Advice for "Senior" tennis players????

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by jimanuel12, Jul 27, 2011.

  1. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    just wondering - if there are allot of older players on here.
    i have been playing since 1967 - man i am getting old.
    but i still play - get around pretty good for my age.
    here are my tips for keeping in shape - i would like to hear from other "senior" players:



    i stopped smoking
    i lost about 15 pounds - feel much better - i am 6'3" and 180lbs
    i try to play at least once per week or more - 2 sets or more if i can take it.
    when i go to the court - i take allot of water and gator aid plus some energy drinks also.
    i eat better - more salads and fruit. but i still get a big mac every now and then (LOL).
    i try to get a good nite's sleep.
    i play with guys 10-15 years younger than me and still can beat some of them some of the time. i can't find another one my age that still plays.
    i attend to spiritial matters.
    i love tennis - the only sport i have continued to play from my first time in high school.
    i love to collect the classic and older racquets (i am addicted).
    and i love this forum. allot of really cool and nice people here.:)
     
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  2. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    whats your age???
     
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  3. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    You are still a youngster.

    Perhaps we should be taking advice from Roger Gentilhomme:

    "A 101-year-old athlete's secrets
    He plays tennis, bowls and dances
    -By Ray Duckler / Concord Monitor staff
    May 29, 2010

    Roger Gentilhomme rushed the net, making his point with brevity and focus.

    "My backhand," Gentilhomme answered quickly, when asked for the strongest part of his game. "My spin backhand. It confused even Regis."

    Gentilhomme played tennis with Regis Philbin last summer, and the clip was later shown on Regis and Kelly. He's been featured on ABC News, in The Boston Globe and in European magazines.

    That's what happens when you turn 100 years old and still play tennis every morning, compete in national tennis events, dance twice a week, bowl, play shuffleboard, play cards, read, walk, even drive.

    You tell people the secret to a long, fruitful, active life. They want to know how you do it. Your words become gospel when it comes to aging with an eternal flame.

    "By keeping active, your body reflects that," said Gentilhomme, now 101. "I sit down, the different parts of your body slow up and react to that inactivity. So as much as I can, I'm going to push. It's not easy, you know, trying to keep going."

    Gentilhomme lives independently, in Falmouth, Mass., on Cape Cod during the summer; in Dunedin, Fla., in the winter.

    And he does so much more. In the mid 1970s, after retiring, Gentilhomme picked up a tennis racket and never put it down. In fact, by the mid 1990s he began competing in national and state senior competitions, and he's won more than 65 medals to date, mostly gold in tennis and bowling.

    He struck gold in both events at the National Senior Games last summer near San Francisco, plus he was inducted into the National Senior Games Hall of Fame, an honor announced by Bruce Jenner, the 1976 Olympic decathlon champion.

    He followed that up by wining gold at the first European Senior Games last September in the Netherlands, beating kids in their 80s because no one came close to his own age. Then came the interviews, front-page stories in newspapers and magazines, here and across the pond. Everyone, it seemed, wanted a piece of the ageless wonder.

    "Getting all this attention, this is all happening unbeknownst to me for the past five years," Gentilhomme said. "I'm not trying to get this attention. I get out there and enjoy playing."

    And dancing, down in the senior center, part of Gentilhomme's independent living complex. Ballroom dancing on Monday nights, square dancing on Thursdays.

    "Many of the ladies come over and ask me to dance," Gentilhomme said.

    And then there's bowling and shuffleboard, regular hobbies that seem easy compared with tennis. When Regis read about Gentilhomme, he flew him to New York for a tennis match and an appearance on his show.

    "Regis won the match, of course," Gentilhomme said this week. "But like I told him, 77-year-old legs are a lot better than 100-year-old legs. I have a problem getting around, and I have to be careful. The last five years my legs have weakened, but I still get out and play each morning in doubles."

    He drives, too, a Lincoln Town Car with 79,000 miles on it. Drives to the supermarket in Dunedin and to his tennis matches. He even drives to Fort Myers, more than 100 miles away, to play tennis competitively.

    "I could drive 500 miles," Gentilhomme insisted. "I have no bother with driving. I love to drive, and the car goes along very nicely."

    His family, though, won't allow him to drive from Florida to Falmouth for the summer. Someone flies down, then drives him north. He came to New Hampshire to watch his grandson graduate last Saturday from the University of New Hampshire, then stopped by the Bektash Temple in Concord a few days later to address the Rotary Club.

    After lunch, he announced his plans to compete in the National Games in Houston next year, then the European Games in Poland.

    "I have something to look forward to all the time," Gentilhomme said. "I don't want to wear out my couch." "
    - http://www.concordmonitor.com/artic...619F57D494004152850F0&CSUserId=94&CSGroupId=1

    Regretfully, Roger passed away in June, after a fall that resulted in broken ribs and then pneumonia. He didn't get to compete at the tennis matches in Houston or Poland. A pity.
     
