To recover, French tennis is taking a digital turn

In September 2021, Benoît, in his forties, took his tennis racket out of his closet. Returning to farewell after a ten-year hiatus, the Nantais returned to his heartfelt sport, accompanying his 8-year-old boy’s first steps on clay. Since re-enrolling, she has discovered many changes. In particular, thanks to the Ten’Up application, launched in 2019 by the French Tennis Federation (FFT) for all licensees in France. He found a lot of information there that precipitated his return to competition.

→ ANALYSIS. Men’s tennis in front of the loss of bearings

To my surprise, I quickly registered online for two tournaments near my home this fall. I used to have all the difficulties in the world to know the places and dates of the individual competitions “, exposes this old third classified series (15/2). Designed as a social network, the app also allowed you to find players of your level. Regular opponents, which he would not have you probably don’t know without this tool “, he observes.

Adapt to the expectations of licensees

Busy with his work as an animated filmmaker and his family life, Benoît juggles multiple applications to optimize his time: “In that sense, Ten’Up has made my life easier. Because, to resume a sport like tennis, you need to have some time ahead. And to progress, you have to play games. I don’t specifically pursue rankings or performances, but I want to have fun with the feeling of getting better. ” continues into the 1940s. Since the launch of Ten’UP, the FFT has claimed 600,000 downloads, more than 200,000 monthly users and 350,000 visits to the app in March 2022 alone.

The appearance of this tool therefore coincides with the increase in the number of licensees: 947,000 cards registered in 2021, distributed among the 7,340 clubs in France. “However, it is difficult to say whether this increase in the number of licensees – around 13% – was favored by the Ten’Up application.” tempera Lionel Maltese, sports marketing specialist and professor at the University of Aix-Marseille. Because “Throughout the Covid period, the practice of tennis, a distance sport, without contact, was also less stifled than other disciplines.” he observes.

However, the application was a priority for the FFT, which saw the media in it “to respond to changes in the use of increasingly mobile professionals, and to retain competitors by providing them with the tools they need to practice on their smartphone.” But Lionel Maltese, who was involved in its development – when he was part of the FFT management team – is already calling for improvements to this application. “Too generalist.”

“The content could be refined by the people on the ground, in the clubs, explain. The information available should be tailored to different target audiences, from lambda players to aspirants. » And create a version for tennis teachers, who will benefit from an incomparable statistical tool.

Identify young talents

The app could be very useful in detecting young talent or for high level access. “French tennis, which benefits from a lot of financial resources, a good club portfolio and a good infrastructure, lacks people to watch the players and advise them. There is potential to provide data to coaches who are not digitally trained enough.continues the specialist.

Philippe Remy, the official coach in Tours (Indre-et-Loire), who accompanies young people in competition, would be interested: “Ten’Up is already a step forward, in the sense that it provides information that gives a first idea of ​​the value of a rival, whose performance, the history of the classification, we can follow. But these are still quite incomplete. I imagine we could go further. he observes.

These avenues of reflection do not seem to be a priority for the federation, which has restricted the development axes of the platform to the improvement of “User Experience” and guidance “of a younger population by implementing elements of ‘gamification’, offering users offers around their home or enhancing their practice.” And to continue promoting tennis to the general public.

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A paddle promotion tool

Affiliated to the FFT since 2014, paddle has been experiencing a growing craze for several years, which the leaders of French tennis want to intensify. That’s why the discipline – like beach tennis – has been integrated into the Ten’Up application, in order to help users book courts, find competitions and support the initiation of newcomers through video tutorials.

→ ANALYSIS. Paddle tennis, the young tennis card

The FFT recently announced the creation of the first “Paris Premier Paddle Major”, which will take place from 11 to 17 July at Roland-Garros, and mentioned its intention to create a specific license. In France, there are approximately 280,000 players, including more than 130,000 regular players and about 20,000 classified players, divided into 450 clubs that offer the discipline.

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