This week, IMG and the Tatoï membership in Athens, Greece are internet hosting the IMG Future Stars Invitational Tennis Tournament. Forty-eight gamers (24 boys, 24 women) below the age of 12 will compete for an entry into the distinguished Eddie Herr International Junior Championships later this yr. Hundreds of youngsters from all over the world submitted utility movies.
What makes the IMG Future Stars match so distinctive is the extra perks the gamers will obtain all through the week. Regardless of their outcomes, children are required to remain all the week. Each day, the gamers—in addition to their mother and father and coaches—will hear keynote addresses from executives from the WTA, ATP, and Nike. Players may also obtain two teaching masterclasses from ATP/WTA coaches, in addition to media and dietary coaching from main professionals within the subject. The week’s occasions will culminate in an exhibition match that includes two prime 15 males’s gamers, Hubert Hurkacz and Carlos Alcaraz.
I had an opportunity to meet up with Hurkacz to get his ideas on the match, the exhibition match, and the impression this week can have on the following era of tennis.
Our interview started with discussing the transition from junior tennis to the professionals. Most promising junior gamers are unable to make the soar because of the rigorous schedules, dramatic improve in ability degree, and the shortage of monetary sources. According to Hurkacz, the hardest a part of his transition was taking time to regulate to the brand new competitors and way of life: “It can take a couple of years for a junior at 18 years old to physically grow up and transition to playing against adults.”
The children on the Future Stars match can have a leg up on that transition. Hurkacz highlighted the media coaching as a very good lesson to be taught ahead of later: “Be confident in yourself and know which direction you want to go [in each interview]”
The matches will probably be aired on Tennis Channel for hundreds of viewers, and a couple of,000 spectators are anticipated every day by the match. At the start of his profession Hurkacz discovered enjoying in entrance of enormous crowds traumatic. Now, particularly after a yr with out followers, Hurkacz enjoys enjoying in packed stadiums.
Hurkacz additionally has perception into the significance of vitamin coaching, as he grew to become vegan at the start of his professional profession .
“It’s part of growing. When you’re 10 or 11 you don’t think of that stuff, but if you try to eat healthy, it becomes second nature for you,” he said.
Another unique aspect of the Future Stars tournament is the experience it provides to parents and coaches as well as the players. All three are required to attend the informational sessions to best learn how to support their players on their journey to becoming professional athletes.
“A great tennis coach understands the emotions of a player on the court,” Hurkacz said. “Playing tennis, you are nervous at certain moments of the match, and it’s important for the coach to understand that and help you get through those emotions. It’s not all about technique.”
Finally, we mentioned Hurkacz’s exhibition match with Carlos Alcaraz on the match. Hurkacz mentioned he was excited for a rematch after their thrilling Miami Open Semifinal simply weeks earlier.
“Carlos is such a great player, what he has achieved at this age is incredible” Hurkacz mentioned. “I was never great as a junior or as a younger kid, but it shows if you work hard enough and do the right things, you can get to a super high level.”
Overall, the main focus of the IMG Future Stars Tournament is to prepare the next generation of tennis players for their journey to become pros. While the grand prize awarded to the boy’s and girl’s champion is extremely coveted, the real reward will be the knowledge the players gain about playing at the next level. Hurkacz ended the interview with some final advice to the players: “Everyone should focus on enjoying the week and the learning process,” slightly than their consequence.
Photo credit score: Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports