pro tennis realistic goal? please set me straight

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by tennishotdog, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. tennishotdog

    tennishotdog Rookie

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    Im in my mid-twenties. Played tennis for roughly 5 years now, on and off(mostly because of school). I've never taken paid lessons; taught myself and learned the game and techniques mostly with tips, wisdom and knowledge from the always helpful and insightful TT forum members, the good old WWW and Youtube.

    Im not tall, big or strong but I used to play basketball, soccer and hockey in my teens so I think Im pretty athletic and have good hand-eye coordination. My playing level is probably around the 3.5 to 4.0 mark as I've been told but have never played in any tournaments before so I've no idea how I'd measure up.

    I have seen some 4.0 and 5.0 tournament matches and I like to think I could hang with them, just on stroke production and technique though. I haven't had many match experiences either since I only just hit the wall or rally to hone the proper technique and form and get the fundamentals down first.

    Anyhoo, my ultimate goal in tennis is to compete at the Open level(5.5+) and maybe one day become a professional tennis player. Is this a realistic goal or just a pipe dream? Is it even a possibility to get to that level for someone like me?
     
    #1
  2. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    finish school, get a job, and enjoy tennis as a hobby.
     
    #2
  3. tennishotdog

    tennishotdog Rookie

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    oops I forgot to put up a video but i will post it later after my class
     
    #3
  4. Im not trying to spread my videos or anything, im trying to help you.
    I used to play on the Future circuit and played some Satellites back in the days, i never got a world singles ranking but i beat a guy ranked 950 in the world and i was ranked 1100 in doubles.

    This was 8-10 years ago.

    TODAY i would probably lose 3-6,2-6 against myself back in 2000-2003.

    This is how i play now, so judge for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mieY_6jBWf8&feature=player_detailpage
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfEpkWm5az0&feature=player_detailpage
     
    #4
  5. TheIrrefutableOne

    TheIrrefutableOne New User

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    sure you can go pro.....:roll:
     
    #5
  6. Giannis

    Giannis Rookie

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    Not realistic, especially since it took you 5 years to get to 3.5-4.0. With TONS of practice and especially match experience, you could probably reach 5.0 level in a few years.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
    #6
  7. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    5.0 plus possible. Definitely.

    Pro? Not happening. Nada. Zilch.
     
    #7
  8. TheIrrefutableOne

    TheIrrefutableOne New User

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    I cannot believe anyone thinks he is serious. LOL
     
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  9. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    If you look at a 5.0 tournament and think you could hang in with those guys on stroke production alone you are delusional.

    Most 3.5s think they can hit the ball hard, and maybe they can, but no 3.5 or 4.0 can hit the ball as hard, deep, and with the amount of spin, directional control, and consistency as a 5.0 player.

    You may have seen the 4.0 slice and dice master and think "look at those strokes, I can beat that guy!" but you haven't played that guy and don't realize how he can take your game apart.

    Now, could you truly compete at a 5.0+ level? Assuming you were exceptionally athletic, spent a ton of money on a coach, and trained several hours every day, you have a slim chance of becoming a 5.0 - prob about a 5-10% chance.

    Before you decide to pursue this pipe dream, do yourself a favor (assuming you are in the USA) join USTA and play a 3.5 tournament, a 4.0 tournament, and then play an open tournament where you may run into 5.0+ players. I think it will be eye opening.
     
    #9
  10. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    i am not trying to spread my video...

    check my signature... if you are 3.5-4.0, it will take you another 5 years just to beat me, the king of the community court.
     
    #10
  11. atac

    atac Rookie

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    I'll give you my honest evaluation, even a 5.0 or above seems a bit unlikely being that you're already in your mid-twenties and usually you have other obligations at that point that'll probably get in the way of putting in all that much needed hard work to get to just that level, especially if you are a 3.5 to 4.0 right now. Theres a lot of D1 college level players out there who are 5.0 - 5.5 that have been playing non stop since like age 4, and being a successful pro (on the challenger tour) is highly unlikely for most of them. My advice would be to just improve as much as you can if thats what you want and shoot for maybe a 4.5 rating. Thats probably the highest level were you can actually get the most enjoyment out of the game before it feels like a career.
     
