One year and a 14 year old is a 3.5. Can be become pro?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Hrandyrko, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. 10ACE

    10ACE Professional

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    See if you can make you varsity tennis team, start playing tournaments so you can raise in rankings and play national players. So by 16 Colleges will want to recruit you, and you should have played some people on the challengers. Otherwise, get used to club tennis, and have fun playing, try being a coach.
     
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  2. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Of course you can. But its doubtful.. The chances are higher if your say a nationally ranked basketball/soccer/baseball player who is switching to tennis. 14 is young in the game of life - but it the tennis game its not young at all.

    Are you an exceptional athlete? The best in your class at every sport? Are you on varsity teams as a freshman? That's the kind of athleticism that would allow you to short circuit the normal progression. Even then its not guaranteed..

    Pete
     
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  3. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    i think the problem he has is he just started the game a year ago, whereas, the other 14 yr olds who have professional ambition have started the game 10 years ago. it's going to take some doing to catch up.
     
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  4. Hrandyrko

    Hrandyrko Rookie

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    I'm an all county wrestler. Lol....I was also a starting quarterback on my school's legendary football team until I decided to quit to start assistant coaching.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
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  5. Hrandyrko

    Hrandyrko Rookie

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    Oh yes, I always appear to be calm. I walk at a decent pace on the court, am ready to return before my opponent reaches his baseline, and I've got the pokerface down. However, I've got that upsetting "stagefright" like feeling in my stomach whenever I play a match, or anything competitive! How do I get rid of that and be as internally relaxed as I am at the time of writing this post?
     
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  6. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    OK, let's back up a bit here. Do you even have a coach right now? At 14, are you even in high school yet? So how or who determined that you're at the 3.5 level right now? If this is your own guess, then I'd probably bump it down to a 3.0 realistically (if not even 2.5). Most people tend to over-rate themselves.

    So you have only begun to play tennis for only a year, probably haven't played high school tennis yet, probably haven't even had coaching yet (tell me if I'm wrong), probably haven't even won any junior league or tournament so far. Yet you're thumbing your nose down at college tennis because you're afraid you'll lose time for not gaining ranks on the pro circuit? Oh, I "feel you" alright...

    I hope this is just typical smack talking a 14 year old does and you don't really have that big of a head. And that you're smart enough to take advice of these posters to stay in school and love to play the sport for what it is instead of for the illusion of money or glamour that it may bring.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
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  7. Hrandyrko

    Hrandyrko Rookie

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    I tried out for the varsity tennis team last year and made it. I went undefeated in 3rd singles. At that point in time I was recognized by the high school tennis coach as a 3.0. The 3.5 is a self rate based on the fact that I have improved greatly since then. I was too young to make the tennis team at 13 years old so I had to pass a New York State something...It had me do a series of drills which tested my speed and stamina. The hardest test was to run a mile and a half in under 10 minutes. I did it in 8:45.

    I didn't realize college tennis is something people do when they consider becoming a professional at tennis. I knew about challengers and futures...I thought people did those rather than play in college. Please explain.

    I have a private coach whom I meet with once a week, considering the weather and the prices of tennis courts in my area. I meet with him 3 times in the summer. I play in a ladder match program against other kids my level once a week. I take group lessons once a week as well and am offered a 2 hour practice on the weekend by the club I take lessons. The kids who I practice with are also my level.

    I'm in the gym, lifting weights, doing the elliptical and jogging at the time I have extra. I jog after school as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
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  8. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Have you hit the Driving range yet....? times a wasting..
     
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  9. JoshDragon

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    Ok, first of all it depends on what your definition of going pro is. If you mean winning Wimbledon in 8 years then no, I would say you have no chance of that. If you mean making the futures, then yes I would say that you could do it. IF you work extremely hard, for the next 5 or 6 years and have the talent to back up your progression.
     
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  10. revolutionary technique

    revolutionary technique Rookie

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    Its not about money its about something you love.
     
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  11. Hrandyrko

    Hrandyrko Rookie

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    Sorry for the double post, but I in no way meant to have an attitude or seem arrogant. I don't what would lead you to describe my questions, my self rating, and my goal as "big headed". As well as dissing my age group.
     
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  12. Blake0

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    First off, you're already way behind everyone else who wants to go pro. Kids starting at 6-7 some even younger, training with a full time coach and physical conditioning, and now have had 10+ years of hundreds of hours of practice and conditioning. Even for them, the chances are slim to become a top pro (top 100). Do you think you can make that time up that you've lost?

