Brutal Costs Associated with Making Noah Rubin a Pro Tennis Player

haqq777

Legend
Since Rubin upset 17th seed Paire, it got me reading a bit about the kid - I have not particularly followed Noah Rubin, but I came across this article from last year. I knew the costs associated with becoming a pro-tennis player were really high but I always think the individual talent and capacity should be kept in mind before going crazy about spending till you go broke or ultimately getting close to bankruptcy.

Here is the article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2015-08-28/costs-of-noah-rubin-becoming-the-world-s-631st-best-tennis-player - it was published in Aug last year so it's not that old.

Do you guys think spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on someone like Noah Rubin are worth it? The article points out that "The U.S. Tennis Association estimated in 2010 that the annual average cost to be a “highly competitive” professional tennis player was $143,000—including $70,000 for coaching and $60,000 for travel—and that only the 164 highest-ranked players on the men’s tour would have broken even with such costs".

Don't get me wrong, I'm a father myself and I would do anything to help my son follow his dream, but where does one draw a line? I never really heard of Noah Rubin as a talented prospect. Maybe I wasnt paying attention. The article claims hundred of thousand of dollars were spent on Noah Rubin's training and the kid's tennis had an effect on the family's financial and emotional stability as well.

To me it seems like programming a kid from a very young age, brain washing him/her telling them they need to be professional players. I know a lot of parents are culprits here having seen how competitive parents can get. And that is why there is a dismal success ratio for teen prodigies in US making it big, in my opinion.

Granted, in this case, maybe Noah wanted to become a pro from an early age himself and wasnt forced. And maybe he did win in early age But still. Is he naturally that talented that he can get himself in the upper echelon of tennis greatness? At 19 he is barely 5'10 and 145 pounds. To be honest I do not even see him as a top level guy. I hope he proves me wrong (we can def use new up and coming tennis players here in the US of A) but so far he has seemed nothing extraordinary.

Maybe if I saw him practice and hitting I could change my opinion of him? Who knows. On TV replays he certainly does not stand out to me.

Any avid fans of Rubin care to share info/thoughts on this?
 
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tennisaddict

Bionic Poster
Paire said after the match that Noah Rubin is a really bad player and he played so bad to lose against such a bad player.

I thought Noah played a decent game for his first ATP match
 

haqq777

Legend
Paire said after the match that Noah Rubin is a really bad player and he played so bad to lose against such a bad player.

I thought Noah played a decent game for his first ATP match
Oh wow, that is not very sportsmanlike of Paire. Did he say it in his post-match interview? I saw the match replay too. I thought it was decent enough performance by Rubin. Paire did have an overwhelming number of UEs (72 or 73 I think).
 
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Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Since Rubin upset 17th seed Paire, it got me reading a bit about the kid - I have not particularly followed Noah Rubin, but I came across this article from last year. I knew the costs associated with becoming a pro-tennis player were really high but I always think the individual talent and capacity should be kept in mind before going crazy about spending till you go broke or ultimately getting close to bankruptcy.

Here is the article: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2015-08-28/costs-of-noah-rubin-becoming-the-world-s-631st-best-tennis-player - it was published in Aug last year so it's not that old.

Do you guys think spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on someone like Noah Rubin are worth it? The article points out that "The U.S. Tennis Association estimated in 2010 that the annual average cost to be a “highly competitive” professional tennis player was $143,000—including $70,000 for coaching and $60,000 for travel—and that only the 164 highest-ranked players on the men’s tour would have broken even with such costs".

Don't get me wrong, I'm a father myself and I would do anything to help my son follow his dream, but where does one draw a line? I never really heard of Noah Rubin as a talented prospect. Maybe I wasnt paying attention. The article claims hundred of thousand of dollars were spent on Noah Rubin's training and the kid's tennis had an effect on the family's financial and emotional stability as well.

To me it seems like programming a kid from a very young age, brain washing him/her telling them they need to be professional players. I know a lot of parents are culprits here having seen how competitive parents can get. And that is why there is a dismal success ratio for teen prodigies in US making it big, in my opinion.

