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jdubbs
11-08-2010, 10:59 AM
Given the right amount of training (like Agassi's dad making him hit 10,000 balls a day from the age of 4 and then sending him to a tennis academy)? Do you think you have the natural ability if only it had been nurtured?

Sometimes I think about that, but realize the amount of competition makes the chances extremely small.

J_R_B
11-08-2010, 11:29 AM
No........

Can't think of a name
11-08-2010, 11:40 AM
With that much training at an early age and onwards, anyone could become a pro. Genetics ("natural ability") starts to become a factor at the higher levels of pro tennis

AtomicForehand
11-08-2010, 11:40 AM
Definitely. I'm mad that I didn't find tennis until I was an adult.

JRstriker12
11-08-2010, 11:58 AM
No.

Have you ever seen the movie "Unstrung" which follow some of top juniors in US tennis?

There are a lot of players there that were trained to play tennis almost from day 1 - but at the end of the movie IIRC, the only one that's still playing pro is Querry - I guess you could also include Donald Young, but he's not doing much IMHO.

Training from a young age can make you a pretty good tennis player - probably 5.0+, maybe get you a college scholarship. There are a lot of other factors that go into it - such as desire, mental attitude and having freakish athletic genetics and hand-eye coordination.

You use agassi as an example, but if you read his book, you know that Andre's father trained all his children with the hope of them becoming tennis pros. IIRC- one of his sisters was pretty good, but got sick of the training and ran off and married Pancho Gonzales. Andre's brother was so-so, but never made it after breaking his wrist and being forced to play with a one-handed backhand.

Also, if you read Agassi's book, his time at bollettieri was pretty much a nightmare and didn't seem to do much for his game.

Seems like a slim chance even with alot of training from a young age.

atatu
11-08-2010, 12:00 PM
With a lot of hard work maybe I could have been like this guy who I interviewed last month, but that would be about it.

http://austintennis.blogspot.com/2010/10/atb-interview-john-valenti-aka-johnny.html

r2473
11-08-2010, 12:16 PM
You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I coulda been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, let's face it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l0waNRaz6wU

Tall Bama Guy
11-08-2010, 12:26 PM
Tennis? Probably not - just not freakishly athletic enough. HOWEVER, I do believe that introducing golf to someone at a very early age would give them a better shot at being a pro. Golf is basically hand eye coordination and muscle memory.

andfor
11-08-2010, 12:50 PM
Yes, but I'm trapped in the body of a 4.5!

Cindysphinx
11-08-2010, 12:52 PM
I am a pro. I'm just not a tennis pro. :)

r2473
11-08-2010, 01:07 PM
I am a pro. I'm just not a tennis pro.

Is Cindy saying what I think she's saying?

jswinf
11-08-2010, 02:14 PM
I can only be a pro in my imagination. And it takes a lot of imagination.

hcb0804
11-08-2010, 02:21 PM
I coulda been a pro, but I became an amateur gynecologist instead........

sureshs
11-08-2010, 03:29 PM
Is Cindy saying what I think she's saying?

I hope not

sureshs
11-08-2010, 03:43 PM
You need to be at least 6 feet tall with no vision issues and no major health issues. You also should not have any major hand-eye coordination issues or clumsiness. Your body type must also be "athletic" i.e. you should not be prone to love handles and tummies.

These are the minimum requirements. Everything else is on top of that.

jakemcclain32
11-08-2010, 04:08 PM
You need to be at least 6 feet tall with no vision issues and no major health issues. You also should not have any major hand-eye coordination issues or clumsiness. Your body type must also be "athletic" i.e. you should not be prone to love handles and tummies.

These are the minimum requirements. Everything else is on top of that.

Then how do we explain Nalbandian :)

sureshs
11-08-2010, 04:09 PM
Then how do we explain Nalbandian :)

First rule is that there is an exception to every rule

dbusiness
11-08-2010, 04:31 PM
I thought I could have been a pro until I moved to Florida and saw how
good the college players are. Now I just have to suffer watching the
FAU guys qualify for Delray and hope I can make it through a couple
of weeks without breaking a racket.

dizzlmcwizzl
11-08-2010, 07:55 PM
No ..... and it's my dad's fault

LeeD
11-08-2010, 08:09 PM
Physically, no problem.
Athletically, easy.
Mentally, not even close ..:(:(

jdubbs
11-08-2010, 08:37 PM
Physically, no problem.
Athletically, easy.
Mentally, not even close ..:(:(

This is how I feel, but I also have a streak of laziness in me.

Totai
11-08-2010, 09:09 PM
No, I am too lazy

jakemcclain32
11-08-2010, 09:19 PM
POSSIBLY at doubles, and that's a long shot. A real long shot.

In high school, I had a coach that happened to catch me playing doubles on a Friday Night after practice. Saw how good I was at the net. Put me there the following Monday. Moved up a bunch of spots to JV by the end of the year. After that, I never played again. Had to concentrate on grades.

I still love doubles, even though I've probably played a handful of matches there the past 10 years.

westside
11-08-2010, 09:43 PM
Definitely. But there was one thing stopping me....

..talent

rh310
11-09-2010, 05:02 AM
Physically, yes. Extremely athletic, although I didn't start playing tennis until my late 30s.

Mentally, I can be a basket case so if that didn't get straightened out it would have been a "woulda shoulda" pro tennis career.

CSquared
11-09-2010, 08:08 AM
soccer...maybe.

tennis...still looking for a backhand

OrangePower
11-09-2010, 09:04 AM
Depends what you mean by pro. Coach at a club? Trying to play the futures circuit? Etc.

Assuming the OP meant ATP top 200 or so, then....

NO.

And those on this board that think otherwise are probably delusional. Sorry to burst your bubble, but even with the best of training from an early age, getting to the top 200 requires inherent physical and mental attributes that the vast majority of people just dont have.

Put it this way: If you had started playing basketball at a young age, would you be playing in the NBA today?

michael_1265
11-09-2010, 09:44 AM
Given the right amount of training (like Agassi's dad making him hit 10,000 balls a day from the age of 4 and then sending him to a tennis academy)? Do you think you have the natural ability if only it had been nurtured?

Sometimes I think about that, but realize the amount of competition makes the chances extremely small.

Nope, I don't have the hand/eye or natural athleticism of a pro, but I do have the body type for the sport (the same height as Marat Safin, and about 15 lbs heavier when I'm in shape. About 35 lbs heavier right now)

With all the advantages, I bet I could have earned a spot on a lower-level Div 1 team, and when college ended, I would self rate as a 4.0 and kick everyone's *****. Dare to dream.

sphinx780
11-09-2010, 10:56 AM
Well, I was able to make it to DIII without having any tennis lessons and picking up a wood racquet at 12. Still play a solid 4.5 level a decade or so removed.

So if I had the lessons and training...I'd probably be a solid 5.0 if my body didn't break down any more than it did with the run I've had.

I've seen guys that are more naturally talented in their little finger than myself and I'm no slouch.

LuckyR
11-09-2010, 05:11 PM
Yes, with a few caveats: I would have had to have just the right personality of coach who would have been able to harness the motivation I did have and dodge the "know it all-ness" that I had (and many say I still have) at the time. Of course, when you say "Pro", I'm talking Futures/Challengers not Top Ten.

nfor304
11-09-2010, 06:32 PM
Physically, no problem.
Athletically, easy.
Mentally, not even close ..:(:(

This is the case for virtually every player who never made it as a pro.
Tennis at the highest level is like 90% mental

morten
11-10-2010, 01:45 AM
yes.........

escii_35
11-10-2010, 10:07 AM
missing freakish quickness.

dcdoorknob
11-10-2010, 10:14 AM
Physically, no problem.
Athletically, easy.
Mentally, not even close ..:(:(

For me:
Physically, not even close
Athletically, not even close
Mentally, not even close. :(:(

stoo
11-10-2010, 10:17 AM
Physically, no problem.
Athletically, easy.
Mentally, not even close ..:(:(

I feel your pain.

heninfan99
11-12-2010, 04:45 AM
Nowadays...DEFINITELY NO. Back in the early 80s and I'm not dissing earlier tennis but I'm thinking Patrick McEnroe wasn't an amazing athlete. Nice hands at net but a player like that makes you wonder if you trained properly from childhood and got to practice with the #1 player(his brother) in the world maybe a ranking of 599 or there abouts would have been possible.

heninfan99
11-12-2010, 04:51 AM
AWESOME interview. Thanks.
With a lot of hard work maybe I could have been like this guy who I interviewed last month, but that would be about it.

http://austintennis.blogspot.com/2010/10/atb-interview-john-valenti-aka-johnny.html

jdubbs
11-12-2010, 09:40 AM
That's a great interview. I think sometimes that a tennis pro life (and this means playing at the lower levels and teaching MILFS the rest of your life) wouldn't be too bad.

But then I get to my club and see what they actually do, and think...nah.

WilsonWest
11-12-2010, 10:11 AM
I hope I can be (only 15) but doing great for my age

jakemcclain32
11-12-2010, 10:34 AM
That's a great interview. I think sometimes that a tennis pro life (and this means playing at the lower levels and teaching MILFS the rest of your life) wouldn't be too bad.

But then I get to my club and see what they actually do, and think...nah.

Yeah, "teaching MILFs" ;-)

BMC9670
11-12-2010, 10:37 AM
Interesting question. In your hypothetical, I think that there would be a lot of people "capable" of being a pro with that training, but the odds are still long simply due to the small amount of players that can be top pros. The top 100 is the top 100. There are no teams, there are no "role" players, there are no "bench" players, there is no 2nd and 3rd string. So, giving anyone, even a super-athlete the correct training is great...but the odds are still the same.

I think it takes all of the qualities pointed out already... athletic ability, hand-eye, mental strength, desire, work ethic...but also some luck. That luck could be circumstance (born into money), could be location, could be draws, no injuries, etc.

Tar Heel Tennis
11-12-2010, 02:22 PM
..........

