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View Full Version : How far a club player can go?


willkho
12-19-2012, 03:26 PM
Hi all,

I started tennis really late, about only 12 years ago...and really really love it.
I'm at my mid 30's right now.

This morning I've been wondering, how far a club player/late tennis player can go in term of the skill?
Let say if the person is talented and fit?
Is it easier if the person just switching from another sport to tennis?
is it possible to reach "retired old pro level" at least?

let me know your opinion, guys..

cheers

Headshotterer
12-19-2012, 03:41 PM
"retired old pro level"

impossible.

WildVolley
12-19-2012, 05:39 PM
"Retired old pros" tend to still be very very good. If you look at the amateur age championships in the US, they tend to be dominated by "retired old pros."

My feeling is that if you are an athletic person, you can learn to play tennis at a high level if you have access to decent practice partners and training facilities. You need to either have access to a good coach or seriously use video to assess and improve your game.

rkelley
12-19-2012, 05:48 PM
I see no reason why you can't get as good as your age, health, time to practice, access to coaching, access to quality hitting partners, and talent will allow. Notice that it's a long list, and most real people can't get by the time thing even if they're really, really talented and just never pursued tennis for some reason.

As others have mentioned, retired pros are still pretty good too.

Realistically though you can raise the level of your game. I just turned 50 and I've made some solid improvements over the last two years. I'm a better player now than I've ever been, and it wasn't like I totally sucked when I was younger. Living in San Diego (access to good hitting partners, play all year) has really helped.

willkho
12-19-2012, 05:50 PM
Ah ic...

I was hoping I can play as good as the "retired old pro" when I reach their age too :P

TheCheese
12-19-2012, 07:06 PM
Ah ic...

I was hoping I can play as good as the "retired old pro" when I reach their age too :P

Maybe if you quit your job and train for 20 years.

junbumkim
12-19-2012, 09:52 PM
I think moderate 4.5 is about as realistic as you can get based on your fundamentals and how you practice. If you have good technical fundamentals, then you are a lot more likely to improve as you put in more time and become more coordinated (this is even possible at your age).

Tennis is a skill oriented sport that requires a lot of time to practice to master the skills. These skills are harder to master after certain age, and they also require feedback from a coach to improve. Then, there is athletic component and hand-eye coordination part.

5263
12-19-2012, 09:59 PM
Hi all,

I started tennis really late, about only 12 years ago...and really really love it.
I'm at my mid 30's right now.

This morning I've been wondering, how far a club player/late tennis player can go in term of the skill?
Let say if the person is talented and fit?
Is it easier if the person just switching from another sport to tennis?
is it possible to reach "retired old pro level" at least?

let me know your opinion, guys..

cheers
Of course it can be done. Not so likely since you probably can't put in the time and years,
but you can make 5.5 or so if that is a big goal and you work
hard. That's about where older pros will end up. There are a lot of old pros
that were not a Sampras or Fed. I've played well with and against several in dubs the had
been top 200 or so; even got some wins with my son in Opens
with ex pros in them. I heard some rec player smoked Tanner not too long ago in an age
group event.

NLBwell
12-19-2012, 10:44 PM
At mid-30s, if you are athletic and have a body without injuries you should be able to get to 5.0 if you work closely with a GOOD pro and make it a priority in your life. I know a couple people who did that. 5.5 should be theoretically possible with intense dedication, but I don't know anyone personally who has done that.
As far as the retired old pro matchup, it depends how retired and how old the pro is.

dominikk1985
12-19-2012, 11:18 PM
5.0 should be possible if you are extremely talented (former athlete) maybe 5.5. but that would mean tons of work and good instruction.

retired pro level certainly not, those players could still beat like 1000 ranked ATP players (if the pro is nnot older than 45)

maggmaster
12-20-2012, 04:22 AM
You have been "playing" tennis for 12 years. Becoming the best that you can is a different endeavor. Training to be an excellent tennis player is hard work, it requires hitting thousands of balls and it mostly is not fun. I started training seriously at 26, I am now 30. I was a collegiate soccer player and a junior tennis player who never worked very hard. I have averaged 2 hours per day of actual training and 1 hour in the gym for the last 4 years. At this point I can beat 4.0s and play with 4.5s. My goal is to win a 35s national in 5 years. Can you do the same in your mid 30s? Sure, it starts in the gym though, you have to be able to put in the reps without getting injured. Then get a coach to sit down with you and work out a training plan. Then do it, never make an excuse, just get in the gym/ on the court every day. Motivational reading, read "Bounce" by Mathew Syed and the following blog http://thedanplan.com/

goran_ace
12-20-2012, 07:49 AM
If you're a decent athlete, 4.0 in a few years is attainable. Keep in mind this is where a majority of the tennis population reach their ceiling. 4.5 is a stretch but is possible, 5.0 even more of reach. 5.5 no way. I'm talking about actual ratings in the USTA computer and not self-ratings. Keep in mind that the distribution of ratings is a bell-shaped curve with about 75%-80% of the population between 3.0-4.0, less than 10% at 4.5 or above, 5.0 are in the top 1-2%.