Granted, in this case, maybe Noah wanted to become a pro from an early age himself and wasnt forced. And maybe he did win in early age But still. Is he naturally that talented that he can get himself in the upper echelon of tennis greatness? At 19 he is barely 5'10 and 145 pounds. To be honest I do not even see him as a top level guy. I hope he proves me wrong (we can def use new up and coming tennis players here in the US of A) but so far he has seemed nothing extraordinary.

Maybe if I saw him practice and hitting I could change my opinion of him? Who knows. On TV replays he certainly does not stand out to me.

Any avid fans of Rubin care to share info/thoughts on this?
how do you know he isn't as talented as David Ferrer ?
 

haqq777

Legend
how do you know he isn't as talented as David Ferrer ?
Because I have seen them both play. Rubin is nowhere close to Ferrer in my humble opinion. Not yet anyway. Maybe he is young, but no telling signs that he will become a Ferrer one day either. Subpar fitness at the moment, for one. Lacks the speed and hustle that Ferrer has, second. I hope he climbs up the rankings ladder but I do not see any special weapons he has that might make him better than his fellow pros of his age.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
Paire looked injured. Serve was crap and literally couldn't hit a forehand. Resorted to slice forehands much of the time.

Rubin doesn't have the kind of game to worry any (top) pro. He's going to have mostly a challenger level career imo
 

haqq777

Legend
Paire looked injured. Serve was crap and literally couldn't hit a forehand. Resorted to slice forehands much of the time.

Rubin doesn't have the kind of game to worry any (top) pro. He's going to have mostly a challenger level career imo
Paire had unusually high number of winners and UEs too. Had 62 winners (to Rubin's 22) and 72 UEs. High risk game. You could tell he was just not into building rhythm and that something was up. Not your regular day at the office.
 

stoo

Semi-Pro
I often wonder how much these child to pro players' parents do this kind of thing out of love for their child as opposed to living the fame and hopeful glory through them. Far too often you read about parents that stop at nothing to have their kids make the big time only to alienate them along the way or once and if they get there.
 

haqq777

Legend
I often wonder how much these child to pro players' parents do this kind of thing out of love for their child as opposed to living the fame and hopeful glory through them. Far too often you read about parents that stop at nothing to have their kids make the big time only to alienate them along the way or once and if they get there.
It definitely has an affect on the child too, dealing with all sorts of pressure and expectations. It is extremely hard to strike the right balance between motivating the child versus leading them into path of self-destruction. Kids are like sponges, they absorb everything going around them. The negativity and pressure gets to them more than their parents.
 
I believe that the most reliable estimate used to be 10,000 children attempted to become a professional tennis player for every one who makes it into the top 100 at some point in his or her career. But I also think that that stat is from 20 years ago or so. It may well have increased since then.

The point is that the decision is made long in advance of any secure knowledge about how good the player is likely to be. In Rubin's case, it was probably pre-puberty and so his eventual size was unknown. It probably wasn't a wise decision, but most parents are predisposed to think that their child is the exception who can defy the long odds, while the USTA has to back a few young players.
 

Ronaldo

Talk Tennis Guru
I believe that the most reliable estimate used to be 10,000 children attempted to become a professional tennis player for every one who makes it into the top 100 at some point in his or her career. But I also think that that stat is from 20 years ago or so. It may well have increased since then.

The point is that the decision is made long in advance of any secure knowledge about how good the player is likely to be. In Rubin's case, it was probably pre-puberty and so his eventual size was unknown. It probably wasn't a wise decision, but most parents are predisposed to think that their child is the exception who can defy the long odds, while the USTA has to back a few young players.
Surprised more take the college route, then teach.
 