Tar Heel Tennis
11-12-2010, 02:24 PM
I've seen guys that are more naturally talented in their little finger than myself and I'm no slouch.

don't sell yourself short. you're a tremendous slouch!
:D

(plagiarized from Ty Webb)

burosky
11-12-2010, 02:27 PM
don't sell yourself short. you're a tremendous slouch!
:D

(plagiarized from Ty Webb)

I didn't think he was selling himself short. He did say he is not a slouch. :)

Tar Heel Tennis
11-12-2010, 02:28 PM
I didn't think he was selling himself short. He did say he is not a slouch. :)

go watch Caddyshack

polski
11-12-2010, 02:59 PM
go watch Caddyshack

i'm slightly surprised anyone can not know that line. great use of it btw!

Satch
11-12-2010, 03:17 PM
i could have been better than Federer... but let him get all the trophies instead.

sphinx780
11-12-2010, 07:24 PM
I have to say that both said quote and the reply were well worth the read.

tes
11-13-2010, 04:33 AM
In the early 70's, in my prime Dr. Alex Mayer watching my game commented
that I could definetly be a very competetive.........club player.

Sentinel
11-13-2010, 04:57 AM
I can only be a pro in my imagination. And it takes a lot of imagination.
LOL.

10chars.

jdubbs
11-13-2010, 05:18 AM
As luck would have it, I played a former ATP pro in a friendly match last night. He was ranked top 600 a few years ago.

Weirdly enough, I play a lot better against guys with that much pace, crushed a couple of service returns, and even aced him 3 times with some monster serves of my own.

But this was doubles...if I played him singles, I would not win a game. I'm a good 4.0 and he actually said I should be a 4.5 based on what he saw (of course that was only because I went for every shot as hard as I could)

Here was the main difference: his serve was super hard and placed extremely well. his groundstrokes had incredible touch as well as pace.

Still it was fun, and a reminder of how good the pros really are.

atatu
11-13-2010, 07:20 AM
don't sell yourself short. you're a tremendous slouch!
:D

(plagiarized from Ty Webb)

He's got that going for himself, which is nice.

hcb0804
11-14-2010, 04:08 AM
You need to be at least 6 feet tall with no vision issues and no major health issues. You also should not have any major hand-eye coordination issues or clumsiness. Your body type must also be "athletic" i.e. you should not be prone to love handles and tummies.

These are the minimum requirements. Everything else is on top of that.

I don't think so:

Ollie Rochus?
Harold Solomon?
Lindsay Davenport?
Serena?
Nalbandian?
Cibulkova, Kleybanova (and several other "chunky" females)

NLBwell
11-14-2010, 11:08 AM
I've thought about this a lot, so I'll share my thoughts.
I learned very good strokes when I was little and would spend a lot of time hitting aganst the wall even at about 5 or 6 years old but never played much tennis on a court then. I played in junior high and high school about 3 months in the summers but never played junior tournaments or anything. I quit springboard diving in high school - decided that I didn't really want to make that my life (ie. 5 AM driving to the indoor pool, after school sessions, etc.) to chase the olympics or whatever. I got serious about playing tennis as a junior in high school and even played once a week or so throughout the winter. By my senior year I was getting pretty serious about tennis. I went to college in the south at a top 20 D-I school and by my end of my freshman year was beating guys who were on the tennis team. Tried to walk on my Sophmore year and would have been on the team but I injured my leg. Pretty good for only just over two years of serious tennis. I certainly would have improved a lot with being on the team, with serious coaching, match play, training, etc. So the thought occured, could I have become an ATP pro if things were different, it I had started being serious just a little sooner.
In the end, I think not.
One, though I hit with huge power for the day, I'm not a very big guy. I probably would have constantly been injured from trying to go 110% all the time. Someone once posted here that lots of guys who couldn't quite make the tour said it was because of injury. It was written like that was kind of BS or an excuse, but thinking about it, it is probably true in a lot of cases. If you don't have the talent of the big guys, you work and work to try and get there and your body will break down on you. I would have been trying to go at 110% (nobody would out-work me) and it would have been inevitable that my body would have broken down.
Two, mentally as a kid I was just too emotionally up and down to have properly coped with being a competitive junior. It would have been a miserable experience for the whole family. Likely I would have burned out if I had started competing earlier. Probably if I had taken a year off after high school and played tennis I could have been a successful college player, avoiding the junior angst, but again, probably too late to become a pro.
Being a successful ATP player is an extremely rare thing - everything has to be there from the physical, mental, emotional, family support, not too much family support, money, opportunity, and a lot of other things. It's not just about hitting tennis balls.

SlapShot
11-14-2010, 11:40 AM
^^

Great post NLB. I think I can echo your sentiments regarding the physical gifts that allow the pros to be pros. Like you, I would probably be considered "undersized" by pro standards (5'10"), and that would have likely doomed me to either being a grinder and the risks that come with that, or trying to develop a big power game for a little guy (Benjamin Becker is one smaller guy who can bash), but that's a high risk game without the net clearance that comes with being 6'2" or taller.

I actually would have probably had better odds to be a pro as a pitcher in baseball - I have a freaky live arm and even as a kid, could wing the ball pretty well. I just could never hit very well. :(

Devilito
11-14-2010, 12:51 PM
Given the right amount of training (like Agassi's dad making him hit 10,000 balls a day from the age of 4 and then sending him to a tennis academy)? Do you think you have the natural ability if only it had been nurtured?

Sometimes I think about that, but realize the amount of competition makes the chances extremely small.

Under those conditions with unlimited funds and resources? I think so without a doubt in my mind. The only question would be the ranking. That would be impossible to predict.

dlk
11-14-2010, 01:02 PM
If I started at 6 & had unlimited finances to do so, with supportive parents...No probably not, but I bet I could've played some level of college with that:shock:

doom
11-14-2010, 01:49 PM
I think people who say they could have been a pro if they didnt have some injury are kidding themselves to be honest. Injuries are an unavoidable reality for virtually all athletes, and its very rare that injuries will be so bad to keep a player off the tour for the space of an entire career.

If you really had what it takes to be a pro, an injury would only slow you down, it wouldnt stop you completely unless you lost a limb or something.

Didnt they tell Thomas Muster he would never play tennis again after he was injured?

In Agassi's book he talks about playing his entire last year in extreme pain with a nerve pinching in his back.... There are tons of examples of players carrying those kinds of ongoing injuries, but it doesnt stop them.

mlktennis
11-14-2010, 05:40 PM
I think people who say they could have been a pro if they didnt have some injury are kidding themselves to be honest. Injuries are an unavoidable reality for virtually all athletes, and its very rare that injuries will be so bad to keep a player off the tour for the space of an entire career.

If you really had what it takes to be a pro, an injury would only slow you down, it wouldnt stop you completely unless you lost a limb or something.

Didnt they tell Thomas Muster he would never play tennis again after he was injured?

In Agassi's book he talks about playing his entire last year in extreme pain with a nerve pinching in his back.... There are tons of examples of players carrying those kinds of ongoing injuries, but it doesnt stop them.

WRONG...Injuries are a HUGE part of a professional athlete's carrer. The window to being a pro is very small and a injury can definately derail you esp if you are young in your career and trying to establish yourself.

Also injuries take a mental toll as well and we all know how much the mental side is important in tennis.

Granted, many of these people that said they would have made it prob still wouldn't -even without injuries but maybe a select few really did have the talent and circumstances to do it.

Your agassi analogy is completely off base- he was dealing with his balky back at the end of a great career. He just had to suffer and get some cortisone shots for a short time till retirement. What if he had it in his formative years at Bollitieri?- he would never have been able to refine and train his game if he did.

NLBwell
11-14-2010, 08:46 PM
I think people who say they could have been a pro if they didnt have some injury are kidding themselves to be honest. Injuries are an unavoidable reality for virtually all athletes, and its very rare that injuries will be so bad to keep a player off the tour for the space of an entire career.

If you really had what it takes to be a pro, an injury would only slow you down, it wouldnt stop you completely unless you lost a limb or something.

Didnt they tell Thomas Muster he would never play tennis again after he was injured?

In Agassi's book he talks about playing his entire last year in extreme pain with a nerve pinching in his back.... There are tons of examples of players carrying those kinds of ongoing injuries, but it doesnt stop them.

I agree that injuries are a part of the game and you have to get over them. However, the guy who isn't quite as good, who doesn't have the talent will be less able to come back from it, their game will suffer more from the lost time, and won't be able to win at 90% of their top physical capability like the more talented guys wiil. Also, they will be more likely to get injured just because they aren't as good. Obviously, Agassi and Muster had the talent. Do you think some 22 year old scrapping by with limited resources trying to move up from futures to challengers could suffer the injuries those guys did and still be a top ATP pro? A guy with the talent and position of Tsonga can maybe do that, but for most guys that would be the end of the career.



If you were referring to me, the injury I referred to was only temporary (couple of months) and didn't affect my long term tennis ability. What I was saying was that, looking back on it, I likely would have been injury-prone, that there would have always been something going wrong.

doom
11-14-2010, 09:08 PM
WRONG...Injuries are a HUGE part of a professional athlete's carrer. The window to being a pro is very small and a injury can definately derail you esp if you are young in your career and trying to establish yourself.

Also injuries take a mental toll as well and we all know how much the mental side is important in tennis.

Granted, many of these people that said they would have made it prob still wouldn't -even without injuries but maybe a select few really did have the talent and circumstances to do it.

Your agassi analogy is completely off base- he was dealing with his balky back at the end of a great career. He just had to suffer and get some cortisone shots for a short time till retirement. What if he had it in his formative years at Bollitieri?- he would never have been able to refine and train his game if he did.

I dont see how im WRONG in saying that injuries are a reality for virtually all professional athletes. You saying injuries are a HUGE part of an athletes career is saying EXACTLY the same thing.

Injuries taking a mental toll is exactly my point. Its usually not the injury that stops a player, but the set back and the hit to the players confidence that has a bigger impact.

My Agassi example was an example of how players often play through pain and carrying injuries that we never even hear about, not that the injury somehow derailed his career. Its also worth noting that Agassi carried a wrist injury throughout his entire career that frequently re occured since he was 16 years old, as well as suffering from Osgood–Schlatter disease since he was a child, resulting in knee pain throughout his career.

