When is it too late?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by 10splaya, Feb 16, 2005.

  1. 10splaya

    10splaya New User

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    90
    I was just wondering what you guys thought about this question... when is it too late to start taking tennis seriously? I mean like... wanting to play ITF events and stuff? I know that Shinobu Asagoe first picked up a racquet when she was 13 (of course, that is women's tennis). Just a little curious!
     
    #1
  2. Aykhan Mammadov

    Aykhan Mammadov Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2004
    Messages:
    1,673
    Location:
    Baku, Azerbaijan
    I'm not tennis-player and PRO but it seems to me than if you have a natural talent then it is possible to start even at 14-15. I don't agree with those who demand starting at ages 6-7.
     
    #2
  3. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    2,365
    If your not winning or making progress rapidly it is likely too late.
     
    #3
  4. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    I would just start taking it seriously now if you enjoy it. See where it takes you and not worry about where you will be 5 years from now as a tennis player.
     
    #4
  5. Andy Hewitt

    Andy Hewitt Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2005
    Messages:
    1,293
    Location:
    SHEEE-KAH-GO!
    im 19, freshman in college now and ive been playin tennis since the summer after high school junior year. I sucked way bad then but im pretty good nowdays but man do I ever wish i started playing a long time ago. Getting paid to play tennis... man that is so awesome.
     
    #5
  6. Steve Huff

    Steve Huff Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    7,279
    I'd say that if you don't have good, basic technique, and could compete at a men's 4.5-5.0 level by the end of HS, you won't be making a living playing tennis--and even that's a stretch. There are always exceptions, but not any that I can remember. To be a pro at just about any sport, you not only need God-given talent, you normally need excellent coaching, the means to pay for that coaching, and a steady stream of equal or better competition that can keep you progressing. Of course, you could prove me wrong.
     
    #6
  7. VictorS.

    VictorS. Professional

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2004
    Messages:
    1,227
    Obviously most top-notch tennis pros all started at an extremely early age...the earlier the better. However in the formative yrs I think it's important to just be active and enjoy different sports.

    Without exposure to the game of tennis early on....it is very difficult to master it later on in life. A relative of mine didn't pick up a racket until his mid-20s and became a solid 5.0 player. He grew up playing games such as cricket and field hockey though which I think definitely aided in his development as a tennis player. Field hockey requires good speed and movement and both sports require good eye-hand coordination. I think without that background, it would've been virtually impossible for him to achieve similar success in the sport of tennis.
     
    #7
  8. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    5,236
    Location:
    The High Country of Colorado
    There's a girl at my Health Club who is very fit and plays lacrosse for her college. She has never tried tennis.

    I'd *love* to have two years coaching her -- just to see how much we could shatter the "accepted belief" that you must start young. (But that's up to her, isn't it...?)

    As for you, 10splaya, what are your goals? How old are you? How long have you been playing?
    ____________

    I grew up in Huntsville AL. What part of the state are you in?

    - KK
     
    #8
  9. bc-05

    bc-05 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2004
    Messages:
    648
    remember a young pizza boy delivery who started playing when he was in his 20s and later became a world no. 1? i cant remember who it is but i heard the story.. was it jim courier?
     
    #9
  10. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    Are you sure you weren't watching a fictional movie?

    Jim Courier? Are you kidding me. Courier started at young age and came up through the Bollettieri academy with Agassi. He won the Ornage Bowl as a junior and lost to Chang in the USTA boys 18.
     
    #10
  11. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,223
    Location:
    Cocos Islands, WA
    You must be joking....You don't get paid anything near that which would cover your expenses. You slum it with host familys or cheap ???? accommodation found for you by host tournament. You'll learn to save every dollar possible, even then you'll still probably end with upto $30'000 year in debt travelling to different futures circuit. If you failed to make it in the top 200 after 3 years you're better off stopping.

    The smart ones find a us college and apply for sporting scholarship. Plenty of us div1 div2 colleges accepting international players.

    If you check ITF website they supply a journey mans guide book of sorts. Really is a hard daily grind on pro circuit.
    Awesome indeed! *chuckle*
     
    #11
  12. predrag

    predrag Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    1,012
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    If by "making a living playing tennis" means to turn pro, by the end of the HS player
    has to be solid 5.5 to make it.
    My older son is turning 11 in April and is playing at almost 4.0 level.
    I expect him to start giving me a match in a year. I am 5.0
    And there is a lot of kids that are better than he is.


    Regards, Predrag
     
    #12
  13. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    5,236
    Location:
    The High Country of Colorado
    Remember Jimmy Arias?

    When he was 12 he won a pretty demanding Upstate NY tournament ... this was in '76, or so. (Two guys he beat almost quite tennis for good after that. They were whimpering drooling messes -- very sad -- after getting *spanked* by this skinny little kid, who *crushed* his FHs.)

    [I got *hooked* worse than I've ever been cheated in the first round, when Frank D'Orio, Tournament Director allowed some punk from Howard University to violate the USTA rules and (literally) steal a set from me. I lost my cool .. and the match. (But "No". I'm not bitter. Mutter! Mutter! Grinding teeth...) *Sorry!* Back to the topic....]

    Arias was a "sure thing." And, indeed, he did make it into the top 10 ... briefly. (I think he peaked at the US Open; he made the Semis in about '83 -- or you might call his "peak" winning the US Clay Courts that same year.)

    Injuries beset Jimmy after that. Most tennis people don't even remember him.

    My point is ... yes, you can "make it." But fortune plays a part, too....

    - KK
     
    #13

Share This Page