Photo: Giorgio MaiozziThe ITF Players' Educational Forum
PROSTEJOV, CZECH REPUBLIC: Players at the 24th ITF World Junior Tennis Finals in Prostejov laid down their rackets and attended an educational forum.
The forum in Prostejov was attended by all the teams and their captains competing in the ITF World Junior Tennis Finals.
The players and captains were split into three groups to hear talks from Dr Maarten Moen, a sports physician working for the Dutch Royal Tennis Association and the Dutch Olympic Committee, Dan Lowen, a partner at Couchmans LLP, the UK's top ranked specialist sports law firm, and Faye Andrews, a sports media specialist.
Dr Maarten Moen talked to the players about injury prevention and the various steps to take in order to keep your body in the best shape possible as well as the importance of nutrition in aiding recovery.
Faye Andrews talked to the players about the importance of social media in a players' career, giving the players invaluable advice on the dos and don'ts when posting online, as well as helping them to understand how top level players like Tomas Berdych, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams use platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to promote themselves and engage with fans.
Daniel Lowen, sports lawyers Couchmans LLP, spoke about the role of an agent in a player’s career. He advised the players on how an agent could benefit them and gave them some tips on what to look for when entering into a contract with an agent. He also spoke about the new initiative between the ITF and Couchmans LLP which involves the latter providing legal advice to top junior players.
Mark Bullock, the manager of wheelchair tennis at the ITF, began by giving a talk entitled ‘What is the ITF?’. Backed up by DVD footage and slide shows of ITF events, Mr Bullock explained to the players about the role of the ITF in the sport.
Former world No. 5 Jiri Novak and current world No. 76 Jiri Vesely then held a question and answer session with the players and captains on their careers, including Davis Cup and the Olympics.
The ITF has long been committed to helping young players learn the off-court skills that they will need if and when they become professionals, as well as keeping them informed about the rights accorded to young people by the United Nations. It holds regular educational forums at its team and individual events and has launched an online junior tennis school to educate them on issues such as anti-doping, coaching, parental involvement and dealing with the media so that they can learn via the internet as well as at the forums.