Better tennis as I get older

  • Thread starter Deleted member 775668
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Deleted member 775668

Guest
I was wondering what others are doing to maintain themselves and their tennis game as they get older? I’ve noticed a big drop off of my game this past summer. I do know my play is half or less this year because of Covid but I’m just seeing big issues on executing shots this year that I did better last year. I’m in pretty decent shape for my age. I have kept up drills and a match once a week but the drilling seems to go out the door when I play a match. I see lack of power, movement and reaction speed, yikes sounds like age is kicking in on me. Just wondering how others are doing to keep their competitive edge. I have a 4.5 rating but would question my level in my singles play.

thanks
 

undecided

Semi-Pro
I was wondering what others are doing to maintain themselves and their tennis game as they get older? I’ve noticed a big drop off of my game this past summer. I do know my play is half or less this year because of Covid but I’m just seeing big issues on executing shots this year that I did better last year. I’m in pretty decent shape for my age. I have kept up drills and a match once a week but the drilling seems to go out the door when I play a match. I see lack of power, movement and reaction speed, yikes sounds like age is kicking in on me. Just wondering how others are doing to keep their competitive edge. I have a 4.5 rating but would question my level in my singles play.

thanks
My problem is mainly vision acuity going south and of course injuries which come and go. Other than that, things have actually improved, my BH is better than it's ever been.
 

golden chicken

Professional
I know being a kamikaze S&V guy is for the youngbloods, so I'm always working on the rest of my game. Trying to improve weaknesses I used to try to cover up.
 

RiverRat

New User
Yeah, we can improve our strokes, perhaps not the power. It brings me great joy to look good on a court when the ball comes close enough to me. ;) Also, we can make a special effort to exercise, so that our physiology erodes a little more slowly. I, too, was a S&V guy and a chip and charger. I used to be able to be more physical than the other guy. Those days are over. I am trying to learn how to conserve energy and win points in different ways. Kind of fun.
 

golden chicken

Professional
Yeah, we can improve our strokes, perhaps not the power. It brings me great joy to look good on a court when the ball comes close enough to me. ;) Also, we can make a special effort to exercise, so that our physiology erodes a little more slowly. I, too, was a S&V guy and a chip and charger. I used to be able to be more physical than the other guy. Those days are over. I am trying to learn how to conserve energy and win points in different ways. Kind of fun.
Just as my driving style changed as I got older, my playstyle is becoming more reliant on experience and more conservative, or "safer" choices, as opposed to quick reflexes and athleticism.
 
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Deleted member 775668

Guest
Now I’m getting some good responses. I’m 61 now but still move around the court pretty well, but I know that will not last. I guess the best way to say it is I’m starting to see a change in what I’ve been use to play as a game style. I too in my younger years did S/V and yes that takes strength and reaction speed that I long ago lost. My best description now is all-court type game. But I take the point from all here that there may be a change in strategy needed here. So I will certainly take the suggestions here and go forth.

Thanks all
 
I was wondering what others are doing to maintain themselves and their tennis game as they get older? I’ve noticed a big drop off of my game this past summer. I do know my play is half or less this year because of Covid but I’m just seeing big issues on executing shots this year that I did better last year. I’m in pretty decent shape for my age. I have kept up drills and a match once a week but the drilling seems to go out the door when I play a match. I see lack of power, movement and reaction speed, yikes sounds like age is kicking in on me. Just wondering how others are doing to keep their competitive edge. I have a 4.5 rating but would question my level in my singles play.

thanks
I'm playing more singles now than at any time since HS due to CV [all singles, in fact].

My main concern is injury prevention so I stretch plenty, use the foam roller and elastic bands, and some HIIT.
 

Rosstour

Hall of Fame
OP makes a post about age; doesn't state age. lol

I see he filled in the blank later, but still funny.
 

socallefty

Professional
I’m 52 and still play singles and doubles regularly every week with mostly 4.5 rated players. I do find that I‘ve lost back flexibility and some speed over the years, but don’t find much difference in endurance. So, kick serves and explosive quickness at the net are affected a bit compared to 15-20 years ago, but I don’t think ability to cover the court or play long rallies has been affected yet.

I’ve started taking lessons once a week since I turned 50 to improve my game further - I feel like I need to keep improving my technique/footwork to make up for any physical decline that happens over time. My coach is in his late twenties and played College/Futures tennis less than 7 years ago - the main benefit of playing with him weekly is hitting against the high quality of his shots and the movement drills he makes me do. He does help with minor technique tweaks as he has added more topspin to my shots with an increase of shot tolerance and better footwork - so, I play less defensively than in the past against better players which helps make up for any potential decline in court coverage. I feel that I notice what’s working or not working during a match quicker and make tactical adjustments much faster than when I was younger as ‘experience‘ does come with playing thousands of matches. Also, doubles skills have improved a lot as I started playing doubles seriously only in the last decade after I turned forty.
 

