What is the "best" age to play

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by Headshotterer, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. Headshotterer

    Headshotterer Professional

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    How old is the best? If any player could choose to be immortal and never age what would it be?
     
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  2. Leto

    Leto Semi-Pro

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    24.5

    24.5 chars
     
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  3. Netzroller

    Netzroller Semi-Pro

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    at around 25 humans are at the peak of their physical capacities so that would be my guess.
    However, if you don't have the right mindset at that time or you have already faced serious injury, the best age might be a different one. For example David Ferrer hadn't reached his best at that time yet, while Tracy Austin had already retired. So it depends on the individual...
     
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  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I read somewhere that we start to die slowly after 25
     
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  5. OTMPut

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    cells divide and die all the while. at any point in time some part of us are dying.
     
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  6. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    Around 20 +. I just started entering my prime. At 18 I felt good.....but I got my best performance just last year when I turned 20.

    I can only get better when I get in the middle 20s.

    Then again everyone is different...some physically peak in their late 20's and early 30's.
     
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  7. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

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    Mid twenties, varying slightly from person to person, depending on their bodies and how they take care of them. While some parts of humans physical ability actually peak later on (stamina being the most notable, peaking in the late 20s/early 30s) all skills combined will be at their best around 24-26.
     
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  8. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    yeah but if you started playing at 24, those who started at 5 will beat you like a drum :)
     
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  9. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Dead wrong. Please search on this topic.

    Males peak overall later - closer to 30... Peak strength is around that age but endurance is later, usually 35-ish but sometimes even later.

    However, this doesn't take into account a person's physique or history. Tennis players for example may have more "miles" on their legs relative to their age than others so peak age can vary quite a bit.

    Nor does it take into account routine. Athletes who have been around for a while would generally have their nutrition, recovery and off-season work much better honed than younger athletes so that also factors in a lot.
     
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  10. IvanisevicServe

    IvanisevicServe Banned

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    Mentally we're our sharpest around 22. I've noticed a decline in my own mental abilities in the past couple years, and I'm 27.
     
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  11. rodrigoamaral

    rodrigoamaral Hall of Fame

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    mid 20s.....
     
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  12. purge

    purge Hall of Fame

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    there are several different "peaks" depending on what youre actually aiming for. the actual peak for competitive sports will be a combination of those depending on what a certain sport demands

    for example the physical peak for muscule build-up is usually around 21. overall physical power is around 25. as someone has mentioned endurance can be later than that closer to 30.

    generally that will add up to an overall physical peak in the mid 20s. thats usually the best years for any professional athlete
     
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  13. jayoub95

    jayoub95 Semi-Pro

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    I would say that 18-22 years of age would be the best years for tennis.
     
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  14. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Mid 20s physically, Mid 30s (or older) mentally.
     
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  15. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    I gotta say 24 or 25 because personally I started to actually feel a negative difference after 25.

    Now each year that goes by I feel it more; slower to recover, more frequent aches and pains, less speed.

    LOL and Im only 32.
     
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  16. blipblop

    blipblop Rookie

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    Interesting topic. I think it varies from individual to individual, but generally, mid-20's as most have said.

    It is also of note to me that on the pro tour the answer to this question seems to shift and change from era to era. In the 90's, especially for women, it seemed like the peak age was closer to, if not in the teenage years. Nowadays, perhaps due to the changes to the style/technology/rules of the game, it appears that players are blooming later. e.g. Mardy Fish.

    I have no idea what the peak age was in Budge's era though.
     
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  17. morten

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    the stoneage had the best tennis...
     
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  18. Swissv2

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    24 years old, provided one started playing since around 12.

    Old enough for the experience of match play, young enough to be fit and aggressive on almost all shots.
     
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  19. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    I was physically strongest at 23. Stayed fairly strong throughout my late twenties. Noticeably lost strength at 30. Built myself up physically starting at 35. Never regained the power/explosiveness I once had, but compensated with better organization/utilization off existing resources/energies to become a fitter all around competitor. But my physical peak in terms of explosiveness and raw power was definitely in my early twenties.
     
