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Reading the Lincoln Phillips autobiography created several flash backs of my time with Lincoln. Sitting with the Lincoln Phillips Soccer School staff, of which there were representatives from Europe, the Middle East, South America, the Caribbean and North America, listening to the passionate articulation of each members philosophy and approach to how the game should be played, Lincoln would acknowledge everyone’s opinion, but as the head coach he would find a way to have the daily delivery of instruction done so that everyone was on the same page. Throughout the book there are instances where this ability to observe, listen and sort the many layers of opinion, egos and personalities demonstrates the role of the coach and why he was successful in his coaching endeavors.
I also remember sitting in Frankford airport saying so long to a few of my German coaching friends, who had worked at Lincoln’s and seeing several of my Brazilian coaching friends, who were coming to Germany to observe training methods and a couple of clinics and realized there is no magic formula that you can rely on to insure success in coaching the game. The attributes of a coach who fulfills the variety of roles that a coach must perform are again illustrated through the career of Lincoln and in the book.
“The thousand mile journey starts with one step,” an Asian observation.

Bernd Schunk

‘I would have my say. Consequences be damned.’
The last lines of the prologue, but, the ongoing challenge of daring to speak truth from one’s deepest origins.
The words of Lincoln ‘Tiger’ Phillips from his book, “Rising Above and beyond the Crossbar,” a piece of the story of his life. And for me, what a rising. A powerfully revealing story of the ways in which Cultural Insensitivities continue to undermine the fabric of our social interactions at the highest levels, wherever we are.
We are reminded of Sisyphus rolling his big stone up the hill, only to have it come crashing down, and having to begin the journey over and over again. Lincoln is able to share his triumphs and defeats, defending himself with the sword of his deep spiritual convictions. He is not ashamed to reveal his humble beginnings and his rewards for hard work.
Then there is a supporting cast along the way. People whom you thought you knew. Some from the Caribbean, Africa, the U.S.A.; International players kicking themselves into the reality of the American Dream. Meet Spirit, Dirty Harry, Oswin, Bronco and Billy, Ms. Phillips and the four Phillips Horsemen; family by blood, sweat and necessity.
You think it easy to move from the Dust Bowl into the Master Bedroom? Think again, as you read this book. Hear the music of the engine room, feel the discipline of the Army, glimpse the workings of the NCAA, CONCACAF, FIFA; stroll through Howard U., understand arrogance and Mamagism, and the rewards of preparation. Understand the magic of belief in a book which I consider a must read for young, old and the unsure.
Dare to journey with Lincoln through a life filled with ‘goose bump’ memories of a vibrant and passionate past. Relive the nostalgia of youth, as you traverse your, and my Alma Mater. Read, Relive and Rally around this ‘Rising.

Hollis ‘Flash’ Lashley
Author, “Gifts From The Heart” and Cultural Activist.

Reading the Lincoln Phillips book created several flash backs of my time with Lincoln. Sitting with the Lincoln Phillips Soccer School staff, of which there were representatives from Europe, the Middle East, South America, the Caribbean and North America, listening to the passionate articulation of each members philosophy and approach to how the game should be played, Lincoln would acknowledge everyone’s opinion, but as the head coach he would find a way to have the daily delivery of instruction done so that everyone was on the same page. Throughout the book there are instances where this ability to observe, listen and sort the many layers of opinion, egos and personalities demonstrates the role of the coach and why he was successful in his coaching endeavors.
I also remember sitting in Frankford airport saying so long to a few of my German coaching friends, who had worked at Lincoln’s and seeing several of my Brazilian coaching friends, who were coming to Germany to observe training methods and a couple of clinics and realized there is no magic formula that you can rely on to insure success in coaching the game. The attributes of a coach who fulfills the variety of roles that a coach must perform are again illustrated through the career of Lincoln and in the book.
“The thousand mile journey starts with one step,” an Asian observation.

David Nesbit

LincolnTiger” Phillips

Rising Above and Beyond the Crossbar

Preface

One advantage the immigrant has over the native is the ability to see opportunities hiding in plain sight to which the native is blind – being able to see a forest and not just trees.   It is this acumen that led a gifted black athlete on the national teams in two sports, and with a promising military career, to emigrate with his wife and two young sons from his safe and comfortable tropical paradise to the United States of the turbulent 1960s. He used his gift of vision, encouraged by boundless optimism, to create a lifework that is a model of professional achievement and successful family life.   Lincoln “Tiger” Phillips, Trinidad and Tobago’s legendary goalkeeper, North American Soccer League player, soccer coach of two Howard University NCAA Division I championship teams, USA national soccer team goalkeeper coach and FIFA staff coach undertook this career journey that is both inspiring and illuminating.