The window to make it as a pro really isnt that small, that if you are injured for a year there is no turning back and you are doomed forever not to make it. Many pros have had very successful careers having turned pro between the ages of 15-25. Look at players like benjamin Becker, Marc Gicquel, John Isner etc.

doom
11-14-2010, 09:17 PM
I agree that injuries are a part of the game and you have to get over them. However, the guy who isn't quite as good, who doesn't have the talent will be less able to come back from it, their game will suffer more from the lost time, and won't be able to win at 90% of their top physical capability like the more talented guys wiil. Also, they will be more likely to get injured just because they aren't as good. Obviously, Agassi and Muster had the talent. Do you think some 22 year old scrapping by with limited resources trying to move up from futures to challengers could suffer the injuries those guys did and still be a top ATP pro? A guy with the talent and position of Tsonga can maybe do that, but for most guys that would be the end of the career.



If you were referring to me, the injury I referred to was only temporary (couple of months) and didn't affect my long term tennis ability. What I was saying was that, looking back on it, I likely would have been injury-prone, that there would have always been something going wrong.

I wasn't refering to your injury, I was more just referring to injuries in general.

I dont know if anyone would label Muster as exceptionally talented. He was a player who built his career on hard work and dedication to the sport, not on any noticable talent he had. He wasn't exceptionally fast, didnt have much of a serve and really didnt have very big weapons of the ground to the extent that they were dominating shots.

Sure its easier for a player who is exceptionally talented or blessed physically to come back strong from an injury, all i'm saying is that injuries are often not the only reason someone doesnt make it to the top. Usually, imo, a player who never makes it because of an injury, doesnt make it for a number of other reasons also.

bboy_beez
11-15-2010, 11:08 AM
yes.

anyone who actually has the discipline to hit 10,000 balls a day since the age of 4 will become a professional no matter where you come from or who you are as long you have the desire to keep learning and pushing forward. some one mention about hand-eye cordination and athletic ability, but if you literally hit 10k balls a day, the skill is learned in the process. Just like any other area of success, repetition is key to success. you want to go pro basketball, just shoot 10k shot a day, go football, same, soccer same, buisness same, more numbers output more results. and when it's game time, you won't even flinch or think twice. It will be automactic if your mental game is there also.

tennisdad65
11-15-2010, 11:23 AM
You need to be at least 6 feet tall ferrer, davy, rochus, chang, rios, agassi, connors

no vision issues nothing laser's cannot correct :)

no major health issues. novak

You also should not have any ....clumsiness Isner, Ivo, Soderling, Birdman..

Your body type must also be "athletic" i.e. you should not be prone to love handles and tummies. ramesh krishnan, nalby, baggy..

tennisdad65
11-15-2010, 11:26 AM
...Agassi's dad making him hit 10,000 balls a day from the age of 4....

10,000 balls a day? I doubt it..
tennis elbow, shoulder issues, wrist problems are the first things that come to my mind.. besides kids would go insane doing that.. :)

Sherlock
11-15-2010, 11:56 AM
10,000 balls a day? I doubt it..
tennis elbow, shoulder issues, wrist problems are the first things that come to my mind.. besides kids would go insane doing that.. :)

True...I didn't even think about this before. Assume hitting with a ball machine you can hit a ball every 6 seconds (just to make the computations easy, it's probably not correct). That means you can hit 10 balls a minute or 600 in an hour. In order to hit 10,000 balls in a day you would have to do that for 16 hours and 40 minutes :shock:

My guess is that it was more like 3000 balls a day = 5 hours, and even that sounds a little much.

A little more computation: If you want to get to that 1,000,000 hit mark that they say you need to have a natural feel for the motion, you could hit 3000 balls a day every day for one year. If you need 10,000,000 hits to become an expert, I guess that would take 10 years. I better get going...:neutral:

sureshs
11-15-2010, 11:57 AM
ferrer, davy, rochus, chang, rios, agassi, connors

nothing laser's cannot correct :)

novak

Isner, Ivo, Soderling, Birdman..

ramesh krishnan, nalby, baggy..

chang, rios, agassi, connors, krishnan - earlier generations

laser correction is good but not sure it is as good as not having the problem in the first place

jdubbs
11-15-2010, 12:19 PM
True...I didn't even think about this before. Assume hitting with a ball machine you can hit a ball every 6 seconds (just to make the computations easy, it's probably not correct). That means you can hit 10 balls a minute or 600 in an hour. In order to hit 10,000 balls in a day you would have to do that for 16 hours and 40 minutes :shock:

My guess is that it was more like 3000 balls a day = 5 hours, and even that sounds a little much.

A little more computation: If you want to get to that 1,000,000 hit mark that they say you need to have a natural feel for the motion, you could hit 3000 balls a day every day for one year. If you need 10,000,000 hits to become an expert, I guess that would take 10 years. I better get going...:neutral:

10,000 balls was an exaggeration to make a point that he played for hours every day. If you can call hitting a couple thousand balls "playing"

By the way, we were talking about Agassi/Graf's kids yesterday at the club, and that none of them play juniors tennis.

Do you think they'll grow up resenting the fact that they weren't given a chance at "the glory" like Agassi/Graf were? I know that no victory I ever have had at work would be close to lifting a Wimbledon trophy. Wonder if they'll feel the same.

Even Agassi, for all his talk about how much he hates tennis...would he give it all up if he had to do it again? If he was Andre the Accountant? Or Andre the blackjack dealer (since he's from Vegas)? Something tells me he wouldn't.

onehandbh
11-15-2010, 12:39 PM
I won $150 in a tournament (for winning singles and mixed doubles).
Does that make me a pro?

Legend of Borg
11-15-2010, 01:07 PM
chang, rios, agassi, connors, krishnan - earlier generations

laser correction is good but not sure it is as good as not having the problem in the first place

You have a very determinist view on height. You seem to suggest that being below 6 feet (around 5' 10"?) would mean you can't become an effective force on tour. Any players which are exception to that rule (and there are quite a few) are dismissed as being part of the older generation or just having a mediocre career.

We can admit there are limitations to some parts of a player's game due to a lack of height (anything below 6 feet according to you), the most obvious being the serve, but this doesn't doom anyone below that height from being a legitimate force on tour.

A certain young Lithuanian called Ricardas Berankis comes to mind when discussing height limitations. He's primed and ready to break the top 100 in a few months time and his future looks promising.

freshtennis
11-15-2010, 01:50 PM
not a chance. unfortunately.

sureshs
11-15-2010, 01:55 PM
You have a very determinist view on height. You seem to suggest that being below 6 feet (around 5' 10"?) would mean you can't become an effective force on tour. Any players which are exception to that rule (and there are quite a few) are dismissed as being part of the older generation or just having a mediocre career.

We can admit there are limitations to some parts of a player's game due to a lack of height (anything below 6 feet according to you), the most obvious being the serve, but this doesn't doom anyone below that height from being a legitimate force on tour.

A certain young Lithuanian called Ricardas Berankis comes to mind when discussing height limitations. He's primed and ready to break the top 100 in a few months time and his future looks promising.

There are exceptions to everything.

It is just that as a junior, if he/she/parents need to make a choice, these things need to be taken into account. Just like getting A grade in Physics in school means nothing when it comes to deciding on a career in physics research, they should take a long term realistic view. At the same time, there will be dreamers and losers ...

atatu
11-15-2010, 02:06 PM
You guys are forgetting Brian Dabul...

GRANITECHIEF
11-15-2010, 02:47 PM
I won $150 in a tournament (for winning singles and mixed doubles).
Does that make me a pro?

Yes you are a pro!! When did you win that?

onehandbh
11-15-2010, 03:12 PM
Yes you are a pro!! When did you win that?

Don't remember exactly when. It was years ago. I used a wilson jack
kramer prostaff. I had the option of accepting two trophies or cash. I took
the cash, thus ending my amateur status.

I've been toying around with the idea of organizing a
charity wood racquet tournament in LA, but have been too busy the
last couple years.

Damn, it looks like I missed out on this tournament!!!
http://www.woodracquetclassic.com/eventdetails.html

Turbo
11-15-2010, 10:21 PM
yes.

anyone who actually has the discipline to hit 10,000 balls a day since the age of 4 will become a professional no matter where you come from or who you are as long you have the desire to keep learning and pushing forward. some one mention about hand-eye cordination and athletic ability, but if you literally hit 10k balls a day, the skill is learned in the process. Just like any other area of success, repetition is key to success. you want to go pro basketball, just shoot 10k shot a day, go football, same, soccer same, buisness same, more numbers output more results. and when it's game time, you won't even flinch or think twice. It will be automactic if your mental game is there also.

There's no way that any given person can become a pro. Certainly some people are born with better coordination and reflexes than others, therefore they will have a much higher potential. Some people would have NO chance. There are other people that have practiced more than those in the top 10, or 100 for that matter.

I think I might have been able to go pro - I got to a 4.5 level in less than 3 years without any coaching and I'm still getting better. I probably would have gotten injured though - I do that a lot.

jdubbs
11-16-2010, 03:26 PM
A 4.5 is a slightly better than average club player. That would put you miles away from being a pro.

TourTenor
11-16-2010, 04:12 PM
I won $150 in a tournament (for winning singles and mixed doubles).
Does that make me a pro?
That is a start, you are only $58.3 million behind Federer!8-)

BMC9670
11-16-2010, 05:39 PM
I won $150 in a tournament (for winning singles and mixed doubles).
Does that make me a pro?

How about a $30 Panera Bread gift certificate for winning a father-son tournament with my 8 year old? I'm a pro and he's ineligible for college, right?:)

Angle Queen
11-16-2010, 05:43 PM
Could I have been a pro? NO.

But the better question is...would I have wanted to be a pro? There again, the definitive answer is a resounding NO. I had too much fun growing up and, sadly, I don't think that's possible for those who aspire to a professional sport/athletic career. And for women, I think the pressures on their young bodies are especially too hard and too early. Witness all the injuries and such that make the WTA mostly a joke. But there is hope for the Ladies Tour: Kim Clijsters was the youngest Slam winner this year...and a mommy to boot.

NLBwell
11-16-2010, 10:25 PM
I won $150 in a tournament (for winning singles and mixed doubles).
Does that make me a pro?

Actually, if you won it in the wood racket days, it probably would have disqualified you from playing amateur tournaments, so yes, you were a pro.