    #11
  12. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    I agree with this. I came back to the game recently, and was ranked 4.0. I finally feel comfortable enough to compete at 4.5, but realistically, I don't see winning any tournaments at this level, just enjoy the competition.
    And to get to this level takes a ton of commitment, a lot of training, coaching, playing etc. It almost feels like a job sometimes, as even a few days off sets me back.

    So I would just enjoy trying to progress, set a goal to get to 4.5 or 5.0. But a pro career is out of the question in tennis at this point.
     
    #12
  13. pushing_wins

    pushing_wins Hall of Fame

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    finish school, get a job, and enjoy tennis as a hobby.
     
    #13
  14. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    4.5 at least?
     
    #14
  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lots of naysayers here....
    And I"m one of them.
    I was a pretty good athlete, LEFT handed, quicker than anyone on the varsity football or basketball teams, played littleleaque and juniorhigh baseball, surfed 4A level, and took up tennis at 24. At 5'11", I had a great serve, in anyone's league (but that was 38 years ago!), practiced with local (SanFrancisco) B's, A/Open's, the two local colleges top 3's, and took 3 full years to win a big draw C tourney.
    That led me to the bottom of the pile A/Open tourneys and 2 Q's. Once the guys took my game seriously, I was destroyed.
    However, you CAN become a borderline 5.0 and become a TEACHING PRO!
     
    #15
  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is exactly what dozu said
     
    #16
  17. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Open level is very realistic at your age if you train well.

    Pro is a pipe dream if you start at 8yr old with a major academy. Most of them never make top 500, but a pipe dream is what it starts with for all that make it.
     
    #17
  18. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Your goal should be to get some tournament experience and try to win tournaments at the 3.5 then 4.0 level. Achieving this at the 4.5 level and above is not likely based on your history and understanding of levels in tennis.
     
    #18
  19. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    I'll be a bit more optimistic . . .

    If you're willing to spend the time and learn proper technique, and this means focused practice several times a week (year round), not hacking around with some buddies on the weekend, and assuming you have an average level of athletism and you're in decent shape, you ought to be able to get up to 5.0 to 5.5 level eventually. Dave Smith preaches this and it makes sense to me. The folks I see who haven't achieved that level, and that is most folks admittedly (including me), usually have flaws in various aspects of their strokes and/or don't have the time to spend to get them grooved to the point where they're consistent enough in match situations. If you're willing to work and spend the time to get those strokes really solid, then 5.0 to 5.5 should be doable.

    A coach would be really, really helpful in making this happen.

    Now when you say "pro" do you mean playing at the US Open? Then I'd say no unless you're some freak of nature. The number of hours required to train your body, and mind, to hit as hard and consistently, with all of the variety that pros hit with is crazy. If you haven't achieved this by your mid-twenties, there isn't enough time left even if you have the talent. A young, teenaged body can go out and hit 4-6 hours a day, 5-6 days a week. That's pretty hard on a 30 year old even if you had the time.
     
    #19
  20. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    Read the posts here and you'll find out that middle aged men with little training in tennis, largely self-taught, are confident that they know what is wrong with the top pros. So, as you can deduce, tennis is a simple sport to master. I would say, two years of reading the tips here would be sufficient for you to be a 5.5+

    Do not be deceived by the false modesty by the members here. Read some more posts and you will find little modesty actually exist.
     
    #20
  21. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Assuming you have the natural talent to be a world class player, the years it would take for you to develop the skill needed to be a world class player (complete devotion to tennis with world class coaching and training and the sacrifice of all other aspects of your life), would put you way past the age of your athletic prime.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2011
    #21
  22. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    go pro? not a chance

    Pros start as small children and could probably beat you by the time they are 12 yrs old (perhaps sooner)

    get to open level tennis - it COULD be in the realm of possiblity, but why don't you post a video and lets go from there.
     
    #22
  23. tennishotdog

    tennishotdog Rookie

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    whoa I left for a few hours and this thread is already two pages. thank you all for the dose of reality. I guess I didnt know what I was smoking when these thoughts went through my head.

    I think my goal now is to just get to the highest level I possibly can and go from there. Of course I never dreamt of becoming a real pro playing on the ATP tour, that is just next to impossible.

    I just thought that maybe if I worked really hard on the proper techniques and fundamentals then maybe I could have a chance to compete at the Open level and maybe get into some pro tourney and get an ATP point. Once my body is no longer able or if I get bored then I can become a teaching pro and say that I was a former pro hehe.

