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Tennis legend Andre Agassi’s resilience lesson for top performers explained

 In Learning from Luminaries, Sports people

‘It’s about recognizing that regardless of what the score is,tennis

the most important point is that next point.’

Andre Agassi.

A number of years ago I was watching a tennis match between the legendary player, Andre Agassi and Australian, Mark Philippoussis. During one part of the match Agassi had a run of playing poorly, and losing a string of points. 

After he had lost another game point, there was a change-over of ends.  The TV camera cut to Agassi seated on his resting chair. I expected see him berating himself about his poor performance and getting down on himself.

Instead, he calmly sat on his chair, taking his time while he had a drink, and then in a ‘business-like’ manner exchanged his sweat-soaked tennis shirt for a fresh one.

To me, it was remarkable, how he seemed to put all the negativity of the past 20 minutes or so behind him, and then turn his focus on what he needed to do in the next game.

Last year I was reading a Harvard Business Review article Life’s work: An Interview with Andre Agassi where Agassi relayed his strategy in playing points – which to me, explained his behaviour in the Philippoussis match.

In response to the question: ‘You had epic match comebacks too.

How did you develop that resilience?’ 

Agassi responded:

‘It’s about recognizing that regardless of what the score is, the most important point is that next point.’

Here’s the reason I share this vignette with you.

As a BDM you obviously, at times, have bad runs of rejections. Where it seems things are stacked against you, through no fault of your own.

At those times, doubt can creep in. And that is dangerous, because when you interact with your next prospect, that doubt may leak out and undermine your performance.

At those times of doubt, take a leaf out of Agassi’s playbook. Remember that the most important business development opportunity, is the one you’re about to enter into.

Remember to bring your ‘A’ game – no matter the ‘score‘/string of consecutive knockbacks you’ve had.

Your CALL to action/HOW to apply for this posts: Write down the above Agassi quotation – somewhere where it can be readily viewed, as you go about your business development work.

Before a BD interaction, recite the quotation aloud or silently, to prompt you to bring top performance to every business development interaction.

Check out this post in handling fear in sales presentations

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