The World According To Oracene Price

IF there's one word to describe Oracene Price, it's cool. She not only coaches her daughters Venus and Serena Williams but also sits in the stands with class and composure as they compete against each other for Grand Slam titles. And she even applauds when her children's opponents hit winners. Oracene, who has gone by her maiden name since her divorce from Richard Williams last year, gives us a glimpse into her life.

GOING, GOING, GONE: "I did basketball, track, volleyball, and baseball. When I met Richard I told him if I played baseball I could hit a home run. He didn't believe me. So one day, when the kids were practicing and we were next to the tennis court, we used a couple of tennis balls and a bat. He pitched one to me and I popped it over the fence (around the court) and he couldn't believe it."

YOU GOTTA BELIEVE: "Venus and Serena are assured in themselves, and that's something you have to make sure they have been taught since they were young. Self-confidence and self esteem — if that's not embedded in them while they're young then they'll have doubts. It's important for them to be proud of who they are and not care what anyone says or how anyone tells them to act."

WOMEN'S LIBERATION: "Women are taught to love everyone but themselves. But men! I don't care where you are around the world, men love themselves. But we (women) are taught to take care of everyone. We can come last. But that's not true. There's nothing wrong with loving yourself as long as it's in the right, constructive way."

CLOTHS CALL: "Always make a statement! Sometimes the statements I make are not intentional (laughs). I just like different things. I don't like to look the same all the time; it would get boring for me. Maybe that's where the girls get their fashion sense."

LIFE LESSON: "Tennis can get one-dimensional. When we're on the court, we work hard and plan. But when we're not on the court, we don't talk about tennis. You need to have a life."

PRESSURE POINT: "There's so much pressure. Most kids don't want to disappoint their parents. I see a lot of talented kids, but they don't look happy. It's none of my business, but I think they would be happier if they did other things, too."

Rosanne Michie