When faced with a global crisis in COVID-19, the ATP Tour decided to find a new off-court partner, moving from footwork to coursework for its hundreds of pros.
Helping these independent contractors doubling as world-class athletes access skill-building courses made for a seemingly obvious and yet brilliant collaboration with Coursera, billed as the globe's leading online learning platform.
Now at the usually racquet-wielding fingertips of the ATP's again-one-day touring pros: over 4,000 courses, taught by subject matter experts and educators at partners ranging from the University of Pennsylvania to IBM.
Call it the latest enhancement in the time of the COVID-19 pandemic on the part of ATP chief Andrea Gaudenzi, taking care of today's current crop of players as a retired pro himself. And call it a win.
Notably, some men's tennis players have taken part in other online opportunities to date, such as the ATP's top-10 doubles star Rajeev Ram graduating from Indiana University East.
With the Coursera opportunities, topics range from data science to mental wellness, with skill-building to come that will expand specialties during players' pro days and in their retired stages of life.
On Wednesday, the ATP announced another partnership, this time with Sporting Chance and Headspace to provide mental health resources for both staff and players. ATP members will have 24/7 access to therapists, as well as free Headspace Plus subscriptions (which includes over a thousand hours of meditation and mindfulness content).
On deck now for those in the ATP ranks: Getting schooled.
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