    My plan now is to just practice whenever I can and take some lessons to improve my footwork. Next year i'll definitely play some tourneys to get match experience.

    As promised here are some videos of me hitting. Unfortunately I could only hit with the wall which doesnt show much. Criticisms and suggestions from everyone are highly appreciated as always.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZfelNbIsbc&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-WYpPXpYgz8

    some serves
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AhXpx4JLdW0&feature=related
     
    #23
  24. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    you know as hackish as your game is, I actually see some Fed like moves there.
     
    #24
  25. tennishotdog

    tennishotdog Rookie

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    thanks dozu I do try to model my forehand strokes after federer. its so effortless with power when Im in position and could time it right, but most of the time I cant, the stroke is just very hard to pull off consistently for some reason which I think the proper footwork will help with.
     
    #25
  26. TennisCoachFLA

    TennisCoachFLA Banned

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    You said you played hockey, basketball, and soccer as a teen.

    How come you think you could go pro in tennis yet would not even dream that you could go pro in any of those other sports?
     
    #26
  27. Devilito

    Devilito Hall of Fame

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    Sell all your stuff, take out bank loans, max out your credit cards and borrow money from friends and family. Spend it all on lessons and save enough so you can travel on tour until you get a high enough ranking to get major sponsorships and to bring in the cash flow from your tournament winnings. You’re going all the way champ!
     
    #27
  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Methinks post 26 hit the nail on the head exactly.
     
    #28
  29. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    Sure you can make it as a pro. One thing that pro's dont have
    and you have is the wealth of tips in this forum. If you can read them all you will know how to play, what strategy to adopt to beat the likes of Nadal/Djoker/Federer.
    I can hook you up with a low level tennis tournament director and we will get a you a wild card. Your name is on the draw and no matter who you play your first match, you are a Pro.
    If you can execute on tips and cause an upset, we at TW will be talking about you and before you know we will have a GOAT thead for you.
     
    #29
  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Just got on a computer that does Utube.
    Wow, lots more work than I thought, imagined, or even could possibly be aware of.
     
    #30
  31. tennishotdog

    tennishotdog Rookie

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    as you can see from the video of my physique, I was always the shortest and smallest guy on any team. I did dream that I could play professional basketball but I was way too short so I got cut by the highschool team. Hockey, same thing, all the bigger kids would easily knock me over, hit harder, shoot harder, skate faster, stronger on the puck. I was pretty crafty with the ball in soccer but I just couldn't kick as hard, run as fast and have the endurance as the bigger and more fitter kids. But I did play all those sports which helped with the athleticism.

    But tennis is different, of course it's nice to be big tall and strong, but its not like those other sports where those physical attributes are absolutely necessary for success at high levels. Tennis I think is more about technique, speed and quickness, tactics and anticipation and of course the mental aspect. You dont need to be big and strong to hit the ball hard, thats why I think proper technique and fundamentals are so important therefore spent most of my time and energy on.
     
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  32. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    Lad, I am a coach, I've been a coach a long time, and I still play a reasonable 5.0+ game. I say this not to brag, but so you might listen to me when I tell you this.

    Finish school, get a job and enjoy tennis as a hobby.

    There is NO CHANCE of you playing on the pro tour starting this late. Your whole game needs to be rebuilt from the ground up to have any chance of reaching even 5.0 which is a long way from the pros.

    Forget it, ok?
     
    #32
  33. tennishotdog

    tennishotdog Rookie

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    how did I miss such a good post. thank you
    yes I totally agree with this approach. A coach would definitely help me out alot.
     
    #33
  34. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    but you seem to miss the point, 5.0 is just barely possible for you.

    and planets away from the pro tour....


    I would also point out that the always gracious rkelly posted that without the benefit of having seen you hit.
     
    #34
  35. tennishotdog

    tennishotdog Rookie

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    Well its not like im giving up school for this, I can do both but I know my priorities. If my game needs to be rebuilt then so be it, that's actually what Im in the process of doing right now, im fine tuning the stroke mechanics and getting down the fundamentals so that it doesnt break down in a match situation which I saw much of even from 5.0 players.

