Media Tips for Young Tennis Players
by Colette Lewis
, 30 September 2013
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Do you try to hit a forehand like Roger Federer? Is serving like Serena Williams your goal? Do Rafael Nadal's competitive instincts and positive energy inspire you when you're trailing in a match?
The USTA provides media training for junior players
Many junior tennis players pattern their games and their on-court attitudes after professional players they see often on television, but except for brief on-court or studio interviews at the major tournaments, juniors rarely see their favorite players interact with the media.
Although it may not have the same importance as developing a reliable kick serve or a slice backhand, learning to handle media requests and inquiries is part of the education of a developing player.
The USTA recognizes that, annually conducting media training sessions for juniors at their National Center in Boca Raton, Florida.
The training, conducted by USTA Director of Public Relations Tim Curry, touches on a range of topics: public relations, burgeoning social media and its impact, the media's role in establishing perceptions, in addition to the standard interviewing dos and don'ts.
"We told them if you're serious about your tennis, one of the things you need to be responsible for, and have ownership of, is the way the public views you. And part of the way that is established or communicated is through the media," says Curry, who has worked in USTA Public Relations for more than a decade.
"We're not trying to change anyone's personality or make them into something they're not," Curry says. "We're trying to get them to feel comfortable enough with who they are and what they feel to communicate that through the media and to the general public."
"I can understand why you might want to be guarded," Curry continues. "But people are more responsive to you when you're open and honest, sharing emotion rather than being stoic and giving generic answers."
Whether it's potential sponsors, college coaches, fans or reporters you hope to impress, learning to reveal yourself in a professional manner is a skill that you will never outgrow.