A Champion's Mind: Lessons from a Life in Tennis Info

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In A Champion’s Mind, the tennis great who so often
exhibited visible discomfort with letting people “inside his
head” finally opens up. An athletic prodigy, Pete resolved from
his earliest playing days never to let anything get in the way of his
love for the game. But while this determination led to tennis
domination, success didn’t come without a price.
Here for
the first time Pete speaks freely about the personal trials he
faced—including the death of a longtime coach and
confidant—and the struggles he gutted his way through while being
seemingly on top of the world. Among the book’s most riveting
scenes are the devastating early loss that led Pete to make a monastic
commitment to the game; fierce on-court battles with Andre Agassi; and
the triumphant last match of Pete’s career at the finals of the
2002 U.S. Open.
"A thoroughly compelling read that really
probes the hard drive of a champion...All the emotion and insight that
Sampras seemes reluctant to express during his playing days come
spilling forth." —Jon Wertheim, senior writer, Sports
Illustrated

Average Ratings and Reviews
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Reviews for A Champion's Mind: Lessons from a Life in Tennis:

3

Mar 28, 2010



I just finish the autobiography of Pete Sampras and have mixed feelings about it. During the time at which he competed with Agassi and there was the rivalry among them I always tended to side with Sampras. I liked better Samprass personality, the quintessential gentleman, a class act. With time Sampras retired, Agassi married Steffi Graff, got rid of its irreverent wardrobe, shaved his colorful hair, in other words, he matured, and my respect grew for him not only for the athlete but for the

I just finish the autobiography of Pete Sampras and have mixed feelings about it. During the time at which he competed with Agassi and there was the rivalry among them I always tended to side with Sampras. I liked better Sampras´s personality, the quintessential gentleman, a class act. With time Sampras retired, Agassi married Steffi Graff, got rid of its irreverent wardrobe, shaved his colorful hair, in other words, he matured, and my respect grew for him not only for the athlete but for the humanitarian. In this book Sampras gives an account of his life in tennis froma a to z and it leaves me with the sensation that I want to know more of what happened behind close doors, what went through his mind, and not necessarily a detail point by point of each game he played during his career.; I found myself thinking the book was a little boring and I would have loved the book to be like his 15th grand slam, a complete success!
I read “Open“ by Agassi first because there was a lot of media coverage about it from the press, unlike with Sampras book. The reason for this I suppose is that Agassi did with his book what he did during most of his public life: he wanted to shock people; he caused a big scandal by badmouthing just about everyone in the tennis world. In contrast Sampras´s book speaks highly of just about everybody: apparently the title “A Champion´s Mind“ has to do not only with Pete´s mind but with the mind of all those that shared a special talent for tennis and in it mentions repeatedly Agassi´s name throughout the book as well as Edberg´s, Becker´s, Ivanisevic´s, Martin´s, Chang´s and many others. On the other hand it pains me to see that Agassi not only speaks badly of Sampras in his book but rarely mentions him. Sampras has a lot of praises for most of his contemporaries including must of all Agassi. That is what I call “class act“. When he does not have anything good to say about somebody he will say it without mentioning name like that a day he said he decided not to take showers in the locker room when after match he saw an X player tinkling in the shower while he bathed. Was it necesarry to reveal the name of the X player? I do not think so. If it had been Agassi writing about it he probably he would have revealed the name of that guy.
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4

Feb 16, 2010

After reading Andre Agassi's autobiography, I felt the need to looking into the autobiography for his long-time rival Pete Sampras. While I enjoyed the book, I was a little disappointed by the fact that the book really is an overview of his professional life.

With all fairness to Sampras, the subtitle (Lessons from a Life in Tennis) should have made it clear that he was going to be focusing mostly on his time on the courts. I just would have liked to know more about him as a person and those After reading Andre Agassi's autobiography, I felt the need to looking into the autobiography for his long-time rival Pete Sampras. While I enjoyed the book, I was a little disappointed by the fact that the book really is an overview of his professional life.