    I dont think 5.0+ is that big of a leap from what I've seen at the local tourney. I was able to squeak by this older guy who plays 4.5 and 5.0, granted it was just a practice set but I could see that my groundstrokes gave him lots of trouble and he says I just needed more experience playing the right shot and points and not go for winners every chance I get.
     
    #35
  36. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    Not to be a jerk, but there's really no way you beat a 4.5 or 5.0 player right now. I'm not saying you're making it up, but maybe the guy you played with was inflating his level a bit. 4.5 and 5.0 are very high levels of tennis and you're not there yet. Only like 2 percent of tennis players are.

    That's not to say you couldn't get there. You just need a good instructor and a ton of time playing and hitting.

    P.S.

    I just clicked on your video and the first thing I saw was that your forehand swing is way too flat. Sometimes you're hitting DOWN on the shot. Try to hit up on the ball.
     
    #36
  37. FedExpress 333

    FedExpress 333 Professional

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    Absolutely not, there is nooooo way.
     
    #37
  38. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    ****LOL****
     
    #38
  39. Disgruntled Worker

    Disgruntled Worker Rookie

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    To the OP, the NTRP ranking is kind of ambiguous. Most of the naysayers on this forum really have NO IDEA what a "5.0 player" is because it's ALL subjective! If these people were really qualified to be giving you advice on becoming a pro, why aren't THEY playing on tour?
     
    #39
  40. tennishotdog

    tennishotdog Rookie

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    Yeh maybe he just plays them but probably not get past the first round, so hes probably inflating his actual level.

    I agree about my forehand swing it is very, very flat, most of the balls i hit barely clears the net by a few centimeters. im still experimenting with the proper grip, right now my grip is the classic eastern grip so the swing path is very horizonal, im experimenting with the modified eastern grip like federer has so that the racket swings more vertically ala windshield wiper but this change in grip caused a change in my swing path that is preventing me from executing the stroke smoothly, but im working on it for sure. thanks.
     
    #40
  41. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Dude you cant hit winners against the wall. Yet you keep slamming the ball... That's going to screw you up on court. Just get in a groove and hit relaxed. The wall is not really about bashing.
     
    #41
  42. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

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    About 30 seconds into that first video I saw the forehand and heard your reaction and literally burst out laughing :D Sorry but I couldn't resist. But Power Player is right, no need to try to break down the wall or anything.
     
    #42
  43. tennishotdog

    tennishotdog Rookie

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    Yeh i know its bad to bash at the wall but I just wanted to feel what its like to unleash all that potential energy from the body onto the ball. It felt great.

    an example of the shot that felt so unreal I could feel the impact energy of the ball all the way to my spine
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZfelNbIsbc#t=0m38s

    but in the other video i do hit relaxed and only hit big when I feel the timing was right.
     
    #43
  44. yonexpurestorm

    yonexpurestorm Rookie

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    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=385000

    read this and you will realize just how good even local open players are. obviously there is not chance you will be going pro, but even some of these local players are amazingly good. watching a 5.0 is a lot different than playing one. i started playing when i was 4 and just got back into it a year ago. i play quite often, but still lost the first round in my last 3 open tournaments.
     
    #44
  45. atac

    atac Rookie

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    If you haven't had many match experiences at this point, you'll be lucky to win a game against a 5.0 player. Plus without any tournament experience, chances are you'll struggle playing the big points, making strategic adjustments, and being able to deal with variations in pace and spin. Thats a whole other aspect of the game you have to develop, the mental game is often the hardest to get down. Competing in tennis goes far beyond how well you hit the ball. I would also suggest ditch hitting against the wall because thats not gonna get you too far. You need some solid coaching, hit a million balls, and play a lot of tournaments, then theres no reason you can't improve with a lot of hard work but don't get your hopes for the open level.
     
    #45
  46. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I think this guy is trolling.. Sorry man..I am not sure you can beat me and I kinda suck..haha.
     
    #46
  47. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    Yes, must be nextbigthing1's other troll nick.
     
    #47
  48. nextbigbigthing1

    nextbigbigthing1 New User

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    Yep the guys terrible , 5 foot and a hacker,
     
    #48
  49. nextbigbigthing1

    nextbigbigthing1 New User

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    Lol i am top 10 nationally , i think i could destroy all players here haha
     
    #49
  50. Timbo's hopeless slice

    Timbo's hopeless slice Hall of Fame

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    you might want to run that past Tonlars...
     
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