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Number1Coach 02-17-2013 05:30 PM

A good read most on here wont understand please enjoy !
 
So, You Want to Become a Professional Tennis Player?

Posted on January 23, 2008

The following has been excerpted from Dave Smith's new book, COACHING MASTERY, due out in February, 2008.

Subscribers to TennisOne are undoubtedly interested in improving their games. Many of our junior players even dream of reaching the top echelon of tennis: the ATP or WTA tours. Adults, while knowing their chances to "turn pro" are awaiting them in another life, perhaps, still would like to believe that they can attain higher levels of play. Well, you might be surprised at what I am going to be sharing with you. I encourage everyone to do a little dreaming...and then understand the following:

Some dreams do come true!

Nearly every book on tennis suggests that it is incredibly unlikely that you could become a pro. The consensus seems to imply that only an elite level of athlete, coupled with unlimited financial resources, and an uninterrupted lifestyle could even think they could go pro.

And while such elements are truly helpful, I promise you that they are not absolute requirements. If they were, then players such as the William sisters or a Maria Sharapova would never have made it, let alone become Number One in the World! There are perhaps more examples of players with limited opportunities and advantages than those who had everything they needed. And it makes sense: those who are athletically gifted, those who have financial resources and plenty of opportunity seldom have had to 'work' for many advancements. Yet, those who have limitations or are disadvantaged must work to overcome such restrictions, and as such, understand how to succeed.

Obviously, there are thousands of players, men and women, who make it to the professional tour. You can find players ranked as low as 1000, yet still making a living playing tennis (a sparse living at that kind of ranking, no doubt, but still in the mix!).

Why so many people believe it is next to impossible to turn pro is a combination of stilted thinking and ignorance. The biggest problem is in the teaching philosophy of so many books, videos and even teaching pros. The way a player learns tennis is tantamount to either perpetual mediocrity or potentially skilled tennis. If nearly all books (and tennis teaching professionals) prescribe to the dual belief that players basically can't possibly make it as a pro, and then go on to prescribe a methodology that guarantees mediocre play -- or at best, limited potential, it is no wonder so many believe it is next to impossible to reach the professional ranks.

Players who learn introductory methods they must eventually change (to reach higher levels of play) will be severely stifled in their progression to higher levels. I will go one step further and say that it permanently limits a player's potential and possible progression to the point that even those who had the desire, dedication, and determination to reach professional ranks will have no chance of pursuing such advanced levels. If ninety-nine percent of books and many of the teaching pros continue to offer such flawed methodology to begin with, it quickly becomes clear why the United States has such a small percentage of professionals on tour considering the size, wealth, and opportunity our society is blessed with!

Key Elements of Having a Chance to Turn Pro

There are many criteria which players must meet if they really hope to turn pro. While having financial resources to take lessons, buy a ball machine, or play in and travel to tournaments certainly helps the cause, this is not as critical as many may believe. The William sisters grew up on the cracked, public courts of Compton California following the tutelage of their father Richard, who, in turn, watched videos and discussed advanced training methods with those who understood what would be involved. His vision was not thwarted by a lack of competitive tournaments either, as Venus and Serena both played very little USTA junior tennis. They also trained within the context of the Advanced Foundation, (either by luck or by design!) as many of the videos of the girls growing up did not feature those transitional methods that so many books and other pros introduce juniors to.

There is one thing that every junior player who made it as a pro had: sincere desire. This characteristic, desire, while not having anything to do with genetics (as it pertains to athleticism) or wealth, certainly is often more elusive and rare than any other attribute.

The thing I want to stress to anyone reading these pages is that anything short of sincere desire is simply an excuse. Someone can always say, "My family couldn't afford tennis." Or, "I just wasn't gifted enough." We can even claim that nationality, religious beliefs, where we live, bad weather, or any number of excuses could prevent us from becoming a pro. But, each of these is exactly that: An excuse!

There have been enough success stories in every sport to know that people who had far less opportunity were able to overcome "handicaps" through perseverance, personal belief in themselves, and dedication to reaching their goals. However, if tennis players were given the wrong information regarding stroke development, then no amount of desire will usually result in reaching such goals.

Obviously, starting young increases the chance of becoming a top level player. However, if a youngster learns tennis within the calamity of transitional tennis methods, then it simply won't matter when they started playing: overcoming those initial methods will simply make it exponentially that much more difficult.

What is Desire?

Desire means that no one and nothing will prevent you from doing what is necessary to reach your goals. Players with sincere desire do not look at making time to practice as a "sacrifice." Anyone can say he "wants to be the best tennis player in the world," but few are willing to pay the price (in terms of sacrificing other wants or desires) to actually be the best. Those who have become the best in anything didn't get there by wasting time or avoiding the hard work that they knew it would take. Ask any champion if they didn't make serious sacrifices in pursuit of perfection. Many might even say they never made any sacrifices because it was always their number one priority to become the best tennis player in the world. In fact, doing other things in place of practicing might have been a sacrifice to these champions! The value of anything we do or have is usually enhanced, if not heightened significantly, by the sacrificial component taken by the individual to obtain that thing of value.

