9,000 enthusiastic fans on the centercourt, the spotlight’s burning down relentlessly and just don’t make any mistake! No, we are not talking about the famous star players like Dominic Thiem, title defender Lucas Pouille or ATP world champion Grigor Dimitrov but the spark7 ballkids.
Concentration, attention, endurance, precision – all the same attirbutes which Thiem & Co need on the court are also asked of the spark7 ballkids. Already the selection of the kids and youths – you can apply to become a ballkid from 12 years – is tough. The kids have to master three stations at the “spark7 ballkids challenge” to prove their worth.
Here the kids can hold the Stadthalle typical “net-rackets” for the first time and practice collecting, rolling and throwing the balls. Looks easier than it is, especially when there are 9,000 fans watching your every step.
Walk-on and –off court
Obviously, there has to be order. That’s why it is important that each ballkid knows from the first day on exactly what the correct order for the walk on court is.
Simulation with “real players”
The first highlight for a first-time ballkid! After the first two stations they get to the “real thing”. The kids are on court with ITN ranked players and can taste the air of “professionalism” for the first time. When does which kid run to the ball? When can or should the kids look the players into the eyes to throw them a ball? Such a lot of questions and the kids must know the answers by heart until the start of the tournament.