haqq777

Legend
The point is that the decision is made long in advance of any secure knowledge about how good the player is likely to be. In Rubin's case, it was probably pre-puberty and so his eventual size was unknown. It probably wasn't a wise decision, but most parents are predisposed to think that their child is the exception who can defy the long odds, while the USTA has to back a few young players.
Oh I definitely agree about the bit where parents think their child has God given talent. In Rubin's case, as the article mentions, his ITF profile states he starting playing tennis at age 1. Won't be too far-fetched to suggest that it was put in his head that he is going to be a pro player from when he hadn't even started potty training running about properly (have a young one who is going to start soon so I can attest to this:1 year olds can in no way play tennis). So yes, while the outcome may have come out to be okay today (I don't see Rubin winning any slams), it was a big gamble. You can always tell the talented ones from early on too. If he wasnt showing remarkable results at a very early age, well, should have been clear then. I hit with some pretty talented kids in college, who I know were as good as Rubin (and younger). Just didn't pursue post-college because of the odds and the fact that it just didnt pan out. They're doing well now financially, but as the article points out, if you're not ranked 164th or above on the tour in this day and age, you barely break even.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
I'm shocked you can be as low as 164th and break even. I remember an article on Paul Goldstein several years ago, and he said it was hard to break even being ranked around 70. Guess the prize money is much bigger now and even the lower ranked players are benefitting some
 

Shaolin

G.O.A.T.
I'm shocked you can be as low as 164th and break even. I remember an article on Paul Goldstein several years ago, and he said it was hard to break even being ranked around 70. Guess the prize money is much bigger now and even the lower ranked players are benefitting some
Yeah Ive heard you aren't breaking even till around 100.
 
People spend money at vastly different rates from each other, so it won't be possible to specify precisely the "break-even point." It will depend on such things as: what type of hotel you regard as acceptably clean and safe, which flights you are willing to take in between tournaments and how many stopovers you're willing to endure, how much you need to be offered before you are willing to throw a match, the size of your coaching staff, and so on.
 
Oh I definitely agree about the bit where parents think their child has God given talent. In Rubin's case, as the article mentions, his ITF profile states he starting playing tennis at age 1. Won't be too far-fetched to suggest that it was put in his head that he is going to be a pro player from when he hadn't even started potty training running about properly (have a young one who is going to start soon so I can attest to this:1 year olds can in no way play tennis). So yes, while the outcome may have come out to be okay today (I don't see Rubin winning any slams), it was a big gamble. You can always tell the talented ones from early on too. If he wasnt showing remarkable results at a very early age, well, should have been clear then. I hit with some pretty talented kids in college, who I know were as good as Rubin (and younger). Just didn't pursue post-college because of the odds and the fact that it just didnt pan out. They're doing well now financially, but as the article points out, if you're not ranked 164th or above on the tour in this day and age, you barely break even.
Even at #321 in the world, Noah Rubin has turned out to be far closer to achieving success than 99% or more of those who make some sort of attempt to pursue a career as a tennis player.

The bar of success isn't set nearly as high as winning a Slam. Even maintaining a top 100 ranking for a decade would be a remarkable success.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
People spend money at vastly different rates from each other, so it won't be possible to specify precisely the "break-even point." It will depend on such things as: what type of hotel you regard as acceptably clean and safe, which flights you are willing to take in between tournaments and how many stopovers you're willing to endure, how much you need to be offered before you are willing to throw a match, the size of your coaching staff, and so on.
Yes, we're averaging. Dustin Brown probably breaks even for example, but few want to live his lifestyle while playing pro tennis
 

citybert

Hall of Fame
Doesnt USTA pay for all the training? But if you take their money you have to use their staff which a lot people dont like. Its been reported that Canada you can use your own people with their funds.
 

haqq777

Legend
The bar of success isn't set nearly as high as winning a Slam. Even maintaining a top 100 ranking for a decade would be a remarkable success.
Success is a pretty relative term here. Try telling Rubin's parents who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on him that he's barely top 100 material - or that as a pro he'll barely be making even.
 
