Favorite Quotes

  • You're not too old, and it's never too late

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Aspiring to: Emulate Oracene Price

See this expression here?

And this one?

As a tennis mom, this is what I'm working on at the moment: my Oracene Price face.

Oracene Price is mother to Venus and Serena Williams, arguably two of the best female tennis players in history. When I watch them play on the world stage, in big tournaments for big money, the camera often pans to their mother who sits stoically, yet supportively, in the stands. She appears calm, cool, collected...unfazed by what's going on with her daughters on the court. She's had years of practice and she must be very strong.

I, on the other hand, feel more like this when watching my daughter play:

Partly, because I played competitive tennis when I was in my teens. I know what it feels like to be down there, gutting it out, playing hard to win. I want my daughter to succeed. She doesn't have to win all of her matches, I'm just saying it's hard for me to sit on the sidelines and...spectate.

When my daughter hits a winner, I want to pump my fist and yell, "Great shot!" But Oracene Price can't do that at Wimbledon or the U.S. Open. It would be uncouth. Just as it is at the high school tennis courts.

When my daughter falls behind or misses a shot, I want to scream, "Come on! You can do it!" But again, it would be unseemly.

So...I sit there, my insides twisting in angst, trying to maintain my composure. It's very difficult, as any other sports mom or dad can attest. Oh, if we could only run down there and play the games for them!!

Tennis season is ramping up for us, as is field hockey season for my younger daughter. It's a bit easier to yell my support at a field hockey game. Other parents will be there yelling support, too. It's played on a bigger field and it's all-around noisier, unlike the staid, polite tennis scene (how it's supposed to be, at least). It's all I can do at times to keep my mouth shut. I just get so excited and into the game! I can't help it!

So this fall, this is who I will summon up: Oracene Price, and her serious, patient, calm demeanor. My daughter hits a winner? Nice. She flubs an overhead? Who cares? Just sit and enjoy the game, I'll tell myself. Like the other parents...seem to be doing.

Hopefully, Oracene can be proud of me...almost as proud as she is of her daughters.

For me, keeping it together will take just as much mental toughness as it does to win Wimbledon.

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