In his youth, Ashe was a frail looking child, but he loved sports. Because his father was a caretaker for Brookfield Park in Richmond Virginia, his family lived in the caretaker's house on the Park grounds. Arthur grew up with tennis courts in his backyard and because he was so small he decided to take up the game. Ronald Charity, the best local player saw Arthur trying to learn the game and began to teach him. Charity then introduced Arthur to Dr. Johnson who became Arthur's mentor and coached him through his formative years in the game.