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  20. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    You know you have a lot of kids posting on here for sure. As you get older your brain changes a lot, take a look at Federer. Lately he has been able to swallow his ego, be more patient, and not give up. It has paid dividends.

    That is just how it is, when you are as you get older you will change and so will the way you think and do things. Having a "young" body is not a grantee of anything. Also, your muscle does not full mature until you are around your 30's.

    For most players, injuries is what keep them form playing on and making improvements. Look at Hewitt, or Safin, or Haas, etc.
     
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  21. dudeski

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    The answer depends on if you are a Fed hating troll ^ or not. So for Fed hating troll ^ you would say in 30s and if you are a reasonable person then you would say whavever age Fed was in 2004 USO final when he double bagled a former USO champion who got to the final without losing a single set.

    It's clear that younger players around 22/23 years old can move much faster, can recover much faster, have better reaction time, more power etc. Just look how bad Fed's return stats are this year. Sure he has more mature game plan. But the rest of his game is so much worse than 7 or 8 years ago. That's why at his age Fed needs a very easy draw to make it far in a slam. Any consecutive 5 setters along the way and he is not making the final.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
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  22. Ocean Drive

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    Totally disagree with the second part.

    The young are fearless. Experience can help you in some instances but there's plenty of evidence to suggest players become mentally weaker as they age.
     
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  23. Champs990411

    Champs990411 Rookie

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    Please share some of that evidence because I disagree.
     
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  24. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    You make an objective point here. For some people they will be best younger while other will be best older. It really depends on the person. There are countless greats that kept on making records as the kept getting older, and others that did the majority as they were young.
     
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  25. zagor

    zagor Talk Tennis Guru

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    So why did Nadal decline at the age of 24 then? Aside from AO 2011 was one of most injury-free years for him yet according to you he declined? Now why is that?

    Will Nadal play better at the age of 30 than he did at 24-25 ? It seems to be an interesting idea.
     
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  26. Netzroller

    Netzroller Semi-Pro

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    just no. There are enough sources available, look it up youself.
    sure, you might improve in certain areas but overall my statement is correct. some more endurence can't make up fo the loss in explosiveness, recovery etc. in a sport like tennis.
    if I am dead wrong, then please tell me how many majors have been won by players in their mid 20s compared to age 3x.

    the second part is what I already said.

    lastly, the routine is not part of the discussion, given he talked about the hypothetical scenario of never aging thus allowing to have lots of routine while still having a young body.
     
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  27. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    Mindset - I would say I was strongest when I was 19-22. As far as getting focused in the moment. You just believe it all matters. You care about hitting a little ball, and all that stuff. Later, you get bored with it, and move on.

    Strength - I have never been stronger upper body-wise. Most likely because I am applying myself consistently more than ever, and just keep fighting.

    Academically - I felt my mental peak was about 26-28. It is all about values. You lose the fear of the material completely, and it still matters to prove yourself.

    All in all, I feel much wiser, and can accomplish a goal more efficiently. However, I don't always feel great. I used to feel great achieving stuff. Could be the economy and the social scene playing a huge role, but I know some of my personal life have taken me on a an emotional roller coaster.
     
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  28. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    Mid 20s I'd say.

    But it all depends. Some of us get better physically and mentally as we age.

    Cut off point? Maybe 40-50. At that age, physically, we deteriorate.
     
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  29. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Um... yes, you're wrong and most of the competitive marathon and long-distance multisport athletes in the world prove it. Most are well into their 30s, mostly over 35 even. I've been involved in multisport events for over 15 years and can count on one hand the amount of sub-30 yr old guys I've seen who can come close to competing with the older guys.

    Now, so far as tennis players go, endurance isn't the factor that limits them in their 30s. It's the malaise, niggling injuries, poorer recovery curve etc that comes after many years playing. Lack of motivation is also a likely factor too. These things are only marginally related to endurance. As you say also explosiveness and recovery peaks earlier in life - which is where tennis players need to be near the top to compete well.

    For some players however playing style factors (such as miles run per match) definitely has an effect on their longevity.