Once a player understands the correlation between desire and setting goals, the rest of the "journey" becomes the reward and the level of actual skilled play a player reaches is icing on the cake.

Also, unlike when I was growing up playing tennis in the 1970s, each of you have this tool, TennisOne, at your fingertips to understand so much more about tennis than anything we had back then. A player who has sincere desire to reach highly skilled levels of play has the ability to study tennis like never before. Players can read articles, watch video clips and listen to audio clips to see, hear, and analyze the game anytime they want. When a player isn't on the court, he can study the pros, the strategies, and the techniques which many of our writers and contributors have provided. This understanding of the game is the first real step for any player who wishes to reach his or her true potential. Ignorance is no longer a reason for player failure. So, start today on reaching your potential; study tennis, understand the various concepts discussed, and most importantly, establish those dreams you want to make your realities!

I will continue this series of "making it to the pros" over the course of this year. Next time, I will discuss the processes of making it to the top!

Dave Smith is a senior writer for TennisOne.com, and his articles appear on the Play Tennis Florida magazine website, PlayTennisFlorida.com, courtesy of TennisOne.

Bash and Crash 02-17-2013 05:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Number1Coach (Post 7221342)
So, You Want to Become a Professional Tennis Player?

Posted on January 23, 2008

The following has been excerpted from Dave Smith's new book, COACHING MASTERY, due out in February, 2008.

Subscribers to TennisOne are undoubtedly interested in improving their games. Many of our junior players even dream of reaching the top echelon of tennis: the ATP or WTA tours. Adults, while knowing their chances to "turn pro" are awaiting them in another life, perhaps, still would like to believe that they can attain higher levels of play. Well, you might be surprised at what I am going to be sharing with you. I encourage everyone to do a little dreaming...and then understand the following:

Some dreams do come true!

Nearly every book on tennis suggests that it is incredibly unlikely that you could become a pro. The consensus seems to imply that only an elite level of athlete, coupled with unlimited financial resources, and an uninterrupted lifestyle could even think they could go pro.

And while such elements are truly helpful, I promise you that they are not absolute requirements. If they were, then players such as the William sisters or a Maria Sharapova would never have made it, let alone become Number One in the World! There are perhaps more examples of players with limited opportunities and advantages than those who had everything they needed. And it makes sense: those who are athletically gifted, those who have financial resources and plenty of opportunity seldom have had to 'work' for many advancements. Yet, those who have limitations or are disadvantaged must work to overcome such restrictions, and as such, understand how to succeed.

Obviously, there are thousands of players, men and women, who make it to the professional tour. You can find players ranked as low as 1000, yet still making a living playing tennis (a sparse living at that kind of ranking, no doubt, but still in the mix!).

Why so many people believe it is next to impossible to turn pro is a combination of stilted thinking and ignorance. The biggest problem is in the teaching philosophy of so many books, videos and even teaching pros. The way a player learns tennis is tantamount to either perpetual mediocrity or potentially skilled tennis. If nearly all books (and tennis teaching professionals) prescribe to the dual belief that players basically can't possibly make it as a pro, and then go on to prescribe a methodology that guarantees mediocre play -- or at best, limited potential, it is no wonder so many believe it is next to impossible to reach the professional ranks.

Players who learn introductory methods they must eventually change (to reach higher levels of play) will be severely stifled in their progression to higher levels. I will go one step further and say that it permanently limits a player's potential and possible progression to the point that even those who had the desire, dedication, and determination to reach professional ranks will have no chance of pursuing such advanced levels. If ninety-nine percent of books and many of the teaching pros continue to offer such flawed methodology to begin with, it quickly becomes clear why the United States has such a small percentage of professionals on tour considering the size, wealth, and opportunity our society is blessed with!

Key Elements of Having a Chance to Turn Pro

There are many criteria which players must meet if they really hope to turn pro. While having financial resources to take lessons, buy a ball machine, or play in and travel to tournaments certainly helps the cause, this is not as critical as many may believe. The William sisters grew up on the cracked, public courts of Compton California following the tutelage of their father Richard, who, in turn, watched videos and discussed advanced training methods with those who understood what would be involved. His vision was not thwarted by a lack of competitive tournaments either, as Venus and Serena both played very little USTA junior tennis. They also trained within the context of the Advanced Foundation, (either by luck or by design!) as many of the videos of the girls growing up did not feature those transitional methods that so many books and other pros introduce juniors to.

