logo image

ATD Blog

Start New


Wed May 22 2024

Start New

Venus Williams tells ATD24 attendees how coaching, a strong mindset, and a love for life changed her career.

Tennis legend Venus Williams closed out ATD24 on Wednesday during a keynote sponsored by Vyond. The seven-time Grand Slam singles champion set the tone by discussing how her mentality—she said she used “reload, recharge, start new” as a mantra when matches didn’t go her way—helped her become successful.

Start New-Vyond.png

“A winning mindset is really just about how you frame things,” Williams said. “You can frame anything to be a win or to be a positive. In fact, losses are just a moment. It’s literally just that one moment in time. It might seem like the end of the world at that time, but it’s just a moment. And it’s actually an opportunity because now you found out what not to do.”

Through her nearly three-decades-long career, Williams has won almost three times as many matches as she’s lost—even joking during the Q&A with Holly Ransom that she was the Grim Reaper on the court—but she’s still taken lessons from low points.

Start New-1000013813.jpg

In moments of doubt, sometimes the only thing you have left is to fake confidence.

“The interesting and amazing part about belief is belief knows no age. It knows no color. It knows nothing,” she said. “None of those factors factor into believing in yourself.”

Williams also discussed her sister, fellow tennis legend Serena Williams. After deadpanning that Serena beat her a lot despite a height disadvantage of four inches, Venus said her sister taught her a valuable lesson.

“You’ve got to have heart to cross the line,” Williams said. “A lot of times, it’s just your will. Just that part inside you that pushes you forward that you can’t quite touch. I didn’t have it, and I knew I didn’t have it.”

She continued, “I saw her, and it was like, \[…\] ‘I want to be that. I have to have that.’”

Williams joked that her sister won games so often because their mom, who she called the toughest coach she ever had, was usually on Serena’s court. Coaching styles, Williams remarked, can make or break you in any setting.

“I think we’ve all been in a class where you had a great teacher and one that wasn’t so great,” she said. “And how much you get out of that class when that teacher is really in tune and gets that point across, even in some instances, changes your whole career path.”

The coaching role is one of the most important, Williams asserted. “Those are the differences between \[…\] staying in the game and not staying in the game.”

Williams closed her keynote by quoting the rock band 311, famous for their songs “Amber” and “Jupiter.”

“One of my favorite things that they say is ‘\[stay\] positive and love your life,’” she explained. “So, that’s one thing that I always take with me. No matter what the situation, you can still be positive and love and enjoy your life. You’re here. Have fun.”

Sharing stories

Before Williams’s keynote address, Dear World founder Robert X. Fogarty returned to the stage to share three attendee stories from the conference. Cori Guidi, Dana Williams, and Antoine Garrett each shared their Brain Tattoo memories.

Start New-1000013802.jpg

Ransom also briefly interviewed T-Ray the Violinist, who performed for 30 minutes as the audience filed into the auditorium before the keynote began.

You've Reached ATD Member-only Content

Become an ATD member to continue

Already a member?Sign In

Copyright © 2024 ATD

ASTD changed its name to ATD to meet the growing needs of a dynamic, global profession.

Terms of UsePrivacy NoticeCookie Policy