Younger son has been having extra tennis coaching at school which he adores. His teacher is a top coach who coached her own daughters to county standard.
She drew me aside one day.
“He’s really coming on, terrific hand, eye co-ordination,” she said.
I beamed. I was rubbish at tennis.
“But I just wanted to explain why I asked your son to step out of the class yesterday,” she continued. “ He hit a bad shot and threw his racket down.”
Her head tilted to one side, looking to me for agreement that she had done the right thing.
I bit my lip. Eight year olds having tantrums, whatever next.
“Yes ,of course,” I said sympathetically, “He must learn to be a good sport.”
I told his father about his boy’s lack of manners.
“The boy’s got it,” he said delighted.
“The red mist. It’s what he needs to succeed. He won’t give up. Determination. Didn’t do McEnroe any harm anyway...”
My appeal for some fatherly advice to teach my wayward son about giving everyone a chance, sharing the ball, the importance of just taking part fell on deaf ears.
The following week, younger son won the tennis tournament. At least he thanked the umpire graciously.
Game ,set and match to testosterone?