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View Full Version : Anyone at 4.0+ without high school or college experience?


raiden031
12-13-2006, 11:08 AM
It seems like the the majority of young posters are playing high school tennis and that a lot of the elderly posters played college tennis a number of years back. Is there anyone that made it to the 4.0+ levels without either high school or college tennis background? If so, describe your progression through the levels and how much did you have to practice, since you were probably not part of organized tennis with daily practice sessions?

atatu
12-13-2006, 11:22 AM
I'm 4.5 (just appealed from 5.0, hooray) and I did not play HS tennis or college tennis. I did play some tennis in HS, but we didn't really have a team at my school, because I was overseas. Anyway, right after college I was living in D.C. and my girlfirend was on the west coast, so I played tennis 5 times a week and got pretty good in three years and started playing leagues, etc. My mental game was still pretty weak. Then I went to law school when I was about 27 and pretty much quit tennis for three years. When I started playing again in my 30's my mental game improved a lot (studying for the bar helped) and I took some lessons to improve my forehand. I've been playing at the 4.5/5.0 level on and off and I'm now 44 years old.

Geezer Guy
12-13-2006, 11:35 AM
Well, first of all - can you use another word besides "elderly"?

Anyway, I played "at" tennis a little as a kid, but never had any formal lessons. I'd say I never got past the 2.5 level. This was back in the wooden racquet days. (Really!)

At 40 I took up the sport seriously. The first thing I did was join a club and take a series of "Intro to Tennis" group lessons for beginners. I've stayed a member of that club ever since. I've taken lots and lots of group lessons, drills, some private lessons, and spent (in total) a month at Newk's and several other weeks at several other tennis resorts and camps.

I've always played in Singles and Doubles leagues at the club. After several years I joined the USTA. I was originally rated a 3.5, got my butt kicked badly for 2 years and was bumped down to 3.0. I started a 3.0 USTA team with a bunch of other guys that gut bumped from 3.5 to 3.0 and we went to sectionals. We took 2nd and most of us got bumped back to 3.5.

Since then I've been playing 3.5 USTA leagues and tournaments, with varying degrees of success. I think I was ranked in the top 20 (at 3.5) in our section (which sounds nice, but really isn't that big of a deal) several times.

A couple of weeks ago, near the end of my 51st year, I got bumped up to 4.0. That's my tennis life in a nutshell.

Kaptain Karl
12-13-2006, 11:47 AM
GG - I am impressed by your progress. Well done!

- KK

raiden031
12-13-2006, 11:51 AM
Well, first of all - can you use another word besides "elderly"?


This coming from a guy with the word 'geezer' in his username. LOL

eunjam
12-13-2006, 12:07 PM
damn....i guess i need to go to law school to improve my mental game.

he he.

nice job atatu getting to the level you are.

Geezer Guy
12-13-2006, 01:09 PM
This coming from a guy with the word 'geezer' in his username. LOL

:) :o :D good point!

-----------------

KK - Thanks!

bad_call
12-13-2006, 01:28 PM
never played tennis before but then picked it up while attending college. started playing seriously after college and tried a few open comps with so so results. found some good practice partners and improved. entered more open comps and did better. occasionally practiced and hit with the college players for a while. found another good practice partner and moved up to about a 4.5 or so. stopped playing for a good many years and now starting back.

kinda boring from a tennis standpoint...

goober
12-13-2006, 03:29 PM
One guy I play with started tennis at age 39. He has been just bumped to 4.5 computer NTRP rating after 3 years of play. He is athletic and plays 6 days a week and is a real student of the game. He has beaten tennis teaching pros his same age in age group 40 tournaments.

freelythinking
12-13-2006, 03:46 PM
Well, the story which I'm about to tell is not about me. It is about one of my tennis friend. He picked up a tennis racket for the first time when he was 18. He was raised in a pious family so he didn't have to go to regular school and all he did was play tennis and go to mosque. He once told me he would hit against a wall for hours. He recorded every singles tennis matches on tennis channels and watch them and re-watch them over and over again. He was basically in love with tennis. Now he is 25 and rated(computer) at 4.0, however he has beaten every single 4.0's he played with ease. Without a doubt I would rate him weak 5.0 or super strong 4.5. I also think that if he had started playing tennis at earlier age and taken professional lessons, he would have been at much higher level than where he is.

goober
12-13-2006, 03:59 PM
BTW I am not sure playing high school tennis confers any degree of competence. I have played multiple current and former high school players. For the most part the average level of play from what I have seen for high school is is pretty low. Most 4.0-4.5 club players would beat most average high school players easily.

Hoss
12-14-2006, 06:16 AM
I think it's difficult to make a generalization like that Goober. It would really depend on where you went to high school. I would think that playing on a high school team in a large metropolitan area would naturally require competence, given the competition readily available. This especially given that most high school varsity teams consist of just 6 players of each gender (at least when I played high school ball).


Regards,

Hoss.

Caswell
12-14-2006, 07:03 AM
There's a great player in my area that's rated at 4.0 (USTA computer rating) that didn't start until he was in his mid-twenties. Excellent mobility, not-so-pretty strokes, but amazing consistency and shot placement.

I ended up playing him in the semi's of a recent tournament and got pasted. He made two unforced errors the entire match - when they're that few, you can count them easily.

I played played a lot growing up in Florida - academy ladders, high school team, USTA tournaments, and team tennis. Now in my late twenties, I'm only competitive up into th 3.5 ranks. I've got "pretty" strokes, but they require a ton of footwork to pull off. It almost feels like a liability now - I can play with the 4.0's on our USTA teams, but once the rally gets long my feet simply give out and it's over. Point after point like that.

I'd actually love to have the simple strokes most of the guys who started as adults have.

sdslyout
12-14-2006, 07:20 AM
I'm 44 and never played or gave tennis a second thought . In high school and for 10 years after i was into racquet ball and went to "b" level . It's been 1 year and 2 months now for tennis, no clubs no formal lessons . I've got a buddy who could have gone pro that turned into my trainer running drills ,mental game ,gear. At my local courts i've met many people and play / hit , sometimes 3 times aday . I call my local courts the " pond" and i'm the new little fish in a pond full of big fish who have been playing tennis 20 years + . They have a hard time believing i'm only 1 year playing and as a result they ask me to play singles and doubles , weekly , sometimes i get handed my *** and other times i do the *** handing. They all say i play at 4.0-4.5 level , or college level . In my driveway i build a backboard to hit against and i jump rope at home . gear wise i started with a wilson ncode N6 and have moved to a head flexpoint fire and wilson ncode Ntour's . One of the guys i play is a sales rep. for wilson and he has given me 3 wilson ncode Ntours(brand new) pretty cool . He says that way nothing gear wise will hold me back. Above all i've learned that foot work will make you or break you and i have zero ego. I hit hard and play even harder, on the court(s) it's war !! and also loosing is a large part of winning plus playing tennis is fun. There you have it in a nut shell

raiden031
12-14-2006, 08:12 AM
BTW I am not sure playing high school tennis confers any degree of competence. I have played multiple current and former high school players. For the most part the average level of play from what I have seen for high school is is pretty low. Most 4.0-4.5 club players would beat most average high school players easily.

Well given that a high school player has the opportunity to receive coaching for almost no fee, and the opportunity to practice 5 days a week for 3 months out of the year, I'd say they have a bit of an advantage over someone who starts out of high school.

mctennis
12-14-2006, 08:24 AM
I am a 4.5 player and never played tennis until I was 27. I never had anyone I knew that played or that was interested in playing. I took a few basic tennis courses at the local community college. I enjoyed playing and have been a "student of the game" as it were since then. I do wish I had learned a lot sooner than I did. I would have liked to have played in HS and maybe gone on to play college tennis. When I was in HS there were a few guys on the team and it was nobody I actually was friends with or actually knew.

Geezer Guy
12-14-2006, 08:26 AM
Some HS players don't get any "coaching" from the coach. Any instruction they get is solely up to them to arrange for privately. The coach just determines who the best players are and creates the line-up.

There's certainly an advantage to learning young though. The younger the better (within reason).

raiden031
12-14-2006, 08:31 AM
Some HS players don't get any "coaching" from the coach. Any instruction they get is solely up to them to arrange for privately. The coach just determines who the best players are and creates the line-up.

There's certainly an advantage to learning young though. The younger the better (within reason).

What kind of joke of a coach is there only to create the line-up? That definitely is not the case with other high school sports.

python
12-14-2006, 09:03 AM
Well, I played high school tennis and am a weak 4.0, but I don't think I got there because of my hs experience. My coach was a glorified baby sitter. He didn't really care about the team - all he did in practice was divide up the players on each court to play practice matches while he hit with the #1 singles boy. Coach was a good player in his own right (probably a solid 4.5), but he lacked the desire to help others become better. Eventually he became the art teacher after the principal got too many complaints about his "coaching" style.

goober
12-14-2006, 10:04 AM
I think it's difficult to make a generalization like that Goober. It would really depend on where you went to high school. I would think that playing on a high school team in a large metropolitan area would naturally require competence, given the competition readily available. This especially given that most high school varsity teams consist of just 6 players of each gender (at least when I played high school ball).


Regards,

Hoss.


I agree that it depends on the school that is why I said average high schooler. I went to a high school with a very high level of play. Most of the kids grew up playing tennis and many went onto college to play. I just assumed that was the level of play in high school, but now that I have been playing as an adult against many high school players current and former, I would say my high school was unusual. I would say that the percentage of high school players nationally that play at the 4.5-5.0 level is probably pretty small.

TnTBigman
12-14-2006, 10:11 AM
i played at the high level in a forgein country. so when i relocated to the US, and got involved with local clubs here, i tried to play with ppl at my skill level. there more than willing (i find) to play with you frequently. And based on their rating, and advise from coaches and experienced tournament players, i started at 4.0 level then moved up. This is my 1st yr with a rating now.
even though someone is rated 4.5 or 5.0, even within that group, there is still a range within that group from a really good 5.0 to a 5.0 that just got "bumped up". so sample various leagues and look for a skill pattern that seems to fit you. i'd suggest going one rate lower to get your feet wet and get some tittles under your belt.
i try to practise 2-3 times was week @ 2hrs + long sessions. its important to
practise with ppl at or just above ur skill level. thats really the only way your game is gonna improve.

Kaptain Karl
12-14-2006, 10:30 AM
My older brother was #2 on a HS Team which made it to State ... with no real "Coach". The school had just started and none of the Coaches wanted to take the Tennis Team. The boys convinced a History Teacher, who knew *nothing* about tennis to be the Team's "Sponsor". The #1 and my brother ran the Team.

(Three years later I was #5 on that school team -- with the Basketball Coach in the "role" -- and we WON State. That "Coach" was one in title, only. We
still ran our own drills, etc.)

I've coached HS Teams the last several years. When I was the Head Tennis Coach, I'd inform the parents and the boys I wasn't a babysitter ... nor was I functioning as a Tennis Instructor. If your boy knows how to play, great. If he doesn't, he probably won't make the team. (As a Coach, I work more on drilling, strategy and tactics. Not nearly so much on "How to" or mechanics....)

- KK

Brad Smith
12-14-2006, 08:52 PM
I didn't play HS or college tennis. I played a lot with friends as a teenager and in my early 20's I started to get a little more serious, went to a tennis camp, and was playing 4.0. Then I took off 5+ years because of work/travel. When I started playing again I had the time to take lessons/clinics, read books and articles on TennisOne.com, do way to much research on rackets on these boards, etc. I also bought a ball machine and spent a lot of time practicing by myself. The end result is that I am playing better now than I ever have (just got bumped to 5.0) and I can hold my own with most of the former college players I play with. There is only one other 5.0 in the area that I know of who did not play college tennis and/or high level junior tennis, and he is an outstanding athlete who played college basketball. I'm a decent athlete myself, but I think my success at tennis is due mostly to my approach to getting better. I absorb as much information as possible, distill it down and relate it to my own game, and then practice practice practice. Then I work on incorporating the changes/improvements into match play, and if that means losing a match I would normally win that's fine with me. Another thing I like to do is play a wide variety of players especially in doubles. As a 4.5/5.0 I can often be found playing doubles with 3.0/3.5's on a Tuesday night at my club. These are opportunities for me to have fun and to work on specialty shots in a completely relaxed environment. It also helps with concentration and improvisation because there are a lot of unsual shots/situations that you encounter, and this in turn helps when you go back to playing with 4.5/5.0 players. You also have to play guys that are better than you on a regular basis so you can see where you need work and you become accustomed to the pace/spin at higher levels. And finally you have to play guys who are the same level as you so that you work on your mental game and execution because that's usually the difference in equally matched opponents.

federer_nadal
12-14-2006, 09:27 PM
I'm 44 and never played or gave tennis a second thought . In high school and for 10 years after i was into racquet ball and went to "b" level . It's been 1 year and 2 months now for tennis, no clubs no formal lessons . I've got a buddy who could have gone pro that turned into my trainer running drills ,mental game ,gear. At my local courts i've met many people and play / hit , sometimes 3 times aday . I call my local courts the " pond" and i'm the new little fish in a pond full of big fish who have been playing tennis 20 years + . They have a hard time believing i'm only 1 year playing and as a result they ask me to play singles and doubles , weekly , sometimes i get handed my *** and other times i do the *** handing. They all say i play at 4.0-4.5 level , or college level . In my driveway i build a backboard to hit against and i jump rope at home . gear wise i started with a wilson ncode N6 and have moved to a head flexpoint fire and wilson ncode Ntour's . One of the guys i play is a sales rep. for wilson and he has given me 3 wilson ncode Ntours(brand new) pretty cool . He says that way nothing gear wise will hold me back. Above all i've learned that foot work will make you or break you and i have zero ego. I hit hard and play even harder, on the court(s) it's war !! and also loosing is a large part of winning plus playing tennis is fun. There you have it in a nut shell


I am only 16 but i figure i can reply to this thread, i am about 4.5 maybe more, i dont know, (we dont have it here in aus). I have never been coached and i have only been playing seriously for a couple of years and i just improve because i love playing. I am always trying to find someone to hit with. Our school never had any type of competition like that. But in our league i play number 2 with the adults.

