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View Full Version : Who else starting playing after years layoff


cadfael_tex
01-30-2008, 07:10 PM
Seems that I've read sprinkled through posts throughout the forum that others are in the same spot I am. Quit playing years ago (for me it was 1991-2005) and came back to a vastly different game. Didn't want to call this a club (as seems to be popular now on this forum) but I guess it is in a way?

So, when did you stop? When did you start up again? Where are you now in your journey? What was the biggest shock? What was your biggest challenge (and how have you overcome it)? Don't feel you have to answer all these questions but they popped into my mind.

My biggest challenge was getting my feet back(still haven't) and getting used to stiff, featherlite racquets (still haven't).

ClubHoUno
01-30-2008, 10:05 PM
Seems that I've read sprinkled through posts throughout the forum that others are in the same spot I am. Quit playing years ago (for me it was 1991-2005) and came back to a vastly different game. Didn't want to call this a club (as seems to be popular now on this forum) but I guess it is in a way?

So, when did you stop? When did you start up again? Where are you now in your journey? What was the biggest shock? What was your biggest challenge (and how have you overcome it)? Don't feel you have to answer all these questions but they popped into my mind.

My biggest challenge was getting my feet back(still haven't) and getting used to stiff, featherlite racquets (still haven't).

I quit tennis back in 1999 and didn't play until October last year (2007)
Lots of stuff has happened since that, but I'm trying to move along and just bought 4 new Wilson K Factor rackets, some Babolat string savers, some Babolat natural gut string and a great poly to use in a hybrid setup.

So things are looking good on the tennis gear front - still need to get back into better shape to play the game at my highest possible level - considering I'm now in my mid 30's.

TENNIS_IS_FUN
01-30-2008, 10:26 PM
I quit tennis back in 1999 and didn't play until October last year (2007)
Lots of stuff has happened since that, but I'm trying to move along and just bought 4 new Wilson K Factor rackets, some Babolat string savers, some Babolat natural gut string and a great poly to use in a hybrid setup.

So things are looking good on the tennis gear front - still need to get back into better shape to play the game at my highest possible level - considering I'm now in my mid 30's.

That's some major gear your playing with, considering you've taken a good 8 year break. I wish you the best.

kairosntx
01-30-2008, 10:30 PM
Where do I start...

I stopped playing in 1985 and started playing again last fall. I really got into playing competitive volleyball in college and continued playing on a club team for several years. I ended up with lower back and knee problems which put an end to my competitive nature.

I joined a local league in the fall and had to self rate when I got my USTA card. Since it had been 22 years since I had played tennis, I figured no one would complain if I started out at 3.5. I won the fall league by more than 30 games and will be playing 4.0 in the spring league which starts the first week of March.

I am still having trouble figuring out what to do about my racquet situation. I don't have much discretionary income so purchasing the latest sticks is out for me. I am still using my old racquets as you can see from my sig.

I do need to get into better shape but overall I was happy about my return to the game. I would like to play a tournament to get more competition. I feel very relaxed playing in the league format and a tournament may amp up my own internal competitive spirit. I haven't played a tournament since 1984 when I lost in the finals. It was in the open division but it was a minor local tournament.

Midlife crisis
01-30-2008, 11:07 PM
I stopped playing in the early '80's after a failed attempt to play division I college tennis, starting back consistently two or three years ago when my son got interested in tennis. We joined a club and we each play three or four times a week minimum.

When I left the game, I was a hard hitting all court player who used only a little topspin, with a Wilson Ultra II Mid racquet and eastern grips. I'm now using a Prince Thunder Rip leaded up to over 350 grams and a fully poly stringjob. I use a semi-western forehand and strong eastern backhand, can hit with lots of topspin off both sides, and favor using an open stance forehand. Despite being in my later 40's, I play like a modern junior, but I have no idea how that happened.

My biggest shock was getting seriously injured playing a league match last year. I had to have significant reconstructive ankle surgery that was supposed to keep me off the court until this year, but I got bit with the tennis bug again and worked really hard to rehab. I ended up playing two tournaments in the last three months, winning one and finishing runner-up in the other, so it was a good recovery.

