Tennis Pros play other sports?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by VictorS., May 14, 2009.

  1. VictorS.

    VictorS. Professional

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    I've just recently been playing a lot of basketball recently & am amazed at how it was improved my overall tennis game. I feel quicker on the court. My stamina is better as is my footwork. This has resulted in better confidence & better shot-making.

    Obviously tennis pros on television have a lot of money at stake so it is understandable that they perhaps just stick to tennis. However, there are a few who do play other sports. I know Sampras when he played was an avid basketball player. That was very evident in his great leaping ability & excellent footwork. I think even Tommy Haas incorporated basketball training in his regimen, which they showed on the tennis channel. I'm sure many of the spanish & french players play soccer as well. Steve Nash (basketball) plays only soccer in the summer time.

    Can anybody think of any other examples? Also, do you think it is beneficial for tennis pros to cross-train doing other sports?
     
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  2. MajinX

    MajinX Professional

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    isnt it kinda umm obviously being active and playing more sports is gonna help ur overall fitness, stamina etc more and therefore making you better at physical activities like tennis..
     
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  3. jamesblakefan#1

    jamesblakefan#1 G.O.A.T.

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    Fed plays squash, I've heard. Like you said, a lot of the guys practice soccer for fitness and coordination.

    Scott Draper, I believe it was, who was a top 50 tennis player then when pro in golf. But the golf really didn't help his tennis game, he was just really talented.
     
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  4. bluetrain4

    bluetrain4 Legend

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    As you stated, many played soccer (football, futbol), and still kick the ball around or play recreationally.

    A ton of tennis players play golf, but not for cross-training purposes.
     
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  5. VictorS.

    VictorS. Professional

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    Ya I suppose so. I guess I was thinking more along the lines of....which sports are better to cross-train. I also find it interesting to see athletes that play multiple sports...& how it influences the way they play. Sampras' slam dunk overhead was definitely basketball influenced. Ginobili & Steve Nash's footwork in basketball is definitely soccer-influenced.
     
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  6. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    Federer does ballet and aerobics in his white leotard for coordination and footwork. Although it looks like he's cut back on his classes lately.

    Maybe they don't do too much of other sports due to possible injuries.
     
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  7. TheNatural

    TheNatural Legend

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    I think Edberg used to play squash.Lendl played squash, and he played golf left handed.Pat rafter played touch football and surfing I think. Mark Philippoussis surfed. Hewitt trained with an AFl team sometimes.

    A guess a big part of the reason some choose other sports is relaxation and recovery.
     
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  8. BorisBeckerFan

    BorisBeckerFan Professional

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    Guga surfs, or at least he use to.
     
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  9. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Andy Murray & Rafa Nadlal have both played quite a bit futbol (soccer). I believe that this is also true for a large percentage of other players from Europe and South America. I've witnessed quite a few male players from Europe playing some sort of "foot" ball game on a tennis court prior to their tennis practice. (Anyone know if this game had a name?).

    Andy Roddick, Taylor Dent and numerous other US tennis players also play basketball. Andy played varsity basket in high school. I'd be willing to bet that he has also played a lot of baseball. Jim Courier, another former #1 player from the US, was an avid baseballer. (Courier, like Roddick, is known for wearing a beseball cap when playing tennis).

    Quite a few tennis players also play golf. Jimmy Connors, Tim Henman & quite a few others have become avid golfers after retiring from pro tennis. Tim Henman is known to be a very good golfer. I believe that he may also have played both squash player & futbol in his younger years.
     
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  10. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I don't know which tennis players also play badminton, but I wouldn't be surprised to hear that Bjorn Borg and Johnny Mac have put a fair amount of time in on the badminton court.
     
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  11. _maxi

    _maxi Banned

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    In my country Argentina, it is called soccer-tennis, or in spanish, futbol-tenis. (football-tennis).

    Here you have some players having fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rclx1B6CQ8
     
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  12. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Gracias _maxi. This is exactly what I've seen on the practice courts at the SAP Open (in Northern Calif). However, the ball that I've seen used appears to be quite a bit smaller than a regular soccer ball.
     