With all fairness to Sampras, the subtitle (Lessons from a Life in Tennis) should have made it clear that he was going to be focusing mostly on his time on the courts. I just would have liked to know more about him as a person and those around him.

Overall, he does a really nice job of describing the events in his professional life. He starts by introducing how he got started in the support and introduces his parents and siblings. After this initial chapter, they fade into the background, only getting rare mentions in later chapters. He then brings the reader through his whole career.

Sampras provides some details of important matches or series, though not nearly to the same level as Agassi did in his later autobiography. There is some interesting insight on some of his coaches and how they helped (and sometimes hurt) his game. Sampras is even surprisingly personal when it comes to one of his coaches, who lost a real tough fight to cancer.

One thing that Sampras does that Agassi didn't do in his book was to really examine the game in terms of what worked for him and what didn't. In some ways Agassi had touched on that, particularly in regard to how his personal life affected his game. Sampras seems to have been able to really separate the game from his life. It was a job, and he went in, did a good job, and moved on.

While he is looking back on his life, he draws on a careful examination of the game to highlight why he was so successful on and off the court. Many times, his success on the courts is reflective of his similar success off them.

When looking to his own game and the performances of those against whom he played, Sampras examines the pros and cons. In the book, he is as critical and praising of himself as he is of others. He also has no trouble in praising the games of people like Edberg and Federer for their games. He also repeatedly refers to Agassi as forcing him to be a better player.

Sampras is also honest in stating that he is a great player. At first glance, this would seem like arrogance, but he is someone who (often brutally) honest about himself, others, and the world around him. He is by no means trying to be a braggart. Rather, he just wants to portray what he sees as his success and the reasons why.

I am not sure that I found this book to be as good as the one by Agassi, but I did find it really enjoyable. Fans of tennis, particularly, the error in which Agassi, Sampras, Michael Change, and Jim Courier played, will find this book to be pretty interesting. ...more
5

Dec 19, 2013

Rating:
5 of 5 stars (Outstanding)

Review:
Pete Sampras retired from tennis holding the record for most career Grand Slam victories and his journey to setting that record is chronicled here in his autobiography that covers his tennis career. I added that last phrase to the sentence because unlike most biographies or autobiographies on athletes, this book focuses solely on his tennis career. There are stories about his childhood, but they are about the development of his game during his youth when Rating:
5 of 5 stars (Outstanding)

Review:
Pete Sampras retired from tennis holding the record for most career Grand Slam victories and his journey to setting that record is chronicled here in his autobiography that covers his tennis career. I added that last phrase to the sentence because unlike most biographies or autobiographies on athletes, this book focuses solely on his tennis career. There are stories about his childhood, but they are about the development of his game during his youth when he was a tennis “prodigy.” What is refreshing, however, is that he doesn’t complain about any bad breaks during his youth. There are no bad parent stories as can be so common in tennis (think of the parent stories of tennis stars such as Mary Pierce, Jennifer Capriati or the Williams sisters). There isn’t even talk of his struggles. It reads that Sampras is aware that he had a talent for the game, that he was raised comfortably and is appreciative of what his parents provided for him.

That appreciation also transcends to his coaches during adulthood. He gives credit to Pete Fisher for helping develop his game although Sampras believes the athlete is ultimately responsible for his or her success. He speaks almost with reverence about Tim Gullickson who ultimately succumbed to brain cancer (more about this relationship later). Sampras also talks much about Paul Annacone and his coaching and friendship as being another key component to the success he had on the court.

Because Sampras talks tennis and little else in this book, there is rich detail in many aspects of his game. Not only match highlights, but he talks much about his mindset to reach certain goals. From a teenager who burst into the spotlight with his 1990 U.S. Open title up to his last Grand Slam, the 2002 U.S. Open, the reader will follow Sampras’s career and what he did physically and mentally to achieve the greatness that he attained.