How about a $30 Panera Bread gift certificate for winning a father-son tournament with my 8 year old? I'm a pro and he's ineligible for college, right?:)

Nowadays, they are much more lenient and you can win some significant amount of prize money before you are not an amateur anymore. Guys actually get to keep money they win at smaller tournaments. Not sure of the specific rules.

Cindysphinx
11-17-2010, 08:21 AM
On the subject of injuries . . .

I think we all agree that the pros have freakish speed, coordination and overall athletic ability. I would also say that they have freakish anatomy that allows them to endure the impact their bodies sustain on a daily basis. And yes, those of us without that physiology will never make it as pros no matter how athletic we are.

I used a teaching pro for many years. He started playing as a young teen, and he is now 37. He has never had an injury that required him to miss out on any tennis. It is hard to believe -- doesn't everyone get injured? Nope, apparently not. He must have incredibly solid joints and connective tissues. He is also quite fluid and graceful on the court and I've never seen him so much as stumble.

In contrast, I can name lots of people (including myself) who seem to have a physiological weakness that would snuff out a tennis career pretty quickly. People who are always battling bad knees, ankles, hips, wrists, elbows or shoulders. Yes, some of this is bad technique. But some of it (especially knees and ankles) is likely just having been born that way.

Cindy -- who has bad knees and whose dad also has bad knees

MNPlayer
11-17-2010, 08:28 AM
Actually, if you won it in the wood racket days, it probably would have disqualified you from playing amateur tournaments, so yes, you were a pro.



Nowadays, they are much more lenient and you can win some significant amount of prize money before you are not an amateur anymore. Guys actually get to keep money they win at smaller tournaments. Not sure of the specific rules.

You can keep money up to the cost of entering the tournament, including travel, etc. Not sure how you are supposed to prove all this, but I magine the entry fee was probably higher than the value of the panera gift cert :)

I got free a private lesson once for winning a 3.5 tournament (thanks Sherlock!), the value of which exceeded my entry fee. So I guess I'm ineligible for college tennis now :(

Sherlock
11-19-2010, 11:37 AM
You can keep money up to the cost of entering the tournament, including travel, etc. Not sure how you are supposed to prove all this, but I magine the entry fee was probably higher than the value of the panera gift cert :)

I got free a private lesson once for winning a 3.5 tournament (thanks Sherlock!), the value of which exceeded my entry fee. So I guess I'm ineligible for college tennis now :(

:) I think the cost of travel and food you had to eat during the tournament pushed your total cost about equal with the prize value. So you can probably still play college tennis.

I always have to look this up when it comes up, because it's pretty complicated.

The way I remember it, you are allowed to accept PRIZES not exceeding a total value of $250 as a reward for a high place in a tournament and still retain amateur status. Tournaments may also refund players money up to the cost of entry fee, lodging, travel, food, etc., but this cannot be dependent on the round you reach (it can be dependent on distance travelled, for example).

If you ever accept money as a prize for a tournament result, you do lose amateur status.

However, you can regain ameteur status if you have not accepted any prize money for a certain period of time. The amount of time you have to wait goes up the more prize money you have won.

A few other details some people may not be aware of: You lose amateur status whenever you earn money as a "direct result" of tennis skill. The USTA rulebook includes getting paid for teaching tennis in this category. So all "tennis pros", no matter how little they get paid, are "pros". In addition, the NCAA regulations for amateur status may not be exactly the same as the USTA regulations (which only apply for tournaments specifically labeled "amateur", which I don't really see anymore). So be careful about going only by the USTA rules if you ever plan on playing NCAA tennis.

sureshs
11-19-2010, 12:13 PM
On the subject of injuries . . .

I think we all agree that the pros have freakish speed, coordination and overall athletic ability. I would also say that they have freakish anatomy that allows them to endure the impact their bodies sustain on a daily basis. And yes, those of us without that physiology will never make it as pros no matter how athletic we are.

I used a teaching pro for many years. He started playing as a young teen, and he is now 37. He has never had an injury that required him to miss out on any tennis. It is hard to believe -- doesn't everyone get injured? Nope, apparently not. He must have incredibly solid joints and connective tissues. He is also quite fluid and graceful on the court and I've never seen him so much as stumble.

In contrast, I can name lots of people (including myself) who seem to have a physiological weakness that would snuff out a tennis career pretty quickly. People who are always battling bad knees, ankles, hips, wrists, elbows or shoulders. Yes, some of this is bad technique. But some of it (especially knees and ankles) is likely just having been born that way.

Cindy -- who has bad knees and whose dad also has bad knees

But what counts is the proneness to injuries before age 30 or so.

GoSurfBoy
11-19-2010, 01:19 PM
I started tennis at 19. My mom never pushed, but was a Nationally ranked player from 40 on, when she started. I brought all my athletic abilities with me, including good genes. 6'2"/190, and still the same weight. My mom got me 'up to speed' pretty fast (wanna' make enemies quickly? Get very good, very fast, in a sport, and go beat VERY dedicated people, playing all their lives!).

By 24, I had made it through 3 very tough rounds of Qualifying on a So Cal stop (not what you'd call a 'lack of talent' area) on a Futures Tour ($5000 per stop, $10,000 Masters at the end). Lost 1st Round, but hey...

My parents were pretty broke. I worked 3 jobs in between tourneys to pay for this, and I remember sitting in a Salvage Title (wrecked) car, freezing, waiting for the rain to clear, from 7am until 9pm, when they finally called my match (Futures players can play under THE WORST conditions).

I had to exit the passenger door, as my side didn't open. My opponent stepped out of a 40' luxury motorhome., and yet, stiff and tired and cold and sore, I pulled him to a tie-breaker in the second set, dropping it like 10-8 or something like that.

Already on the ATP, he eventually made it to the top 50 on the ATP, so I think with some backing and NOT having to work my ***** off - off the court - yea; I could have probably done it. How far? Don't know, but I would have had a blast, AND, I'm still not hampered by injuries and whatnot. Occasional this and that, minor, nothing serious, so I don't see that as having been a factor for me.

I train now with a ranking Junior. His dad can and does give him whatever he wants, but I asked him one day, with all that's offered, does he really care? He seems so .....blase'...at times, and it just blows my mind. I would have KILLED to have that opportunity, and I see this out there;

Sometimes, when it's handed to you, it's hard to appreciate until you experience the alternative; Everyday Life: 8-5, commuting, and THEN maybe getting some time to hit the ball...

Someone once asked Arthur Ashe about the 'glamorous lifestyle' of pro tennis, and Arthur replied;

"You think it's glamorous, living out of a suitcase, traveling all the time, eating out all the time by yourself....?

..."and I wouldn't trade it for anything"....he finished with a smile.

Cheers

dlk
11-19-2010, 02:23 PM
^^^Cool story.

jdubbs
11-20-2010, 02:47 PM
I started tennis at 19. My mom never pushed, but was a Nationally ranked player from 40 on, when she started. I brought all my athletic abilities with me, including good genes. 6'2"/190, and still the same weight. My mom got me 'up to speed' pretty fast (wanna' make enemies quickly? Get very good, very fast, in a sport, and go beat VERY dedicated people, playing all their lives!).

By 24, I had made it through 3 very tough rounds of Qualifying on a So Cal stop (not what you'd call a 'lack of talent' area) on a Futures Tour ($5000 per stop, $10,000 Masters at the end). Lost 1st Round, but hey...

My parents were pretty broke. I worked 3 jobs in between tourneys to pay for this, and I remember sitting in a Salvage Title (wrecked) car, freezing, waiting for the rain to clear, from 7am until 9pm, when they finally called my match (Futures players can play under THE WORST conditions).

I had to exit the passenger door, as my side didn't open. My opponent stepped out of a 40' luxury motorhome., and yet, stiff and tired and cold and sore, I pulled him to a tie-breaker in the second set, dropping it like 10-8 or something like that.

Already on the ATP, he eventually made it to the top 50 on the ATP, so I think with some backing and NOT having to work my ***** off - off the court - yea; I could have probably done it. How far? Don't know, but I would have had a blast, AND, I'm still not hampered by injuries and whatnot. Occasional this and that, minor, nothing serious, so I don't see that as having been a factor for me.

I train now with a ranking Junior. His dad can and does give him whatever he wants, but I asked him one day, with all that's offered, does he really care? He seems so .....blase'...at times, and it just blows my mind. I would have KILLED to have that opportunity, and I see this out there;

Sometimes, when it's handed to you, it's hard to appreciate until you experience the alternative; Everyday Life: 8-5, commuting, and THEN maybe getting some time to hit the ball...

Someone once asked Arthur Ashe about the 'glamorous lifestyle' of pro tennis, and Arthur replied;

"You think it's glamorous, living out of a suitcase, traveling all the time, eating out all the time by yourself....?

..."and I wouldn't trade it for anything"....he finished with a smile.

Cheers

Good story. I definitely didn't have access to the finest coaches etc either, but you really fought through all of that to almost-success. I bet you're pretty good at whatever you're doing now.

But yeah, "rich parents" are something most of us didn't have.

GoSurfBoy
11-20-2010, 05:35 PM
Thanks Jd and DLK...

I watched that 'unstrung' flick on Google, and Bassett's son is heading to training in the morning and he quips; "it's a jail...."

Gee....wished I'd had it THAT rough....lol

Kind of why I drifted away. It was sooooo hard trying to make a living and then go play against guys who had doctor/dentist/rich parents. It's what it takes. I know it [I]can[I] be done without it, but it's is pretty expensive. Knowing what I know now, I could have maybe found cheaper ways, but....

I got close, but as they say, "close only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades".

PS: Carling Basset is STILL smokin'! wow...

jdubbs
11-20-2010, 09:31 PM
Thanks Jd and DLK...

I watched that 'unstrung' flick on Google, and Bassett's son is heading to training in the morning and he quips; "it's a jail...."

Gee....wished I'd had it THAT rough....lol

Kind of why I drifted away. It was sooooo hard trying to make a living and then go play against guys who had doctor/dentist/rich parents. It's what it takes. I know it [I]can[I] be done without it, but it's is pretty expensive. Knowing what I know now, I could have maybe found cheaper ways, but....

