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View Full Version : At 43 I think I am getting too old for real men's tennis


Golden Retriever
01-02-2009, 08:52 AM
I don't want to lower myself to old men's tennis but my body can't take the wear and tear of real men's tennis. Should I quit?

Mick
01-02-2009, 08:56 AM
this reminds of a line a guy said at a birthday party of a co-worker.
the co-worker had said he felt old so this guy told him "compared to me, you are not even born yet."

drakulie
01-02-2009, 09:02 AM
Should I quit?

HELL NO!!!

Keep playing. There are plenty of "old men's" tennis players kicking *****!

Just keep doing what works for you. Training, exercise, etc. Don't burn yourself out, but keep playing. If you could only play once a week>>>> so be it. No one on this board is going to win the US Open anytime soon, so keep playing and enjoying it.

It's a game for the ages!!!

Golden Retriever
01-02-2009, 09:04 AM
Seriously, I can still play for hours but it is getting very difficult for me to change direction and making all those explosive movements required by real men's tennis.

I can still swim and jog for hours without losing much speed compared to 20 yrs ago. I feel my age only at tennis, which is kind of depressing.

I guess I look clumsy, slow and, God forbid, old while playing tennis.

sureshs
01-02-2009, 09:05 AM
I don't want to lower myself to old men's tennis but my body can't take the wear and tear of real men's tennis. Should I quit?

Old men's tennis = doubles?

bad_call
01-02-2009, 09:07 AM
before you make up your mind...Richard Schmidt (age 43) beat Andrew Mazlin (age 21) in the final of Citrus Classic open division last month. Mazlin crushes the ball on serve and groundstrokes as well as anyone (top pros excluded) i've seen. you can search the web for info on both of these players.

bad_call
01-02-2009, 09:12 AM
HELL NO!!!

Keep playing. There are plenty of "old men's" tennis players kicking *****!

Just keep doing what works for you. Training, exercise, etc. Don't burn yourself out, but keep playing. If you could only play once a week>>>> so be it. No one on this board is going to win the US Open anytime soon, so keep playing and enjoying it.

It's a game for the ages!!!

drakulie - too bad u couldn't have filmed this one...especially where the chair umpire makes a bad call and both players correct him...audience cackled on that. :)

tennisdad65
01-02-2009, 09:14 AM
I suggest you find a group of 36-50 yr olds to play with :).
You will feel young again playing against guys around your own age.

S H O W S T O P P E R !
01-02-2009, 09:19 AM
I don't want to lower myself to old men's tennis but my body can't take the wear and tear of real men's tennis. Should I quit?

1. How old are your opponents?
2. If you can't change direction as well, play doubles. You only have to cover half a court, and if you mess up, the guy behind you can get it (assuming you are at the net.)

LeeD
01-02-2009, 09:41 AM
You can still play singles too, if you lower your expectations and try to beat only those of your ability, and slightly lower.
You don't say how good you are now.
If you're say.....6.0, you can still beat most of the 5-6's in singles, but you'll certainly have to moderate some of your retrieving and some of your most athletic shots.
See the Legend's Tour. Even they barely look like themselves 10 years ago. They lower their service speeds, get more in, hit softer, and say "nice shot" when the return hits the sidelines.
McEnroe and Martin now would barely get 2 games a set against themselves 10 years ago.
You've read the training manuals. After 30-40, you start to lose about 10% of your physical skills every 10 years. Dat's one percent each year.
Since I'm a month from 60, I don't expect to hit serves much over 110, or cover drops or alleys nearly as well.
You either live old somewhat gracefully, or you can just let advancing age beat you and sit on the couch. It's up to you.

drakulie
01-02-2009, 09:45 AM
You either live old somewhat gracefully, or you can just let advancing age beat you and sit on the couch. It's up to you.

Love your attitude!! LIVE LIFE!!!!!

Mick
01-02-2009, 09:59 AM
it's better to play tennis and lose than not to play at all :)

Golden Retriever
01-02-2009, 10:02 AM
Thanks for the words of encouragement. There is one thing I forgot to mention which is my eyes are failing me as well. I just can't see the ball clear enough to make those real men's shots consistently, you know the kind you take a real cut at the ball. I find myself shanking the ball a lot when I try to execute my killer forehand.

drakulie
01-02-2009, 10:05 AM
^^^^^^Glasses.

