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PTPA Launches Mental Fitness Program Designed to Bridge the Gap Between Holistic Well-Being and High Performance

Veteran Mental Performance Coach Damon Valentino appointed First PTPA Mental Fitness Director 

Washington, D.C., June 5, 2024 – The Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA),  global advocates for women’s and men’s professional tennis players, today announced the launch of the PTPA Mental Fitness Program. This groundbreaking initiative reaffirms the PTPA’s commitment to player welfare by providing world-class mental fitness education, resources, tools, and support. The program is designed to help players and their teams understand and strengthen the connection between mental well-being and high athletic performance. Damon Valentino, a distinguished mental performance coach with more than two decades of experience helping athletes and professionals in high-pressure careers, has been appointed Mental Fitness Director of the PTPA and will oversee the global program. 

“Mental performance is much like physical performance; athletes must tend to and train their minds to perform at the highest levels possible,” said Valentino. “There is an inextricable link between mental well-being and elite performance, yet many athletes lack access to resources and tools that promote their holistic wellness. The PTPA’s Mental Fitness Program will fill this gap, ensuring that professional tennis players have equitable access to the world-class mental training and support they deserve. Nothing like this has been seen in professional tennis, and it’s due time.”

“This program is another milestone for the PTPA in delivering on its promise to safeguard and elevate player health,” said Bethanie Mattek-Sands, professional tennis player and PTPA Executive Committee member. “Mental fitness is a key component of our ability as athletes to compete at our very best, extend our careers, and protect our welfare when we transition into post-tennis lives. I’m excited to participate  in the program myself and to see the many ways it benefits players and their teams.”

The PTPA consulted with and sourced feedback from numerous players and player support teams to  design the program, ensuring its efficacy in addressing professional tennis players’ unique needs. The program will operate through a custom virtual platform featuring a robust library of curricula, resources and programming centered on bridging the gap between mental well-being and high performance, including:

  • Self-guided and evidence-based courses on the holistic building blocks of mental fitness and foundational skills for mastering mental performance.
  • Weekly live private office hours and virtual workshops with the PTPA Mental Fitness Director, Damon Valentino. 
  • Guest programming and Q&A with experts in various disciplines around human performance. 
  • Research, scientific reports, and case studies related to mental well-being and peak performance. 

“The PTPA is committed to developing athlete-centric health and wellness solutions for players at scale,” said Ahmad Nassar, PTPA Executive Director. “Tennis players and their teams face some of the most physically and mentally demanding circumstances in all of professional sports. We are proud to offer a first-of-its-kind solution for addressing players’ unique mental wellness needs and look forward to seeing the positive impact of this program and Damon’s work.” 

Valentino joins the PTPA with more than 20 years of experience in coaching and mental performance training. A former collegiate tennis player at Michigan State University, he has worked with elite athletes across sports, including professional, collegiate and junior tennis players, U.S. Paralympians, and athletes from top university programs like Stanford and Baylor. Beyond sports, Valentino has coached professionals in high-stress, high-pressure roles, such as first responders, healthcare workers, government leaders, and armed forces specialists. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sport & Performance Psychology and is a certified Executive Coach and Flow Educator & Trainer.


About the Professional Tennis Players Association

The Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA) is a global organization that unites and mobilizes tennis players to foster transparency and fairness in professional tennis. As an independent entity, the PTPA is dedicated to advancing and safeguarding the rights of professional men’s and women’s tennis players throughout their careers. By prioritizing crucial aspects such as health and safety, schedules, rules, purses, benefits, and education, the PTPA endeavors to build an equitable and sustainable competitive environment for present and future generations of players. Headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area, the PTPA operates on a global scale. For more information, visit and connect with @ptpaplayers on social media.

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