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  13. Initial_d

    Initial_d New User

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    Uhm.. interesting that you mentioned Badminton, cause I used to play badminton, not much but enough to be a bit competitive, when I first played Tennis earlier this year my coach would correct my strokes all the time saying not to flick my wrist and I didn't even notice I was flicking my wrist..
    It took me a while to be able to conciously avoid flicking my wrist and to some extent till this day it still happens though not as much (hopefully). Until today I'm still very reluctant to play badminton out of fear that it'd ruin my strokes.

    Point is, even though to many people badminton and tennis may look quite similar, the very fundamental of these 2 great games are very very different. So it is very interesting if some pros manage to play both.
     
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  14. ..Ryan..

    ..Ryan.. New User

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    i heard Nadal's uncle (coach) was originally a soccer coach.
    so i assume he would be one of the ones playing soccer for training. i play Aussie Rules Football and abit of basketball and volleyball to help my game :)
     
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  15. Pirao

    Pirao Semi-Pro

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    I don't know where you heard that but it's false. One of Nadal's uncles (Miguel Angel) was a football player, but Toni Nadal has nothing to do with football.
     
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  16. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I play quite a bit of both badminton and tennis and have no trouble bouncing back & forth between these 2 sports. Some days I play both sports, one right after the other. I am sure that pro tennis players would have no trouble at all playing both sports as well.

    You are correct. There are many similarities as well as many differences between the 2 sports. I learned badminton about 6 years after I had started tennis. It took me a few weeks to feel comfortable about switching from one sport to the other. If your tennis strokes are now pretty solid, you should probably not have too much trouble picking up badminton again.
     
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  17. Initial_d

    Initial_d New User

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    ^
    Well, if that's the case, I suppose one can say that it's easier to pick up badminton after you're tennis game is nice and solid then the other way around?

    In a way it makes sense.. if a badminton player starts picking up tennis and flick his hand like he uses to do in badminton it can really ruin his hand, but no harm the other way around I guess.
     
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  18. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    ive heard it said that as kids are developing having them do other sports has crosstraining benifits. soccer is the best example to develop footwork. however whether they do it as a training tool or something to relax as an adult im not sure. i beleive mardy fish got hurt (foot or ankle) kicking a soccer ball. and had to take time off
     
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  19. pc1

    pc1 Legend

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    Don Budge was a left handed hitter in baseball and he wrote that it helped him developed his famed backhand. He mentioned it was the same type of swing.

    I know Martina Navratilova practiced basketball with Nancy Lieberman.

    Bjorn Borg used to play hockey. I don't know if it helped him.

    John McEnroe used to play soccer and I believe he mentioned it helped his footwork.

    Arthur Ashe, Stan Smith, Bobby Riggs, Ted Schoeder and Rod Laver used to play a lot of golf. But I think a lot of tennis players play golf.

    Marty Riessen was a basketball star at Northwestern University.

    Of course John Lucas used to play in the NBA and was a world class tennis player. He chose basketball as his main sport but you do wonder how good he could have been in tennis, considering his athletic ability. I never saw him play except for about 2 seconds years ago so I couldn't observe his tennis form.

    This isn't cross training but Ellsworth Vines, after he stopped playing Professional Tennis became a World Class Golfer.

    Ivan Lendl played CHESS and was excellent at it!! lol. Probably didn't help but it does show he's good at strategy. lol.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2009
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  20. VictorS.

    VictorS. Professional

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    I've heard Joe Dumars (NBA) is an avid tennis player.

    They say cross-training is very beneficial. Doing the same routine obviously becomes stale after a while.
     
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  21. dincuss

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    Ivanisevic played a season for some croatian football club.
     
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  22. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    It is probably a bit easier for a tennis player to take up badminton than for a badminton player to master tennis. I used my tennis strokes for quite a while when I first picked up badminton and was able to rally decently and win easily against other beginners & low intermediate badminton players. However, as I started to play against stronger players, I found it necessary to develop "real" badminton strokes.

    However, I've known quite a lot of badminton players that have been able to master tennis. I have personally taught/coached tennis to several of my badminton cohorts with a great deal of success. The badminton players have become very competent tennis players. But then, these players were much better than average athletes to begin with.
     
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  23. Pirao

    Pirao Semi-Pro

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    Nadal was training both football and tennis before he decided to focus on tennis, and I think Federer trained quite a bit of football too.
     
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