Saturday, June 3, 2017

Agassi’s role: ‘Mentor’ or ‘Coach’?

The problem with being the best is that it becomes almost impossible not to become utterly narcissistic in the process.  The belief that you are the best in the world may result in you becoming so damn full of yourself that you might just unthinkingly grab the camera out of your wife’s hands to better make kissy-faces to your audience – and forget to thank her for the daily grind of helping you with your mission.

I believe that every extremely successful tennis player risks becoming utterly narcissistic.  Heck, I almost became a narcissist myself after I finally won my first league match!  I lost my head for a moment and started telling our opponents how thrilled I was that I had finally won a match, naively expecting them to actually be happy for me!!  It took a minute for me to realize that they could actually give a crap, especially after having just been informed that they had lost to a typical loser.

Unsurprisingly, an increase in the genuine belief in oneself also naturally follows expert levels of accomplishment.  But, over time, this may be followed by expansive egotism as others keep reminding you of how great you are, as they elevate you to heady levels of regard.  It becomes hard to resist the lure of narcissism as a by-product of stellar success.

(Part 3 of 3)