The classic ”rags to riches” story in the Horatio Alger tradition is of a poor, working class boy who through hard work, perseverance and uncompromising integrity overcomes tremendous obstacles to achieve great wealth and social standing. Lincoln’s character and work ethic enabled him to meet challenges as daunting as in the Alger stories but his rewards were far greater than wealth. He has made a real difference in the lives of thousands of people all over the world. He did this by instilling national pride through his exploits on the playing field, by coaching and mentoring young people at Howard University, the USA’s and Trinidad and Tobago’s national soccer teams, by lecturing at FIFA coaches’ training, and by guiding the Trinidad and Tobago national soccer team, and therefore its players, to international prominence.

Lincoln’s life has been a dogged progression from poverty on Bengal Street in St. James, Trinidad to a position of great responsibility and influence as Technical Director of the Trinidad and Tobago Football Federation for which he enjoys the deep respect and esteem of his fellow citizens. Along the way he learned self-discovery, perseverance, leadership, judicious risk-taking, maximizing the value of teamwork, and humility. His has been a lifetime of accomplishment pursued with determination, humility and grace. Lincoln’s nickname “Tiger” is most apt because it symbolizes graceful motion and ferocity and he was both graceful and ferocious between the uprights. As keen and unrelenting as Lincoln was in competition, he has been considerate and humble in his everyday dealings with everyone in his orbit. Lincoln “Tiger” Phillips’ story is a gift to readers that will cheer, energize and impel others towards a commitment to selfless service and generosity.

Neville DeHann

In this biography, Lincoln Phillip’s amazing story is viewed through many lenses, Husband, Father, Player, Coach, Administrator, and Leader. A poignant narrative, this book takes the reader through the many places and interesting times of an extraordinary man’s life. Lincoln is a man who came from humble beginnings, and rose by sheer determination to live a life that impacted many who came in contact with him.

In the twenty five plus years of our friendship, Lincoln has been a friend, mentor and teacher to me. Lincoln defines the meaning of the word “Leader”. In his biography, there are many instances and situations in which Lincoln embraced the personal and professional challenges that presented themselves to him in the many phases of his life. For me the book is a great representation of a “Leader” in life.

Jon Stueckenschneider
Sergeant NYPD,
Assistant Men’s Soccer Coach
Farmingdale State College

 

Amazon Reviews

5 out of 5 stars
The blueprint for many athlete biographies is a tired one …

The blueprint for many athlete biographies is a tired one: provide for a narrative of only the events from critical matches during their competitive prime.
This book provides for something very different for a different type of reader.
Although Mr. Phillips recounts a limited number of match events, what one takes from this book is an understanding of the individual off of the field as well as on. His social, financial and political challenges he faced in his home and his adopted home provide a richly woven tapestry of a story.
Young athletes should consider reading this book for understanding the necessary and often heartbreaking decisions of being an elite athlete and also a parent. The book also depicts these tough decisions while facing social prejudices to his skin color ~ and to helping other success. Throughout, Mr Phillips demonstrates the utilization of his passion for life and sport to assist with achieving his goals.
This is an enjoyable and worthwhile read.

ByPaul Cacolice
August 3, 2014

5 out of 5 stars
A life well lived

El Tigre is more than a footballer. He is a loving father, son and husband. He tells his story worts and all demonstrating what a true scholar-athlete can do. Andrew A. Zvara

Andrew
May 31, 2014

5 out of 5 stars
Love this book

This book not only relates the story of a Soccer star but it tells the story of preserving against all odds, the sacrifices and dedication it takes to win in sport and in life. The author had hard times, racial discrimination and other issues but he and his soccer recruits, buddies made it. Most of all I admire the authors love and respect for the women folk in his life, especially his wife. He was his father’s son but not his father.

monica mitchell
May 27, 2014

4 out of 5 stars
It was a good read. Unless you are a true fan or …

It was a good read. Unless you are a true fan or student of the game, you may not completely understand or respect the efforts that the author has made, to help, “Introduce the game,” to the United States. However, if you read the book & then follow the paths of his children, you may be able to realize, “How important it is,” to have a father in your life. That’s what this book teaches you, when you actually, “Read between the lines.”

