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  • The Captain Class

  • The Hidden Force Behind the World's Greatest Teams
  • Written by: Sam Walker
  • Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.9 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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The Captain Class

Written by: Sam Walker
Narrated by: Keith Szarabajka
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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of The Captain Class: The Hidden Force Behind the World's Greatest Teams by Sam Walker, read by Keith Szarabajka.

Several years ago Sam Walker set out to answer one of the most hotly debated questions in sport: what are the greatest teams of all time? He devised a formula and applied it to thousands of teams across the world from the English Premier League to the NFL. When he was done, he had a list of the 16 most dominant teams ever. At that point he became obsessed with another more complex question: what did these freak teams have in common?

As Walker dug more deeply, a pattern emerged: the teams were all driven by a singular type of leader, but not one with the characteristics you might expect. They were unorthodox outliers - awkward and disagreeable, marginally skilled, poor verbal communicators, at times aggressive and rule-breaking, and, rather than pursue fame, they preferred to hide in the shadows both on and off the field. Captains, in short, who will challenge your assumptions of what inspired leadership looks like.

From the captains of world-renowned teams like Barcelona, Brazil, the All Blacks and the New York Yankees to lesser known successes of Soviet ice hockey or French handball, The Captain Class unveils the seven key qualities that make these elite leaders exceptional. Drawing on original interviews with athletes from two dozen countries as well as coaches, managers and others skilled at building teams, Walker attempts to answer questions such as: are great captains made or born? Why do so many teams pick the wrong captains? Why has the value of the captain fallen out of favour, and how can it be revived? The culmination of 10 years' research and a lifetime of sports watching, The Captain Class is like no other sports book and is guaranteed to spark endless debate and heated argument among fans of every sport.

©2017 Sam Walker (P)2017 Random House AudioBooks

What listeners say about The Captain Class

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  • Ronan Sherlock
  • 09-11-22

Brilliant

Brilliant
Enjoyed every minute of this book and will listen again for certain. Thank you

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  • Anonymous User
  • 28-11-20

great by all categories, so interesting & fun

The book is really amazing, so is the reading. many important thoughts for all coaches & sports men & women

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  • Kevin Wilby
  • 07-06-17

Eye opening on team sporting greatness

I thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the common thread that links the greatest sporting teams.
I also liked that Keith Szarabajka attempted the different global accents, some of them were so bad I loved them. It added an extra flavour to what was being told.
The captain class told fascinating stories on the people who drove their respective team amongst the 16 greatest teams in the world of sport to the top of their games.

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  • Paul
  • 10-02-18

drudgery

generically selected criteria to whittle down achievements from different sports teams on different continents. stats to counter some other stats. joyless drudgery. gave up very early.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-09-22

Interesting read

Interesting read. The premise is surprising and the theory is informative and unexpected. Recommended

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-03-21

Good book, mostly well read.

The book is an interesting presentation of the authors “Captain theory” - asserting that the single most important factor to a sports team achieving sustained dominance in their sport over a number of seasons is the choice of captain.

A well presented and always interesting book, the main gripe I have is with this recording is with Keith Szarabajka‘s very dodgy accents and repeated mispronunciations people and place names - I think if Keith ever visits Nantes he would be well advised to employ some close protection officers during the trip!

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  • Donald Nixon
  • 20-02-21

Great book.

Very interesting listen with a lot of information that will change the way I will look at successful teams. Maybe not the easiest of listens as a lot of it is based before I was born (1994) but all the same it was ver informative and made we want to go back through the history books to look at the teams and captains mentioned. I’ll forever remember it when I see any team sport now and if I ever become a captain of my team I’ll want to try and live by the characteristics that summed up these amazing athletes.

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  • MR A PATTERSON
  • 06-02-21

Great book

It continues to get better the further into it you listen. A really compelling story that should be of interest to anyone who is involved with sport, a fan of sport, or interested in leadership in general.

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  • adam luke smith
  • 08-12-20

ignore the accents but very interesting.

great stories and comparison between captains who didn't make the grade and who did and why.

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  • Daniel
  • 24-11-20

Great insight into leaders and leadership

Great insightful and interesting points on how leaders are formed and indeed lead - well worth a listen

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  • Anonymous User
  • 24-08-20

Narration

would be ok if there was a different narrator. I had to turn it off because of the ridiculous accents

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  • Sean
  • 13-07-20

Unscientific and riddled with political propaganda

The author make a great effort to scientifically rank the teams but then inexplicably bases the argument for the primacy of captains entirely on anecdotal stories.

Quite bizarrely, every mention of a Central and Eastern European team is accompanied by a tirade against the evils of the Soviet Union. It doesn't fit with the purpose of the book and makes the author come across as bitter and, honestly, just weird.

Finally, the author evidently knows very little about football (i.e. soccer), frequently misusing terminology and mispronouncing names.