PDA

View Full Version : A nice, big slice of humble pie


ibeeskeef
10-06-2010, 04:52 AM
Anyone else have any similary stories?

I have been playing pretty well this season on both the singles and doubles courts but these last two weeks or so have been phenominal. I am currently a 4.0 but really feel like I am playing at a legit 4.5 level and fully expect to be bumped up at seasons end. To date, I have an 88% winning percentage for the year including leagues, tournaments, and state championships.

Now, I am not saying this to brag all over myself but to set the stage. I have a friend who is probably close to 15 years older than me (I am in my late 20's) that has been inviting me to hit the last few weeks in order to get ready for WTT nationals. This guy was a very legit junior and D1 college prospect, but without going into details, he never was able to play D1 college. After just a couple of hitting sessions with this guy he was able to regain his timing from years of not playing regularly and now I am not able to take a game off of him. I have played him twice in the last week. We will hit for a while and then play some games without keeping track of how many games we actually play. I would say we probably played 10 games or so the first time and closer to 15 last night. I wasn't able to win a single game! I did push him to deuce a few times but he could either bust a huge serve in either corner of the box or blast a "James Blake" return of serve sharp cross court for an unreturnable winner. It has been a great reminder that no matter how good I think I am getting at this game, there are guys out there who have more tennis ability in their left foot than I have in my entire body.

Sometimes it is necessary to be knocked down a notch or two so your head doesn't explode. Anyone else experienced this?

bcart1991
10-06-2010, 06:40 AM
Yup.

Muscle memory is a glorious (or in your case, not so much) thing. Don't discount the years of training and other sacrifices it took to get to his level.

larry10s
10-06-2010, 08:06 AM
Anyone else have any similary stories?

I have been playing pretty well this season on both the singles and doubles courts but these last two weeks or so have been phenominal. I am currently a 4.0 but really feel like I am playing at a legit 4.5 level and fully expect to be bumped up at seasons end. To date, I have an 88% winning percentage for the year including leagues, tournaments, and state championships.

Now, I am not saying this to brag all over myself but to set the stage. I have a friend who is probably close to 15 years older than me (I am in my late 20's) that has been inviting me to hit the last few weeks in order to get ready for WTT nationals. This guy was a very legit junior and D1 college prospect, but without going into details, he never was able to play D1 college. After just a couple of hitting sessions with this guy he was able to regain his timing from years of not playing regularly and now I am not able to take a game off of him. I have played him twice in the last week. We will hit for a while and then play some games without keeping track of how many games we actually play. I would say we probably played 10 games or so the first time and closer to 15 last night. I wasn't able to win a single game! I did push him to deuce a few times but he could either bust a huge serve in either corner of the box or blast a "James Blake" return of serve sharp cross court for an unreturnable winner. It has been a great reminder that no matter how good I think I am getting at this game, there are guys out there who have more tennis ability in their left foot than I have in my entire body.

Sometimes it is necessary to be knocked down a notch or two so your head doesn't explode. Anyone else experienced this?

first be grateful you can hit with this guy. do you think your recent success and confidence is coincidental to being able to practice with someone much better???just something to think about
my story is alittle different . when i started playing (age 49) a guy 10 years older than me said he would hit with me and help me with my game.
he'd give me tips and we would play games and the scores were always close but he would always win the games
i was convinced he was just alittle bit better and in no time i would woop him
i knew he played college tennis played florida age group tournaments etc and participated in some pro senior ehibitions in town.
but our games were so close.
years later i still play with him and give him a much better match but now that im better i realize how bad i was.!!!

West Coast Ace
10-06-2010, 06:56 PM
...After just a couple of hitting sessions with this guy he was able to regain his timing from years of not playing regularly ...Thanks for sharing this. Pretty much blows all the self-raters out of the water who were very good and play down because they've been 'away from the game' or 'gained a few lbs' .

Are you more shocked because of the age difference or the bagels?

Hey, you got to hit with a really good player, that's NEVER a bad thing. And you saw what you're future could be if you put in the work and stick with it.
Sometimes you just have to say 'too good.' IMHO much better than playing down to the level of an inferior opponent and having to scrap to eek out a win.

PS - life doesn't end at 30. For all the talk about obesity in America, there are still a lot of people who take good care of themselves.

ibeeskeef
10-07-2010, 06:44 AM
Are you more shocked because of the age difference or the bagels?

Hey, you got to hit with a really good player, that's NEVER a bad thing. And you saw what you're future could be if you put in the work and stick with it.
Sometimes you just have to say 'too good.' IMHO much better than playing down to the level of an inferior opponent and having to scrap to eek out a win.


I am not shocked in the least that he is able to handle me despite the age difference. I just think sometimes everyone needs to play someone far superior to them in order to appreciate how hard this game really is and how there are always better players out there no matter how good you get in your mind. For me personally, it was a good reminder that I am not as close to as good as I think I am. It was not a negative thing. It made me appreciate how far I have come from being a 3.0 and how much further there still is to go.

Xisbum
10-07-2010, 07:44 AM
I am not shocked in the least that he is able to handle me despite the age difference. I just think sometimes everyone needs to play someone far superior to them in order to appreciate how hard this game really is and how there are always better players out there no matter how good you get in your mind. For me personally, it was a good reminder that I am not as close to as good as I think I am. It was not a negative thing. It made me appreciate how far I have come from being a 3.0 and how much further there still is to go.

Very wise, my friend, very wise. A little humbling goes a long way toward making us better people.

