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Reading behavior in tennis, with Carlos Goffi

A talk with experienced tennis player and coach Carlos Goffi about the role that psychology and reading opponent behavior and mood can play in tennis. To learn more about Carlos, visit his site. He’s been coaching for more than 30 years, and has coached John McEnroe and John’s brother Patrick McEnroe, amongst many others. He’s maybe most well known for his best-selling tennis book Tournament Tough, which he co-authored with John McEnroe. During our talk about the role of reading behavior, we discuss Andre Agassi’s claim to have a very reliable tell on Boris Becker: that he could predict Becker’s serve direction based on how Becker’s tongue was sticking out.

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Other topics discussed include:

  • The importance of reading an opponent’s mood (whether he’s frustrated, confident, or neutral)
  • The importance of the strategic side of the game, versus the more technical side of the game
  • Why left-handed players are tough for right-handed players to play
  • Environmental, personal life factors that can have negative effects on a player’s ability to compete