GRANITECHIEF
12-15-2006, 09:27 AM
Here's a good thread to share my story, hope its not too long.

I started when i was 23, except for a few hack sessions here/there through the years. I got completely addicted and couldn't get enough. It was wall ball, serving practice and buggin my friends who played HS ball to beat up on me. 2nd year i tried out as a walk on for Cal Poly (D1) and although i beat a couple other walk ons, i wasn't quite ready yet. Got a few lessons in trade for hitting during lessons with a junior. Played a couple tourneys at a low level and competed on the SLO county ladder, got to #9 (out of 130) beating Hans Riethoffer at Avila bay tennis club while hung over. Topspin lob winner for the match. Got to 4.0 in 2 years.

Graduated, got a job, moved and joined my first club (thousand oaks racket club, TORC). Played every night after work and on the weekends for a year. Couple tourneys hear and there. Played in 4.5 league.

Moved to tahoe. Played constantly during non-snow months and 1/wk during winter indoor at Reno Hilton. Won the A's at Northstar open 3 yrs in a row and won Incline open. 4.5/5.0 six years later.

Got laid off and got new job (Carter Burgess) in Sacramento. Joined Rio del Oro which had 25 or so courts and at least a dozen 5.0's and a couple higher. Played every nite after work. Great club and gained lots of experience. 5.0

Got recruited by an engineering company and moved back to hometown, Santa Barbara. Started playing local tourneys at open level and practicing with open players. Made a couple finals, shoulda won one > lost 6-4 in third, and a couple semis. Spent a week at Saddlebrook and asked Randy Brooke my ntrp. He said, "big serve, drive out in front off both sides, probably 5.5".

Probably not 5.5 as i don't have a consistent training regimen and with work/family etc. only get to hit 2-3 times a week. So i'm going with 5.0. Play with these three guys on the ATP computer:

http://www.atptennis.com/5/en/players/playerprofiles/playeractivity.asp?player=W444

Last time was 6-0,6-0 but i had numerous game point/duece/30's and lost a 6-4 set about a year ago.

http://www.atptennis.com/5/en/players/playerprofiles/playeractivity.asp?prevtrnnum=0&year=2006&query=Doubles&selTournament=0&player=W419&x=3&y=11

Lost 3,1 (one break in first, 2 in second) in a tourney in Oct.

http://www.atptennis.com/5/en/players/playerprofiles/playeractivity.asp?prevtrnnum=0&year=2004&query=Doubles&selTournament=0&player=W476&x=7&y=14

Lost last match 3,1 after getting a nose bleed up 3-1 with a bp for 4-1 in the first cruising for what felt like a 6-2 set win. I've won 2 set outta 7, one at 6-1.

Kaboom!!!
http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a356/granitechief/wesserve118.jpg

Although i still want to improve, my focus is shifting to my 11 yo (since Dec 7)boy. He rediculously talented, goes to Weil academy Tues-Thurs, works with Landsdorp on Fridays, and is moving up the 12's ranks. I'll be lucky to stop him from beating me in a match (2/3 sets) before he's 15, or (shudder) 14. He says 13 and he fully intends to have a pro career. I'm incredibly excited about helping towards his goal and sharing in the journey.

Hoss
12-15-2006, 09:42 AM
So you have played open tourneys, but don't know/or have a rating?

GRANITECHIEF
12-15-2006, 09:44 AM
So you have played open tourneys, but don't know/or have a rating?

5.0 ten chars

Caswell
12-15-2006, 09:49 AM
Kaboom!!!
http://i15.photobucket.com/albums/a356/granitechief/wesserve118.jpg

Nice!

I've gotten to 115, with 110 consistantly. That becomes really unpopular in the 3.5 leagues, especially among the guys with egos too big / brains too small to just bunt it back at me.

couch
12-17-2006, 07:05 PM
Never played HS or College tennis and now play 5.0.

I played football, baseball, and wrestled in HS. After HS was over a few friends and I worked at a sporting goods store and every day after work we would go to some courts where the lights stayed on all night. We literally would play every night until about 1:00 a.m. I watched every pro match I could and emulated my favorite pros. I got Tennis Magazine and Tennis Week magazine back then and continually learned new things. So I am a self-taught player.

I started playing USTA when I was about 26/27 and progressed to 5.0 a couple of years ago. The funny thing is that my regular doubles partner never really played in HS or College either and is a self-taught player.

I always love getting the question, "where did you play college tennis"?

thinktowin
12-21-2006, 02:42 PM
I got my first racquet when I was 47. I quit competetive running and golf and started playing almost every day. I'm now 55 and playing on a 4.5 team although I have a 4.0 rating. I take lessons twice a week and try to practice more than I actually play matches. I live in a college town and get to play and practice with 18-20 years olds as well as great adults.

The great thing about this game is that I honestly feel that my best days as an athlete are yet to come.

power_play21
12-21-2006, 02:55 PM
Nice!

I've gotten to 115, with 110 consistantly. That becomes really unpopular in the 3.5 leagues, especially among the guys with egos too big / brains too small to just bunt it back at me.

dude cant you tell he drew that on there?

either your being sarcastic your you're miopic lol.

tennissavy
12-21-2006, 03:10 PM
I am above a 4.0 level and started playing at the age of 30. I really don't think tennis is a difficult sport and have been pleasantly surprised at my progress every year. I am a former figure skater and believe skating to be much more physically demanding and progress to much more gradual. I suppose my skating background has helped my tennis.

GRANITECHIEF
12-21-2006, 03:15 PM
Yes, its drawn in, but i can serve that fast. Its a preview to show the speed, while the service motion is still happening. Otherwise, it would be speed without any motion.

Hoss
12-21-2006, 06:29 PM
I am above a 4.0 level and started playing at the age of 30. I really don't think tennis is a difficult sport and have been pleasantly surprised at my progress every year. I am a former figure skater and believe skating to be much more physically demanding and progress to much more gradual. I suppose my skating background has helped my tennis.

Interesting. In ESPN Page 2's rating of sport difficulty, tennis came in 7th, and figure skating 19th. I Guess your just a natural tennis player. That would make you the exception though, not the rule.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/sportSkills

Would be interested in seeing your league/tournament results, for grins.

tennissavy
12-21-2006, 07:01 PM
Interesting. In ESPN Page 2's rating of sport difficulty, tennis came in 7th, and figure skating 19th. I Guess your just a natural tennis player. That would make you the exception though, not the rule.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/sportSkills

Would be interested in seeing your league/tournament results, for grins.

OMG that list is such bs. Football number three??? Figure skating is so much more difficult than football, baseball, tennis, basketball...the list is absurd.

Skating came naturally for me. I was jumping and spinning before skating backward which is very unheard of in the sport. I skated for many years and even though I was a natural, it was the most difficult sport I ever did. Football was easy and boring. Baseball was too boring to play much and no challenge at all. Hockey- scored 3 goals and had one assist the first game I ever played.

I am not part of a league. I have yet to find one in my area that plays real tennis by the actual rules. All this no ad scoring and whoever is up in a set wins the set if time runs out, etc. It's pathetic. Since I will only play tennis and not bs versions of tennis, I play lots of people out of league, according to the true rules of the game like the pros. My 2006 record is currently 82-10. My 2005 record was 80-4. My two handed backhand came naturally the first time I stepped on a court, movement was always great, getting down low was always easy, stamina always exceptional but my forehand wasn't very good. It was the only thing for which I sought instruction.

goober
12-21-2006, 07:24 PM
I am not part of a league. I have yet to find one in my area that plays real tennis by the actual rules. All this no ad scoring and whoever is up in a set wins the set if time runs out, etc. It's pathetic. Since I will only play tennis and not bs versions of tennis, I play lots of people out of league, according to the true rules of the game like the pros. My 2006 record is currently 82-10. My 2005 record was 80-4. My two handed backhand came naturally the first time I stepped on a court, movement was always great, getting down low was always easy, stamina always exceptional but my forehand wasn't very good. It was the only thing for which I sought instruction.


Where do you live? Never heard of any leagues playing no ad scoring.

Rickson was like 200-0. I don't think anybody could really get an idea of how good he was. I am sure he thought he was 4.0-4.5 but for all we know he could have been 3.0-3.5. Matchplay in non-tournament settings are hard to gauge. You could be "way above 4.0" as you say but your match record is hard to make too much out of especially since you describe don't exactly describe the players in your area in a very favorable light.

lordmanji
12-21-2006, 10:45 PM
are you guys rated in doubles or singles?

about me: im probably a 3.0. i played a year in HS. we had a class and practice afterward. our coach taught us the basics and we pretty much played against each other. there was practice after school everyday during the season and all of us went to hit on fridays. i wouldnt say we were a great team although there were some good players. most of all we lacked mental and match toughness.

anyway, in college i pretty much stopped except for one tennis class and maybe go out and hit a couple times a year with family. after graduation been playing about a year and a half now. i have a kind of consistent kick serve that doesnt have much pace, a two hander thats reliable, good footwork, but a crappy forehand. getting better each week as i play/practice about two-three times.

heycal
12-21-2006, 10:54 PM
Football was easy and boring. Baseball was too boring to play much and no challenge at all. Hockey- scored 3 goals and had one assist the first game I ever played.

I am not part of a league. I have yet to find one in my area that plays real tennis by the actual rules. All this no ad scoring and whoever is up in a set wins the set if time runs out, etc. It's pathetic.

Football and baseball are too easy for you, huh? I understand, but if you'd deign to spend just a couple of years pitching for the New York Yankees or quarterbacking for the Dallas Cowboys, you could make some big money and thus afford to start your own tennis league without no-ad scoring.

Hoss
12-21-2006, 11:07 PM
OMG that list is such bs. Football number three??? Figure skating is so much more difficult than football, baseball, tennis, basketball...the list is absurd.

Skating came naturally for me. I was jumping and spinning before skating backward which is very unheard of in the sport. I skated for many years and even though I was a natural, it was the most difficult sport I ever did. Football was easy and boring. Baseball was too boring to play much and no challenge at all. Hockey- scored 3 goals and had one assist the first game I ever played.

I am not part of a league. I have yet to find one in my area that plays real tennis by the actual rules. All this no ad scoring and whoever is up in a set wins the set if time runs out, etc. It's pathetic. Since I will only play tennis and not bs versions of tennis, I play lots of people out of league, according to the true rules of the game like the pros. My 2006 record is currently 82-10. My 2005 record was 80-4. My two handed backhand came naturally the first time I stepped on a court, movement was always great, getting down low was always easy, stamina always exceptional but my forehand wasn't very good. It was the only thing for which I sought instruction.

IF THE TIME RUNS OUT???

I have never in all my league/tournament play, played a timed match. Now that would be BS. I think you need to understand why the rules you call BS, are in place.

I play league in the Houston Tennis Association. We have no ad scoring, and 10 point tie breakers in lieu of a third set. These are the rules, but I have played add before as well as third sets if both parties agreed.

We play Thursday nights and the above mentioned rules facilitate a quicker match, because some of the facilities we play at have limited court availability, and we have to stagger the line times. Given the fact that most of us have JOBS, I think the rules work out well. Sure you can get lucky on a no add point here and there, but usually the best team does win. Hell , me and my partner agreed to play add against some recent opponents, and they whined about how they would have beat us if we played no add. There are some people you just can't please.

Look, I have played "real tennis", as you call it. In high school, on a team, with a coach. And you know what? It's the same as the tennis I play now; it just took a little longer to complete the match. So sorry, but I have to call BS on your assessment.

By the way, in the absence of any proof of ability, I find your "self rating" suspect at best, just as Goober implied in so many words.

goober
12-22-2006, 05:59 AM
Football and baseball are too easy for you, huh? I understand, but if you'd deign to spend just a couple of years pitching for the New York Yankees or quarterbacking for the Dallas Cowboys, you could make some big money and thus afford to start your own tennis league without no-ad scoring.
I don't know how anybody can say a sport is so easy unless they were successful on a very high level. Given the physical build of most ice skaters, I would be very surprised if he could be even successful in football on the high school level. If it were so easy why isn't he playing professionally or what honors has he received in those sports?

tennissavy
12-22-2006, 09:13 AM
Where do you live? Never heard of any leagues playing no ad scoring.

Rickson was like 200-0. I don't think anybody could really get an idea of how good he was. I am sure he thought he was 4.0-4.5 but for all we know he could have been 3.0-3.5. Matchplay in non-tournament settings are hard to gauge. You could be "way above 4.0" as you say but your match record is hard to make too much out of especially since you describe don't exactly describe the players in your area in a very favorable light.

I said that I was above a 4.0 level not "way above". You need to learn how to correctly quote people. I was rated between a 3.5 and 4.0, by a teaching pro, my first year playing the game without ever having a lesson. I have improved a great deal since then. I live in Pennsylvania and all the leagues play no ad scoring. You only are on the court for a set period of time so the player who is ahead in the set wins the set!!! I will not waste my time and money on such bull. I met a new guy this past summer who claimed with much confidence that he was rated a 4.0 and he never took a set off of me. In fact, I toyed with him. Like most most people in my area he couldn't handle losing and stopped playing with me. Tennis is not difficult, not for me. I am going to be the target here for saying it because most people find the sport of tennis extremely challenging. I'm just saying it like it is, at least for me.

tennissavy
12-22-2006, 09:25 AM
IF THE TIME RUNS OUT???

I have never in all my league/tournament play, played a timed match. Now that would be BS. I think you need to understand why the rules you call BS, are in place.

I play league in the Houston Tennis Association. We have no ad scoring, and 10 point tie breakers in lieu of a third set. These are the rules, but I have played add before as well as third sets if both parties agreed.

