how to deal with getting old

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by michael valek, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. michael valek

    michael valek Rookie

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    chaps,
    how to handle getting older? i'm just 40 and in the UK have won my clubs singles tournament 7 or 8 times, and doubles 11 or 12 times, of which i'm proud. but time waits for no man. practice harder? stop entering? i hate losing. do Borg and just stop altogether?
    all suggestions and discussion gratefully accepted. i'm sure i'm not alone in this.

    Thanks
    Mike
     
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  2. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    IMO, strength and fitness are the two things that fade as you age. You can do something about both of these, but it takes some work. One thing you can't overlook is hand and forearm strength. We all know about training the big muscles, but for tennis you can't let you grip strength decline or you will lose some of your racquet control.
     
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  3. kelkat

    kelkat Rookie

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    40 and you're already 1 foot in the tennis graveyard? I am 52 and playing the BEST tennis of my life. I can't wait each day to see what I CAN accomplish out there.

    But it didn't come easy. How I got here was --
    • started eating right and shed some pounds.
    • Take supplements. I take liquid Calcium, Magnesium and Potasium.
    • ALWAYS stretch before and after. The after is toughest for me.
    • I started "rolling" . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJLxruO3su0. You can't believe how much this help. I got much faster on court! It's not fun in the beginning but it gets easier. My hammys are very flexable and long, and my quads short and tight (the opposite of what it should be) Now they are more proportioned and work together better.
    • If you get injured, take it seriously and don't assume that you will recover as quickly as you did when you were 20. Get the right treatment and rest if needed.

    These things will physically keep you in the game. Embrace this time! Play often and keep going because when you are 60 and all your friends are fat gut, beer slugging (not that there is anything wrong with that) hobbling coach potatoes, you will be the fit, happy, zippy stud muffin ;)
    Hope that helps.
     
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  4. jht32

    jht32 Rookie

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    You should definitely ask LeeD. He seems to be dealing with getting old very well.
     
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  5. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    +1. i'm twice the player now then i was 20 years ago. oddly enough i'm close to twice the size too which doesn't help. heaven is my current tennis knowledge and skillz in my 18 year old body. :-D
     
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  6. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    Since this is a tennis forum, here are some tips for "getting older and playing tennis", as demonstrated successfully by a few 70+ players that actively play tennis where I am, and are extremely crafty:
    • Take things easy: Don't worry about the frenzied pace of your opponents. Take advantage of breaks between switching sides.
    • Focus on playing smarter, not harder.
    • Play more consistently (even if its only once or twice a week). Why? It's harder on the body to return to tennis after long breaks.
     
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  7. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I guess I would be asking a different question: what is the attraction in beating up on a bunch of players who you clearly dominate? Why aren't you moving beyond your club to regional tournaments to get some actual competition?
     
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  8. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    he told you in his opening post
    he hates to lose:shock:
     
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  9. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    Dump your saggy wife, bed dozens of bimbos, and buy a porsche.
     
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  10. purge

    purge Hall of Fame

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    charlie sheen approves
     
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  11. jswinf

    jswinf Professional

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    I'd say keep in shape, try to play the best you can, and enjoy the game. You might lose sometimes, it happens. So what?
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Getting old, I"m 62, you move out of the way of the younger, stronger generation so they can take your place atop the podium. The older guys did that FOR you, so you should do that for the next generation. Part of evolution, out with the old, in with the new.
    If you don't get out of the way, not only will you get run over, but you are blocking the growth of the sport.
     
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  13. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Don't use the o*d word again!

    1) Each time you use the word o*d it adds 2 minutes to your apparent age. To see for yourself observe people who must use the o*d word every few sentences. The fact that you asked this question does not bode that well for you in the future ..............

    2) Instead, use the terms more temporary and less temporary. For example, a 10 year-old can say to an 8 year old "I'm more temporary than you" and the 8 year old can fire back "I'm less temporary than you!" Those terms muddle the issue nicely..............

    3) Avoid all people who always use the o*d word within 5 minutes of saying hello. I've tried to change them but it is hopeless.

    4) Imagine that you were 20 and did not age one bit, do you think that playing tennis for 40 years might cause some wear and tear? Recognize that some stuff is not aging but use and misuse. Understand & work on how to take care of yourself - where you can make a difference - and not the years -where you are screwed if Einstein.

    5) My last point is the most effective for petty tennis matters but I have to keep it for competitive advantage...........
     
