What age did you lose a step of speed ???


Deleted member 120290

Males lose the EXPLOSIVE first step in their late 20's. It may not mean much in rec play but it makes a signficant difference at ATP level as shown by Fed, Nadal, Sampras, etc.


Correct. Research shows males gain speed until about 20, then stay steady, and start a gradual decline by late 20s. Of course if you did not train at age 20, then start, you may be faster later 20s. But a male who trains regularly is usually slower at 29 than he was at 20.

Females are even more drastic. If they train regularly from a young age they only increase in speed until about age 13-14, then flat line. They actually will gradually slow starting at age 19. Most parents of girls have no idea their girl at 14 may be no faster at 19, and then begin declining gradually over time. it blows their mind a bit.

The following book has detailed line graphs from years of tracking athletes.

While this is generaly true, you are ignoring the fact that this is true for pro athletes, or people who are very athletic and in great shape, aswell as playing alot of sports.
In other words, people who are near or almost at peak potential, and like you said, speed starts to slowly peak and decline in late 20s, but that is peak speed, potential speed, not actual speed.
The thing is, a vast majority of people are not even close to their peak or potential speed, so the loss of speed is greatly extended.
That being said, most people also start to lose their fitness as they age quite fast, and get more bodyfat etc, so their actual speed starts to slow down aswell because of that.

So to recap:
-Peak potential speed starts to decline mostly in the late 20s, that is based on studies of athletes, tho it varies from person to person, Carl Lewis for example ran the time of his life at 30 years of age, some people do it at 24, depends on the person and how ageing affects them aswell as wear and tear of the body or injuries.
-For pro athletes and some very fit athletic recreational players who play sports alot, their actual speed is at peak potential or near close peak potential based on their genetics, so the loss of speed starts to show earlier, mostly in the late 20s, but can vary depending on person and injuries
-Most recreational players are not very fit and athletic and not near their peak speed, so their actual speed is quite bellow that, they might extend the loss of speed for quite a while, but only if they stay in the same shape, most however get in worse shape as they age, so its not true for alot of people
-Recreational players also don't suffer much at all by loss of speed, ur fast at 20s ur also fast at 50s, because speed varies greatly at the recreational level, and not many are that fast, however as a pro athlete, everyone is basically very fast, so every milisecond counts and gets noticed alot more


I lost some speed when I tore a ligament in college. Well, at least until it healed.
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Bionic Poster
Funny thing happenned at the tennis courts yesterday......
I sat out a set, vs a 14 year old girl and her 17 year old sister. Younger is around NorCal 14's No.10, and older is No. 1 for her high school. I used to beat the older in singles, and close to the younger....3 year's ago.
Watched as my peer buds got blasted, 1 and 2. One of them is 55, the other 51, both former 4.5's like 15 year's ago.
They lamented how they've stayed the same, while the girls just kept progressing.
I counter with...I'm getting MUCH worse the past 2 year's, as they've noticed, while the girl's have progressed to solid men's 4.5.


Definitely right around 40. And each years seems to be exponentially worse if I don't keep training. And that is the thing about getting older. You don't train to improve, but you train to try and keep what you got just a bit longer.
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As a player in the 4.0 range in my early 50s I don't notice or think I've lost a lot of speed although I'm sure I have. I think many people younger than I don't cover the court as well. I think like many have said weight is a huge factor. I also have pulled a groin and a hammy in the last year so clearly the body can't sustain the stop and go as well. Tennis is not friendly on your body. The problem is your recovery to training is so long that you just can't fit enough in to be really effective like when younger. Plus there are certain things I can't do in training because it just hurts- my feet don't like the treadmill any more and I'd rather "use" my running on the courts. So. To all you young guys. Enjoy the game as much as you can before you start breaking. Lol
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Bionic Poster
When I was 25-35 I was always faster than my opponents and could run everything down.

When I hit 39 I noticed I lost a first step and cannot cover the court like I used too. My speed is only above average right now.

Oh well, this was last year and I hope I dont get any slower for awhile.
when I was 40, I noticed, I couldn't change direction as fast, meaning when opponent hit in behind me when I was in full speed, I had hard time stopping and changing direction. that is probably biggest difference. and also the part about getting injured a lot more easily than when I was young. and I pretty much can't play without stretching out first.