Two passages that resonated with me were actually connected to each other. The first one is a moment that anyone who saw it while watching this match like I did will remember. During a match against Jim Courier in the 1995 Australian Open, Sampras broke down and was openly crying. He had just learned of Gullickson’s terminal diagnosis and the emotional toll on him finally broke through. This changed the minds of some media members who felt that Sampras wasn’t emotional or even human – that this outburst finally showed he was “human.” Sampras always felt that was an unfair image portrayed. He felt that he was simply able to put those aside when focusing on his tennis. Yes, he had human emotions and feelings but just didn’t express them openly as often. I thought that this reaction was a microcosm of the entire book – that Sampras was not apologizing or bragging about his career, he was simply who he was and this was why. It was refreshing to read such an autobiography.

I also found it refreshing that when reading this, I wasn’t reading about an athlete who was heavily into partying, drinking, drugs or sex. He didn’t talk much about these topics, but until he met his wife late in his career, he just didn’t find those as important as his game. Again, something I found very refreshing. That was a big reason I loved reading this book and will highly recommend it for anyone who either is a tennis fan or simply wants to read a different type of autobiography.

Did I skim?
No.

Pace of the book:
Excellent. Since Sampras talks mostly tennis with very few personal side stories, the book reads quickly and stays in chronological order.

Do I recommend?
Yes, especially for tennis fans, both avid and casual. The avid fan will appreciate the inner tennis technical talk, the casual fan will enjoy reliving the highlights of Sampras’s career, and anyone who wants to read an autobiography that isn’t filled with a lot of chest thumping will enjoy this as well.
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3

Jul 27, 2015

After reading Open by Agassi just before I started this one, I felt this book was a little lackluster. I did get what I needed to hear from Sampras in terms of the On court tennis game and drama around it, but I never got enough details on Sampras's personal life which would have given me an insight into his "Champion Mind". I would've really liked to have read a bit more about his struggling period towards the end as well but those chapters were fairly short also. Overall I just wanted to know After reading Open by Agassi just before I started this one, I felt this book was a little lackluster. I did get what I needed to hear from Sampras in terms of the On court tennis game and drama around it, but I never got enough details on Sampras's personal life which would have given me an insight into his "Champion Mind". I would've really liked to have read a bit more about his struggling period towards the end as well but those chapters were fairly short also. Overall I just wanted to know the amount of work and struggle it takes to become a champion like him. May be that is exactly why he was who he was, he didn't fill his head with lot of junk and thoughts and focused on the just giving his best, in practice or on court and even in his personal matters.

Anyhow, I did enjoy the book because of all the tennis he talked about. Went back and saw few of them as well on YouTube. Interestingly, Sampras talked a bit more about his arch rival Agassi in this book then Agassi did in his. He actually had nothing but praise for the man and his game.

Overall a must book if you are a tennis fan. If not, you can easily ignore it. Nothing dramatic or super inspirational in this book. Plain and Simple - Just like the man himself.




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5

Jan 26, 2017

I loved this book thoroughly. As the title says "A Champions mind", it revolved around the mindset of a champion. This is a very openly written book about various scenarios and match pressures that come along with being the top athlete of the sport for so long. Loved the way Sampras talked about his rivals and the strategies that he employed during his illustrious carrier. Though this book will be best understood with a little of bit tennis background(Watching would do), but one can clearly I loved this book thoroughly. As the title says "A Champions mind", it revolved around the mindset of a champion. This is a very openly written book about various scenarios and match pressures that come along with being the top athlete of the sport for so long. Loved the way Sampras talked about his rivals and the strategies that he employed during his illustrious carrier. Though this book will be best understood with a little of bit tennis background(Watching would do), but one can clearly relate a lot of things that Sampras talks about, to real life without the tennis jargon as well.

By the end of this you will thoroughly appreciate and understand the rigors that tennis professionals go through their seemingly ruthless streak to the outside world.

