Our hearts are broken this morning after the passing of our beloved longtime friend and co-worker, Vic Braden. Yesterday, at the age of 85, Vic Braden died of heart failure after months of health complications. His great big heart just finally gave out, said his wife, Melody Braden (#7 FEIL).
A vivacious #9 FCAR, Vic’s heart was huge. He was quite actually the nicest person you could ever meet, and consistently treated everyone with equal kindness. Vic was a work horse as well, having grown up in a life of little. I can’t even tell you the number of projects he was working on, says Melody to the media. That was him, though. He even wanted to start a new research project and I sat him down and asked him Vic, don’t you think you have researched every possible thing in tennis? He said no.
Vic Braden was a dear friend who helped make a difference in my life. He had a kind and generous heart, tennis legend Billie Jean King (#15 FCIL) wrote on Twitter. Tennis has lost a treasure he was always on the cutting edge of science in tennis & is an all-time great in our industry.
So sad to hear of the passing of tennis coach Vic Braden, a pioneer, innovator, & true legend in our sport! Condolences to Melody, wrote Tracy Austin (#9 FCAR) on Twitter.
One of the many projects Vic produced and completed, of course, was our video, “Who Am I? Who Are You?” released nearly two decades ago and updated a decade later. Vic Braden was as much a fan of Brain Typing as anyone on the planet, time and time again telling people that Jon Niednagel deserved the Nobel Peace Prize (to Niednagel’s chagrin).
Originally skeptical of Niednagel’s far-reaching Brain Type theories, Vic, as an objective scientist, took 3 full years to carefully test some 100 people that Niednagel had brain typed within 15 minutes of meeting them for the first time at Vic’s research center. Using numerous scientific testing procedures, along with questioning each subject’s perspective on how well Jon sized them up (mentally and motor skilled without ever seeing them perform physically!) from only a brief conversation, Braden was shocked to discover that every person said Niednagel pegged them perfectly. So exacting, in fact, that it was actually scary! They stated repeatedly that there was no way Niednagel could know such things about them without some inexplicable, extraordinary capacity.
Vic Braden was exceptionally rare. As a tennis expert, licensed psychologist and sports scientist, he perhaps more than anyone before him combined both head and heart in life’s pursuits. His passion for knowledge and science, as well as a genuine concern for all mankind, regardless of their condition, truly made him a Renaissance man. Not only was Braden intellectual but his emotional intelligence was unparalleled. It’s not hyperbole to say he was an Einstein with people.
As opposite Brain Types yet a deeply acquired affection for one another, Vic and Jon covered the entire waterfront trying to understand and develop people. Symbiosis and synergism marked their special relationship. Though living in different parts of the country, they were in daily communication, these final few months especially, something Niednagel will treasure forever.
Upon Vic’s passing, Jon said, Though I’ve assessed over 50,000 people for nearly 4 decades, I never met anyone like Vic. Among his countless talents, he had a heart of gold like no other. I was privileged and warmed each time we communicated.
This life is short, whether you live to be 25 or 85. If there’s one thing Vic Braden was, he was a servant of people, and that is something we should all emulate till our dying day.
Goodbye, Vic. We love you and will miss you dearly.
Written by: Staff
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