We play Thursday nights and the above mentioned rules facilitate a quicker match, because some of the facilities we play at have limited court availability, and we have to stagger the line times. Given the fact that most of us have JOBS, I think the rules work out well. Sure you can get lucky on a no add point here and there, but usually the best team does win. Hell , me and my partner agreed to play add against some recent opponents, and they whined about how they would have beat us if we played no add. There are some people you just can't please.

Look, I have played "real tennis", as you call it. In high school, on a team, with a coach. And you know what? It's the same as the tennis I play now; it just took a little longer to complete the match. So sorry, but I have to call BS on your assessment.

By the way, in the absence of any proof of ability, I find your "self rating" suspect at best, just as Goober implied in so many words.

Well, that's right the matches are timed. It is bs. The no ad scoring changes everything. I understand the reason for doing it but I don't agree with it. If you don't have time to play tennis, the way it is supposed to be played, then don't play it. I like coming back from ad out on my serve. The game is supposed to be played with ad scoring so one can use one's grit and perserverance. The idea of losing a set when you are on serve 4-5 because time is up is absurd. I was rated between a 3.5 and 4.0 by a very good teaching pro my first year playing. He couldn't believe that I never took lessons before and that I was a novice. I probably started my first day ever on a court, which was only months before I met that coach, at a 3.0 level. Anyway, that was years ago and with my learned forehand and self taught slices, etc. I am clearly above a 4.0. I don't care what you suspect or think about me. Every year I meet some chump who has had instruction all his life and I beat him in straight sets. I just loved it a few years ago when I played a guy who claimed to be a 5.0 and I beat him 6-0 and then he quit. He was boasting of his usta league tennis every weekend and all the tournaments he did... I haven't won every match I played and never claimed that I did. I'm just saying that I don't think tennis is all that difficult. It's not as difficult for me as the average person I guess.

goober
12-22-2006, 09:34 AM
I said that I was above a 4.0 level not "way above". You need to learn how to correctly quote people. I was rated between a 3.5 and 4.0, by a teaching pro, my first year playing the game without ever having a lesson. I have improved a great deal since then. I live in Pennsylvania and all the leagues play no ad scoring. You only are on the court for a set period of time so the player who is ahead in the set wins the set!!! I will not waste my time and money on such bull. I met a new guy this past summer who claimed with much confidence that he was rated a 4.0 and he never took a set off of me. In fact, I toyed with him. Like most most people in my area he couldn't handle losing and stopped playing with me. Tennis is not difficult, not for me. I am going to be the target here for saying it because most people find the sport of tennis extremely challenging. I'm just saying it like it is, at least for me.

So if you are above 4.0, then you are 4.5 I take it? the fact a teaching pro rating you a 3.5-4.0 is meaningless to me. I have had teaching pros rate some guy 4.5 and put him in our 4.5 league and he promptly lost every match he played and quit. I was rated between 3.0-3.5 when I started and I won the 3.5 league the first year without dropping set and half my matches were double bagels

Unless you have had success at USTA tourneys/leagues at the 4.5 level, I don't think you can confidently say that you are at that level. Unless somebody has a verifiable computer rating, somebody I meet and tells me they are at a certain level almost certainly are not that level. The last three players I have played that claimed that they were 4.5 players that I met who did not play USTA tourneys or leagues were actually 3.5s and I beat pretty easily. I think that you are in area with very little competition or you are not challenging yourself to be in a competitive situation. You keep saying all these sports are easy for you but have you actually played anybody other than a bunch of hacks? There is huge level in difference in play between tourney player and nontourney players in my experience on the club level. If you really want to see what level you are you have to test yourself against players in 4.5 USTA tourneys/leagues.

tennissavy
12-22-2006, 09:35 AM
I don't know how anybody can say a sport is so easy unless they were successful on a very high level. Given the physical build of most ice skaters, I would be very surprised if he could be even successful in football on the high school level. If it were so easy why isn't he playing professionally or what honors has he received in those sports?

You don't have to dedicate yourself to playing a sport to the professional level to have enough experience to compare the sport with other sports. I have played all those sports and I can tell you Figure skating and gymnastics are so much more difficult and physically demanding than tennis, football, basketball, baseball, hockey, golf... Skating and gymnastics are probably the hardest sports.

tennissavy
12-22-2006, 09:40 AM
So if you are above 4.0, then you are 4.5 I take it? the fact a teaching pro rating you a 3.5-4.0 is meaningless to me. I have had teaching pros rate some guy 4.5 and put him in our 4.5 league and he promptly lost every match he played and quit. I was rated between 3.0-3.5 when I started and I won the 3.5 league the first year without dropping set and half my matches were double bagels

Unless you have had success at USTA tourneys/leagues at the 4.5 level, I don't think you can confidently say that you are at that level. Unless somebody has a verifiable computer rating, somebody I meet and tells me they are at a certain level almost certainly are not that level. The last three players I have played that claimed that they were 4.5 players that I met who did not play USTA tourneys or leagues were actually 3.5s and I beat pretty easily. I think that you are in area with very little competition or you are not challenging yourself to be in a competitive situation. You keep saying all these sports are easy for you but have you actually played anybody other than a bunch of hacks? There is huge level in difference in play between tourney player and nontourney players in my experience on the club level. If you really want to see what level you are you have to test yourself against players in 4.5 USTA tourneys/leagues.


Just to use your own reasoning against you to prove my "case"- the 5.0 player I beat back when I was like 3.5 was rated 5.0 in the usta leagues so there you have it. Now, you're just picking fights. Don't be jealous that tennis comes easily to me and maybe not for you. Get a life and stop caring so much about me. You don't see anyone else on this board obsessing over what I am saying so stop making it personal.

raiden031
12-22-2006, 09:41 AM
No-ad scoring really sucks. I would bet it probably quadriples the chance of the weaker player upsetting the stronger player in a match. If there was no-ad in the pros Federer would probably have like 20 losses this year.

Instead of no-ad, any league that wants to keep matches short should just score to 21 or something, and count that as a set.

goober
12-22-2006, 09:51 AM
Just to use your own reasoning against you to prove my "case"- the 5.0 player I beat back when I was like 3.5 was rated 5.0 in the usta leagues so there you have it. Now, you're just picking fights. Don't be jealous that tennis comes easily to me and maybe not for you. Get a life and stop caring so much about me. You don't see anyone else on this board obsessing over what I am saying so stop making it personal.

I am not making it personal. You just sound like some of the kids I know from junior high, who brag about how great they are in all these sports. Baseball, football and hockey are all easy for you, yet you have never accomplished anything significant in these sports. You beat a 5.0 rated player back when you were 3.5? Ok I guess that pretty much sums up your delusions.

maverick1
12-22-2006, 10:14 AM
I only have a 3.5 rating, but I hope to emulate Geezer Guy pretty soon. I find this an interesting topic and I want to share my story.

I first played Tennis for about 6 months in 1984, in India, on red clay courts with a shiny new Symmonds wood racket for which I paid less than $2. Balls cost almost as much as rackets, so we just hacked around with bald used balls.

After that, I got a job, moved to the other end of India and basically quit Tennis. Played about 20 times in the next 21 years. In this time, I got married, had kids, lived in two new countries(UK & USA). I also played a lot of cricket and basketball, the latter until I tore an ACL.

I took up Tennis again in June 2005 because I had a couple of commuting buddies who constantly talked about Tennis on the train. Without having seen either of them play, I challenged them to play me. Neither had played any sport growing up, so I was confident I would beat at least the weaker one of the two. I did beat one and lost to the other guy. Now I can say their respective levels were about 2.5 and 3.0. My strokes were 1.5 but I had some speed and enough hand eye coordination to consistently bunt the ball close to the sweet spot. But I couldn't control the ball, so I just bunted aiming for the middle of the court.

After this, I got hooked, and have been playing regularly ever since, as frequently as my body will permit(I am 44 now, and about 6 hours per week is the most I can play; knees are the main bottleneck).
I played USTA as a self-rated 3.0 this past summer, won all my singles matches comfortably, and got bumped up to 3.5. Next season, I plan to play with a 3.5 and a 4.0 team. There is a weak 4.0 team I know; I play with 3 of the weakest guys from that team and I beat them all in straight sets.

I am mostly a self-taught player, but I had have had subscriptions TennisOne.com first and now TennisPlayer.net. My improvement strategy has been to to try and precisely emulate the pros' form with each stroke. So far I have been able to change my forehand and 2hbh form to my satisfaction. In the last couple of months, I have put in serious work on my serve, and it has been making a difference, off and on.

tennissavy
12-22-2006, 10:18 AM
I only have a 3.5 rating, but I hope to emulate Geezer Guy pretty soon. I find this an interesting topic and I want to share my story.

I first played Tennis for about 6 months in 1984, in India, on red clay courts with a shiny new Symmonds wood racket for which I paid less than $2. Balls cost almost as much as rackets, so we just hacked around with bald used balls.

After that, I got a job, moved to the other end of India and basically quit Tennis. Played about 20 times in the next 21 years. In this time, I got married, had kids, lived in two new countries(UK & USA). I also played a lot of cricket and basketball, the latter until I tore an ACL.

I took up Tennis again in June 2005 because I had a couple of commuting buddies who constantly talked about Tennis on the train. Without having seen either of them play, I challenged them to play me. Neither had played any sport growing up, so I was confident I would beat at least the weaker one of the two. I did beat one and lost to the other guy. Now I can say their respective levels were about 2.5 and 3.0. My strokes were 1.5 but I had some speed and enough hand eye coordination to consistently bunt the ball close to the sweet spot. But I couldn't control the ball, so I just bunted aiming for the middle of the court.

After this, I got hooked, and have been playing regularly ever since, as frequently as my body will permit(I am 44 now, and about 6 hours per week is the most I can play; knees are the main bottleneck).
I played USTA as a self-rated 3.0 this past summer, won all my singles matches comfortably, and got bumped up to 3.5. Next season, I plan to play with a 3.5 and a 4.0 team. There is a weak 4.0 team I know; I play with 3 of the weakest guys from that team and I beat them all in straight sets.

I am mostly a self-taught player, but I had have had subscriptions TennisOne.com first and now TennisPlayer.net. My improvement strategy has been to to try and precisely emulate the pros' form with each stroke. So far I have been able to change my forehand and 2hbh form to my satisfaction. In the last couple of months, I have put in serious work on my serve, and it has been making a difference, off and on.

Good for you Maverick. Tennis is a fun game in which you can make dramatic improvement in a very short period of time unlike figure skating and gymnastics. Just by taking an interest in your game you'll improve. Tennis really should have more participants. It's not very hard.

Hoss
12-22-2006, 10:24 AM
Like I said, get a life. The 5.0 I beat is the truth not a delusion and it should shut you up since it uses your reasoning against you. You haven't changed a bit. You were attacking me when I first started posting on this board. You are pathetically obsessed with me for some reason.

Well I hardly ever post on these boards, but you can firmly put me in the "I think your delusional" camp. Maybe Pennsylvania tennis is just not that competitive, I don't know. Your obviously very sport biased towards figure skating (which I enjoy watching, and appears to be difficult, by the way), that's why I added the ESPN link, which you gave no credit.

I have a life, so this will be my last post to you. Enjoy your non- league/tournament "real tennis" dominance. Must get boring for you to be so good, with so few to challenge you.

maverick1
12-22-2006, 10:28 AM
"Hard" means different things to different people, I suppose.
To some, it denotes teh difficulty of making it to the top of the sport. Do you think it is easier to become Roger Federer than it is to be a Badminton or Figure skating champion?

My definition of hard is the time it takes two beginners to become competent enough have a fun game with each other. In that respect, I found Tennis the hardest sport I played. At first, there were way too many errors and wild shots outside the fences and into adjacent courts. I have never tried skating , but I can see how that would be even harder. It must take a while to even move without falling.

tennissavy
12-22-2006, 10:34 AM
Well I hardly ever post on these boards, but you can firmly put me in the "I think your delusional" camp. Maybe Pennsylvania tennis is just not that competitive, I don't know. Your obviously very sport biased towards figure skating (which I enjoy watching, and appears to be difficult, by the way), that's why I added the ESPN link, which you gave no credit.

I have a life, so this will be my last post to you. Enjoy your non- league/tournament "real tennis" dominance. Must get boring for you to be so good, with so few to challenge you.

A lot of the players tend to be like you and goober. They cannot stand when I, with my natural abilities, beat them with all their tournament play experience. I never said anything that is delusional. I beat plenty of highly rated usta league players and for you, perhaps it is delusional, but for me it's reality. It's tough to be you perhaps but that is your problem not mine.

raiden031
12-22-2006, 10:37 AM
I played football in high school and while practicing for only a few months out of the year each year, I was a bench warmer my freshman year and ended up senior year in my HS hall of fame and honorable mention All-State (along with three first team honors at the county level) as an outside linebacker.

I have been playing tennis off and on for about 6 years (2 years off) and have achieved almost nothing. I get beaten by 60 year olds on a regular basis. I have improved alot in the past few months, but nowhere near the competency I was at with football.

Needless to say I am nowhere near pro level in football, but could probably hold my own in any flag football league.

From my experience in both of these sports, it definitely takes alot more practice to become proficient at tennis. Of course football is a pansy sport compared to figure skating so I can't comment on that one.

tennissavy
12-22-2006, 10:38 AM
"Hard" means different things to different people, I suppose.
To some, it denotes teh difficulty of making it to the top of the sport. Do you think it is easier to become Roger Federer than it is to be a Badminton or Figure skating champion?

My definition of hard is the time it takes two beginners to become competent enough have a fun game with each other. In that respect, I found Tennis the hardest sport I played. At first, there were way too many errors and wild shots outside the fences and into adjacent courts. I have never tried skating , but I can see how that would be even harder. It must take a while to even move without falling.

Hi Maverick. Your right about the nuances of the term hard.