Stop making excuses!!! Just go out there and DO IT!!!!! :)

seriously, you seem a bit down. Don't worry about it>> tomorrow it will be better, and if not>> there is always the next day!! Don't stop playing. Just adjust how you go abou the game.

Good luck to you!!

Mick
01-02-2009, 10:07 AM
we have the technology to solve that problem (http://72.29.176.21/showpost.php?p=2963836&postcount=1)

LeeD
01-02-2009, 10:12 AM
Yeah, my solution exactly.
On perfect vision days, when I'm strong and rested, I play with a 95 MFil.
Then there's a few days, or sets, when I'm tired or sore, or not concentrating, then a 115 stiffer much lighter racket comes out of the woodwork. I carry sets of both.
You gotta compensate for old age and declining skills, and use your brain and modern technology to help out.

mike53
01-02-2009, 10:17 AM
Barbell squats and plyometrics can help a lot with the explosive movements. IMHO, how one feels is highly overrated. If I actually paid attention to how bad I feel, I wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning.

jrod
01-02-2009, 10:18 AM
Why on earth would you want to quit? I'm 52 and work my butt off every day just so I can play real mens tennis. I now cross train which has helped a great deal, but I manage to get on the court 5-6 days a week, for at least 1.5 hours/day. I mix it up with 2-3 dubs matches/week and 2-3 singles per week. Singles is much harder on the body, but dubs requires more on the reflex side.

Just the other other day I played a dubs match against my son and a college player (freshman) against me and a HS senior. Incredibly fun and entertaining, and very good quality tennis (more so than just playing guys at my age).

Get a well-rounded workout program to help with endurance, core, flexibility and strength. Do not give up. Never.

Now get your butt back out there!

tennisdad65
01-02-2009, 10:22 AM
Yeah, my solution exactly.
On perfect vision days, when I'm strong and rested, I play with a 95 MFil.
Then there's a few days, or sets, when I'm tired or sore, or not concentrating, then a 115 stiffer much lighter racket comes out of the woodwork. I carry sets of both.
You gotta compensate for old age and declining skills, and use your brain and modern technology to help out.

:) I have 2 sets also.. Mids and Oversize (POG)
I play with the mids if I am playing against flat hitters.
Against 'younger' heavy and hard topspin guys I need the oversize frame or I frame/misstime too many volleys.

gocard
01-02-2009, 11:10 AM
I've played with a 74 year old guy at the courts. This guy is a WALL! He pretty much volleys and blocks all shots and ends up making me run more than he has to! Actually I really enjoy rallying with him b/c he's a good guy, has great variety and placement, and of course, is much more fun than hitting against a concrete wall :)

He's great at doubles and has very fast reflexes with great touch at the net. When he needs to run, he's pretty fast too.

So, even though you might feel one step slower than you used to, don't quit. Just stay healthy and keep enjoying the game for many years to come!

Mick
01-02-2009, 11:18 AM
one time, this 70+ lady asked me to hit with her, so i did.

people there who were waiting for a court saw her making me run ragged. what happened was i would hit very nice ball to where she stood but she did not do the same for me.

she would keep on hitting the ball from one corner to the next :)

LeeD
01-02-2009, 11:25 AM
Of course!
So you played #1 70's, and you were required to hit every one of your shots medium speed to her forehand. She, OTOH, would try for, mis hit, and get shots into either of your alleys.
Kinda like when I practiced against the top female players....like mid 70's. Even with some who WON the Canadian Open, a women's PRO tournament, I was required to moderate my topspins, don't slice hard angles, no drop shots, and only medium speed deep balls. Dat's life.

mikeler
01-02-2009, 11:49 AM
before you make up your mind...Richard Schmidt (age 43) beat Andrew Mazlin (age 21) in the final of Citrus Classic open division last month. Mazlin crushes the ball on serve and groundstrokes as well as anyone (top pros excluded) i've seen. you can search the web for info on both of these players.