Nellie
10-07-2010, 07:47 AM
People don't appreciate the thousands of practice hours competitive juniors put into tennis. If you are someone who starts later in life, it hard to catch up unless you are freak.

dafox
10-07-2010, 09:18 AM
People don't appreciate the thousands of practice hours competitive juniors put into tennis. If you are someone who starts later in life, it hard to catch up unless you are freak.

Agreed, you have to be a FREAK to get good (>5.5) in tennis if you start tennis later in your life. It takes about 10,000 hours of practice to master something and no matter how much natural athletic ability you have as an adult you have to put in the time on the practice court to improve your game. I'm trying to do that myself, but it's a tough battle to practice every day when you're body is breaking down from old age (only 42 right now). I have logged about 1,800 hours on the court in the past 5 years with only the last three years of real focus. The great thing is that I have found some great friends on the journey and that's what makes it so fun. Sometimes the journey is > than the destination.

burosky
10-07-2010, 02:09 PM
Yep, there will always be someone better. I always find it amusing when I meet or hear about someone, regardless of their NTRP level, who wins a lot (maybe even all their matches) and think they are "IT". For every rec player who think they are unbeatable, there are probably hundreds or maybe even thousands who will not even break a sweat while handing them out a double bagel.

RobFL
10-11-2010, 05:52 PM
i can play a world top 5 in my age group and take 25-30% of the points, but that still translates into a 6-0, 6-1 match result. so yes the "journey", competition etc is what is fun, the respect of being able to hit with a 5.5, but knowing you probably can never beat them, unless they have a really bad day, or maybe you could pass them athletically around 55-60 if you make it your life mission, quit work, get world class fit etc. etc.

Bud
10-12-2010, 05:36 AM
Anyone else have any similary stories?

I have been playing pretty well this season on both the singles and doubles courts but these last two weeks or so have been phenominal. I am currently a 4.0 but really feel like I am playing at a legit 4.5 level and fully expect to be bumped up at seasons end. To date, I have an 88% winning percentage for the year including leagues, tournaments, and state championships.

Now, I am not saying this to brag all over myself but to set the stage. I have a friend who is probably close to 15 years older than me (I am in my late 20's) that has been inviting me to hit the last few weeks in order to get ready for WTT nationals. This guy was a very legit junior and D1 college prospect, but without going into details, he never was able to play D1 college. After just a couple of hitting sessions with this guy he was able to regain his timing from years of not playing regularly and now I am not able to take a game off of him. I have played him twice in the last week. We will hit for a while and then play some games without keeping track of how many games we actually play. I would say we probably played 10 games or so the first time and closer to 15 last night. I wasn't able to win a single game! I did push him to deuce a few times but he could either bust a huge serve in either corner of the box or blast a "James Blake" return of serve sharp cross court for an unreturnable winner. It has been a great reminder that no matter how good I think I am getting at this game, there are guys out there who have more tennis ability in their left foot than I have in my entire body.

Sometimes it is necessary to be knocked down a notch or two so your head doesn't explode. Anyone else experienced this?

How is your serve?

origmarm
10-12-2010, 06:08 AM
I'm sorry to say that this sort of thing happens to me all the time :(.....

Fortunately:

Sometimes the journey is > than the destination.

:)

larry10s
10-12-2010, 06:28 AM
knowing you probably can never beat them, unless they have a really bad day, or maybe you could pass them athletically around 55-60 if you make it your life mission, quit work, get world class fit etc. etc.

im 57 now started playing at 49
about 5 years ago i started playing singles with Harry a man around 70.i would get creamed. i used to say to myself how can this be. im 10-15 years younger and in better shape how can i be losing. i didnt realize that harry has been playing tennis longer than i am alive!! he used to tell me not to worry . in 10 years when he turns 80 ill probably win:)
p.s. it didnt take that long:):)

J_R_B
10-12-2010, 07:07 AM
Tennis is definitely a humbling sport. Any time you start to think that you are any good at it, there will be someone to remind you that there are a million people out there that are better...

larry10s
10-12-2010, 09:07 AM
Tennis is definitely a humbling sport. Any time you start to think that you are any good at it, there will be someone to remind you that there are a million people out there that are better...

so sad but true:cry:

goober
10-12-2010, 11:25 AM
Tennis is definitely a humbling sport. Any time you start to think that you are any good at it, there will be someone to remind you that there are a million people out there that are better...

Well I have never been humbled- mostly because I never thought at any point I was actually any good.:)

krizzle
10-12-2010, 08:47 PM
I've got a story that's a little bit different.
I was invited by my coach to play in a 4.0+ men's doubles mixer.
Edit: I consider myself a high 3.5.
I played horribly the first time. My forehands were out-powered, my backhands were creamed, my volleys all sailed wildly long, and my serve was absolutely demolished. I lost 3 out of 4 matches I played. That was 3.5 weeks ago. During that time, i've surprised myself a lot. I can keep up in a rally with the 4.0's, and if the 4.5's go a bit easy. My serve has gone from being held twice to being broken only twice. My volleys are a lot more consistent, and i've started adding finesse shots and poaching.
My coach said that I've gotten a lot better since 3 weeks ago.
But, d@mn it, there's this 4.5-5.0 pro that plays mind games with me. He's got a really good slice serve- if I don't touch it, it will hit the curtain of the court next to me on the first bounce. So I come in closer to not let the spin play that effect. And he just hits a flat serve at me. And it's fast- I've been told that his first serve is 115 even when he doesn't go all-out. I've started getting my racket on his serves, but he still throws in those slices.