Andy Murray opens up about move to mentor Britain's brightest

Andy Murray opens up about move to mentor Britain's brightest

29 November 2017 / 15:58

Andy Murray has spoken out for the first time about his plan to mentor Britain’s biggest and brightest stars and pass on his own experiences of being an up-and-coming athlete.

Double Wimbledon champion Murray started playing tennis at three and it wasn't long before he was seen as a top prospect, a fact which had an effect on his life and career from an early age.

But it wasn’t all plain sailing for the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist, with the pressure and expectation weighing heavily on his shoulders just as much as anyone else’s.

That carried right through until his first Wimbledon win in 2013 – with that prompting his decision to set up 77 Sports Management, an offshoot of the company that looked after him and one which plays a role in supporting the next generation of sporting stars.

"I signed with a management company for the first time when I was 12, 13 years old, which to me is ridiculous," Murray exclusively told BBC Sport.

"It's way, way too young. You don't need that pressure.

"You're trying to become a professional and certainly my parents were not experienced in dealing with those situations.

"You can get yourself into trouble by signing long-term contracts that might not be in your best interests. Things like that you can avoid if you've got the right people around you.

"Throughout my career as a professional - and actually when I was a junior as well - I worked with three or four different companies and found a number of people who I liked and trusted. That's how it began.

"Then I thought I could look at helping some younger British athletes go through that transition phase from juniors into the senior ranks and mentor them along the way.

"It's something that interests me a lot. I want to work with the best British athletes, whether that's male or female."

Despite he and his entire family being tennis-orientated, Murray hopes to branch out into other sports in the future with a focus on personnel, sports science and nutrition on the agenda.

That will begin with 20-year-old twin sprinters Shannon and Cheriece Hylton, the first beneficiaries of Murray’s new venture alongside 17-year-old tennis starlet Aidan McHugh.

McHugh has already done plenty with the triple Grand Slam winner as a mentee and practice partner, with the pair both keen for knowledge of off-court life to be developed as well.

And with a young family and fledgling career also occupying the 30-year-old’s life, Murray believes the timing is perfect for him to take the next step in an idea that he has always wanted to turn into reality.

"If there's anything they, their family, or anyone around them wants to ask or talk to me about, then that's what I'll do," he adds.

"I don't want to be imposing my views or ideas on anyone. But I think that's one of the nice things about having an athlete as part of the management company.

"Often the people in management companies haven't played the sport or been athletes themselves, so hopefully that's a little extra thing I can add.

"It takes time to understand a sport. Tennis, we'll be good on. But there are others we like and, over time, hopefully we can help athletes in various sports.

"This is the only thing I've really thought of beyond tennis and something I do feel like, when I finish playing, I'll still be very, very interested in. I can't concentrate on too many things at once.”

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