Andre Agassi”s father!


A few days ago Tennis legend Andre Agassi got inducted to the Tennis Hall of Fame. I dont care much for tennis but i always know when all the major championships are being played.

However, as Andre accepted the honour he made a very impressive and well thought out speech. What particularly impressed me was the way he spoke about his fathers impact on his life. I am a firm believer in the power of affirming your children through encouragment and positive words , especially since i had the priviledge of being raised by exceptional parents.

Andre aged 6 with his father courtesy

Please find below excerpts of his speech:

Dad, when I was five, you told me to win Wimbledon; when I was seven, you told me to win all of the four Grand Slams; and more times that I can remember you told me to get into the Hall of Fame. And when I was 29, I don’t know if you remember this, you told me to marry Steffi Graf. Best order you ever gave me. So Dad, please don’t ever stop telling me what to do
wow! talk about a great dad! Imagine if his father had said “andre you know what? your a loser… you will never amount to anything…your such a lousy tennis player” ..he may still have made it to the top inspite of all the negativity but most probably not.

Parenting is one of the toughest and most rewarding jobs on the planet! Its not something any of us should take lightly as an individuals destiny can be marred by a bad parent. think about the kids in the projects, do you know that statistic show that children who are raised without a father are more likely to end up behind bars?
Look at Oprah…one of the most succesful women on earth, if not for her father who she lived with and who encouraged her passion for eductaion she may not be a household name today.

Even though Emmanuel Agassi has been at various times been described as having a violent nature, and was in no way the perfect father, he seems to have been a good dad to his son.

Yes, mothers are the primary caregivers and many mums have raised exceptional kids on their own but Fathers you need to be around to also motivate your kids and instruct them in the right way like Andre’s father.

** Note that all I have written about Andre’s father is entirely based upon Andre’s speech.


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  1. excuse me, have you read the book? A "good dad"? Oh, and for the record, "you are such a lousy tennis player", "you amount to nothing", "you're a loser". this is what this good dad told Phillip, Andre's brother. Andre was the chosen one to become the first. Forced into playing day and night, against a machine his own "good dad" built, shooting balls at a crazy speed. Andre called it "the Dragon".
    And you think this is what "encouraging children" means? This is good parenting?

    Well, I am surprised Andre is still here to tell his story. And if he is, I credit him for that – not his father.
    Roma, Italia

  2. Wow! Thanks for your perspective diana. I had no idea andres dad treated phillip that's way, and no I have not read the book you mentioned.
    I made this post based on andres speech which is guess isn't enough to judge a mans standards.
    Thanks for showing me another side.

  3. no problem, chioma
    but mind you, it is not my perspective, it's facts. Andre went through hell, because of his father, yet he doesn't complain, or anything. Just tells the facts and writes about how he felt.
    I am no tennis fan, like Andre isn't either (he "hates tennis"), but I loved his book. David Foster Wallace was disapponted by Tracy Austin's biography, he would have loved this one!

  4. hi there, came to this blog by searching for some pictures of Andre with his dad and I don't think that message of the book Open is as one sided as you put it, Diana…
    I suggest you read the book yourself, Chioma, "Open" is truly open, but not judgmental towards Andre's father… yes, he did not treat his brother equally but Andre spent some words on explaining what was behind that behaviour and whether you like it or not, we must credit him for the fact Andre made it into tennis, the road he chose then was his choice and although he hated tennis, he sticked to it and the life journey brought him to Steffi (how I love the lines describing their tennis training 🙂 ) and made him realize the most important things in life… that is what I could see in the book as well,
    who are we to judge Mr. Agassi?
    Anyway, Open is brilliant book to read whether you like tennis or not.
    Prague, Czech Republic

  5. I agree with Libs… ‘Open’ is a wonderful and non-judgmental account. Andre’s dad was definitely no angel but as Oprah always says, ‘when you know better, you do better’. Even though he was deeply flawed, Andre ultimately recognized his father’s impact on his life… he helped him to become who he ultimately chose to be (a renowned tennis player), and sometimes even a negative impact can push one to be better, teach you what *not* to do and how to overcome negative emotions.

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