ATP Teams Up With Online Learning Platform To Help Players

MUMBAI: the men tennis tour has partnered with the online learning platform Coursera to help players acquire new skills and knowledge as well as take care of their mental health during the closure of COVID-19, ATP President Andrea Gaudenzi he said Thursday.

The professional tennis season was halted in early March due to the pandemic and will remain suspended until at least mid-July, depriving lower-level players who depend solely on tournament winnings of the chance to earn a living.

With the sport in a virtual impasse due to the virus and many countries in strict blockade, many professional athletes have remained anxious while they fight to face all the uncertainty that awaits them.

Players are mostly very competitive people, they like to achieve things, Gaudenzi told Reuters. They are productive people.

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If you somehow focus on something that gives you that drive and passion, it will help channel your energy into something, even if it's not physical but mental, to accomplish something new.

Through ATP 's partnership with Coursera, which will be initially for two years, players will have access to over 4,000 courses across topics like business, technology, data science, personal development and mental well-being.

One of our most popular courses is called The Science of Wellness Yale University ," Kim Caldbeck , chief marketing officer at Coursera, told Reuters. And already this year, there's been over 1.8 million enrollments in that course.

There's also quite a few different courses on Coursera everything from mindfulness to helping find your purpose.

So there are quite a few things that allow people to directly address mental health and help them stay stimulated and learn about the long-term interest they might have during this time.

PERFECT ADJUSTMENT

Gaudenzi, who achieved a singles ranking of 18 in his playing career, earned a law degree and an MBA before launching a successful commercial career in entertainment, data, technology and media.

The 46-year-old Italian, who took over as the President of ATP in January, feels an online learning platform is a perfect fit for a professional player.

I did my law degree while playing on tour. It took me about 10 years, he said. I had to go to University of Bologna obviously between tournaments.

Preparation and interactions with teachers and the university were minimal because I was working on the tour for 40 weeks a year. There was no Internet at the time or online education, so I was traveling with books.

I remember that private law books and commercial books weighed between 10 and 15 kilograms. Just carrying them with them was extremely uncomfortable. An education on the road is extremely difficult.

An individual has to normally pay $ 399 annually for a course on the learning platform but players would get access without any charge on Coursera, who are working with a sport body for the first time.

For players, who are used to leading an active life, going through an online course initially could prove daunting, the Italian warned. But the rewards are plenty and will be a huge asset for a player's post- tennis career, he added.

"A tennis player is also bit of an entrepreneur," Gaudenzi said, adding he found it very tough to sit through his MBA degree initially.

From an early age they have to be able to manage their money, manage assets, finances, hire people, be it a coach, an agent, a physio, making it more of a small business. And you need knowledge to do that.

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