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  4. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    i am 62. started playing in high school. back then, almost no one played tennis. we had two courts in town and they were almost always empty.
    did not have any trouble getting a court until the tennis "boom" in the 1970's.
    then i remember waiting to get a court sometimes an hour or more. could only play 1 set and then had to let someone else play. it was crazy.:)
     
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  5. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    would not mind living that long if i were in that good of health.
    cool old dude.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Got my first SS check 4 months ago.
    Played since '74, to recover from a 12 pin tib fib compound.
    Never smoked, but Dad and Mom chained.
    5'11" and 147 lbs., about 10 over my norm.
    Don't eat veggies or fruits.
    Need 9 hours sleep a night.
    Lost about 40% of my athletic skills.
    Youngest I play even doubles with is 50, usually closer to 30.
    Haven't jogged or run in over 32 months.
     
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  7. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Wow! What the heck do you eat?:shock:
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    For a 10 year period in my life, mid '70's, I ate Dorito's Taco Flavor and 7up at least for 2 meals a day. Every other day, add a 1/2 gallon of ice cream, usually Dreyers, sometimes other brands. Brunch usually a sandwich from the local deli, roastbeef and cheedar, hold the veggies, add tons of salt and pepper.
    Now I eat McE D's and actually eat their lettuce on the McChicken, so I qualify as a vegan, almost. Last g/f was. Got dumped because I didn't eat enough meals at home....needed the meat and bread supplement.
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    My apologies...
    Today, at a ham and cheese omelete for breakfast, no lunch, headed for KFC tonite for a 5 piecer, no fixins.
     
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  10. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    man - now i want a big mac for sure!!!!
    i think i will go and get one of those for lunch tomorrow, now i am hungry.
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Breakfast, ham and cheese croisant.
    Lunch, McE D's McChicken and DoubleCheeseBurger.
    YUM ! :)
     
    #11
  12. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Definitely big, carnivorous tapeworms... lurking deep in the bowels... kill 'em with the tequila treatment, man... you'll start craving veggies pretty soon and put on 10 lbs! :)
     
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  13. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Man,at 42 you make me feel like a pup.The youngest kids I play against are about 15 or sixteen and the oldest are somewhere around 50.A guy over here named Max Bates is the oldest guy I played against (doubles).He is a really good player on the seniors tour and he is about 60 I think.He tore us to bits with a sliding lefty serve so it goes to show it doesn't matter how old you are.As for diet and fitness,all the food groups (sensible diet),heaps of pushups,ab crunches and leg lunges and you should be sweet.
     
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  14. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I fit the mold of OPer pretty well, if you make it a few inches shorter...
     
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    :)I used to think I had a tapeworm, me being able to eat 3 superburittos in one sitting and easily 3 order's of friend rice at most restaurants.
    But I joined the Army in '70, did 2 one week "hell" weeks in my time, and came off pretty solid in both, coming in top 10 out of over 600 volunteers.
    So maybe I don't have tapeworms, just an expandable stomach.
    Now at retirement age, I eat about 1/4 of what I did as a youngster.
     
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  16. Hewex

    Hewex Semi-Pro

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    The latest g/f didn't break up with you did she?
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Well, you know, it certainly CAN happen, probably will happen, but life is full of surprises, some pleasant, some not so.
    Equality of diet certainly can count for something, which we currently have. She can eat, no doubt. Fatty, maybe. 5'6" and 139, broad shoulders and kinda big bones compared to my tiny built.
    Can't expect everything or anything to last forever, better to enjoy the current moment and hope for the best.
     
    #17
  18. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

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    I will be 51 in January. Play 2-3 times a week, 8 mos. a year (singles league). Most of the guys I play range from 23 -40. I am easily the oldest in my division but most of the time still use my fitmess as a weapon and hold my own just fine.
    When I hit 49 I dropped my levels of aerobic work & boosted anerobic sprint interval training at least twice a week, optimum 3 times per week. I started with the sprint 8 program and have adjusted it to meet my goals.
    Keep my lifting rep ranges to 8-10, mostly compund movements.
    Jump rope now as part of my training, great for foot work.

    Biggest factor has been cutting way down on my Gluten & dairy intake. I cheat 1 day a week, otherwise I am pretty strict. Feel better, lost more body fat, I am now 6' 192lbs. probaly 8-10% body fat and am much lighter on my feet and have terrific endurance.
    When you get over 50, it's more about training smart and letting your body recover between workouts.
    Work harder, but in briefer bursts and you still enjoy the benefits and probably raise testosterone levels a bit vs wearing your body down from endurance running and marathon weight training sessions. off to bed, I have an 8:00am match against a youngster. I have to be ready.
     
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  19. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    basil gives good advice. I'm 56, 5'10", 180 lbs and about 16% BF. I have dedicated myself to getting better at tennis and improved fitness is a big part of that. More biking/running, more fast twitch stuff (cardio tennis, jumping rope, etc), and some gym work. So far, so good: I play in a couple adult leagues and have no trouble hanging with the youngsters that play at my rating level.