    It's possible, but you'd have to play 2 times more tennis and work out 2 times harder then them. Even if you did that for 5 years there's a high possibility you could burn out and injure yourself (if you get a major injury it could take a year to recover, which means you've lost a whole year of practice). Not to mention you'd have to have a higher learning curve and more potential then almost everyone else out there. Don't forget about sound technique. If you play that much tennis with bad technique (even with okay technique), you're injury prone. Not saying you're not injury prone if you have good technique, but you know what i mean..

    If you think you're capable to do all of that, goodluck you have a decent chance to become a top pro (1%, which is what everyone has). A better goal is college tennis, where your chances are higher. Ofcourse you also need a plan b, which is to have a real job if you don't get your dream career.
     
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  13. Hrandyrko

    Hrandyrko Rookie

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    Aww shucks...I just want to be up there with the big boys. If I can play em and go down with a good fight. You'd find me skipping along here[​IMG]
     
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  14. JoshDragon

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    Are you at all serious with this thread, or is this just for fun?
     
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  15. Hrandyrko

    Hrandyrko Rookie

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    Thought I'd add some humor here to cheer myself up after all the:

    "You have zero chance"
    "You've got no chance at all"
    "You're not going anywhere"
    "You started too late. Forget about it."
    "You rated yourself too high"
    "You're talking big talk"

    that I've received the past few hours.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
    #65
  16. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

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    You were asking for our opinions. We're just giving it to you. Becoming a pro isn't easy that's why it takes like 13 years of practice for these guys to even do well on the futures tour.
     
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  17. Hrandyrko

    Hrandyrko Rookie

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    I understand that. But opinions can hurt feelings too. Although I'm happy all of y'all gave me your truthful opinions, I'm also a bit saddened that my chances are slimmer than I believed. I never believed that becoming a professional at tennis was going to be easy, but I thought I could do it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
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  18. Vermillion

    Vermillion Banned

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    keep practicing hard
    find a good job
    save up some money
    turn pro when you think you're good enough (gotta try, right?)
    ???
    profit
     
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  19. Hrandyrko

    Hrandyrko Rookie

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    Thank you Vermillion :)
     
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  20. Hrandyrko

    Hrandyrko Rookie

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    One of these days, when I get my hands on a reasonable camera, I will get some footage of my shots for some of the board members to analyze; if that would help people come to a revised conclusion based on the fact that you've seen my actual skill level.
     
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  21. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    What might change some people's opinions is some decent tournament results. Again, get your head out the clouds and enter some tournaments. Get real.
     
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  22. Vermillion

    Vermillion Banned

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    you don't need to prove anything to anyone. just focus on improving and becoming the best you can be.

    by the time you get enough money to go on the pro tour, you'll know if you're good enough or not.
     
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  23. Hrandyrko

    Hrandyrko Rookie

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    When I said "make a revised conclusion" it was not limited to those who disapproved of my goal, but also to those who said I can actually do it. Maybe after seeing my serve and backhand, many will say that I really DO have no chance making it anywhere in tennis.

    Regardless, I'll still try.
     
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  24. Ventolin

    Ventolin Banned

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    If you work really hard, harder than most good players with similar goals who are your age are, you can do it. You might peak at a later age to most girls too, as in mid 20's rather than late teens or early 20's
     
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  25. Spyre

    Spyre Rookie

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    Never tell a man what he can't do because then he'll be more inclined to do it ;)
     
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  26. ubermeyer

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    with tons of hard work, you might have a chance... to be top 2000.

    i've been wrong before
     
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  27. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    The thing to realize is that many players of the same age and ambition are working out at full time tennis academies and/or playing sectional, national and even international tournaments and have been doing so for some years now. Often they are home schooled or have special school schedules to allow them to work on their tennis several hours everyday. Training both on and off court, traveling, competing, etc, etc, all are a part of it. These players are already putting in the maximum time and effort, to say that all this poster has to do is do more than they are already doing to 'catch-up' is unrealistic. These players aren't just taking lessons now and then and playing a few practice sets after school. Instead of fantasizing about being a pro, short term goals should be set to begin with. Start with sectional age group tournaments and go from there. If the poster had said 'I've been playing 13 months and have already won 2 14&under satellite tournaments' they might be onto something. But the 3.5 thing means nothing at all with regard to a pro career. Pro tennis is all about competition, so anyone who aspires to be a pro needs to start competing with and against their peers in sanctioned tournaments from the get go or they are wasting their time.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
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  28. Hrandyrko

    Hrandyrko Rookie

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    Thanks JW10S, I appreciate the time you took to create such a lengthy and informative post.
     
