At 43 I think I am getting too old for real men's tennis

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Golden Retriever, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    I don't want to lower myself to old men's tennis but my body can't take the wear and tear of real men's tennis. Should I quit?
     
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  2. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    this reminds of a line a guy said at a birthday party of a co-worker.
    the co-worker had said he felt old so this guy told him "compared to me, you are not even born yet."
     
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  3. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    HELL NO!!!

    Keep playing. There are plenty of "old men's" tennis players kicking ***!

    Just keep doing what works for you. Training, exercise, etc. Don't burn yourself out, but keep playing. If you could only play once a week>>>> so be it. No one on this board is going to win the US Open anytime soon, so keep playing and enjoying it.

    It's a game for the ages!!!
     
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  4. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    Seriously, I can still play for hours but it is getting very difficult for me to change direction and making all those explosive movements required by real men's tennis.

    I can still swim and jog for hours without losing much speed compared to 20 yrs ago. I feel my age only at tennis, which is kind of depressing.

    I guess I look clumsy, slow and, God forbid, old while playing tennis.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
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  5. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Old men's tennis = doubles?
     
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  6. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    too old at 43?

    before you make up your mind...Richard Schmidt (age 43) beat Andrew Mazlin (age 21) in the final of Citrus Classic open division last month. Mazlin crushes the ball on serve and groundstrokes as well as anyone (top pros excluded) i've seen. you can search the web for info on both of these players.
     
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  7. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    drakulie - too bad u couldn't have filmed this one...especially where the chair umpire makes a bad call and both players correct him...audience cackled on that. :)
     
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  8. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    I suggest you find a group of 36-50 yr olds to play with :).
    You will feel young again playing against guys around your own age.
     
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  9. S H O W S T O P P E R !

    S H O W S T O P P E R ! Hall of Fame

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    In your thredz, stealin ur bukkits
    1. How old are your opponents?
    2. If you can't change direction as well, play doubles. You only have to cover half a court, and if you mess up, the guy behind you can get it (assuming you are at the net.)
     
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  10. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    You can still play singles too, if you lower your expectations and try to beat only those of your ability, and slightly lower.
    You don't say how good you are now.
    If you're say.....6.0, you can still beat most of the 5-6's in singles, but you'll certainly have to moderate some of your retrieving and some of your most athletic shots.
    See the Legend's Tour. Even they barely look like themselves 10 years ago. They lower their service speeds, get more in, hit softer, and say "nice shot" when the return hits the sidelines.
    McEnroe and Martin now would barely get 2 games a set against themselves 10 years ago.
    You've read the training manuals. After 30-40, you start to lose about 10% of your physical skills every 10 years. Dat's one percent each year.
    Since I'm a month from 60, I don't expect to hit serves much over 110, or cover drops or alleys nearly as well.
    You either live old somewhat gracefully, or you can just let advancing age beat you and sit on the couch. It's up to you.
     
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  11. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Love your attitude!! LIVE LIFE!!!!!
     
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  12. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    it's better to play tennis and lose than not to play at all :)
     
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  13. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the words of encouragement. There is one thing I forgot to mention which is my eyes are failing me as well. I just can't see the ball clear enough to make those real men's shots consistently, you know the kind you take a real cut at the ball. I find myself shanking the ball a lot when I try to execute my killer forehand.
     
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  14. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    ^^^^^^Glasses.

    Stop making excuses!!! Just go out there and DO IT!!!!! :)

    seriously, you seem a bit down. Don't worry about it>> tomorrow it will be better, and if not>> there is always the next day!! Don't stop playing. Just adjust how you go abou the game.

    Good luck to you!!
     
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  15. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    #15
  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yeah, my solution exactly.
    On perfect vision days, when I'm strong and rested, I play with a 95 MFil.
    Then there's a few days, or sets, when I'm tired or sore, or not concentrating, then a 115 stiffer much lighter racket comes out of the woodwork. I carry sets of both.
    You gotta compensate for old age and declining skills, and use your brain and modern technology to help out.
     
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  17. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    Barbell squats and plyometrics can help a lot with the explosive movements. IMHO, how one feels is highly overrated. If I actually paid attention to how bad I feel, I wouldn't be able to get out of bed in the morning.
     
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  18. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Why on earth would you want to quit? I'm 52 and work my butt off every day just so I can play real mens tennis. I now cross train which has helped a great deal, but I manage to get on the court 5-6 days a week, for at least 1.5 hours/day. I mix it up with 2-3 dubs matches/week and 2-3 singles per week. Singles is much harder on the body, but dubs requires more on the reflex side.

    Just the other other day I played a dubs match against my son and a college player (freshman) against me and a HS senior. Incredibly fun and entertaining, and very good quality tennis (more so than just playing guys at my age).

    Get a well-rounded workout program to help with endurance, core, flexibility and strength. Do not give up. Never.

