that one or two per cent that can make all the difference.

“Somehow I wasn’t the quite the same player I had been in the Premier League three or four years ago, so I googled my postcode and the word ‘hypnotist’ – and discovered there was a hypnotherapist with a practice a mile up the road from my flat in Watford.

“I’ve had four sessions with Dave and I’ve produced four of my best performances. You won’t be surprised to learn I’ve booked another appointment to see him the day before Brentford’s Carling Cup tie at Birmingham.”

Lee, 27, has always been one of football’s great explorers. His flourishing online baseball cap ­business, Dr Cap, was featured on TV’s Dragons’ Den, and more recently he has become the Simon Cowell of goalkeeping, launching a nationwide hunt for England’s future No.1 with his coaching workshops GK Icon.

But hypnosis? They used to say you needed to be mad to be a keeper, not bewitched. Look into my eyes, Richard, and tell me it’s for real.

“It’s not like the movies, where a mad professor dangles a stopwatch in front of you and says, ‘You are feeling very sleepy,’ or the Paul McKenna show where people dance around like chickens,” he said.

“You recline in a chair and relax through breathing steadily and being still.

“Dave helps me to bypass the conscious part of my mind and taps into the sub-conscious. He helps me to believe what I really want to believe – that when I’m on the pitch I can’t be beaten.”



Wally meets... Brentford's amazing hypnotic spot-kick stopper Richard Lee

Daily Mirror Hypnosis Richard Lee
Daily Mirror Hypnotist Dave Sabat
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