Brad Gilbert, the top tennis coach in America, has guided two of the nation’s hottest players — first Andre Agassi and now Andy Roddick — to the coveted number 1 ranking in the world. And he did it with a unique style that can teach the rest of us everything we need to know about coaching winners—not just on the court, but in the office, classroom, or any other leadership situation.
"Show me a coach," says Gilbert, "who doesn’t listen — really listen — and I’ll show you a probable loser. Show me a coach who domineers and demeans, who manages through fear, and I’ll show you an accident waiting to happen. Show me a coach who doesn’t think it’s just as important to empower the lowliest scrub on the team as it is to cater to the star, and I’ll show you a real short-timer."
When the world’s best players compete, the slightest advantage (or problem) can make all the difference. That’s why Gilbert always goes the extra mile and why he urges every boss to do the same. Whether it’s standing on the other side of the net feeding ball after ball, or endless hours scouting the competition, or just picking up breakfast in the morning, it all counts in building a trusting relationship. Just knowing that their coach is looking out for them unconditionally gives Gilbert’s players an unbeatable edge.
I’ve Got Your Back is filled with insider stories about the pressure- filled world of Grand Slam tennis. From the drama of the U.S. Open and Wimbledon to private moments on the practice court, Gilbert shares what really happens when an already great performer is determined to reach his absolute personal best.
Tennis fans already know Gilbert as the poker-faced guy in the stands with the wrap-around shades and the five o’clock shadow. But they will be surprised to learn that behind the tough guy image is a smart, funny, passionate coach who is intensely competitive yet unflaggingly optimistic and supportive. He’s a role model for anyone who is trying to inspire others to greatness.
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Before he became a coach, Brad Gilbert played professional tennis from 1982 to 1995, winning twenty pro titles. In 1989, he was the number 4 ranked player in the world. He is the author of the tennis classic Winning Ugly.
James Kaplan is the coauthor, with John McEnroe, of You Cannot Be Serious.From Publishers Weekly:
Gilbert (Winning Ugly) has enjoyed a successful career as a tennis coach, including coaching the last two U.S. men who ended a year ranked number one in the world, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick (both of whom provide a foreword), and in this book he tells how he did it: intense loyalty, careful listening, meticulous scouting and doing whatever it took to ensure his player arrived at each match mentally focused on winning. Although Gilbert is considered an excellent technical coach, there is little mention of strokes, grips or tennis strategy in the book. It is an entertaining, behind-the-scenes look at the preparation for a professional tennis match, with only brief attention paid to the match itself and its aftermath. He unsuccessfully tries to stretch the lessons to apply to other sports and business management: full time dedication to bringing a temperamental individual star to peak competitive performance is not transferable to a team sport or a business executive. Moreover, in tennis, the player selects and pays the coach, which makes the relationship different from that of a boss. The book will appeal to tennis fans as an insider's account of the tour, and it will deepen their appreciation for the game that takes place off-court.
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