Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by raiden031, Jan 24, 2007.
How can someone that skrawny be the best tennis player in the world? Hell possibly the GOAT!
what you want a football player type guy with no neck and massive chest chasing the ball around and swinging for the ball?
Tennis is about physics. flexibility and speed. You don't have to be super big or tight all the time to play. Just good technique. Look at Wayne Gretzky in hockey. One hell of a mind. Mentality is key. Sampras as well.
he's in good company.
Hes not so "scrawny" in person, I mean, even though I didnt have the best seats at the USO he still looked more like a linebacker than anyone he played. Hes got really Broad shoulders, and hes not that skinny, just lean.
No but he doesn't even look like an athlete.
Do you think he lifts weights at all? I would think they'd at least do some amount of lifting but he has no muscle definition at all.
All this proves is another great thing about Federer. He doesn't need to be muscular to be the best and produce one of the best forehands in the game.
I prefer to think of him as "functionally lean". The less weight you have to lug around the better you move. Sighhhhh...don't I know it.
justr shows how good he is. no need for big muscle for such awesome forehand.
I bet he can bench more than the majority of people
I'll bet you're right.Sighhhh...
i wish i were his scrawny ass.
Big muscles are relatively slow i thought. The reason he hits such an incredible forehand is 1) his techniqe ofcourse, but just as important: 2) his armspeed, the speed with which he moves his arm trough the ball when hitting.
At least that what I have heared now and then.
I attended the quarter final rounds of the Atlanta AT&T Challenge clay court event in Atlanta in 1998. It was rainy all day, and we were in the hopitality area getting a sandwich and a brew, and in walks Sampras. I was surprised at how lean he was, but I would think this is definitely more the norm. Not many muscle bound tennis players. FWIW, he went on to beat Sanguinetti that day, and later won the tournament. One of the few he won on clay.
Look at Gonzo, he lost 10lbs, definitely leaner, and plays the best tennis of his life.
One doesn't need large muscles in order to be athletic.
That's only the myth sold (successfully, I must say) to North Americans by the bodybuilding industry.
The tennis player must be a very efficient moving machine, and not one carrying extra load.
I'm sure he's much more impressive in real life...
Hrm..Borg and Lendl were sure as hell not scrawny. Both were some of the fittest tennis players ever. Not sure about Connors physique but I don't think he was "scrawny". Connors actually looked fairly compact.
Only McEnroe I'd say is/was scrawny.
here you go ..
No, this myth is true. Look at the track & field stars, nfl receivers, nba, etc. Guys that are faster than Federer or Nadal can ever dream of being, possessing 34 inch verticals, etc. And they bench a ton, weigh a ton(compared to tennis players)
It isn't a coincidence they all have large muscles, you need them to be among the truly best athletes. And the extra weight sure as hell isn't slowing them down.
If the atp timed the players in a 20/40/whatever yard dash it wouldn't be pretty at all.
(I read that Andy Murray was shocked that he was slower than molasses when his trainer had him run sprints recently, because he never ran more than a few feet in his life before. People forget just how small a tennis court is. Its mainly about how you anticipate & hit the ball, not how you run, since you aren't really covering much ground at all)
I love watching Federer play, but is rather comical that high school basketball/football players who will never play sports professionally can bench more than him, & many are faster as well.
Tennis is what it is, & will understandably always be a tough sell in North America, because the players just aren't world class athletes the way other sportsman are.
Pretty much. The way we see female tennis is the way the rest of the country sees all tennis. That some people actually speculate whether Nadal or Agassi juice makes my head shake.
Very well said, and very accurate. Federer is muscled in all the appropriate spots and downright skinny in all the others. Just like ALL THE PROFESSIONAL athletes out there, except linemen. All pro athletes are willow trees with specific musculature. Don't buy into any BS.
Wow, you don't really believe this tripe do you????? Do you??? Who cares how much you can run in a straight line? Or bench press? Football coaches, that don't know WHAT eon they came from. Federer trains to compress his body in positions that these so called athletes would blow out both knees trying to accomplish more than ten times. Go back to your pipe my friend. And make sure you watch the bought and paid for sports that you are obviously watching.
