Youzhny Graduates With PhDs in Philosophy - ATP.com article

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Fate Archer, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. Fate Archer

    Fate Archer Hall of Fame

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    Former World No. 8 Mikhail Youzhny has graduated from the University of Moscow with a PhDs in Philosophy. In a ceremony held at the Russian State University of Physical Education, Sport, Youth and Tourism on 15th November, the Russian tennis player answered approximately 20 questions about his work before all 16 members of the scientific council approved his PhDs.

    "I took my coach (of 17 years), Boris Sobkin, and my family and friends as well, and the guy who helped me with the degree," recalled Youzhny, speaking from Thailand, where he has trained every off-season since 2000. "There were some professors from the university there. I was a bit nervous because it was something new, it’s not like a tennis match I’m going to play, which I do every week. I was answering questions and reasoning, so of course it’s different. But actually, when I think about what I said, it’s my life, what I’m doing every day on court."

    The 29-year-old Youzhny began studying for the degree in 2005, knowing that with limited free time as he competed on the ATP World Tour 11 months of the year, it would take him longer than the usual three-year period to complete it.

    "I didn’t mind if it took 5, 6, 7, 8 years, when I had some free time I could do it slowly," explained the Muscovite, who reached a career-high of World No. 8 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings in the midst of his studies in January 2008. "I feel good because I took the time to do what I wanted to do, I finished it, and I’m happy with that.

    "I didn’t work on the degree when I was at tournaments, but when I came back to Russia I would work on my degree and write about how I see situations: how I feel and explain how I feel about the attitude of tennis, the plusses and minuses, why you have to do certain things."

    Youzhny’s work explores the philosophy and attitudes of tennis, and he hopes it will be of benefit to aspiring coaches and players.

    "This is my life; I have played tennis on the ATP World Tour all my life," said Youzhny. "I wanted to explain to young players and give them some information about what I think about tennis. So it is mainly for young players and young coaches.

    "I didn’t do the degree to help my tennis career on the court, but maybe it can help some coaches working with young players. I speak about it to some young guys I see and how I think they’re doing, but it is mainly for young coaches who want to be a good coach."

    After completing his preparations in Thailand, where he is training with young players, Dr. of Philosophy Youzhny will begin his 2012 campaign at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open in Doha, before competing at the first Grand Slam of the year at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

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    http://www.atpworldtour.com/News/Tennis/2011/12/Features/Youzhny-Earns-Philosophy-Doctorate.aspx

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    That's great news and shows that players can have pretty successful careers and still work in their free time to get superior graduations and achieve other good things in life.

    A player's tennis career does not last that long and is expected to reach somewhere in their 30's or earlier, so planning things for the future after their careers are over or having a backup plan if things are not going that well is always a great option.

    I would like to see Youzhny's work, it sounds quite insightful and a good read for people who wonder what are some of the many choices and challenges of becoming and being a reasonably successful tennis player. Hopefully it will be posted somewhere in the net and it's in english :p
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
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  2. veritech

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    impressive! it's always a breath of fresh air to see professional athletes pursue, and in this case achieve, goals of higher education.

    much credit for youzhny getting his doctorate! who woulda thunk it?
     
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  3. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Anyone got a thesis summary???
     
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  4. Tammo

    Tammo Banned

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    Congrat to the Colonel. Didn't Raonic graduate before becoming a pro tennis player?
     
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  5. dlk

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    I think that is awesome! He's certainly moved into one my 'favorites' category. I'd like to see a study comparing IQs or similar testing of knowledge, of varying atheletes. At first glance, the NBA would be last; tennis seems to have some intelligent participants, despite many starting a pro career so early (I'm just basing this on hearing them speak briefly on basic topics).
     
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  6. fadi edwan

    fadi edwan New User

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    Finally...... A player can do more than "NUDITY" in his/her empty time! Which prof to public that players can think exactly like "NORMAL" people !!!!

    Congratulations :)
     
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  7. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    Tipsarevic also does philosophy, but philosophy and tennis as topic???
     
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  8. Tammo

    Tammo Banned

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    Well according to my tennis coach, tennis players and runners are the smartest athletes.
     
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  9. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

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    I thought I had heard that.
     
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  10. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    Here's a list of subjects at the university. Youzhny would have a PhD in the psychology of sports...not in philosophy which would be offered by a liberal arts university, but not here.




