Need to write a Sports essay (tennis)

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by MethodTennis, Mar 24, 2013.

  1. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    The remitt is pretty open for this essay/report. It has to be 6000-10000 words long, be well sourced and I set my question which has to take a focus on a sport or sport in general.

    Any ideas what my question should be, I would quite like to keep in tennis related.
     
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  2. Dags

    Dags Professional

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    Is prize money distributed fairly?


    You could cover:

    - distribution between tournaments (Majors down to Futures and Challengers)
    - distribution within tournaments (Winner down to qualifiers)
    - gender differences
    - comparison with other sports if you've run out of things to say

    Personal opinion is that it's far too top heavy.
     
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  3. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    sounds like a very viable essay topic, could definitely manage 8000~ on that
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2013
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  4. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    "Should there be an off-season in tennis?"
     
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  5. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    Interesting. Have you read Bradley Wiggins book? In the opening paras it details how he was planning to win the 2012 TDF in 2009 and how it was a swimming coach that was brought in to sort their training program, the first thing that the coach noted was that cyclists had an off-season in oct/nov and no one trained at that time, overthe 3 years this would give them a total of 27 extra training weeks if they were to work through this period
     
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  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Who is the GOAT?
     
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  7. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    This is a good topic I agree but to write an item of that length you'd need tons of information on the splits/prize money as well as total revenue vs costs etc - information which isn't as easy to come by as you think. And, if you did get enough the issue might then be how to make it relate to each other evenly or factoring in details which differentiate them.

    Picking a broader, more esoteric topic can sometimes be more practical for long essays as you can develop an argument (assuming that is the intention) with prose rather than comparing sets of data - such as "is tennis the toughest sport to excel at?" or "is tennis better than it used to be?" Not saying those are better topics but it's worth considering before leaping into what could potentially be a very information-heavy topic.

    The topic Sureshs suggested above would seem an easier to write about one - it can be compartmentalised into various themes and lines of argument and the data you need is generally easily available.
     
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  8. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    You frequent this board, have posted thousands of times, and can't come up with a topic on your own. This is pathetic and ethically bankrupt. It's time to start doing your work on your own.
     
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  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Make sure answer is Nadal
     
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  10. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    My posts don't generally come past 100 words forget 6000. Believe me when I say that no one here has posted any topic which I have not already considered. Thanks for your contribution but unless you feel you have something to add to the discussion on a thread please say nothing at all. Somehow I don't think 2000 posts of 'big forehand from roddick' will count as an 8,000 word sports essay
     
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  11. Fearsome Forehand

    Fearsome Forehand Professional

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    TT really needs a Do My Homework For Me Section. :)

    The History of Tennis.

    Tennis in the 20th Century.

    If you can't get 8K words out of those topics, you are hopeless.
     
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  12. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Answer this question:

    Does the fact that tennis players now remain at the top of their games into their thirties suggest a reliance on PEDs?
     
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  13. max

    max Hall of Fame

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    What's the value of pi? I need to get this for my homework tonight.
     
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  14. Dedans Penthouse

    Dedans Penthouse Hall of Fame

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    "The TW Fanboy Phenomenon and its Related Impacts on Panic at the Disco! and Preparation-H Sales in the United States" ~ by Gunnd5K

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  15. canadad

    canadad Semi-Pro

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    Outliers in tennis.

    How about what it takes to be an "Outlier" in tennis.

    A few years ago I read a very popular book by Malcom Gladwell called, "Outliers". The concept of the book is what are the factors that make the super successful person so successful, that 1% of people that do better than the rest of us.

    Some examples:
    Age: If you look at the birthdays of a roster of a professional hockey team you will notice that most of the players are born within the first few months of the year. Someone born in January will start off playing against people that were born in December of that calendar year. They are starting with a year of development advantages. They are the ones that get the early recognition which leads to better coaching, which leads to access to higher levels of competition which leads to a widening of skill level gap. This is one of the reasons why some parents hold their children back a year from starting school, it is known as "Red-shirting".

    Culture: What is the environment of the culture where the person is from? What value does a culture place on the work in question.

    Birth Era and Situation: Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were born during a technological boom. Essentially the timing was right for someone with their skill sets to become super successful. Coupled with the fact that through lucky connections, as a teenager Bill Gates was able to have as much computer access as anyone in the world. Basically being born in the right place and right time in history and with the right parents is important. There are people who have been as skilled as Jobs and Gates, but they did not have the planet alignment to give them the same opportunities.

