How much would Agassi have accomplished if he didn't have a tyrant father?

How much would Agassi have accomplished if he didn't have a tyrant father?

  • Less Slams

    Votes: 27 73.0%
  • Same number of Slams

    Votes: 2 5.4%
  • More Slams

    Votes: 7 18.9%
  • Way more Slams like 25

    Votes: 1 2.7%

  • Total voters
    37

zill

Hall of Fame
I am reading "Open" right now and it seems his Dad pushed him way too hard. We all know tennis is about talent and lots need to go right to be a professional tennis player. He obviously had all of it but had some psychological problems it seems when he was in his prime years and this adversely affected his career. He has the talent so my question is would Agassi have achieved more having had a loving father who wasn't overly pushing but supported him all the way in tennis like enrolling him in a dedicated tennis academy etc. So started him young and encourage him obviously but not be overly pushy and obsessed about tennis.
 

jrepac

Hall of Fame
I think he would have played it but with more drive of his own. And would become more successful as a result.
I think that is wishful thinking. Of course, tryanny has its limits. Capriati and Pierce also had rather tyrannical dads, very bad in Pierce's case, as I recall.
 

RyanRF

Professional
Both of the following are true:
  • Agassi was a legendary tennis player because his father forced him into it
  • Agassi hated tennis for most of his career because his father forced him into it
If Agassi's dad didn't force him, Agassi probably wouldn't have been as good or even played at all... but that still doesn't mean it was the right thing to do.

The vast majority of kids that are forced into things they don't like will not have the silver-lining of later fame and success.
 

NickJ

Professional
I've played since I was 7, started because my parents wanted to do the weekly shop in peace for an hour without me pestering and being a nuisance, so I was sent to coaching. I grew to love the game, got better and ended up gaining my coaching qualification myself.
I've always said that any child I had, i would never push into playing, tennis or any sport. If they wanted to play, fine, but i would never force them. If they asked for help & to play, I would be there for them. I now have a little girl coming up to 3 and I bought her a tiny 17" racquet which she sometimes pushes the ball around the grass in the back garden, but that's it. I throw to her but then she usually gets distracted by the swing or the trampoline. And that's fine too.
My point is, I never had the tyrant of a father, he just wanted me to play whatever I enjoyed, and that's how I am with my daughter. Also probably why I've never won a Slam. Agassi's dad was a major factor in his success, but a lot of it has to come from Andre himself being super talented naturally. There would've been a point where he'd have thought I don't need my dads permission or harshness, I want to play. Perhaps the prize/sponsorship money helped that! But you also have to look at it that if his dad didn't push him, he wouldn't be where he is now, with Steffi and their kids. If my daughter wants me to coach her I will, but not to the detriment of it ruining our relationship. Pros & Cons for both sides.
 

brian anderson

Semi-Pro
Both of the following are true:
  • Agassi was a legendary tennis player because his father forced him into it
  • Agassi hated tennis for most of his career because his father forced him into it
If Agassi's dad didn't force him, Agassi probably wouldn't have been as good or even played at all... but that still doesn't mean it was the right thing to do.

The vast majority of kids that are forced into things they don't like will not have the silver-lining of later fame and success.
wrong it was the right thing to do. first he’s super rich. second met his wife playing. piped out kids. third. used money and fame to help under privileged kids in vegas. so he missed the prom. cry me a river.
 

RyanRF

Professional
wrong it was the right thing to do. first he’s super rich. second met his wife playing. piped out kids. third. used money and fame to help under privileged kids in vegas. so he missed the prom. cry me a river.
It only seems correct in hindsight.

The vast majority of people who try to duplicate what Andre's father did will just end up messing up their kids.
 

Musterrific

Professional
Andre's natural extreme talent combined with his dad's drive is what produced his ATG success. The chemistry was right. Take one element away and the results are probably nil. Keep in mind that there are thousands of crazy obsessive parents like Agassi's dad that push their kids to excel at sport but yield little to nothing. Exceptional talent needs to be present that can be worked with.
 

boredone3456

G.O.A.T.
I think that is wishful thinking. Of course, tryanny has its limits. Capriati and Pierce also had rather tyrannical dads, very bad in Pierce's case, as I recall.
I think it could be said it was really bad in both cases, Pierce's father was abusive to everybody to the point he was banned from the entire tour and Capriati eventually felt so lost she turned to drugs and became suicidal. They weren't the only ones, Jaeger also had a famously tyrannical father, we've all heard the story of him chucking her out of their room the night before her Wimbledon final.

I think With Agassi it could have gone either way. A tyrant parent at a young age can drive you to perform, or drive you off the deep end. I think in Agassi's case it definitely drove him to perform. However as he got older and developed his own love of the game he certainly seemed a lot happier than in his rebel youth days. Maybe if he had been able to develop that love in his own way as a young player he could have achieved more...or maybe he never would have played at all. Who knows?

Tyranical parents and tour pressure is why we now see much fewer teen phenoms I think. The tour has really tried to limit exposure to younger players to avoid them having major mental health scares. It didn't really help any of these players that they were playing full on schedules at 14, 15 years old against players twice their ages.
 

Thetouch

Professional
I never bought Agassi's "hate" for tennis and his dad probably wasn't as tough to him as he claims either. They may have argued a lot but in the end of the day his dad could have never made him go pro, play tennis till his mid 30s and win 8 slams by force if Andre didn't want to. However I can see that Agassi probably hated living in the Bollettieri academy during his youth.
 

Defcon

Hall of Fame
Lot of children have bad childhoods. Being made to play tennis, a rich mans sport, is hardly some kind of hardship.

He should thank his parents for what they made him. Do you think it's easy for the parents? They sacrifice far more and all they get is blame.
 

mctennis

Legend
I read his book, a so-so read. I am not sure he ever REALLY loved to play tennis. I think he grew to enjoy the fame and money. One good thing is he met Steffi Graf. Also he is giving back to the community of Las Vegas.
 

Rosstour

Legend
How many kids have that drive to pick up a sport and pursue it solo? Put a racket in the hands of dozens of kids and most will put it down not long after if given the option. Much like writing and reading really.
but that's not what he proposed. He proposed that Agassi's dad was still involved and still pushed him, just not negatively and abusively.
 
He would likely followed in his father's footsteps and gotten a job in Vergas as a doorman--likely would not have married Brooke Shields or Steffi Graf.
 

Rosstour

Legend
Not sure. How abusive were they already?
Not at all. Rafa's weren't either. And neither were the Djokovics.

I think that generally, abusing your children does more harm than good--and doesn't really make them more driven. If anything it can squelch drive that was already there. And IMO Agassi VASTLY underachieved. Plus the drugs and the rapid fall from the top.
 
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