5-Y-Old Great Player

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by TennisBro, Mar 22, 2014.

  1. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    post number 250, the sound of a nail being hit very hard by a hammer
     
  2. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Wow, the facts just keep getting stretched your way....I love how the ages tick up by a year and the sample size gets smaller and smaller.
    You should do some political polling. Anything to justify your case.:roll:
     
  3. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Again, none of us, and I mean NONE OF US, know anything about what top players were doing when they were little. A line in a bio says nothing besides a starting age, and virtually all have low starting ages. No way of knowing how good, how much, or what they did, period. But every time a posted comes on here and thinks he has a young prodigy, he gets hammered.
     
  4. tommyfr

    tommyfr Rookie

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    Seems I need to repeat this:

    Federer started at 3.
    Nadal started at 3. Trained by Uncle Tony from that time
    Murray started at 3
    Djokovic started tennis at 4. At six he was spotted ty a coach who said "this is the biggest talent I have seen since Monica Seles"

    And why not add some data on the best golfer of all time (wikipedia)

    He was a child prodigy, introduced to golf before the age of two, by his athletic father Earl, a single-figure handicap amateur golfer. In 1978, Tiger putted against comedian Bob Hope in a television appearance on The Mike Douglas Show. At age three, he shot a 48 over nine holes over the Cypress Navy course, and at age five, he appeared in Golf Digest and on ABC's That's Incredible.[18]
     
  5. tommyfr

    tommyfr Rookie

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    Maybe you don't know much about how those players were playing the sport as young, but actually there are information on this. Many people, including authors, researchers, journalists have asked the players and their parents about this, or they have even written autobiographies with a chapter on this subject, such as Agassi or Nadal.
     
  6. tommyfr

    tommyfr Rookie

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    Thanks for not letting TCF come away here. Intellectual dishonesty I think is the word for that way of arguing.
     
  7. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    TCF knows I'm just ribbing him a bit. :wink: We go back a ways here on TT and generally agree on most things.
     
  8. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

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    I am a bit confused here. How hard of a concept is it that "start" can mean several different things?
     
  9. tommyfr

    tommyfr Rookie

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    Federer (from M Baldridge book)

    As youngsters Roger and his elder sister Diana would accompany their
    parents, both of whom worked for Ciba-Geigy Pharmaceuticals, to the
    company’s private tennis courts at weekends. Lynette said, “From an early
    age he was fascinated by balls and would want to play ball for hours on end,
    even from age one-and-a-half.”

    Roger first played tennis at age three. His father said, “By age four he could
    already hit 20 or 30 balls in a row - he was unbelievably coordinated.”

    Possessing boundless energy Roger played many sports, but was most taken
    by soccer and tennis. He would spend hours hitting tennis balls against the
    various walls around and inside the family home, frequently driving his
    parents to despair.
     
  10. Steady Eddy

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    I hope the boy developed his potential.
     
  11. tommyfr

    tommyfr Rookie

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    Williams (from M Baldridge's book)

    Age four, Venus was given her first tennis racquet and taken by her father to
    the rundown, cracked, public courts in Compton, where having been given
    some brief instruction from him, she was able to hit the ball over the net
    almost every time.

    Richard said, “The first time I knew Venus was going to be a good tennis
    player was the first time I took her out on her very first day. I was working with some other kids, and had a shopping cart that would hold 550 balls. It took three kids who were teenagers a long time to hit those balls. They wanted to take breaks. Well, while they were taking a break, Venus wanted to hit every ball in that basket. She wouldn't stop. Every time you tried to stop her, she would start crying.

    She was only four years old. That doesn't mean she hit every ball. A lot of
    them she missed. But she would swing at every ball. When she got to the last
    ball in the basket, she told me to say, `Last one,' and I said, `Okay, last one.'