I got close, but as they say, "close only counts with horseshoes and hand grenades".

PS: Carling Basset is STILL smokin'! wow...

Don't feel too bad, I know a guy who was top 100 for a few years, he now has pretty much the same job as I do. Another one I know has money problems and he was top 10. You don't really end up making that much in the end, it's not like golfers, where all of the top 50 end up with a million plus per year.n

NLBwell
11-21-2010, 12:48 AM
True...I didn't even think about this before. Assume hitting with a ball machine you can hit a ball every 6 seconds (just to make the computations easy, it's probably not correct). That means you can hit 10 balls a minute or 600 in an hour. In order to hit 10,000 balls in a day you would have to do that for 16 hours and 40 minutes :shock:

My guess is that it was more like 3000 balls a day = 5 hours, and even that sounds a little much.

A little more computation: If you want to get to that 1,000,000 hit mark that they say you need to have a natural feel for the motion, you could hit 3000 balls a day every day for one year. If you need 10,000,000 hits to become an expert, I guess that would take 10 years. I better get going...:neutral:

Thinking about this, the computation shows why so many pros started by hitting the backboard - you can do about 1 shot per second (vs. 6 on the ball machine) and way more than that if you are volleying. You can hit the ball 10,000 times in 1/6th the time - 2 hours and 47 minutes. I would say that when I was growing up I hit the backboard for at least that amount of time during the summers.

ark_28
11-21-2010, 01:25 AM
The thing is being a pro is actually a very loose statement, I played first team university tennis in England but only really took my tennis seriously fairly late on, I think that I could have carried on and played satellites and futures, and technically would have been a pro, so the answer is yes, but would I have been a pro as in, playing the big events, week in week out, the televised events, the majors etc, then almost certainly not, thats why I didnt go into it full time :)

dlk
11-21-2010, 05:00 AM
The thing is being a pro is actually a very loose statement, I played first team university tennis in England but only really took my tennis seriously fairly late on, I think that I could have carried on and played satellites and futures, and technically would have been a pro, so the answer is yes, but would I have been a pro as in, playing the big events, week in week out, the televised events, the majors etc, then almost certainly not, thats why I didnt go into it full time :)

Interesting. I wish I could play at your level. Very very unlikely (not gonna happen) that I could get even close to your level.:)

ark_28
11-21-2010, 04:04 PM
Interesting. I wish I could play at your level. Very very unlikely (not gonna happen) that I could get even close to your level.:)

Hard work my friend is they key, determination, and hit work on your game as much as you can.
Talent is important, but there is no substitute for hunger and determination, I know a guy who a year ago, great an athelete as he was, was a good solid club player thats it.
He trains 6 times a week plus gym, and now he is pretty much up to county standard, I don't know how far he will go, but to see him now and last year is like day and night!
So keep working, keep enjoying it, and you can certainly be as good as I was or even better :)

goober
11-21-2010, 06:30 PM
But yeah, "rich parents" are something most of us didn't have.

and something that many top pros didn't have-

fruitytennis1
11-21-2010, 08:04 PM
Well I started playing when i was 8. Not seriously till 12. Im ranked top 100 U16 atm and i might not even get a scholorship.
Sum it up..no i wont be a pro...

Fedace
11-21-2010, 08:34 PM
Yea, i think i would have had a chance. but will never know.

JoelDali
11-21-2010, 08:56 PM
If my dad was Mike Agassi, yes.

If my dad was Eddie Haskell, no.

goober
11-22-2010, 07:15 AM
If my dad was Eddie Haskell, no.

yeah but you could have been a pro used car salesman :)

OTOH John Feinstein called Phil Mickelson an Eddie Haskell so maybe it wouldn't have been that bad...

Legend of Borg
11-22-2010, 07:19 AM
and something that many top pros didn't have-

What if you don't have rich parents or a 6' 4" frame?

goober
11-22-2010, 07:31 AM
What if you don't have rich parents or a 6' 4" frame?

You are doomed to a life of club level tennis and the TW message boards.

Legend of Borg
11-22-2010, 07:35 AM
You are doomed to a life of club level tennis and the TW message boards.

That's pretty tragic.

Your dreams being influenced by factors outside your control.

jdubbs
11-22-2010, 08:52 AM
yeah but you could have been a pro used car salesman :)

OTOH John Feinstein called Phil Mickelson an Eddie Haskell so maybe it wouldn't have been that bad...

A lot of salesmen (in industries like tech and energy) make more than 99.9% of pro tennis players! And you can keep your job way after you're too old to play tennis at the pro level.

Wilander Fan
11-24-2010, 12:49 AM
I think the better question is whether you would want to be a pro. When you hear pro tennis player, you tend to think of Federer and his 60m earnings and however much in endorsements but, even for him, thats over a 10 year pro career and he is easily the top earner EVER in his profession. Taking a very loose estimate of Federer's total earnings, he might make 10m in a good year. That's not even in the same ballpark with better than average athletes in other pro leagues such as NBA or MLB. There might be a couple of guys on any given team making that kind of money just in terms of salary and that money is likely guaranteed. OTOH, Federer has to pay from his money, his coaches, equipment, facilities, travel and lodging, tournament fees and other various staff. A guy like Peyton Manning gets all of this for free.

So far we are talking about Federer, arguably the greatest player ever to pick up a racket and inarguable the most successful so he can afford all this. What about your average top 20 player who might have 6-10m in earnings after 10 years? Lets take a look at Baghdatis who is a pretty run of the mill top 20 player. Hes been pro for about 7yrs and has made about 4m. He made just less than 1m this year which was a pretty good year for him. His endorsements are not going to be in the same league as Federer so lets disregard that in this case. Out of that 1m, easily 10% goes to travel and lodging. I am guessing another 20% to coaching and facilities...and lets not forget tax which is going to take a big cut as well. All in, I am guessing Baghdatis put somewhere between 1/3 and 1/5 of that 1m in the bank. This is not that great considering the guy has been training his entire life. In addition, you have to take into consideration how difficult the job is on a daily basis due to the grind of travel and hours of practice as well as the pressure to win. Further, you are likely always playing in some kind of pain and pretty much any minor injury can end your career if its in the wrong place...back spasms or tendinitis for example.

Still, Baghdatis is in the top 0.1% easily of touring pros and will probably make enough to retire comfortable but not luxuriously. Once you get out of the top 20 and into the top 40, you probably have to play tennis in a second career as a club coach etc.

aphex
11-24-2010, 03:48 AM
I think the better question is whether you would want to be a pro. When you hear pro tennis player, you tend to think of Federer and his 60m earnings and however much in endorsements but, even for him, thats over a 10 year pro career and he is easily the top earner EVER in his profession. Taking a very loose estimate of Federer's total earnings, he might make 10m in a good year. That's not even in the same ballpark with better than average athletes in other pro leagues such as NBA or MLB. There might be a couple of guys on any given team making that kind of money just in terms of salary and that money is likely guaranteed. OTOH, Federer has to pay from his money, his coaches, equipment, facilities, travel and lodging, tournament fees and other various staff. A guy like Peyton Manning gets all of this for free.

So far we are talking about Federer, arguably the greatest player ever to pick up a racket and inarguable the most successful so he can afford all this. What about your average top 20 player who might have 6-10m in earnings after 10 years? Lets take a look at Baghdatis who is a pretty run of the mill top 20 player. Hes been pro for about 7yrs and has made about 4m. He made just less than 1m this year which was a pretty good year for him. His endorsements are not going to be in the same league as Federer so lets disregard that in this case. Out of that 1m, easily 10% goes to travel and lodging. I am guessing another 20% to coaching and facilities...and lets not forget tax which is going to take a big cut as well. All in, I am guessing Baghdatis put somewhere between 1/3 and 1/5 of that 1m in the bank. This is not that great considering the guy has been training his entire life. In addition, you have to take into consideration how difficult the job is on a daily basis due to the grind of travel and hours of practice as well as the pressure to win. Further, you are likely always playing in some kind of pain and pretty much any minor injury can end your career if its in the wrong place...back spasms or tendinitis for example.

Still, Baghdatis is in the top 0.1% easily of touring pros and will probably make enough to retire comfortable but not luxuriously. Once you get out of the top 20 and into the top 40, you probably have to play tennis in a second career as a club coach etc.


Federer makes more than 60 mil / year...

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/specials/fortunate50-2010/index.20.html?eref=sihp

I agree with the gist of your post though...

arche3
11-24-2010, 06:16 AM
lol... no.

AhmedD
11-24-2010, 06:17 AM
I have the endurance, speed, power, but not the height. I took up martial arts at age 8, so it pretty much consumed me. People tell me if I had started earlier I might have had a chance, I was a pretty fast learner even back then and was very athletic and flexible, pretty fast too, that was before my string of injuries. However I don't think I would've gone for it even if I had started an early age. I'm too busy trying to do well in school to be an orthopedic surgeon at some point. So meh, Medicine and Martial arts were always my true passion tbh. Tennis I enjoy alot, it would've been interesting if I had started younger.

accidental
11-29-2010, 03:32 PM
I think the better question is whether you would want to be a pro. When you hear pro tennis player, you tend to think of Federer and his 60m earnings and however much in endorsements but, even for him, thats over a 10 year pro career and he is easily the top earner EVER in his profession. Taking a very loose estimate of Federer's total earnings, he might make 10m in a good year. That's not even in the same ballpark with better than average athletes in other pro leagues such as NBA or MLB. There might be a couple of guys on any given team making that kind of money just in terms of salary and that money is likely guaranteed. OTOH, Federer has to pay from his money, his coaches, equipment, facilities, travel and lodging, tournament fees and other various staff. A guy like Peyton Manning gets all of this for free.

So far we are talking about Federer, arguably the greatest player ever to pick up a racket and inarguable the most successful so he can afford all this. What about your average top 20 player who might have 6-10m in earnings after 10 years? Lets take a look at Baghdatis who is a pretty run of the mill top 20 player. Hes been pro for about 7yrs and has made about 4m. He made just less than 1m this year which was a pretty good year for him. His endorsements are not going to be in the same league as Federer so lets disregard that in this case. Out of that 1m, easily 10% goes to travel and lodging. I am guessing another 20% to coaching and facilities...and lets not forget tax which is going to take a big cut as well. All in, I am guessing Baghdatis put somewhere between 1/3 and 1/5 of that 1m in the bank. This is not that great considering the guy has been training his entire life. In addition, you have to take into consideration how difficult the job is on a daily basis due to the grind of travel and hours of practice as well as the pressure to win. Further, you are likely always playing in some kind of pain and pretty much any minor injury can end your career if its in the wrong place...back spasms or tendinitis for example.