Injured Again

Hall of Fame
I didn't get to be 4.5 rated until my early 50's and I turn 59 in three days. My strokes are better now than they have ever been, and I'm honestly still able to see improvement in the technical production of my strokes. If my body holds out, I think I have another three or four years of continuing to improve my level of play, which at this point is 95% singles. It's a lot of work - there's a lot of time spent in the gym, and more time at home stretching several times during the day. I also have to eat well and sleep a lot - it's good that I love to do both of those things but they are critical. I fortunately retired at 55 and without doing that, I am sure I wouldn't be anywhere near the level of skill that I am today.
 

tennis347

Professional
I would just like to chime and say that at 53, I am still improving. The biggest improvement over the last few years is the serve and topspin OHB. The court coverage is still very good but I have lost a bit of stamina over the last number of years. I do find that the cross training with the cardio and strength training has enabled me to keep playing at the 4.5 level. I am a self taught player that has been playing for 30 years and came from a tennis family. I believe that my biggest improvement moving forward will be with the serve. I no longer play tournaments and work more on technique, footwork and being able stay injury free since I have some knee and shoulder issues over the last 10 years.
 

BumElbow

New User
I am 62. I now try to limit play to people around my own age. No more hitting with the below 50 age group - they hit the ball too hard. I have also limited my play to doubles and am trying to lose weight and be fitter. I am still working full-time and live in an unfriendly tennis area with cold winters and limited courts. I am considering joining a tennis country club despite the expense and the travel required. My goal is to just enjoy the tennis and to be around like minded people. As of this writing, I am not yet at the dink and lob stage because I still like to drive the ball. To add power, I am stringing my racquets looser. To be kind to my body, I am hitting the ball flatter. My signature 1-handed topspin backhand may have to be replaced with a slice because it's less physically taxing. Likewise, the kick serve will go the same route. Why? Because hitting the ball hard is no longer a priority. Now my priority is making sure I am injury free and have a game that lets me play for as long as I can. I love to complete but can only take it a match at a time.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
I play mostly doubles these days at 55. Singles I can play but tennis is a social thing for me and I actually prefer the team aspects of doubles.
I'm probably plateaued at a good 3.5, low 4.0 level. much of the problem is nagging injuries and time to practice. Hard to fit in anything else but a few matches of doubles in per week.

I'd say the other thing that is holding improvement back is declining vision with age. I probably should invest in sports specific lenses but as a lifelong non-glasses person I'm just never comfortable playing with prescription lenses. I even hate sunglasses and use them only if the sun is right in my eyes.
 

Humbi_HTX

New User
If you play better as you got older only means you sucked at tennis when you were younger.
I for sure did when I was young, I always played soccer competitively at recreational leagues and the schools team, while my younger brother was breaking strings and playing with a Vlk c10pro tour w/ kevlar hybrids since 12 and was on the middle and hs teams, he still wipes the court with me.

Everyone get's old.
Lower your expectations.
Try being 71.
My dad is 71, I am 35, he is still teaching me tennis. I had learned how to hit while my brother practice and I would feed balls or try to return something back, but I never learned how to play tennis until not long ago and he is still teaching me. I enjoy playing doubles with him a lot, it really has develop a bond.
 

tennytive

Professional
At 70 I still play singles for 90 to 180 minutes. Unfortunately after not playing for 3 years due to court resurfacing and covid shut downs, I've regressed due to mobility.
Balls I could get to before and put away I'm a half step too slow now and cough up a short ball or miss the shot completely.
The guys I played with 3 years ago have all given up tennis except for one who's 20 years younger and can still get to every shot I think is a winner and hit it back just out of my reach.
Out of the 9 sets we've played I've won four, but I'm toast after and really feel it the next day. I weigh pretty much the same as always but my legs just won't get me to where my eyes and memory think I can. It would seem as though I'm playing Canadian doubles against my opponent and Father Time. Not to mention that not hitting for 3 years and then thinking I could pick up where I left off has led to golfer's elbow… another consequence of aging, quick to injure and slow to heal.

As far as playing better vs younger, I disagree as the new rackets and strings make the game easier and thus more fun.
 

undecided

Semi-Pro
At 70 I still play singles for 90 to 180 minutes. Unfortunately after not playing for 3 years due to court resurfacing and covid shut downs, I've regressed due to mobility.
Balls I could get to before and put away I'm a half step too slow now and cough up a short ball or miss the shot completely.
The guys I played with 3 years ago have all given up tennis except for one who's 20 years younger and can still get to every shot I think is a winner and hit it back just out of my reach.
Out of the 9 sets we've played I've won four, but I'm toast after and really feel it the next day. I weigh pretty much the same as always but my legs just won't get me to where my eyes and memory think I can. It would seem as though I'm playing Canadian doubles against my opponent and Father Time. Not to mention that not hitting for 3 years and then thinking I could pick up where I left off has led to golfer's elbow… another consequence of aging, quick to injure and slow to heal.

As far as playing better vs younger, I disagree as the new rackets and strings make the game easier and thus more fun.
Keep it up. After having not played for 9-10 months because of shoulder injury, I found that movement was the one thing that suffered the most. After 2.5 months, movement is coming back. I am a bit younger than you though (55).
 
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