One of the best readings this year was Agassi's biography, "Open". The book explained so many concepts that I enjoyed each page even though I never followed tennis.
Agassi's life is a rollercoaster! He hated tennis, yes you read correctly! He played tennis mainly because his father -a frustrated athlete- only wanted one of his sons to be ATP number one. Over the first chapters, you can learn much about parenthood and childhood behaviour, and you can mainly see what you shouldn't do! Because Agassi hated playing, he always tried to be on edge to be out kicked out of the tennis jail.
One of the best learnings you can take is how important the people around you are. It is crazy that Agassi's first fitness trainer didn't help. When Gil Reyes started, it was a successful partnership and brought Agassi's performance to the best level. It's clear how vital a mentor and partners are to help others achieve the best, which happens in all roles and professions. I can highlight this paragraph: At the beginning of my journey, my friend Gil said to me, "Andre, you have dreams and I have strong shoulders, so stand on my shoulders and reach."
The same thing with perfectionism when Agassi's hired Brad Gilbert as a trainer; Brad rapidly made it clear that not all the tennis points need to be perfect, not all the matches incredible, just a victory and finish the work. You can read four phases about the rivals: thinking, recognising, analysing and capitalising. Brad made it clear how to spend energy on only the needed things. I can remark this quote from Agassi: -you hope to be perfect but only need to be better than one-. I wish this concept could be spread across IT industry, where sometimes I feel that we only accept the perfect code and not the one that do the work and live with it.
But even when he won and made history, he fell -dragons always awaited us- and it was big! His relationship broke, media added too much pressure, drugs, and depression. Over the book, you'll identify all red flags, and sometimes we should care why someone reached that state instead of complaining about him.
But after the fall, luckily, it was a rise! I enjoyed that part of the book. Even when he played at 200 ATP world, he started to enjoy himself, he knew how to play, and the victories were for him, not his father, sponsors or whatever. He was playing for himself and his team, he was proud about being #1 again, and when someone takes ownership of their dreams, it can be unstoppable!
I Loved this book. It taught different aspects about parenthood, behaviour, relationships, partnerships and life journey, which is what we all do!