Is Tennis A Sport of Privilege and Status?

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RyanRF

Professional
Obviously private clubs/academies are representative of privilege. However, the majority of tennis is played outside of these settings. Courts are frequently public and free. Equipment is relatively inexpensive.

Privileged sports would be things like horse sports, boat sports, and golf.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
As much as I think they are great discussions and appreciate them, there are SOOOOOOO many ads on YT. It stopped and played an ad several times in the first 10 or minutes alone so I just stopped. Not sure if that is YT's doing or if ET has any control over it, but it really makes it tough to sit through for me.

As for privledge...this.

Obviously private clubs/academies are representative of privilege. However, the majority of tennis is played outside of these settings. Courts are frequently public and free. Equipment is relatively inexpensive.

Privileged sports would be things like horse sports, boat sports, and golf.
The concepts of equity and privileged are really being misused by the current cancel culture to feel empowered in someway. I can't figure it out, but profiling seems to be the latest retro movement, unfortunately. There is no divide for access, except when people want to create it in their minds. Sure, we can look in the past of what was a prolific social class sport, but it has long since been at almost every city park.
 

Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
As much as I think they are great discussions and appreciate them, there are SOOOOOOO many ads on YT. It stopped and played an ad several times in the first 10 or minutes alone so I just stopped. Not sure if that is YT's doing or if ET has any control over it, but it really makes it tough to sit through for me.

As for privledge...this.



The concepts of equity and privileged are really being misused by the current cancel culture to feel empowered in someway. I can't figure it out, but profiling seems to be the latest retro movement, unfortunately. There is no divide for access, except when people want to create it in their minds. Sure, we can look in the past of what was a prolific social class sport, but it has long since been at almost every city park.
I enjoy your posts but talking about "current cancel culture" got me puzzled... is this when GOP or Q-Anon, can't remember which, canceled Starbucks, Walmart, the NFL or more recently MLB?
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I enjoy your posts but talking about "current cancel culture" got me puzzled... is this when GOP or Q-Anon, can't remember which, canceled Starbucks, Walmart, the NFL or more recently MLB?
That was some of the latest iterations, but I was more referring to early on where cancelling was summarily dismissing something - anything that is not inline with their personal belief, they cancel or dismiss. To me, it is the antithesis to equity.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
I wonder if his view numbers will dip dramatically after the GSG match is shown. He's got nothing new to discuss it seems.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
I wonder if his view numbers will dip dramatically after the GSG match is shown. He's got nothing new to discuss it seems.

Nah. His numbers would dip if he continued on the coaching lines. Seriously, go to YT and search any technique of concept in tennis and you will find a few dozen people taking the EXACT same information, repackaging it with their own names and little twists, and selling it. So a new channel with the new twist on old stuff peaks quick, but dies within a few years. Iam is smart to incorporate something that is more continuous and breathing with live match and edited match play. You never know exactly what is going to happen. I mean, GSG will peak numbers and there will be some lag, but people are always looking to watch sports, even high level rec, which seems even more relatable and attainable than pro sports for many.
 

bobleenov1963

Professional
Obviously private clubs/academies are representative of privilege. However, the majority of tennis is played outside of these settings. Courts are frequently public and free. Equipment is relatively inexpensive.

Privileged sports would be things like horse sports, boat sports, and golf.
I think "relatively inexpensive" depends on your income and where you live. If you live in a wealthy zip code, you will find public tennis courts every where within the county, and that the public tennis courts are very well maintained and clean. If you live a in less desirable zip code, you will find less access to public tennis courts, and the tennis courts often have cracks and poorly maintained. it has to do with funding and property taxes.

One can argue that if you live in a less desirable zip code, you can always get up and drive to a wealthier zip code and play tennis there. That creates another problem, lack of transportation and if you're People of Color (POC), people in the wealthier neighborhood might call police on you. It is sad but true.

I am staying in Cocoa beach Florida during covid-19 and it occurs to me the other day that the city is over 95% white with very few POC like myself. It does not bother me but I do get a weird look from time to time in the past few months.
 

RyanRF

Professional
I think "relatively inexpensive" depends on your income and where you live. If you live in a wealthy zip code, you will find public tennis courts every where within the county, and that the public tennis courts are very well maintained and clean. If you live a in less desirable zip code, you will find less access to public tennis courts, and the tennis courts often have cracks and poorly maintained. it has to do with funding and property taxes.
Yea that is definitely a fair point. Some zip codes don't have well-maintained public courts... and those zip codes tend to be in low income areas.

Overall though I'd still say tennis is not that privileged.
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
Tennis is a global sport, and almost everywhere in the world it is relatively expensive. More expensive than tennis are the motor sports, horses and golf.

