Is Tennis A Sport of Privilege and Status?

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FRV4

Semi-Pro
Distance running?
Good example there

I was about to compare it to the other sport I played, wrestling. I noticed a big difference of who could really rise up the ranks and get opportunities in college, after just picking up the sport in high school. Starting young though, I really do think it's possible to get into a good D3 school for tennis as long as you have someone to play with growing up. Even just picking it up in high school you can get opportunities to play at many D3 schools. I have no idea past that as I couldn't really dream to play D1 anywhere for anything.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
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.
That has nothing to do with running technique.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
Which sport isn't technical at higher levels?
In many sports the technique comes more naturally. Lots of natural athletes in soccer and basketball that learned the skills by playing and fooling around as youngsters with their friends. Coaching helps with strategy and refinement but the basics are often learned on the playground.

That doesn't seem to happen in tennis where all the good players came up heavily coached often at elite academies.

But as a recreational sport it's not very elite. Moreso than soccer but less so than golf. And far less so than motorsports, yachting, horse racing, polo, equestrian, etc
 

curly_2350

New User
About the same as a baseball, football, or basketball lesson.
:cool:
This is what I would say the main expense of tennis is, the coaching. A lot of parents can not afford to send their kids off to coaching every week.

The difference with the team sports is you don't need coaching for them. You just play them at lunch time through school and if you're decently athletic and talented and interested by the time you're 13/14 you'll be a good player and will get coaching through the school teams. Tennis doesn't work like that. At 10 years old there's the kids that parent's payed for coaching, and the kids that have no idea how to hold the racquet.

For adults it's not really expensive at all. As a hobby that adults have it's very very cheap (golf, wine, anything with a motor, travelling, clothes/jewellery/watches). But it doesn't really matter how expensive it is for adults. 95% of a sports growth and participation is how many kids are taking it up and continuing with it.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Kipchogi looks pretty technical to me.
Heck, let’s make it even more basic. Do you need to be shown how to run? Compared to hitting a basic stroke like a forehand where most people need to be shown how to hold the racquet.

You can take a person in good health with good genes and standing and put them on a track. With no training, they could run a 6 min mile. You take a person who has never played tennis before and put a racquet in their hands. Let’s see how successful this person is going to be in just getting the ball back over the net.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
How much technique is required to run a 7 min mile? Does it require professional coaching to achieve?
I've never run a 7 minute mile so I don't know. But Kipchogi can run a marathon at a sub-5 minutes/mile pace.

The fastest I've run is 12 MPH for a tenth of a mile and it's like flying to me. One misstep at that speed could cause a lot of damage.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Heck, let’s make it even more basic. Do you need to be shown how to run? Compared to hitting a basic stroke like a forehand where most people need to be shown how to hold the racquet.
My watch comes with a chest strap with accelerometers and records a bunch of data on your running. Left-to-right balance, vertical oscillation and other stuff. Kind of like Playsight for running. So you go on a run and they have this AI stuff that looks at the data from your wrist and the chest strap to give you technical data on your run and it makes suggestions. That's pretty freaking geeky to me.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Heck, let’s make it even more basic. Do you need to be shown how to run? Compared to hitting a basic stroke like a forehand where most people need to be shown how to hold the racquet.
People know how to run because they see people run.

People know how to hold a tennis racquet because they see people holding a tennis racquet.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Running at 5min/mile is trivial for any fit athletic 15 - 40 year old. It's the keeping it up for more than 10 seconds that's the hard bit.
How about at 60 years old?

What always worried me about running that fast was hitting someone that just walked onto the track.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
I don't run so I don't know. But I have seen the marathon champions and they walk/run in a very technical way, moving the hips up and down alternately.

Was having knee pain and Doctor advised to land on the forefoot, not on the heel. He said elite sprinters land on the forefoot. Not sure about marathoners.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Is triathlon a sport of privilege and status? @Slowtwitcher
I thought you were a runner now. Given that you were looking for shorts at Runners Warehouse.

I see people that do triathlons traveling a lot as it's not a common event. They can spend $5K per bike for several training bikes and the outfits that they wear cost a few bucks.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
Was having knee pain and Doctor advised to land on the forefoot, not on the heel. He said sprinters land on the forefoot. Not sure about marathoners.
Different schools of thought. I've played around with it. It's pretty easy to do but I have to think about it. You can even run forefoot on one foot and heel strike on the other. Doing some of both probably distributes the stress to more body parts. I think that you want different shoes for the strike type as well.
 