Must read for tennis fans especially. ...more
4

Apr 12, 2020

This book is about his tennis. It is not an autobiography. While a good book in its own right, it is nowhere as good as Agassi's 'Open'.
2

Jul 11, 2008

Oh, Pete Sampras. You are just not that interesting, but you do make me think about the psyche that goes into making a champion. Champion athletes must be very level and consistent and focused. You tell us that you don't like to "make too much of things," which means you don't like to think/overthink too much, which again is what athletes have to do to perform. The problem is, this mindset/tendency does not exactly make for a reflective person or a great memoir. But I do admire you for your Oh, Pete Sampras. You are just not that interesting, but you do make me think about the psyche that goes into making a champion. Champion athletes must be very level and consistent and focused. You tell us that you don't like to "make too much of things," which means you don't like to think/overthink too much, which again is what athletes have to do to perform. The problem is, this mindset/tendency does not exactly make for a reflective person or a great memoir. But I do admire you for your consistency and your hard work. ...more
4

Nov 07, 2017

This was a good book because it gave a different perspective to Andre Agassi's story (the book that I read before this) as they are great rivals. The book mostly highlighted his major achievements and also behind the scenes of how he reached greatness, if you are a sports fan I would definitely recommend this book.
5

Feb 13, 2016

If I ever had a hero growing up.. it was Pete Sampras. Over the last 10 years I have occasionally followed his progress off-the-mainstage and a couple of times considered making a trek to one of the exhibition matches he was playing. I got to this book only 8 years after it was published - and it brought back wonderful, wonderful, wonderful memories - of a humble personality who let his skill do the talking, was not afraid to share/show his emotions at appropriate moments, gave due recognition If I ever had a hero growing up.. it was Pete Sampras. Over the last 10 years I have occasionally followed his progress off-the-mainstage and a couple of times considered making a trek to one of the exhibition matches he was playing. I got to this book only 8 years after it was published - and it brought back wonderful, wonderful, wonderful memories - of a humble personality who let his skill do the talking, was not afraid to share/show his emotions at appropriate moments, gave due recognition where applicable, and knew himself well enough to never veer off the path of a Champion. The book journals all of it very well and describes each critical moment, emotions, and thoughts behind it.

Read a few reviews where readers felt deprived of other facets of Sampras' life and personality -- but if one delves a little deeper and reads carefully (sometimes between the lines) - this accounts speaks volumes about the person Sampras is, what makes a true Champion, and self awareness/realization at various stages of growing up.

This definitely lived up to its promise. Looking forward to watching some old recordings now! ...more
5

Jul 29, 2017

The people who consider Sampras (and his book) boring, may not realize that achieving excellence often requires cutting out distractions and doing focused work for months and years. It also requires great discipline and self-control. Pete Sampras is a prime example of that. He admits himself that he never wanted to be a showman and entertainer - he just wanted to play tennis as best as he could. The same applies to this book. It is probably not the most entertaining book, but if you are The people who consider Sampras (and his book) boring, may not realize that achieving excellence often requires cutting out distractions and doing focused work for months and years. It also requires great discipline and self-control. Pete Sampras is a prime example of that. He admits himself that he never wanted to be a showman and entertainer - he just wanted to play tennis as best as he could. The same applies to this book. It is probably not the most entertaining book, but if you are interested in reading about what Pete went through and what sacrifices he made throughout his career, this book is for you. I enjoyed the book very much. ...more
0

Oct 21, 2015

An excellent piece of writing with many twists and turns, "The Mind of a Champion" by Pete Sampras and Peter Bodo highlights the legendary career of all-time tennis great Pete Sampras. Born in the U.S, Pete showed his many talents were present from a young age. Winning multiple titles as a junior, Pete rose to the top quickly and was in the top ten in the world in only a matter or years. Along side the likes of Mcenroe, Lendl, Chang, Agassi, Borg, and Courier, Pete's success on and off the court An excellent piece of writing with many twists and turns, "The Mind of a Champion" by Pete Sampras and Peter Bodo highlights the legendary career of all-time tennis great Pete Sampras. Born in the U.S, Pete showed his many talents were present from a young age. Winning multiple titles as a junior, Pete rose to the top quickly and was in the top ten in the world in only a matter or years. Along side the likes of Mcenroe, Lendl, Chang, Agassi, Borg, and Courier, Pete's success on and off the court cam with great costs and sacrifices. From winning Grand Slam titles to reaching the very peak of the game, "The Mind of a Champion" is sure to keep you wanting to keep reading more. ...more
4

