I want to play tennis to stay fit, is 19 too late.

Discussion in 'College Tennis Talk' started by steenkash, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. steenkash

    steenkash Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Messages:
    250
    I need an activity besides my studies to stay fit, as they have closed down the swimming pool near my house. But there is a tennis court and I wish to play, but I don't want to come in and embarrass myself. I am a big tennis follower, but never got around to playing. I been the geek that just analyses players and matches.

    BQ: I am also short 5ft 7.
     
    #1
  2. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,833
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Tennis is a sport for a lifetime. We were all beginners at one time. Just do it.
     
    #2
  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,318
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Hit against a wall until you can hit 10 in a row back to yourself.
    Then start looking for practice partners.
    Be humble, supply balls and a good attitude.
     
    #3
  4. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,335
    everyone has to start somewhere! I'm not sure I would pick tennis as my "stay fit" sport though.
     
    #4
  5. ced

    ced Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
    Messages:
    747
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    To stay fit, jogging would be much better ........ but do both. The more fit you are, the better it is for your tennis and as the others have said we all had to start sometime.
     
    #5
  6. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    5,531
    I was about the same age as you when I started. I have been enjoying tennis for 35+ years now. What the heck are you waiting on?

    If you find a partner near your level, you can have fun competitive matches after just a few weeks of practice.
     
    #6
  7. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    5,531
    I hate jogging and love tennis. If you play a lot and get a few lessons, you can have really good matches in just a few weeks. Tennis is a great fitness sport and not boring like jogging.
     
    #7
  8. mbm0912

    mbm0912 Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2012
    Messages:
    1,112
    Exactly

    Jogging = Dreadful

    Tennis = Awesome
     
    #8
  9. SoCal10s

    SoCal10s Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,778
    people say "" you get fit to play tennis ,you don't play tennis to get fit"" .. try swimming ,biking or yoga to get fit.. you won't need a partner to do it with ... tennis you need to have someone on the other side of the net to have fun...
     
    #9
  10. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,301
    Location:
    Garden of Gethsemane
    That's somewhat of an asinine question.
    There are other activities besides tennis and swimming to stay fit.
    If someone asked you why you are playing tennis and you say "to stay fit", I don't think they will have much respect for you. :-|
     
    #10
  11. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    424
    I guess me and the OP may be the Rodney Dangerfields of the board!

    I don't see anything wrong with playing a sport, any sport, as a means to fitness. Not everyone is playing a sport, dare I say hardly anyone at all, for anything other than some form of recreation.

    Of course, those who make their living playing professionally would be the exception. All others....are playing for "fun". Fun is in quotes to allow for different definitions of that word.
     
    #11
  12. Clemson_tennis

    Clemson_tennis Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    5,440
    Location:
    San Antonio/Austin
    Geez I am very disappointed with the responses in this thread. Is everyone saying that tennis does not keep you fit? Easy sport? I thought this was a tennis fan's forum.
     
    #12
  13. KineticChain

    KineticChain Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,157
    Yea.. you have to be good enough to keep the ball in at a decent pace to really reap the exercise benefits. Even if someone isn't that good yet.. its still better than no exercise at all. Also if you feel you didn't get much exercise out of the hitting session.. you can always run suicides afterwards :)
     
    #13
  14. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,301
    Location:
    Garden of Gethsemane
    I have to disagree on that statement particularly because of the word usage of " All others" and "hardly anyone".

    In my opinion, tennis is played for:

    - Recreation (like you said)
    - Social status/activity
    - Competitively/professionally

    When I'm playing, I don't think about fitness because I know that I'm engaging in demanding physical activity. I also play competitively, so you most likely won't see me on the recreational courts unless if I'm playing a match with someone or doing volunteer work. :cool:

    But in terms of fitness for the original poster? The most simple form of it is just to put on some running shoes and run a couple of kilometers in a public park a few hours a week. Better to save your money (for buying a racquet and other accessories) and your (and someone else's) time. :)
     
    #14
  15. Vertiz

    Vertiz Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2010
    Messages:
    206
    Location:
    MA/PA
    Don't be afraid of what other's think of you. I know a lot of people who would describe themselves similar to yourself. They still play, and while are not the best players around, have a lot of fun and are passionate about the sport. Get out there and start playing :).
     
    #15
  16. Buford T Justice

    Buford T Justice Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2011
    Messages:
    424
    If one gardens, collects stamps, collects coins, paints pictures, takes photos, etc, etc or plays a sport, and doesn't earn their living doing it, they certainly should be doing it for fun! Otherwise....not sure why someone would spend so much time doing something that was not fun and that was not earning their living.

    That's my only point.

    If the OP wants to take up tennis to get some exercise, and finds hitting a tennis ball around for a couple of hours more enticing than running around the block, why not take the approach that is more enjoyable?

    Plus, this is a tennis board and support and enticement of new players seems only appropriate.
     
