Sports & Gaming

Preparing for Game Day

Serena Williams

Lesson time 11:40 min

Serena starts a big match before she even steps out onto the court. Learn the physical and mental routines that take Serena to the Grand Slams over and over again.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Focusing on Your Game • The Match • Eating on Game Day


These two girls that you see in the picture here is Serena Williams. Raise your hand, Serena. Venus Williams. Serena is seven years old. Venus is eight years old. When I was a little girl, the first time I found pure happiness playing tennis was in my first tournament. My dad told me I was too young to play, and Venus was already in the tournament, so we were already going. I was eight years old, and I decided to enter myself in the tournament. So when I got there, my dad went with Venus, and I told him I was going to the bathroom, and I went to go play my match. And I was so happy after I won my match, I was just elated, and I told my dad, see, I knew I could win. I knew I was ready to play. [MUSIC PLAYING] I usually started thinking about my next tournament the minute my tournament ends. So if I happen to lose early in the tournament, I'm already thinking about the next one. Oddly enough, if I win the tournament, I'm even more so thinking about the next one. It helps me to be able to stay focused and be able to not become complacent and want to continue to win. Game day, for me, is really intense. On game day for a day match, if I play at 11 o'clock, I usually wake up around 7 o'clock. I hit two hours before I play or 2 and 1/2 hours before I play, depending on how I feel. And then right after that, I get ready for my match. I mentally think about my match. I try to stay in a calm, peaceful place. And then I get my ankles taped, and then I go play my match. For a game day on my night match, it is a little different. I wake up around 9 o'clock, and I actually go to the gym, or I go to the practice court depending on how I feel. If I feel I want to work on something, I'll go hit for about 30 minutes, and then I go back to the hotel, go to sleep. Then I go back to the court two hours before my match, and I warm up, and then I go in the locker room after warmup, get ready mentally, think about my match, get taped, and then I go out to play. [MUSIC PLAYING] Serena serves up an ace. Being fearless is definitely really crucial to having good success. However, you're not going to be fearless all the time. There are many times where I'm so afraid. Every single match before I walk out on the court, I am so nervous to a point where it's insane. But you take all the fear, and you bottle it up, and you throw it away, and you walk out there, and you get ready for the match. And that can go for anything like if you're in school, or if you're doing something else. You just take that fear, harness it, and realize fear is just something that's going to hold you back. And if you don't want to be held back, throw that ball of fear away. In the locker room, I have a lot of self-doubt. I'm thinking, what am I going to do? I have a tremendous amount of nerves. I'm not sure I'm going to win the match. I'...

About the Instructor

Serena Williams, the world's #1 ranked women's tennis player and winner of 23 Grand Slam singles titles, teaches you tennis and reveals the secrets of her game. This is as close as you can get to a private lesson with one of the world's greatest tennis players.

Featured MasterClass Instructor

Serena Williams

Step up your game with two hours of the techniques, drills, and mental skills that made Serena the best in the world.

Explore the Class
Sign Up