Sean Conley is a former professional football kicker who was signed by three different NFL teams. Due to injuries, mostly from overtraining, he never made it past a few NFL pre-season games and a season in NFL Europe.
The fact he made it to NFL training camps at all is quite remarkable given he never played American football in high school and after two years of college he had an appalling record for his Division III college team (he describes himself as statistically the worst place kicker in the country that season!)
The Point After is Conley’s account of his kicking career and coming to terms with retiring from the game without having scaled the heights he believed were possible. It is a story of resilience, determination, ambition, love, heartbreak and ultimately the realisation of what truly matters.
As well as detailing the trials and tribulations of life as a collegiate and professional football player, Conley also touches on his relationships, particularly with his wife and his late father. You get a very real sense of Conley as a person in a way which many memoirs fail to achieve.
The book has an honesty and an authenticity which lift it from being a routine sports memoir into a memorable, poignant and entertaining read. The fact that it’s not ghostwritten contributes to this genuineness. It’s also clear that Conley is a talented writer and the book has been superbly edited as the narrative flows easily and consistently.
The Point After captures something very real about life, ambition, family and the expectations we place on ourselves. While it has fascinating insights into life at the lower rung of professional sport, the real strength of the book is how relatable Conley’s emotional journey is.