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  14. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    I'm hitting 40 this year, but look far younger, and playing some great tennis lately outside of my double faults...just trying to learn a kick serve now in fact. I'm constantly working on improving, still have hopes of competing and winning at 4.5. It's hard, because I know how much work it is to stay in peak shape, and recovery time is long as well.

    The hardest thing is your mind; you just don't have the get up and go you once did, and the little aches and pains add up to not enjoying tennis as much. I'm only happy playing tennis to compete hard, everything else is just "eh" so I have to try to stay in fantastic shape: always a struggle.

    But I hope I'm still playing, and swimming/surfing/snowboarding well into my 70's!!!
     
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  15. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    There is actually no downside to using the word: "old". However, there is to using the word: "anc*ent"...
     
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  16. ahuimanu

    ahuimanu Rookie

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    Enjoy reading the feedback. Am also over 40 and can empathize with your situation. Likewise, am concerned with the advancement of age and the loss of "game" that comes with it.

    At this point, I've accepted the fact that my best playing days are over but can still have fun hitting with the younger up and comers and perhaps share my "acquired" wisdom of many years playing.

    Had an interesting conversation with a top ITF 50's player who is a former ATP player (top 500). He tells me the key to maintaining your game is to 1)stay in shape and 2) keeping the timing in check (hand to eye). I'd like to add the importance of rest and re-cooperation as well as injury avoidance as keys to longevity.

    Wish you all the best!
     
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  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Weren't you 62 a couple of years ago?
     
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  18. GRANITECHIEF

    GRANITECHIEF Hall of Fame

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    Hey, you took my post, haha.
     
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  19. 10smonkey

    10smonkey Rookie

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    I'm 52 ..... a fading 5.0 player. I played a league doubles match this summer if you added up the ages of my opponents and partner it wouldn't reach 52.... down 5-0 in the first set we won the next 12 games ended up winning 7-5, 6-1 .....wanted the bagel in the second set badly...... god I had a blast.... everytime the young high school pups missed a shot they yelled DUDE! lmao all the way home!
     
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  20. purge

    purge Hall of Fame

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    what does mine say?
    SWEET.
    and what about mine?
    DUDE.
    what does mine say?
    ...
     
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  21. heftylefty

    heftylefty Hall of Fame

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    Awesome!!! I'm only 5 years behind you...and about a whole point on the rating scale.
     
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  22. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    40+ also here.... some thoughts -

    1) with improvement in techniques, I am prolly playing the best tennis of my life... serve is better, also added some new shots like the bh drive and fh slice... volley is much better also.

    2) equipment - gotta get more power from the frame/strings, my current set up allow me to let the racket do a big part of the work, without me having to swing out on everything.

    3) playing frequency - need more recovery time than before, playing hard every other day is fine.
     
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  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm 50, and I just played my first season of seniors, up to sectionals.

    All you have to do is stay on the front end of that bell curve when it comes to fitness. I did not see one 3.5 senior lady -- not one -- who could move (e.g. race back for a lob, race up for a drop shot). I didn't see the senior men running down a lot of balls either.

    Remember, the competition is getting older also.
     
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  24. goober

    goober Legend

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    If you are in your 40s or 50s and playing the best tennis of your life, that just means you weren't very good when you were younger:) That is one of the advantages of starting tennis as an older adult- you can look forward to progress instead of knowing your best tennis is behind you.

    The main thing I am doing different is that I am paying way more attention to diet, stretching, and exercise way more than I ever did when I was in my 30s. You are fighting a losing battle, but you just want to hold on for long as you can.
     
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  25. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    Anyone that says they’re playing the best tennis of their lives at 40 of 50 never played high level tennis to begin with. I took 10 years off tennis and at 35 it’s a train wreck. You’re slower, reflexes are not as good, speed is not as good, endurance, reaction/movement/recovery to the ball and technique are all shot. Not to mention physical recovery time is longer and it’s easier to injure yourself. You no longer drill 2-3 hours /day with match play plus weekly tournaments. If anything your tennis can be more fun, but no way as effective. I know 40+ year old players that still kick major ass. Heck I think it’s still even possible to get an ATP point in your 40s HOWEVER these players were all top players before. For example Oren can still take out young guys and make them look silly but he was ranked 150 in the world at one point. There is no way he can match that at his age no matter how well he plays. Get older, have fun playing but the prime is long gone in regards to tennis performance.
     
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  26. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    At 42 Ken Rosewall was reaching the finals of Grand Slams, Jimmy Connors annihilated him. At 39 Connors reached the semi final of the US Open.

    As to you, you're 35, Jonas Bjorkman was pretty much as good as he ever was at 37, hadn't even lost a step, although the court surface slow down hurt his ranking. Likewise Santoro beat Djokovic in 2009.

