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A closer look at the ball persons at the U.S. Open

Newsday's Jim Baumbach receives directions from Cathie Delaney,

Newsday's Jim Baumbach receives directions from Cathie Delaney, Assistant Ball Boy Director, before trying out for a position at the 2010 U.S. Open Tennis Tournament. (June 24, 2010) Photo Credit: Newsday/Mario Gonzalez

Before coming to the U.S Open today, I felt the need to read Jim Baumbach's story about being a ball person. Let's face it, at one time or another we've all wanted to try and be a ball person. After all, it's easy, right?

Like many, I thought it was an easy job. Fetch a ball after it hits the net and run to the other side of the court. After spending many hours at the Open today I have a new found respect for the many ball boys and girls who do this job.

Consider these tidbits if you think you can do the job:

-You must be quick and hustle after every ball.

-Stand in the heat and don't forget, it's always hotter on the court.

-You cannot become a distraction to the players which basically means you can't fall flat on your face or even stumble in retrieving a ball.

-You have to coordinate with the other ball boy/girl on who goes after the ball. Communication is key, yet these guys and gals say little, if not nothing to each other.

-You cannot loose concentration for a single moment. So, if your a daydreamer, you're not going to last. 

-Lastly, and this is the big one, you have to handle towels after a player wipes their sweaty head.

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