Starting as a teen- highest attainable level

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Adam739, Jul 8, 2013.

  1. Adam739

    Adam739 New User

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    If you start playing as a teen what is the highest level you can get to?
     
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  2. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Be ranked top of the ITF juniors list or win a junior slam or better the junior channel slam.
     
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  3. Adam739

    Adam739 New User

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    If this is sarcasm please be serious
     
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  4. Brian11785

    Brian11785 Hall of Fame

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    That is a huge window. 19 years old is probably too late, but I could imagine an already athletic 13-year old picking up a racquet for the first time and, with focused training, being the best player in the world by the time he or she is 25.

    I mean, that is 12 years. Hingis and Seles were grand slam champs at, like 15/16, right? They hadn't been playing for any longer than 12 years up to that point.
     
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  5. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    13- Almost any level you could achieve.
    Every year after, drop a full level or more.
    So that means,

    13 top 100
    14 top 300
    15 top 500
    16 top 700
    17 top 900
    18 top 1200

    No data, just 40 plus of observation in the tennis world.
    I am 48
     
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  6. RedWeb

    RedWeb Semi-Pro

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    I started at 50. Does that mean I'm doomed never to reach the top 10,000? 50-18=32. 32*300=9600. 9600+1200=10,800.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2013
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  7. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm 52, but I'm pretty sure I've reach the bottom 500.
     
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  8. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    the sky is the limit my friend

    all depends on how much you train and how fast you improve, but there are no caps yet.

    you could be pro one day

    go for it
     
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  9. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    this is the dumbest thing ive ever seen
     
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  10. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    I didn't start until I was 14, after football season ended and ended up playing for Stanford all throughout college. If you are athletic, have good hand-eye coordination, and have played other sports before, like another poster said -- the sky's the limit.
     
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  11. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    Depends on a lot of factors, some of which depend on your genetics, lifestyle, and talent. At a young age, body can take a lot of abuse, that's why training A LOT is possible. You also have lots of time, and your parents pay all your expenses. As you get older, this becomes a problem. If your're already athletic and have good hand/eye coordination (maybe from playing another sport), I think the sky is the limit. However, let's be realistic, you're starting with a 10+ year disadvantage, and it takes many years to develop into a professional level player. You won't have a chance to play in college, and if you get to 5.0 level, you'll need to start to travel a lot to challenge yourself. Having a coach is definitely requirement, you won't get anywhere without one. Unless you have sponsors (like your parents), or a big inheritance, you are in trouble, because there is no way you can train and work at the same time (assuming you want to go beyond recreational level tennis). You may not hit your prime until your are in your late twenties, that is, if you body can take the beating. There are just too many factors to consider.

    In short, if you've got the money and the time, sure, go crazy :) Otherwise, got to college and play tennis for fun instead.
     
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  12. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    Didn't rios(number 1 player) start at 12
     
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  13. rajah84

    rajah84 Semi-Pro

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    Depends on a few things.

    How much natural talent/athleticism would you say you have. Example: I am very talented, if I wasn't the best at every sport I was one of the best in my region.

    How hard are you willing to work. Example: I love to train, I would come early and stay late because I liked to work and valued it's importance.

    Last, how big are you? If you are small, then you better be fast.

    If you have money, and are the type of person above than I would say you have a shot at as a pro so long as you don't mind turning pro in your late twenties.
     
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  14. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    makes sense to me. bigger question is how good can one get if starting at 50.
     
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  15. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    ATP tennis players are very, very good athletes. Does this include you? Are you a very good athlete?

    Most players that get division 1 scholarships have played and received coaching since they were 8-10 ... will you be getting that kind of coaching?

    Really good players start before they turn 10 ... so you have guys that are super athletes, training 20-40 hours a week for years earlier than you have even picked up a racket. They are able to do this because they learn proper technique early and cement it into place through a lot of practice when their bodies are able to handle the excessive pounding.

    -----

    Bottom line is that if a super stud athlete like Rafa picked up a racket for the first time when he turned 16, he might still have made the top 500. But he would not be what he is today.

    You will never be as good as you could have been had you started an the Bolleteri academy when you were 10 ... however, there is only one way to find out how good you can become now, JUST PLAY.
     
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  16. goober

    goober Legend

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    According to ATP website he started at age 11.
     
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  17. goober

    goober Legend

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    Probably could get to 4.5 if you had the time, money, and remained injury free.

    I know a teaching pro that started at age 40 after he got divorced and found himself single. He threw himself into tennis. Played on a junior college team for 2 years. He eventually got a national ranking for his age group. He had a 5.0 rating at one point but now he is in his mid 60s and his rating is back down to 4.0.
     