The old man Richard also took out Vladimir Obradovic who is #388 in the world in the semis. Mazlin hit 1 serve that bounced over the back fence in the final, that was nuts.

nationals
01-02-2009, 11:51 AM
Old men's tennis = doubles?

hey doubles does not mean your old, high level doubles is very difficult!

LeeD
01-02-2009, 11:53 AM
Yup, that's what a real first serve does, when struck perfectly.
And that's why I always criticise those serves that bounce twice before arriving at the backstop.
Old man GilHoward, at around 40, could bounce most of his flat firsts easily over 5' high against the backstop and railing at GGatePark SF, and he came in 4th or so in fast serve in the AMATEUR division.

sureshs
01-02-2009, 12:30 PM
hey doubles does not mean your old, high level doubles is very difficult!

I prefer the low level doubles with old guys :-)

sureshs
01-02-2009, 12:31 PM
one time, this 70+ lady asked me to hit with her, so i did.

people there who were waiting for a court saw her making me run ragged. what happened was i would hit very nice ball to where she stood but she did not do the same for me.

she would keep on hitting the ball from one corner to the next :)

Mean old woman.

LuckyR
01-02-2009, 01:38 PM
I don't want to lower myself to old men's tennis but my body can't take the wear and tear of real men's tennis. Should I quit?


The nice thing about tennis specifically is that there are so many facets to the game. Experience, tactics and having a sound Mental game are as important as footspeed and jumping ability. So folks can be competitive well beyond their optimal physical window.

LeeD
01-02-2009, 02:01 PM
Consider this....
If you are too old to play at the level you want to play at, you're too old to do ANYTHING, so just end your life now and be done with it.
You can get decent in golf, like around bogey level (95), but that might take you 4 more years, and by then your body decline surpasses what little skill you acquired.
So if you intend to feel sorry for yourself right now, just consider the alternatives......

goober
01-02-2009, 06:24 PM
I don't want to lower myself to old men's tennis but my body can't take the wear and tear of real men's tennis. Should I quit?

If I recall correctly you said you were 4.0 in some other posts. If that is the case you can easily play at that level for a very long time. If you are playing a retrieving game like your name suggests, you have to change your game. Become an all courter. Work on explosive movements with agility drills and plyometrics. Lose weight if you need to. I have played lots of guys in their 40-50s that can compete very well at 4.0-4.5 singles.

What else are you going to do golf? Now that's an old mans game lol:)

Swimming and jogging are boring as heck. You do them to in shape for tennis and that is about it haha!

Jackie T. Stephens
01-02-2009, 06:30 PM
I'm still young but as my dad says.. "You can only feel as old as you think."

SFrazeur
01-02-2009, 06:38 PM
I don't want to lower myself to old men's tennis but my body can't take the wear and tear of real men's tennis. Should I quit?

What is this "real men's Tennis" crap? Play and have fun however that may be, and if the current crop of tennis guys around have a problem with that then find new group of guys to play with.

-SF

mental midget
01-02-2009, 06:49 PM
If I recall correctly you said you were 4.0 in some other posts. If that is the case you can easily play at that level for a very long time. If you are playing a retrieving game like your name suggests, you have to change your game. Become an all courter. Work on explosive movements with agility drills and plyometrics. Lose weight if you need to. I have played lots of guys in their 40-50s that can compete very well at 4.0-4.5 singles.

What else are you going to do golf? Now that's an old mans game lol:)

Swimming and jogging are boring as heck. You do them to in shape for tennis and that is about it haha!

swimming is fantastic exercise, but don't expect it to help much with your tennis game. i swam and played tennis throughout high school, and still do both competitively. i can tell you being in fantastic 'swim shape' translates very few benefits to the tennis court, apart perhaps from keeping your shoulder well-conditioned.

i would second the above poster who mentioned explosive movement conditioning. get out there and run wind sprints. it's amazing, as we grow older, how rarely most of us get the opportunity to run as fast as we can. lots of fat joggers. not many fat sprinters. it'll keep you young.

Headshotterer
01-02-2009, 06:53 PM
no john mcenroe plays really hard competitive tennis at 51

In D Zone
01-02-2009, 08:41 PM
sounds like tennis burn out.

Lay off tennis for a month "Cold Turkey"- let see how he can shake off the jitters!!!!

LOL!

