Us parents are always looking for inspiring stories to tell our kids and Venus and Serena Williams' journey to the top of the tennis world falls into that category. Now it’s going to be even easier to explain their success thanks to a new movie featuring Will Smith called 'King Richard'.
Richard Williams wrote a 78-page plan on how his daughters would become tennis superstars before they were even born and didn’t let anything stand in the way of him achieving his dream. He was certainly very hard on his girls, but their achievements speak for themselves. Serena Williams has won a record 23 Grand Slam singles titles and Venus has won 7. In addition, the sisters have won 14 Grand Slam doubles titles together.
The film won’t be in cinemas until November 19, but in the meantime, the trailer gives us a taste of what to expect and highlights all the ways in which 'King Richard' sets out to make his children shine.
Here are four factors that helped them to achieve the unthinkable:
The girls and their father had to overcome racism and adversity to achieve their goals, and their road to success wasn’t easy. In one clip, the young family is seen walking towards the tennis courts and they are met with hostile stares from onlookers. Richard reassures his daughters not to worry and makes a joke: "It’s okay. They’re just not used to seeing good-lookin’ peoples like us." Kids can sometimes feel like winners are simply lucky, so this is a good reminder that hard work, dedication are resilience are key.
At one point in the clip, the girls are seen pinning up a popular quote on the fence: "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." It’s so important that if kids find a hobby or sport that they enjoy, that they stick at it. The 2032 Olympics (which are scarily only 11 years away) will be held in sunny Brisbane, Australia so I think we need to start planning which sport my son would like to enter with!
When Serena walks out onto the court for the first time to compete at the top level, her father tells her: "You gon’ walk out there with your head up. You are a champion and the whole world knows." Richard Williams had the two girls brimming with confidence before they’d even won anything, and this was key. I recently bought my eldest 'You Are Awesome' by Matthew Syed and the accompanying journal, and it’s a great guide for children on how to unlock their potential.
When Will Smith shared the trailer for the movie on his Instagram he called the film an: "Origin story for some REAL DEAL superheroes." Real-life heroes are even more inspiring than fictional ones because they have a true story behind them. I’m really looking forward to showing my son a film about two women that became virtually invincible in their field.