This is the 10th and final installment of Dr. Tom Ferraro’s “The Tennis Guru” series. Click Here to read the first parts.
When Yin entered the castle, he was amazed at all he saw. The Tennis Guru had created a magnificent Mecca for tennis. There must have been fifty courts in all, with lots of talented players of all ages hitting balls, playing matches and doing drills under the careful eye of instructors. Some courts were grass, some were Har-Tru, and some were clay, and all were groomed to perfection. He recognized some professionals as well. All in all, this was what you would call tennis heaven.
The he saw a tanned tall man walking toward him and was sure it was The Tennis Guru himself. When they approached, the man said to Yin:
“Why, welcome my young friend, you must be Yin. We’ve been waiting for you. How was your journey up the mountain?”
Yin seemed a little bit in awe of the man but got over his fear and said:
“You have no idea what it was like getting here. Does everyone go through such a trial of twists and turns to get to these hallowed heights?”
“Well, Yin” said The Tennis Guru. “I’m afraid that they all must. You see, before anyone gets here, we want to separate the boys from the men. And you have passed the test. Tell me what you have learned along the way up.”
Yin began, “Well I first met Virgil who taught me patience above all things. He told me that there was no easy way up to the top and that I would need courage along the way. I got a ring from a guy named Charon and I even faced a demon that seemed to have magic powers. I met a beautiful girl named Rebecca who seemed to give me strength the more I was with her. But she was so charming that I nearly forgot myself and almost drowned in a flood. Virgil told me to learn to be ready for all surprises, and to expect and resist all temptations.”
“Well Yin,” said The Tennis Guru. “You seemed to have weathered many a storm on this trip. How did you get past The Oracle? She is often difficult to pass.”
“Well I gave her my golden ring and she then told me an odd poem to memorize.”
The Tennis Guru smiled and asked “Well, do you recall the poem by any chance?”
“Yes I do. It went something like this:
Many ask for my counsel, so to you I shall say,
Practice and focus and often do play,
But the tried and true secret all heroes possess,
Is an inner belief they hold fast to their chest.
“Well now,” said the Tennis Guru. “What does that little poem mean anyway?”
Yin thought for a while and said, ‘I think it means that no matter what occurs along the way, always know that I am good and strong, and brave and courageous. And it also means that hard work eventually pays off. And that I am well-loved and should always be faithful to myself, my friends and my family.”
“WOW!” said The Tennis Guru. “You have learned many things on the way up. My work with you will be easier than I had first thought. Let’s go hit some shots.”
And off they walked, straight into Yin’s big, bright future in tennis.