ShoeShiner
12-20-2012, 07:53 AM
"retired old pro level", if you mean ATP professional level at the same age, I think it is impossible.

5263
12-20-2012, 08:08 AM
Even though I don't agree that most former old tour pros are immortal gods
that a non pro could never beat when meeting later in life,
you are likely getting a pretty accurate picture of things from your thread here
if you read it as a whole, piecing together the ideas.

It would take some serious work and dedication to get to the level you asked
about, and tend to be unlikely overall. Few have that much time to devote as
life "happens" to us!

Devilito
12-20-2012, 08:22 AM
If you have to ask questions like this on a forum, the answer is it’s going to be impossible for you. To get to any sort of high level you have to be constantly playing with top level players and being around that type of group that competes in high level open events and / or futures level competition. Then you’ll know firsthand what it takes. If you think you’re going to get to a high level just taking lessons, hitting against a ball machine and beating up on 4.0 local hackers, you have another thing coming. You could pay tennis 40 hours/ week doing that type of stuff and be on a permanent plateau.

WildVolley
12-20-2012, 08:43 AM
Instead of trying to get as good as an ex-pro who has logged years as a junior and daily play on tour, you should concentrate on getting as good as possible. Your only realistic chance of beating ex-pros is to remain healthier than they are and take them out in the 70 and 80-year old match play.

Having tried to improve my game in my thirties, I can give you some well-earned advice.
1) Avoiding injuries is key. Playing high level (4.5 and up) is physically demanding and a serious injury can set you back years. To avoid injuries you need to always warm up, not ignore pains, and in my opinion, engage in a serious weight lifting program for a tennis player.
2) You need to quickly sort out your form. Use video and coaching to eliminate bad habits quickly.
3) Practice all aspects of your game. This means match play and a practice routine which doesn't leave holes such as never practicing returns, or never practicing volleys or approaches, or overheads, etc.

Good luck. Just getting to be a legitimate 4.0 player with consistent topspin strokes off of both sides will assure you plenty of practice partners in most of the country, as you'll be better than the average rec player.

Thud and blunder
12-20-2012, 09:00 AM
You can aspire to reach good club player level; good luck.

Tmano
12-20-2012, 09:17 AM
I believe that if you are a bit talented and work hard you could reach the 5.0+.

sureshs
12-20-2012, 11:43 AM
You should reach a point where you play effortlessly (without thinking). That includes every aspect of the game, including serving and recovery. It should be like grocery shopping. Idea is not to be the best grocery shopper in the world, but to integrate grocery shopping seamlessly into other parts of your life.

slowfox
12-20-2012, 11:48 AM
A tad off topic, but how does one find a GOOD pro for lessons? The guys I see teaching are 4.0s at best...

slowfox
12-20-2012, 11:50 AM
You should reach a point where you play effortlessly (without thinking). That includes every aspect of the game, including serving and recovery. It should be like grocery shopping. Idea is not to be the best grocery shopper in the world, but to integrate grocery shopping seamlessly into other parts of your life.

Oh crap, just remembered I have no food in the house...

sureshs
12-20-2012, 11:53 AM
A tad off topic, but how does one find a GOOD pro for lessons? The guys I see teaching are 4.0s at best...

Many are 4.0s. But you can also find former college players and even former journeymen, if you look. Sometimes the club will post the credentials, or you can google, or find it in some tennis newsletter, etc. It is kind of awkward to ask a coach: hey did you ever play high level tennis? What is he/she supposed to say?

sureshs
12-20-2012, 11:54 AM
Oh crap, just remembered I have no food in the house...

Doesn't matter. It is all going to be over tomorrow.

5263
12-20-2012, 01:56 PM
A tad off topic, but how does one find a GOOD pro for lessons? The guys I see teaching are 4.0s at best...

Most Pros on avg are likely 4.0-4.5 I expect and can still be excellent instructors.
I agree that I don't see a bunch of great coaches though, but
guess that is sort of impossible. If there are a bunch of top notch ones...then that
level would then be avg :???:

TheCheese
12-20-2012, 05:52 PM
You don't necessarily have to be a great player to be a great coach. Especially for just starting out.

sureshs
12-20-2012, 06:08 PM
An average player just needs an average coach hehehe

AtomicForehand
12-20-2012, 06:17 PM
I started playing three years ago at age 42--total beginner. I am now at 4.0. My pro says I should be a solid 4.5 in another two years, and the goal is to reach 5.0 by the time I am 50, which he thinks is doable, and that I might even get there early. I don't expect to get much farther than that because of the age ceiling. :( But who knows...

We do have a pretty high level of tennis here in Hotlanta, and I am lucky to have regular contact with excellent pros and good competition. This has helped tremendously.

3fees
12-20-2012, 06:51 PM
Hi all,

I started tennis really late, about only 12 years ago...and really really love it.
I'm at my mid 30's right now.

This morning I've been wondering, how far a club player/late tennis player can go in term of the skill?
Let say if the person is talented and fit?
Is it easier if the person just switching from another sport to tennis?
is it possible to reach "retired old pro level" at least?

let me know your opinion, guys..

cheers

Club Players have a ladder and challenge system at there club, most of the club players on top of the ladder are solid 5.0's that I have seen.