| By Dr. Tom Ferraro
Illustration by Sudipta Dasgupta


This is the ninth installment of Dr. Tom Ferraro’s “The Tennis Guru” series. To read the first parts, Click Here.

The trio awoke the next morning, cleaned up camp and continued on their trek up the mountain to meet The Tennis Guru. Yin felt strong and happy. He had met a wise mentor in Virgil who had helped him along and he had also met the beautiful Rebecca who he had fallen in love with. This had indeed been a wonderful journey, and now he was excited to get to the top and meet The Tennis Guru who was sure to be of help to him and cure his tennis troubles. As he sped up his pace he looked back at Rebecca and Virgil and yelled to them, “Hurry up you slow pokes, we’re almost to the top!”

As he looked back, he was surprised to see that they were no longer walking his way. He stopped in his tracks and ran back to them: “What’s up? Why aren’t you coming?” Virgil looked up and said, “Yin, this is as far as we will go. It is up to you to travel the rest of the way alone. We must say goodbye to you.”

Yin was shocked by this and didn’t know what to say or do. Virgil looked at him with a smile and said, “You have learned enough from us. Go forward on your own. And when you get to the gate you will need to give The Oracle something. Her prophecy is valuable and you’ll be allowed to ask her one question. Her answer will always be truthful and wise and accurate. She is the only one who can see the future and her prophecy is of great value. But she will answer in rhyme so make sure you recall what she says as she will only say it once before she disappears. You must give her an offering for her to speak. What do you have to offer her?”

Yin looked down at his golden ring and said, “I could give her this ring I received from Charon.” Virgil smiled and said, “Yes that will work. Gold rings are of great value to her. She will be pleased. She will then give you her prophecy upon receipt of that ring, I am sure.”

Yin was not at all happy with this but he could see that Virgil and Rebecca were serious about this and he hugged them, thanked them and waved good bye to both. With a tear in his eye he went forward up the cliffs and before long he spied the giant castle of The Tennis Guru with 99 steps that led up to the gate.

He climbed higher and higher and the steps became steeper and more dangerous. As he reached the top step he noticed that strange vapors were seeping from the steps and he became a little sleepy and dazed. Then he saw a beautiful woman dressed in a flowing white gown float towards him and say to him

“Who is this lowly creature who stands before me? And where is your gift?”

Yin was frightened but managed to say, “My name is Yin and I have come to see the Tennis Guru.” He held out his golden ring and gave it to The Oracle.

“Good” said the Oracle. “Now tell me what is it you wish to know of your future?”

Yin thought for a moment and then said, “I want to know how to become a champion.”

And the Oracle spoke as follows:

“You have come for my counsel, so this I shall say: Practice and focus and often do play But the tried and true secret all champions possess, An inner belief they hold close to their chest.”

With that, The Oracle vanished and the gates to the Tennis Guru’s castle slowly opened.

To be continued...


Dr. Tom Ferraro

For consultations, treatment or on-site visits, contact Dr. Tom Ferraro Ph.D., Sport Psychologist, by phone at (516) 248-7189, e-mail DrTFerraro@aol.com or visit DrTomFerraro.com.