Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
My Dad was a great guy! Just not because he was my dad and raised us well but I also get to hear it from other relatives and friends who have high regards for him. We are a family of four, with my sister being the youngest of all. He raised us with a passion for sports and I excelled at it. Growing up I was fascianted with Lawn Tennis and idolized with Steffi Graf. I had posters of Pete Sampras and Steffi Graf exploding out of my bedroom walls and one day I wanted to be like them. My dad was a key figure is fueling this passion for tennis as he was a player himself. A good one. I lost him when I was 17 but I was lucky to have spent 17 years of my life with him and learnt the most important lessons in life that shaped me today.
He was keen on making me a tennis player and engaged me in tennis activities since I was four years old. He had a strong will and took me to practice every day including rainy days. Ofcourse, on the rainy days he would train me on my footwork and fitness regime. He taught me discipline and sportsmanship and was a big role model for me. From 4 years to 17 years, I continued my journey into the world of Tennis. It is only because of him that I was able to play in the International Tennis Federation Tournaments all over the world representing India in girls U-14 and girls U-16 categories. He was there for me in my tough times and would travel with me for some major tournaments inspite of his busy schedule. Always giving me tips on how to improve my game and gave me that mental strength which is a critical component in playing any sport.
Winning Vs Losing? As a teen, I was ashamed of losing and would not talk to my opponent if I lost against her. My dad changed my whole outlook on it. He explained the true spirit of being a sportsman. There is no such thing as winning or losing. Even Grand-Slam champions lose at times. It’s all about performing on that particualar day. That is when I started to have fun with my matches. I started enjoying them more and this helped me focus more on my ground strokes and getting quicker with my reflexes. My poin of contact was right at the sweet spot. Bingo..all my forehand strokes were cross-court winners. My forehand turned out to be my strongest weapon. Day after day, my dad was guiding me and taking me to tennis lessons as a ritual.
His passion for the game and his wish to see me a top tennis player in Indian Tennis Circuit was fulfilled before he left me. I can’t forget the time I spent learning about Tennis and life through him. I owe my achievements completely to him. My dad was my Hero. He will be cherished in my life forever.