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haqq777

Legend
People spend money at vastly different rates from each other, so it won't be possible to specify precisely the "break-even point." It will depend on such things as: what type of hotel you regard as acceptably clean and safe, which flights you are willing to take in between tournaments and how many stopovers you're willing to endure, how much you need to be offered before you are willing to throw a match, the size of your coaching staff, and so on.
We're going by averaging the costs. Could be plus or minus as long as it is not an outlier.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
Life in a van down by the river is not desirable?
To be honest, it sounds like a blast to the 20 something year old me.

I think TT poster @Moz is doing something like this right now and seems to be having a blast, and I think he's over 40.

@LeeD has done something similar his whole life, and though he takes some razzing here, his life sounded pretty fun to me
 

Firstservingman

Talk Tennis Guru
Paire said after the match that Noah Rubin is a really bad player and he played so bad to lose against such a bad player.

I thought Noah played a decent game for his first ATP match
To be fair, that's Benoit Paire saying that though, so doesn't mean much.
I'm pretty sure most of the French players are spectacularly bad sports (comes from never winning methinks).
Tsonga the notable exception.

My worry is that Rubin is apparently 5' 10".
That could hinder him.
 

President

Legend
To be fair, that's Benoit Paire saying that though, so doesn't mean much.
I'm pretty sure most of the French players are spectacularly bad sports (comes from never winning methinks).
Tsonga the notable exception.

My worry is that Rubin is apparently 5' 10".
That could hinder him.
Gasquet, Monfils, Simon, and Tsonga are all fine losers I think, particularly Monfils who is very gracious.
 

ThunderSnap

Rookie
Oh I definitely agree about the bit where parents think their child has God given talent. In Rubin's case, as the article mentions, his ITF profile states he starting playing tennis at age 1. Won't be too far-fetched to suggest that it was put in his head that he is going to be a pro player from when he hadn't even started potty training running about properly (have a young one who is going to start soon so I can attest to this:1 year olds can in no way play tennis). So yes, while the outcome may have come out to be okay today (I don't see Rubin winning any slams), it was a big gamble. You can always tell the talented ones from early on too. If he wasnt showing remarkable results at a very early age, well, should have been clear then. I hit with some pretty talented kids in college, who I know were as good as Rubin (and younger). Just didn't pursue post-college because of the odds and the fact that it just didnt pan out. They're doing well now financially, but as the article points out, if you're not ranked 164th or above on the tour in this day and age, you barely break even.
What would you consider to be "remarkable results at a very early age"? In the article it said that by the age of seven Rubin was beating players twice his age
 
Success is a pretty relative term here. Try telling Rubin's parents who spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on him that he's barely top 100 material - or that as a pro he'll barely be making even.
Sure, there will be problems of excessive expectations. That said, if he were to maintain a top 100 ranking for the better part of, let's say, a decade, I'm pretty sure he would over time earn quite a bit, have a perfectly respectable middle-class lifestyle, and end his career with decent options for things to do after that. It's not the dream, but I think if he achieved that, his parents would come to think the risk had pay off. I'm sure they have been told many times that the overwhelming likelihood is that they spend this money and don't get back what they spend. Top 100 is in the top 1-2% of possible outcomes, and it would be silly to end up viewing it as a failure.
 

smalahove

Hall of Fame
Paire played mindnumbingly bad - compared to his average std. He was also totally exhausted at times, and it seemed he was affected by the temperature.

I watched a bit of the game, and imo, Rubin's game is average, at best. Maybe he can achieve a level similar to Kohlschreiber - over time.

Classless of Paire, yes, but true nevertheless.
 
Paire played mindnumbingly bad - compared to his average std. He was also totally exhausted at times, and it seemed he was affected by the temperature.

I watched a bit of the game, and imo, Rubin's game is average, at best. Maybe he can achieve a level similar to Kohlschreiber - over time.

