Our CEO Rodney Rapson has been involved in tennis all his life. He played at a high level during his youth, and went on to play collegiately in the US before opening a tennis academy in Germany after his playing days were done. He understands the journey that a young player takes to make it to the next level, and the hard work that goes into improvement on and off of the court.
Last year, Rodney sat down to talk with many of the players he has mentored and coached over the years to understand their journeys, and what helped them reach that next level, whether it was turning pro or earning a scholarship to play at the college level.
We have partnered with Exo Sports, the company behind this interview series, to add much of this content to our platform. If you are a young tennis player, this content will speak directly to you. And even if tennis is not your sport, we think that many of the learning lessons still apply.
Inspiring stories such as that of Syrian tennis player Hazem Naw, who has been able to show incredible resilience as he endured the harsh realities of his homeland and the impact the war has had on his ability to develop his game, ultimately leaving him with no other choice but to leave his beloved home to pursue a professional tennis career in Germany.
“When the war started it was a very difficult time for me. Each 3 months something would change.” said Hazem. “We were not allowed to go school, the courts got damaged once and we stopped training as they could throw bombs again. Also, playing tennis became difficult as all the players which I was practicing with before went to Lebanon because of the war, which was not a choice for my family due to financial limitations.”
Below you can watch a snippet of his interview, where he talks about moving from war-torn Aleppo to Damascus:
This and other interesting and inspiring stories will make part of Exo Sports Behind The Scenes series, now available within our app,which can be downloaded for free here.