Andre Agassi launches a Udemy course on tennis fundamentals to inspire students off-court and online
“With education, there is hope.”
Over his long career, Andre Agassi reached the pinnacle of the professional tennis tour without the benefit of a diploma, which isn’t uncommon for his sport. Nevertheless, he’s made education a primary focus of his post-tennis life, and today that means a foray into online learning, with the launch of “Elevate Your Tennis Game: Learn from Champion Andre Agassi” on Udemy.
“When I saw what Udemy does, I knew it was one heck of an opportunity to get involved in a very personal, scalable way with those who enjoy the game of tennis,” says Agassi. With his course launch, Agassi joins more than 20,000 other instructors around the world who make high-quality, accessible learning content available to nearly 15 million students through the Udemy marketplace.
With the help of longtime coach Darren Cahill and Udemy’s instructor team, Agassi tackled the challenge of “communicating a plethora of information about a sport with lots of moving parts” and developing step-by-step guidance that’s useful and relevant to players at all different levels.
Agassi’s course is far more than simply a video recording of on-court action. The producers used creative camera angles, slow motion, and other effects to convey the full tennis experience and surface the mechanics behind Agassi’s winning shots. “What I discuss in the course goes from the basics to more nuanced concepts that form the pillars of a player’s development,” he says.
After playing professionally for 21 years, Agassi contends he was learning about his sport the whole time. Tennis, he explains, “taught me to always be open to learning and growing through success and defeat.”
Indeed, Agassi is a textbook example of having a growth mindset and embracing lifelong learning, something he evangelizes to the kids he meets through the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education. He hopes his online tennis students will adopt that mindset too. “We learn more from our difficulties and struggles than in successes. You need to make a daily commitment to how you choose to live; that approach challenges us to take on a whole new perspective.”
In other words, the learning and the doing are what’s important, not the successes or the failures. Even for an eight-time Grand Slam champion, former World No. 1, and International Tennis Hall of Fame inductee with 60 career titles under his belt.
“I never had choice in my life; I was forced to do something I hated for most of my career. I just happened to be really good at it, and there was a huge disconnect even though I was one of the best in the world for a long period of time. I wasn’t at peace with myself,” Agassi says. “So I looked at other people who share that reality: inner-city kids who don’t have the opportunity to break the downward spiral in their lives. As a result of giving them education, we give them a future of their own choosing.”
The mission of the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education is to transform U.S. public education for underserved youth and drive reform by engaging in practice, policy, and partnerships that provide quality education and enrichment opportunities. “We need to give kids the tools they’ll need for their futures,” he says. “With education, there is hope.”
He tells his own children that education is the key to their futures too: “My kids are both involved in sports, but they have to take care of school responsibilities first.” As he puts it, education is the foundation for them to pursue all of their dreams.