    To say the physical peak for a male is about 25 is patently wrong except for some physical attributes such as speed. Literature on the topic is pretty consistent in this regards.

    Lastly, the routine component of what I said is salient here. As people learn more they, in theory, can get better at managing their routine. Knowing what works for you and being diligent about it could lengthen a sportsperson's career by years - which would automatically alter where their peak age window sat. Agassi is evidence of this. Once he had Gil Reyes on board he was able to work and eat smarter which no doubt helped him achieve a lot more post 30 than had he not had Reyes or someone comparable around for advice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2012
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  30. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Probably 24-25.
     
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  31. RogerRacket111

    RogerRacket111 Semi-Pro

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    I would so beat 25 year old me. You have a longer recovery time after matches as you age but your so much more smarter. You cant play everyday like when you are in your 20's. I also find that muscle memory is way better for me in my late 30's. I can not play for almost 3 weeks and still have the feel and play well.
     
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  32. CDestroyer

    CDestroyer Professional

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    I won't ever allow my age to become a mind block or an excuse. My neighbor is 53 and he is at the top of his division at the 5.5 level.

    He is not that fast but he is 6 feet tall, has a wicked kick serve, great net game and aggressive approach that keeps points short.

    So the best age could be anywhere from 20 to 50. You could be 70 and still have a good game.
     
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  33. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    That's not entirely true. Male athletes are at their peak in terms of reflexes, balance, timing, coordination at about 25. But, strength and stamina peak at about 35.
     
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  34. Boricua

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    How about 90?
     
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  35. Boricua

    Boricua Hall of Fame

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    Seriously, 26 physically. Then, mental maturity in many is not that great at that age. So if I could, 26 body and 40's mind.
     
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  36. mattennis

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    I agree with you on almost everything you said, but Gil Reyes was with Agassi since Agassi was 18 years old.
     
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  37. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

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    Oh.. Thought it was later. Poor example then. :lol:
     
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  38. Netzroller

    Netzroller Semi-Pro

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    why are you talking about marathons all the time!?:?

    I already agreed that endurance might be higher later in life but many other things are not. And that is also a fact. And those aspects seem to matter a lot more in tennis as well as in many other sports.
    I just don't see why you declare long distance running as the benchmark of athleticism.

    So I ask again, please tell me how many majors have been won by players in their mid 20s compared to age 3x?

    (so no, I'm not wrong...)
    and recovery time and explosiveness and hormone levels and and... it's not some
    why should endurance be more important than all those aspects?

    No, that is a different discussion. Agassi just didn't fulfill his potential in his early career whereas he came closer to doing that later.
    But had he had the same professional approach as a 25 year old history strongly suggests that this would have been his peak.
    At least the great majority of players with a very professional approach throughout their entire career played their best tennis in their mid20s (Federer...).


    alright, I should have maybe been a bit more accurate.
     
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  39. musicalmedic81

    musicalmedic81 Semi-Pro

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    I'd say this heavily depends on the individual and there are so many factors that come into play. I don't believe in the whole strength, speed and skill start declining at age 30 theory. Not for everybody anyway. Maybe yes to the pro player who's been playing every day since they were 5 years old, in that case its mostly due to the wear and tear and injuries are more frequent, which prevents you from being able to train at 100%, as a result you slow down/lose strength. Federer however is the prime example. Stay healthy and age is just a number.


    For most active healthy adults who exercise regularly and practice good nutrition, strength, speed and agility will remain fairly stable through age 34-37 depending on the individual.

    Again its all relative to how active or inactive you are. An adult who is sedentary, eats crap, practices bad habits like smoking etc may start to decline physically as early as 25-27.

    I myself was a late bloomer. I'm 31 and I am currently in my physical peak in terms of strength, speed, agility, flexibility and balance. I obviously don't have the wear and tear of a pro player whos been on the court since they were a kid, but I train hard and at 31 I can do just about everything better than I could at 25 or even 22.

    So to answer your question, in professional tennis, I'd say the average prime age is around 24-27

    But in terms of general fitness and ability, I think most men mature to reach their maximum physical potential in the 27-35 range.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012
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