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Petchey: 5 things every aspiring ball kid should know

   
Mark Petchey, Andy Murray’s former coach, and a supporter of the Barclays Ball Kids scheme, tells The Tennis Space the Five Things Every Aspiring Ball Kid Should Know.
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Barclays holds an annual nationwide search to find 30 youngsters to join the world’s best players and star as Barclays Ball Kids at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London. To take part in one of the regional trials, which start this month, please click here.
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Five things every aspiring ball kid should know:
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Don’t forget to enjoy yourself. “You’re going to be nervous before you go on court at The O2, and that’s no bad thing, as nerves show that you care about what you’re doing. That’s normal, as people get nervous before they do something for the first time. You will want to make sure you do your best. But you shouldn’t forget that you have this great opportunity – probably a once in a lifetime opportunity – to be on court with the best players in the world. You have to remember to enjoy the experience.”
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Watch players to work out their behaviour and patterns of play. “Some players will want the same ball back after they’ve won a point with it. Other players will like to take a ball from a lucky ball kid on a particular side of the court. If you watch the leading players live or on television, you will pick up the patterns of play, and there shouldn’t be any great surprises on court.”
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Don’t throw the ball like a missile at the player. “They won’t be impressed by that. And also don’t throw the ball until you get the nod from the player as if it bounces up and hits them in the throat, they won’t like that either.”
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If no one notices you, you’ve done a great job.
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Anyone can become a Barclays Ball Kid. “Kids from all backgrounds have the opportunity to be on court with the best tennis players in the world.”
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