No question that the Andre Agassi autobiography is going to be a major bestseller. Agassi is extremely honest, forthcoming, and candid about his tennis career.
But what concerns me is that he openly says that he hated played tennis for 30 years – -that he was merely trying to appease his father who pressured him to play and succeed, and that along the way, he looked upon his life at Nick Bollitieri’s tennis academy as a kind of forced prison for tennis. In short, Agassi seemed to lead a very unhappy life. It got so bad that he turned to drug abuse to help escape the pressures.
What’s the takeaway from this? To me, this is a classic case of sports parenting gone wild. At least Andre was able to survive and succeed….but what about all the other kids who are pressured by their parents to win in sports — not just in tennis, but in all the other sports.
Bottom line: OPEN should serve as a modern-day cautionary tale for ambitious sports parents who are convinced they ought to push their kids to becoming great athletes.