    #16
  17. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    5,301
    Location:
    Garden of Gethsemane

    I understand. I think I took my statements to a different approach because the people I play with aren't actually serious and more of... screwing around which annoys the bullocks out of me.. :mad:
     
    #17
  18. Coach Carter

    Coach Carter Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Messages:
    315
    Location:
    West Point, GA
    I'm just disturbed that this person came into a "COMPETITIVE TENNIS - COLLEGE TENNIS" board talking about beginning tennis for staying fit. Tennis is a great sport no doubt, but I don't know that this is the place I would have come to gain ground on "hey you can do it". If you find a friend or 3 that love tennis then make that a great way to get out and burn calories, but it's going to be more about the social at that point. It will be hard at 19 and in a beginner stage while in college and studying to make tennis your stay fit thing. I'd find a real thing like cross fit or or something you could enjoy with friends that truly burns some calories!!! Tennis (FOR THE BEGINNER) will not be burning a lot of calories and keeping you that fit...IMHO. I could be wrong though...there could be some that feel you'd be running your fool head off. In college, I'd get heavily involved with intramurals and get crazy with every dang sport possible for fitness and fun. You may find a new talent and stay fit...plus make friends, etc. Just the 2 cents of an old college coach.
     
    #18
  19. isilra

    isilra Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    If you asked if 19 is too late to become a pro, than the answer would be probably no because becoming pro takes a progress of at least 12 years. But as soon as you can be fit in just 1 year (even less if you already have something), 19 is actually a great age to start tennis. You will be 20 when you have a fit body and when i think about my friend's daddy that started body building at the age of 50 and had a great body, i think 20 is more than a wonderful deal.

    I'm 23 now and have always been interested in sports. I played soccer, basketball, i have done bodybuilding for 2 years till i was 20. I always dreamed about a body like brad pitt till i was a teenage but i could never achieve that with the sports i have done because i have never achieved consistency. When i met tennis at 20, i felt like it was my sport. It has been 3 years now till i begin playing it and first time in my life, i see a whole six pack when i look in the mirror. Loosing fat has never been so easy, i can lose 8 lbs a months easily by just enjoying at court for 2 hours and cutting sugar. Gaining muscle is also easy, you burn a lot, so you eat a lot while making some weight training. That is a wonderful thing for me because i like eating. I feel energetic, youthful and happy, that is something you can't do with the damn treadmills. I think tennis is the best sport that you can do because it offers you interval cardio which is the best formula for losing fat. When you are playing basketball or soccer or you swim, you always need spend physical efford, when you stop, you are beaten. In tennis, you always have the rest when the ball is called out or when the set or game is finished. So you can play and enjoy tennis for 2 hours without the feel of dieing.

    Your goal is also important. If you wonder if tennis itself can give you a body like Nadal, i say it's not possible as long as you have a right technique. But you can have this by just playing tennis and have a proper diet (which is necessary for all the sports);

    http://heartsetmatch.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/nole-picspam1.jpg

    If you combine tennis with some weight training routine again with a proper diet, you can get a body like that, even more if you like to;

    http://images4.fanpop.com/image/photos/17600000/nadal-body-rafael-nadal-17648907-425-700.jpg

    Also i think a lot of people in this forum started tennis after they are 30. They do that because tennis is a sport that you can even play with and beat your grandchildren. Not to mention that it will give you a healthy, quality sportsmen's life which is priceless.
     
    #19
  20. isilra

    isilra Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2012
    Messages:
    160
    That must be a joke. How can anybody compare a 2 hours of joyful tennis section to 45 minutes of boring jogging ? Also playing tennis makes you burn way more calories than jogging. Not to mention you can play tennis more hours than you do jogging. It is always better to make a real sport that you can enjoy and forget the time than checking your watch every 2 minutes ...
     
    #20
  21. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,277
    Recreational tennis is very very different for individuals. I know it is right down unhealthy for many that come to the court, hit a little and smoke all the time!

    It's very boring and inactive if you hit with old men and weak women. So, jogging can be a much better for fitness.

    But tennis is great if you meet people who have similar level and intensity. Difficult though.
     
    #21
  22. lstewart

    lstewart Rookie

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2010
    Messages:
    346
    It takes a certain skill level to get alot of exercise from tennis. Beginners are going to spend most of their time walking around picking up balls. But tennis is a great adult sport, so you can compete as seriously as you like, for as many years as you like. So starting tennis at any age is not a bad idea, because with time you will improve, and there will always be opportunites to play at any age. But I agree, if fitness is your main goal, adding other exercise is a good idea. I am a former nationally ranked senior player, train hard 5 to 6 days per week in tennis with my 17 year old son, but also walk a couple of miles per day and lift weights 3 days per week.
     
    #22
  23. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2009
    Messages:
    1,697
    Find somebody your level and begin playing with a sponge ball or low compression balls. You'll have so much fun keeping the ball in play that you'll get plenty of exercise and you'll eventually graduate to real tennis balls.

    P.S. I started playing when I was 40.
     
    #23
  24. steenkash

    steenkash Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2012
    Messages:
    250
    I have played Badminton before, and was decent at it. But its a whole different racquet sport isnt it .
     
    #24
  25. max

    max Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2004
    Messages:
    2,682
    OP; I'm turning 50 and have played for 40 years. It's a sport for a lifetime and it keeps me trim and gives me a fun workout.

    Like anything, it gets more fun, the more work you've invested into it.

    Above someone noted that it takes a while to get your strokes down. This is true, but chin up: this is a fast phase you'd be moving through, when your skills rapidly improve (relative to later rates of skill improvement).

    Surround yourself with good books, a good teacher or experienced player friend, some video, get a clear sense of what good form is for the shot you're learning, and go and do it.
     
    #25
  26. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Messages:
    2,725
    It also gives me two targets/barometers as to how well I do: meaning the tennis technique itself, not only improving physical abilities.
     
    #26

Share This Page