Sep 16, 2019

Hallelujah! Finally a sports memoir written after the athlete's retirement, as they ALL should be. It was awesome to learn more about one of tennis' all-time greats, especially since his career peaked in the 1990s, a few years before I began following the sport closely.
While this peek inside his mind may have revealed a Sampras who was somewhat less of a robot than the media often portrayed him, his monastic-level sacrifice and dedication to his craft sometimes seemed extreme even by the Hallelujah! Finally a sports memoir written after the athlete's retirement, as they ALL should be. It was awesome to learn more about one of tennis' all-time greats, especially since his career peaked in the 1990s, a few years before I began following the sport closely.
While this peek inside his mind may have revealed a Sampras who was somewhat less of a robot than the media often portrayed him, his monastic-level sacrifice and dedication to his craft sometimes seemed extreme even by the standards of elite athletes. Rafa may be the only other tennis player I've read about who focuses so intensely on tennis, to the exclusion of everything and everyone else.
Overall I quite enjoyed it, though my one gripe was that Sampras' apparent attempt to simultaneously dispel and promote his robotic persona made the narrative feel conflicted. For instance, he'd often go on and on about some competitor's gibe or media sound-byte that irked him, or some personal doubt or struggle he was dealing with, and then say "but I've always been able to focus 100 percent. None of those things even crossed my mind while I was playing." To which I often found myself thinking: "That's why people think you're a robot! Even in your 'intimate, raw, tell-all memoir' you won't admit that occasionally, even during match play, your concentration flagged!" I guess I felt like he was trying too hard to have it both ways here: to show that he's a real, feeling, emotional person, but at the same time claim that his humanity never impacted his performance. I think sometimes it did, and I think that's okay. He was a great champion regardless.

favorite quotes:
"Those who wanted me to show more 'emotion,' to be more 'human,' seem to discount that there are many different personalities out there, and how they conduct themselves, in private or public, has nothing whatsoever to do with the depth or nature of their emotions - their feelings. Actually, I never trusted people who were always talking about their feelings, or expressing their emotions. I don't think flying off the handle, pandering to sentiment, berating others, making crazy diva-like demands, or telling people what they want to hear, is a sign that you have deeper emotions, stronger feelings, or are more human. You're just less able to exert self-control, or are more demanding or willing to pander or make a horse's ass of yourself."

"People sometimes ask me if it was tough to douse my friend's dreams as often as I did, and I have to confess: not one bit. It was like beating a buddy at darts, or a game of horse. You just played, the better man won, and that was it." ...more
2

Dec 05, 2011


The greatest competitors in the computer industry were Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

The greatest competitors in the Action movies genre were Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.

And the greatest competitors in the Tennis Worldamong the many, were Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.

No other rivalry matched the intensity these two had.

When I was young, I remember watching the matches of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi on TV, even though I was brought up in a conservative middle class Indian
The greatest competitors in the computer industry were Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

The greatest competitors in the Action movies genre were Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.

And the greatest competitors in the Tennis World…among the many, were Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi.

No other rivalry matched the intensity these two had.

When I was young, I remember watching the matches of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi on TV, even though I was brought up in a conservative middle class Indian household that knew nothing about tennis.

So when I got a chance to read this book, well, it was may be to find glimpses into my past and relive those moments and get a deeper understanding as to why I was so fascinated with this great icon.

Pete Sampras’s book ‘A Champion’s Mind – Lessons from a Life in Tennis’ with Peter Bodo is an autobiography whose personality is a mirror image of what Pete Sampras was – A quintessential gentleman, a class act and a perfect tennis player dressed in white.
He does not reveal anything very personal, does not say anything controversial, does not spice up the readers interest by confessing the unnatural. All he does is focus on his game.

Though there are brief mentions about Becker, Agassi, Ivanisevic, Agassi, Chang, Agassi, Edberg, Agassi and Martin and not forgetting Agassi; his primary and overall focus is on his greatest and most formidable opponent – Guess who?