    So yeah, you have a while to go before you can use age as an excuse. The majority of professional tennis players retire due to injury, not age. EG Rafter's shoulder etc. You haven't even played in ten years so you don't have those miles on the clock.

    At 34 Agassi was pushing Federer hard and at 35 Agassi pushed Federer, at the height of Federer's dominance, to 4 sets in the US Open final. And it was injury (sciatica, ruptured ankle ligaments) that killed him off too, not age.
     
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  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I agree with the guys who said that if you're playing better now at 40 than ever before, you were no good when you were younger.
    Age IS part of the injury equation. Not directly related, but related. The older you get, the longer it takes to recover from injuries. And taking longer to recover, you never achieve you past glory. And age makes every part of you brittle, not stiff or stronger. Brittle means more things can go wrong, than when you were younger.
    I know you'll bring up that thread of the 60 year old beating a college Div1 player. I'll BET if there was a rematch, the results would be a duece 2 beatdown administered by the college player.
     
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  28. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    You need better competition, sign up for the Wimbledon Seniors. Those guys who figured out 5 year increments for Senior Age Group Tennis, knew what they were doing.
     
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  29. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Fitness and Supplements

    I'm 46. I stopped playing about 14 years ago because of knee problems, but I just started getting back to tennis this year. It's been tough battling the problems of age, but I'm pretty close to where I was before. I was a 4.5 rated player when I stopped, and right now I'm beating most 4.0's and some 4.5's and still improving.

    I've always been into weight training and fitness, so I already got that part down. The tough part for me was joints and general muscle aches. Call me stubborn, but I don't like making concessions to age if at all possible. I feel like I can play almost every day now, and on the days I don't play I workout at the gym. My style of tennis is pretty tough on my body. I hit hard topspin shots, and I run down balls that most people my age won't attempt. Here's what I'm doing differently now:

    - I incorporate more forearm and calf exercises into my workouts. This helps protect my knees and elbows. I do reverse calf raises as well as regular calf raises. I also do wrist curls, wrist extensions, rotations, and I supinate and pronate as much as possible when I do arm exercises.

    - In additions to multivitamins and protein powders, I'm also taking a variety of supplements for joints and connective tissue including: Glucosamine/Chondroitin/MSM, Hyaluronic Acid, Zyflamend by New Chapter, and Flax Oil/Fish Oil for Omega 3's. Taking only Gluc/Chon/MSM did NOT work for me. It was the combination of all these ingredients that finally got results.

    You can Google any of these supplements and read reviews and testimonials for yourself. If you don't know where to get them, here's the place that recommended them to me:
    www.vitamin-discounts.com
     
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  30. ahuimanu

    ahuimanu Rookie

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    Thanks for the info on the joint supplements! I've had recon surgery on both knees (ACL) and been relatively pain free but know I'm on borrowed time (lotta crunching sounds down there)

    Gettin older sucks!

     
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  31. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    "Arthritis: What's truth and what's myth?
    By The Doctors
    USA Weekend

    Cracking your knuckles causes arthritis — you probably know that's an old wives' tale. Though it could injure ligaments around the joints and lead to weaker grips, there's no proof every pop puts you one step closer to arthritis — specifically osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis (OA) develops when the cartilage that cushions the ends of the bones in your joints breaks down. The bones then begin to rub against one another, causing pain. OA is the most common form of arthritis, but there's no cure, so the more you know, the better.

    Here are three more misconceptions about OA:

    Myth: Arthritis is a natural part of aging.

    Yes, it usually appears after age 45. And yes, the older you are, the more wear and tear you have. But not every older adult develops osteoarthritis. Obesity is also a major risk factor — more weight means more stress on lower body joints.

    Myth: Meds should be your first line of treatment.

    Reduce pain and improve joint function — that's the goal of osteoarthritis treatment, and medications (from over-the-counter acetaminophen to prescription pain pills) certainly help. But according to the Arthritis Foundation, simply moving your body is the best medicine for OA, and it's an effective first step. Gentle exercises, such as walking or swimming, help strengthen muscles and bones, increase flexibility and make joints more stable. That'll also help you lose weight, which will further reduce joint strain.

    Myth: Supplements cure joint pain.

    Glucosamine and chondroitin are two that are reputed to battle osteoarthritis, but an analysis of 10 studies showed these supplements don't do much to relieve pain associated with knee and hip OA. Another supplement that probably doesn't work: vitamin D. It has been suggested it can help treat knee OA, but it does not appear to lessen the symptoms or slow its progression. "
     
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  32. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Sorry, but I must respectfully disagree.

