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View Full Version : No coach as a junior = no pro tennis?


goober
07-15-2009, 06:43 AM
I found this quote from Rajeev Ram, who just won the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, pretty interesting. The common wisdom that seems to be given out on these boards is that if you don't start young with a coach or academy as a young junior, you have no chance to be a Pro player.


"I didn't have a coach until I was 16 years old, it was just me and my dad hitting the ball around. It was a very casual sport for us, it was not the normal way, like kids getting sent off to (tennis) academies.
"

ramseszerg
07-15-2009, 06:49 AM
Was his dad a tennis professional?

LeeD
07-15-2009, 07:11 AM
In his case, it's a sure thing...
But you can't make blanket statements like that and expect it to apply to everyone. There are exceptions to every rule, and just what is "pro tennis" to you, me, and everyone else?
OK, talking touring pro, making money at playing competitive tennis.
Some kids play for fun and giggles.
Some kids play to win and achieve.
Some kids have a sports background to begin with, and coupled with enough $$$ to play tennis, and a huge desire to win, beat everyone, and generally climb the ladder, can easily make the top 500 in the world. At that level, they can still climb maybe 400 places, actually making a decent thos not great living, even banking some money until injury or altering interests come into play to conflict with original desires.
Some touring pros barely pay the bills, needing an injection of $$$ from outside sources. Obviously, the top 40 can sustain by playing alone, but they get the outside $$$$ from sponsors to boot.
Just exactly what level of "touring pro" are we talking about here ?

coyfish
07-15-2009, 07:21 AM
Yea a top 50 pro requires tons of money, coaching, training, repitition, etc. Tennis is different from many sports in that regard. Natural talent helps but its the training and time that develop players. Thats why you never see an unknown tennis player pull out of a poor country and start playing in the big leagues like you see in soccer, football, etc. That is the case with very few exceptions.

LeeD
07-15-2009, 07:34 AM
Pretty much, when you start playing Satellites and Q's, and do so somewhat successfully and with a big enough game, with a potential for advancement, you will be approached by plenty of "coaches", advisors, what have you's, who work without retainers, instead going for a % of your actual winnings.
They'll first approach as friendly advisors, later with contracts for you to sign, and you gotta decide when to share how much with the "devil".
If you're still laboring below 4.5, nobody helps you much, except family and friends.
So ya gotta get at least to Q level by yourself....not easy, but with 4 years of 5 days a week tennis, easy 5 hours on the court each day productively, you can make it with a huge dose of ambition, natural ability, logic smarts, and no distractions.

Bungalo Bill
07-15-2009, 07:47 AM
I found this quote from Rajeev Ram, who just won the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, pretty interesting. The common wisdom that seems to be given out on these boards is that if you don't start young with a coach or academy as a young junior, you have no chance to be a Pro player.

I don't know about this and haven't really read this on these boards.

What you need to keep in mind is it is not the coach. Whether you or a family member helps you or if you pay a coach, the bottom-line is your tournament results is what matters most.

goober
07-15-2009, 08:22 AM
Was his dad a tennis professional?

His father's profession is listed as Research Biologist.

tennisdad65
07-15-2009, 03:11 PM
It is easier to become a pro when you are 6-4 like rajeev, and have a 90% sampras like serve :) . (10% less accuracy, 10% less speed, 10% less spin :))

Most guys who are 16 and just hit around with their dad's will not sniff the pro's.

Rajeev is a decent player and a late bloomer. But, I doubt he will ever make it into the top 50 mainly because of his lack of speed/fitness. His reflexes at the net are not too great either for a s&v player.

GuyClinch
07-15-2009, 03:39 PM
The vast majority of pros head professional quality coaching at a very young age. So I think he is basically correct. I'd compare tennis to golf and baseball. While athleticism might help in both sports the skill aspect can't be emphasized enough. The guys dominating the tour are far from the best all-around athletes in the world, IMHO.

