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What it takes to be a ball person at W&S Tennis Tournament
MASON, Ohio (Perry Schaible) -- The top tennis players from around the world are on the court this week in Mason.
With thirteen courts, the Western and Southern tennis tournament is the ultimate fan experience. There is a group of people who make sure the matches go smoothly and the players are happy. Those are the ball boys and girls. Perry Schaible got to see what it takes to become one.
The day starts early at the Western & Southern Tennis Tournament. While the players hit the practice courts, the ball persons are warming up. "Next one, nice wide stance, we are going to shift to each side."
It's the first year calisthenics have been added to help them properly warm-up and prepare their bodies for exercise. "It's important that they have a warm up just like the athletes do, says Ignition performance specialist Ben Creamer. "They need to increase their core temperature. They're spending a lot of time in a crouched position, running back and forth. I mean, they're getting a work out in."
Once that's done, the tough job begins. Four year ball person Ellen Koesterman gives Perry a bit of advice. "Relax. Try to anticipate what the players want you to do. Have fun, enjoy the experience. It's something you'll always remember."
Perry hit the court with that advice in mind. First Alec runs her through the paces. "They'll give a small signal; you have to pay attention to that."
Ball to player, towels and then roll the ball to center line. Perry hit center court, ran, grabbed the ball, and got back in position to do it again. Practice makes perfect, right? "Alright, you're not qualified. I'm sorry."
The kids have to try out to be a ball boy or girl. They need to be quick on their feet, agile, and demonstrate knowledge of the game.
The tournament continues through Sunday. For more information about the tournament or to get tickets, click here