I'm hitting the ball better than I ever have in my life, and still feel like there's a huge amount of room for improvement. I'm hoping to keep playing as long as my body holds out or until my son starts to beat me, at which time there's always competitive, full-contact knitting. . .

kairosntx
01-30-2008, 11:31 PM
Great post midlife. I've seen it before but it's always nice to hear that there is still plenty of tennis left in the 40's and beyond. Just wish I could spend suitable time on my game to continue improving. Still too much other "stuff" going on to play as much as I would like to.

lilminihorse
01-30-2008, 11:38 PM
I stopped playing around mid 1995 and started back up this past dec 07

I'd like to play 3.5 but the head pro said he wouldn't rate me under 4.0 and he said he shouldn't rate me at that.. my problem with all that is I've had 2 shoulder surgeries since 95 and i can't really serve tough enough to be competitive at a high level.. I'd say my max is around 80mph. I can ground stroke with the best and can hit winners at will but when it comes to match play I'm at a severe disadvantage when I'm serving.
My goal is to work on my shoulder and loosen that sucker up so that I can work my way up to be competitive in 5.0 tournaments..

Biggest shock: definitely the equipment. back in the day the dominant players were all S&Vers, including myself. now I'm hitting winners at will from the baseline which was unheard of back in the day. It seems like it used to be about setting the point up from the baseline and getting to the net to put the point away.. now you can hit winners from the back fence. One thing I definitely have to do before I start playing tournaments is lose about 40 pounds and get "fast" again.

Moz
01-30-2008, 11:51 PM
I didn't really play between 1993 and 2003. After a couple of months back I went out and got some new racquets and got them restrung.

The major change I am experiencing is that most of the players these days are all forehand, all over the court. I am also finding that I can hit the ball a lot harder than I used to be able to on the groundstrokes and still haven't got to the bottom of that.

Don't see much serve and volley much more and don't think that "gap in the market" is really viable any more.

I also find that people are more shamelessley willing to plug websites, threads and blogs. By the way more on my journey here: www.oldmanontour.blogspot.com.

kairosntx
01-30-2008, 11:56 PM
Come on Moz... we've all been around here long enough to know about your full time tennis expirement and reverse retirement. (is that what you called it?)

boojay
01-31-2008, 01:14 AM
Speaking of continuing to improve despite being in the 40+ range. There's a 63-year old at our club who plays sparingly, and would mop the floor with 97% of our 400 members. Sure he used to be a professional, but it's still inspiring.

Serve em Up
01-31-2008, 03:22 AM
I played in high school. A little during college, Then got married, got fat, and had kids.

I started up again in the Spring of 2006. I promptly got sidelined with two herniated discs in my neck. Had them fused. Started back in Novemeber 2006 and have been playing pretty regularly since.

My kids now both play and my wife has picked it up recently. It's all good.

Trying to get more consistent on BH side.

It is funny how you occasionally see glimmers of your former skills come shining through the mediocrity caused by all of the years.

Midlife crisis
01-31-2008, 04:34 PM
Great post midlife. I've seen it before but it's always nice to hear that there is still plenty of tennis left in the 40's and beyond. Just wish I could spend suitable time on my game to continue improving. Still too much other "stuff" going on to play as much as I would like to.

I could play more often if I wanted to, but seem to find that three to four times a week is my sweet spot. I also lift weights for 30 minutes before every tennis session and spend a couple of other days doing purely resistance training. With age I find comes more need to do the work off the tennis court so I can perform like I want to on it.

But I understand about the "stuff". It's nearly 6 p.m. and I'm stuck at work dealing with something that came up today. I guess it's a matter of making it enough of a priority that it happens. Since only my daughter is not a tennis player (I'm working on that), I get to play a lot and not feel guilty about spending time away from the family, and I use those sessions to work on things. My hard-hitting son is perfect for practicing defense. My very flat-hitting wife is perfect for practicing the kind of shots I see played by the 5.0 senior doubles players, who don't hit much spin but seem to never miss and always keep the ball below net level. I try to treat every opportunity to step on a court as a chance to get better. I've been very lucky to do so, and I hope you can find that fortunate place too.

Midlife crisis
01-31-2008, 04:38 PM
Speaking of continuing to improve despite being in the 40+ range. There's a 63-year old at our club who plays sparingly, and would mop the floor with 97% of our 400 members. Sure he used to be a professional, but it's still inspiring.

There's a 76 year old at our club who plays at the 4.5 level **in SINGLES** and moves about as well as most of the 40-somethings. He has incredible anticipation, and if you give him one moment to set up for a shot, you can be guaranteed that it will land no more than two feet from a line and in a very difficult position to do anything with. He's got a number of regional and national trophies to show for his skills too.

I want to be "that guy" when I get there in 30 years.