How to become a hitting partner

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by spreed, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. spreed

    spreed New User

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    Hello out there :)

    I'm 20 and studying Sports and Health at the university of southern Denmark. I've played tennis since I was 6, was supported by the danish federation for a couple of years but ended up as a descent danish player playing the Elitedivision seniors and some team matches for Neumünster, Germany.

    A couple of years ago I started being a coach and has been educated in the danish federation until now. In Denmark we for sure got Caroline Wozniacki, but she's unfortuneatly a lucky punch and both the federation but especially also us, the trainers, has to be better and learn from the best. That's why I think it could be fantastic to experience how the pro's live, train, compete and so on.

    When I'm getting my bachelor in a couple of years I was wondering if it's possible to travel with a professional player as a hitting partner for a year or two. Most likely at the WTA tour I think.

    My question for you guys is if it's realistic? - I don't need more than nutrition and lodgings but I'm not quite sure if the players can afford having a hitting partner traveling with them all year or if my level is high enough.

    I'm sometimes used as a hitting partner for the best women players in DK, because I know the junior team captain very well and the best of those players was ranked like 350 WTA at the top, and that wasn't a problem at all.

    Hope to hear from you!

    Thanks in advance :)
     
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  2. bjk

    bjk Hall of Fame

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    I don't have an answer to this, but most players need a physio, coach, and hitting partner. If you could fill 2 or even three of those categories, I'm pretty sure you'd get a job.
     
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  3. tacou

    tacou Legend

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    It sounds like you would know a lot better than most people about this business.
     
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  4. Tammo

    Tammo Banned

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    Don't try to start out with someone with a big name. maybe hit with juniors for a few years, then try to get a top 100 player or 200 maybe.
     
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  5. Mike Sams

    Mike Sams Legend

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    Usually a high school kid with about 1 year's experience is suitable for a top WTA player as a hitting partner.:)
     
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  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What about also being a massage therapist for the WTA as a side job?
     
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  7. TopFH

    TopFH Hall of Fame

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    ^I can apply for that job.
     
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  8. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Francesca Schiavone and Swetlana Kuznetsova will be thrilled
     
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  9. ThoughtCrime

    ThoughtCrime Rookie

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    While they lack the looks, I'm sure they make up for it with skill :wink:
     
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  10. dr325i

    dr325i Legend

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    Yep, looks like that when you watch it on TV...
    Have you seen any of it alive?
    It would change your (and all of those Radwanska killers) minds quickly...
     
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  11. spreed

    spreed New User

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    I'm most certainly qualified for all of the physical exercise, season planning and so on when I'm bachelor. Might not be bad to constitute two roles at a time.

    I'm aware that it's not going to be any big name, but I still think that it has to be a women inside of the top 100 WTA if the economy has to last for the player.



    Anyone who know some of the WTA tour players hitting partners or how to get a foot inside?
     
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  12. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    For example, Francesca has a great 1 handed backhand
     
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  13. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    Call/visit her and ask for introductions.
     
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  14. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Unsuccessful troll is unsuccessful. Stop being lame and GTFO.


    Anyways, for the OP the best way to get into this is just being around players. Getting contacts, getting your name out there as a coach/hitting partner. The lower ranked players will look for both coach and hitting partner in one.

    It involves a bit of luck as well, I mean you could check out a tournament where you know some people, they ask you if you'd warm them up and next thing you know they could be asking for you to travel with them to some tournaments. I know someone who's experienced the exact scenario I just wrote out. It happens, and happens more then you'd think. I wouldn't sell myself short and say you'd do it for food and lodging but you can't ask for too much either.

    Its all about how well you and the other person get along, if you're on the same wavelength, common ground and can devise a plan together towards the players goals and of course produce results together. Remember, especially on the WTA its NEVER the players fault, always the coaches. Now you might laugh but I've heard a lot of coaches say they cannot be honest with their players otherwise they'd be fired on the spot. Sad but true.

    This isn't about being their hitting partner and doing some cross court drills and returning their serve and playing some practice points. This is setting up practice court time, scouting opponents, finding other players they can train with as well so you can see them from another angle on their side of the court as well. Scheduling practice sessions, booking hotels, booking plane tickets, car rentals, directions to hotels, directions to the club, finding decent food in a ****hole city/country you'd most likely never wanna go to again and so on. Hitting tennis balls with them will not be the only thing you do even if they are high ranked and have their own coach.

    With lower ranked players its up to you to find them and put yourself in a situation where you'd have a chance to be their practice partner/travelling coach. With the high ranked players, good luck with that one. Only if you know someone who knows someone, and you got experience and a track record for results. Start small, work your way up.
     
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  15. spreed

    spreed New User

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    Thanks for a constructive answer! I know it's sometimes about luck in the big world of tennis. For sure I'm gonna contact the girl I earlier trained with. I'm also feeling quite sure, that my coach in Neumünster has decent contacts. I'm gonna network as much as possible and then we'll see if an orportunity shows up.

    Thanks for the answers :)
     
    #15
  16. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Also, remember that as a hitting partner you are there for them. So whatever they want or need, you do. For example, let's say you get contracted to work with a top 100 player for 2 weeks as a hitting partner. If that player wants to work on changing direction of the ball on their backhand, hitting one down the line, one cross court then your job is to run side to side like a yo-yo for those 30-45min and do what they want, even if its midday in blistering heat. You better be consistent, you better be hitting a clean ball and you better be up for it physically. Of course, this is for the top players. Juniors and WTA its a bit different, the higher up you go the tougher and more demanding it is.
     