While this book was a confession of a die-hard tennis demi-god and legend, he for the strangest reasons altogether made this book appeal to only tennis die-hard junkies. Many a times, I struggled to read through yet another tennis match with yet another opponent with yet again another victory. He just didn’t bring out any emotion or feeling or the dark honesty that would motivate someone to connect to another human being namely himself. All it did was bore the living daylights out of me with his routine job - yet another tennis match.

In all fairness, this was a book that lacked the spice, the substance and the stuff that would make it truly memorable autobiography. All it did was just open up one side of a tennis legend – a side that we all knew about and didn’t need to know anything more – The professional player. I had hoped to have some insight into this great legend. However, this was not to be.

So where you look forward to a great book from a great personality, you are left with nothing but yet another book that would be as quickly forgotten as the last match you watched on TV.

Overall rating – 3 out of 10. ...more
3

Apr 09, 2016

Not as good as Agassis Open, but stil worth a read, especially as a sort of counter tale to the other. These two men pushed each other to the limit, with Sampras most often coming out on top. I rooted for the other guy, but Sampras is likable enough, a thorough professional, and an honest player. In the meaning he didn't play mind games, not like Connors or McEnroe, great players but terrible sportsmen. One with a gigantic chip on his shoulder, the other a primadonna throwing tantrums, well both Not as good as Agassis Open, but stil worth a read, especially as a sort of counter tale to the other. These two men pushed each other to the limit, with Sampras most often coming out on top. I rooted for the other guy, but Sampras is likable enough, a thorough professional, and an honest player. In the meaning he didn't play mind games, not like Connors or McEnroe, great players but terrible sportsmen. One with a gigantic chip on his shoulder, the other a primadonna throwing tantrums, well both of them did that really. Nothing of the sorts with Sampras, and his account is interesting. He seems honest, but at times his reasoning may be a little off. Early on, he describes himself as "always been a good reader" while in the very next sentence, confesses not to a read more than a handful of books in his entire life. What did he to all those hours when not playing or practising? Not reading, for sure.

He gives a year by year summation of his career hightlights, as well as when he lost. He also shares his thoughts about how he was viewed at the time, as the boring power server, with a balanced and reflected view. He is not stupid, he knew the stereotyping.

Also interesting are his account of his main rivals at the end of the book, where he describes their best and worst qualities as players. Even more interesting is, that even if Agassi, his main rival and friend throughout both men's careers, is mentioned throughout the book many many times, he is totally absent from this section. Did you forget Andre at the end, Pistol-Pete? ...more
3

Jul 31, 2019

I judge all biographies by Andre Agassi's Open and so far nothing seems to beat that. Of course, these people are sports players, not writers, but the minute you decide to write a book, you will be judged by style as much as by content.

Sampras's book is just like Sampras - cold, distant, completely lacking emotion. Here and there. there may be a passage where he shows something other than his usual detached attitude, but those are rare and precious moments. The entire book is a very realistic I judge all biographies by Andre Agassi's Open and so far nothing seems to beat that. Of course, these people are sports players, not writers, but the minute you decide to write a book, you will be judged by style as much as by content.

Sampras's book is just like Sampras - cold, distant, completely lacking emotion. Here and there. there may be a passage where he shows something other than his usual detached attitude, but those are rare and precious moments. The entire book is a very realistic and mechanical approach on tennis.

That's not a bad thing, as sports books go. I gave this book 3 stars particularly for this reason - it talks about the sport more than other biographies (Monica Seles' comes to mind since it's the latest I've read, and it's a hot mess of anything other than tennis). The tennis part I likes quite a lot - Sampras shows to be a good analyst and it's great to get a glimpse of how he thinks, how he analysed his opponents and his step by step journey towards greatness.

