Adjusting as you get older (50+)?

tlm

G.O.A.T.
These exist, actually, they're just not really that great or durable (and they're expensive). A guy I know has a tennis-playing father in his 70s who has a cushioned soft-surface court at his house. You can put your thumb to the court and feel the give. It's not a bad court - definitely easier on the body than a regular hard court - but the bounce is really low. Still, it's not a bad court. But I want to say it cost over US$20,000 to install the surface over the original hard court and it develops dead spots over time where the ball doesn't bounce at all. I think there are various companies that make something similar to this. (This is not plexicushion, by the way, which is only slightly softer than concrete.) So, they're out there, but not that popular.
I’m really surprised that there are not more of these softer surfaces being used. A friend of mine that coaches high school tennis said that his team played on some in Bloomington Illinois. He didn’t get to hit on them but he said they looked to play real close to hard courts but the ball sounded different, and his players said they played fine.
 
I’m really surprised that there are not more of these softer surfaces being used. A friend of mine that coaches high school tennis said that his team played on some in Bloomington Illinois. He didn’t get to hit on them but he said they looked to play real close to hard courts but the ball sounded different, and his players said they played fine.
Have you guys ever played on the old Australian Open surface? Rebound Ace, I think it was called??? That’s pretty soft.
 

Vanhalen

Professional
Tim! You are the man! I turned 64 yesterday and retired.
Had some ankle tendon issues last year which set me back. No play for 8 months. Now that I am retired, I’ll be hitting with my ball machine in the mornings and playing with various partners 4 times a week. The rest of the time WILL NOT be working out. It will be soaking my aching body in a hot epsom salt bath and drinking Cabernet.

I only play singles. Partners are half my age. 4.0 USTA. Lighter frames now, Luxilon ALU Power at 50lbs. Or Yellow Jacket. Wearing ankle braces and using Adidas mid cut basketball shoes for ankle support.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Tim! You are the man! I turned 64 yesterday and retired.
Had some ankle tendon issues last year which set me back. No play for 8 months. Now that I am retired, I’ll be hitting with my ball machine in the mornings and playing with various partners 4 times a week. The rest of the time WILL NOT be working out. It will be soaking my aching body in a hot epsom salt bath and drinking Cabernet.

I only play singles. Partners are half my age. 4.0 USTA. Lighter frames now, Luxilon ALU Power at 50lbs. Or Yellow Jacket. Wearing ankle braces and using Adidas mid cut basketball shoes for ankle support.
I’m a lot like you I rarely play doubles and most of my partners are considerably younger. Glad to hear you were able to retire, nothing like being free from the work world. I’ve never had ankle problems but when I play sets I have been using the ASO ankle braces for years.

I’ve had some friends that had ankle injuries and that’s a very tough injury to recover from. I wear the braces for the added support and I hope that if I happen to roll an ankle they will help prevent a serious injury.
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
I’m really surprised that there are not more of these softer surfaces being used. A friend of mine that coaches high school tennis said that his team played on some in Bloomington Illinois. He didn’t get to hit on them but he said they looked to play real close to hard courts but the ball sounded different, and his players said they played fine.
I suspect it's expense... all of these surfaces cost a lot more to install and maintain than your run-of-the-mill hard court.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
I suspect it's expense... all of these surfaces cost a lot more to install and maintain than your run-of-the-mill hard court.
Ya that’s probably the reason. I’ve heard about these surfaces and have seen them advertised but never played on them. I’m just surprised that a cushioned hard court has not been introduced to the pro game yet. The hard courts are tough on the body and I’ve heard many pro players complain about them.

What other sport plays on asphalt? With today’s technology I sure would think that it could be done and maybe it will be around in the future.
 

Fintft

Legend
I started to play on clay year around: summer on harthru and 2 years ago red clay indoor (switched clubs from hard courts).

Some red clay during the summer as well, maybe 1 month in Europe.
 

toth

Semi-Pro
The problem with grinders is that they need to be physically fitter than their all court/attacking counterparts. As we age, hitting winners or running down balls all day is just not an option against younger guys. So hopefully, the mind is still there to change things up and use pace and placement changeups to throw rhythm and force errors. Obviously we have to be realistic, but most importantly, enjoy the game!