There is one thing that every junior player who made it as a pro had: sincere desire. This characteristic, desire, while not having anything to do with genetics (as it pertains to athleticism) or wealth, certainly is often more elusive and rare than any other attribute.

The thing I want to stress to anyone reading these pages is that anything short of sincere desire is simply an excuse. Someone can always say, "My family couldn't afford tennis." Or, "I just wasn't gifted enough." We can even claim that nationality, religious beliefs, where we live, bad weather, or any number of excuses could prevent us from becoming a pro. But, each of these is exactly that: An excuse!

There have been enough success stories in every sport to know that people who had far less opportunity were able to overcome "handicaps" through perseverance, personal belief in themselves, and dedication to reaching their goals. However, if tennis players were given the wrong information regarding stroke development, then no amount of desire will usually result in reaching such goals.

Obviously, starting young increases the chance of becoming a top level player. However, if a youngster learns tennis within the calamity of transitional tennis methods, then it simply won't matter when they started playing: overcoming those initial methods will simply make it exponentially that much more difficult.

What is Desire?

Desire means that no one and nothing will prevent you from doing what is necessary to reach your goals. Players with sincere desire do not look at making time to practice as a "sacrifice." Anyone can say he "wants to be the best tennis player in the world," but few are willing to pay the price (in terms of sacrificing other wants or desires) to actually be the best. Those who have become the best in anything didn't get there by wasting time or avoiding the hard work that they knew it would take. Ask any champion if they didn't make serious sacrifices in pursuit of perfection. Many might even say they never made any sacrifices because it was always their number one priority to become the best tennis player in the world. In fact, doing other things in place of practicing might have been a sacrifice to these champions! The value of anything we do or have is usually enhanced, if not heightened significantly, by the sacrificial component taken by the individual to obtain that thing of value.

Once a player understands the correlation between desire and setting goals, the rest of the "journey" becomes the reward and the level of actual skilled play a player reaches is icing on the cake.

Also, unlike when I was growing up playing tennis in the 1970s, each of you have this tool, TennisOne, at your fingertips to understand so much more about tennis than anything we had back then. A player who has sincere desire to reach highly skilled levels of play has the ability to study tennis like never before. Players can read articles, watch video clips and listen to audio clips to see, hear, and analyze the game anytime they want. When a player isn't on the court, he can study the pros, the strategies, and the techniques which many of our writers and contributors have provided. This understanding of the game is the first real step for any player who wishes to reach his or her true potential. Ignorance is no longer a reason for player failure. So, start today on reaching your potential; study tennis, understand the various concepts discussed, and most importantly, establish those dreams you want to make your realities!

I will continue this series of "making it to the pros" over the course of this year. Next time, I will discuss the processes of making it to the top!

Dave Smith is a senior writer for TennisOne.com, and his articles appear on the Play Tennis Florida magazine website, PlayTennisFlorida.com, courtesy of TennisOne.

Good stuff, and I love that book. I try not to teach transitional techniques and was glad to see I'm not alone. Also, I believe that making to the pros can be done cost effectively, but here in the USA many feel if they spend enough it will guarantee success, and the highlighted area is so true.

Number1Coach 02-17-2013 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bash and Crash (Post 7221357)
Good stuff, and I love that book. I try not to teach transitional techniques and was glad to see I'm not alone. Also, I believe that making to the pros can be done cost effectively, but here in the USA many feel if they spend enough it will guarantee success, and the highlighted area is so true.

I hear you , i believe you must use your brain , study your player , study the game on film , perfect your technique and movement the best you can but it seems like we over think it to much , we over "statistic" it to much and this article is a breathe of fresh air .

To funny read right past "this is and excerpt from a book" and got to the article , dang gonna have to get the book thanx for pointing it out to the less educated !

TCF 02-17-2013 07:18 PM

==========================

Number1Coach 02-17-2013 07:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TCF (Post 7221566)
Dave is a good man, have had many discussions with him on the tips forum. Have read his book several times now. Your excerpt is meaningless to what you are trying to do, keep some passed by dream alive.

Dave is talking to every kid tennis player and their parents. If you want to be a pro, go for it. Train with proper technique and dream of the pros.

However nothing changes. Once a kid trains solely for tennis for 10-12 years, we know just about the level of tennis they are capable of. Most players who follow Dave's advice will fail, almost all of them, but Dave knows that as well as anyone.

But enjoy that last year or so of your game, then move onto your exit strategy explanation as to why the grand plan failed. But the real explanation is simple.....each person has a tennis ability ceiling if they train full time for 12 years, and a select few's ceiling is in the money. Your player's ceiling is obviously below that level.

Some day you will realize that instead of investing all that hard work into tennis, you should have gone with football or baseball. If the goal is to make money in a sport rather than pay for college, tennis was your worst option by far with the lowest percentage chance of success.

ha she won a practise match yet ????