This is however what makes tennis more fun for the recreational player. As a guy that's 6'4" and 205 pounds I'd dominate alot of people in say basketball with just my size. But I would get slaughtered a highly skilled junior female player in tennis.

Steady Eddy
07-15-2009, 07:06 PM
I found this quote from Rajeev Ram, who just won the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, pretty interesting. The common wisdom that seems to be given out on these boards is that if you don't start young with a coach or academy as a young junior, you have no chance to be a Pro player.With a coach, your child's chance of becoming a tennis pro are slim. Without a coach, slimmer yet. A safer plan is for your kid to be a dentist than a touring tennis pro.

Kevo
07-15-2009, 08:27 PM
Tennis is a very interesting sport with a wide variety of playing styles. It's not all about power, and there is a huge mental component to the game. A kid with good coordination who is athletic, with the right mentality can go a long way in a fairly short time.

Having said that, breaking into the upper crust of tennis where you can actually earn a big paycheck is very difficult because there isn't much room up there at the top. I agree with Steady Eddy. Go to school and get a degree with your tennis scholarship. That way if you make it great, if you don't, you will still have a nice career to fall back on.

paulfreda
07-16-2009, 12:20 AM
With a coach, your child's chance of becoming a tennis pro are slim. Without a coach, slimmer yet. A safer plan is for your kid to be a dentist than a touring tennis pro.
Dentists have the highest suicide rates of all professionals.
Reason; people dread them, they hurt people and they work in confined spaces.

Pick another profession please.

Like the travel in tennis ? Travel agent
Like the athleticism in tennis ? HS tennis coach

ramseszerg
07-16-2009, 02:05 AM
Dentists have the highest suicide rates of all professionals.
Reason; people dread them, they hurt people and they work in confined spaces.
Pick another profession please.

Like the travel in tennis ? Travel agent
Like the athleticism in tennis ? HS tennis coach

You have no evidence of this. A more likely reason is that the medicinal means of suicide are readily available in the workplace. Wait, if that is so, wouldn't the suicide rates of chemists and pharmacists be just as high? According to trusty yahoo, they are: http://ask.yahoo.com/20070110.html

tennisputz
07-16-2009, 04:15 AM
"Very casual sport"? I wouldn't consider him a late bloomer and not to casual when you win the 14's National Clay Court Singles Championship.

Steady Eddy
07-16-2009, 05:46 AM
Dentists have the highest suicide rates of all professionals.
Reason; people dread them, they hurt people and they work in confined spaces.

Pick another profession please.

Like the travel in tennis ? Travel agent
Like the athleticism in tennis ? HS tennis coach
Maybe these are both poor choices, because I've heard that tennis player often commit suicide too! I heard that in the tennis movie, "Tennis Anyone?".

goober
07-16-2009, 05:56 AM
With a coach, your child's chance of becoming a tennis pro are slim. Without a coach, slimmer yet. A safer plan is for your kid to be a dentist than a touring tennis pro.

Well yes the chances of any kid becoming pro at any sport are slim. But try telling a 7 year old kid that you are planning on them becoming a dentist.

NLBwell
07-17-2009, 07:53 PM
Depends on how much those around you know tennis. Uncle Toni did pretty well with Rafael Nadal, but he did coach other juniors. Bartoli's dad is a doctor, but figured out how to coach her to the top level of the game (unorthodox, though). Sampras' coach growing up was also a doctor (he did get some coaching from Lansdorp, too).

certifiedjatt
07-18-2009, 06:24 AM
it's almost impossible to determine all the factors what makes a person a good pro. when it comes to coaching and academies, the evidence is pretty disappointing. i read in Tennis magainze (last issue, i think) that the success rate of Bollitieri's academy is probably 3%. so you can imagine the success rate of other, lesser known academies.

coaches and academies may help, but there is absolutely no indication that they actually do anything more than provide a ground for playing with other people and practice.

my views on coaching are pretty harsh. i think they do nothing more than provide a listening board and correct only outlandish errors. it is actually difficult to justify their existence; when it comes to actual tennis, they're like the Dr. Phils of tennis world. providing advice with little proof that their advice is actually helpful.