Michael P. Woolseyon
July 14, 2014

 

5 out of 5 stars
Lincoln Phillips, one of the Founding Fathers of Soccer in America

Excellent account of an amazing man and his role in the beginnings of serious soccer in America.

E.A. Stonesifer
July 18, 2014

5 out of 5 stars
Rising above and beyond the crossbar

Insightful recollection of growing up in Trinidad when success in sport depended on raw talent and the ability to grasp wholeheartedly even the slightest of opportunities which comes one’s way. It tells his own truth in an environment where “mauvais langue” florishes so easily.

Boni
“Say something about yourself! Unfortunately, having ordered my books I am finding it unnecessarily difficult to access my books”
June 13, 2014

5 out of 5 stars
A riveting and evocative read

This book is enjoyable and very easy to read.
The writer’s unpretentious prose, presented in standard English, delightfully and often unexpectedly flows smoothly into Trinidad slang – in the same sentence – often to dramatic effect. I found myself totally absorbed in the evocative imagery he painted of Lincoln’s early life in Trinidad, in and around St. James and the Queen’s Park Savannah with personalities such as Pa Aleong. He has succeeded in capturing the trials, tribulations and unbridled joys of playing football for school, country, club and die-hard fans in Trinidad in the era before the English Premier League became available in living colour on television screens in Trinidad and Tobago and across the world.
His accounts of events in Lincoln’s life in the USA are a revelation. Often understated and concise, he paints a picture of a highly successful, enjoyable but often very difficult life in the USA where “Tiger” was undoubtedly an unforgettable trailblazer in the world of Soccer. Here too the writing style is easy, fluent and almost conversational but at the same time extremely powerful and loaded with high drama.
This style is continued as details are recounted of Lincoln’s eventful short-lived sojourn back in Trinidad to work within the Jack Warner football fiefdom.
This publication makes a major contribution to recording and understanding the sporting and social histories of Trinidad and of Trinidadians in the Soccer world in the USA.

Ashton Brereton
June 3, 2014

5 out of 5 stars
Five Stars

Great read, thoroughly enjoyed the insight into the history of one of the greats of Trini football!

Matthew
July 16, 2014


5 out of 5 stars
BUY THIS BOOK!

I was at the Lincoln Phillips Soccer School from its inaugural session at Garrison Forest School in 1975 as a ten-year old and basically grew up there each summer – first as a camper, then as a counselor, and later after turning pro, as a coach. Having just finished Lincoln’s autobiography, I have to say that I only have a deeper appreciation for the man. Before I share some personal experiences, I can only say – BUY THIS BOOK.

No matter your race, you will greatly benefit from Lincoln’s many stories of overcoming racism and adversity to become the champion and great coach he is. The themes of respect, courage, hard work, faith and gratitude flow through the pages. Whether you play(ed) soccer or not, or even dislike sports altogether, you will benefit from Lincoln’s life story and gain a greater understanding of his struggles coming to America in the late sixties as a black Trinidadian.

What is truly amazing to me, being Anglo, is I never in all associations with Lincoln and the many coaches at camp, felt even a hint of malice, reverse discrimination or being left out in any way. Lincoln and the coaches looked at character. The great coaches at camp even taught me how to play rummy and invited me to hang out with them freely at Senior house when I became a counselor and coach.

Lincoln was the first adult to really take me under his wing as a teenage counselor and actually taught me how to speak publicly, and the camp instilled a discipline in me that I have to this day, that helped me to get three college degrees and become a successful businessman. I simply have few people in life that I respect more. When my team won the McGuire Cup in 1983, who was waiting at the gate at National Airport, but Lincoln with a huge smile and a big hug! In 2001 when my dad died, Lincoln showed up at the funeral, as he and my dad had been friends. My family still mentions this.

One thing Lincoln didn’t mention in the book was his influence on my dad, as he may not have realized that his friendship was a motivator for my dad to become more involved in soccer politics and run for USSF president in the early 90s. My dad didn’t have a real shot, but his thesis for a professional league where the teams were owned by the league did take root and morphed into the MLS. So in essence, we can indirectly thank Lincoln for encouraging an unknown man to forward an idea that has sustained the MLS for all these years.

I was sorry to read all the troubles Lincoln had in Trinidad during his recent tenure there. All great coaches have strong ideas and opinions and we would have it no other way. It is unfortunate he wasn’t given full support to install his development system in Trinidad, I think so many would be better off for it. There are so many other things to tell about the book. I hope I have whet your whistle to take the next step and read it for yourself.

J. A. Marucci
April 19, 2014