    One thing I have neglected is flexibility, and that has come back to bite me. I am coming off back to back injuries, and my doc told me in no uncertain terms that I could expect more injuries if I didn't dedicate myself to improving flexibility. My goal is to become super fit, but I have a ways to go.
     
    #19
  20. john blackman

    john blackman New User

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    I'm 66. My playing partner is 21 and we both are 4.0 rec players. I play number 1 singles and he plays number 2 on the USTA team which we both won 3 out of 4 matches. On days we dont play USTA we play 5 days a week for 3 hurs. 45 min warm up and 2 sets of baseline pounding. He said that I hit the hardest groundies in the entire league and serve is the best placement and the third hardest in the league. I guess I have good geans as when me or someone on the team tells people that our no 1 singles player is 66 they shake their head although they cant pick me out because I look about 40. Beleive it or not but I was carded at the 7-11 the other day buying beer. I still cant beleive it, they must of had a clerk sell to a minor so they were carding everyone that day or something. I have a 25 yr old girlfriend (lucky me) well, I guess its time to stop pating myself on the back. Just wanted to let you guys know we are still out their pounding balls and loving it,
     
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  21. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    Looking back at OP's asking about other "senior" players' ideas for survival:

    --there are times to just let one go. That nasty shanked drop shot, if you really blasted off from the baseline maybe you could get it--that's the kind of thing that makes things in your body go 'pop.'

    --on the same topic, no diving, no slamming into walls or fences (near the post, OK to run into fence at least 3 feet from post, but it's hard to be sure about that...)

    --no playing when it's just too hot
     
    #21
  22. chollyred

    chollyred Rookie

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    Every Monday and Friday at our local park, the courts are reserved for Senior men. Whenever I can get off work, I try to join them. I'm by far the youngest at 53. We still have several guys into their 80s that still play at least two sets. The average is between 65 - 70. We'll often have six courts full and have people waiting to get in. Playing round-robin, most of us play 4-5 sets. It's a lot of fun and everybody watches out for each other.

    Their main points of survival are to only chase the balls they know they can get, don't try to get into power games with younger guys, start earlier in the mornings, and stay well hydrated and rested.

    We have one guy that rides his bicycle about 5 miles to and from the courts.
     
    #22
  23. jimanuel12

    jimanuel12 Semi-Pro

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    at my age - i know the shots i can get to and the ones i can't. i always say to my playing partner when he hits a drop shot - "30 years ago i would have gotten that one".
    but i lucky to just to be able to still play - i thank God for that each time i hit the court.
    warming up and stretching out before a match is very important when you get older. knowing when to let a shot go is just as important too.
    i want to play -not be sidelined with an injury because i thought i was 21 again.
     
    #23
  24. Morgan

    Morgan Rookie

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    Middle-ager here. Noticed that my energy level was getting very low lately. Have been playing in the FLA heat - attributed it to that. Started to not even want to do anything athletic - thought it was the middle age doldrums. Mentioned it to my MD during a routine cholesterol lab checkup and he decided to get a testosterone level. Mine ended up in the low 200s. I think it's borderline low in terms of norms. I'm thinking of starting Androgel 1.62% per MD's recommendation. The side effects that I've read on the internet have been kind of alarming - not sure if a little more energy would be worth going through the S.E. Anyone here taking Androgel for low T?
     
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  25. Morgan

    Morgan Rookie

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    Good advice in bold...
    I'm learning to follow this advice - need to slow down to prevent muscle/tendon injury or worse.
     
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  26. Robbnc

    Robbnc Rookie

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    Nothing borderline about your T level . You are LOW. Those "normal ranges"
    are notorious bull**** . They amount to nothing more than a survey and they include sick individuals, old individuals ,etc. In other words men who should be on treatment are included in the "normal range". Low 200's might be normal for an 90 year old but not middle age.

    check out allthingsmale.com and sign up for the forum. It's Dr John Crisler's site , one of the leading " T " docs in the world.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
    #26
  27. chollyred

    chollyred Rookie

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    Yeah, I wish I'd followed my own advice. At the beginning of March, I tried chasing down a lob and broke my foot. Haven't been on a tennis court since. The foot is doing better, but I haven't been willing to risk re-injury. I'm now currently on a weight loss plan to help reduce the stress on it. Maybe soon... :(
     
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  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    As you get older, your brain is supposed to ALSO get older, smarter, wiser, use more common sense.
    Supposed is a lot like assume.
     
    #28
  29. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    Someone mentioned the Sprint 8 Program, earlier in this thread. A variation of this workout, I'm think of trying is to do the 8 intervals, but while hitting the backboard. Any thoughts??
     
    #29
  30. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    i think you should address your low-t

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2012
    #30
  31. TennisDawg

    TennisDawg Semi-Pro

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    hahahahahahaha!
     
    #31
  32. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    dude - i need to hang with u. does your g/f have a younger sister by chance? :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012
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