A copywriting lesson from Andre Agassi: Which team are you on?

I recently watched an interview with tennis player
Andre Agassi. He admitted that he hated tennis
his whole career.
His father forced him to play tennis as a child even
though he longed to play a team sport.
During the first ten years of his career he had
many ups and downs. He went from being #1
player at one point to sinking so low he had
to spend several months playing in the equivalent
of the minor leagues in tennis.
He was finally able to rise again and play
at a consistent level after he had an epiphany…
He realized he did have a team – his new prep school
for disadvantaged children in Law Vegas.
From the point on, he knew that every swing of the
tennis racket was a swing for his school.
Every victory was a victory for his school.
This motivated him like nothing before ever did.
Andre’s goal wasn’t to be the #1 player (that was
always his father’s goal for him) but to win all
four Grand Slam tournaments.
The French Open was the one that alluded him.
Finally, in 1999, 13 years after turning pro, he
won this title.
Here’s what you can learn from this:
* Find a “team” to play for. It can be your family,
a charity, your church, etc. Your achievements
will have more meaning and it will be easier to
stick to your goals if you have such a team.
* Set your own goals – don’t become trapped
by the expectations of others.
* It’s never too late. In Andre’s case, many
players aren’t still playing 13 years into their
career. If they are, they often aren’t in peak
condition and winning Grand Slams. If a
particular goal has alluded you, you don’t have
to give up.
In addition to having a team to play for, you also
need a team of people to help you.
A mentor/coach and a few close friends and
colleagues who will guide and advise you along
the way.
Books and workshops are useful tools too.

In an interview on 60 Minutes, and in his book Open: An Autobiography
, retired tennis star Andre Agassi admitted that he hated tennis.

His father forced him to play tennis as a child even though he longed to play a team sport.

During the first ten years of his career he had many ups and downs.

He went from being the #1 player to sinking so low he had to spend several months playing in the equivalent of the minor leagues in tennis.

He was finally able to rise again and play at a consistent level after he had an epiphany…

He realized he did have a team – his new prep school for disadvantaged children in Las Vegas.

From the point on, he knew that every swing of the tennis racket was a swing for his school.

Every victory was a victory for his school.

This motivated him like nothing before ever did.

Andre’s goal wasn’t to be the #1 player (that was always his father’s goal for him) but to win all four Grand Slam tournaments.

The French Open was the one that alluded him. Finally, in 1999, 13 years after turning pro, he won this title.

Here’s what you can learn from this:

* Find a “team” to play for. It can be your family, a charity, your church, etc.

Your achievements as a copywriter/marketer will have more meaning and it will be easier to stick to your goals if you have such a team.

* Set your own goals – don’t become trapped by the expectations of others.

* It’s never too late. In Andre’s case, many players aren’t still playing 13 years into their career. If they are, they often aren’t in peak condition and winning Grand Slams.

If a particular goal has alluded you, you don’t have to give up. Even if you sink into the “minor leagues” for a while, you can come roaring back.

In addition to having a team to play for, you also need a team of people to help you.

A mentor/coach and a few close friends and colleagues who will guide and advise you along the way.

Books and workshops are useful tools too.

Focusing on persuasion skills, profits, conversion rates, opt-in rates, etc. all the livelong day can get tedious. There has to be more to copywriting than that otherwise copywriting quickly becomes just another job.

So get yourself a team if you don’t have one already.

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  • Tom Mulroe

    I got a kick out of the ‘where’s the comma’ also.