:cool:
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Nah. His numbers would dip if he continued on the coaching lines. Seriously, go to YT and search any technique of concept in tennis and you will find a few dozen people taking the EXACT same information, repackaging it with their own names and little twists, and selling it. So a new channel with the new twist on old stuff peaks quick, but dies within a few years. Iam is smart to incorporate something that is more continuous and breathing with live match and edited match play. You never know exactly what is going to happen. I mean, GSG will peak numbers and there will be some lag, but people are always looking to watch sports, even high level rec, which seems even more relatable and attainable than pro sports for many.
that's what I'm saying. There's nothing new for him to coach and really interest me after the GSG match. The doubles matches get less than 50% views than his singles matches and are less than even this teaching vids.
 

Purestriker

New User
Obviously private clubs/academies are representative of privilege. However, the majority of tennis is played outside of these settings. Courts are frequently public and free. Equipment is relatively inexpensive.

Privileged sports would be things like horse sports, boat sports, and golf.
I recall listening to a Racquet Podcast with Patrick McEnroe where he said tennis in the US has become sport for the privileged ("a lot of parents with Rolex's").
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
that's what I'm saying. There's nothing new for him to coach and really interest me after the GSG match. The doubles matches get less than 50% views than his singles matches and are less than even this teaching vids.

Tennis is usually no more than a 10k viewing affair, so he is doing better than most there. I doubt he will see a 100k subscriber plate or hit 1 million views ever. If he can make $100k per year doing matches and playing, along with some coaching, he is living well.
 

Purestriker

New User
I think that just speaks to Pat McEnroe's social circles :rolleyes:
At the time he was speaking on his experience as the General Manager of USTA player development. He also actively supports his brothers tennis project which provides access to under privileged kids in NYC.
 

PKorda

Rookie
Tennis is a global sport, and almost everywhere in the world it is relatively expensive. More expensive than tennis are the motor sports, horses and golf.

:cool:
Factoring all the equipment including rackets, string ( I do string my own rackets), balls and sneakers it probably costs me about a $1.50 an hour to play ( I don’t play much in winter so don’t have much indoor court costs.)

ETA: didn’t include balls which would bump cost closer to $2.50/hr
 
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cha cha

New User
I envy you Americans and your public courts. This institution simply doesn't exist here. It's all private clubs here, all clay, all paid and all locked down since last autumn.
 

RyanRF

Professional
At the time he was speaking on his experience as the General Manager of USTA player development. He also actively supports his brothers tennis project which provides access to under privileged kids in NYC.
I'd argue that "playing tennis" and "player development" are two very different things.
  • Development of a top junior athlete is an expensive and exclusive thing for all sports.
  • Recreational play is expensive and exclusive for some sports, but not too bad for others.
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
Factoring all the equipment including rackets, string ( I do string my own rackets), balls and sneakers it probably costs me about a $1.50 an hour to play ( I don’t play much in winter so don’t have much indoor court costs.)
That is a false "calculation", as most people who play tennis don't string their own racquets, don't play on public courts and don't stop in the winter (if they play seriously). That also doesn't include your medical bills, your transport costs related to your tennis, your bills for tennis lessons, your bills for your "other" tennis equipment (you don't string your racquets with your bare hands, do you) etc?

In short, you are lying to yourself what your actual costs are, and you are misrepresenting what it costs you to play tennis, and even then you are probably in the very slim group from the tennis population.

:cool:
 

PKorda

Rookie
That is a false "calculation", as most people who play tennis don't string their own racquets, don't play on public courts and don't stop in the winter (if they play seriously). That also doesn't include your medical bills, your transport costs related to your tennis, your bills for tennis lessons, your bills for your "other" tennis equipment (you don't string your racquets with your bare hands, do you) etc?

In short, you are lying to yourself what your actual costs are, and you are misrepresenting what it costs you to play tennis, and even then you are probably in the very slim group from the tennis population.

:cool:
I was providing info for me personally. I’m also buying premium equipment. Anyone can buy a stringer for a one time cost 300 bucks and learn to string. At least in US most people can play pretty cheaply recreationally. I can’t speak to other countries. Also to be an elite player generally requires privilege I will acknowledge although there are exceptions.
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
I was providing info for me personally. I’m also buying premium equipment. Anyone can buy a stringer for a one time cost 300 bucks and learn to string. At least in US most people can play pretty cheaply recreationally. I can’t speak to other countries. Also to be an elite player requires privilege I will acknowledge.
Yes, it became clear from your post that you are trying to justify your own calculation, but, unless one is a complete cheapskate, and cuts down considerably on the actual full experience from playing tennis as a hobby, it is not "cheap" by any means, and that in countries which maintain a cheap public infrastructure. That is not the case almost anywhere outside of the USA.