I do feel as an experienced skater and tennis player that it is harder to become world champion or olympic champion in skating than it is to reach federer's status in tennis. Skating requires far more perfection to execute the moves than tennis. In this way, tennis is more fun because you can start out a match like a train wreck but pull out the win in the end.
Anyway, good luck to you. Enjoy tennis and the holidays. Life is too short.

tennissavy
12-22-2006, 10:45 AM
I played football in high school and while practicing for only a few months out of the year each year, I was a bench warmer my freshman year and ended up senior year in my HS hall of fame and honorable mention All-State (along with three first team honors at the county level) as an outside linebacker.

I have been playing tennis off and on for about 6 years (2 years off) and have achieved almost nothing. I get beaten by 60 year olds on a regular basis. I have improved alot in the past few months, but nowhere near the competency I was at with football.

Needless to say I am nowhere near pro level in football, but could probably hold my own in any flag football league.

From my experience in both of these sports, it definitely takes alot more practice to become proficient at tennis. Of course football is a pansy sport compared to figure skating so I can't comment on that one.


You just had to take a jab at skating with the pansy remark in your tongue and cheek way. I played lots of football so I can comment on this one. I can tell you skating is much more difficult to master, takes a superior cardiovascular fitness than football, requires so much more control and explosive power, needs much more precise timing...the list can go on quite a lot more. Skaters sustain much more serious injuries than football players and more often. Skaters are also much tougher than most pro football players. So many players are on the injured list and miss games due to ingrown toenails, sprained pinkies, and other minor things. These are obstacles overcome by skaters on a daily basis. Mind over matter, much more than football players. BTW, gymnasts are just as tough as figure skaters in this regard too again blowing away the football crybabies.

raiden031
12-22-2006, 10:45 AM
A lot of the players tend to be like you and goober. They cannot stand when I, with my natural abilities, beat them with all their tournament play experience. I never said anything that is delusional. I beat plenty of highly rated usta league players and for you, perhaps it is delusional, but for me it's reality. It's tough to be you perhaps but that is your problem not mine.

I was a 3.0 for 4 years but played only casually and a few college intramural tournaments and no actual leagues. I then took 2 years off from tennis and just a few months ago started playing again and played two singles ladders. These were not USTA-sanctioned, but most of the players were on USTA teams so they had computer ratings. I beat a number of 3.0 players who were doing USTA for at least 5-6 years (can't figure out why they never improved beyond 3.0).

You sound like you are pretty serious about tennis, but still haven't demonstrated that you have this wonderful gift to play tennis better than the average person. This is because you are only going by people who you beat who claimed to be a certain skill level. Perhaps you just had alot of motivation and practiced smart during the earlier stages of your tennis-playing days. I am around 3.5 now, but I probably could have been years ago if I knew what I was doing back then.

fishuuuuu
12-22-2006, 10:48 AM
Some HS players don't get any "coaching" from the coach. Any instruction they get is solely up to them to arrange for privately. The coach just determines who the best players are and creates the line-up.

There's certainly an advantage to learning young though. The younger the better (within reason).

What kind of joke of a coach is there only to create the line-up? That definitely is not the case with other high school sports.

Raiden, it does happen. It happened in my area, at my high school in particular. The teachers are just looking for an extra five grand to tag to their salary, so, why not "become" a tennis coach?

Topaz
12-22-2006, 10:53 AM
IF THE TIME RUNS OUT???

I have never in all my league/tournament play, played a timed match. Now that would be BS. I think you need to understand why the rules you call BS, are in place.

I play league in the Houston Tennis Association. We have no ad scoring, and 10 point tie breakers in lieu of a third set. These are the rules, but I have played add before as well as third sets if both parties agreed.

We play Thursday nights and the above mentioned rules facilitate a quicker match, because some of the facilities we play at have limited court availability, and we have to stagger the line times. Given the fact that most of us have JOBS, I think the rules work out well. Sure you can get lucky on a no add point here and there, but usually the best team does win. Hell , me and my partner agreed to play add against some recent opponents, and they whined about how they would have beat us if we played no add. There are some people you just can't please.

Look, I have played "real tennis", as you call it. In high school, on a team, with a coach. And you know what? It's the same as the tennis I play now; it just took a little longer to complete the match. So sorry, but I have to call BS on your assessment.

By the way, in the absence of any proof of ability, I find your "self rating" suspect at best, just as Goober implied in so many words.

Timed matches are a necessity in places where open court time is scarce. I play in NOVA, VA and *all* of our league matches are timed (either 1 and 1/2 hours or 2 hours). Yeah, it sucks, but you learn how to come out of the gates quickly and not screw around.

raiden031
12-22-2006, 10:56 AM
You just had to take a jab at skating with the pansy remark in your tongue and cheek way. I played lots of football so I can comment on this one. I can tell you skating is much more difficult to master, takes a superior cardiovascular fitness than football, requires so much more control and explosive power, needs much more precise timing...the list can go on quite a lot more. Skaters sustain much more serious injuries than football players and more often. Skaters are also much tougher than most pro football players. So many players are on the injured list and miss games due to ingrown toenails, sprained pinkies, and other minor things. These are obstacles overcome by skaters on a daily basis. Mind over matter, much more than football players. BTW, gymnasts are just as tough as figure skaters in this regard too again blowing away the football crybabies.

Skaters do not sustain more serious injuries than football players. It is a fact that football is the most injury-prone sport. How can a skater be tougher than someone who can withstand the impact of a 220 lb star running back slamming straight into them at full speed? Yes they wear pads but those pads are not magical. Without them every play would result in a concussion or broken bones. You are exaggerating the injured list.

There is no denying that skating is much more precise and requires more practice and technique (just like tennis compared to football), but your remarks comparing football are purely ignorant and you give football no credit whatsoever. I'd like to see you after a football game where you can't walk the next morning because every bone in your body aches. That was my typical Saturday morning.

tennissavy
12-22-2006, 10:56 AM
I was a 3.0 for 4 years but played only casually and a few college intramural tournaments and no actual leagues. I then took 2 years off from tennis and just a few months ago started playing again and played two singles ladders. These were not USTA-sanctioned, but most of the players were on USTA teams so they had computer ratings. I beat a number of 3.0 players who were doing USTA for at least 5-6 years (can't figure out why they never improved beyond 3.0).

You sound like you are pretty serious about tennis, but still haven't demonstrated that you have this wonderful gift to play tennis better than the average person. This is because you are only going by people who you beat who claimed to be a certain skill level. Perhaps you just had alot of motivation and practiced smart during the earlier stages of your tennis-playing days. I am around 3.5 now, but I probably could have been years ago if I knew what I was doing back then.

Well, it's not important that I demonstrate a "wonderful gift" to you or anyone on this board. I don't care what any of you think about me. Now go have yourself a merry one.

tennissavy
12-22-2006, 11:04 AM
Skaters do not sustain more serious injuries than football players. It is a fact that football is the most injury-prone sport. How can a skater be tougher than someone who can withstand the impact of a 220 lb star running back slamming straight into them at full speed? Yes they wear pads but those pads are not magical. Without them every play would result in a concussion or broken bones. You are exaggerating the injured list.

There is no denying that skating is much more precise and requires more practice and technique (just like tennis compared to football), but your remarks comparing football are purely ignorant and you give football no credit whatsoever. I'd like to see you after a football game where you can't walk the next morning because every bone in your body aches. That was my typical Saturday morning.

Yes, skaters do but they don't normally complain about them and use them as excuses. You are the one "speaking" out of sheer ignorance. I KNOW what I am saying out of experience.
I would have traded your saturday morning aches and pains for my torn back muscles, torn hamstring, torn groin and various pulled muscles which affect me to this very day. Even when I am in pain I can usually still play tennis well. It's a comparatively easy sport and if I one day cannot play tennis it will be due to the cumulative figure skating injuries I endured, any of which would have ended most football players' careers. Stop obsessing with me and do some Christmas shopping.

raiden031
12-22-2006, 11:13 AM
Yes, skaters do but they don't normally complain about them and use them as excuses. You are the one "speaking" out of sheer ignorance. I KNOW what I am saying out of experience.
I would have traded your saturday morning aches and pains for my torn back muscles, torn hamstring, torn groin and various pulled muscles which affect me to this very day. Even when I am in pain I can usually still play tennis well. It's a comparatively easy sport and if I one day cannot play tennis it will be due to the cumulative figure skating injuries I endured, any of which would have ended most football players' careers. Stop obsessing with me and do some Christmas shopping.

How is responding to someone's messages in a thread on a discussion board "obsessing with someone"?

You can have my broken collarbone and you can have the metal plate in my ankle or the screw that went straight through the ankle holding everything together. Just like what Bob Vila showed us all on TV.

maverick1
12-22-2006, 11:20 AM
I played football in high school and while practicing for only a few months out of the year each year, I was a bench warmer my freshman year and ended up senior year in my HS hall of fame and honorable mention All-State (along with three first team honors at the county level) as an outside linebacker.

I have been playing tennis off and on for about 6 years (2 years off) and have achieved almost nothing. I get beaten by 60 year olds on a regular basis. I have improved alot in the past few months, but nowhere near the competency I was at with football.

Needless to say I am nowhere near pro level in football, but could probably hold my own in any flag football league.

From my experience in both of these sports, it definitely takes alot more practice to become proficient at tennis. Of course football is a pansy sport compared to figure skating so I can't comment on that one.

I am not taking any one side in this debate, but what sport is harder depends on your natural gifts. I haven't played football, but it seems like if someone had a decent combination size, strength, quickness and explosiveness, you could very quickly advance in Football. But these qualities are secondary in Tennis. Good hand eye co-ordination is probably more important than all of those put together.

I don't see anybody making it to the top in Tennis without having been a top junior as well, and without having played for years and years.

Football and basketball seem like sports where you can make it out of nowhere within a couple of years if you have physical gifts. I can definitely cite a basketball example. My son and Andrew Bynum played on the same basketball teams from 7th grade to high school. The high school had a losing team in a not-so tough county, and yet Andrew only played on freshman team in 9th grade and JV as a sophomore, and he didn't even have an impact on these teams. There were at least two other centers in the same grade in other schools who were far better. But Andrew grew to 7 feet, got more co-ordinated, and made the NBA straight from high school; and pretty soon he was dunking on Shaq.

boobik2371
12-22-2006, 12:15 PM
My dad is a 4.0/4.5 player. He never played high school or college ball since we lived in poland. He learned when he first came here to work while my we stayed back there. He watched in the U.S. and then improved much in poland. And now he is the best over here out of the group that we play with which are 3.0/3.5 guys(He and I both beat them all 6-1 6-3 at most). And I don't say he's a 4.0/4.5 because he beats those lower leveled players. It's because he actually keeps up with 5.0 players and manages to give them a run for their money (my old coach haha). And my pops is 49 and still manages to beat me in 3 sets and im 16 going on 17 in 3 days...I'm a 4.0 player

goober
12-22-2006, 12:20 PM
A lot of the players tend to be like you and goober. They cannot stand when I, with my natural abilities, beat them with all their tournament play experience. I never said anything that is delusional. I beat plenty of highly rated usta league players and for you, perhaps it is delusional, but for me it's reality. It's tough to be you perhaps but that is your problem not mine.

The delusion is that if you were a 3.5 you would never beat a 5.0 under any circumstances. So either you are really a 5.0+ level player or your opponent isn't a 5.0 level player. You don't seem to understand the ratings system. The only time a lower ranked player should ever beat a higher rated player is if the lower rated player is one level below and represents a very strong player in that division AND the higher ranked player is a weak player in that division. But you making a claim that back when you were a 3.5 you beat a 5.0 rated player is ludicrous. Were the 10 players in one year you lost to 5.5+ level players?

So if you are really a 5.0+ level player that's great. Tournament experience doesn't make me better tennis player. I don't get embarrassed losing to any player just because they don't play tournaments. There are a lot of good players that don't. I just have a better understanding of where I rate that's all. Before playing tournaments, I like many people over-rated my tennis abilities, because I beat all these players who called themsevles 4.5s.

tennissavy
12-22-2006, 12:23 PM
y'all need to move on now.

raiden031
12-22-2006, 12:25 PM
y'all need to move on now.

Goober,

Stop being obsessive with tennissavy. I will too. We need to stop stalking him. Lets put a lid on this thread.

heycal
12-22-2006, 02:46 PM
I'm not sure why we ever even allowed him to introduce figure skating into a discussion of "sports" anyway. It's an activity that's practiced by teenage girls and gay guys, and while it requires althleticism and stamina, so does dancing, another non-sport. It may be harder to master the Tango than dribbling a basketball, but I don't see the point of comparing the two.

basil J
12-22-2006, 03:43 PM
I will be 46 in january. I first picked up a racquet at the young age of 38. My ski buddies disappeared every summer and i wanted to see more them on a year round basis. They were and still are hardcore tennis players most of them between 4.0 and 5.0 players. I got hooked during my honeymoon in hawaii in 2000 where I got a chance to hit with a pro for 2 hrs. per day ,10 days in a row.( my wife is a lifelong player, so she was into it). I got hooked and worked out with a pro weekly for a year and then started playin 3.5 tourneys. I got to the semi's a couple of times and then started playing World team tennis, ladder matches and basically playing with anyone that would get on a court with me. I became a solid 4.0 at 44 years old and now try to balance wife kids, work and tennis. Most of my attention is now on the mental part of the game and conditioning because my strokes are all fairly solid and reliable. I was a life long hockey player, train religiously, and still consider myself to be in great shape, and continue to play against guys 10-15 years my junior. Tennis is a lifelong journey and I am enjoying the ride!!

tennissavy
12-22-2006, 04:32 PM
I'm not sure why we ever even allowed him to introduce figure skating into a discussion of "sports" anyway. It's an activity that's practiced by teenage girls and gay guys, and while it requires althleticism and stamina, so does dancing, another non-sport. It may be harder to master the Tango than dribbling a basketball, but I don't see the point of comparing the two.

Actually, tennis is a game more than a sport. Skating is a sport and an art. Perhaps my skating background is what enables me to beat 99 % of the "straight" men I play in tennis.

heycal
12-22-2006, 04:42 PM
Actually, tennis is a game more than a sport. Skating is a sport and an art. Perhaps my skating background is what enables me to beat 99 % of the "straight" men I play in tennis.