TCF 02-17-2013 08:23 PM

==========================

Rina 02-18-2013 05:14 AM

What is this transitional tennis?

TCF 02-18-2013 05:44 AM

==========================

justinmadison 02-18-2013 05:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TCF (Post 7221566)
If the goal is to make money in a sport rather than pay for college, tennis was your worst option by far with the lowest percentage chance of success.

Unfortunately, for juniors and tennis in general this is an unassailably true statement. The small amount of prize money, the relatively short career length, and the fierce competition just donít add up to a good investment.

The result of the facts are no one should invest with the goal of pro tennis. It is like telling people they should not play the state lottery.

TCF 02-18-2013 06:00 AM

==========================

Number1Coach 02-18-2013 06:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by justinmadison (Post 7222117)
Unfortunately, for juniors and tennis in general this is an unassailably true statement. The small amount of prize money, the relatively short career length, and the fierce competition just donít add up to a good investment.

The result of the facts are no one should invest with the goal of pro tennis. It is like telling people they should not play the state lottery.

I don't know what's more funny me trying to take my kid pro or TCF who says its impossible for the most part to make money at it, the odds are horrible , there are few that can do it , parents that think their kids can make it are foolish, then sets his focus on taking his girl pro and is heading right through this imaginary front door !

TCF 02-18-2013 06:48 AM

==========================

Number1Coach 02-18-2013 07:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TCF (Post 7222224)
Life is about odds....you going to bank on winning the lottery or do you go to work every day to earn money? No one is "foolish" for trying for the pros. However, as a player trains full time, we get more information to adjust the plan.

Nadal.....obvious results along the way.....great idea to go only for the pros. Quinzi.....obvious results after 7 years of training....pretty decent icdea to go for the pros.

DB....12 years of full tennis, no ATP ranking, no futures wins......not a very good idea of bypassing college....but whatever, I did not say impossible....I said if he goes to IMG to focus on tactics/strategy then maybe he can change his odds.

Hypothetical player.....trains for tennis....never gets into top 20 of any USTA group.....very bad idea to go for pro tennis. See? We adjust the plan based on results along the way.

This is not dream killing, its reality....as kids train longer and longer full time tennis we use their results to adjust the plan of college or pros. Thats what I will do. At age 8 she won a rec tourny, a girls 12, and finaled in another girls 12.

So far, she is showing some ability. We will see if that continues in the 14s,16s,18s,top ITFs-Jr. slams at older ages. No great results....off to college.

Like I said most wont understand this article and like I expected you were the 1st one to step up and claim your prize !

Misterbill 02-18-2013 07:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Number1Coach (Post 7222323)
Like I said most wont understand this article and like I expected you were the 1st one to step up and claim your prize !

My opinion is that this is a negative response that sheds more heat than light on the discussion. I believe a more positive response......that would add to the discussion......would be to explain how the article was misunderstood. I, for one, would be grateful for anyone to explain this...........not a challenge, sincere request.

maggmaster 02-18-2013 07:51 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6xLYt265ZM

Number1Coach 02-18-2013 08:02 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maggmaster (Post 7222352)

You get it ! I enjoy people who look at a mountain that is huge and everybody say it can't be climbed that's when I would expect you to put your gloves on and start climbing !

Number1Coach 02-18-2013 08:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Misterbill (Post 7222349)
My opinion is that this is a negative response that sheds more heat than light on the discussion. I believe a more positive response......that would add to the discussion......would be to explain how the article was misunderstood. I, for one, would be grateful for anyone to explain this...........not a challenge, sincere request.

Last year TCF said you would have to be top 10 ITF to make it as a pro then my player crushed one at the OB now he has a new measuring stick and once we cruise by his new criteria he will reset it , what I have learned is he has serious issues and because I don't want to be strait up mean to the less fortunate in life I offer a prize for ignorance my way of being nice and positive .

Rina 02-18-2013 08:16 AM

TCF, thanks for explaining.

gplracer 02-18-2013 08:18 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ-_3...eature=related

Misterbill 02-18-2013 08:19 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Number1Coach (Post 7222388)
Last year TCF said you would have to be top 10 ITF to make it as a pro then my player crushed one at the OB now he has a new measuring stick and once we cruise by his new criteria he will reset it , what I have learned is he has serious issues and because I don't want to be strait up mean to the less fortunate in life I offer a prize for ignorance my way of being nice and positive .

I think everyone here understands there are exceptions to general rules and that exceptions do not negate general rules. Thanks for the explanation, though, I understand better now, I think.

I wonder if you think your player's possible success in the pro ranks.....based on his record and training to date.....would be consistent with the general rule or would be an exception to it.


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