    Now get your butt back out there!
     
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  19. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    :) I have 2 sets also.. Mids and Oversize (POG)
    I play with the mids if I am playing against flat hitters.
    Against 'younger' heavy and hard topspin guys I need the oversize frame or I frame/misstime too many volleys.
     
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  20. gocard

    gocard Semi-Pro

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    I've played with a 74 year old guy at the courts. This guy is a WALL! He pretty much volleys and blocks all shots and ends up making me run more than he has to! Actually I really enjoy rallying with him b/c he's a good guy, has great variety and placement, and of course, is much more fun than hitting against a concrete wall :)

    He's great at doubles and has very fast reflexes with great touch at the net. When he needs to run, he's pretty fast too.

    So, even though you might feel one step slower than you used to, don't quit. Just stay healthy and keep enjoying the game for many years to come!
     
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  21. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    one time, this 70+ lady asked me to hit with her, so i did.

    people there who were waiting for a court saw her making me run ragged. what happened was i would hit very nice ball to where she stood but she did not do the same for me.

    she would keep on hitting the ball from one corner to the next :)
     
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  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Of course!
    So you played #1 70's, and you were required to hit every one of your shots medium speed to her forehand. She, OTOH, would try for, mis hit, and get shots into either of your alleys.
    Kinda like when I practiced against the top female players....like mid 70's. Even with some who WON the Canadian Open, a women's PRO tournament, I was required to moderate my topspins, don't slice hard angles, no drop shots, and only medium speed deep balls. Dat's life.
     
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  23. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    The old man Richard also took out Vladimir Obradovic who is #388 in the world in the semis. Mazlin hit 1 serve that bounced over the back fence in the final, that was nuts.
     
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  24. nationals

    nationals Rookie

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    hey doubles does not mean your old, high level doubles is very difficult!
     
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  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yup, that's what a real first serve does, when struck perfectly.
    And that's why I always criticise those serves that bounce twice before arriving at the backstop.
    Old man GilHoward, at around 40, could bounce most of his flat firsts easily over 5' high against the backstop and railing at GGatePark SF, and he came in 4th or so in fast serve in the AMATEUR division.
     
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  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I prefer the low level doubles with old guys :)
     
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  27. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Mean old woman.
     
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  28. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    The nice thing about tennis specifically is that there are so many facets to the game. Experience, tactics and having a sound Mental game are as important as footspeed and jumping ability. So folks can be competitive well beyond their optimal physical window.
     
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  29. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Consider this....
    If you are too old to play at the level you want to play at, you're too old to do ANYTHING, so just end your life now and be done with it.
    You can get decent in golf, like around bogey level (95), but that might take you 4 more years, and by then your body decline surpasses what little skill you acquired.
    So if you intend to feel sorry for yourself right now, just consider the alternatives......
     
    #29
  30. goober

    goober Legend

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    If I recall correctly you said you were 4.0 in some other posts. If that is the case you can easily play at that level for a very long time. If you are playing a retrieving game like your name suggests, you have to change your game. Become an all courter. Work on explosive movements with agility drills and plyometrics. Lose weight if you need to. I have played lots of guys in their 40-50s that can compete very well at 4.0-4.5 singles.

    What else are you going to do golf? Now that's an old mans game lol:)

    Swimming and jogging are boring as heck. You do them to in shape for tennis and that is about it haha!
     
    #30
  31. Jackie T. Stephens

    Jackie T. Stephens Professional

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    I'm still young but as my dad says.. "You can only feel as old as you think."
     
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  32. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    What is this "real men's Tennis" crap? Play and have fun however that may be, and if the current crop of tennis guys around have a problem with that then find new group of guys to play with.

    -SF
     
    #32
  33. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    swimming is fantastic exercise, but don't expect it to help much with your tennis game. i swam and played tennis throughout high school, and still do both competitively. i can tell you being in fantastic 'swim shape' translates very few benefits to the tennis court, apart perhaps from keeping your shoulder well-conditioned.

    i would second the above poster who mentioned explosive movement conditioning. get out there and run wind sprints. it's amazing, as we grow older, how rarely most of us get the opportunity to run as fast as we can. lots of fat joggers. not many fat sprinters. it'll keep you young.
     
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  34. Headshotterer

    Headshotterer Professional

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    no john mcenroe plays really hard competitive tennis at 51
     
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  35. In D Zone

    In D Zone Hall of Fame

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    sounds like tennis burn out.

    Lay off tennis for a month "Cold Turkey"- let see how he can shake off the jitters!!!!

    LOL!
     
    #35
  36. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    if a person lays off tennis for a month, he probably would drop 1/2 a level in playing ability :)
     
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  37. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

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    At 43 it is time to change your game: from run & gun to finesse. I was watching semi-final in a local tournament and 43 y/o guy destroyed 21 y/o guy. Power? No! Only finesse and placement. Young guy lost his mind after 15 minutes...
     