Raul_SJ

G.O.A.T.
Different schools of thought. I've played around with it. It's pretty easy to do
It was not easy for longer distance like a mile, whereas heel strike at same distance was not a problem. Maybe you already have strong calves.
 

sureshs

Bionic Poster
Okay. I don't quite get this but I guess it's a thing.
There is nothing to get. It must be a poster on this forum who is posting there with that username. He even has a pic as his avatar if you click on his username there.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
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
I can only go by what I have seen in sports helping coach juniors, at high school and on various sport teams, and what I have seen spent. In all sports, no matter the sport, at a certain level parents who could afford it got their kids coaches. Pitching coaches, speed coaches, agility coaches, etc. Most coaches from the city programs would do the additional one-one-one coaching for the kids they had on the team, as well as for other teams. None of it was high-end, $100's per hour. And that was across white, black, Latino, and Asian. So privileged can exist in any sport if you base it strictly on what some do to get a leg up. But privileged to me also would parallel access, and it is not required that kids get coaching to get noticed for opportunities to advance. There were plenty of kids that only kid rec leagues and practiced with friends and family, who were on the radar of scouts for high schools, and for colleges while attending high school. Unfortunately, there is VERY little path for a student to get noticed for anything as you pointed out for what is an individual sport compared to team sports, so while athletes for the big 4 of baseball, soccer, football, and basketball are essentially government funded programs, tennis rarely has that access so in turn you rarely see players move up anywhere, except in colleges, but then they fight internationally for scholarships, where for many other sports there is direct access.

I would again harken back to what is popular, and tennis is never going to be that because there is not enough infrastructure and money for most kids to marticulate from juniors to pros. If there was a loud outcry for more access, and there was funding around it, you would see more.

It's an American thing. White people in America live in a fantasy world where not only they think they're not privileged, but they're actually discriminated against.
Okay, thanks for the slight.
 
 

Cashman

Hall of Fame
I can only go by what I have seen in sports helping coach juniors, at high school and on various sport teams, and what I have seen spent.
In a highly privileged country

Nobody is fighting their way out of the barrios with a racquet and a dream
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
In many sports the technique comes more naturally. Lots of natural athletes in soccer and basketball that learned the skills by playing and fooling around as youngsters with their friends.
Or could it be the opposite - that these sports require superior athletic skills and hence draw more talented guys?

When I was a kid, I sucked at soccer and even now I can hardly throw a basketball. I actually used to come the very last in school races. All the kids were better than me. I could not even touch my toes. In soccer, kids with the same amount of play time as me and no coaching used to dribble the soccer ball around me, making me dizzy.

But look at me now. I am a highly sought-after club tennis player. Just last Sunday, I played doubles against a former club junior girl (now just graduated college) who used to play for her high school. Me and her mother defeated a guy and her in a tiebreak. I was going shot for shot against her on groundies and handling her serves. What does this prove? A kid with no athletic skills and no flexibility is now, as an adult, at par with high school team tennis girls a generation removed from him. This is possible only in tennis and table tennis, maybe badminton, proving the athletic bar is really low for these sports.

But I do get a kick out of this. The athletic kids who played team sports and shone there are now getting fat and old and haven't played in decades because they can't assemble a team or find space for their sports. Every weekend before tennis I watch juniors practice cricket for the local league and getting coached by their dads who seemed to have played at a decent level in their youth but now are sporting bellies. Now, only their kids play and the dads setup the cage and equipment and dismantle it later and go home, while I move on to the tennis courts next to the field!
 

Turbo-87

Legend
But look at me now. I am a highly sought-after club tennis player. Just last Sunday, I played doubles against a former club junior girl (now just graduated college) who used to play for her high school. Me and her mother defeated a guy and her in a tiebreak. I was going shot for shot against her on groundies and handling her serves. What does this prove? A kid with no athletic skills and no flexibility is now, as an adult, at par with high school team tennis girls a generation removed from him. This is possible only in tennis and table tennis, maybe badminton, proving the athletic bar is really low for these sports.
I don't think many of us would be surprised at this. You have long been the apex predator on the court and we have seen the proof. I would have been shocked if you said you were blown off the court by her, quite honestly. :)
 

colabby

New User
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.
I think you would be surprised to know Ian hires multiple people full time and has people do the editing, recording etc. I'm guessing he's doing extremely well, in the ballpark of $600k+ in revenue at the very least. The 3.5 to 4 rec players is his target demographic, they fly in from everywhere for in person coaching and shell out insane money for his coaching, not to mention his subscription for online courses. He streamed the MEP matches for his paid subscribers.
 

movdqa

Talk Tennis Guru
I think you would be surprised to know Ian hires multiple people full time and has people do the editing, recording etc. I'm guessing he's doing extremely well, in the ballpark of $600k+ in revenue at the very least. The 3.5 to 4 rec players is his target demographic, they fly in from everywhere for in person coaching and shell out insane money for his coaching, not to mention his subscription for online courses. He streamed the MEP matches for his paid subscribers.
His system scales and he's digitally savvy. I'm not really sure who you guys are talking about but I suspect that a lot of this thread is more about him than the actual topic.
 
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