I would not let someone else to tell you how much you can or cannot do. There are too many variables. Medical background, present meds, physical condition. The best general advice is to start slowly and build up, paying attention to your body's reaction. The most important thing is to start! haha
Does it mean, pusher above 50 or 60 are much weaker than before?
 

Sardines

Professional
Does it mean, pusher above 50 or 60 are much weaker than before?
Context is key, no? Depends on who the competition is. The problem with perception is too many 'older' people think they are still playing like their prime. However, when I compare video of myself from 25 years ago and last year in competition, it's depressingly humbling!
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
Context is key, no? Depends on who the competition is. The problem with perception is too many 'older' people think they are still playing like their prime. However, when I compare video of myself from 25 years ago and last year in competition, it's depressingly humbling!
Well, if you're a 12+ UTR in your late-40s then you were almost certainly on the ATP tour in your early-20s, so it's expected that your skills have declined a great deal. No shame in that.
 

Toby14

Semi-Pro
Well, if you're a 12+ UTR in your late-40s then you were almost certainly on the ATP tour in your early-20s, so it's expected that your skills have declined a great deal. No shame in that.
True, I am sometimes hitting with a UTR12 player, he used to be around ATP800 when young. Now I can see at ITF that he was in Top10 in his age group at 40+. URT12 players are really really good, I guess I am around 4.5+ and no chance in hell I can compete with this guy. Good to have @Sardines around here, as such a good player I think we all can learn from.

Cheers, Toby
 

Toby14

Semi-Pro
pssst, @navigator thinks @Sardines is making up stories.
Did not get that, I guess that I kind of always believe what people are writing. I guess I am not that skeptical, perhaps even a bit naive, but I do believe in the good side of people I encounter.

I remember that Navigator questioned me too in the thread "Old fat guys and late beginners" where I claimed to be a 5.0 player, as we dont have this rating in Europe I downgraded myself to 4.5 to be on the safe side :)

Cheers, Toby
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
Did not get that, I guess that I kind of always believe what people are writing. I guess I am not that skeptical, perhaps even a bit naive, but I do believe in the good side of people I encounter.

I remember that Navigator questioned me too in the thread "Old fat guys and late beginners" where I claimed to be a 5.0 player, as we dont have this rating in Europe I downgraded myself to 4.5 to be on the safe side :)

Cheers, Toby
I generally believe people right up to about the 3-sigma event level... then I need to see evidence, as any logical human would. As I recall, you're a 55+ player that started playing after 50 years of age and originally claimed to be at the 5.0 level. Perhaps you are, but... this would be a 3-sigma outcome and, therefore, would require proof. Likewise, Sardines in his late-40s being a UTR12+ player would be a 3-sigma outcome. Possibly true, but statistically highly unlikely - again, proof necessary. In the over five years I've been posting here I think I've probably questioned maybe a dozen of these 3-sigma claims... as expected, none have panned out. Folks either walk back the original assertion, disappear, get banned, or just ignore any questions. One day I'm going to be pleasantly surprised... I just don't know when that day will come. To quote Carl Sagan, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." A fairly reasonable rule to live by, I'd say.
 

Toby14

Semi-Pro
I generally believe people right up to about the 3-sigma event level... then I need to see evidence, as any logical human would. As I recall, you're a 55+ player that started playing after 50 years of age and originally claimed to be at the 5.0 level. Perhaps you are, but... this would be a 3-sigma outcome and, therefore, would require proof. Likewise, Sardines in his late-40s being a UTR12+ player would be a 3-sigma outcome. Possibly true, but statistically highly unlikely - again, proof necessary. In the over five years I've been posting here I think I've probably questioned maybe a dozen of these 3-sigma claims... as expected, none have panned out. Folks either walk back the original assertion, disappear, get banned, or just ignore any questions. One day I'm going to be pleasantly surprised... I just don't know when that day will come. To quote Carl Sagan, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." A fairly reasonable rule to live by, I'd say.
@navigator I enjoy your post here, and I guess you are quite right. In my case I was perhaps too optimistic, I was playing with an American friend who complete in 5.5 US league (or something like that) and he told me that I was easy a 5.0 player. He was better than me but not by much, however he could also be telling stories as far as I know. But looking at posters her at 4.5 level videos, I can for sure be on the safe side when downgrading myself from 5.0 to 4.5. BUT thanks for pointing it out, now I feel much more comfortable knowing that I don't overestimate myself. Hopefully one day we can meet and have a friendly match, I think you play really well, but very different from me. All good. Cheers, Toby
 

