Why Winners Win
Why Winners Win: The new science of triumph in sports, business, and life.
Why Winners Win, by Nick Summers, via Newsweek Magazine
Why Winners win: Tony O’Brien / Action Images-ZUMASerbia’s Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon on June 25.
Why Winners Win. Andre Agassi Was losing. A lot. After a meteoric start to his professional tennis career, with the best return and fastest reflexes in the game, Agassi had become a chronic underachiever by the early 1990s, dropping early matches and choking in finals alike. And in Key Biscayne, Fla., in March 1994, he was set to lose again—badly—this time to a Pete Sampras who had been nearly incapacitated by food poisoning just moments before the match was to begin.
Frustrated and rudderless, Agassi agreed to have dinner with a prospective new coach, a man whose tennis he didn’t much admire. Brad Gilbert was the anti-Agassi, a moderately talented junker who in his own career had eked out matches he had no right to win. His book about tactics, just published, was titled Winning Ugly. At dinner in Key Biscayne, Agassi wanted an honest assessment of his game. Why did he keep losing to less skilled players?
Gilbert excoriated him for trying to play with perfection. Instead of risking a killer shot on every point, why not keep the ball in play and give the other guy a chance to lose? “It’s all about your head, man,” Gilbert said, as Agassi recalls in his memoir, Open. “With your talent, if you’re fifty percent game-wise, but ninety-five percent head-wise, you’re going to win. But if you’re ninety-five percent game-wise and fifty percent head-wise, you’re going to lose, lose, lose.”
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