- Serena Williams’ longtime coach shared a story about bribing the legend to train as an 11-year-old.
- The coach, Rick Macci, said he motivated Williams to move her feet with the promise of snacks.
- Williams got the snacks, and then spent a full hour crushing her hitting partner without any breaks.
(Meredith Cash/Insider.com) These days, Serena Williams — the 23-time Grand Slam champion widely considered the greatest player in modern women’s tennis history — is motivated by the
prospect of breaking tennis records and cementing her legacy in the sport.
But as a kid, Williams derived motivation from a simpler goal: getting snacks.
Rick Macci — a longtime coach for Williams and her superstar sister, Venus, dating back to when they were children — recently recounted a hilarious story about 11-year-old Serena negotiating her way into some treats during a tennis practice.
As Macci recalls, the Williams sisters were practicing side-by-side on a July day “and Serena’s standing there in the corner… running the clock out.” He instructed her to “move your feet,” to which the younger Williams sister replied, “Why?”
“I said, ‘What do you mean, why?!'” Macci said. “‘You said you want to be number one!’ And she goes, ‘I will be number one.'”
“‘Well, how can I get you to move your feet?'” the trainer insisted.