    Age 6-7:

    Venus and Serena both loved watching tennis matches on video with their
    ‘daddy’ as they affectionately refer to him. They would study the pros on TV,
    watch their footwork, and noticed how the best players found their opponent’s
    weaknesses, and kept hitting the ball there, over and over again. For the next few years, both before and after school, and with Richard working night shifts so he could train them, the sisters hit cratefuls of old, dead tennis balls on these poorly lit, broken glass covered courts for hours on end.
     
  12. TennisBro

    TennisBro New User

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    Excellent point! I've suggested Raonic registered with the ITF at 8 (contradicting TCF's claims of 9), atlhough that couldn't have been his first year hitting tennis balls. It truly is different when one begins formally and when one is just introduced to the sport.

    It ought to be clear my son is being introduced to tennis and that I am looking out for him. The sport requires some discipline. No parent wants his kid injured.
     
  13. TennisBro

    TennisBro New User

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    What tennis players are you refering to?

    Those?
    1 Nadal, Rafael
    2 Djokovic, Novak
    3 Wawrinka, Stanislas
    4 Federer, Roger
    5 Ferrer, David
    6 Berdych, Tomas
    7 Del Potro, Juan Martin
    8 Murray, Andy
    9 Nishikori, Kei
    10 Raonic, Milos
    http://www.atpworldtour.com/Rankings/Singles.aspx


    Or those?
    1. Roger Federer
    2. Pete Sampras
    3. Rafael Nadal
    4. Rod Laver
    5. Bjorn Borg
    6. John McEnroe
    7. Ivan Lendl
    8. Jimmy Connors
    9. Andre Agassi
    10. Novak Djokovic
    http://www.ibtimes.com/top-10-tennis-players-all-time-704359

    Can you please englithen the forum how you have arrived to the numbers in your post?
     
  14. TennisBro

    TennisBro New User

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    With all due respect, it seems you have not learned enough in either the sport or manners. But I am hopeful in your mathematical skills.
     
  15. pushing_wins

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    what makes him so special? are you a professional athelete?

    motivation cannot overcome dealbreakers like height. sorry to break it to you.


    ======================================

    edit..my bad


    just read that u are a pro soccer player

    yeah your kid will make it

    i would like to invest some cash in your kid for a share of his future winnings
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  16. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    survivorship bias

    millions have tried and failed
     
  17. Russeljones

    Russeljones G.O.A.T.

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    My problem with your contribution is your apparent aversion to acknowledging the strong (deciding) role natural talent and athleticism play. Nobody made it to the very top just because they started early. These people are all very very talented. Some, like Venus and Serena, are exceptionally athletic on top of that.
     
  18. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    I've heard that if moms get a tennis racket belly bar when they are pregnant, it can aid development in the right way. Has to be on the belly button though, for proximity to the embryo. By the time there is a foetus, of course it's too late.
     
  19. TCF

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    True. I also love how posters will pick out an example that has zero to do with their reality or the reality of anyone else in tennis. Richard Williams had a crazy tough childhood and his kids were taken to broken tennis courts where gunshots could be heard. So yeah, compared to their choices, listening to dad tell them the realities of poverty, tennis seemed just fine. But that does not relate in any way, shape, or form to any of these other tennis families.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nat...tough-childhood-black-white-article-1.1762359

    The fact is all these tennis dads want to be courtside at the Open and the kids would gladly hit tennis balls for 20 minutes then go to the pool. Its their dream, not the kid's.

    And once again, I have zero issue with it....just do not be one of the 1000 dads I have met who try to convince everyone its the kid's deal to want to practice tennis 3 hours a day, because it never is.

    Also, Williams is a bad example because Rick Macci met them at age 8-9 and thought they were terrible. He was ready to leave when Venus walked on her hands to the fence. He then thought they were good athletes and decided to give them a chance and work with them. But nothing their dad did up until then mattered at all. Macci said they were not good tennis players for their ages, just great athletes! If anything Macci had to undo the improper teachings done at the younger ages.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  20. PittsburghDad

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    Macci has told that story so many times, and its such drivel. I really can't believe anyone buys it. Sure, the W sisters were crap and he wasn't interested until he sees some hand walking. OK. What about the scout that first brought them to his attention? He was hanging around Cali waiting for hand walking kids? Sure thing.