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  17. spreed

    spreed New User

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    You're most certainly right, and of course it's no fantastic job, but I think it will be a good way for me to get into the big world of professionel tennis. I would for sure, when I get older, more educated and a lot more experienced, like to get on the tour as a coach.
     
    #17
  18. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    TB's got the line.
    Go to tourneys, hang around for the parties and especially the practices.
    You already have some possibles, the Danish junior program.
    Gotta have the gear, the readiness, and the willingness to work on improving your hitting partner, not you.
    The chances are out there, it's up to you to show how you can HELP the player, with little burden and baggage. $$$ is always a problem, as they are constantly travelling, so good luck to you. Financial gain for you? Extreme luck, or work for 3 years before you show even expenses.
     
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  19. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I think most top WTA women are hitting with guys that are ATP ranked.

    of course not with top200 players but there are about 1200 players ranked now.

    and since about 200 is the cutoff point where you can make positive money there are a lot of guys who are in need of money on the tour:D.

    also there are a lot of former tour players out there who have quit after being stuck in the 500s. if you are 24 and 550 in the world it's basically over.

    so if you are not close to being world ranked it will be hard to get the job. not only because of skill but also because "the community" doesn't really respect people from outside (unless they are their uncle or father :D).
     
    #19
  20. Tammo

    Tammo Banned

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    Sabine Lisicki was hitting with Christian Harrison at Miami a few years back.
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    "hitting with" is not hard to achieve".
    Getting PAID to be a regular practice partner IS.
    Almost any strong, on the rise 4.0+ is good enough, but that doesn't open the door whatsoever. You need an IN. And you gotta expect to foot your own expenses for at least a few years, meaning dedication equal to any wannabee touring Q guy's.
     
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  22. 0d1n

    0d1n Hall of Fame

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    4.0's good enough ? 4.0's will probably lose most of the time to very good 13 yo junior girls, let alone WTA players. If the junior is going places...then she will beat a 4.0.
    Also...a guy who wants to be a hitting partner will never cover their own expenses since he doesn't have any income. Nobody would be stupid enough to pay money from his pocket just for being a hitting mule for somebody else.
    The Q guys are a totally different thing, they are PLANNING to go up, hence for them it's worth it. If you've come to the conclusion that you will be a hitting partner to help somebody else...then you won't take money out of your pocket to do it unless you are retarded.
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Gotta expand your thinking. Let's work in reverse.
    If you plan to only make money at being a hitting partner, you will fail miserably, and every player will avoid even talking to you. The reason you become a hitting partner is to make THE PLAYER better, not for you to make money or get better at tennis. Getting just expenses is a major plus, because you really only want to hang around the pro tennis scene.
    4.0? There are our video 4.0's, and they will never get better or become hitting partners of pros. There are also rising 4.0's who hit like 5's or better, and can provide useful practice for 6.0 players. Notice OP is hoping to work with WTA women, not top men's pros.
    Does that sound right? Consider.....
    I was a big serving fast moving lefty, never played a tourney.
    My hitting partners including women A/Opens who WON and won the following year, the CanadianOpen. Also, I practiced with several A/Open women from the EastBay of SanFrancisco, several junior college top 3 singles, high school 1's, and one guy who actually WON a Q to make the first round of the TransAmerica.
    No, not one time hits, but black book scheduled hitting sessions.
    If I can get there being a clueless athlete, YOU can also, but applying some brains.
     
    #23
  24. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    of course there are 4.0s that hit like 5.0s. they are called sandbaggers.
     
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  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    'ON THE RISE" 4.0 means a guy getting better, doesn't it? DOES NOT mean those slow movers in the vids. Those guys suck.
    The year before I started hitting with those better players, I already could hit a real lefty serve, run like the wind, miss a ton, and get pysched out.
    First tournament, finals of a 64 draw C. That's 3.5.
    Second tourney, WON the SFCity C's. That's 128 with maybe 10 byes.
    Following tourney a month or so later, 3rd round of A/Open.
    Still, until you get some tourneys under your belt, you cannot rate yourself higher than the lowest level.
    NOW, 38 years later, I'm the 4.5 claiming 4.0, often playing like a 3.5.
     
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  26. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    A 5.0 will not make it as a hitting partner for a pro player.
     
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  27. FearOfTheDark

    FearOfTheDark Rookie

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    OP please let us know what you plan to do with this and if you end up becoming a hitting partner or get into the pro tennis scene :D good luck!
     
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  28. spreed

    spreed New User

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    Think the thread got a bit away from the main topic as I wasn't paying attention to it because of my studies combined with getting prepared for team match in Germany yesterday.

    I'm not at all interested in the money. The wanted output for me is for sure to experience how the pros live and try to get through to the elite. I know it most certainly will be a ****ty work most of the time making everything else than hitting and hanging around the players, talking to the other coaches and so on. But if it's somehow a possibility to gain experience and at the same time help a player getting closer to her goal it would be worth it for me.
     
    #28
  29. taiketsu

    taiketsu Rookie

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    It's funny how when I visit sections such as "Racquets" and "Pro Players" of the forum, every other poster is THE authority on racquet modification or who is the superior player of the Big 3. Someone asks a simple question about how to they might get their foot in the door in the world of professional tennis and no one has a clue.

    I'm not bagging on anybody here in particular, but I'm sure some of you regular readers know what I mean...

    Anyways, best of luck to you, spreed.
     
    #29
  30. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    That's because only a handful if that have actually been hitting partners for players, or a travelling coach or even coached at a high level. The General Pro Player Discussion section of the forum should be avoided like the plague
     
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