But he is quite the arrogant ass throughout the entire book and it is hard to see him as anything else that the cold distant player who somehow managed to put everything else aside in order to break records. I admit I have never liked him as a player and this book does nothing to change my impression - he's too inhuman for my tastes. I guess it's hard to like someone as long as you idolise his rival - and I completely idolise Andre Agassi. But I would have hoped to at least soften my view on him, which did not happen.

I hate how he continued to refer to himself as a champion, superhuman, god. He is great, yes, but a little humility did not kill anyone. I also hate how he did nothing to allow us to snoop behind the curtains. He remains on a pedestal even after this "confession".

But from a tennis fan perspective, this book is a gem. It's a cold analysis of the game in his era and of most important tennis players whom he encountered during his career. Very much a book for tennis fans and Sampras fans, but people who just want to know about the man, not the game will be quite disappointed. ...more
4

Sep 02, 2019

The book is not as intense as Agassi's book - 'Open'. However, for a tennis fan and someone who watched tennis in that era (Jim Courier, Michael Chang, Agassi, Sampras, Lendl, Ivanisevic) - this book would be a great read. The four stars are because of the writing - not for his tennis acumen or skill.

Sampras was often considered emotionless, mechanical, cold and 'like-a-robot' during his playing days. This book is a perfect personification of the same. Sampras explains why he behaved the way he The book is not as intense as Agassi's book - 'Open'. However, for a tennis fan and someone who watched tennis in that era (Jim Courier, Michael Chang, Agassi, Sampras, Lendl, Ivanisevic) - this book would be a great read. The four stars are because of the writing - not for his tennis acumen or skill.

Sampras was often considered emotionless, mechanical, cold and 'like-a-robot' during his playing days. This book is a perfect personification of the same. Sampras explains why he behaved the way he did. In a way, he was like a surgeon who was able to completely separate the game from his personal life and emotions. His emotions never got the better of him. He won a lot of critical matches by being clinical on crucial points. His behaviour was consistent. He won matches day in and day out. Quiet person off the field, he let his racket do most of the talking. On the court, he was monk-like, a trait Agassi later developed which helped him win more matches

There is not much information on his personal life. That ways, I'd agree it's a cold read. But what can you expect from the man who was called 'Pistol'. ...more
5

Aug 11, 2018

In honor of his birthday today, I re-read A Champion's Mind. I remember this book was a Christmas gift from my sister six years ago. Due to too much excitement, I managed to count the days of her arrival from Manila just to get started reading. Pete's autobiography chronicles his life as a skinny kid with a lack of confidence to a sport icon. What I admired most about Pete is he put things in perspective whether it's about winning or losing. My favorite part is on page 172 - Pete narrates: In honor of his birthday today, I re-read A Champion's Mind. I remember this book was a Christmas gift from my sister six years ago. Due to too much excitement, I managed to count the days of her arrival from Manila just to get started reading. Pete's autobiography chronicles his life as a skinny kid with a lack of confidence to a sport icon. What I admired most about Pete is he put things in perspective whether it's about winning or losing. My favorite part is on page 172 - Pete narrates: "There were periods of course when I become a little tired or bored with the typical pro's routine... Paul recognized when that was the case, and called me on it. He knew my mind, even though a champion's mind isn't always that easy to know." ...more
5

Sep 04, 2018

"A Champion's Mind", by Pete Sampras is a great book today. It contains life lessons that people can use in their everyday lives. The book has very good stories of Pete Sampras' life.

"A Champion's Mind" talks about the mindset of Pete Sampras, a great tennis player. It talks about how he would focus, concentrate, and work hard throughout his tennis career. Every page you read tells a story about Pete Sampras' life, and how he became a great tennis player.

"A Champion's Mind" is one of the "A Champion's Mind", by Pete Sampras is a great book today. It contains life lessons that people can use in their everyday lives. The book has very good stories of Pete Sampras' life.

"A Champion's Mind" talks about the mindset of Pete Sampras, a great tennis player. It talks about how he would focus, concentrate, and work hard throughout his tennis career. Every page you read tells a story about Pete Sampras' life, and how he became a great tennis player.