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  38. Valdez737

    Valdez737 Rookie

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    Eveybody age differnt. I know this 40 someting years old guy who a very strong 5.5. Who can play for 5 hours with no troble. I mean this guy is good he played a 4.5 lvl league and was 17 and 0. He is one of the fastest people ive ever met top 3 no doubt and I played alot of people.

    He also smokes a ton but it does not seem to effect him at all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
    #38
  39. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Yep, we already brought that match up earlier in the thread.
     
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  40. Julieta

    Julieta Guest

    Are the draws for that tournament online anywhere?
     
    #40
  41. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    correction here - the final was posted earlier...Mazlin did not lose his mind...final went 3 sets.

    don't think so.
     
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  42. El Diablo

    El Diablo Hall of Fame

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    Billiards!!!!
     
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  43. Kick_It

    Kick_It Semi-Pro

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    To OP - IMO - it is what you make it. Sounds to me like you're already admitting defeat - though I don't pretend to understand your situation.

    There was recently a related thread where we covered much of this - See http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=232558.

    Having the time to do what I need to play well @ age 42 is my biggest challenge. For you it could be something totally different.

    Clearly there are very successful competitive players who play in Men's 40s division; Richard Schmidt is a top notch player (was #1 in nation in 40s in '07 I think - don't know about '08).

    I ended '08 with a better ranking in Men's 35 (singles and doubles) than Men's 40's. I even had one decent match in Men's Open singles (lost 1 & 4 to a college player). It just kinda worked out that way - even though '08 was probably the worst year of my tennis results over the past few years.

    My goal in '09 (when I turn 43) is simply to improve. If we have a kid in '09 maybe I won't end up with better results, but I've got at least 8 months before a baby arrives ;-) and even then it would be due to less time to do what I need to than my age.

    I respectfully disagree that you need to stop playing "real men's tennis" purely as a factor of age.
     
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  44. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Those draws were just typed for the first time this year. In the past, they were handwritten. If I remember, I'll take pics with my cell phone next time I'm down there.
     
    #44
  45. ssjkyle31

    ssjkyle31 Semi-Pro

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    I hit with a former pro play in his 70's, I would do the same. Hit it back at medium pace. He would control the ball from one end to another. The object was just to get my legs in shape for the sprints.
     
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  46. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    I am 43, and I hear what you are saying. We should be getting smarter and more precise with our skills, not more athletic. I am finding here lately, the use of something Peter Burwash calls 'Minimum Potential'. It is allowing the racket to do a lot of the work on shots that put you in trouble. You don't use a big backswing or stroke - you just focus on footwork, and getting the strings pointed to where you want your shot to go, and let the racket and the other guy's pace do all the work.

    What I have discovered is that when I do this, I save a TON of energy not trying to hit an athletic ripping topspin shot back. And it's accurate. Save the big shots for when you are balanced and in position. Work the other guy out of position with accuracy, then place yourself to hit your favorite weapons with some athliticism. I'm telling you---this can save your recovery after a match 100%. And you still get to crush winners. We gotta get smarter as we age.

    43 isn't old. Stay out there and do not give up on your skills.
     
    #46
  47. basil J

    basil J Hall of Fame

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    I am 48 and still play competitive 4.0 singles. I find that I am in better shape than most of the younger guys I play, but also found that I do a lot more running than I want and I was losing to guys I know I should be beating. I went to a pro and worked on where I thought I was losing. Sure enough, I found that I was playing too far back behind the baseline and opening up the court too much for my opponents. I changed my strategy a bit and have been working on playing right behind the basleine now and take every shot I can on the rise. This way I take away time form my younger opponents, I get to the net quicker and more effectively, use their pace and I run a lot less. It's a transition and I am really enjoying it because it is recharging my game and it seems like a very effective way to play. You should list strenghts and weaknesses and work with a pro on becoming more effective with less effort. good luck.
     
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  48. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I hate getting older...
    And losing 30% physical skills every 10 years after 30 is depressing.
    But guess what?
    Not only is my second sentence pretty accurate in my case, but ...........
    the alternative is not all rose's and honey.
     
    #48
  49. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    No, you shouldnt quit. Sometimes we just need to swallow our pride as we get older and older. It is getting out of denial that is the hardest.

    I am going to be 49 years old in July. So, a half a year after that and I will be eligible for Seniors tennis. :( Oh well.

    I happen to like doubles anyway and now I just go out for the exercise. :)

    Stay in shape, always stay mentally young and you will be fine. Just think, now you can play the spoiler and beat those whipper-snappers.
     
    #49
  50. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    the late french singer Maurice Chevalier once said: aging is not bad considering the alternative (of being dead) :)
     
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