Life after tennis

Life lessons from tennis legend Andre Agassi as he begins his latest venture…


Are your decisions based on instinct or information?

I have a gut instinct – a feeling for what I want to do. Then I feel committed to doing it.

How do you start your day?

We live on a tight schedule. My day starts at 6.30am. I wake up before the kids and help them with breakfast, and Steffi [Graf] and I take turns with the school run.

Who do you consider to be your biggest inspiration?

Nelson Mandela. He believed that no journey is impossible and everyone is important. When I met him I didn’t know what I could ever achieve again. It was 1997, at an event for his foundation in Johannesburg. He made me feel I could be better than I was that day.

What is the most important decision you have made in your professional life?

My decision, when my world ranking had dropped to 141, not to quit. I started over again, and my career lasted until I was 36. I almost did throw the towel in, though.

What is the “secret” of your success?

I don’t ever land. I don’t ever arrive. I don’t ever win. I live. I fight. I try never to give up on setbacks: the health of people you love, the disappointment of your own circumstances; ailments, trials, tribulations. I would encapsulate my life by saying it’s not done. Nor will it ever be done. And at that stage I don’t think I’ll care any more anyway.

What separates winners from losers?

It’s the ability to accurately define what success means. Champions understand that success is a by-product of hard work.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

It came from my coach Brad Gilbert. He always focused on the importance of controlling what it is you can control. If something’s out of your control then it’s important you spend no energy worrying about it. That advice helped my tennis and my post-tennis career too.

When do you do your best work?

I do my best work when I’m most in fear, pressured and concerned. It’s part of my strength and a downside of being a tortured professional. If I care about something, it consumes me.

Andre Agassi is launching his Bilt by Agassi & Reyes fitness range, which is available at selected David Lloyd leisure clubs. Visit Bilt by Agassi and Reyes

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