Each professional athlete had to start somewhere, and that starting point usually involves a parent or coach making sure they understand their talent and potential.
Tennis phenom, Venus Williams, was no different in her early years. Her dad, Richard Williams, was constantly pushing her to believe in herself and ignore anything and anyone who might detract from her game. This is evident in an amazing video that’s recently resurfaced.
At the time, a 14-year-old Venus was being interviewed about an upcoming match. She was undefeated in the United States Tennis Association junior tour and had no intention of losing any time soon, stating that she was “very confident.” The reporter, however, couldn’t help but question her.
This video of Richard Williams defending Venus’s confidence when she was 14 yr old is the best video on the internet pic.twitter.com/NqnCRJsLLf
— Disco Ric (@RicWilson) August 29, 2018
Word to the wise: Don’t mess with Richard Williams.
While the reporter was likely just trying to get an inside scoop regarding the upcoming all-star’s motivation and mindset, Richard Williams saw the question for what it was: a psychological torpedo that could sink Venus’s game.
Such a question might be commonplace in professional sports, but the confidence of those adult athletes is built upon decades of experience. Despite young Venus’s already impressive talents, her father knew that even a seed of doubt at her age could affect her in the long run. So he called him out in front of Venus, showing her that her sense confidence was not only allowed but appropriate.
Twenty-four years, four Olympic gold medals, and 49 singles titles later, we’re sure he has no regrets.