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  29. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    I never labeled your questions or your self rating or your goal as big headed. The only thing that I called "big-headed" was your statement about not liking to do college tennis because it'll make you lose time to gain ranks in the pro-circuit. That's why I put that statement in "quote" above my post to highlight it out. It just seems so presumpteous to be assuming that you can gain ranks in the pro-circuit when you're not even anywhere close to having any kind of real achievement in tennis to back it up so far.

    As for dissing your age group, I thought it was the other way around. I was having empathy for a 14 year old thinking like that because my 18-year-old son used to think like that when he was 14, too. Heck, he still does it sometimes eventhough he's 18 now. I guess I'm now guilty of dissing the 18-year-old age group, too...:) You need to lighten up. If you open yourself to the forum with this kind of question (can I become pro?), you'll need to come with thick enough skin for the answers.

    But now that you've given more information about yourself, how you tried out and made the varsity team at 13 eventhough you're too young for it, how you're in a ladder program now, and in group lessons and private lessons, I can see why you're passionate and curious about your chance of becoming a pro in a sport that you just picked up and love. It makes your question seem more understandable and more legitimate now. You should have posted all this background info on the first post so people can understand better where you're coming from.

    Unfortunately the resounding advice still holds (as with most other sports): stay in school, keep up with the sport, become serious with it if you want, but don't put all your eggs in one basket and have a backup plan to make a living another way.
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2009
    #79
  30. NamRanger

    NamRanger G.O.A.T.

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    There are always anomalies (Querrey didn't take tennis seriously until he was way late, Tony Lars could probably go pro IMO), but the odds are against you.
     
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  31. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    Sam Querry started playing tennis when he was 4 years old and by 14 was already a seasoned tournament player. He did not become a top nationally ranked player until later in his junior career but to say he 'didn't take tennis seriously' is not so.
     
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  32. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    Nam Ranger probably meant the other giant, John Isner. I believe he started playing seriously at age 11.
     
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  33. JoshDragon

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    They're slimmer than you believed?:-? Did you think that becoming a pro was in any way easy?:-?

    I'm giving you my opinion to try to help you. It seems to me that you don't really want the opinions of other people, you just want them to say "yeah, you can do it, go for it."

    I'm not going to do that because that's not what you asked me to do.
     
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  34. JoshDragon

    JoshDragon Hall of Fame

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    Oh cool, I started playing at age 11 too, although not seriously. Maybe I'll be able to take a set off Roger some day.LOL.
     
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  35. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    John Isner could have played pro basketball. Like i said if you are a world class athlete and deemed likely to be able to go pro in other sports.. Then you could make it, IMHO. Most guys though just stick with their other sport so it hasn't happened yet.

    Its not out of the realm of possibility for a world class squash junior to switch to tennis if he had 10 years to work on it though (14-24)..

    But I am talking the kind of athleticism that would get on Rivals.com. ..You know your being invited to camps in the offseason - and getting "scholarships" to attend. TV news has done stories about you and so on..

    Pete
     
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  36. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Actually, tennis pros in the top 200 can make fairly decent moolah. Donald is currently ranked 155 in singles and has been as high at 73 (in 2008 ). Since turning pro in 2004 he has earned more that 1/2 million dollars. While his W-L record may not be all that impressive, his ranking and his earnings from prize money make him pretty successful.

    .
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2009
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  37. Ventolin

    Ventolin Banned

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    I understand what your saying, but all i'm saying is that its by no means an impossible dream for a 14 year old to be ready to play itf events by the time they are say 21-22 years old.

    Unlikely, yes, but by no means impossible.

    I personally know a guy who started playing tennis as a 12 year old and had gained their first atp points as a 22 year old. He's 24 now and is ranked in the 600-700's and is playing full time. Who's to say he wont be able to reach the top 100 in a few years time?

    Predicting which players will become pro looking at them as a junior is very difficult, and there are many different paths a player can take in their development.

    The thing that is most clear however is that it is almost 100 percent mental as to which players succeed.

    I've seen so many talented players leave the game early frustrated by a lack of success when trying to transition to seniors and i've seen less talented players persevere and achieve success nobody would have ever predicted for them if they saw them as a junior or even took a look at their junior results.
     
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  38. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Saddens me to see this response. With this attitude perhaps you should quit. If you don't enjoy tennis enough to play for the fun or the love of the sport, you wouldn't have any longevity as a pro any way. The pros who really endured, like Connors & Agassi, had an obvious love of the sport.

    How's that for honesty.