"A Champion's Mind" is one of the best inspirational books that I have read. Once you have finished reading the book, you will transform into a new person. Your mind will be full of inspiration and confidence. I highly recommend reading this book as it has great life lessons. ...more
3

Jan 16, 2019

I got curious about the book after finishing Andre Agassi's book, more exactly to hear, how his biggest opponent would describe the same matches and same time periods.
Have to say, there seems to be a lot less drama, shared struggles and unveilings of his personal life in this book, rather keeping the focus more on tennis and descriptions of matches.
I liked to learn a top-player story from someone without all the heavy personal baggage, yet it also made the book a bit dry and I tended to loose I got curious about the book after finishing Andre Agassi's book, more exactly to hear, how his biggest opponent would describe the same matches and same time periods.
Have to say, there seems to be a lot less drama, shared struggles and unveilings of his personal life in this book, rather keeping the focus more on tennis and descriptions of matches.
I liked to learn a top-player story from someone without all the heavy personal baggage, yet it also made the book a bit dry and I tended to loose my focus many times. ...more
4

Nov 18, 2019

3.5 Stars - There are some very good insights contained in this straight forward review of Pete Sampras' career, so it's worth reading for that. As a story, it's not at the level of some of the other tennis autobiographies such as Agassi's or Nadal's. It also has a little too much of Sampras' co-author, Peter Bodo, injected into it with language Sampras would clearly not use and references to past players who he would not have seen play.
3

Mar 18, 2019

In my chilhood he was not my hero. After this book he is not my hero indeed, but from another perspective. Pete explains several facts why he did not want ever to be anyone's hero and just focused at one thing at the time - tennis. He new it from very beginning and methodically kept growing in this field. This book is not about any "lessons", only just his tournament, not life facts.
4

Jan 05, 2020

 The win opened the floodgates for me in a number of ways(...). It put me up 9-8 in our rivalry but most important it impacted Andre so badly that he soon fell off the radar- he admitted much later that it took him two years to recover from that devastating loss. 

  wow shes really beautiful. If she can put two words together, I want to marry her  « The win opened the floodgates for me in a number of ways(...). It put me up 9-8 in our rivalry but most important it impacted Andre so badly that he soon fell off the radar- he admitted much later that it took him two years to recover from that devastating loss. »

«  wow she’s really beautiful. If she can put two words together, I want to marry her » ...more
5

Dec 13, 2019

Sampras is a classy player who understands that there are two opponents on court - yourself and the other, and that you have to give everything and more to be number one in the world. He did a lot of work and made sacrifices to master himself so that he could play and react against his opponent with a clear mind on court. He understood his job, the game and executed it well against competitors like Agassi, Lendl, Courier, Chang etc. This book reveals his emotions, discipline, strategies for the Sampras is a classy player who understands that there are two opponents on court - yourself and the other, and that you have to give everything and more to be number one in the world. He did a lot of work and made sacrifices to master himself so that he could play and react against his opponent with a clear mind on court. He understood his job, the game and executed it well against competitors like Agassi, Lendl, Courier, Chang etc. This book reveals his emotions, discipline, strategies for the game (featuring his classic serve and volley), relationships with coaches and how he evolved on the pro tennis circuit. He writes with respect for the craft and his opponents. This book was a pleasure and inspiration to read. ...more
4

Sep 04, 2018

I found this really interesting from a tennis lover's point of view. I think he opened up a lot in this book, but still held back, which is obviously in his nature. I loved reading about the matches, the competitors and the mindset of what drove him to be a champion. It was enjoyable to reminisce about tennis matches and players from the 90s...
5

Jul 20, 2018

A champions mind indeed

I always respected Pete for his mental form in court, but all I thought I understood about it has changed. In his book he portrays himself more as selfish than mentally disciplined. Im going to think whether I like him even more or a bit less after reading his book and comparing it to Andres! A champion’s mind indeed

I always respected Pete for his mental form in court, but all I thought I understood about it has changed. In his book he portrays himself more as selfish than mentally disciplined. I’m going to think whether I like him even more or a bit less after reading his book and comparing it to Andre’s! ...more

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