    Obesity is not a reason for my joint pain. I am 5'10" weigh 170 lbs and stay on a disciplined weight training regimen 3-5 times/wk in addition to tennis.

    My training regimen includes 30 minutes of cardio work, full squats during leg workouts, and plenty of upper body work using my elbows and forearms. I will agree that movement helps a lot. If I go into a workout with any joint soreness, it always feels better by the time I leave.

    If I didn't play tennis so hard, I would have absolutely no joint pain. However, tennis at a certain level is a lot tougher on the joints than weight training. I'm not talking about playing casual doubles in the seniors league.

    In my experience, just Glucosamine supplements and vitamins don't do much by themselves, but adding other supplements made a big difference for me. A lot of these supplements are merely replacing substances that your body is no longer producing enough of because of age, and I prefer that type of natural supplementation over medication such as pain-killers.
     
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  33. ahuimanu

    ahuimanu Rookie

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    Another important factor but often overlooked is the drinking of sufficient water to keep the body properly hydrated (and knee joints lubricated). When I look back at my own athletic history I would have paid attention to insuring my body was well hydrated before, during and after each practice session/match. I recall two incidents where I suffered serious heat stroke after long matches (thought I was going to die), and I can only think what further damage was done to my knees and other body parts.

    Second, changing shoes often. Read somewhere that Jimmy Connors changed shoes after every match (Michael Jordan wore a new pair for every game too). If you think of all the pounding and loss of cushion and the minimal replacement cost of changing your shoes at least once a month would have probably added a few more years of mileage to my wheels (false economy vs $$$$$ of medical bills plus lost time).

    Mr Ramon, thanks, I will try your joint cocktail and see now it works!

    Signed: Wish I could live life over again :)
     
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  34. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Forgot to mention, I think the topic is about playing tennis like a competitive 20 year old when you are in your 40's or older. This is completely different from just dealing with general health issues as a result of getting older and playing just casual tennis. I think a minimal approach of light exercise, diet, and good nutrition is all you need to play casual tennis if that's your goal.
     
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  35. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    I'm 47 and still going strong but it takes some discipline! Foot speed, diet and strength are the 3 areas that I pay a lot of attention to. F/S is really important because if you're late setting up for the ball then your options go way down too.
    Except for rotator cuff preventive exercises all of my resistence training is geared toward improving my muscles "fast twitch" response. I want to be light on my feet, very agile and mobile(jumping rope is also a great training aid). I generally "train" 45-60 mins 3x/week.
    I also watch what I eat - carrying any extra lbs is a killer for older players both for the heart and the game!
    So, to the OP - if you play smart tennis(lots of variety) ie. a good serve out wide and hit to the open court and then go to the net, you'll still be a factor for years to come in your local tourney. The younger players also tend not to like slices and serve & volley(when done selectively).
     
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  36. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    I'm older than you. I assume that you no longer have 20 yr old women coming up to you and saying you're hot. Are you complaining about that also. I don't get it.

    Now, I still have them coming up and saying that to me because I'm leaning on a Ferrari, surrounded by bodyguards but my situation is different. They want me for my body.

    My body of loot.
     
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  37. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    LOL, yah, it's that life-support system, make sure you get a solid pre-nup!
     
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  38. b33rfairy

    b33rfairy New User

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    Crap I wish I was 40 again, I'm 54 in December. I'm Asian with good genes, probly look your age, divorced 5 yrs and restarted tennis at that time, self rated at 3.0 and am a 4.0 now. Just married a 29 yr old hot tamale (I tried to discourage her and it definitely wasn't for my money). But if your owning all your competition, where is the competition? Have you schooled ALL the competition there? Are you a member of the UKTA? Eventually you'll get beat, but your still young and got a lot of years left, but it would suck powning all the dudes out there. I picked up cycling and weight training and alot of what the other dudes on here have advised. Are you bored?
     
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  39. chippy17

    chippy17 Semi-Pro

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    well I am 38 and yes I am half a step slower and recovery time takes longer and i am not as good as I was as I junior but I reckon I could get back there in the next year or two with hard work, but i cannot play for 5 hours, as I used to, and feel no effects
    but I proved last night by beating a 17yr old team member in a singles game 6-3 7-6 that there is life in the old dog!
    On a practical level I have changed my racquets recently and now play with a slightly bigger head and more flex which has got rid of shoulder and arm pain and given me some grunt back
     
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  40. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    My Muscle Mass with Just Tennis & with Strength Training

    Men tend on average to lose about 1/2-1% of muscle mass each year maybe starting around the late thirties. In my opinion, this average decline is half from aging and half from activity. Muscles maintain size to handle larger forces. Unlike in the past most jobs today don’t provide any heavy exercise.

