There’s no crying in tennis.
“John, your son was out there on that field bawling. I don’t know what his problem is, but you gotta tell him that a little boo boo on his kneecap is nothing to cry over. This is tennis, John. Not crying time.”
“Bahahaha! The guy playing was such a frickin’ pussy boy! That was almost too easy! We’re gonna take his girlfriend now! Bahahaha!!!”
Now, son, I love your perseverance. Your willingness to put your all in everything you do, in my honest opinion, is one of your more admirable qualities, and that’s the truth. But, son, that is something you need very much to know, and it comes right from the bottom of my heart. There are a lot of things you could cry in, son. The game of tennis is not one of those things.
Tennis is a man’s game, son. Crying would show to both your rival and the crowd that you’re weak. I know you have a backbone, son, but those two I’ve just mentioned can’t see that if you’re crying. I do not need to be convinced, but they do. You need to prove it to them. If you can’t prove it to them, I’m afraid you just don’t belong on the court.
Okay, lemme tell you a story.
I wasn’t always the strong, rugged man you now see as your father. When I was a boy, I was just like you. Everybody who knew me personally knew for a fact that I was stronger than I looked, but if I wanted to be taken seriously, I needed to show that to people outside of my circle. It was a difficult journey, son. There were highs and lows, but that comes with any other journey. I aimed for the gold, the prize, son, and never looked back.
The game of tennis changed me.
When I first started playing, though, I wasn’t the greatest at it. I’d always hurt myself and sprain my knee. Sometimes, I even had to go to the emergency room. The kids that I played with were strong, son. They were handsome men who were very popular; loved by women and envied by fellow men. It was awfully difficult, son. But, in spite of it all, you know what I never did?
I never cried.
That’s right, son. I never ever cried in the midst of it all. Even at my lowest points, even in the losses that were the hardest to swallow, there were zero tears in my eyes. Why? Because I knew that if I cried, it would be an open sign to those men I fought with that I had given up. And that just wouldn’t slide, oh no no no.
Now, go out out there
and show those damn kids who’s boss around here, please. For your ol’ dad’s sake.