    Hmm..what is the meaning of the fuzzy ball which is used by tennis players...what is the meaning of tennis of tennis?

    These sorts of things would be examined in
    philosphy of tennis 101.



    Great for Youzhny...Phd, and Safin in parliament? Very interesting
     
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  11. dlk

    dlk Hall of Fame

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    It seems like fans of tennis are above average in intelligence. You come to this site and there are people discussing World economics and physics (okay some are talking about what Seles wore at Wimbledon in 1991).
     
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  12. Fate Archer

    Fate Archer Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, why not?

    I once thought that the way the tennis score works is really reminiscent of how we achieve big things in real life.

    Like, to win matches, we have to win sets. To win sets, we have to win games. And to win games, we have to win points.

    In life, our different goals, specially if they are big and take time, work in a similar way I think. In order to achieve the big goal we often have a number of sub-goals to achieve first, and each of these sub-goals often have their own sub-sub-goals which we have to work for to achieve them.

    In the end, bit by bit, like points being played to make games, games to make sets, and sets to achieve a win in a tennis match, we achieve our goals in life.

    I think we could find many other different paralels with tennis and life. :)
     
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  13. Hominator

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    I wonder why he likes to train in Thailand in the off-season. Does he have some kind of connection to Thailand?
     
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  14. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    ^probably the warm weather
     
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  15. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    definitely happy to see pros out there pursuing other stuff beyond tennis. although to an extent it may be a distraction i think it brings more to the table
     
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  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Philosophy must be a real easy subject to study if he can get a PhD while playing tennis full time.
     
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  17. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    Actually Philosophy is a very difficult subject. Anyone that has taken this course in college knows this. I just wonder what philosophical reasoning gets him to smash his head with the tennis racket once on a while....:)
     
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  18. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Epic picture.
     
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  19. glazkovss

    glazkovss Professional

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    Read carefully: it took him 6 years to get his research done - twice as long as it usually takes. I also pursue education degree in philosophy, and believe me it isn't easy at all. But I wonder whether he got Doctor's or candidate's degree. I heard he studied for candidates a few years ago, and his research was about tennis strategy. I also now that time for candidate's research is exactly 3 years, so there may be a confusion. Gonna search for news in russian.
     
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  20. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Don't the letters P, h, and D answer that one?
     
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  21. BeHappy

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  22. glazkovss

    glazkovss Professional

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    No, I mean that ATP might be wrong in it, and it looks so. Youzhny's wiki page in russian says that he received candidate's degree in pedagogics on nov. 15th and it looks more like truth. For those who did't know, candidate's degree in Russia is something between Magister and Doctor. I wonder if such a degree exists in Europe or US. It is lower degree than Doctor's but still a hard one to get. So congrats to Misha anyway, it should have been a big effort from him studying and researching all this years.
     
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  23. nadalwon2012

    nadalwon2012 Banned

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    I wonder what Youzhny's grades were. Because very few people are granted the opportunity for a PhD, only the best students.
     
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  24. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I presume it's much easier to get a PhD over there than it is in the US? Even with 6 years, there is no way he could have researched all he needed to, taken his qualifying and prelim exams (or whatever the equivalent ones are for phil), taken his course work AND written a proper dissertation while playing full time sports. I'm in graduate school (engineering, but nonetheless) now myself and my current hitting partner is a PhD candidate in philosophy. It's no cakewalk.
     
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  25. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    There is not equivalent.There are different professional degrees that are not PhDs or full professional degrees, however. Doctor of Law aka Juris Doctor aka J.D., Doctor of Education aka Ed.D, Doctor of Audiology aka Au.D just to name a few. The last of which is likely the most comparable as an AuD sort of replaces the Masters degree for that line of study.
     
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  26. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Apologies, I mis-understood.

    In the UK we have Bachelors, Masters and Doctorates. Maybe candidate is like Masters?
     
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  27. glazkovss

    glazkovss Professional

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    Read my previous post, he didn't get PhD, but a lesser degree. The ATP confused his degree with PhD. PhD is a next step for him if he want's to get it, but it'll take much more effort from him, even in Russia:)
     
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  28. nadalwon2012

    nadalwon2012 Banned

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    You don't even get the chance to study for a PhD unless you get extremely high grades in Masters Degree. Only the best students are given the option. Like I said, I wonder what his grades were.
     