Only a gay man puts quote marks around the word "straight" in the context you did, which perhaps explains your disdain for sports traditionally favored by heterosexual men like football, baseball, etc. (For the record, I have no problem with your being gay at all, particularly since it backs up my assertion about who gravitates toward figure skating.)

The idea that tennis is more of a game than a sport is silly. Billiards is a game. Darts is a game. But tennis is a sport. In any case, if tennis is so easy, why aren't you on the ATP tour?

thejackal
12-23-2006, 01:40 PM
I will be 46 in january. I first picked up a racquet at the young age of 38. My ski buddies disappeared every summer and i wanted to see more them on a year round basis. They were and still are hardcore tennis players most of them between 4.0 and 5.0 players. I got hooked during my honeymoon in hawaii in 2000 where I got a chance to hit with a pro for 2 hrs. per day ,10 days in a row.( my wife is a lifelong player, so she was into it). I got hooked and worked out with a pro weekly for a year and then started playin 3.5 tourneys. I got to the semi's a couple of times and then started playing World team tennis, ladder matches and basically playing with anyone that would get on a court with me. I became a solid 4.0 at 44 years old and now try to balance wife kids, work and tennis. Most of my attention is now on the mental part of the game and conditioning because my strokes are all fairly solid and reliable. I was a life long hockey player, train religiously, and still consider myself to be in great shape, and continue to play against guys 10-15 years my junior. Tennis is a lifelong journey and I am enjoying the ride!!

how hard is it to play hockey when you're middle aged? It was my first sport for a long time (played varsity in Canada until I moved last year). Thinking about playing intramurals in college right now

tlm
12-24-2006, 11:37 AM
I have been playing tennis serious for 3 years now, i play in a 3.5 league.I am on the verge of going up to 4.0.I used to hit arond with the wife a few times a week but it was just dinking around, no serving or real matches.

In the last 3 years i have been a tennis junkie, i play 6 days a week all year.Play in a league went to a tennis camp have taken 8 lessons + i am considered a good athlete in good shape.I am busting my *** to get to 4.0, i have many good players to play against who are from 3.5-4.5 + i dont know any 4.0 players who have not been playing serious for at least 6 years.

It doesnt take that long to get to 3.0 or even 3.5, but to get to 4.0 or above is tough.I am talking singles play also not doubles were i see a lot of players that would be 3.5 in singles but can hide in 4.0 doubles with a good partner.

I am not saying i dont believe tennissavy but he is either one of the most naturally talented players around or plays some fake 5.0 players.

slice bh compliment
12-26-2006, 06:44 AM
I used to hit with a guy who is a very successful and popular teaching pro. He played a good level of junior tennis, played basically every other sport in HS, then played baseball in college. Decided against law school/grad school and became a teaching pro. The guy's still really good. Plays his age group and often below. Probably a tournament 5.0.

There's another guy I hit with who is actually improving in his late thirties. Does not really look like an athlete, but he is one of the finest dubs players I've ever seen who never really played college tennis (He says he made his college team, but never actually played a match...it was a really solid Div. III liberal arts school). He and a good partner play even with guys like me and other late 80's college players. He is tall, poaches like a madman and never misses a return.

It is possible. But rare to see an accomplished player who did not play in HS or college.
That said, I know many, many 3.0's who played on their HS team. My wife is one of them.

Championship_Point
12-26-2006, 02:40 PM
My cousin is 4.0 on the dot in playing ability in 6th grade.

Kirko
12-26-2006, 03:03 PM
I've been playing tennis since 1965 tons of lesson from the best Butch Bucholtz , Pat Dupre, & others. I'm a solid 5.0 player. when I moved to nevada I got all the REAL competion I needed. I thought guys that played "organized tennis" were losers.

duffman
01-02-2007, 10:02 AM
For what it is worth:

I picked up a racquet for the first time in 2005. Played Division 1 baseball in college and pick up any sport quickly. I have very good mobility, and work out often with weights. Started at the 3.0 level in 2005 with no knowledge of the game and fielded a host of complaints because I was athletic but my tennis ability was rough around the edges.

After the adult league season started hitting with a 4.5 buddy of mine who actually worked with me on my strokes and in 2006 played 4.0 (6-2 record) and 4.5 (4-2 record). By the way, this was as a computer rated 3.0 so you can see what a joke that rating system is. Now, I'm rated at 4.0 and most likey will get bumped to 4.5 at the ESR.

shavenstringer
01-02-2007, 11:07 AM
I got to 4.0 with good coaching. My wife is a PBI tennis pro and I had lots of free lessons over the last 3 years. So it was easy to progress quickly.

Kevo
01-02-2007, 12:59 PM
Just to echo the sentiments of some of the others about HS play. I actually learned more in the 1 1/2 year of middle school tennis I played than I did in HS. Our "coach" was a math teacher and only played tennis recreationally. She knew the rules and that was about it. She tried, but our tennis game probably declined rather than improved. There were a couple of other schools in our division that had excellent tennis teams, but most of that was the result of private lessons.

I am probably 4-5x better now than I was in HS. My main problem is mental, and I'm almost sure I got most of those mental bad habits from playing HS tennis.

tlm
01-03-2007, 03:16 AM
Hey duffman, you picked a racquet up the first time in 2005 + now you are a 4.5?Please give me a break, i dont know were you play but i would be willing to bet you would be blown off the court 6-0 6-0 in the league i play in by the 4.5 players.

goober
01-03-2007, 03:33 AM
Hey duffman, you picked a racquet up the first time in 2005 + now you are a 4.5?Please give me a break, i dont know were you play but i would be willing to bet you would be blown off the court 6-0 6-0 in the league i play in by the 4.5 players.

Actually he said he is rated 4.0 and will probably will be bumped at the end of season ratings. That is conjecture on his part and he may not get bumped.

One guy I play with obtained computer 4.5 rating in 3 years from being a total beginner.

shavenstringer
01-03-2007, 04:20 AM
Its not impossible. Some people are very gifted physically and mentally. I have a friend who is a solid 4.5 and only started 3 years ago. He only plays a few times a month. The key for him was a good coach who taught him great fundamentals of the game. If a talented person has a great foundation in tennis they can improved rapidly.

Netgame
01-03-2007, 05:16 PM
It seems like the the majority of young posters are playing high school tennis and that a lot of the elderly posters played college tennis a number of years back. Is there anyone that made it to the 4.0+ levels without either high school or college tennis background? If so, describe your progression through the levels and how much did you have to practice, since you were probably not part of organized tennis with daily practice sessions?

---> I started out in my late teens by hitting against a wall every day for a whole summer. I took a while, but I was able to experiment with my swing until I found the most effective way with the least punishment. I really think this gave me an advantage against other late starters.

tlm
01-03-2007, 08:31 PM
Anything is possible i guess, but i would like to see this 4.5 competition you guys are getting into with only 3 years of playing.I dont think if you played high school tennis or not matters that much, but 4.5 in three years+ only playing a few times a month.

All i can say is wow, i know some real good players in my area that have been playing a long time but they would have to really be playing a lot to try + hang with the 4.5 players.

I have played for the last 3 years seriously, 5-6 days a week all year round, play team tennis take lessons+ i am just now approaching 4.0 level.I am a good athlete in good shape but 4.5 in 3 years sounds like a super natural tennis player.

I used to just dink around with the wife no serving or anything, i did that for quite a few years before i became serious a 3 years ago, so i have actually benn hitting the ball around for a while now.

Any of the players in the team tennis that i play in that are at the 4.5 level have been playing for at least 10 years if not longer, even the 4.0 players have been playing that long.

goober
01-03-2007, 08:54 PM
people progress at different rates. How long you have been playing tennis has often nothing to do with what level you are at. I know tons of player who have played 15-20 years and are still stuck at 3.0-3.5 level. They play all year round but they aren't really trying to improve and use the same bad technique that they has always worked for them at the 3.0-3.5 level.

The one guy who posted earlier about a guy playing a few times a month and is 4.5 is from Austria. His rating is a guess, obviously it can't be verified because they don't even use that rating system there.The guy I know has won a couple of 4.5 tournaments and age group 40 tournaments. He has a computer rating so he is legit. But he is unusual.

arnz
01-04-2007, 02:31 AM
I've only been playing since last month and now I've been rated 4.5, I may be bumped to 6.0...what can I say, I'm a supernatural player :) I've only been playing once every week but I'm one of those people who progress fast. I just got one lesson, learned all the techniques and voila...here I am.

BTW, anyone interested in a bridge in Brooklyn? Its on sale if you act fast

Feeling sarcastic today..sorry

tlm
01-04-2007, 03:28 PM
I hear you arnz, some of these boys are supernatural players or more than likely full of b. s.

javier sergio
01-04-2007, 04:12 PM
I got my first racquet when I was 47. I quit competetive running and golf and started playing almost every day. I'm now 55 and playing on a 4.5 team although I have a 4.0 rating. I take lessons twice a week and try to practice more than I actually play matches. I live in a college town and get to play and practice with 18-20 years olds as well as great adults.

The great thing about this game is that I honestly feel that my best days as an athlete are yet to come.

I am going to follow your steps......I'm almost 48 years old now and I share what you said that your best days as an athlete are yet to come......

I started playing tennis when I was 9 years old for about 2 years, then in my 20's for a about 2 years. Every decade of my life I come back, I started again aproximately 2 years ago with a lot of injuries including TE.
I hope this year I can get my level to 4.5, that's my goal.

Good luck in your game !!!!

Javier

Pusher
01-04-2007, 06:08 PM
Its not impossible. Some people are very gifted physically and mentally. I have a friend who is a solid 4.5 and only started 3 years ago. He only plays a few times a month. The key for him was a good coach who taught him great fundamentals of the game. If a talented person has a great foundation in tennis they can improved rapidly.

I've been going thru the Junior tournament "wars" with my son (16) and if there is one thing I have learned it is that there are no shortcuts in tennis-none. There is absolutely no substitute for hard work over an extended period of time with good instruction. A well trained tennis player will beat a superior athlete that is just an occassional player. There is just too much to learn, too many techniques to master.

I see a lot of people claiming ratings of 4.5 to 5.5 but I'm not buying it. At that level you have most assuredly played a lot as a junior (tournaments) and continued to play or you are a former college player. Rarely have I ever seen someone pick up the game after 25 or so and make that rating. My son is ranked in the top 20 in my state and a 4.5 will beat him about half the time. My son will have the beautiful strokes,fluid movement and pull off some fantastic shots, but an adult 4.5 brings too much experience to the court.

BTW, high school tennis is pretty much a joke most everywhere-there are a very few exceptions. High school coaches are usually drafted from the school faculty and the chances of having someone with the background to coach tennis is almost nill. Most of the top high school players already have a professional coach so they wil give little attention to the school gym teacher.

My pet peeve: Juniors that claim they are 4.5, etc. Juniors have rankings-not ratings. Instead of telling me you'e a 4.0 tell me your state, district or national ranking-then we'll talk.

couch
01-04-2007, 07:42 PM
Nevermind.

goober
01-05-2007, 04:00 AM
I see a lot of people claiming ratings of 4.5 to 5.5 but I'm not buying it. At that level you have most assuredly played a lot as a junior (tournaments) and continued to play or you are a former college player.

Maybe 5.0-5.5, but not 4.5. I have met a fair number of people who got to 4.5 (computer rated, not self rated) who started after 25.

GraniteChief one of the posters on this board supposedly was rated 5.5 at Saddlebrook and has made it to the finals of several Open level tournaments in SoCal and he started as an Adult in his mid 20s.

maverick1
01-05-2007, 07:36 AM
I don't see why it is so hard to believe that an athletic person starting Tennis at 25 can reach 5.0. There are 50 year old 5.0s, right? (KK is one).
If you play 25 years of Tennis, that ought to be enough to catch up to your peers who will be 5.0 at 50.

I started at 43(2005) for all intents and purposes, and it would be too depressing for me to believe that I can never reach 4.5. I don't expect to, but I would like to believe there is a 20% chance, and it is a matter of taking care of my body and staying committed to improvement.

duffman
01-05-2007, 08:18 AM
Hey duffman, you picked a racquet up the first time in 2005 + now you are a 4.5?Please give me a break, i dont know were you play but i would be willing to bet you would be blown off the court 6-0 6-0 in the league i play in by the 4.5 players.

What area are you in tlm? I'm from Norcal aka "land of the sandbaggers". If you are nearby I'd be willing to take you up on that little wager and I wouldn't make it little either. I do almost all of my hitting with 4.5's and occasionally get to hit with 5.0's. In fact, I played a singles ladder match against a 5.0 a month ago and lost 6-1, 7-5 and this was against a guy that went 4-1 as a 5.0 in the 2006 adult league. So unless your 4.5 players are really 5.5 players, bring 'em on!

Maybe I should have clarified I bit in my earlier post but I didn't think I would get people calling BS. First of all I didn't say I was a 4.5, I'm currently rated 4.0 but routinely beat 4.5 players (4-2 last year in 4.5 league play). Secondly, it wasn't like I just picked up a racquet in 2005, played once a week against some 3.0's and now beatup on 4.5's. Since I started in 2005 the tennis bug bit me hard and I have been playing anywhere from 2-4 times a week since. This, plus being blessed with a high level of natural athletic ability and finding guys that were better than me to hit with has helped me get to my level of play today. I'm still working on my consistency to develop a better singles game, but I have a big serve and volley game that gives a lot of players trouble and I have also found that my baseball background has helped quite a bit in tennis.

I really don't know what is so unbelievable tlm? If you are athletic, work hard, and have decent instruction along the way, why wouldn't you be able to play at the 4.5 level after 1 1/2 years? 5.0 might be another story, but I hope to be there someday, gotta have goals, right:D

duffman
01-05-2007, 08:47 AM
people progress at different rates. How long you have been playing tennis has often nothing to do with what level you are at. I know tons of player who have played 15-20 years and are still stuck at 3.0-3.5 level. They play all year round but they aren't really trying to improve and use the same bad technique that they has always worked for them at the 3.0-3.5 level.