Still, Baghdatis is in the top 0.1% easily of touring pros and will probably make enough to retire comfortable but not luxuriously. Once you get out of the top 20 and into the top 40, you probably have to play tennis in a second career as a club coach etc.


ATP pro's aren't spending 100k a year on travel and hotels. Every single ATP event has a tournament hotel which is free for any player in the tournament for the entire week, even if they lose first round. And meals are part of the hospitality as well at ATP events. Its really just travel expenses. And if your lucky enough to be in a country like the UK, USA or Australia, then you can usually be provided with a coach free of charge, as well as a certain amount of free travel provided.

accidental
11-29-2010, 03:38 PM
Its a struggle when your playing futures, having to pay for literally everything. But the higher you get, the easier it is to survive and to profit.

Challengers and even some of the higher prize money futures events provide meals, accomodation and transport to the venue and airport. Once you get to the main tour, you get almost everything you need for free, even coaching if your lucky.

Velvet ropes part and champagne falls from the heavens.

jdubbs
11-30-2010, 09:23 AM
ATP pro's aren't spending 100k a year on travel and hotels. Every single ATP event has a tournament hotel which is free for any player in the tournament for the entire week, even if they lose first round. And meals are part of the hospitality as well at ATP events. Its really just travel expenses. And if your lucky enough to be in a country like the UK, USA or Australia, then you can usually be provided with a coach free of charge, as well as a certain amount of free travel provided.

The USTA says that it costs $140K a year to play on the tour. I'll take their word for it. If you're not making at least that (and nobody outside the top 150 is), then it's a losing proposition.

Alzer
12-02-2010, 10:49 AM
Hey all my first post... woohoo!

Anyway, just thought I'd chime in on this one as I've recently had a bit of an insight to how good you may have had to be to have "made it".

This year I was invited to play in the pro-am at the Hurlingham club in London, for those of you that don't know this is a pre-wimbledon warmup event thats coupled with the Legends. I got to play with\against Henri Leconte, Cedric Piolene, Mark Philipoussis, Pat Cash and Younes El Aynaoui. Now I'm an X county player who can hit a ball well, I excel in pretty much any sport, especially rackets sports.

I can't explain just how easy they make it look. We played doubles and no matter what I did, how well I hit the ball they were always in the right place and just put the ball back to me to 'have another go'!

The best I got was to ace Leconte, the next time I served to him, he creamed my 120mph(ish) first serve past me before I'd even landed from hitting it! Id never seen a ball hit so pure, timed so well. He joked "thats for aceing me!!"

Its hard to put in to words just what they did that I didnt, that made it so effortless for them. Just their regular ground shots were so hard to get hold of, spin that you just didnt see them put on it, pace that you didnt expect from the swing they used... It put me in my place, I genuinely went there thinking that I could hold my own, which i could, so long as they didnt try too hard ;)

jdubbs
12-02-2010, 12:21 PM
Hey all my first post... woohoo!

Anyway, just thought I'd chime in on this one as I've recently had a bit of an insight to how good you may have had to be to have "made it".

This year I was invited to play in the pro-am at the Hurlingham club in London, for those of you that don't know this is a pre-wimbledon warmup event thats coupled with the Legends. I got to play with\against Henri Leconte, Cedric Piolene, Mark Philipoussis, Pat Cash and Younes El Aynaoui. Now I'm an X county player who can hit a ball well, I excel in pretty much any sport, especially rackets sports.

I can't explain just how easy they make it look. We played doubles and no matter what I did, how well I hit the ball they were always in the right place and just put the ball back to me to 'have another go'!

The best I got was to ace Leconte, the next time I served to him, he creamed my 120mph(ish) first serve past me before I'd even landed from hitting it! Id never seen a ball hit so pure, timed so well. He joked "thats for aceing me!!"

Its hard to put in to words just what they did that I didnt, that made it so effortless for them. Just their regular ground shots were so hard to get hold of, spin that you just didnt see them put on it, pace that you didnt expect from the swing they used... It put me in my place, I genuinely went there thinking that I could hold my own, which i could, so long as they didnt try too hard ;)

That's pretty cool. I rallied with a former ATP touring pro and of course I would hit a "winner" only to have the ball come back to me with even more pace and ridiculous placement.

But I felt a lot closer to being able to play with a pro than when I play golf with one. Those guys are another level entirely.

burosky
12-02-2010, 06:02 PM
Amen, Alzer! I can relate. Many moons ago our regular group used to play recreational sets with a former Davis Cupper for a country that vacillates between group 1 and group 2. The guy probably could hang around the satellites but would have difficulties with challengers (or is it the other way around?). Even so, the guy can do anything he wanted with the shots we hit. You can't help but get the feeling that no matter what you do there isn't a shot you hit that can give him trouble. If he were to be rated he probably will be at least a 6.0. Those guys you played with are a full rating higher. I'm not surprised you felt the way you did.

jdubbs
12-03-2010, 09:27 AM
Amen, Alzer! I can relate. Many moons ago our regular group used to play recreational sets with a former Davis Cupper for a country that vacillates between group 1 and group 2. The guy probably could hang around the satellites but would have difficulties with challengers (or is it the other way around?). Even so, the guy can do anything he wanted with the shots we hit. You can't help but get the feeling that no matter what you do there isn't a shot you hit that can give him trouble. If he were to be rated he probably will be at least a 6.0. Those guys you played with are a full rating higher. I'm not surprised you felt the way you did.

A full rating higher would be a 7.0, right? That seems pretty high for a guy that's been retired for a decade plus. I would reserve 7.0 for the top current 300 or so.

burosky
12-07-2010, 12:00 PM
A full rating higher would be a 7.0, right? That seems pretty high for a guy that's been retired for a decade plus. I would reserve 7.0 for the top current 300 or so.

So a player ranked 301 is not a 7.0?

onehandbh
12-07-2010, 01:20 PM
Do I think I could have been a pro? Make a decent living playing
on the ATP/challengers/futures?

No way.

Sherlock
12-07-2010, 04:28 PM
So a player ranked 301 is not a 7.0?

Have to draw the line somewhere. Might as well make it a round number. (Also, the post you quoted said "top 300 or so").

Ken Honecker
12-08-2010, 03:02 AM
I'm just befuddled by the idea that people think with just a little tweak their game would have been pro quality. Now by pro I mean making a living by beating other people rather than coaching because the first requires not only the head but the tools. Not that I frequent any other amateur sports boards but I can't imagine they are all filled by weekend warriors talking about how they could have been a contender in football, baseball, basketball, or any of the other major sports which in all honesty don't require the skill set tennis does.

All I can think is this comes from the fact that at some point a rec player usually gets to the point where they can hit the ball back and forth over the net fairly consistantly and mistakenly believe they are doing it at a much higher level than they truly are.

goober
12-08-2010, 06:45 AM
Have to draw the line somewhere. Might as well make it a round number. (Also, the post you quoted said "top 300 or so").

Well you may as well use the USTA NTRP guidelines for experienced players which is top 400 for 7.0. Just a suggestion since your sig says you are a USTA official...

jdubbs
12-08-2010, 02:26 PM
I'm just befuddled by the idea that people think with just a little tweak their game would have been pro quality. Now by pro I mean making a living by beating other people rather than coaching because the first requires not only the head but the tools. Not that I frequent any other amateur sports boards but I can't imagine they are all filled by weekend warriors talking about how they could have been a contender in football, baseball, basketball, or any of the other major sports which in all honesty don't require the skill set tennis does.

All I can think is this comes from the fact that at some point a rec player usually gets to the point where they can hit the ball back and forth over the net fairly consistantly and mistakenly believe they are doing it at a much higher level than they truly are.


Well, think about the Williams sisters and their father pushing them so hard from an early age. Think about how many inner city kids, who make terrific athletes, could have been great pro tennis players.

Its a combination of talent, determination, money, and coaching. But you're right, even with the best of all of the above, very few of us could have made a living at it. Perhaps gotten an ATP point or two, but that's it.

sjwoo
12-08-2010, 03:19 PM
I think people are discounting the threat of injuries greatly. Most likely, if I had to hit a tennis ball as many times as Agassi did when he was a child, my arm would've fallen off. Literally. In order for you to get to a certain level, you have to be able to swing a racquet a certain godzillion number of times, and very, very few people are built to do this. Combine this with the mental toughness and the drive, and you can see why so few people make it.

At my local club, we had the Bryans and Justin Gimelstob for a charity event, and I partook in a "clinic" with them, which was really an excuse to take turns in trying to get balls by them. I did manage to get Bob Bryan once with an inside-out forehand that he dumped into the net, but the other thirty times, he got them back like a machine, with his quick reflexes and ridiculous reach. You wouldn't believe how tall all these pros are -- they could all easily play basketball.

accidental
12-08-2010, 04:12 PM
The USTA says that it costs $140K a year to play on the tour. I'll take their word for it. If you're not making at least that (and nobody outside the top 150 is), then it's a losing proposition.

At the lower level it probably would. But like I said, the higher up you get, the less you have to pay for.

You or I could start travelling to futures right now and play a qualifying event every week for a year. That would probably cost 140k.

But look at any challenger or futures event info sheet that says '50k + hospitality' or something similar and it spells out exactly what is included for main draw participants

Thats why you even see players like Wawrinka, Verdasco and Monfils playing challengers sometimes. I doubt they would bother showing up to play for a 10 thousand dollar winners check (much much less if they dont win) if they needed to pay for a hotel room and all their meals for the week

MrCLEAN
12-08-2010, 10:08 PM
I think my forehand maybe could have been a pro shot, but nothing else.