    On the other side of the coin, many other benefits can be derived from tennis -- health benefits, problem solving skills, emotional growth, etc. Tennis, like other sports, is a microcosm of life. How you act on the tennis court and how you deal with problems or challenges on the tennis court will often reflect how you deal with these issues in your school work, on a job, and in your social life. If you are willing to give up on tennis that easily, you'll undoubtedly do that in other aspects of life as well. On the other hand, tennis experiences can be a way to develop yourself as a person to be able to deal with other challenges in life.

    Something else to consider -- tennis can open doors. Playing on a tennis team in high school will look good on your college applications. It can sometimes make a difference between getting into a college that you really want or having to settle for something less. If you make it as a strong varsity player or as a top junior player, you can possibly get a partial or full athletic scholarship. If you get to be good enough as a junior player, you can often get sponsored -- quite a few top junior players do.

    The further you advance as a player in school or in the NTRP levels the more experience you will have and the more leverage you will have if you decide to do some teaching/coaching later on. One player that I coached a while back is now a high school senior -- she is already earning some money teaching tennis. Something like this will help to pay for your way thru college. Coaching can be also be done later in life for supplemental income, as a primary source of income or even as second career. Playing college tennis will give you more cred as a coach.
     
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  39. volusiano

    volusiano Hall of Fame

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    Originally Posted by Hrandyrko [​IMG]
    Oh...well should I just stop playing now then? What's the point?:confused:

    College tennis seems boring to me...It's not something I like watching or feel like doing. Guess I'll have to think about this for a while.

    I was even thinking of making a living off of tennis.

    How does one benefit from running around and playing for fun? What's in that? No sponsorships, no money.

    I've been so confident for weeks and ran into a brick wall just now. Anyway, thanks guys; at least you were honest with me.[/quote]


    ^^^ Exactly! I hear that Davydenko was sleeping out of his car in the younger years touring tournaments because he couldn't afford to stay in hotels. Don't know if it's true or not. But the point is you're never going to succeed if you don't have true love for the sport in the first place.

    It shouldn't be about turning pro or sponsorship or money. It should be about "how much tennis can I play today, and tomorrow, and the next day?" The rest of the stuff, if all the stars are aligned just right and everything else comes together, great for you! If not, no big deal because you're still happy you get to play tennis.
     
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  40. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

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    If you can reach 500 in the ATP by the time you are 30 years old it's only because you have incredible natural tennis ability and athleticism, but you should listen to the nut jobs, quit school, and go all out, player!!! :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2009
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  41. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I dunno.

    If you were my son, I'd probably say to you what I would say to a son who wanted a career on opera, acting, rapping, NASCAR or anything else that is a long shot:

    "Son, let's work on getting good grades and figuring out what you're going to do when you finish high school so that you don't end up on the business end of a shovel."

    I mean, playing tennis with hopes of getting a college scholarship is fine and all, but if you really put in the time it would take to get that good you may not be sufficiently prepared for college to be successful in your studies.

    I know, I'm a total killjoy.

    Cindy -- somebody's Mom
     
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  42. heretoserve

    heretoserve Rookie

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    I picked up a racquet when I was 15 when I happened to move directly next to a tennis club. Thank god, otherwise I would have probably picked up much worse habits. I played every day, much with a good friend Ryler DeHeart(lost to Nadal last year second round of U.S. Open). Was lucky that I had some one to kick my ass. Any ways I played low level division 1 college tennis at Jacksonville University as well as club tennis in Germany. I am now a "lifer" in tennis making a living. The sport that I think saved my life. Playing college tennis gives you an extra few years to improve if you pick it up late, which helps if you wanna go pro. None of this would of been possible had I not been around extremely knowledgeable people. Otherwise I would of just ended up like the rest of these poor ego filled *******s in this chat room trying to convince themselves, through others, that they have an understanding of the game(did I say that out loud? Crap!...don't hit post....don't hit post).
     
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  43. Ultra2HolyGrail

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    Even if you where a 5.0 at 14 most juniors only play usta or national touranments and then go on to play div1. Clearly to be a pro this is the wrong way to approach it. Unless you are a very rare bird like isner who became a pro and still played college. Think about this. At only 14 you have 4 years to fully grow. 2 years from that you will be 20. I definately think it's possible to have a pro game once you reach your 20's. But you have to train like a pro and play the best competition. And like others said. School is probably not a option. Also think about this. How good was Nadal at 10 years old? He became a pro at 14. It only took him 4 years.
     
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  44. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    Just read that nadal started hitting left handed at age 12. So it only took him two years to have a pro forehand? Interesting.
     