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  29. Fate Archer

    Fate Archer Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for clearing up. Still a great accomplishment while dedicating most of his time to his professional tennis career. :)
     
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  30. dlk

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    Wait, so he did not get his PhD? The article was calling him Dr. Youzhny.
     
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  31. gramdacious

    gramdacious Rookie

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    congrats to a great competitor and one of my favorite players.
     
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  32. glazkovss

    glazkovss Professional

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    I correct myself: his next step would be not PhD, but Ed.D.
     
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  33. lim

    lim Rookie

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    Congrats! Looking forward to seeing him put in work on the tour now...
     
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  34. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    So, when is he running for president ?
     
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  35. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    4 to 5 years is very common for even regular PhDs, 6 years is understandable for part time.

    I was just kidding. Any subject is difficult when you go deep into it.

    I would like to know how many research papers he got published. If none, then I suspect this might be a bogus publicity-based handing out of a PhD.
     
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  36. aphex

    aphex Banned

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    Great news!
    Hopefully it will motivate Nadal to get his kindergarten degree.
     
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  37. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I see. It is called M.Phil in some countries. Sort of between a Masters and a PhD.
     
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  38. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Nadal already got his MD and is board-certified in Proctology.
     
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  39. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    so his masters was about tennis? I'd really like to read that
     
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  40. Polaris

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    Even working part-time, he got his Ph.D. in 6 years. This makes me feel really bad.

    Did his thesis have anything to do with whacking himself on the face with a tennis racquet, and saluting crowds with said racquet on the head? :)
     
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  41. TheMusicLover

    TheMusicLover Legend

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    Whatever the level of his Ph.D.-degree (I know they vary a lot among countries and even universities within one country), it's GREAT that Youzhny managed to get it done while being a pro tennis player.
    It just shows that not all players are being 'stupid party animals' in their free time, some actually use their spare time pretty well.

    CONGRATS, COLONEL!!! :)
     
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  42. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    Raonic graduated from high school as on Ontario scholar (85%+average) and first in his class. His parents insisted on his finishing hs. before starting his tennis career. Everyone else in his family has Master's or Phd's ....but his ambition is tennis, not engineering like his parents.

    He's an all round smart guy.
     
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  43. pound cat

    pound cat G.O.A.T.

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    Yes we all are.
     
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  44. CDestroyer

    CDestroyer Professional

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    I was thinking psychology would be more helpful for Youzhny. The real reason why people study the field is to undertand their own madness.
     
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  45. TheMusicLover

    TheMusicLover Legend

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    :lol: - there is a common misunderstanding that intelligent folks 'never' do anything 'stupid'. ;)
     
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  46. glazkovss

    glazkovss Professional

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    Not exactly, candidate is higher than Masters. In Russia there is a transition going on for some years now from the traditional degree system to the western. You can either study for Specialist (5 years) and than Candidate (another 3 years) or for Bachelor (4 years) and than Master (another 2 years). So 8 years of studying to get Candidate's degree and 6 years to get Master's. As long as 5 years ago there weren't Bachelor's and Master's degrees in our universities and Russian graduates had troubles with companies aknowledging their degree (Specialist or Candidate) abroad. So in case to solve this problem Russian universities began to switch to western system. Doctorates is above all of those degrees. Answering suresh's question, Youzhny had to publish at least 4 research papers above everything else to get the degree he got. He also should have passed two or three exams (essential ones are phylosophy of science and foreign language) which is called candidate's minimum, make a scientific research (about 150-200 pages) and defend it. That is a program of 3 year studying for Candidate. Now as he got his candidate's degree he can work on a Doctor's research, publish more research papers and so on to try to get Doctor's degree.

    P.S.: As I'am studying for Candidate of Phylosophy now, I can say that passing all the exams means nothing in comparison to preparing research papers and candidate's research itself. You really need to work on it and introduce something new which is the hardest. It is easier if your research is connected to your day to day work (like Youzhny's), but nevertheless.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2011
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  47. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    Nice to see. The value of an education should not be underestimated.
     
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  48. cc0509

    cc0509 G.O.A.T.

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    Yet, have you ever read Raonic's tweets? He may be a smart guy but he sure cannot spell! (Not that all smart people can spell. I know a lot of smart people that are terrible spellers.)
     
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  49. CCNM

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    Congratulations to M. Youzhny and M. Raonic.
     
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  50. vive le beau jeu !

    vive le beau jeu ! G.O.A.T.

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