I hit w/ a D1 guy once, and caught a return, just lucky really, but just really cooked it up the line from the ad court for a winner. He said it was as big a shot as he had ever seen, and he'd hit w/ marginal pros. I can go either way w/ it, short angles, slice, lobs, ect. It's always been a natural shot, I've always been able to crank it, and have got a really good feel for it.

But that said, strokewise, nothing else I've got has any potential to be a really great shot. And I doubt I'd have the mentality or drive to put in the amount of work it would take to be a pro.

maxplymac
12-13-2010, 02:04 PM
If I was born a girl...perhaps.

Since I was born a boy...and an American boy to boot...No Way.

Too much baseball, basketball, football, soccer, chess, etc. etc.

It's easier when you come from a Third World pukehole and play tennis from the time you are a fetus and only tennis.

I bet most of these top 1000 players read at a 2nd grade level.

DeShaun
12-14-2010, 10:51 PM
I think I could have. It's mainly about how much love one has for the game. Everyone's physique will break down. If you love the game enough, you'll change how you play/train, in order to prolong your playing career.

Israeli pro Dudi Sela was ranked #29 in the world in 2009. He has earned roughly 150k US dollars a year since 2005, w/career winnings just in excess of one million. His dad was a bus driver, his mom a nurse, and his country's tennis facilities nowhere near top notch. Dudi Sela stands 5'9," probably weighs about 145lbs.

enishi1357
12-15-2010, 01:40 AM
i could definately if i started early ... but then i would have to be born 10 years later to watch federer plays to like it cuz other players style all look really similar even now

Ken Honecker
12-15-2010, 04:51 AM
It's mainly about how much love one has for the game. Everyone's physique will break down. If you love the game enough, you'll change how you play/train, in order to prolong your playing career.


I beg to differ. To put it simply you have to be blessed with speed, quickness, great hand and eye corridination, hyper fast reflexes and I bet above normal vision. These are things that can't be increased very much by coaching and training. If you don't have the genes and the tools you are out of luck. If you can't dunk a basketball you probably don't have the explosive legs needed. If you can't hit a Major League fastball you probably don't have the reflexes and the hand eye corridination. I'd go so far as to say if you weren't one of the first kids picked when they were chosing teams for anything in Grade School you don't have what it takes.

JoelDali
12-15-2010, 05:02 AM
Anyone can be Federer if they put the work into it. The problem is, in America anyway, that there are more important things like the premiere of the new Yogi Bear movie Friday.

You won't see Fed at the movies watching Yogi Bear, he's training and providing sexi time for Mirka and taking care of the kids. These are real priorities. While other people are looking forward to Yogi Bear and Dancing with the stars.

burosky
12-15-2010, 08:33 AM
If the discussion pertains to successful pros I have to think one has to have all of those components mentioned already like skill and talent, love for the game, work ethic, physical and mental attributes, financial support, the right environment, etc... I think those successful pros all have these components and what separates them is how much of those they have. As the pro's rank moves further away from number 1 you start to see components they don't have much of or lacking altogether. It is sad but there are a lot of stories about athletes that "could have been" but never made it. Again, it is the lack of one or more of those components that most likely prevented those athletes from reaching their potential.

One athlete that comes to mind is a basketball legend in Oakland, CA. Demetrius "Hook" Mitchell. There was a documentary I saw about him. He won a lot of accolades and also won slam dunk contests by doing unbelievable dunks. He had one where he jumped over a car while doing a 360! NBA players like Gary Payton, Brian Shaw, etc...know him and talked about how good he was. He had all the skill and talent but never made it as a pro. He was incarcerated because of drugs. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demetrius_%22Hook%22_Mitchell

Could I have been a pro? I have to say no but I can't tell for sure because I never tried or considered it. Could other posters here have been a pro? Probably. When someone here says he probably could have, some replies have been more on the negative side. It's almost like people want to bring that person back to earth. Who knows? It may not be because of drugs but they may have been just like "hook".

DeShaun
12-15-2010, 11:05 AM
I beg to differ. To put it simply you have to be blessed with speed, quickness, great hand and eye corridination, hyper fast reflexes and I bet above normal vision. These are things that can't be increased very much by coaching and training. If you don't have the genes and the tools you are out of luck. If you can't dunk a basketball you probably don't have the explosive legs needed. If you can't hit a Major League fastball you probably don't have the reflexes and the hand eye corridination. I'd go so far as to say if you weren't one of the first kids picked when they were chosing teams for anything in Grade School you don't have what it takes.

I define being pro as being ranked inside the top 1000. This definition may be flawed. But that's not the point. Rather, if someone is ranked inside the top 1000, he is probably earning a living only by playing tennis. I think this lifestyle would have been attainable to more than a few of us. One needs good mentors, for instance, and immense love for the game, if he is going to turn pro, as well as a modicum of physical talent. Monetary resources cannot hurt but, along with freakish physical gifts, seem to me much less instrumental to becoming pro than other intangibles, chief-most among which, in my opinion, being having immense love for the game, very good mentors/coaches, and the desire/willingness to tour, often alone and barely scraping out a living in and out of hotel rooms.

eliza
12-15-2010, 11:26 AM
If I was born a girl...perhaps.

Since I was born a boy...and an American boy to boot...No Way.

Too much baseball, basketball, football, soccer, chess, etc. etc.

It's easier when you come from a Third World pukehole and play tennis from the time you are a fetus and only tennis.

I bet most of these top 1000 players read at a 2nd grade level.

I am a girl, born in Italy, where males can do what they want, but prefer soccer. I met a tennis racquet at 8, only because my father worked in a US military base. Gosh how much I envied you. How much I envied the people who could get in Bollettieri's Academy (then the most famous).
You have public tennis courts, tennis in every school, and girls can play without fear of being termed "strange".
Believe me, Federer is an exception, as Nadal is. In Europe is "family" first, and then money that counts. At least in the US you can try, even if you are nobody.
This said, in spite of the negativity I saw, I believe that many many players could have been Pros. Coordination, speed etc, all these things can be learned at young age, no more no less than walking.

Tmano
12-15-2010, 11:57 AM
Hi, I really think I could have been out there with them...not at the top20 but between that and 50. I'm Italian now 37 years old and as good Italian I plyed soccer til 18 pretty much everyday for a few hours plus let me include maches and training. I have always loved tennis and I rember I loved watching it and paying attention to every single movent of theplayers(Agassi especially)at my budy's bar. Anyway back there I played tennis maybe a handful of time per year since I got injured playing soccer and I totally quit soccer and tennis as well even thoug the injury would heve allowed me to play anyway... I only know that now... Plus I got to say that in Italy the school sistem doesn't support sports, they aren't connected at all like instead it is here int the USA...so if you wanted to start playing tennis only way was pending big $$$. So I move to US in September 2008 since I married a woderful american girl and in may 2009 I started playing tennis again. Now on 2010 I'm ntpr rated as 4.0 even though I think the 4.5 level should fit me batter since a great of a deal of improvement over the sammer.....now recovering from a piriformis muscle issue...which blocked me to keep working. so i really think I could have been there at least with some fellow Italian players(not the best of all) if I had playing tennis since the beginning

Tmano
12-15-2010, 12:09 PM
Hi, I really think I could have been out there with them...not at the top20 but between that and 50. I'm Italian now 37 years old and as good Italian I plyed soccer til 18 pretty much everyday for a few hours plus let me include maches and training. I have always loved tennis and I rember I loved watching it and paying attention to every single movent of theplayers(Agassi especially)at my budy's bar. Anyway back there I played tennis maybe a handful of time per year since I got injured playing soccer and I totally quit soccer and tennis as well even thoug the injury would heve allowed me to play anyway... I only know that now... Plus I got to say that in Italy the school sistem doesn't support sports, they aren't connected at all like instead it is here int the USA...so if you wanted to start playing tennis only way was pending big $$$. So I move to US in September 2008 since I married a woderful american girl and in may 2009 I started playing tennis again. Now on 2010 I'm ntpr rated as 4.0 even though I think the 4.5 level should fit me batter since a great of a deal of improvement over the sammer.....now recovering from a piriformis muscle issue...which blocked me to keep working. so i really think I could have been there at least with some fellow Italian players(not the best of all) if I had playing tennis since the beginning

gameboy
12-15-2010, 12:17 PM
Man, there are a lot of delusional people on this site...

I don't think you guys really understand how naturally talented even the 1000th ranked pro really is.

If you are not good enough to play 5.0+ tennis playing/practicing casually, you probably don't have enough natural talent to become a pro. And I don't see that many 5.0's hanging out here.

Tmano
12-15-2010, 12:24 PM
i don't know if you are talking about me but of course I have never said that i'm going to turn pro at 37

burosky
12-15-2010, 03:07 PM
Man, there are a lot of delusional people on this site...

I don't think you guys really understand how naturally talented even the 1000th ranked pro really is.

If you are not good enough to play 5.0+ tennis playing/practicing casually, you probably don't have enough natural talent to become a pro. And I don't see that many 5.0's hanging out here.

There maybe a lot of delusional people on this site but don't discount the possibility that some who say they could might actually be telling the truth.

Tmano
12-15-2010, 07:04 PM
I think in order to become a pro you got to have some talent and we all agree about it. talent is somehting you can develop only when you are a kid because you are free from stress or expectation and due to your natural skill you exceed effortless but still have a lot to work to get there...you still have to work you tail off constantly to grow as player;otherwise you don't go anywhere. However, Ii also think that even though people not so natural predispose can still get there, maybe with much more hard work and maybe maybe they wont make top (100th )but I believe in dedication and if you have some talent you can do it. One example was Currier, not one of the most talented players but he achieved a lot.
Btw I'm talking in general not about myself.

Cpetford95
12-15-2010, 07:06 PM
I dont know lets see if i make it

Tmano
12-15-2010, 07:26 PM
I don't know lets see if i make it
Good luck,.....I actually have a friend who was the Italian champion under I believe 12 years old or 14 years old( I don't remember exactly). when he turned 16 he was sent to Florida to Nick Bollettieri's school but after 8 months he came back because he could not handle the stress and the hard work. now he is an instructor he is 35 and I saw him playing a couple of tournaments 6/7 years ago all ending most of the time loosing badly at the first mach. Mind has to support the body and spirit

gameboy
12-15-2010, 11:53 PM
Tmano, you can't just develop talent through hard work or even starting young.

