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Old 04-26-2013, 11:18 PM   #26
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Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Montreal, Canada
Posts: 2,886

Originally Posted by millardus View Post
A long post, sorry! Read if you want to hurt your brain!

I'm mulling over this sort of thing myself, but I'm only think 6 months.

Slow Friday afternoon, got me musing. So, who on here has taken an extended break from work to commit some proper time to their tennis (I think I could swing it at work)?

I know of one guy on here that took a 18-24 month sabbatical, from a position of being a strong player already. What can realistically be achieved in a 6 MONTH period I wonder, with the following setup:

- 34 years old, (ok, 3 weeks from 35!), 5 ft 9.775, married, no children for 2-3 years. Wife who would also like to do the same, for herself.
- Finances ok for that time
- Must be at a fighting tennis weight before starting, but not necessarily singles tennis fit (i.e. gym and drills would form part of tennis 6 months)
- I have volleycam, Lobster ball machine, various court strings and cones and things already.
- I have a tennis club membership, though *might* also consider joining an indoor club for 6 months to ensure playing (Acrylic and carpet courts)
- currently a middling 4.0 (Play higher ability dubs than singles though), played a lot from 11-15 yr old, then stopped for 12/13 years completely, treaded water from 28-33. 33-34 got more focussed.
- 2 hrs coaching per week with a friend, 2 separate hours however. Friend is LTA 3.1, 26 years old fairly active player, and a performance coach.

So, assuming the necessary dedication, and let's say 30 hrs per week of tennis training (Court time and physical training), what do we think is achievable over 6 months?

Your answers and\or recommendations can range from:

- Stupid open question
- A ratings bump answer
- A more practical, *you will get more control over your shots and gain confidence* type answers
- Why bother, save your money!
- Whatever answer you fancy giving!

This is a Friday afternoon time-filler as well as a reasonably serious first pass at working out if this is worth it.

My own personal motivation will be the ultimate decider, but I'm interested in people's success stories or insight.

I'm quite a bit younger than you but the same idea occured to me about a year ago. stepped down as VP of a tech startup to focus more on writing and tennis. I've done pretty well at the 4.5 level and play a few open tournaments each year. usually draw D1 players in the first round, so haven't done too well in them unfortunately. my ultimate goal is to be nationally ranked when I'm eligible for ITF seniors (35+). if I make steady progress in the next ten years, I should have a decent shot.

a few thoughts based on personal experience:

1) I signed up for one of the better private clubs in the city and met many business contacts, in addition to high-level hitting partners, at the club. have not needed to pay for any lessons in the past year because I've been hitting a lot with nationally ranked juniors (U14 boys and U18 girls) and coaches at the club who need a practice partner to train for tournaments (a lady I often practice with used to have the same coach as max mirnyi back in belarus and had a decent national ranking before stopping at age 18 to go to university).

2) if you can, go to the club during the middle of the day, around lunch hour. that's when the best juniors and the business executives tend to hit the courts. whether you're looking for better players to hit with, or industry contacts for when you do decide to go back to work, that'd be your best bet. one guy I met recently will sometimes call me for a hitting session in the early afternoon because he has a hard time finding a partner that time of day. considering he was a ATP touring pro, #1 in Canada overall when he was 19 and trained with Agassi at Bollettieri, I'm pretty lucky that he calls me.

3) how flexible is your wife's work situation? it would be an extreme example, but if possible I would consider moving to another country with a lower cost of living for a few months and training there. when I go to china I hit with former touring pros and pay around $20 USD for court and coaching fee combined per hour. might be a worthwhile thing to look into

Last edited by thejackal; 04-26-2013 at 11:23 PM.
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