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  45. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

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    That's why he will never be a pro at anything. But your approach is more realistic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2009
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  46. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    "Son, let's work on getting good grades and figuring out what you're going to do when you finish high school so that you don't end up on the business end of a shovel."


    Men will make far more risky decisions with regards to their future then women. For a man the advantages of being a tennis pro are so great its actually a more reasonable gamble then one might think..

    Almost all male pro athletes have sacrificied their grades and such at the altar of athletics. Scientists actually trace this to the tremendous rewards a top pro athlete gets..

    Tom Brady is a great example.. An average (athletically) guy who stuck with his dreams and impregnated not one but two super models.

    Tom could have canned the whole football thing and concentrated on being a decent doctor or something like that.. But then forget about the super models. There is no similiar high risk high return trade off for women. Women's choice in mates spring from their looks - and thus they cannot influence it to such a large extent..

    This even trickles down to the USTA. Plenty of men have spent countless hours perfecting their tennis games. While very few bother 'waisting their time" doing the same thing..

    And no despite what moms will want to tell you you can't really wholly commit to tennis and maximize your academic achievement. If your smart you can certainly get by..but their is an opportunity cost from playing tennis 30 hours a week while being in school.

    Pete
     
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  47. Hrandyrko

    Hrandyrko Rookie

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    Wow guys! I got a lot more responses than I expected here. I appreciate your efforts and your interest in helping me realize what is realistic and unrealistic. Thanks a lot y'all. This thread ain't closed, so if anyone wishes to say anything, I'm still here monitoring the thread; making sure I take in as much information as possible.
     
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  48. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Enjoy your tennis.
    At 14 it's hard to see that life is long, and tennis promises to be a healthy diversion from this crazy world. It can be a "carrot on a stick" to keep you in a healthy lifestyle of staying fit and avoiding becoming overweight. Going out and bashing that fuzzy yellow ball can relieve a lot of stress.
    But I advise you to do what Arthur Ashe said and concentrate on your schoolwork. Your living is much more likely to be in some business and not in tennis. If you do well in school, you'll give yourself options to find something you can really enjoy doing at work.
    And don't neglect your social life. No one can get anything done alone.
    If it turns out you are really good in tennis, you can get into a much better school as a "scholar-athlete". Every college has to fill out its athletic teams, and they will take you rather than someone even with better grades if you are good enough to play on their team. James Blake went to Harvard before turning pro. But reallistically, even if you play college tennis, realize that there are thousands of kids playing college tennis, and only a very few ever turn pro.
    Consider youself very lucky. You've got your health, got plenty of options, and live in a great area where you can take advantage of your options.
    Good luck.
     
    #98
  49. sheets

    sheets Rookie

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Messages:
    150
    Is there a chance? Sure. Is it slim? Very much so. But theres more to tennis than being pro and you don't need to be a pro to love and enjoy the sport. I'm a teen just like yourself so perhaps an anecdote of mine can provide a little food for thought.
    Going into high school i was, well, a bit of an oddball. Not a freak or anything just under confident and, having come from a private school, lacking friends to support me in my time of adjustment. Luckily, I had already been playing tennis for a year and a half and knew the coach fro the team. Quite simply, tennis saved my high school experience. I made great friends with people that are from different social groupings than i, as well as experiencin the tight camaraderie of a team. Now, everyone on that team, me included, are as tight as tight as family and have more of a pack mentality than an individual.
    I strongly advise you to join your high school team. Sure they won't be pros, and some won't be that great, but thts not the point. It'll give you the competitive atmosphere and the companionship I think you need to take you tennis pleasure to the next level, all the while proving to you that you really don't need to be a pro to love tennis.
    And if you choose to throw the odds to the side and attempt to go pro, more power to you, and best of luck.
    (For reference, I've been told by many that i'm a low to medium 4.0 player)
     
    #99
  50. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,328
    TW is full of arm chair experts (me too!). Most of them are losers (at least as far tennis goes). Very few benefited (in the full sense of the word) from whatever little education they had by attending school.

    You heard them. Move on now. It is your life. Do whatever you want with it. You die alone; you die earlier than you think. Please do not die regretting.

    You heard Nadal as an example! What a freakish example! He will go away as fast as he came in. See another example of TW wisdom. Proof by example!

    You could be another freakish example too. Think about it. Read James Blake's story if you want to know about people defying odds.

    It takes 1-2 years to learn the strokes if you are reasonably coordinated. Brains, money, luck, discipline, training are other things that will take you to higher levels. Who knows what will happen?
     

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