Borg:Height 180 cm (5 ft 11 in)
Weight 72 kg (160 lb)
connors:Height 177 cm (5 ft 10 in)
Weight 70 kg (155 lb)
mcenroe:Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 165 lb (75 kg)
mcenroe was actually heavier than borg.
just by way of contrast
henman:Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 170 lb (77 kg)
Dude I don't care what anybody says Federer is one of the best athletes in the world if not the best. Who dominates a sport like him? Tiger? C'mon golf is more a skill game than an athletic one. Tennis may not be the most athletic pro sport but I bet if Federer grew up in the States given his athletic ability he would have been a pro something else and I am not talking about Soccer.
That's the argument other people make about tennis. It's all relative. Nobody likes to think their favorite sport is inferior to somebody else's. Not even the poker players.
If you're into big, ripped guys, Wrestle-Mania is on 24/7 on pay for view. Tennis is a "skill" sport, where the body and raquet must integrate seamlessly. Getting stronger is important, but it must be done in such a way (such as plyometrics) which enhance one's ability to move and strike a tennis ball with prescision...
No, this myth is false. Those stereotypical knucklehead jocks who commonly appear in American teen comedies, do not constitute the consummate athlete. Athleticism is a diverse concept. Some of the sports you mentioned are contact sports, so naturally require some brawn. However, I have seen many American football and rugby players who, quite frankly, look fat and not very athletic. Basketball players tend to be lean, just tall with it. Track and field, you have every body type. High jumpers, long distance runners etc, tend to be very lean. Football players also tend to be on the slender side. Federer has a very similar physique to Ryan Giggs, Thierry Henry, David Beckham and many others. What about cyclists, Lance Armstrong, Marco Pantani etc? You'll also notice Federer has very strong and flexible legs. Swimmers? The list goes on.
The mark of an athlete is not how many bench presses they can do or how quickly they can run the n yard dash. It is the consummate total of their athletic prowess. There are many people who look buff, yet have very poor cardiovascular fitness, can't run a mile without having a heart attack. You will not find one professional athlete who can do all things athletic better than every high school kid (there are some pretty athletic kids out there), but in their field, no amateur will touch them. I doubt Asafa Powell can hurdle or high jump as well as some high school kids, but put him on an unobstructed track....Make it short distance as well because there are probably some high school kids who would destroy him over longer distances. Tennis players have to be quick on the court, they don't have to run the 100m in 10 seconds flat. People tailor their athleticism toward their sport. Other than vanity, there is no point in having excess musculature if it serves no purpose or is a hinderance.
Lastly, muscle can slow you down, but speed is relative. A fellow like Shaq might be quick enough for basketball, but he is going to suffer on a tennis court.
very good post
Generally American media does not take to non-power sports. Soccer is niche. Track and field stars make money overseas. Swimming isn't popular at all. Figure skating and gymnastics have female audiences.
Primarily, men's tennis has survived on celebrities, and female tennis has the skirts.
swimming isn't a muscle sport?
swimming and gymnastics aren't muscle sports?are you serious?
Actually I have seen Federer a couple of times including once very up close where he was practicing( he signed and took pictures too) and I agree. Federer doesn't have that physical presence of an athlete when he's not moving. His arms looked skinny to me. Yet when he started hitting that's when you realize who and how good this guy is. He was hitting with Harbty at that time when I saw him very up close(04 US Open). For me Roddick is a bit too bulky looking.
Well, America is one country. The media there does not determine what constitutes an athlete for the rest of us or even Americans. Football (or soccer, as you term it) is the most popular sport in the world, hardly a niche sport. American football is more of a niche sport because fewer other countries actually participate in it. That track and field stars make money in many different countries, has no bearing on whether they can be considered athletes or not. Same goes for the popularity of swimming or any other sport and the gender base of a sports audience. All irrelevant. What determines an athlete are their athletic capabilities. And all successful sports industries rely to some degree on celebrity. Being myopic is not good.
damn.....if i can win 6 grand slams and lose only 5 hard court matches in 3 years......god, please make me skrawny.
Misquoting what I said.
Oh no, you misunderstood what I said. I was speaking strictly from the American viewpoint on sports. What Malloy is speaking is the prevailing American viewpoint on professional athletics. Your counterexamples, while correct, would not be deemed relevant from that American viewpoint. I know that because everytime a Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods, or Federer gets nominated as sportsman of generation, they got shot down with the same arguments.
Soccer athletes are not taken seriously here, except in certain ethnic communities. Track and field is a once every four years thing. And so on.
It's very myopic sure, but it is how Americans qualify the athlete. Speed, strength, and power.
Are we a stupid country? Sure, but we may as not be into sports as we like to think. Baseball and basketball have declined in popularity here. Hockey is almost dead as a TV entity. There's football and . . . football.