    Muscle mass is also important because it makes it easier on your joints as the muscles stabilize and control impacts somewhat. Picture no muscles and absorbing all movement impacts with the bones and joint cartilage. Muscle mass reduces the risk of injuries.

    I had played tennis for many years and in the first years my quads would get larger seasonally in August and September after playing a lot of summer tennis in Maryland. As the years went by the size and duration of this size increase decreased, lastly, quads were maybe a little bigger for a week or two in Sept. ?

    I played a lot of tennis. Tennis at my level did not maintain muscle mass. Eventually, I also had 15 lbs extra weight. For years I would say 'I should get in better shape.' I started asking myself 'How many times do you expect to live?' and that question kicked me into joining a gym.

    With strength training using free weights or machines it is possible to add 5% or more mass to you muscles each year. Compare the +5% per year with strength training to the -1% without. A few years ago, I believe that I got several body parts to be in their best shape - lifetime.

    I went to the gym also to strengthen my leg muscles after a meniscus operation. The strength increase made a big difference in how my knees felt. Before that, 15 years ago, when I sat for a while and then I got up my knees ached. I thought it was ‘just getting o*d’ but strength training fixed that issue – no aching. Later, I also started taking glucosamine and chondroitin on anecdotal evidence but can’t find any scientific justification.

    Lately, I've slipped in leg muscle mass because I hate heavy leg exercises. But I'm doing them now again and the muscles are showing it after a few weeks.

    Similarly to muscle mass, as you age posture issues are especially important and tend to deteriorate with today’s computer display lifestyle……correlate to my injury issues, etc. ………….
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2011
    #40
  41. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

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    Lots of good advice. You can also go for a run at lunch like I'm getting ready to do. Eat more frequently but smaller meals. Much smaller. Drink lots of water throughout the day.

    Good luck
     
    #41
  42. TennisMaverick

    TennisMaverick Banned

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    The older you get, the better you used to be. Get used to it.
     
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  43. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    Start playing only age group events. There's no way you can run into a 25 year old in Seniors or (gasp) Super Seniors.
     
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  44. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Best advice, stick to your five year age group and you'll be even with everyone else from the effects of gravity.
     
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  45. Ducker

    Ducker Rookie

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    I just turned 25 today and im so depressed. Although i still feel 21 the fact that im now a quarter of a century old is scarying me. I dont want to get old, i dont want to get slow and weak. Im only a 4.5 atm I want to get better still.

    I swim or work out on the days im not playing tennis and some times take the entire day off to recup. I eat very healthy and avoid all sweats. I hope that if I keep this up I will be able to play good tennis well into my 30s.

    What do you guys think?
     
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  46. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

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    You need to slow down a bit. You're not as young as you used to be. If you keep trying to do the things you did 4 years ago you'll injure yourself.

    Probably best to reevaluate and consider whether you really have what it takes to improve your game at this point in time. You might want to give up the sport if you can't handle the fact that it's all downhill from here.
     
    #46
  47. rjw

    rjw Professional

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Miami
    That sounds pretty drastic!!

    He can become a more seasoned/smarter player, which could improve his rating?
     
    #47
  48. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    2,733
    I can empathize but unfortunately can't give you much hope. I hung up my tennis cleats at about your age and took up croquette and trolling tennis message boards, much easier on the body and the ego than suffering loss after loss to teenagers. It's good you're eating healthy but you should break a sweat on occasion just to keep your glands from clogging up. Taking a day to recup seems excessive, maybe buy some Dixies to save you some time.

    Sorry for the bad news but try to have a happy birthday anyway, there's always reading to while away your remaining years.
     
    #48
  49. Caesar

    Caesar Banned

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2011
    Messages:
    765
    [​IMG]
     
    #49
  50. chatt_town

    chatt_town Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    1,995
    Dude,

    I didn't think in rec tennis you were even consideered to be getting old until you got say mid 50's or whatever. I mean you may lose a step at 50 or maybe 48 or so....but I think 40's are a good age for rec players. It's to me when you start learning how to play smarter but at the same time you still have the skills to move around the court well if you are in any kind of shape at all. I just turned 43 and other than a few injuries I can say that for the most part I feel well. I'm getting my son to walk my hamstrings and back and that has helped a lot with my lower back pain.

     
    #50

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