Tyson Strauser's Reviews > Open

Open by Andre Agassi
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M 50x66
's review
Sep 22, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: behavioral, leisure, process
Read in July, 2011

Andre Agassi's book is exactly as titled: Open.

The first person narrative takes us deep into the mind of one of tennis's greatest athletes. Andre's love for life and hate for tennis set the tone for this story of elated highs and depressing lows, in life, in love and in sport.

What I like best about the book is Andre's process for handling pressure. He describes something we have all felt in both personal, professional and athletic situations, the pressure of anxiety on a big stage:

"Butterflies are funny. Some days they make you run to the toilet. Other days they make you horny. Other days they make you laugh, and long for the fight. Deciding which type of butterflies you've got going (monarchs or moths) is the first order of business when you're driving to the arena. Figuring out your butterflies, deciphering what they say about the status of yoru mind and body, is the first step to making them work for you."

Andre's candid description of anxiety under pressure is a useful snapshot. It highlights the question we must constantly ask ourselves: Why are you so nervous? Sometimes, success comes from understanding how to play with a lead, how to play from behind, and occasionally, knowing when you need to change the game plan or rules entirely.
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