Discover the physio job on the ATP World Tour
Physio job on ATP or WTA tour is something unrecognized by most people. We met Alejandro Resnicoff who described his daily life with the players.
Tennis is a very physical sport. Players are playing a lot of matches around the world and in different conditions. Injuries are part of a professional tennis career. Fortunately physios are here to avoid them as much as possible. We met Alejandro Resnicoff, who is working with ATP. You will see that like tennis, his job is also very physical…
Hello Alejandro! First of all, can you introduce yourself please?
My name is Alejandro Resnicoff, I’m 44 years old from Argentina. I used to work a lot in Brazil where I was based during many years. So working in this environment is something I know for a long time.
How long are you working with ATP?
This year is my eighth one with ATP. I started working in 2010 with them, and overall I’m in tennis business for the last 20 years.
What is the process to become physio for the ATP?
Each physio has his story. We are here by different manners. I would say that the main criteria is the experience that you have working in tennis. For example, I was working, before joining the ATP, in all situations related to it. It goes from the club to the academy, Federation,tournament... With all those experiences, the ATP started to be interested in my work and it began like this. In general you start by working on small things related to tennis. Then if ATP finds you have the conditions, ability, personality and knowledge, they start to work with you. We are educated with different meetings to see if we can fix. After it, they start with a little tournament with a "physio mentor".
To be honest I’ll tell you that I live at the airportAlejandro ResnicoffPhysio on the ATP World Tour
Why did you choose this kind of life where you are on the road every time? Where do you live exactly?
To be honest I’ll tell you that I live at the airport (laughs). We are flying a lot, travelling a lot. We are on the road 25 weeks per year. Normally its 2-3 weeks away, then 1 week off. So if you put all that on a calendar, we are travelling for 6-7 months a year especially the guys with the most experience who are covering much amount of tournaments.
Now, you work only for the ATP?
Yes, only with the ATP.
Do you like this lifestyle? Not missing your family too much?
Yes, I like it, if not I will not be here. Meanwhile I miss my family a lot, but thanks to the new technologies it’s easier. You can’t hug or kiss them when they need, but at least you still have a contact. At the same time, I would say that all the people working in different roles inside the ATP or even the players are in the same conditions. So it’s like these guys are your family because you travel with them, you know their families, you support them, having dinners, making jokes in order to have a better time.
What is a typical day for a physio?
On the tournament’s site, physios arrived normally one hour and a half before first match of the day. We stay till the end of the last match to make sure players don’t need anything else. So on average we are working 12 to 14 hours a day. The night sessions meke our days longer. Indoors tournaments are “super long days”! Grand Slam too, for example in the US Open and Australian, you can finish at 2-3 Eastern Time. But you don’t need big tournaments to feel days like this. I had experience in a club where I finished at 3:30-4:00 am started at 10am the day before. So, yes it’s a very physical job.
What is taking you much time? Massage?
No, we don’t do massage. Players have their own massage service. They take care about this role. Our is before and after if they have any injuries. When they are playing, is what the people see on TV, when players call for physio-therapy. We run on court, we need to be very fast because the idea is to help the injured guy but to keep in mind that while we are doing one intervention, there’s potentially another guy waiting for treatment. We need to be very precise with the diagnostic we are doing.
Is it stressful?
Today we are much at our ease with the players. They is more respect between us than we had in the past. We are creating a lot more confidence and therefore they respect us. They are things that you can treat on court and some that you can’t. A lot of rules have to be respected and managed. At some point, you have to take a decision. If you choose the wrong one, they can be some conflict with the rules and that can create another problem for the player.
At the beginning, physios weren't sharing any information. They were scared to another person can hear about itAlejandro ResnicoffPhysio on the ATP World Tour
We know a lot of players have their own physio. What kind of relation you have with them?
At the beginning it was difficult. Now I won’t say that it’s easy, but we have a quiet better relationship with them. What could happen is two things Main one, is the communication. Let’s say one personal is with one player. This player has a problem on court and it’s me who have to take care of him. It’s much easier for me to help him, if I talked before with the personal physio. I will know what kind of problem he has, what treatment is better. At the start they weren’t sharing any information, and prefer to keep them secret. I think the main reason, was they didn’t know us and though that maybe another person (opponent for example) can hear about it. That’s not the case because, as a lot others professions, we are under professional secret. If you have a problem it’s yours, I will hear about it and won’t tell anybody.
The other thing is they don’t know how the system works. Today we have a much better communication, with the players. Even when they have a private physio, doesn’t matter. They talk with us when they have a specific injury and we retreat sometimes the same thing. It’s just that the players have trust in us so they want a second opinion. Then we decide if we continue to do the same treatment or perhaps make another one. It’s a relation you have to build with time.
To help the recovery after a match, is it better ice bath or stretching?
Stretching always. Ice bath it depends. Normally when you had a short match you can avoid it. But if you played a long match and you have to play tomorrow, it’s always welcomed and recommended. As a physio, you have to be sure, the players are used to it, like it or don’t have any recommendations against it. So you have to be careful. As for me, I recommend stretching. Concerning the time you have to do it, I would say that a couple of 20 seconds repetitions on the muscles you use the most is enough. You don’t need to go further than this. The goal is to do it without pain and relaxing…
Is it better to do it, straight after the match? 2 hours? 3 hours?
Each player has their own routine. Normally after the match, they bike a little bit, after they stretch while eating and drinking which is super important for the recovery. Then it’s time for the icebath because it’s the last thing you do. But just keep in mind, that every player has his own routine after a match!
A personal question to finish. What is your favorite tournament?
It’s something that we’re asking us a lot of time. It’s tough to name one, they are all different. Personally, I prefer the ones that are based inside a tennis club. It’s places where you breath tennis, you have the pictures on the walls of players who were playing a long time ago. Like here in Monte-Carlo, Wimbledon or even Barcelona which is a very nice tournament. That are the ones that I like the most. But you have to be fair, it’s impossible to compare a Masters 1000 with a 250. But smaller tournaments create a different atmosphere, for example in Stockholm which is a tennis club. The people are from it so everybody knows everybody. It’s much easier, because they think the tournament belongs to them so they want to make the best work possible. So to sum-up if I have to keep one, I will mention Barcelona but they are definitely too many.