Fintft

Legend
I generally believe people right up to about the 3-sigma event level... then I need to see evidence, as any logical human would. As I recall, you're a 55+ player that started playing after 50 years of age and originally claimed to be at the 5.0 level. Perhaps you are, but... this would be a 3-sigma outcome and, therefore, would require proof. Likewise, Sardines in his late-40s being a UTR12+ player would be a 3-sigma outcome. Possibly true, but statistically highly unlikely - again, proof necessary. In the over five years I've been posting here I think I've probably questioned maybe a dozen of these 3-sigma claims... as expected, none have panned out. Folks either walk back the original assertion, disappear, get banned, or just ignore any questions. One day I'm going to be pleasantly surprised... I just don't know when that day will come. To quote Carl Sagan, "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." A fairly reasonable rule to live by, I'd say.
Nice analogy! Lol you made me google 3-sigma: "In the empirical sciences the so-called three-sigma rule of thumb expresses a conventional heuristic that nearly all values are taken to lie within three standard deviations of the mean, and thus it is empirically useful to treat 99.7% probability as near certainty. "
 

Sardines

Professional
Did not get that, I guess that I kind of always believe what people are writing. I guess I am not that skeptical, perhaps even a bit naive, but I do believe in the good side of people I encounter.

I remember that Navigator questioned me too in the thread "Old fat guys and late beginners" where I claimed to be a 5.0 player, as we dont have this rating in Europe I downgraded myself to 4.5 to be on the safe side :)

Cheers, Toby
Haha it's a great attitude to have for the internet. I come here to glean 'good' information and share back to those who want it. I don't worry too much about other things. I guess that's one more thing getting older brings out, the ability to sift out what you don't need. Oh wait, the 'ignore' button is sort of the same thing! haha

The Wigwam Resorts top court is one of those strange, spongy surfaces and it drives me NUTS!
Do you know what court that is?
 
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Nice analogy! Lol you made me google 3-sigma: "In the empirical sciences the so-called three-sigma rule of thumb expresses a conventional heuristic that nearly all values are taken to lie within three standard deviations of the mean, and thus it is empirically useful to treat 99.7% probability as near certainty. "
A less technical way of expressing would be to claim you're from Missouri: the "Show Me" state.
 

navigator

Hall of Fame
@navigator I enjoy your post here, and I guess you are quite right. In my case I was perhaps too optimistic, I was playing with an American friend who complete in 5.5 US league (or something like that) and he told me that I was easy a 5.0 player. He was better than me but not by much, however he could also be telling stories as far as I know. But looking at posters her at 4.5 level videos, I can for sure be on the safe side when downgrading myself from 5.0 to 4.5. BUT thanks for pointing it out, now I feel much more comfortable knowing that I don't overestimate myself. Hopefully one day we can meet and have a friendly match, I think you play really well, but very different from me. All good. Cheers, Toby
Would love to play if I make it to your neighborhood, thanks. Actually, I think you mentioned a while back that you were going to start playing some ITF events. Coincidentally, I'm going to play two ITF events in Finland in July/August:
https://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100044899
https://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100045052

You should think about playing. These are two very big tournaments and pretty close to you.

Also, I don't know if you know this guy, but he lives near Copenhagen - I've met him at a few events, very nice guy - and is a good player: https://www.itftennis.com/seniors/players/player/profile.aspx?PlayerID=100334726
He plays with two FHs - one-handed off both sides. Very interesting.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Do you guys intensify your off court training with weights as you get older into the 50's ? Known fact that you start to lose your muscle mass as your testestrone level drops. But then if you intensify the weight training then there is more risk for injuries from workout as well. So it is bit of dilemma.
 

