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View Full Version : Why Young Folks Win. . .


max
04-29-2009, 07:44 AM
Partly younger guys win because they simply have more hours in the day, more hours in the week, that they are free to play tennis.

Many also start a summer having played in the spring on a tennis team.

This makes them fit for the task, when it comes to competing in tennis against an older man.

Circumstances often force older guys into sedentary roles: managing a desk all day, driving children here and there, doing lawn work. . . at a time when younger guys can work out.

There is also a Tedium Factor. Let's face it: once you've played the XYZ Tournament for five or six years, it's just not a very compelling thing to fight for. It's the same old, same old. So older men often value winning less, since it's. . . another game, one of thousands played. Older guys just may not care as much.

Younger guys in some instances also can get pumped about beating an older guy; start with confidence that they'll win. And this free confidence can be a valuable thing. (Of course, some younger guys are a bit overawed by playing an older man and expect to lose, the street runs both ways).

I think the chief thing in tennis is the drop in physical ability that older guys have because their lifestyles do not permit them to be as physically active. I don't think the actual physical drop-off is that great if an old guy works out.

Marc The Shark
04-29-2009, 08:42 AM
Perhaps... Also maybe the older guy sees this younger guy and assumes they're going to be out played... Honestly that’s one thing I hate to hear on the court... I’m 24 and often play vs guys in their late 30s and into their 40s and there is always that guy that makes lil comment "O I could be your father, blah blah". If you don't think you can hang, don't compete... Other things I've heard is complaints about temperature (too hot) "You’re just younger and it’s easier for you"... Last I checked we're on the same court, in the same weather, wearing essentially the same thing... The heat gets to me to but I deal.
Honestly I think it's a huge mental aspect like you seem to be saying. When I get out there I don't look at the other player as an old or young guy... I look at him as an adversary...

Casey10s
04-29-2009, 09:21 AM
Here are the biggest reasons that I notice when playing people who are 10 years or more younger than me. I have mentioned this to my friends and they agree with me.

1. Younger legs can get to the ball quicker and set up properly. As you get older, you don't get there in time and end up hitting a more defensive rather than an offensive shot. Not a sedentary thing but you start losing foot speed once you get around 30. Once you get near 50, you are expending the same energy but the speed is not longer there. Look at results from 10k and marathons. The winners' times in the different age groups will show that. These guys who win the Masters' divisions are not big fat couch potatoes but are still very good athletes. Their body can't compete at their old level.

2. The younger arm has more resiliency. I have played many younger players (10+ years younger) where I can split sets with them. In the third set, I feel that I am hitting the same as the beginning of the match but my ball has lost some zip. The younger person still has the zip as from the beginning of the match and will end up hitting more winners against my lower pase balls. Analogy is of a baseball pitcher getting a tired arm later in a game.

Also, a reason is not that the younger player has better strokes. I seen many times where the older person has noticeably better strokes. It just the court coverage and arm resiliency can make up for the person who has better strokes.

jgn1013
04-29-2009, 09:32 AM
I'm a 40 yr old Asian male, but I look like a 25-30 yr old. Older players always tell me that they could run like that when they where young then I tell them my age.

hehe

StringingIrvine
04-29-2009, 09:43 AM
lol,

I'm only a 3.5 but i find that older fellows play more doubles than singles. They use their years of experience and they never have to move they just stand there with their huge racquets and you think your going to hit a winner or pass them but that rarely happens. Only choice is to lop and once they see it go above their heads they already quit the point. Its fun cause they are usually very talkative and like someone said they are less focused on winning and more on having fun.

I feel thats why i am stuck at a 3.5. I don't have that competitive spirit. =(

PushyPushster
04-29-2009, 11:39 AM
Younger guys in some instances also can get pumped about beating an older guy; start with confidence that they'll win.

I'm always jazzed to play someone in their early twenties, so the reverse of this is true as well. I love winning against guys that are 15+ yrs younger than me. In your face aging process! The knees always make me pay for it the next day, though.

Cindysphinx
04-29-2009, 11:51 AM
Maybe things are different in the world of ladies 3.5. But my experience with younger players has been interesting.