Classless of Paire, yes, but true nevertheless.
@haqqani1777
This is a good example of the problem. Kohlschreiber is so far above average that it shows the issue to be unrealistic expectations. Kohlschreiber's highest ranking is #16, he's won six titles, (on three different surfaces), from 13 finals, he's made a GS quarter-final, as well as the last 16 of all four Slams, and he's finished in the top 50 for nine straight years (eight of them in the top 40), as well as being in the top 100 for 11 years in a row. If I was right earlier that 1 in 10,000 aspirant professionals cracks the top 100 (e.g. 0.01% make it that far), then Kohlschreiber is likely in the top 0.0001% of all those who try to make it as a pro. Furthermore, his career earnings are $8.5 million from on-court prize money alone. How many 32-year-olds have earned that much money? Of course, his expenses are far higher than most, but he is doing far better than breaking even, especially as he must receive at least some money in endorsements and appearance fees.

Even Noah Rubin, who is already probably within the most successful 0.1% of all those who try to make it as a pro, will be doing very, very well to have a career as good as Philipp Kohlschreiber has had (and continues to have, despite his disappointingly heavy defeat yesterday).
 

RSH

Professional
People spend money at vastly different rates from each other, so it won't be possible to specify precisely the "break-even point." It will depend on such things as: what type of hotel you regard as acceptably clean and safe, which flights you are willing to take in between tournaments and how many stopovers you're willing to endure, how much you need to be offered before you are willing to throw a match, the size of your coaching staff, and so on.
I can't tell if this part is serious or a joke, but I lol'ed for real.
 
I can't tell if this part is serious or a joke, but I lol'ed for real.
I just decided to throw it in there for some light relief. There's supposed to be truth in every jest, though, and it is true that I am less bothered by the match-fixing scandal than most people appear to be.
 

Bobby Jr

G.O.A.T.
My worry is that Rubin is apparently 5' 10".
That could hinder him.
Yep, from the match stats... They played 160 points and Rubin only hit 22 winners in the entire match. Paire hit 61 and still lost badly because of his large number of unforced errors (especially compared to Rubin).

Rubin is going to have a tough career unless he finds a David Gofin-like ability to hit the ball. The days are all-but over where small guys who can't play offensive tennis make many waves at the top level imo.
 

haqq777

Legend
What would you consider to be "remarkable results at a very early age"? In the article it said that by the age of seven Rubin was beating players twice his age
Look up Novak or Rafa's achievements at same age and compare. Even some of his contemporaries are better if you compare age and achievements.
 

haqq777

Legend
@haqqani1777
This is a good example of the problem. Kohlschreiber is so far above average that it shows the issue to be unrealistic expectations. Kohlschreiber's highest ranking is #16, he's won six titles, (on three different surfaces), from 13 finals, he's made a GS quarter-final, as well as the last 16 of all four Slams, and he's finished in the top 50 for nine straight years (eight of them in the top 40), as well as being in the top 100 for 11 years in a row. If I was right earlier that 1 in 10,000 aspirant professionals cracks the top 100 (e.g. 0.01% make it that far), then Kohlschreiber is likely in the top 0.0001% of all those who try to make it as a pro. Furthermore, his career earnings are $8.5 million from on-court prize money alone. How many 32-year-olds have earned that much money? Of course, his expenses are far higher than most, but he is doing far better than breaking even, especially as he must receive at least some money in endorsements and appearance fees.

Even Noah Rubin, who is already probably within the most successful 0.1% of all those who try to make it as a pro, will be doing very, very well to have a career as good as Philipp Kohlschreiber has had (and continues to have, despite his disappointingly heavy defeat yesterday).
I think you misunderstood the initial comment about breaking even (or maybe I didn't say it clearly) and might be over-analyzing it all a bit, in my humble opinion. The article suggests that it takes about 164th ranking to be able to break even in terms of costs vis-a-vis earnings. Taking that info prima-facie, unless Noah Rubin reaches that ranking, he will not make much of his career. That is the point I'm making. We can talk about Kohlschreiber all we want. He has been top 50 for almost a decade. Rubin hasn't. He hasn't even made 164th yet. In the end, it's all pretty subjective. On a realistic note, I'm sure no parent wants their kid to just break even and not have a great lifestyle - especially after investing hundreds of thousands of dollars. A college education would come more in handy for the kid, in that case.
 
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