Hmgraphite1

Hall of Fame
Did a lot of walking lunges this week, the knee stabilization muscles felt really good.
My lower back and hip into serve loosened up like I remember serving last year. Continued dead lifts and squats w/body weight and 50lb bar. Did some treadmill all 4 directions.
Torso twists w/ 8.8lb plate while driving back foot to front foot, and open stance.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Do you guys intensify your off court training with weights as you get older into the 50's ? Known fact that you start to lose your muscle mass as your testestrone level drops. But then if you intensify the weight training then there is more risk for injuries from workout as well. So it is bit of dilemma.
If you know how to weight train properly there is little to no injury risk. Once you are older you have to forget about going for real heavy lifting because then you are risking injury. But if you gradually work up to moderately heavy weights you should have no problems.

I think that it is more important to lift as you get older because like you mentioned it helps keep your testosterone level up. But more than that it is just as important for preventing injuries. I feel because I have been lifting for years and still lift regularly that I prevent injury. If your muscles are strong they will support and protect your joints much more. I play the same grinding style that I always have and even though I’m in my early 60’s I play 5 days a week.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Did a lot of walking lunges this week, the knee stabilization muscles felt really good.
My lower back and hip into serve loosened up like I remember serving last year. Continued dead lifts and squats w/body weight and 50lb bar. Did some treadmill all 4 directions.
Torso twists w/ 8.8lb plate while driving back foot to front foot, and open stance.
That’s a good program you have going there. A lot of people don’t realize that body weight movements are excellent and you don’t always have to use weights or you can use just the bar like your doing. Walking lunges are very good for your legs and are tough to do plus they give you some cardio work also.
 

norcal

Hall of Fame
The #1 way to prevent falls as a senior citizen is....improving leg strength (no link, heard it being discussed on NPR I think).

I've seen it first hand, my mom is 81 and never really exercised and her leg strength has gone downhill fast and she is starting to have falls (broken thumb so far). I've always exercised a lot but stayed away from weights for the legs cause of sketchy knees. Now I do lots of bodyweight exercises with good form (walking lunges, squats) which don't bother my knees.

Also for the past 15-ish years I have used an exercise ball rather than an office chair while working. Works core, balance and posture pretty much non stop. Took some getting used to but now it's second nature.
 

user92626

Legend
Why is age a factor in recreational tennis? It's not like we have to meet a certain ranking or achievement!

I regularly play with a 74 years old man who loves singles and doubles. He plays with higher level players and is given handicaps. He plays great, runs, hit as best as he can. He loses some and wins some.

There are also a ton of 40-ish, 50ish players with better tennis skills but they strictly stay in doubles. Many of these guys seemly play well under their strength/speed/stamina as if they're lazy or really afraid of getting hurt! (Who the he|| gets hurt in rec tennis!!!?)

This goes to show that age is really not a factor here. It's personality, attitude and in a way work ethics. If you're lazy, scared, you'll play slow regardless of how old you are!!!
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Why is age a factor in recreational tennis? It's not like we have to meet a certain ranking or achievement!

I regularly play with a 74 years old man who loves singles and doubles. He plays with higher level players and is given handicaps. He plays great, runs, hit as best as he can. He loses some and wins some.

There are also a ton of 40-ish, 50ish players with better tennis skills but they strictly stay in doubles. Many of these guys seemly play well under their strength/speed/stamina as if they're lazy or really afraid of getting hurt! (Who the he|| gets hurt in rec tennis!!!?)

This goes to show that age is really not a factor here. It's personality, attitude and in a way work ethics. If you're lazy, scared, you'll play slow regardless of how old you are!!!
Sorry ... but if you have two hamstring injuries ... you will run scared, slower and cover less court. Who the hell gets hurt in rec tennis ... BBP.
 

user92626

Legend
Sorry ... but if you have two hamstring injuries ... you will run scared, slower and cover less court. Who the hell gets hurt in rec tennis ... BBP.
How did your two hamstring injuries happen?


You make it sound like your case is the rule for old ages rather than it's an exception.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
How did your two hamstring injuries happen?


You make it sound like your case is the rule for old ages rather than it's an exception.
Running.