Mick
01-02-2009, 08:49 PM
sounds like tennis burn out.

Lay off tennis for a month "Cold Turkey"- let see how he can shake off the jitters!!!!

LOL!

if a person lays off tennis for a month, he probably would drop 1/2 a level in playing ability :)

BobFL
01-02-2009, 09:03 PM
At 43 it is time to change your game: from run & gun to finesse. I was watching semi-final in a local tournament and 43 y/o guy destroyed 21 y/o guy. Power? No! Only finesse and placement. Young guy lost his mind after 15 minutes...

Valdez737
01-02-2009, 09:07 PM
Eveybody age differnt. I know this 40 someting years old guy who a very strong 5.5. Who can play for 5 hours with no troble. I mean this guy is good he played a 4.5 lvl league and was 17 and 0. He is one of the fastest people ive ever met top 3 no doubt and I played alot of people.

He also smokes a ton but it does not seem to effect him at all.

mikeler
01-03-2009, 04:18 AM
At 43 it is time to change your game: from run & gun to finesse. I was watching semi-final in a local tournament and 43 y/o guy destroyed 21 y/o guy. Power? No! Only finesse and placement. Young guy lost his mind after 15 minutes...


Yep, we already brought that match up earlier in the thread.

Julieta
01-03-2009, 06:13 AM
Yep, we already brought that match up earlier in the thread.

Are the draws for that tournament online anywhere?

bad_call
01-03-2009, 06:28 AM
At 43 it is time to change your game: from run & gun to finesse. I was watching semi-final in a local tournament and 43 y/o guy destroyed 21 y/o guy. Power? No! Only finesse and placement. Young guy lost his mind after 15 minutes...

Yep, we already brought that match up earlier in the thread.

correction here - the final was posted earlier...Mazlin did not lose his mind...final went 3 sets.

Are the draws for that tournament online anywhere?

don't think so.

El Diablo
01-03-2009, 06:40 AM
Billiards!!!!

Kick_It
01-03-2009, 11:16 AM
To OP - IMO - it is what you make it. Sounds to me like you're already admitting defeat - though I don't pretend to understand your situation.

There was recently a related thread where we covered much of this - See http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=232558.

Having the time to do what I need to play well @ age 42 is my biggest challenge. For you it could be something totally different.

Clearly there are very successful competitive players who play in Men's 40s division; Richard Schmidt is a top notch player (was #1 in nation in 40s in '07 I think - don't know about '08).

I ended '08 with a better ranking in Men's 35 (singles and doubles) than Men's 40's. I even had one decent match in Men's Open singles (lost 1 & 4 to a college player). It just kinda worked out that way - even though '08 was probably the worst year of my tennis results over the past few years.

My goal in '09 (when I turn 43) is simply to improve. If we have a kid in '09 maybe I won't end up with better results, but I've got at least 8 months before a baby arrives ;-) and even then it would be due to less time to do what I need to than my age.

I respectfully disagree that you need to stop playing "real men's tennis" purely as a factor of age.

mikeler
01-03-2009, 03:07 PM
Are the draws for that tournament online anywhere?


Those draws were just typed for the first time this year. In the past, they were handwritten. If I remember, I'll take pics with my cell phone next time I'm down there.

ssjkyle31
01-06-2009, 06:06 AM
Of course!
So you played #1 70's, and you were required to hit every one of your shots medium speed to her forehand. She, OTOH, would try for, mis hit, and get shots into either of your alleys.
Kinda like when I practiced against the top female players....like mid 70's. Even with some who WON the Canadian Open, a women's PRO tournament, I was required to moderate my topspins, don't slice hard angles, no drop shots, and only medium speed deep balls. Dat's life.

I hit with a former pro play in his 70's, I would do the same. Hit it back at medium pace. He would control the ball from one end to another. The object was just to get my legs in shape for the sprints.

smoothtennis
01-06-2009, 08:38 AM
I am 43, and I hear what you are saying. We should be getting smarter and more precise with our skills, not more athletic. I am finding here lately, the use of something Peter Burwash calls 'Minimum Potential'. It is allowing the racket to do a lot of the work on shots that put you in trouble. You don't use a big backswing or stroke - you just focus on footwork, and getting the strings pointed to where you want your shot to go, and let the racket and the other guy's pace do all the work.

