Do you think you could have been a pro?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by jdubbs, Nov 8, 2010.

  1. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  2. J_R_B

    J_R_B Hall of Fame

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    No........
     
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  3. Can't think of a name

    Can't think of a name Rookie

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    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
     
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  4. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    Definitely. I'm mad that I didn't find tennis until I was an adult.
     
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  5. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  6. jc4.0

    jc4.0 Professional

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    dream on

    It's a nice dream, but I watch juniors every day at our park hitting balls at age 10 and 12 that look like they should be playing at the US Open. I would've never have that kind of discipline at their age. Plus, you have to have very rich, and ridiculously pushy parents.

    Nice fantasy...
     
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  7. atatu

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  8. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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  9. Tall Bama Guy

    Tall Bama Guy New User

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    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.
     
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  10. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    Yes, but I'm trapped in the body of a 4.5!
     
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  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I am a pro. I'm just not a tennis pro. :)
     
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  12. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Is Cindy saying what I think she's saying?
     
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  13. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I can only be a pro in my imagination. And it takes a lot of imagination.
     
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  14. hcb0804

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    I coulda been a pro, but I became an amateur gynecologist instead........
     
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  15. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I hope not
     
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  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    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.
     
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  17. jakemcclain32

    jakemcclain32 Banned

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    Then how do we explain Nalbandian :)
     
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  18. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    First rule is that there is an exception to every rule
     
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  19. dbusiness

    dbusiness Rookie

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    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.
     
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  20. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    No ..... and it's my dad's fault
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Physically, no problem.
    Athletically, easy.
    Mentally, not even close ..:(:(
     
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  22. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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

    Totai Professional

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    No, I am too lazy
     
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  24. jakemcclain32

    jakemcclain32 Banned

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    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.
     
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  25. westside

    westside Hall of Fame

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    Definitely. But there was one thing stopping me....

    ..talent
     
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  26. rh310

    rh310 Professional

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    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.
     
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  27. CSquared

    CSquared New User

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    soccer...maybe.

    tennis...still looking for a backhand
     
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  28. OrangePower

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    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?
     
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  29. michael_1265

    michael_1265 Professional

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    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.
     
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  30. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    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.
     
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  31. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    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.
     
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  32. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

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

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    yes.........
     
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  34. escii_35

    escii_35 Rookie

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    missing freakish quickness.
     
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  35. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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

    stoo Semi-Pro

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    Help, I'm steppin' into the twilight zone....
    I feel your pain.
     
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  37. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    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.
     
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  38. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    #38
  39. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    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.
     
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  40. WilsonWest

    WilsonWest New User

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    I hope I can be (only 15) but doing great for my age
     
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  41. jakemcclain32

    jakemcclain32 Banned

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    Yeah, "teaching MILFs" ;-)
     
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  42. BMC9670

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    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.
     
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  43. Tar Heel Tennis

    Tar Heel Tennis Semi-Pro

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    ..........
     
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  44. Tar Heel Tennis

    Tar Heel Tennis Semi-Pro

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

    (plagiarized from Ty Webb)
     
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  45. burosky

    burosky Professional

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

    Tar Heel Tennis Semi-Pro

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    go watch Caddyshack
     
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  47. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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

    Satch Hall of Fame

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    i could have been better than Federer... but let him get all the trophies instead.
     
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  49. sphinx780

    sphinx780 Professional

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    I have to say that both said quote and the reply were well worth the read.
     
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  50. tes

    tes Rookie

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    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.
     
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