Steady Eddy
07-18-2009, 06:33 AM
Well yes the chances of any kid becoming pro at any sport are slim. But try telling a 7 year old kid that you are planning on them becoming a dentist.I didn't know that there were only two choices for 7 year olds; become a touring tennis pro or a dentist. They can't just play tennis for now, learn in school, and as for carreer...just say, "We'll see."?

goober
07-18-2009, 09:12 AM
I didn't know that there were only two choices for 7 year olds; become a touring tennis pro or a dentist. They can't just play tennis for now, learn in school, and as for carreer...just say, "We'll see."?

Obviously there are not only two choices. You are the one who framed your answer in such a way. A safer plan is for your kid to be a dentist than a touring tennis pro. Anyways I am not sure why you even brought this up. Did I say ANYWHERE in my original post that I was planning on raising my kids or suggesting that other people should raise their kids to be touring pros?

Steady Eddy
07-18-2009, 09:35 AM
Obviously there are not only two choices. You are the one who framed your answer in such a way.
You framed it this way first.
Well yes the chances of any kid becoming pro at any sport are slim. But try telling a 7 year old kid that you are planning on them becoming a dentist.
Anyways I am not sure why you even brought this up. Did I say ANYWHERE in my original post that I was planning on raising my kids or suggesting that other people should raise their kids to be touring pros?
Here's your original post. So suppose you tell us why this is "pretty interesting" even if you have no Pro player plans? (If you want to, I'm not interested in any more of this thread, goober.)
I found this quote from Rajeev Ram, who just won the Hall of Fame Tennis Championships, pretty interesting. The common wisdom that seems to be given out on these boards is that if you don't start young with a coach or academy as a young junior, you have no chance to be a Pro player.

goober
07-18-2009, 12:18 PM
You framed it this way first.


Here's your original post. So suppose you tell us why this is "pretty interesting" even if you have no Pro player plans? (If you want to, I'm not interested in any more of this thread, goober.)

Seriously I can't believe you are arguing about who brought up the idea of planning to be a dentist first. All you have to look at the series of posts.

Anyways I find lots of things interesting. I have absolutely zero plans for a pro career in tennis for any of my kids. In fact none of them are even playing tennis currently. Why do I find it interesting? I am interested in how different people arrive at a very high level of performance. In this case it is tennis and this IS a tennis forum. The fact that Rajeev Ram is a fairly high level tennis pro without any coaching until age 16 is counter to what a lot of people post or think on this forum. Certainly it something worthy of discussion.

I also found it interesting Laszlo Polgar, raises 3 daughters to be chess champions as an experiment even though he has zero chess background. His daughters all became grandmasters or International masters. However my interest doesn't mean that I want to raise chess champions.

Since supposedly your background is in math and therefore I assumes some level of logic, your original post is a logical fallacy. In this case Affirming the consequent or a converse error.

1. If P, then Q.
2. Q.
3. Therefore, P.

If one wants a Pro tennis career then he must be interested in how people become tennis pros. Goober posts about how someone became a tennis pro therefore he must be interested in a pro tennis career. Arguments of this form are invalid, in that the conclusion (3) does not have to follow even when statements 1 and 2 are true. The simple reason for this is that P was never asserted as the only cause of Q, so, in general, any number of other factors could have caused Q. Don't blame me for this post, you are the one who started down this road:|

Steady Eddy
07-18-2009, 01:05 PM
Since supposedly your background is in math
"supposedley"? Who'd lie about that? Letting people know I'm a nerd is more like a confession.

1. If P, then Q.
2. Q.
3. Therefore, P.
Very good. However, I, (and most other people), am not ruled by the dictum's of logic in casual conversation. I thought you were advising people keen on getting rich by their kid becoming the next Federer. My mistake. (BTW, a better plan for wealth is to buy lots and lots of lotto tickets. Your odds gotta kick in eventually.)