I can work every day, 20 hours a day since I was born and I will still never dunk a basketball. I can work every day, 20 hours a day and I will never serve a ball at typical pro speeds (over 120 mph).

To be a world-class athlete means you need to possess world-class athleticism. Most people don't, which is why they really never had a chance to become a pro.

Courier was a phenomenal athlete. He had more quickness and endurance and power than anybody on this site. I mean, c'mon! You don't win majors with just "desire".

accidental
12-16-2010, 12:20 AM
The mind is the athlete. The body is merely the means it uses to run, jump, hit etc

Tmano
12-16-2010, 06:25 AM
Tmano, you can't just develop talent through hard work or even starting young.

I can work every day, 20 hours a day since I was born and I will still never dunk a basketball. I can work every day, 20 hours a day and I will never serve a ball at typical pro speeds (over 120 mph).

To be a world-class athlete means you need to possess world-class athleticism. Most people don't, which is why they really never had a chance to become a pro.

Courier was a phenomenal athlete. He had more quickness and endurance and power than anybody on this site. I mean, c'mon! You don't win majors with just "desire".

Hey, maybe you are not an athlete at all or you have never done sport in your life because of course you wopuld know you can't get up one mornig and decide to be a pro in any sports unless you have talent and some athleticism. what i was trying to express is that you don't have necessarly be the most talented person in that precise sport yet have of cousre other skill like you said quickness andurance power balance natural intuition and be hungry for fame ...again i'm not talking about you or myself becoming pros......and by the way ask around about Currier's talent. even though as i sayd he was not the most talented he achived majours.

gameboy
12-16-2010, 08:52 AM
No, Tmano, you can't become a pro if you have "some athleticism". I don't care what sport it is, a pro in that sport is a "world-class" athlete by definition (and that is doubly true for any sport like tennis where people retire in early 30's). And unless you have world-class athleticism, the chances of you becoming a pro is virtually nil.

Tmano
12-16-2010, 09:09 AM
No, Tmano, you can't become a pro if you have "some athleticism". I don't care what sport it is, a pro in that sport is a "world-class" athlete by definition (and that is doubly true for any sport like tennis where people retire in early 30's). And unless you have world-class athleticism, the chances of you becoming a pro is virtually nil.

I think that when you talk about world tour player you only see the firts 100/200 players. like every single sport there is a line (or you can call them minor leagues )which tell you if you are a pro or a semi pro based on your skill.....like football soccer rugby motocross skying and amny more...however you still a pro...and by saying some athleticism I mean being an ethlete as those people playing in minor league.
I have aquestion, how many sports, or which sport did you or still practicing?

gameboy
12-16-2010, 09:14 AM
Let me put it in another way.

There are two main components to any athletic sport or competition; athleticism and skill.

Skill is something you can improve with practice. More hours you spend and more you learn, more your skills will improve. This is something anyone can do, pro or amateur.

Athleticism is something you are born with. Sure, you can train better to bring out the last bit of athleticism out of your body, but no matter how much you train, you are not going to break 10 seconds on 100m dash and jump over 20 feet on long jump.

Different sport have different emphasis on skill and athleticism. More people have chances to become a "pro" in a given sport that relies more on skill rather than athleticism.

For example, dart is almost all skill, golf is largely skill and not too much athleticism. In comparison, 100m dash is almost all athleticism and minimal skills.

Where does tennis fall in that spectrum? You can tell that by when a typical pro retires from the highest level of competition. A male typically reach their physical peak in early 20's and start a gradual decline. A sport where pros retire in mid-20's is very athletically inclined while a sport where pros retire in 50's (like golf) is not so athletically inclined.

A typical retirement age in tennis is in early 30's. This means that the athletic component in tennis is very large and probably more important than skill. And when you have a sport like tennis where athletic component means so much, the percentage of population who have a realistic chance of becoming a pro is very (VERY) small.

So, while it might be romantic to think that with proper training and time, many of us could have become a tennis pro, the reality says that is nothing more than a romantic thinking and has little to do with the harsh reality.

As I have said before, if you posses the ability to become a tennis pro, you are probably already playing 5.0+ tennis level because your athleticism alone would get you to that place even if your skill is lacking somewhat and it should have come relatively easy to you. If it takes great deal of effort and time to become a 5.0, that already means that you are already close to your peak level and becoming a pro is far far away.

P.S. I've played competitive baseball and tennis while growing up and played a lot of intramural basketball as well in college and I am a 10 handicap golfer. I am more athletic than most people I know, but that still does not mean that I can dunk a basketball.

maxplymac
12-16-2010, 09:40 AM
Anyone can be Federer if they put the work into it. The problem is, in America anyway, that there are more important things like the premiere of the new Yogi Bear movie Friday.

You won't see Fed at the movies watching Yogi Bear, he's training and providing sexi time for Mirka and taking care of the kids. These are real priorities. While other people are looking forward to Yogi Bear and Dancing with the stars.

yet you still live here...go figure. LOL I love how the people who put down America never leave it...bwahahahaha

Tmano
12-16-2010, 09:55 AM
Let me put it in another way.

There are two main components to any athletic sport or competition; athleticism and skill.

Skill is something you can improve with practice. More hours you spend and more you learn, more your skills will improve. This is something anyone can do, pro or amateur.

Athleticism is something you are born with. Sure, you can train better to bring out the last bit of athleticism out of your body, but no matter how much you train, you are not going to break 10 seconds on 100m dash and jump over 20 feet on long jump.

Different sport have different emphasis on skill and athleticism. More people have chances to become a "pro" in a given sport that relies more on skill rather than athleticism.

For example, dart is almost all skill, golf is largely skill and not too much athleticism. In comparison, 100m dash is almost all athleticism and minimal skills.

Where does tennis fall in that spectrum? You can tell that by when a typical pro retires from the highest level of competition. A male typically reach their physical peak in early 20's and start a gradual decline. A sport where pros retire in mid-20's is very athletically inclined while a sport where pros retire in 50's (like golf) is not so athletically inclined.

A typical retirement age in tennis is in early 30's. This means that the athletic component in tennis is very large and probably more important than skill. And when you have a sport like tennis where athletic component means so much, the percentage of population who have a realistic chance of becoming a pro is very (VERY) small.

So, while it might be romantic to think that with proper training and time, many of us could have become a tennis pro, the reality says that is nothing more than a romantic thinking and has little to do with the harsh reality.

As I have said before, if you posses the ability to become a tennis pro, you are probably already playing 5.0+ tennis level because your athleticism alone would get you to that place even if your skill is lacking somewhat and it should have come relatively easy to you. If it takes great deal of effort and time to become a 5.0, that already means that you are already close to your peak level and becoming a pro is far far away.

P.S. I've played competitive baseball and tennis while growing up and played a lot of intramural basketball as well in college and I am a 10 handicap golfer. I am more athletic than most people I know, but that still does not mean that I can dunk a basketball.

I think we are on the same page yet we express it differently.... maybe it's my english:)....I know it is not the best of all though I'm not from USA.

JoelDali
12-16-2010, 10:06 AM
yet you still live here...go figure. LOL I love how the people who put down America never leave it...bwahahahaha

Look my problem is not with America its with Yogi Bear and all he represents.

GRANITECHIEF
12-16-2010, 10:17 AM
Could a guy who is 6'5" and started tennis at 24 and reached 5.5 by age 35, mostly self taught while going through college and working full time possibly have been a pro if he was put with Landsdorp in 1983 at age 13? What ranking?

tennisjon
12-16-2010, 10:34 AM
I don't think I could have become a pro.

I always thought I wanted to be a pro. I played mostly JV in high school. Moved up to bench warming on my h.s. team by junior year and occasionally spot starting senior year. I made the team in college team (D1) and coached there as well. Now I coach at D3.

About 13 years ago when I first graduated from college, my parents finally decided to support my tennis and paid for me to go to Bolletierri's in Florida. It was a dream graduation present for me. I had always been overweight, yet extremely fast and strong, considering I never did anything beyond the minimum. After 4 days down there I quickly realized that if you want to be a pro, you have to be so much more mentally strong than I was. You have to want to go out there and train, practice, condition, and stay healthy for hours upon hours, weeks upon weeks, and years upon years.

I realized that although I love tennis, I finally understood how pros retire and don't pick up a racquet for years. In less than a week, tennis started becoming more job-like instead of fun. I decided then, I rather coach people to maximize their own abilities.

I look back and say, yeah if my parents pushed me the right way and if I was more disciplined in training and weight management, maybe I could have done it, but I have seen so many different levels of tennis and I just think there are too many for me to overcome. Now, since I have more of a football player build maybe I could have...

dennis10is
12-16-2010, 04:12 PM
No. Simple question.

To be a pro means winning the lottery on every combination of factors that lead a person to become a world-class in anything.

So, the odds are that I would not have what it takes to be a pro.

Simple question. You stand a better chance of winning a multi million lottery ticket. So, if somebody believes that they could have turned pro, they are basically saying that are in the top .00001 percent on many factors.

You know the old saying. 90 percent of the people all believe that they are in the top 10 percent. So, approximately 81 percent of the 90 percent are wrong.

Connors Fan
12-17-2010, 07:29 PM
I think it takes three things, Top line physical, mental and in tennis's case, a pretty good financial backing to get the court time and coaching needed.

Like mentioned, physically you need to avoid injury, which has alot to do with luck and genetic make up. You need to have exceptional physical attributes as they apply to tennis. You have to see better, move faster, be stronger than 99.9% of the population.

Then if you have that physical make up, you need the mental make up to get the most out of your talents. You need the toughness and determination to pour yourself totally into tennis. You need intelligence, cunning, instinct or whatever you prefer to call it to make the best use of your physical skills in real time, split second decision makeing time that is tennis.

Finally the money. Can you afford to spend all your time playing tennis, without having to do anything else? Will someone sacrifice their time and money to give you every oppurtunity to succeed.

You need all this and more. So no, its pretty unlikely anyone here could have been a pro, that rises to the level most agreed upon here.

This is essentially true for any sport now. The old days of determination being all you need are past for any of the mainstream sports. The difference between the top athletes of any sport and the almost made its, is small in comparison, but huge in achievement.