:cool:
 

PKorda

Rookie
Yes, it became clear from your post that you are trying to justify your own calculation, but, unless one is a complete cheapskate, and cuts down considerably on the actual full experience from playing tennis as a hobby, it is not "cheap" by any means, and that in countries which maintain a cheap public infrastructure. That is not the case almost anywhere outside of the USA.

:cool:
I was speaking generally for the country I live in. You’re right I didn’t approach the question from a global perspective which I don’t know much about.
 
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Is Tennis A Sport of Privilege and Status?
Absolutely not! Get a job! This one's been done to death--not going to waste any time on it--rubbish thread--does the boss know you're trolling on his time? Tough times in Boca.
 
I’m not sure what he’s getting at, every individual is unique in some way. Sure, private clubs will most likely have a wealthier demographic, but public courts are abundant in the US and other countries. If tennis is a lifetime sport, meaning a higher percentage of recreational tennis are older compared to other sports, and older individuals have higher levels of savings, then it’s common sense that the average tennis player would have more money. That’s just basic statistics.
 
Reading most of the comments, I'd just say that for a cheap sport, it sure looks like a lot of rich people are into it.
Well if it’s a lifetime sport, and older people have more savings from working longer, isn’t that just simple math? If you’re comparing rec tennis players to rec basketball players, you’re basically saying that 45 year olds have more savings than 35 year olds. If the older demographic didn’t come out on top then there would be a big problem since that would mean that working longer provides a negative income.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
It costs me about $5/hour in equipment (racquet $0.5, strings $2, shoes $1.50, balls $1) and another $5/hour in club membership fees. So, about $10/hour total for about 400 hours of fun, exercise and socializing every year.
 

Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
Well if it’s a lifetime sport, and older people have more savings from working longer, isn’t that just simple math? If you’re comparing rec tennis players to rec basketball players, you’re basically saying that 45 year olds have more savings than 35 year olds. If the older demographic didn’t come out on top then there would be a big problem since that would mean that working longer provides a negative income.
Yes, the reason you become rich is by saving. Also can you post a picture of the gold watch you got from working at Sears for 50 years?
 

Dragy

Legend
As much as I think they are great discussions and appreciate them, there are SOOOOOOO many ads on YT. It stopped and played an ad several times in the first 10 or minutes alone so I just stopped. Not sure if that is YT's doing or if ET has any control over it, but it really makes it tough to sit through for me.
Mind you, it's Mark Sansait channel...
 
Yes, the reason you become rich is by saving. Also can you post a picture of the gold watch you got from working at Sears for 50 years?
Well saving and keeping expenses low to invest, but I digress... I’m much younger than 50, but if I did work at Sears I’d expect the employees at the same level but 20 years more experience than me to have more savings
 

Purestriker

New User
I'd argue that "playing tennis" and "player development" are two very different things.
  • Development of a top junior athlete is an expensive and exclusive thing for all sports.
  • Recreational play is expensive and exclusive for some sports, but not too bad for others.
I agree with that. I also think it depends on where you live. There are a lot of public courts out west and on the east coast. However, in the south most of the public courts are not well maintained and you don't have access to affordable instruction.
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
I agree with that. I also think it depends on where you live. There are a lot of public courts out west and on the east coast. However, in the south most of the public courts are not well maintained and you don't have access to affordable instruction.
What is the average price of an hour of tennis lesson in the USA?

:cool:
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
This is more a socialized issue than anything about privileged or equity. I agree that access to courts in different zip codes might be an issue, but that is because recreational folks and city managers are catering to demand, not because of exclusion.

There is also the idea of return and carrying capacity, where a large swath of land might support a single court and up to 4 people, a basketball court could be full court and host 10 people at the same time. Same concrete cost, better RIO for participation, especially if they can organize and charge for leagues. The cost for access of a racquet and balls might be a little higher than the cost of a basketball, but I don't think that is keeping anyone away. Expand that to a baseball or football field, especially in terms of maint cost, and you might be closer to the same number of participants able to use it within the same amount of land. Don't know, but sounds about right.

As far as transportation and such, the NBA, NFL, and MLB are chock full of players who walked uphill both ways for miles to go to schools or facilities where these fields were. That was certainly not a barrier. If there was demand for courts, they would be close enough for everyone to participate.

The inequality is, I have to pay most of the cost to participate in a sport, where so many other cities only fund the popular one's. Talk about being marginalized.
 

Purestriker

New User
This is more a socialized issue than anything about privileged or equity. I agree that access to courts in different zip codes might be an issue, but that is because recreational folks and city managers are catering to demand, not because of exclusion.

