The ATP has announced new partnerships with Sporting Chance and Headspace to support the mental health and wellbeing of its player members and staff.
Being mentally strong is just as important as physical strength in tennis and looking after the mental health of our players and staff is a key priority for us. Andrea Gaudenzi, ATP Chairman
Founded by former Arsenal FC and England football captain Tony Adams MBE, Sporting Chance is a leading mental health provider working exclusively with professional and elite sports participants to give them a safe and confidential space to discuss emotional wellbeing and mental health.
The ATP says players will be able to contact a 24/7 helpline operated by Sporting Chance to discuss any issues, including the psychological effects of Covid-19.
Adams set up Sporting Chance as a charity in 2000 to work with the Premier League, Football Association and Professional Footballers’ Association, as well as cricket and rugby organisations and provides services for sporting stars who are experiencing emotional problems and require support.
The ATP has also partnered with Headspace, a global leader in mindfulness, meditation and mental fitness through its app and online content offerings.
Free Headspace Plus subscriptions will be provided to all ATP player members and employees, giving them access to all 1200+ hours of meditation and mindfulness content including sleep, kids, and mindful movement exercises.
Last month, the ATP announced it was offering players a way to develop new skills during the pandemic through a partnership with Coursera, an online education platform, where players will be able to choose from more than 4,200 different courses of study to keep themselves mentally sharp.
“Being mentally strong is just as important as physical strength in tennis and looking after the mental health of our players and staff is a key priority for us,” said ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.
“Everyone has been adapting to periods of self-isolation and decreased physical activity during the pandemic, but this can have a particularly detrimental effect on professional athletes who are used to particular training structure and playing day in day out.
“We want to make sure we’re doing everything we can to support our players and staff during this time and I’m proud of the partnerships we’ve been able to announce in recent weeks and months which allow us to do this.”
Adams believes the coronavirus pandemic will be having an impact on mental health in different ways.
“The challenges that all sports and sports professionals are experiencing in the light of this pandemic will be affecting all of us in different ways,” he said.
“I started Sporting Chance twenty years ago with the vision of creating a safe place for professional and elite athletes to discuss their emotional and mental health in confidence.
“Holding out our hand to those in need at this time is important to me and working with organisations like the ATP is a pleasure – well done Tennis!”
Renate Nyburg, General Manager for Headspace Europe, said: “As a company dedicated to improving the health and happiness of the world, we take our responsibility to help support people’s mental health very seriously.
“The focus in sports training has often been exclusively on physical health and conditioning, but as the top athletes at all levels have increasingly learned, mental health and fitness is also critical in supporting wellbeing and performance on and off the court.”
Indian Wells was the first ATP tournament to be called off due to the coronavirus pandemic, while the French Open has been postponed until September and Wimbledon shelved.
“Everyone has been adapting to periods of self-isolation and decreased physical activity during the pandemic, but this can have a particularly detrimental effect on professional athletes who are used to particular training structure and playing day in day out,” added Gaudenzi.