    How does anyone not see this as Macci trying to take full credit. No.chance. a.tennis dad with ZERO tennis knowledge took two kids to the top of the world. Think about that for a second. He did it twice. What people call a million to one shot. Twice.

    Give you a hint. He didn't wait till they were 9. What he, Agassi, Seles, parentals did infuriates the traditional tennis crowd. Because they are rrakky irrelevant at the end of the day.
     
  21. TennisBro

    TennisBro New User

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    Dear TCF,

    Can you please clarify your claims of the top ten tennis players which I have addressed you with on this very page?

    Regards,
    Bro
     
  22. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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    I listed it twice on this thread. Of the current top 10, 5 started at ages 8/9 and 3 more were so good at tennis they could have chosen that as their sport instead of tennis.

    Point was that a poster said all the top players started at 5-6, that is not true.
     
  23. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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    Richard Williams had heard of Macci from someone and invited him to come out and see the girls. Williams is quoted in the same article and did not disagree with Macci. Their falling out came years later.

    Richard Williams does not claim to have taken the girls to the top of the world. He started them handed them to Macci. After 3 years full time he took them to other coaches. Richard freely gives credit to all the coaches who worked with them through the years. We work with one of them now, ET Dumas.

    "Macci was teaching in Haines City and an agent told him about "this 10-year-old girl in California."

    She was raw and the family couldn't do much for Macci financially. But she had a gift. "I'm not interested," Macci told him.

    But when Venus' father, Richard Williams, called a few weeks later and asked him to fly to Compton, Calif., one of the toughest suburbs of Los Angeles, he was intrigued.

    "All I can guarantee you is that you won't get shot," Williams said.

    So Macci bought a plane ride and got a hotel room, on sheer spec, and spent the weekend with the Williams. "Richard picked me up at the hotel in a Volkswagen bus that had about three weeks worth of McDonald's wrappers strew on the floor. I sat in the passenger seat and there was a spring sticking up. I thought, `This is amazing.''' Williams rode him out to a Compton playground where there derelicts sleeping on benches. There were 30 young men playing hoops at 8 a.m. The place was littered with broken glass.

    "I started hitting with the girls. I don't like to draw early conclusions on anyone," said Macci, who was also Jennifer Capriati's coach when she was 10-13.

    "Venus ... she hit off her back foot. Her movement was like a newborn colt. She could cover the court real well, but she's wasn't a home run. More like a ground rule double.

    "I thought they could be very good but someone has to do a lot of work. For an hour I thought I was pretty much wasting a weekend until the girls took a break. Then Venus went to the bathroom. On the way, she walked on her hands for about 10 feet and started doing flips."

    Sun Sentinel 1997
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  24. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Not true. I said the average of the current top 30 ATP were 5.4 and WTA were 5.9 years old. Bigger sample size, fewer exceptions.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2014
  25. TCF

    TCF Hall of Fame

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    The top 10 is heads and shoulders above the rest. 5 started at ages 8/9 and 3 more were top soccer players.

    4-7 does not matter at all. It matters starting at 8/9.
     
  26. PittsburghDad

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    You would almost have to work for Macci to believe that narrative. Its a good story. If you're Macci that is. Its cool though. There's no debate to be had here. The facts are fairly clear. If you want to be great start early. At least 6. And there's still a huuuuge probability you won't. So keep it fun. And don't stress the know it alls. I'm learning quickly how they infest this sport. Everyone has an.opinion. but really anyone who thinks they know what's better for an individual family and kid without 1) suspecting abuse or 2) seeing the kid play...well, go for it. Never trust people who are positive they are right about every situation. Defies logic.
    Like I said Tennisbro you'd most definitely be better off looking st technique vids. Nobody on here knows what it takes.
     