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  18. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I started around 19-20 years old and played and won matches at 5.0 level in the 1980s. But, realistically, I was a good 4.5 who won about 30% at 5.0 for a couple of years.

    Also, I know a coach who started coaching his wife when she was in her 30s. She ended up ranked in top 5 in over 50 year old international rankings.

    I would think 5.0 level is about as high as you can go if you start at 15 or later. But, that's pretty good tennis.

    If you start at 14 or earlier, you could go higher.

    I think McEnroe didn't really commit to tennis until he was around 12 years old. But, things were different then. There is more and better competition now.
     
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  19. JLyon

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    I started at 15 and have reached a computer 5.0 rating, so if you have talent and work ethic you could go far
     
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  20. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    As long as we're talking early teens, if you are an athletic person who is dedicated to their tennis goals (with parents to back you in every way needed), you can become a high level player.
     
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  21. spinorama

    spinorama Rookie

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    Anyone know how accurate the tls rating website is???? If its accurate, I m not sure why I haven't been DQ'd...........
     
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  22. Rui

    Rui Semi-Pro

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    ^This. I've known a few high level players with this start.
     
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  23. gmatheis

    gmatheis Hall of Fame

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    From 14 until Stanford what kind of coaching did you receive and how much time did you spent on court each week?

    This might give someone an idea of what's necessary to get to that level when starting so late.
     
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  24. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Depends on how good an athlete you are. If you are an excellent athlete and have played a lot of quick movement sports like basketball and soccer and also have played a lot of hand-eye sports like baseball, golf, badminton, and especially table tennis, you might be able to get to a very high level starting in your early teens.
    Supposedly Ion Tiriac started tennis at 19 (don't know how much training he had before that) and played on the Romanian Olympic ice hockey team in 1964 and then switched to tennis - he would have been 25 at the time.
    If you are a good enough athlete, the sky is the limit.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
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  25. S&V Specialist

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    I only had one coach, my school coach. I started playing mid-way through my freshman year and played a lot that summer. I had a real fast pancake first serve, no second serve, a really hard and inconsistent forehand, and no backed at all. I came tried out for the team sophomore year and made the last spot on JV. Our coach was/is a great man and he changed everything about my game. I got better all year and won JV district singles (woohoo!).
    I practiced all summer and by the end of the summer I was 6'4", 205lbs, and had a complete
    all-court game with a crushing serve. I came back junior year and made #3 on the Varsity team with our #1 and 2 guys both being seniors.
    I worked my butt off that year and got the the state quarters, where I fell to the eventual state runner-up.
    My senior year I was our team's #1 guy on varsity. I played real hard and had been admitted to Stanford as a result of my good study habits and test scores. Later that year I fell in the state semis to the eventual state champion. I went to Stanford and made the tennis team as a walk-on.
    I probably spent around 2 hours a day (3 on Saturdays & 0 on Sundays) playing tennis and really had a passion for it. I was not your typical high school kid and I don't think your average kid could progress as fast as I ended up being able to unless they develop a true passion for tennis and are very athletic. My size also helped my be successful as well.

    I have since grown to 6'7", 235lbs and went pro, where I eventually reached a career high ATP #851. it is definitely possible to go very far after starting late, but is not extremely probable unless you are already a very good athlete with favorable circumstances.
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2013
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  26. sam_p

    sam_p Professional

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    That is awesome. Would things have been different had you started five years earlier do you think? Or do you think you maxed out?
     
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  27. S&V Specialist

    S&V Specialist Rookie

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    I honestly have no idea. I could've potentially broken into the top 500 if it wasn't for my bad knees. If I would have started five years earlier I could've also burned myself out and not have liked tennis as much or I could've gotten ranked higher before my knees gave me issues. Also, if I had started a few years earlier I might not have met my wonderful, beautiful wife and would be without my two precious daughters and my soon to be baby boy. God always has a plan, it just may not be our plan.
     
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  28. sam_p

    sam_p Professional

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    I hear you, very healthy outlook.
     
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  29. Loose Cannon

    Loose Cannon Rookie

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    why did everyone mis-interpret his question?


    I hardly doubt he mean joining the Pro ranks.....


    4.0?? 4.5?? 5.0??? Open Player will suffice
     
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  30. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    I am assuming you are asking how highly rated a player could hope to become if he first started playing tennis as a teenager. Is that correct? If you mean "ranking" as in could you become a professional player, then I would say while it is possible, the odds would be very, very greatly stacked against you. In fact, as far as I know, it has never happened. Too much ground to make up.