Exactly, doing the same things wrong for 10+ years isn't going to do anything to improve their games. Start with the decent technique and improve on this technique with hard work and dedication really speeds the progression. It also helps to live in an area where you can play year round.

couch
01-05-2007, 10:20 AM
Getting to 5.0 without picking up a racquet until after high school is possible. It's definitely not the rule, but there are exceptions to every rule.

As I mentioned in my thread earlier I am one of those players who didn't play in high school and I have been playing 5.0 for the last few years. The whole key to getting to 5.0, in cases like this, is being a great athlete. There is no way if you're not.

I started out playing 4.0 without any instruction or anything. I would say after playing off-and-on for about 5-6 years after high school that's when I really got serious about tennis and started playing all the time. I used to play basketball, softball, golf, etc. But then I met a guy playing golf who got me into USTA at the age of 26/27 and I haven't looked back since. I don't even play anything else now. Only other thing I do is workout consistently.

I am also a self-taught player who has good strokes (except for the occasional high forehand volley LOL) and good athletic ability. I wonder if I would have picked up a racquet after college (when I had the time) and played every day under the tutilege of a pro if I couldn't have gotten to 4.5 after a couple of years. Don't know, doesn't really matter now.

The fact is that there are exceptions to every rule but they are just that, exceptions. It's fair to say that there are some posters on this board that are just great athletes and have picked up the game quickly. But it's also "very" safe to say there are probably some guys that are FOS too.

Just my two cents. Who and what you believe I guess is up to you. You can usually tell who is FOS.

All the best,
Couch

Kaptain Karl
01-05-2007, 03:54 PM
Like maverick suggests -- and couch confirms -- one *can* get to high levels of (amateur) tennis with a late start.

Our Town Ladder has a 60 year old who is in his 2nd year of tennis ... and he's closing-in on 4.0. (Really!)

BUT ... he finally gave-in to the fact that he cannot keep playing competitive (Rec) baseball with a bunch of kids half his age. He looked around ... and chose Tennis. He was an excellent all-around athlete. A really good Baseball player, having played AA Ball in his mid-20s, with SS and 3rd his favorite positions.

On the tennis court he still has some unorthodox strokes. He has amazingly fast and soft hands. He's quick on his feet (especially for 60). And once he gets Knee Replacement surgery finished, he expects to make it to at least 4.5...!

(That last part *isn't* a joke.) I've finally reached the point that I must admit he's an exceptional athlete, who probably could have "made it" in Tennis ... if Baseball hadn't been his love.

I would not be surprised if, once he gets his new knee, he *does indeed* reach 4.5 ... at the ripe old age of 62, or so....

P.S. couch (and certainly this guy I'm posting about) is an *exception* to "the Rule." But it can happen.

- KK

Brad Smith
01-05-2007, 03:56 PM
The ESPN list of sports by difficulty is really interesting and in general I agree withThe ESPN list of sports by difficulty is interesting but there are a couple of problems with the rankings as I see them.

First, I think the "nerve" attribute is superfluous, and if you're going to have it at least get the numbers right. Yes, it takes a lot of nerve to box, but does it take any less nerve to step in to the batter's box to face a 95 mph fastball, or to go 60 mph downhill at the Tour de France, or to go thru the Olympic downhill at top speed. According to the ratings it does. There are some sports that involve the risk of death or serious injury, and some that don't. I don't think you can really use numbers to evaluate all of those that do.

Second, there is no attribute that takes the acquisition of technique into account. Some sports (tennis, skateboarding, figure skating) require mastering a great variety of techniques over a long period of time, while others (boxing, ski jumping, football) do not. I think that sports that require more technique are not necessarily harder but they take longer to master. So for someone looking at this list who is a great athlete but who has not played any of these sports (use your imagination), they would probably find some of the higher rated sports easier to play well than some of the lower rated ones. Jason Sehorn is an example of a great athlete who picked up football in college and made it to the pros. There is absolutely no way he could have become a professional tennis player, figure skater, or gymnast in the same amount of time.

So when people say tennis is hard they are right in that it's hard to become proficient at the sport compared to other sports because of the length of time required to master technique. Speed, agility, and endurance are all great things to have but without technique they do not matter. At the world class level, however, I still give the nod to athletes in the big sports (football, baseball, basketball) over tennis. There have been supremely talented athletes at the top of the tennis world (Becker and Sampras come to mind), but most of the tennis players I can't imagine being world class in any non-racket sport except perhaps soccer. Meanwhile, it's not hard to imagine guys like Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, Derek Jeter, or Michael Vick being world class tennis players. John Lucas (from my alma mater) is a great example of an athlete who played world class tennis AND played one of the major sports.

couch
01-05-2007, 04:44 PM
I would say that being a great athlete is definitely a key in becoming a high-level tennis player (or any sport for that matter) but you have to have the correct strokes and technique regardless. If you learn the wrong technique I think it can hold you back from achieving a level like 4.5 and definitely 5.0. With the correct technique it's easier to produce the same stroke every time and be more consistent.

I think that's where good athletes have a supreme advantage because they are able to emulate or learn correct technique very quickly. I've always told my friends and pros I play with that my kids "HAVE" to develop a good "base" when they are young because if they don't it's eventually going to hold them back.

Another thing that nobody's really brought up is that you can have all the shots but if you don't have the "brain" to go along with it you are going to be limited also. I've seen a lot of talented players who can't construct a point in singles or just don't "get" doubles and that holds them back. On the other hand, I've seen plenty of people that don't have the skills of some players and they use their brains to beat these more talented players. Most of the times these are the pushers at 4.0/4.5. At 5.0 pretty much everybody has a weapon.

So there are a lot of things that go into becoming a 4.0/4.5 tennis player. I think you have to have "everything" to become a 5.0 (talent, technique, and smarts).

Pretty good points from a lot of people. :)

Pusher
01-05-2007, 07:38 PM
So when people say tennis is hard they are right in that it's hard to become proficient at the sport compared to other sports because of the length of time required to master technique. Speed, agility, and endurance are all great things to have but without technique they do not matter. At the world class level, however, I still give the nod to athletes in the big sports (football, baseball, basketball) over tennis. There have been supremely talented athletes at the top of the tennis world (Becker and Sampras come to mind), but most of the tennis players I can't imagine being world class in any non-racket sport except perhaps soccer. Meanwhile, it's not hard to imagine guys like Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, Derek Jeter, or Michael Vick being world class tennis players. John Lucas (from my alma mater) is a great example of an athlete who played world class tennis AND played one of the major sports.

I used to hit some with a wide receiver at a D-1 football program. Great speed and agility but no technique or experience. A local pro rated him at 3.0.
I've seen a lot of college tennis players that are excellent athletes but they aren't always the best players on their team. I can't agree that an Allen Iverson or Michael Vick would be top ranked tennis players-I just don't think it works that way but I can't say exactly why that is so. My son is a ranked junior and he has been beaten by kids that are lesser athletes. I've seen him easily beat better athletes. I think athletic ability is one of several variables that go into make a great tennis player.

I've come to the conclusion (along with many others) that tennis is primarily a game of movement and if that is true then how does a tennis player with great speed get beat by guys that don't have that speed? I suspect its the same reason why a great running back won't necessarily be a great quarterback-the ability to think on the fly, to see the whole field, to have a feel for everything going on, to have a plan.

Tennis is somewhat unique in that you and you alone have to call your own plays, execute them and take responsibility if they don't work. Athletic ability helps but it won't guarantee success.

snoopy
01-05-2007, 09:22 PM
I think it's true that there aren't many good tennis players (4.0+) that didn't start playing either before or while in high school. However this has nothing to do with physical ability or lack of coaching while young. It all comes down to time. Those that start tennis after high school are working and probably have families. They can't devote themselves to getting better the way a younger person with fewer responsibilities can. If you started playing in high school you probably spent hours and hours at the courts during the summer. Time on court is probably the most important factor (good instruction being second) to improvement.

I don't find it hard to believe that a good athlete, dedicated to the game, and surrounded by very good players can quickly (1-2 years) become a 4.0.

sixftlion
01-05-2007, 09:27 PM
It seems like the the majority of young posters are playing high school tennis and that a lot of the elderly posters played college tennis a number of years back. Is there anyone that made it to the 4.0+ levels without either high school or college tennis background? If so, describe your progression through the levels and how much did you have to practice, since you were probably not part of organized tennis with daily practice sessions?

I am 41 years female. Started to play tennis 4 years ago. I have been athlete all my life, all kinds of sports. After one year playing against the wall and working on my strokes, I started to play in the leagues and tournaments. Friends were telling me "you look like 4.5" so I self-rated myself (oh, that ego!) as 4.5 and got beat up in all my matches the first year... LOL... computer bumped me down to 4.0. My first year in 4.0 was miserable as I was hating those moonballs, slices and dices and decided that I am done with 4.0 next year, I cannot take it. But when the next year came (2006) I thought that if I can't beat 4.0 players easily, I am not good enough to move on. So I played 1 more year and won all my matches that year 0 and 1 or 2. I got bumped up to 4.5 again. That year I also started to play Open tournaments. Got beat up often, later won a few matches, got to the finals in a few, and was learning a lot. Played also in the age group tournaments (40 years) and got ranked no. 43 nationally...

I play EVERY day, sometimes twice a day, if I can. I workout in the gym regulary, do yoga, stretch, get massages and all that, so my body would hold together during all that stress... (and yes, I also work... LOL... gotta make money for my tennis lessons). I am so disciplined and determined to master as much of tennis as possible, in the shortest possible time. But, there are no short cuts. The experience of competing and seeing all the different kinds of balls, I cannot gain any other way than playing. My goal is to be nationally ranked top 3 in 45s. I have 4 more years to work on my game.

Kaptain Karl
01-05-2007, 11:12 PM
Wow! Very interesting comments from the last several folks.

I started at 7 and was a "court rat" from about 12-17. My technique and skill was superior. My brain was ... pudding! It wasn't until my Coach at age 22 (After college tennis!) that I learned anything (really) about point construction ... strategic analysis of the opposition ... etc.

My point is ... I think tennis is a game of movement ... skill ... AND strategy. You can do well with any two components, but to be really good requires the presence of all three. (Oh, how I wish I'd developed the *mental* side as quickly as the others!)

[I actually advanced much faster and farther in Open Karate (Okinawan, TKD, Silat and Chinese Kenpo.) than in Tennis. I'm really simplifying with this....

Many people get very far in the martial arts because they learn to *not* think too much. A number of MA techniques are really kind of ... "formulaic". (If he does "X", you do "Y" -- and you drilled the formulas so much they became reflex. The faster you trained your muscle memory and pattern recognition, the faster you advanced.) The close proximity actually removed the need for thinking ahead many moves.]

Tennis points develop so much slower, you need more strategy ... mutliple tactics at your disposal. Reflex alone won't cut it.

Fortunately for some people (apparently couch and sixftlion, for two) they have the ability to build their strategic / tactical side as fast as the movement and skill sides. (At least that's the theory I've developed in the last 10 minutes...!)

sixftlion - How the heck do you find the time to squeeze work, family and your (many) athletic activities into one person...!??

- KK

arnz
01-06-2007, 01:41 AM
I have no doubt that people can reach high levels of play in tennis starting as an adult. My disbelief comes when people say they start beating 4.5's after 1 or 2 years of play. And I'm not trying to offend anyone, but that has just been my experience of seeing many of the same players play for years and years, a lot of whom are athletically blessed and do well in other sports.

I dont think athleticism is such a big component of being able to master tennis skills and ability to strategize on the court. I think it is more the result of seeing hundreds of thousands of different types of balls coming at you and sensing the right play at a given moment. That takes time and experience IMHO. My first few years of play I was always praised by people for my fine strokes in practice. Imagine my shock when some old guy who sliced, dinked, and lobbed the ball was throwing me around like a yo-yo in real match play. He was just too experienced, and knew how to play the game and saw the tennis court differently after decades of playing. I reckon a lot of players have had the same experience. it wasnt after a long while that you learned how to beat those guys, wasnt it?

And now I read in here that some people are beating 4.5's after one or two years of play. I dont know about your neck of the woods, but around where I am, 4.5's are like that old guy with all the experience, plus has the athletic ability to match what you say you were blessed with , so what exactly would be your advantage?

Ahh yes, the all natural ability. Well given that you are beating 4.5's after 1.5 years, that rate of progress would see you on the tour in a couple more years... ;)

You might all be telling the truth. Frankly, I've seen so many posts in TT that just didnt sound right to me eg. "I'm a 3.5 who played against a 5.0, lost 6-2, 6-3, how do I beat this 5.0 guy with a lousy serve? " or " Now I know my rating after seeing that video showing 5.0's playing each other. I know I can hit my serve harder than them, at least 120mph. "

Well, if you are all telling the truth, then my bad, it doesnt really affect you or your life what my opinion is, does it? :smile:

btw : nice story sixftlion, and good website. Looking good!!

tlm
01-06-2007, 03:24 AM
Very well put Arnz, you are stating the facts.You could take the best athlete in the world + they would not be able to even come close to a 4.5 player in 3 years.

I wouldnt say it is impossible to reach 4.0 in 3 years, but even that would take some hard work, but it can be done.But to be beating 4.5 players in 3 years is basically impossible for even the most gifted.

pagepa
01-06-2007, 06:25 AM
My husband and I are both 4.0 players who did not play tennis in high school or college. He played baseball and football in HS & college, then picked up tennis in his later 30's. He played 3.5 for a few years, made it to 3.5 Nationals and got bumped to 4.0. He's been a very solid 4.0 for about 10 years now. I started tennis about 6 years ago at age 36. I played basketball, softball, ran track, etc in high school. I started USTA at the 3.5 level, then went to 4.0 after two seasons at 3.5. My 4.0 team went to nationals in 2005, and finshed 2nd at Sectionals last year, so I guess I'm a pretty solid 4.0. I frequently play with 4.5's and can hang in with them fine in doubles. I never liked singles much. I find singles sort of boring and mechanical. I like doubles since it's generally faster paced and you have to rely more on reflexes, instincts an improvisation.