What I have discovered is that when I do this, I save a TON of energy not trying to hit an athletic ripping topspin shot back. And it's accurate. Save the big shots for when you are balanced and in position. Work the other guy out of position with accuracy, then place yourself to hit your favorite weapons with some athliticism. I'm telling you---this can save your recovery after a match 100%. And you still get to crush winners. We gotta get smarter as we age.

43 isn't old. Stay out there and do not give up on your skills.

basil J
01-06-2009, 09:00 AM
I am 48 and still play competitive 4.0 singles. I find that I am in better shape than most of the younger guys I play, but also found that I do a lot more running than I want and I was losing to guys I know I should be beating. I went to a pro and worked on where I thought I was losing. Sure enough, I found that I was playing too far back behind the baseline and opening up the court too much for my opponents. I changed my strategy a bit and have been working on playing right behind the basleine now and take every shot I can on the rise. This way I take away time form my younger opponents, I get to the net quicker and more effectively, use their pace and I run a lot less. It's a transition and I am really enjoying it because it is recharging my game and it seems like a very effective way to play. You should list strenghts and weaknesses and work with a pro on becoming more effective with less effort. good luck.

LeeD
01-06-2009, 10:01 AM
I hate getting older...
And losing 30% physical skills every 10 years after 30 is depressing.
But guess what?
Not only is my second sentence pretty accurate in my case, but ...........
the alternative is not all rose's and honey.

Bungalo Bill
01-06-2009, 10:14 AM
I don't want to lower myself to old men's tennis but my body can't take the wear and tear of real men's tennis. Should I quit?

No, you shouldnt quit. Sometimes we just need to swallow our pride as we get older and older. It is getting out of denial that is the hardest.

I am going to be 49 years old in July. So, a half a year after that and I will be eligible for Seniors tennis. :( Oh well.

I happen to like doubles anyway and now I just go out for the exercise. :)

Stay in shape, always stay mentally young and you will be fine. Just think, now you can play the spoiler and beat those whipper-snappers.

Mick
01-06-2009, 10:32 AM
I hate getting older...
And losing 30% physical skills every 10 years after 30 is depressing.
But guess what?
Not only is my second sentence pretty accurate in my case, but ...........
the alternative is not all rose's and honey.

the late french singer Maurice Chevalier once said: aging is not bad considering the alternative (of being dead) :)

klementine79
01-06-2009, 05:19 PM
I don't want to lower myself to old men's tennis but my body can't take the wear and tear of real men's tennis. Should I quit?

Don't quit. Change your game (lower mph on shots, concentrate on spin placement, play to your opponents' weaknesses) , maybe change equipment (lighter frame, lower tension), play on clay (learn to slide, much easier on joints). But please don't quit.

At 29, I can already notice a difference from 10years ago, not with tennis, but soccer and basketball, and don't look forward to the next 10years, but as with the other sports, I change my technique and strategy.

LeeD
01-06-2009, 06:26 PM
Hmm....
At 59, I try to hit harder and faster than ever, watch my posture and technique more, say "nice shot" much more often, use an appropriate racket for the way I'm playing, my opponents skill and style, and the lighting of the day.
Obviously I can't GET like 30 years ago, hence the "nice shot".
But I still get that same thrill as 30 years ago when I hit that first serve winner or groundstroke it past two dazed opponents with a low crushed forehand or backhand.
Only everything is slower than 30 years ago, but MY perception is....I'm still hitting out, my percentage is about the same, but my opponents now have gray hair and paunch belly's.

Julieta
01-07-2009, 11:15 AM
Those draws were just typed for the first time this year. In the past, they were handwritten. If I remember, I'll take pics with my cell phone next time I'm down there.

Thank you for offering but there is no need to go to that much trouble. I just though it might be up somewhere. Thanks again though!

drop volley
01-08-2009, 08:28 PM
I don't want to lower myself to old men's tennis but my body can't take the wear and tear of real men's tennis. Should I quit?

are you saying anybody can handle the wear and tear of women's tennis.

or another question: what is "unreal men's tennis;" or what is "not real mean's tennis?"