For reference, "young" in my world is someone under 35.

Young players have some things (usually speed), but they often lack something else (control). You see this in men, of course, but you also see it in women.

The other thing young women can often lack is time. They don't have time to practice. They also don't have money for instruction. So they make excellent retrievers in singles, but they often don't have good technique (therefore can't return well in doubles). I have not had a young player on my team who could volley a lick. Not one.

The older women I play with seem to have great hands and good technique at net and in transition. They are less prone to make silly errors, and their placement can be very precise. But if you can move them around in singles or in doubles, you will beat them.

goober
04-29-2009, 12:23 PM
Partly younger guys win because they simply have more hours in the day, more hours in the week, that they are free to play tennis.

Many also start a summer having played in the spring on a tennis team.

This makes them fit for the task, when it comes to competing in tennis against an older man.

Circumstances often force older guys into sedentary roles: managing a desk all day, driving children here and there, doing lawn work. . . at a time when younger guys can work out.

There is also a Tedium Factor. Let's face it: once you've played the XYZ Tournament for five or six years, it's just not a very compelling thing to fight for. It's the same old, same old. So older men often value winning less, since it's. . . another game, one of thousands played. Older guys just may not care as much.

Younger guys in some instances also can get pumped about beating an older guy; start with confidence that they'll win. And this free confidence can be a valuable thing. (Of course, some younger guys are a bit overawed by playing an older man and expect to lose, the street runs both ways).

I think the chief thing in tennis is the drop in physical ability that older guys have because their lifestyles do not permit them to be as physically active. I don't think the actual physical drop-off is that great if an old guy works out.

In general, the higher the level the more important physical fitness (and therefore in most cases youth) becomes- especially in singles. At the lower levels- 3.5 and below, I think experience outweighs stamina and speed. At 4.0 there is more of a transition. In singles the guys that win tournaments are generally in the 25-40 range while in doubles a lot of older guys rule the court well into their 50s.

You can always play age group, USTA seniors, ect. as you get older :)

larry10s
04-29-2009, 01:09 PM
a 4.0 / 4.5 50 year old old should beat a 25 year old 3.5. the experience and consistency will prevail. if the ntpr skill level isnt at least 0.5 higher in the older person then if the younger person is ten years or more younger they should win, that is why open tournaments have age divisions broken up into 10 year categories . up to 40 guys can hang with 25 year olds

larry10s
04-29-2009, 01:10 PM
sometimes the older guys cant handle the pace of the younger guys though

rasajadad
04-29-2009, 01:50 PM
When I played 4.5's in my 40's, I loved to come up against ranked high schoolers in that I knew the points would be short because they'd hit a winner or an error within three shots.

puck1230
04-29-2009, 02:50 PM
Older or younger, tennis is a game that is based on, but not limited to speed, power, ball control, mental stamina, physical stamina, experience, desire. These may go up or down in relation to play age. Regardless, I don't think it's fair to say that someone better and older will lose to someone who is younger and worse. If you win, you were better, in that specific match. If you lose you were worse in that specific match. NTRP-wise you can say a 4.0 45 y/o will beat a 3.5 18/yo, but I don't put much faith in those ratings. You are what you are in any given match, and how good of a player you are is a function of all the factors listed above, not just being able to strike a ball.

Not to offend, but I almost feel like the original poster is making excuses for older people and why they lose matches. To me, it simply boils down to "you're not as good" per the game of tennis, anymore. And you may have better strokes, more consistency, more experience, more guile, but if you don't have the desire, the legs, the power....those all factor into the match. So I apologize for any offense, I just felt compelled to make this distinction in the thread. And I may have misunderstood the intent of the thread, in which case I also apologize.

ODYSSEY Mk.4
04-29-2009, 02:54 PM
Partly younger guys win because they simply have more hours in the day, more hours in the week, that they are free to play tennis.

Many also start a summer having played in the spring on a tennis team.

This makes them fit for the task, when it comes to competing in tennis against an older man.

Circumstances often force older guys into sedentary roles: managing a desk all day, driving children here and there, doing lawn work. . . at a time when younger guys can work out.

