Due to Covid-19, the ITF Regional Training Centre is closed during 2021. The ITF Development Officer- Pacific Oceania, Gary Purcell, has been assisting and interacting with all the players on a daily/weekly basis. Below Gary comments on the work and assistance that he is providing:
” 2021 is another tough year for the ITF Pacific Oceania Training Centre players, as we were unable to return to the ITF House in Fiji, so everyone is at home whilst still being supported by the ITF in three core areas: Education, Training and Competition
For those students who chose to continue with our online schooling option, they are enrolled with a US based Academy called EdOptions. All students are studying towards completing a high school diploma and have constant access to the EdOptions Academy teaching staff, administration and guidance coordinators whenever needed.
In terms of Training and Competition assistance, the ITF have teamed up with a Sport Science Consultant Team, Fusion Sport, who run a programme called the Athlete Management System (AMS). The AMS is my way to keep in contact with the players daily and has a huge number of functionalities that allow us to track and monitor how the players are getting on.
Through the monitoring functions, the players are encouraged to send two daily updates
- Wellness updates- to be uploaded each morning
- Training log / Strength & Conditioning update after each session
These show up on a dashboard on my side, so I can see how the players are feeling, what kind of training session they have done and if they have any injuries or issues. Through an inbuilt messaging function, I can also interact individually with players within the AMS.
In addition to this, each player has created an Athlete Development Plan which acts as their goal setting blueprint. This plan covers areas such as: Tactical, Technical, Physical, Mental, Education and Life Goals.
A new feature has just been added that allows the players to share videos with myself and Dermot Sweeney, the ITF Technical Director of Centres and Players. This will now allow us to see what the players are working on and we can give feedback or advise as required.
We have also just activated an ITF Academy membership for all players, which will give them access to the Library area where hundreds of video and article pieces are hosted. This will be an invaluable tool and is something I am really excited to delve into over the course of the year.
One final area we are guiding the players towards is the new ITF Knowledge Courses, again hosted on the Athlete Management System. These courses will soon become mandatory for all players on the ITF World Tennis Tour Juniors and covers topics including: Anti-Doping Education, Integrity, Player Welfare, Social Media, Diversity and Inclusion.
Although we have challenges that are out of our control such as travel restrictions and physical distance, I meet with the players on weekly video calls, and we all communicate daily. “