Serious players-how much do you practice?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by smiley74, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. smiley74

    smiley74 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    309
    I was wondering how much serious players practice/play tennis?

    How many days a week?

    How long each day?

    I have goals of one day being regionally ranked and am curious how much top players play....

    Right now I play 5 days a week. However, wondering what some schedules are like from others.

    Do you use the ball machine? If so, for how long?

    Do you still take lessons or work with a private coach?

    Thanks!
     
    #1
  2. tbini87

    tbini87 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,543
    Location:
    Chico, CA
    i am not a "top" player yet, but will be playing on my jc team next semester. right now i practice/play 5 times a week, usually around 2 hours per day. the only coaching i get is a few hours a week from my coach from school. i don't use a ball machine, and usually hit with friends/teammates. i don't have a strict workout routine or anything, but i probably will by the beginning of december.
     
    #2
  3. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,970
    Location:
    Somewhere in NY
    Really depends on the person.

    Someone I know plays tennis nearly every day, for about 1-2 hours. Usually hitting with other good players, sometimes playing in leagues, tournaments as often as possible, etc. He's almost always #1 in his age group for the region.

    I play around 1-2 hours a day, barring days when it rains and I can't get a court indoors, days where I'm too busy, and days when I'm on vacation... Never with a ball machine. Hit with my fiancee (3.5-4.0 groundstrokes, 2.5-3.0 everything else :p started playing last summer for the first time!) most days, and every Sunday I play in a 4.5 singles league ( I wish the had a higher group :( ). This keeps my skills sharp enough to jump right in with a talented college level player if the opportunity arises (vacations and so on). Ideally I would prefer to play with a college or higher level player perhaps twice a week, combined with what I do now. No coaches.

    I would concentrate more on the foundation of your skills than their upkeep. If you aren't a 4.5-5.5 (around what people who obtain regional rankings would be rated) now, you should seek lessons, and a partner who plays at a higher level than you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2007
    #3
  4. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I play as much as possible. In the outdoor season that means 15-20 hours/week.

    In the winter time, it is a function of cost.

    I hit, do drills, matchplay, tournaments.

    I seek coaching when I have trouble with something, or stop improving.

    As a higher level player, I have a pretty good support network of good players/pros, and we all help each other.

    I see a mental coach, as well as strategic, and technical ones. All only occasionally.

    I use the ball machine when there is no one to hit with, or when I want to work on something.

    J
     
    #4
  5. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    3,364
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    I don't know what you mean by serious. I take my tennis pretty seriously, and I think I could be ranked in the 45's in my state, but I only play twice a week for about an hour and a half. I also work out at least five days a week off the court.
     
    #5
  6. ananda

    ananda Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    913
    i am recreational, but serious. i play 1.5 to 2 hours, six days a week. Drills, and rallies with a trainer far better than i am.

    Occasionally have to play a bit with a pusher or a lady of a slightly lower level. Have been playing for 3 months.

    Edit: Also do some dumbell work for forearms and shoulders 2-3x.
    Practice 15-30 minutes of serves 3-4x a week.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2007
    #6
  7. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Messages:
    12,331
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    I would say that a serious player.

    1) Competes in sanctioned events on a regular basis (Monthly tournaments at the minimum), or plays for a team with at least weekly matches, or plays for a college. And has great interest in the results of such competitions that spans beyond the time frame of said events.

    2) Reschedules other events in his life to accomodate tennis. (Not talking about missing your son's birthday, but I am talking about not going out saturday night because you want to get a solid practice in sundays.)

    3) Trains/practices with defined goals in mind, plays with the intent of accomplishing something. Knows what he wants and knows how he is going to go about achieving it.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------

    I would consider a 3.0 who plays every day in order to make himself a better player, who focuses on improving, reads books, takes lessons, looses weight, practices hard, etc. etc. a serious tennis player.

    On the flip side, I would not consider a 4.5 player who plays a couple matches a week, but when he does play fiercely wants to win a serious player.

    How serious of a player you are I would think goes along with how much effort you are willing to put in, and how much sacrifice you are willing to make.

    J
     
    #7
  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2006
    Messages:
    15,095
    Aw, come on. I gotta play *every day* to be a serious player? Can't we make some allowances for the fact that some of us are *old* and we'll break something if we don't rest?

    And don't I get some points for workouts that don't involve tennis?

    I also think one isn't isn't a serious player unless one gnashes one's teeth for many days after each loss. :)

    Here's an alternative definition: You're a "serious player" if people get annoyed with you because you play too much tennis.
     
    #8
  9. smiley74

    smiley74 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    309
    Thanks guys!!!

    I have really fallen in love with the sport and am committed to getting better.

    I am 33 and have only been playing for a month. However, I get up at 5:00 in the morning and make it to the club for a 6:00 to 8:00 a.m. lesson 3 days a week. I find if I go in early, by the time I get home, my 8 month old son hasn't been up for too long. Man, it stinks getting up that early..it's cold and dark and yucky!! I hope it pays off in the long run....

    I also play once a week with my YMCA group lesson and stay to hit balls afterwards with a couple other players.

    I go to the club one extra day a week right now to do the ball machine for an hour or two.

    Ananda- what is a pusher?

    I have also started seriously dieting to get back to my pre-pregnancy body.

    Lastly, I started running and doing weights. I did my first 5k this last Saturday. I didn't set world records but I finished (while pushing my son in the baby jogger). And yes, I was out of commission yesterday recovering! Yikes!