There is also the idea of return and carrying capacity, where a large swath of land might support a single court and up to 4 people, a basketball court could be full court and host 10 people at the same time. Same concrete cost, better RIO for participation, especially if they can organize and charge for leagues. The cost for access of a racquet and balls might be a little higher than the cost of a basketball, but I don't think that is keeping anyone away. Expand that to a baseball or football field, especially in terms of maint cost, and you might be closer to the same number of participants able to use it within the same amount of land. Don't know, but sounds about right.

As far as transportation and such, the NBA, NFL, and MLB are chock full of players who walked uphill both ways for miles to go to schools or facilities where these fields were. That was certainly not a barrier. If there was demand for courts, they would be close enough for everyone to participate.

The inequality is, I have to pay most of the cost to participate in a sport, where so many other cities only fund the popular one's. Talk about being marginalized.
Demand is a big issue.
 

bobleenov1963

Professional
No. It’s closer to the cost of a golf lesson ($60-$100 per hour). Football, Baseball and Basketball is all subsidized and or taught by volunteer coaches (parents). For elite players, they are on club teams and it is similar to kids in junior tennis developmental programs.
If you take private lessons from JTCC in Maryland with the head professional (the top dog), it will cost around $200/hour. If you take golf lesson with the head professional golf instructor, it will cost you $400/hour. A good golf instructor will cost around $200/hour in Maryland.
 

FRV4

Semi-Pro
Rich people are into tennis for some reason, but it is not a sport for just the rich. I was lower middle class, and if I had taken up tennis earlier, I probably would have had many opportunities in the sport. But my friends were not tennis players, so neither was I until I saw the opportunity to snipe varsity as a freshman because all the nonathletic kids played tennis lol.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
As much as I think they are great discussions and appreciate them, there are SOOOOOOO many ads on YT. It stopped and played an ad several times in the first 10 or minutes alone so I just stopped. Not sure if that is YT's doing or if ET has any control over it, but it really makes it tough to sit through for me.

As for privledge...this.



The concepts of equity and privileged are really being misused by the current cancel culture to feel empowered in someway. I can't figure it out, but profiling seems to be the latest retro movement, unfortunately. There is no divide for access, except when people want to create it in their minds. Sure, we can look in the past of what was a prolific social class sport, but it has long since been at almost every city park.
I never see ads on YouTube.
 

Tennis_Hands

Bionic Poster
About the same as a baseball, football, or basketball lesson.

:cool:
No. It’s closer to the cost of a golf lesson ($60-$100 per hour). Football, Baseball and Basketball is all subsidized and or taught by volunteer coaches (parents). For elite players, they are on club teams and it is similar to kids in junior tennis developmental programs.
I don't think that those prices are affordable for the average Joe.

:cool:
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
About the same as a baseball, football, or basketball lesson.

:cool:
Team sports have a lot more cost efficiencies when it comes to coaching large groups, and their popularity makes them more accessible

I don’t seriously get how people think tennis isn’t a privileged sport, individual sports are expensive from the start and tennis is very technical which means that if you want to be any good you need a lot of intensive one on one coaching

There is a reason why the ATP and WTA are full of upper and middle class kids
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Team sports have a lot more cost efficiencies when it comes to coaching large groups, and their popularity makes them more accessible

I don’t seriously get how people think tennis isn’t a privileged sport, individual sports are expensive from the start and tennis is very technical which means that if you want to be any good you need a lot of intensive one on one coaching

There is a reason why the ATP and WTA are full of upper and middle class kids
Many years ago, my club turned one of the tennis courts into a hockey rink by putting down a surface and a plastic wall around it. They charge $5 per player for an hour and I think that there are 8 or 10 players per team. Compare that to $12 for people playing tennis.

Or the cost of pickup basketball. One person brings a ball and ten play.

There are lots of places where court time is very expensive. One of my friends had a home with a clay court in the back yard. Definitely not ordinary.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Tennis is a gentlemanly non-contact sport requiring less athleticism, is less prone to injury, and requires some expenditure on equipment and real estate costs.

All of the above were inherent to the sport from its start. Natural selection automatically steered some groups towards it and some groups away from it. Apart from natural tendencies, certain groups were actively excluded from the sport just as they were in other walks of life. The reality is that both these factors have played a role in who plays the sport today.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
I don’t seriously get how people think tennis isn’t a privileged sport, individual sports are expensive from the start and tennis is very technical which means that if you want to be any good you need a lot of intensive one on one coaching
Which sport isn't technical at higher levels?
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Distance running?
Don't the distance running guys obsess over technical details of nutrition, hydration, shoes, pre-match training, pacing themselves over the distance, injury prevention, and so on? In the great pre-pandemic times, I used to pick up several free endurance racing magazines and they were highly technical.
 
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