I didn't make it sound like anything, just responding to your "interesting" question of who gets hurt in rec tennis.
 

user92626

Legend
Running.

I didn't make it sound like anything, just responding to your "interesting" question of who gets hurt in rec tennis.
So I am right then. You got hurt from running and not tennis.

Rec tennis is a harmless child play. Who the he|| gets hurt in rec tennis!!!? :)
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Why is age a factor in recreational tennis? It's not like we have to meet a certain ranking or achievement!

I regularly play with a 74 years old man who loves singles and doubles. He plays with higher level players and is given handicaps. He plays great, runs, hit as best as he can. He loses some and wins some.

There are also a ton of 40-ish, 50ish players with better tennis skills but they strictly stay in doubles. Many of these guys seemly play well under their strength/speed/stamina as if they're lazy or really afraid of getting hurt! (Who the he|| gets hurt in rec tennis!!!?)

This goes to show that age is really not a factor here. It's personality, attitude and in a way work ethics. If you're lazy, scared, you'll play slow regardless of how old you are!!!
I’ve noticed that many players once they are in their 40’s get a lot of injuries from rec tennis.
 

user92626

Legend
running on a tennis court ... and the way you play is child play ... not the way I play ... uh ... played. :cry:
Took you forever to get out some info. I doubt you were physically quick to the point that you injured yourself :)

Anyway, injury is something that I see posted or discussed in conversations but in 10 years I rarely saw anyone get injured at the court. There were a couple "rolled ankles" and a few falls and that was it, out of hundreds and hundreds of players and 10+ years!
 

Toby14

Semi-Pro
Would love to play if I make it to your neighborhood, thanks. Actually, I think you mentioned a while back that you were going to start playing some ITF events. Coincidentally, I'm going to play two ITF events in Finland in July/August:
https://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100044899
https://www.itftennis.com/seniors/tournaments/tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100045052

You should think about playing. These are two very big tournaments and pretty close to you.

Also, I don't know if you know this guy, but he lives near Copenhagen - I've met him at a few events, very nice guy - and is a good player: https://www.itftennis.com/seniors/players/player/profile.aspx?PlayerID=100334726
He plays with two FHs - one-handed off both sides. Very interesting.
Hi Navi, thank a lot man, I appreciate this very much. Cheers Toby
 

Fintft

Legend
So I am right then. You got hurt from running and not tennis.

Rec tennis is a harmless child play. Who the he|| gets hurt in rec tennis!!!? :)
It also depends in the surface (especially if you play matches): it's much easier to get hurt on hard courts then on clay.
If not hurt, then I would feel wear and tear at the end of an indoor season on hard courts, not so much on red clay.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
Finally getting some decent weather so I can play outside. This morning I went and hit with my wife for a little practice. Came home did my CrossFit workout and ran a mile, then took my daily nap. Got up and went to the park and played a couple sets.

The guy I played goes for a lot so points aren’t very long, he doesn’t let me get into too much grinding like I want so it’s not a very taxing match. This is how I adapt to getting older keep playing as much if not more than I did when I was younger. The human body is made to adapt if you work up to the stress you put on your body it can handle it. Plus I don’t think of age I think of what I need to do to improve my tennis.
 

Hmgraphite1

Hall of Fame
Finally got my headwound taken care of, doc cut a piece off my tossing shoulder 1x0.5inch and put it on my forehead. Weather was great here but had to take a few days off. Doc said if I had waited the thing would have just kept growing till it was the size of a plate, ... a lot more sewing for him.
 
Young guns who do nothing but tennis can't last a tournament without getting injured (see kyrgios, nishikori etc), you think old geezers won't get hurt playing? I'm lucky if I get out of bed without pulling something!
I am blessed to hit with elite D1 athletes on a regular basis. They are typically 18-22,years old and constantly hurt. To quote my friend (a wildly successful D1 coach) “Tennis is hard!!!”


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[QUOTE="tlm, post: 13240404, member: ] Plus I don’t think of age I think of what I need to do to improve my tennis.[/QUOTE]

Exactly! (Within the limits/context of one’s current physical abilities)

Love it @tlm!!!


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