    I am a tennis geek that goes to youtube and watches Federer in slow motion for like hours! LOL To make it all worse, I even watch the tennis channels (do they ever show people actually playing!!! Every time I watch it's this vacation destination thing or someone being interviewed). And yes, I get the magazines too..even the British ones! hehehehe

    Scary, huh! *blushing*

    I play my first 2.5 tournament in December. Will see how it goes!!! :-0
     
    #9
  10. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2007
    Messages:
    505
    Serious is relative

    I have to compete with 'serious' players that have no life outside of tennis (it seems), in my leagues. That's why I relish whenever I perform well. Competing against players that play in my singles league, a singles league at another nearby club, hit for an hour and a half once a week on a contract court -- and hit with the pro for an hour once a week -- these Type A's inhabit my club. They also tend to 'look' like tennis players -- it's like Wimbledon out there sometimes!

    I've moved up three times now, compiling 7-5, 12-2, 9-6, and 10-6 records and am now in a league that has 4.0 - 4.5 players, over 25 of them in all -- since coming back to tennis 2+ years ago.

    Myself -- I play softball, baseball, tennis, occasionally basketball (winding down on my gym time in this sport to protect my body) -- and have three kids, two that just finished playing high school tennis that I seemed to be hitting with one or the other (or both) every day that it wasn't raining. I've coached two sports, one a travel team, straight through the last six years, for my kids. During the summer I get to hit a lot, with friends. We always play matches -- but that is also predicated on my activities with the kids, i.e., openings in my schedule. During the winter it comes down to 1-2 times a month with a buddy on his indoor court, and a once a week league. I always play to improve and win, but don't pusher it to aim at the former over the latter. I read tennis books and talk tennis with a couple of buddies, also in leagues, as well as my kids. Watch tennis on TV.

    That's about as 'serious' as I'm going to get for something that ain't billable hours.
     
    #10
  11. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,993
    Location:
    Western MA
    I am a 4.5, but I mostly play in my age group (50's) and I'm currently ranked in the top 10 of my Section.

    I play 5 times a week (3 doubles matches, 2 singles matches), practice twice a week, work out 4 times a week (weights, anaerobic, aerobic).
     
    #11
  12. MLtennis

    MLtennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Messages:
    150
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Smiley - there is a difference between "serious" and "addicted," which you may fall into the latter category! Hahaha! But seriously, you are definitely on a good track to grow quickly, especially if you can get 3 2-hour lessons in a week, I wish I could afford that! I am 32, so close in age to you, I played a great deal in high school but wasn't the best on my team by a longshot (I had the WA state AAA Singles champion in my school for 3 of my 4 years who went on to play some ATP tourneys) and am just getting back into the game now. Through the summer and continuing into the fall I'm playing 3 to 4 times per week, at an average of an hour and a half each session. The biggest thing I think you should keep in mind is that just hitting balls will help you but not nearly as quickly as having a dedicated program for development. I drill 3 of the 4 sessions I get each week with better players - which means forehands, backhands, slice backhands, volleys, serves, and then other shots like drop shots, etc. I have steadily grown better for the past 3 months and am now ranked a 3.5 in my club where I definitely started back as a 2.5 3 months ago. I play at least one match each week to work on my strategy and keep in match-shape, but to truly get better I believe you have to focus on individual skills one at a time until you get to the 4.0 level at a minimum. Once there, what seperates the better players is mostly mental, ie. strategy, confidence and a little bit conditioning. Of course, a 5.5 is a considerably better player than a 4.0, but within each category there tends to be a huge variety in abilities. If you keep up your current schedule I think you'll be a 4.0 in a year or so. Then it depends on your ability to stay excited about the game (don't burn out!) and keep improving. Best of luck!
     
    #12
  13. smiley74

    smiley74 Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2007
    Messages:
    309
    Yeah, I think I am both! Serious because I want to be nationally ranked (even if it isn't until I am 70 8) ) but addicted because I now need to play everyday! LOL

    Very good suggestions about player development. I actually work with 2 pros. One focuses on the correctness and purity of stroke. The other does real time drills to work on strokes in game like simulation with approaching shots, volleys, lobs, etc.


    I think the one thing I have going for me is I have extreme athleticism. So, I can get to most balls and at least make defensive shots! However, I still need to work on executing, touch, and directional control. *sigh*

    It sounds like you have a great program for yourself! Thanks so much for sharing! Keep up the good work! :p
     
    #13
  14. jmverdugo

    jmverdugo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Messages:
    2,971
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Well, i think im a serious player (of course that doesnt make me a good one ;)). I have training with a coach two times a week for two hours each day. The others days i play at least two hours with several type of players, if i cant play (lets say it is a rainy day :() i just jog for 30 min. I do weightlifting every monday. And since i have a permantent partner for Saturday┬┤s morning i havent go out on a friday in months. i think i may be addic to tennis too!!

    Oh i forgot we also have a sport psycology doctor.
     
    #14
  15. tbini87

    tbini87 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    2,543
    Location:
    Chico, CA

    i agree with both of you, and definitely think we can makes exceptions for people who can't afford to beat up their body playing EVERY day! i also think that any player who is trying to improve their game and want to win can count as a serious player, even if they are horrible! for example, i play nearly everyday at local courts and see another kid there prob 3 times a week (so he prob goes even more), and he hits tons of baskets of serves, and has friends out there to hit with. i would say he is no better than 3.0, and has funky technique and does not look coordinated. but since he seems dedicated and works hard, i would say he is a serious player.
     
    #15

Share This Page