Personally, I think athletic women who have played other sports move up quickly in the world of league/club tennis. Most of the women I play with are good 4.0's and 4.5's. Many did not play HS or college tennis. But they all played other sports.

sixftlion
01-06-2007, 07:16 AM
time[/u] to squeeze work, family and your (many) athletic activities into one person...!??

- KK

KK, :) I am really really well organized! But also I don't have family (i.e kids), just a cute dog, so it makes life easier.

I have a day pre-planned in my head, if I need to do shopping I fit it in on the way to or from somewhere so I don't need to do a special trip. If it can save me 30 min, for example, and then another 30 min somewhere else, it's 1 hour of tennis or a gym.

PS
I also try to sleep 8 hours (most often it's just 7.5 though), so I would recover well.

Pusher
01-06-2007, 07:43 AM
Personally, I think athletic women who have played other sports move up quickly in the world of league/club tennis. Most of the women I play with are good 4.0's and 4.5's. Many did not play HS or college tennis. But they all played other sports.

I hit with a 4.0 lady a few days ago-she was a scholarship college player (basketball and volleyball). She is quick and fit and she was dangerous at the net but her ground strokes were not very good. She's been playing tennis about 4 years, could not hit with topspin and her second serve was her first serve-but slower. I didn't think she was at a 4.0 level (in Atlanta) and talking to her it seems she was moved up to fill out a team.

I don't really have a rating and I refuse to self rate but I'm not very good and I beat that lady 2 and 2. Just kept the ball in play and let her beat herself. I guess the moral of this story is that ratings are way too subjective to be of much use and gifted athletes will not necessarily make good tennis players without a solid foundation of hard work and good coaching over an extended period of time. Sure, it can be done but the committment necessary is more than most people can handle.

couch
01-06-2007, 07:51 AM
Wow! Very interesting comments from the last several folks.

I started at 7 and was a "court rat" from about 12-17. My technique and skill was superior. My brain was ... pudding! It wasn't until my Coach at age 22 (After college tennis!) that I learned anything (really) about point construction ... strategic analysis of the opposition ... etc.

My point is ... I think tennis is a game of movement ... skill ... AND strategy. You can do well with any two components, but to be really good requires the presence of all three. (Oh, how I wish I'd developed the *mental* side as quickly as the others!)

[I actually advanced much faster and farther in Open Karate (Okinawan, TKD, Silat and Chinese Kenpo.) than in Tennis. I'm really simplifying with this....

Many people get very far in the martial arts because they learn to *not* think too much. A number of MA techniques are really kind of ... "formulaic". (If he does "X", you do "Y" -- and you drilled the formulas so much they became reflex. The faster you trained your muscle memory and pattern recognition, the faster you advanced.) The close proximity actually removed the need for thinking ahead many moves.]

Tennis points develop so much slower, you need more strategy ... mutliple tactics at your disposal. Reflex alone won't cut it.

Fortunately for some people (apparently couch and sixftlion, for two) they have the ability to build their strategic / tactical side as fast as the movement and skill sides. (At least that's the theory I've developed in the last 10 minutes...!)

sixftlion - How the heck do you find the time to squeeze work, family and your (many) athletic activities into one person...!??

- KK

KK, I always enjoy your posts because you tend to be right on the money and sum things up very succinctly.

As I've said before, there are exceptions to every rule. I don't understand why that is so hard to understand. Tennis is such a unique sport where, like KK said, you have to have all "three" (movement, skill, and strategy) to be a high-level player. I think high level 4.0 or low to mid-level 4.5 is where you max-out with only two of those attributes.

It probably took me the longest to develop the tactical side of my game because I like to hit the ball hard and used to go for low-percentage shots too much. I still like to hit the ball hard but I am smarter about how I use it now. I think guys without a lot of weapons tend to develop their tactical sides quicker because they "have" to if they want to win. Guys with a lot of talent tend to rely on that talent a little too much for too long. Take Andre Agassi for example. He was one of the most talented, hardest hitting players when he first came on tour. He relied on his talent a little too much. Then he matured into one of the fittest players that would work the point and breakdown his opponents.

Just as an aside, I think people who were good at baseball when they were young tend to be able to progress quickly at tennis. I think you need a lot of the same attributes to be good at both sports. In baseball you have to be quick with good movement, have excellent hand-eye coordination, and be able to think and strategize. I'm sure someone can cite an example of a pro baseball player who can't play a lick of tennis but we are talking in general terms here.

Again, my two cents.

Pusher
01-06-2007, 08:00 AM
I have no doubt that people can reach high levels of play in tennis starting as an adult. My disbelief comes when people say they start beating 4.5's after 1 or 2 years of play. And I'm not trying to offend anyone, but that has just been my experience of seeing many of the same players play for years and years, a lot of whom are athletically blessed and do well in other sports.!!

I hear that kind of stuff all the time. I string a few racquets on the side and many of these people tell me they are 4.0 or 4.5 and all they do is hit a couple of times a week and have never played in any sanctioned event.

Sometimes I mention that my son (16) is looking for a good hitting partner at about the 4.0 or 4.5 level and ask them if they are interested. After they find out that my son has a top 20 state ranking they start doing the backstroke-"I don't have the time" or "my back is acting up" or whatever. The fact is that a "solid 4.5" adult player will usually clean my son's clock. They're too smart and too experienced for a mentally fragile junior.

I guess I'm like the guys from Missouri-show'me.

couch
01-06-2007, 08:10 AM
I hit with a 4.0 lady a few days ago-she was a scholarship college player (basketball and volleyball). She is quick and fit and she was dangerous at the net but her ground strokes were not very good. She's been playing tennis about 4 years, could not hit with topspin and her second serve was her first serve-but slower. I didn't think she was at a 4.0 level (in Atlanta) and talking to her it seems she was moved up to fill out a team.

I don't really have a rating and I refuse to self rate but I'm not very good and I beat that lady 2 and 2. Just kept the ball in play and let her beat herself. I guess the moral of this story is that ratings are way too subjective to be of much use and gifted athletes will not necessarily make good tennis players without a solid foundation of hard work and good coaching over an extended period of time. Sure, it can be done but the committment necessary is more than most people can handle.

Pusher, you are probably able to vary your game a lot more than someone like this. You are probably a lot more consistent and smarter. It sounds like they have some skills but can't rely on every stroke to be consistent.

A smart player will pick up on weaknesses and exploit them. And like you said, she was good at net but not good from the baseline. My guess is that she can play 3.5 singles and doubles but maybe only 4.0 doubles (given her strengths/weaknesses).

Heck, I played against a girl who has had some success in Challengers and is going to play D-1 college tennis next year and I beat her like 6-3, 6-3. All I did was keep the ball in play and tracked down her best shots. Yeah, I like to hit with power but I toned it down and just let her over-hit and beat herself. She had a lot of talent but didn't know how to take some pace off, vary her shots and construct a point.

Being a good athlete usually helps when it comes to learning any new sport. It just does. It's not the end-all, be-all as far as learning and becoming proficient at a new sport but you can't deny that it certainly helps in most cases.

Anyway, interesting stuff from everybody. I guess that's what makes tennis such a great and dynamic sport.

Pusher
01-06-2007, 08:27 AM
Heck, I played against a girl who has had some success in Challengers and is going to play D-1 college tennis next year and I beat her like 6-3, 6-3. All I did was keep the ball in play and tracked down her best shots. Yeah, I like to hit with power but I toned it down and just let her over-hit and beat herself. She had a lot of talent but didn't know how to take some pace off, vary her shots and construct a point.

Being a good athlete usually helps when it comes to learning any new sport. It just does. It's not the end-all, be-all as far as learning and becoming proficient at a new sport but you can't deny that it certainly helps in most cases.

Anyway, interesting stuff from everybody. I guess that's what makes tennis such a great and dynamic sport.

Good conversation.

I'm not picking on the girls. I played a D-1 girl last month, self rated at 4.5 although she is still playing D-1 tennis. She toyed with me and beat me 0 and 0 and it wasn't as close as the score indicates :(. After the match she informed me that she was a previous Romanian amateur national champion. I fell in love.

couch
01-06-2007, 08:51 AM
Hopefully her looks matched her strokes. LOL

duffman
01-06-2007, 09:07 AM
And now I read in here that some people are beating 4.5's after one or two years of play. I dont know about your neck of the woods, but around where I am, 4.5's are like that old guy with all the experience, plus has the athletic ability to match what you say you were blessed with , so what exactly would be your advantage?

Ahh yes, the all natural ability. Well given that you are beating 4.5's after 1.5 years, that rate of progress would see you on the tour in a couple more years... ;)

I assume you are talking about me from the verbage you used:

I wish it did work like that, I wouldn't mind the tour life. But seriously, moving up through the ratings gets inifinately more difficult as you move up into the 4.5-5.0 range. Especially when guys have the ability and strategy to beat up on your shortcomings. I honestly see myself wallowing around in 4.5 for 2-3 years before getting everything squared away and moving on to 5.0.

And yes the 4.5's in my area (norcal) are typically the guys with the experience and a decent amount of athletic ability and the strokes to match. They typically played D1 college tennis 20 yrs ago or played some sort of college tennis at some level for the younger guys. When I first started playing tennis I was in awe of the 4.5's and the 5.0's I felt were in a whole different league. I thought I would be satisfied to be a 4.0 one day. Then I stated hitting with the 4.5's, got waxed all over the court for a while, but it really pointed out what I needed to work on. So, I went back to the lab, worked on my weaknesses and came back for more. Eventually the waxings became beatings, which became hanging tough, which now have become anybody's ball game. The other thing it helped with is that I don't look at my opponants in awe as the "supernatural" 4.5's anymore.

I'll be the first one to admit that if I did not have these guys (4.5's) to hit with my game would be nowhere near where it is today. I feel very fortunate that they even gave me the time of day on the court because for whatever reason, tennis players seem to have their cliques. The 3.5's play only with other 3.5s, 4.0's hang with other 4.0's and so on.

Anyway, I'm sorry you and your buddy tlm don't seem to believe me. Tlm posted that "you are stating the facts". But I am the only to post any facts (4-2 @ 4.5 and 6-2 @ 4.0 in 2006 and started playing tennis at the beginning of 2005). All you and tlm have posted is your opinion that it is impossible to reach the 4.5 level in 2 years. Its not like I came on here to brag about my tennis skills, all I did was honestly reply to somebody's question about being a 4.0+ w/o high school or college experience.

dennis10is
01-06-2007, 09:46 AM
So when people say tennis is hard they are right in that it's hard to become proficient at the sport compared to other sports because of the length of time required to master technique. Speed, agility, and endurance are all great things to have but without technique they do not matter. At the world class level, however, I still give the nod to athletes in the big sports (football, baseball, basketball) over tennis. There have been supremely talented athletes at the top of the tennis world (Becker and Sampras come to mind), but most of the tennis players I can't imagine being world class in any non-racket sport except perhaps soccer. Meanwhile, it's not hard to imagine guys like Allen Iverson, Steve Nash, Derek Jeter, or Michael Vick being world class tennis players. John Lucas (from my alma mater) is a great example of an athlete who played world class tennis AND played one of the major sports.

Great athlete would find any sport easy, they may be either too small or too big to be a more perfect fit for the sport but they will rapid excel in any sport and would become excellent at that sport, say a 6.0 equivalent. That is a standard metric if you want to know if someone has a decent chance to turn pro. Agassi would have been a great boxer, Chang would have made a great small running back, imagine him with a big upper body and even larger legs, Sampras a pitcher, quarterback, volleyball player, Federer a point guard, soccer forward. They would have different body shapes for their new sports but the natural gifts would translate.

heycal
01-06-2007, 09:59 AM
Agassi would have been a great boxer, Chang would have made a great small running back, imagine him with a big upper body and even larger legs, Sampras a pitcher, quarterback, volleyball player, Federer a point guard, soccer forward. They would have different body shapes for their new sports but the natural gifts would translate.

Is it just me, or does anyone else have trouble imagining Michael Chang bowling over NFL linekbackers, Federer as a point guard for the New York Knicks, or Agassi slugging it out with Mike Tyson?

couch
01-06-2007, 10:11 AM
Is it just me, or does anyone else have trouble imagining Michael Chang bowling over NFL linekbackers, Federer as a point guard for the New York Knicks, or Agassi slugging it out with Mike Tyson?

About the only thing I can imagine out of that is Agassi punching it out with Tyson. Given all Tyson's troubles lately and Agassi's dad being an olympic boxer and all. :)

marcl65
01-06-2007, 11:02 AM
My first year in 4.0 was miserable as I was hating those moonballs, slices and dices and decided that I am done with 4.0 next year, I cannot take it.Interesting, I rarely (if ever) see 4.0 players in my area resort to moonballing. I thought this was strictly a 3.0 and below tactic.

Pusher
01-06-2007, 11:05 AM
Hopefully her looks matched her strokes. LOL

They did.

The word "stunning" comes to mind!

heycal
01-06-2007, 03:02 PM
Interesting, I rarely (if ever) see 4.0 players in my area resort to moonballing. I thought this was strictly a 3.0 and below tactic.

Or a 7.0 tactic, regularly employed at the French Open a while back from my understanding.

heycal
01-06-2007, 03:07 PM
About the only thing I can imagine out of that is Agassi punching it out with Tyson. Given all Tyson's troubles lately and Agassi's dad being an olympic boxer and all. :)

Come on. Baghdatis put Agassi flat on his back just by hitting a little tennis ball across the net at him for a couple of hours.;) I would think one Tyson punch would really lay him out...

goober
01-06-2007, 03:15 PM
Is it just me, or does anyone else have trouble imagining Michael Chang bowling over NFL linekbackers, Federer as a point guard for the New York Knicks, or Agassi slugging it out with Mike Tyson?

