“The men hardly ever cry”: Sticks, stones and words that hurt…

We try to be tough. But women, we feel things…deeply feel them. It maybe something you said today, yesterday or three years ago — but it’s always there in our emotional memory banks just waiting to surface in a moment of joy, rage or resentment, often followed by a downpour of salty tears. And, the scary part is… you don’t know when, how or what will trigger it. It could be something unrelated you said, a passing thought or that commercial about neglected pets with big sad eyes. The only advice is…tread lightly, we can blow at any moment.

The court is often our safe haven. It’s an escape from our daily lives and from ourselves. It’s a place to play and get better at something, so when there’s drama in our playpen, worlds collide and…BOOM!

Here are some words from tennis Coaches that have been known to set off a nuclear reaction or two, and our suggestions on softening the blow:

COACH: The answer is NO. You’re not ready to move-up.
ALTERNATE: First of all, did you lose weight? Your tennis game is in great shape and getting better each day. I wish I could, but it’s not quite the right timing. We really need you to lead the team you’re on right now.

COACH: Because she’s better than you.
ALTERNATE: She’s a good player, but you’re my secret weapon.

COACH: You’re not as good as you think you are.
ALTERNATE: You just need a few tweaks, and I really want to work on helping you become the best player you can be.

COACH: See that player, she could have been somebody but she gave up. You’re just like her.
ALTERNATE: I’m here for you, but you need to be here for me.

COACH: I think you should move down and play for the lower ranked team?
ALTERNATE: I really need your expertise. The lower team is struggling and I need you to help me guide them back-up.

COACH: You’re nowhere near where I want you to be.
ALTERNATE: Where do you want to take your game? Tell me how I can help you get up to your dream level.

COACH: The men hardly ever cry.
ALTERNATE: I’m tough on you because I care, and I see that you have potential.

COACH: Are your feet made of lead? MOVE!
ALTERNATE: (Ok, it’s really important to move…we’ll give you this one.)

COACH: Ok, you want the whole truth? Here it is…
ALTERNATE: (Nothing good can come of telling the “whole” truth, and we definitely don’t want to hear it. Never start a sentence this way.)

COACH: If you saw what I see, you would understand why you need more work.
ALTERNATE: (No need to say anything, just show the video. We will be utterly horrified at the sight of ourselves on the screen and agree with all that you say afterwards.)


It’s OK, don’t hold back Coach. We can handle it, and some of these words do need to be said if we want to get better. Just sprinkle a little sugar on top…