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4.4 out of 5 stars
Winning Ugly
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2000
Hi, I'm a tennis player and a tennis teacher from Italy, Rome. I've started to play at the age of 10 and I started to teach at 19 years old. I've had a very good teacher that taught me everything about technique and much things about mental tennis. I've a degree from the Italian Tennis Teacher Federation. I like my work and I'm also fond of tennis. For that reason I've read many books about these argument but this is the first book that simplifies what every tennis player should know: how to play your better tennis, in which moment is important to play "economic tennis" and how to stay inside the match from the beginning to the end are some example of what everybody should know. I've tried on the court everything Brad says and my tennis have had a sensible changing,and I can promise you if you'll try the results will be really positive ! I have applied the counsels of Brad also in the mental preparation of my students and also that students all talent and "no brain" have found their way to win. It looks incredible but is true ! I really think that Brad Gilbert is the reason because Andre Agassi is now unbeatable ! Put together the talent of Andre and the strategy of Brad and you've made the perfect tennis player. I've translated all the book in italian. I thought that could be a good idea ! It's a sin to lose Brad's book only because you can't speak english !
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2000
Well, I've bought this book because I'm a great admirer or Agassi, and I always knew of Gilbert's "dirty" game. And I cant tell you that you become and you really feel much stronger, mentally speaking when you enter the tennis court... And if you play all your tricks right, you'll be winning games, and enjoying it. Make no mistakes, this is NOT a book on dirty schemes and dirty tactics, just a manual on exploring your opponent's weaknesses in your advantage... you'll love it. I've offered one book to my best friend, who hates Agassi and Gilbert in favour of Sampras, ans even him says its one of the best books he read...
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 18 May 1998
If you want to win when its hot, sticky and the sun is beating down (or at any other time) you must possess the mental edge. This book is the key to opening the well of mental strength needed to push the physical body to do things not otherwise expected. What Brad Gilbert has done is tell everyone, at whatever level, how to make our minds better than our opponent's. He makes us understand that the eight inches between our ears is often the key to dealing with all the space on the court. Read this and believe it, then play your best tennis. THE BEST BOOK AROUND. At the 4th of July tournament, you will be glad you have Brad on your side.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 27 June 2011
I read Tim Gallwey's "Inner Game of Tennis" several years ago, and had focussed on the right brain aspects of tennis. Enjoying my tennis, but not winning much.

This book provides a really good balance. Perhaps winning doesn't really matter to you either, and you play just for fun. If so, Brad asks "Why do you keep the score then?"

One of his key points is that you need to hate making unforced errors. But the reason I make unforced errors is that I don't practise/play enough, and don't want to lob the ball over the net all the time.

All in all, a very enjoyable read. But I still prefer Gallwey!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 7 February 2010
The young Brad Gilbert was told by his tennis coaches that he was not good enough to be a professional tennis player and would never make it, yet he went on to become a world top ten tennis player for many years, beating the best players of his day including Boris Becker, Pete Sampras, John McEnroe, he even beat Agassi. He also won an olympic medal in tennis. He won millions of pounds in prize money. In the preface of the book, Steve Jamison says: "Brad wins because he outthinks and outplans opponents".

The "winning ugly" concept just means to not try to do everything perfectly and gracefully. Brad Gilbert realised that he was not as good as the other tennis players physically, so he would have to use his mind to find a way to win. He monitored his training regime, and focussed his mind on gaining victory. He thought about his gameplan before, during, and after every match.

Brad says: "No matter how hard you work, no matter how great your talent, your mind is the ultimate weapon. Most players use it against themselves......when you are the master of your mind, you will master the art of winning more.....And always remember, it's better to win ugly, than to lose pretty."

Brad Gilbert is the underdog who came out on top, and he is a shining example of how to become successful, despite whatever disadvantages and flaws you think you may possess compared to other people. He later went on to prove his methods were real, consistent, and transferrable, by becoming a tennis coach and making top tennis players out of Andre Agassi, Andy Roddick, and Andy Murray.

Brad had no special abilities or talents for tennis, but he found a way to win, and continued to do so. On paper he was not expected to do well, but in the real world, he proved everyone wrong. He did this by compensating for his weaknesses and creating a consistent plan for success. He proves that if he can overcome his flaws, adversities, and lack of talent, to become successful anyway, then anyone can.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 6 July 2010
Having read many books on tennis, this is the ONE.

Brad Gilbert is a genius when it comes to 'life survival' skills. His career really represents that. His analysis on his peers is brilliant; I really enjoyed reading his analysis of McEnroe, Connors, Becker and others. His recommendation on how to react in certain situations, the best I've read.

If you have any interest in Tennis or just in being successful (in any profession); buy this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 14 July 2010
Easy to read, not written to make you feel 'not good enough' and loads of practical tips and advice to improve your tennis - whatever level you are. Don't think it's written to make you a Wimbledon Champ, but I guess if you work hard enough at the advice given - who knows?!! If you play tennis and want to know how to win when things aren't going the way they should be - this is the book for you - and me!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2000
This book did more for me in one sitting than all the books I have read about tennis.
In my short playing life -- 17 years, I have had problems with nervousness and how to handle it, how to close out matches,, how to think on court and strategise. I have read all the books I can lay my hands on -- even the "Inner Game of Tennis", but none comes even close in a brief and easy-to-read manner than Gilbert's , Winning Ugly. I received my copy a week ago and since then my game has zipped to a whole new level.
What I would love to see more of, is Gilbert's anecdotes from the tour and probably analysis of other matches other than his own and how the winners made it happen. I will surely buy the next edition
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 11 January 2009
How to improve your tennis without training harder?
Well you will have to read Winning Ugly. This book will tell you how to prepare yourself before a match, during a match and after a match. Get better by having a better understanding of the tactics and mental games in tennis.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 12 January 2009
The best tennis book I have ever read. You won't get much advice from Gilbert on how to play strokes but you will find superb advice on how to win, how to prepare, how to play the important points and how to close out matches. If you play competitive tennis, buy this book.
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