  27. PittsburghDad

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    For the record. By "Nobody on here knows what it takes," I'm being specific to these types of discussions. The "how young "how much" etc. When it comes to technique this board is filled with really knowledgeable people with fantastic ideas. A lot of.nonsense too, but you.can sort out the people who.actually have a clue about technique. It can be really informative.
     
  28. PittsburghDad

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    Is it right at the 7 becomes 8 birthday. Midnight or next morning? Since its so 100% and obviously undeniably true, I want to make sure I get it right. Come on 8 here we.go!
     
  29. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Right, and you state this as fact because what, a book said so? Your 20 years of developing top pro players says so? I think the actual facts of the majority of top players says otherwise. But hey, that's just in reality. Silly me.
     
  30. navigator

    navigator Semi-Pro

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    A great investment scheme:

    Go to 1,000 fathers of kids whom the fathers think are going to play professional sports. In exchange for $5,000 from the fathers, offer to pay them $100,000 (20x their investment) if the kid ever earns more than $100,000 per year in winnings or contract earnings. You'll collect $5 million and pay out a few times... maybe.

    So many fathers think their kids are precious butterflies in some respect or other (sports, art, etc)... 99%+ of the time they're wrong. Most humans are emotional and innumerate when it comes to evaluating the talents of family members; it's not an objective exercise.
     
  31. PittsburghDad

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    That was some straight "my kids an autograph seeking bench warmer and I'm bitter" banter right there. Whoa.
     
  32. navigator

    navigator Semi-Pro

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    No kids here, but nice try... just as the truth hurts, so does the math.
     
  33. PittsburghDad

    PittsburghDad Rookie

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    Even better. A guy without who has "dads" all figured out.
     
  34. navigator

    navigator Semi-Pro

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    Just the deluded ones... they're easy to spot and easy to read.
     
  35. navigator

    navigator Semi-Pro

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    And there's a whole cottage industry of coaches, etc. that just love to take advantage of them. I say more power to 'em.
     
  36. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Did your parents tell you to settle because you will amount to nothing? Lol.
     
  37. ProgressoR

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    I am a dad, and it strikes me, like so many areas of life, we get this backward here. We look at who is successful, see some traits they have, and conclude that their success is as a result of these traits.

    The truth could well be that X did not become successful because he did Y, perhaps he became successful because he has some talent for what he is doing, or has another boring trait (like hugely single minded) that we don't like to focus on because it is hard to teach/learn.

    Same for tennis, from my anecdotal observations. So we have the most successful tennis players, say they start at age 4.

    To me it seems they became successful because of talent, hard work and financing. If they started at age 8 or 10, they may well have still become as successful at tennis. Fact is we will never know as those individuals didn't do that (lets suppose).

    So we see headline numbers, grab our kids at an early age and get them to play tennis or other pursuits we wish them to succeed at. We sometimes forget the other things that made the very best, the very best.

    Mind you, looking at the william's and agassi etc, maybe having an extremely pushy dad (to the point of psychotic obsessive) can help.

    Like I said, we get things backward, a lot.
     
  38. barringer97

    barringer97 Rookie

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    My daughter will pretty much only play tennis if I make her (or suggest it).

    So I have that going for me...
     
  39. navigator

    navigator Semi-Pro

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    They were very hands off - I could do whatever I wanted. I think they were very conscious of letting me and my brother find our own ways in life without undue influence (re: pushiness) from them. I doubt based on any objective criteria that anyone would say we "amounted to nothing." But if it makes you feel better to believe this, then by all means...
     
  40. navigator

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    As someone pointed out previously, this is survivorship bias at its most blatant. The human brain loves to extrapolate conclusions from anecdotes and sees patterns where none exist... especially when it reinforces something that a person wants to believe.
     