    The 10,000 hour rule: Gladwell claims that in order to be expertly proficient at something, you need at least 10,000 hours of practice. Look at Agassi and how many balls he had to hit a day. When the Beatles started, they played 6-8 hour sets in a club 7 days a week. So they were able to play in front of a live crowd for an astonishing amount of sets. How many hours do you think Tiger Woods practised for?

    Genetics: Obviously important.

    I think doing a case study using tennis would make a great essay.

    Here is the link to the book:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outliers_(book)
     
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  16. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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  17. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    actually addressed that in an article I wrote a while back (full text: http://indecentxposure.com/grind/152878f7fb57e00a0dc07875529bdd743aa18a39/). I also got some info from fpeliwo and kind out laid out the numbers of why he's a pro and I'm not (BTW Filip was born in January...)

    "...Filip’s Background

    I started playing tennis at five years old. My dad is a recreational player and I would hit balls against a wall while he played with his friends. I only started playing on a regular basis at age 7 or 8, and really got serious about training when I was 10 or 11. By that time I was playing or practicing maybe three hours a day, with some fitness drills on top of that. My dad was my coach until I turned 15; after that I started working with coaches from Tennis Canada at the National Training Center in Montreal. A typical day is 4 hours on the court and 2 hours of fitness, though that can vary depending on what we’re focusing on.

    Let’s do a little math, add up all the hours, and see where Filip stacks up against Malcolm Gladwell’s famous “10,000” hours theory:

    Filip Peliwo

    “Weekend Warrior” (Age 5-8): 3 years x (approximately) 2 hours on court per week x 50 weeks = 300 hours

    “Competitive player” (Age 8-11): 3 years x (approximately) 10 hours on court per week x 50 weeks = 1500 hours

    “National-level junior” (Age 11-15): 4 years x 20 hours on court per week x 50 weeks = 4000 hours

    “World-Class junior” (Age 15-18): 3 years x 24 hours on court per week x 50 weeks = 3600 hours

    Total: 9400 hours of tennis-specific training accumulated by age 18

    If Gladwell’s conclusion that 10,000 hours of focused practice is enough for someone to achieve world-class performance in a given discipline, we can see that the theory holds pretty true here. In contrast, here are my numbers for comparison’s sake

    Jack Han

    “Voracious reader” (Age 5-8): 3 years x (approximately) 0 hours on court per week x 50 weeks = 0 hours (Instead of playing tennis, or any sport for that matter, I was at home reading comic books)

    “PC gamer” (Age 8-11): 3 years x (approximately) 0 hours on court per week x 50 weeks = 0 hours (instead of playing tennis, I was playing ice hockey twice a week and spending the rest of my time eating and playing video games)

    “Recreational player” (Age 11-15): 4 years x 5 hours on court per week x 30 weeks = 600 hours (Even though I was now playing a significant amount during the summer, I rarely played during the winter months due to high court costs. Also, most of these hours were spent picking up balls after spraying them all over the court, as opposed to structured training and receiving detailed feedback from a coach)

    “Competitive player” (Age 15-18): 3 years x 10 hours on court per week x 30 weeks = 900 hours

    Total: 1500 hours of tennis-specific training accumulated by age 18

    By simply comparing the accumulated practice time, we can plainly see that the disparity between pros and recreational players is vaster than anyone could imagine. Indeed, for every hour I work on my game, Filip puts in six hours. This alone is enough to explain why a professional tennis player can hit the ball so much cleaner, harder and more accurately than anyone who hasn’t devoted his or her life to the sport.

    Getting back to Federer, if we assume that he, too has accrued 10 000 hours of practice by age 18, and follows a similar training schedule as Filip, then since birth he has spent no less than a staggering 25,000 hours on a tennis court. If you want to catch up to Roger and are willing to practice tennis 12 hours a day (impractical), 365 days a week (impossible), it would take you five and a half YEARS to catch up to him. No wonder he’s won Wimbledon seven times and I’m playing in a tournament which doesn’t even supply free bottled water."
     
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  18. tenniscasey

    tenniscasey Semi-Pro

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    Thanks canadad and jackal, the two posts above are both really interesting.
     
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  19. canadad

    canadad Semi-Pro

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    Nice work Jackal, I enjoyed your article. I think 10,000 hours of "Focused Practice" is key. The kind of "practice" I do is not as productive as it could be.
     
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  20. canadad

    canadad Semi-Pro

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    Thanks! If you found that interesting and took the time to read all that, you should pick up the book we mentioned. It is an enjoyable read.
     
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  21. thejackal

    thejackal Hall of Fame

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    another book that elaborates on the same ideas is "Bounce". it was written by matthew syed, a world-class table tennis player, so the insights it gives are pretty interesting.
     
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