Joining The WTA Tour
Young girls who have taken serious interest in tennis are almost always dreaming of joining the Women's Tennis Association, or the WTA Tour. Who doesn't want to join the tour - the women's counterpart of the ATP Tour - after the Williams sisters, Anna Kournikova, Maria Sharapova, and other contemporary women tennis players have shown that playing tennis can both be intense and glamorous?
If you are interested in competing on the WTA Tour, which changed its name to Sony Ericsson WTA Tour in 2005, the first thing you have to do is submit a duly accomplished Mandatory Player Form. This form, which is submitted before every tour year by everyone who wants to join the tour, is available on Sony Ericsson WTA Tour website and must be forwarded to the Tour's office in Florida through fax.
Aside from the usual information collected, such as name, birth date and complete address of the player, the aspiring players of Sony Ericsson WTA Tour must also submit coach and agent information. Furthermore, you also need to sign Anti-Doping Consent and Player Agreements. When you sign the Anti-Doping Consent, it just means that you are willing to undergo drug testing in compliance with the tenets of the World Anti-Doping Code.
For first-time applicants, you are required to furnish a copy of either your birth certificate or passport, as proof of identification. If you are below 18 years old, you can still join the WTA Tour. You just need to provide the group with Minor Medical Release information and consent from either your parents or legal guardian.
All players who want to join the WTA must submit an annual physical examination clearance, which ensures that she is physically fit and capable to join the games. You should also reach at least the minimum educational prerequisite of your country of origin, before you could join the tour.
Career development and opportunities
The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour is serious in developing and enhancing the professional career of its members; that is why it provides educational assistance and mentoring programs for those who are just starting out. Furthermore, most, if not all, of its new athletes, particularly the minors, must experience the Rookie Phase. In this phase, the player undergoes orientation on the WTA Tour, where she is taught about her responsibilities in and out of the court, what she should expect during the game proper, as well as other business opportunities related to her career.
Here are some of the professional development programs sponsored by Sony Ericsson WTA Tour:
Partners For Success
This is a mentoring program, the first of its kind in professional sports history, that teams a protg, players over 18 that are included in the Top 100 singles rank, with a veteran tennis player, who will serve as the protg's mentor. The goal of the program is to help budding players chart their professional career.
The Athlete Assistance is an answer to the player's need for more education and tips in handling their professional career. The Sony Ericsson WTA Tour regularly provides education topics, available on its website, that are focused on improving the player's performance on the court and answering other problems they may encounter as a professional tennis player.
Professional women tennis players conduct themselves well during media interviews and conferences, partly because of the media training provided by the WTA Tour. The training you will get will depend on the professional development phase you are in. Members in the rookie phase are given only basic media training, while members of the Premier and Elite phases are provided a more advanced media instruction.
The WTA Tour believes that the parents perform a crucial role in the career development of their children. Thus, the WTA Tour requires all parents to attend and complete its parent orientation, which discusses the facilities and services made available by WTA to the players and the possible obstacles their daughters will encounter in professional tennis.
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