There is also a Tedium Factor. Let's face it: once you've played the XYZ Tournament for five or six years, it's just not a very compelling thing to fight for. It's the same old, same old. So older men often value winning less, since it's. . . another game, one of thousands played. Older guys just may not care as much.

Younger guys in some instances also can get pumped about beating an older guy; start with confidence that they'll win. And this free confidence can be a valuable thing. (Of course, some younger guys are a bit overawed by playing an older man and expect to lose, the street runs both ways).

I think the chief thing in tennis is the drop in physical ability that older guys have because their lifestyles do not permit them to be as physically active. I don't think the actual physical drop-off is that great if an old guy works out.

maybe seeing and i got destroyed bye a nice old man (62 years young:???:)
energy is a factor, but i think state of mind is the largest factor.

OrangePower
04-29-2009, 03:05 PM
I think the chief thing in tennis is the drop in physical ability that older guys have because their lifestyles do not permit them to be as physically active. I don't think the actual physical drop-off is that great if an old guy works out.

Um. How many players do you see on the pro tennis tour that are over 35? I guess it must be because they all stop working out before then... :?

OrangePower
04-29-2009, 03:06 PM
^^^^^

I should clarify that I probably fall into the old guy category. So I'm not dissing old guys but rather am wistful about declining physical skills despite working hard to keep in shape.

raiden031
04-29-2009, 03:10 PM
a 4.0 / 4.5 50 year old old should beat a 25 year old 3.5. the experience and consistency will prevail. if the ntpr skill level isnt at least 0.5 higher in the older person then if the younger person is ten years or more younger they should win, that is why open tournaments have age divisions broken up into 10 year categories . up to 40 guys can hang with 25 year olds

Actually no. NTRP effectively takes age out of the equation. The only exception might be that the senior leagues might skew the ratings a little as folks age and their skill starts to drop. So adult leagues are a little stronger (and more prone to sandbagging as well).

Age divisions are not used in conjunction with NTRP in tourneys because its 'open' level per age group.

No way in hell i can beat a 4.5 rated 50 year old (i am 28 y/o and 4.0). I struggle against 4.0 50 year olds.

Rickson
04-29-2009, 03:15 PM
Younger people win because they have younger bodies.

LuckyR
04-29-2009, 08:04 PM
Well, actually younger tennis players don't inherantly win. The premise of the OP seems to be: "younger players always win, so here's my explanation why this fact exits."

Tennis unlike a lot of other sports has a significant part of it's make up with things that do not necessarily favor youth, like: stamina, experience, tactics, mental resiliency etc. Older players win their fair share in tennis more than most sports.

The OP is correct in the sense that when younger players win, they do win for the reasons he states.

randomname
04-29-2009, 11:28 PM
Its funny, I see things the other way around, I'm 20 and my heart sinks every time some old guy comes to the court. I know not all of you have terrible strokes and just chop everything back into play, but it seems like it sometimes. I would rather be doing anything else than be playing some old hacker.

raiden031
04-30-2009, 04:07 AM
Its funny, I see things the other way around, I'm 20 and my heart sinks every time some old guy comes to the court. I know not all of you have terrible strokes and just chop everything back into play, but it seems like it sometimes. I would rather be doing anything else than be playing some old hacker.

At 28, and most of my matches are scheduled with a relatively equivalent NTRP rating in mind, I would much rather a 18-20 year old show up to the court than a 50-60 year old. I feel like the 60 year old will have years or decades of experience and will be crafty and very consistent. I feel the 20 year old will be going all out on shots, is very athletic, but more likely to self destruct due to lack of experience. Against the young guy, i play high percentage and i win. Against the old guy, he is better at high percentage than me and wins unless i can take advantage of his old age by running him around, of course at the expense of more errors on my part.

Moz
04-30-2009, 11:15 AM
I suppose I'm an old guy now, a lot of the disadvantages of aging are more than compensated by the advantages of experience, shot selection etc.

However, one caveat is that as an older player it is much harder playing a second match in the day than it is when you're younger. That's when it's a real disadvantage.

Sakkijarvi
05-05-2009, 03:37 PM
I'm 47, does that make me a young folks or old folks? I still feel pretty young...