  41. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Ok thanks. I feel much better. Lol. I only question your parental judgement while being a non parent.
    As for me my parents expected that I excell. And I did. There was no other option. But then again I am asian.
     
  42. wannabe good

    wannabe good Rookie

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    Yes, and humans love to criticize and moralize other people's parenting. That's an urge you couldn't resist here:
    Maybe they were bored by you and your brother. Didn't love you enough and were off partying and enjoying some hideous 70's lifestyle.
     
  43. navigator

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    I wouldn't blame them one bit if you're right. Generically, kids are impetuous, incomplete humans. I'm sure me and my brother were no different.
     
  44. navigator

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    Hopefully most of your "excelling" is in the future as opposed to the past ("I did").

    Lots of folks need an external push to move forward. I'm not one of them. (Well, if it's something I'm interested in, that is; otherwise, I can be pretty lazy. I haven't had a boss in almost a decade so I pretty much don't bother with anything that doesn't interest me anymore. Pardon the digression...)

    And while I'd love to attribute things such as brilliance, hard work, perseverance, etc. to my own successes, the reality is that they've been more the result of extraordinarily good luck - or randomness, in financial parlance - than anything else. Good luck trumps a good plan every day of the week and twice on Sunday. To the Fates!
     
  45. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Lol. My spelling is very bad. Yes luck is good. But you have to be ready for it. Noone luckily gets an academic scholarship or the job they are not qualified for. Maybe your like Hercules the son of a god.

    Have you noticed some really stupid people are really lucky? Not saying your stupid but some really lucky people are imbeciles. I do think fate is kind to the truly stupid.
     
  46. PittsburghDad

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    You believe luck is more important than hard work. I remember when
    I had my first beer too. Seriously, go for it. Sounds like an awesome way to live.
     
  47. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Sometimes, it's just as important to look backwards as to look forwards.
    You can learn a lot from your own past.
     
  48. navigator

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    Allow me to expand on this just a bit.

    Hard work is critical to getting to a basic level of success in just about anything. For example, you study hard, go to a good college, get good grades, get hired by GE, work hard and after several years you're in middle- to upper-middle management living a pretty good life. You have a lot of control over that particular outcome. But climbing each successive level involves more and more randomness because it becomes more competitive and the differences between you and your colleagues start to dissipate. "Success" at this level becomes being in the right place (in this example, managing the right division) at the right time with the right mentor, etc. If you were in charge of GE's mortgage division during the crisis, I don't care how brilliant you were, your career was over; done; thanks for playing. Likewise, if you were managing GE's treasury portfolio, you were a genius and your star was on the rise. I could go on with a thousand examples like this but I think you get the picture. A basic level of success is well within the control of a person who is willing to simply grind it out. But significant, material, life-altering success... typically requires some luck if the person living it is being honest with themselves.

    A quick tennis analogy. Anyone with basic athletic ability who starts tennis pretty early (let's say 7 or 8 ) and works really hard can probably get to the 5.0 level and play decent DI or DII tennis. But without that oh-so-rare lightening-in-a-bottle talent and related athletic ability (re: luck)... that's the performance ceiling. And no amount of hard work is going to change that.

    The human brain is bad at processing randomness because we naturally seek patterns to explain outcomes ex post, which is likely an evolutionary adaptation. Consequently, humans constantly overestimate the degree of control they have over all sorts of things and this is demonstrated in volumes of behavioral psychology research. Anyone interested in this subject would benefit from reading Nassim Taleb's "Fooled by Randomness."

    Anyhow, just my 2 cents... worth exactly what you paid for it.
     
  49. PittsburghDad

    PittsburghDad Rookie

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    Theres zero chance I'm reading that. Enjoy yourself though.
     
  50. navigator

    navigator Semi-Pro

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    I'm sure it's for the best... many words... very complicated...
     

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