To a degree, this is also reflected in tennis here too. So much emphasis is put on increasing power through building muscularity and core strength. On average, American tennis players are probably faster and stronger in the gym than their peers. And even here, the younger guys are about power, power, power, even though tennis is more about footwork and speed, defense and offense transition, hitting balls cleanly, and good gameplans.
If being extremely muscular would help Federer don't you think he would put in the time with a trainer to do it?
Lean muscle, flexibility and being light on your feet are more important than raw power. Power in tennis is mostly generated from technique and he can hit the ball just as hard as anyone on the tour even players who look stronger than him.
Alot of people seem to be misinterpreting what I would expect of a tennis player of his calibre. I am not expecting him to be body-builder type, or even linebacker type. I'm thinking thin but with visible muscle definition. The reason being that muscle strength helps prevent injuries and strains, and also increases power and speed. Obviously too much muscle mass is counterproductive. Although it doesn't look like he does any lifting, and only plays tennis. I'm sure that he has to have alot of endurance to be able to play a long match without losing a step. It just surprises me thats all. Mainly because you're more likely to get injured if you don't work all your muscles.
I've stood right next to the guy and had my picture taken with him. He let me put my arm around his waist for the photo. He put his arm around my shoulder. The dude is built like a Mack Truck. Just because you don't see bulging muscles does not mean they are not there. Most guys would be happy to be built like him.
This thread just identified that some people here really know some stuff, and that others are living in a magazine world, where Matthew McConnaghy rules.
I think some of us talked about this before in the Health+Fitness area -- but that weight training for tennis should probably be there to improve anaerobic conditioning (i.e. improve lactate threshhold), improve ligament/tendon strength, and forearm/wrist strength. That stuff would be higher priority. Then if you want to develop muscularity, it's best to work on the legs.
Technically, Malloy is correct about muscularity, but in a support role. Much of tennis is based on maximizing the stretch reflex (i.e. whipping on the ball); the reflex lets you trigger force production of recruited muscle groups without necessarily being "strong." The more muscle you have, the force the reflex can produce.
The problem is, that the kinetic chains in tennis are complicated and so timing oriented. In practice, you could kill the ball with the new muscle. In a real game, you actually rarely use that muscularity anyway to full value. Even stuff like traditional plyometrics or improving core strength has only limited value in improving power output in a real match. The key exception to all is the serve.
I would rather have the most efficient body at what I do, then to conform to the sterotypical "body building" physique that people want me to have. Look at lance armstrong.
Unless you want to complain about a person that has 9 grand slams under his belt in less time than most any player in history, then I suggest we keep mum about this whole "terribly scrawny and not athletic" talk.
These guys weren't all that buff either.
I think, Federer has very strong legs and back.
Plus, we see only his left arm on the picture, his right arm is probably twice bigger.
Well look in the Australian Open website today and there is a picture of him where you can see both arms and you can decide. Like I have said I saw him very much upclose and shook his hand. The guy doesn't look physically imposing at all, especially the arms which I guess you can say scrawny(is this equivalent to skinny? Not a native English speaker here).
Cmon folks... the guy has 9 grand slam titles under his belt, can outhit even the most visibly muscular guys on tour and moves like a dream. What the frack does he need more muscle mass for? to appear in late night fitness equipment commercials?!?
BTW he does lift weights (I think every modern athelete does), but he does more repetitions with smaller weights so his muscles CAN remain lean. (source: rogerfederer.com: sign up a fan member and read the section on his fitness regimen)
I've only read the first post, so sorry if this has been said before, but Federer in person looks very athletic and built like a Greek God.
It seems like this thread is based upon someone looking for a physical attribute that gives Federer an edge. His prowess is based mostly upon the connect his mind has to his body, rather than simply the body itself. The more tuned the body is the more the mind can utilize it, but tennis is a mind game first, and a physical one second.
As people have said, the kinetic chain in tennis is from legs to trunk to arms--not so different from the way a figure skater spins rapidly...so its not surprising that a hulky guy cant do that so quickly.
But he does rule! Look at those muscles, it must mean he's a better athlete than 90% of the ATP!
I consider marathon runners to be one of the best athletes on the planet, and they are usually very thin people. I agree with the notion that big muscles aren't the "be all and end all" of physical fitness that so many believe.
Indeed. I think pound for pound, figure skaters have among the most lower body sections in the world.
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