    If you are talking about the possibility of becoming good enough to play college tennis, then it would depend on your skill set, your dedication to improving, your potential, and at what level you wished to play. Div.3 or even 2 would certainly be possible, I would think, under the right circumstances. Div. 1 would be a stretch unless you were an exceptional case and/or you were looking at a very lowly Div. 1 program.

    Now, if you are simply asking who good you could ultimately become as a player if you started playing in your teens, there is a fair bit of upside. I had never played tennis until I was almost 20 and in college. I didn't play it seriously at all until I was closer to 25. In about 10 years of serious play I went from a fairly athletic beginner to a 4.5 rated player---and I was self-taught and didn't have benefit of lessons or any other training. If you have average athletic ability and work at it, you could absolutely achieve that much or more, even not starting until you were a teenager. In fact, you could easily be a 4.5 before you were 25. It all depends on what skill set you start with, your degree of athleticism, what sort of student of the game you are, and how hard you are willing to work. That's not saying it WILL happen. That's saying it COULD happen. If the pieces are there, it really depends on you.
     
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  31. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    Awesome post, my friend. I agree with you 100%. Best of luck to you and congratulations on the soon-to-be addition! God bless.
     
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  32. maggmaster

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    Story I hate to disagree but you can get to much higher than 4.5 starting in your teenage years. SV Specialist sounds like he got to 851 in the world, much higher than 4.5. I know a couple kids who started in highschool who went on to play futures. It can happen if you are A. Athletic and B. Dedicated as all hell. Now if you are like me and quit for 14 years after juniors then you have a tougher time being anything beyond a good rec player.
     
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  33. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    Actually, I never said it was impossible. I said it was very difficult and extremely unlikely. ;-) Percentage-wise, you can count the number of 5.0+ players in the USTA on one hand. To reach that level if you first pick up a racquet in your mid-late teen years can certainly be done, but I am convinced it would be, by far, the exception to the rule. That's all I was saying.
     
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  34. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    You will never make a single dollar playing tennis (teaching? yes) starting at age 13 (or later).
     
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  35. goober

    goober Legend

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    Well given that there open prize money events and even prize money given at some NTRP tournaments, I would say that is an overly broad generalization. :)

    BTW Shinobu Asagoe started at age 13 and made it to 21 in the world. WTA, but still she is only one I have seen documented to start that late for modern era players
     
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  36. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Yea ok I can get behind that. It is hard, but it is hard if you start earlier too. Ten thousand hours and still no guarantee of success. Thousands and thousand of dollars on court fees and coaching with no guarantee of success. It is a serious grind and most do not have the stomach for it.
     
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  37. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Heck I can bet my buddy for a dollar but that doesn't make me a Pro tennis player.

    And unless Adam is a Japanese girl playing Juniors in the 80's and 90's, he isn't going to be a Pro tennis player either.
     
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  38. goober

    goober Legend

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    Well there is a huge difference "You will never make a single dollar playing tennis" and being a pro tennis player. Adam never really asked if he could be a pro, just what the highest level he could reach. I would not be surprised however if there were some pro players in the futures levels that started at age 13.

    BTW Shinobu Asagoe retired in 2006 so it is not like she is from another era.
     
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  39. Bagumbawalla

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    Age is, ofcourse, only one element in the scheme of things.

    You could start at thirteen and be totally inept, short, scrawny, more concerned with other things than tennis, your parents could be poor and not willing to send you to proper training, your parents could be idiots and try to train you, themselves. You could live in an area with limited competition and instruction. If, however, everything worked in your favor, and you had the ambition and ability- you could, possibly end up playing college tennis, or at least tennis at that level- why not?
     
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  40. josofo

    josofo Semi-Pro

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    well if you start at 14 and can become a pro it also answers the question if you can become a 5.0
     
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  41. rajah84

    rajah84 Semi-Pro

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    Not true. Many are horrible athletes with either tall bodies and or many years of experience. Tennis and golfers are the worst athletes in the world. Look at Federer, he's a god in tennis, but if he had chosen football/soccer he wouldn't have achieved nearly as much in that sport.
     
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  42. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Absolutely not true. Speed, agility, coordination, mind - he is a world-class athlete.
    Maybe Ivo Karlovic isn't, but there are some 7 footers in the NBA who don't move that well.

    "I'm pretty good at anything with a ball."
    -- Roger Federer
     
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  43. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    You are going to have to go a long way to convince me Roger is not an athlete.

    Looking at guys like Karlovic and Isner you might be tempted to claim they are not, but I would be willing to bet even those guys are better athletes than 99.9% of the normal sized public.
     
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  44. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    Indeed. Considering the eye-hand coordination necessary to be a pro, the footwork, the fitness, the quickness, the agility, the flexibility, etc, etc, I would say that 99.9 is a very conservative estimate.
     
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