What Serena Williams Not Smiling Has Taught Me

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During a recent press conference, Serena Williams didn’t put on an act for the press pit. She sat in her seat, answered every question that came her way and patiently waited for the next. One reporter questioned her demeanor.

“You just won a match. Normally you smile when you win. You come in here, you laugh,” the reporter said. “What happens tonight? Is it because you beat Venus or because you’re thinking about what is going on next? What’s wrong?”​

What’s wrong? Here’s what Serena Williams had to say…

In case you don’t want to watch the video, I will write out the quote for you:

“It’s 11:30. To be perfectly honest with you, I don’t want to be here,” she said, speaking for all women everywhere. “I just want to be in bed right now and I have to wake up early to practice and I don’t want to answer any of these questions. And you keep asking me the same questions. It’s not really … you’re not making it super enjoyable.”​

Boom. She didn’t twirl her hair or make some quick joke to lighten the mood and then flash her pearly whites. No. Instead, she called it for what it was – a long day filled with familiarity. Been there – done that.

If it had been me sitting in her seat, I would have done anything but. I would have INSTANTLY corrected my mood. But seeing Serena in her true, honest form is so… freeing to me. Take her for who she is. No mask. All shattered… or perhaps she never wore one in the first place.

Serena is SO talented and amazing and incredibly on top of her game that she doesn’t have to play by the rules.

I’ve loved her for many years – but this one instance has made me love her that much more. Strength on and off the court.

She’s not here to entertain you. She’s here to win. She’s here to play. She’s here to roar. And that conference seat allows her to do none of the above. So, Mr. Reporter… come up with an innovative question or move on.

I’ll take my lesson learned and do the same.

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