Michael Chang- no way. NFL running backs that are Chang's real height (and there are not that many of them) generally are around 200 lbs and mostly muscle. Being fast around the court doesn't mean you are going to be a star running back. Take a couple hits from some 300 lbs guys and see how you hold up over a course of a game.

Fed- another nada. He has no hops. At his height he would have incredible ball handling and shooting skillz. Just because he is great tennis player doesn't mean he will have these. Probably would be a major defensive liability.

Agassi wouldn't fight Tyson because they would be in different weight classes. This one is semi plausible that he could be a boxer, but a lot would depend on what kind of jaw he has.

marcl65
01-06-2007, 04:37 PM
Or a 7.0 tactic, regularly employed at the French Open a while back from my understanding.I think you're referring to Michael Chang's match with Ivan Lendl. IIRC, he was cramping and was doing anything he could to stay in the match including the moonballs and an underhand sidespin serve - it worked by putting Lendl off balance. But I don't think that qualifies as "regularly employed".

couch
01-06-2007, 05:13 PM
Interesting, I rarely (if ever) see 4.0 players in my area resort to moonballing. I thought this was strictly a 3.0 and below tactic.

I don't know if you picked up on the fact that sixftlion is a female or not but she is and at women's 4.0 they will resort to moonballs. It's kinda like a 4.0/4.5 version of a male pusher. And she is exactly right; she needs to learn how to beat them before she moves up to 4.5.

heycal
01-06-2007, 05:29 PM
I think you're referring to Michael Chang's match with Ivan Lendl. IIRC, he was cramping and was doing anything he could to stay in the match including the moonballs and an underhand sidespin serve - it worked by putting Lendl off balance. But I don't think that qualifies as "regularly employed".

No, I wasn't referrring to that match. I believe there was a period of time where several players used that tactic at the FO. Late seventies/early eighties maybe? Perhaps someone more well versed in tennis history than I can shed some light on this.

dennis10is
01-06-2007, 05:44 PM
Is it just me, or does anyone else have trouble imagining Michael Chang bowling over NFL linekbackers, Federer as a point guard for the New York Knicks, or Agassi slugging it out with Mike Tyson?

Agassi would not be fighting as a heavy weight. Pound for pound Agassi is strong and his hand speed and eye speed is phenomenal. John Stockton isn't all that different than Federer, similar size, speed, footwork, touch. There have been NFL running back who are short but bulky. Chang would have to bulk up his upper body. You would be a bad linebacker if you plan to run over linebackers, I thought the purpose is to run around them. I assume that you have seen Asian men who lift heavy. Chang changes direction extremely well, he would be tough to tackle. How about Dat Nguyen ex-Dallas Cowboys?

And, my grand mother with a cane could be a point guard for the Knicks. She tried out for the position but Isiah Thomas felt threatened by her so he cut her.

35ft6
01-06-2007, 06:17 PM
Its not impossible. Some people are very gifted physically and mentally. I have a friend who is a solid 4.5 and only started 3 years ago. He only plays a few times a month. The key for him was a good coach who taught him great fundamentals of the game. If a talented person has a great foundation in tennis they can improved rapidly. If 3 year olds can spontaneously play the piano the first time they touch it, then it's not outside the realm of possibility that a person can just so happen to be born with a natural understanding of tennis. I've taught people how to hit a top spin forehand in less than 10 minutes. Of course, that doesn't mean they can do it in a match, or even rally, but just that if I toss them a ball while they and I are on the service line, they can hit a top spin forehand, the direction of which they have no control over.

Becoming a 5.0 player even if you start late in life is not that incredible of a feat IMO especially if you're already very coordinated... live someplace with nice weather year round... and play a lot. All I know is that I used to put up ads all the time specifying only 5.0 to 5.5 players need respond, and most, more like almost all, of the self-proclaimed 5.5 players are more like 4.5 and some were even worse. So for the most part, when people state their ratings on these boards, I take it with a grain of salt.

BTW, the number 2 on the D-2 team I played on my freshman year was said to have started playing at age 16. He was 19 when he was two. True? I have no idea. But certainly possible. Not like he was tops even in our league. Solid though. I played number 1 and lost almost every match. Played 2 Americans the whole season. Just came from a 2 year layoff and I sucked.

35ft6
01-06-2007, 06:24 PM
Agassi would not be fighting as a heavy weight. Pound for pound Agassi is strong and his hand speed and eye speed is phenomenal. He's strong for a tennis player, but in the fight game, you'll suddenly find that he's only slightly above average in strength, even on a pound for pound basis. Guys like Shawn Sherk, Yamamoto Kid, GSP, etc. They'd toss Agassi around like a salad.
There have been NFL running back who are short but bulky. Chang would have to bulk up his upper body. You would be a bad linebacker if you plan to run over linebackers, I thought the purpose is to run around them. I assume that you have seen Asian men who lift heavy. Chang changes direction extremely well, he would be tough to tackle. How about Dat Nguyen ex-Dallas Cowboys? Chang's football counterpart might be somebody like the late great Barry Sanders. And Chang might be fast for tennis, but he's no Barry Sanders. Barry was around 5'10" but 200 lbs. At some point, you need to be able to run through some very big bodies, even if you can't run OVER them. Chang didn't have that type of mass and it would probably take some illegal drugs to get his body to that point. It's like comparing the WTA to the ATP, it's really fun, but at some point you have to say ATP players are athletic for ATP athletes, no point in comparing the ATP to the NFL. The NFL is full of athletic freaks, the ATP is full of highly trained, very fit tennis players. Big difference.

Brad Smith
01-06-2007, 09:00 PM
Agassi would not be fighting as a heavy weight. Pound for pound Agassi is strong and his hand speed and eye speed is phenomenal. John Stockton isn't all that different than Federer, similar size, speed, footwork, touch. There have been NFL running back who are short but bulky. Chang would have to bulk up his upper body. You would be a bad linebacker if you plan to run over linebackers, I thought the purpose is to run around them. I assume that you have seen Asian men who lift heavy. Chang changes direction extremely well, he would be tough to tackle. How about Dat Nguyen ex-Dallas Cowboys?

And, my grand mother with a cane could be a point guard for the Knicks. She tried out for the position but Isiah Thomas felt threatened by her so he cut her.

You can't just bulk up your upper body when you're 150 pounds to start with and much of that comes from huge legs. Tennis is full of guys under 6 feet tall who are 140-160 pounds and are very fast and can run all day, but the fastest guys in the NFL are all at least 30-40 pounds heavier than that and still just as fast. Guys in the NBA are all much taller and just as fast. Soccer is a sport where small speedy guys can still make an impact and in fact there are a lot of tennis players who grew up playing soccer as well. Most of those soccer players couldn't play in the NFL or NBA either, while a lot of the guys in the NFL/NBA would make great soccer players if they had grown up in a different country. Steve Nash by all accounts was a great soccer player and his brother played on the Canadian national team.

Agassi as a boxer? I don't think so. His father was a boxer for ?Iran? and not the US, Cuba, Mexico, Russia, etc. In other words, that doesn't mean much other than he's tough and has endurance. Agassi probably would have had a better chance to play baseball as a contact hitting second baseman.

Historically tennis has been a sport played by only a small percentage of the world's population, and since it was not an olympic sport until the 90's it was also ignored by countries like Russia, China, and East Germany. That meant that in the 70's and even the 80's there were good but not great athletes who could succeed at the pro level, particularly those players coming from the USA. Things have changed now because of the money available and there are kids all over the world playing tennis along with soccer and basketball as their main sports. Here in the US, though, most of the best athletes are pushed into other sports. Gael Monfils would be playing basketball in the US.

arnz
01-06-2007, 09:20 PM
You can't just bulk up your upper body when you're 150 pounds to start with and much of that comes from huge legs. Tennis is full of guys under 6 feet tall who are 140-160 pounds and are very fast and can run all day, but the fastest guys in the NFL are all at least 30-40 pounds heavier than that and still just as fast. Guys in the NBA are all much taller and just as fast. Soccer is a sport where small speedy guys can still make an impact and in fact there are a lot of tennis players who grew up playing soccer as well. Most of those soccer players couldn't play in the NFL or NBA either, while a lot of the guys in the NFL/NBA would make great soccer players if they had grown up in a different country. Steve Nash by all accounts was a great soccer player and his brother played on the Canadian national team.


Brad, guys in the NFL and NBA are not as fast as tennis players, they are much, much faster :) And they can jump much higher. Their level of athleticism is one that no tennis player, even the best tennis players, can match.


I believe that athleticism is a primary requisite for sports like basketball, football and boxing. It is so much less important in tennis. Tennis is a skill game. Yes the fitter you are the better but there is a huge difference between being fit enough to play 5 sets, and being athletic enough to jump high in the air and perform a reverse dunk. :p

peter
01-07-2007, 01:50 PM
It seems like the the majority of young posters are playing high school tennis and that a lot of the elderly posters played college tennis a number of years back. Is there anyone that made it to the 4.0+ levels without either high school or college tennis background? If so, describe your progression through the levels and how much did you have to practice, since you were probably not part of organized tennis with daily practice sessions?

I think I'm at 4.0-4.5 level now. I mostly played for fun during my growing up years (only during the summers) with my two buddies. Probably was at 3.0-3.5 level (at best).

It wasn't until some 6-7 years ago when I came "back" into tennis (after a 17 year break) that I started improving. And I didn't *really* improve (even though I played 1-3 hours/week all year around) until I started attending group lessons with a real coach a couple of years ago (1 hour/week) in addition to playing 2-4 hours a week and also *really* trying to read and try all tips I could find (including reading this message board).

I'll be 40 this year.

me is bored
01-07-2007, 05:53 PM
ehh im a texas superchamp been playin for 2 years and 4.0+

MasterTS
01-08-2007, 08:04 AM
That would be me..

I actually just played my sisters BF last weekend.. he played #2 varsity singles in highschool.. I tore him up 6-1, 6-1 lol

Kaptain Karl
01-08-2007, 09:25 AM
I believe there was a period of time where several players used that tactic at the FO. Late seventies/early eighties maybe? Perhaps someone more well versed in tennis history than I can shed some light on this.The term "moonball" has taken on different meaning for most of today's players. Harold Solomon was infamous in the '70s for suddenly throwing up a lob of 30ft or more. When asked about it, he called it a "Moonball". He did it to throw-off the other guy's timing ... to catch a breath ... to give himself time to towel-off in the middle of a point. Most of the guys were irritated by the tactic ... so, of course, he kept doing it.

- KK

Jeff-2018
01-11-2007, 09:03 AM
Very interesting discussion comparing athletes from other sports. Yannick Noah's son plays basketball and is a top NCAA prospect. He's around 6' 8'' I think, now would he make a great tennis player? Probably, but has more athleticism than tennis requires. take Monfils, does the extra speed, jumping ability, explosiveness, balance etc. help him win more tennis matches, maybe, but those skills would be a must to even be on a college basketball team. Tennis is so much more than that. Remember Ben Johnson from the late 80's? The fastest man the world had ever seen, especially the first half of a hundred metre, did 9.79 at 88 olympics and slowed down the last three strides with his hand in the air! Was stripped of everything after getting caught for steroids and tried out for some NFL teams as a kick returner. He was useless. Couldn't catch much, poor lateral movement, no quick thinking, Etc. He tried the CFL in Canada, same result.
I'm an athletic trainer and trained one of the premier receivers in the CFL last year. I'm as fast as he is, stronger in the gym, and I can catch pretty good. I'm also as quick in lateral speed and agility drills. does that mean I can do his job? Not even close, every time he catches a ball (and he has sick hands, unbelievables ability to catch anything thrown within 5 yards of him) he gets hammered into the ground by a guy weighing at least 25 solid pounds heavier. If he was 3-4 inches taller he would be in the NFL.
Now to answer the original question, I'm 37 years old, and first picked up a racket when I was 10. For two years I played 2-3 times a week with about a total of 20 lessons given by a local Nigerian who claimed to be a tennis pro. Because we lived in Africa there were hardly any kids to play so I mostly played adults. We moved to Canada and I didn't play at all untill I was 28. I did play tons of other sports and always trained myself for speed, strength, explosiveness, serious weight training since I was 14. At 28 I had a 1 year old boy and decided to get back into tennis because I wanted him to play. I played at the local club at the most 40 times a year until two years ago, when my son was old enough for me to spend a lot more time on court mostly with him. i joined a serious summer clay court club and was already playing indoors in the winter. Started playing 2-3 times a week in leagues. For the last 10 years have been a serious student of the game taping almost every possible T.V. match and watching technique in slow motion. More than an hour a night on the internet. I even certified level 1 coaching with PTR last summer. All this to say that since playing for the last 10 years, mostly matches, if I won it was because of speed and general athleticism, but I would usually lose because over the course of a match a few highlight reel points don't get you very far. For the last year I made the commitment to practise serving 3 times a week. This has paid off and is the biggest reason for my improvement. I don't know what my level is although a few pros have told me 5.0. Last summer I played on clay against a chap from Texas who was my age. He has been playing state tournaments for the last ten years and has done very well. Clay was his worst surface as he has an attacking game( he's 6'3''). Very agile guy for his height. We played 4 times in one week and I never won but took him to three sets twice. He was, over the course of a match, a more solid ball striker than me. That was so obvious. We both beat a young junior, 17 year old, that week, me in 3 sets and him in 2. This junior is 6'5'' and has spent the last 3 years at Evert academy in Florida at a coast of 45,000 a year. Big strokes but on clay no consistency and mentally weak. Last October I finally beat another 17 year old ranked 12 in 18 and under, although over the preceding 12 months he had beaten me 3 straight times. I hit with a girl twice a week currently, she is ranked #2 in 14 and under, she's 5'9'' and 135 lbs. When we practise the rallys are close, when we play a set she rarely gets more than 2 games. The difference, now that I have competent strokes, is the serve and footspeed.