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Todd Martin got very little practice, but what he got, he made good use of it.
The important thing is to believe in yourself, and make use of absolutely anything that could help your tennis.
Physical Education, even a few extra moments. Sometimes with a friend, I play handtennis, just hitting the ball with your hands. Good for footwork.
I take whatever I can get, and make the best of it, but its very difficult in my family to get emotional support. Most of the encouragement I get is from strangers, or people I barely know.
LeeD, I'm curious to how Martial Arts are good for anticipation, footwork and eyesight.
I've been doing karate for more than 5 years, and have nearly attainted brown belt, but have taken a brief hiatus for a few months. My senseis were very particular about technique, and in sparring, you literally had to bounce.. How does it help your anticipation though?
Timing when to block?
Last edited by 03White; 03-20-2010 at 10:47 PM.
03White, I'm sorry to hear that the ones close to you aren't involved in that part of your life. Especially as a child, I can see how difficult it would be.
I am curious though - do you think you are still as passionate toward tennis as you were about three months ago.
99% of the people out there don't understand what it takes to get to the level where one can make money at the professional level in sports. Tennis is much harder than others as you are the only one on the court and you will have noone to rely on but yourself when things are tough. To be honest, I don't see someone making it at the professional level anymore if they start at 13 years old. You can be a great player and maybe get a tennis scholarship to a college, but to make money, I just don't see it anymore. The sport has progressed so much and players have begun playing earlier and earlier due to the money potential of professional tennis. Someone who begins at 13 will not have the ability to compete strongly in tournaments until around 14 1/2 to 15 years old, and those will be entry level tournaments. In order to play sectionals, zonals, and nationals, you had better expect no less than 5 years of serious hardcore training as the player would have to play the older age divisions and the kids that have been playing since age 5,6,7,8 are all competing as well. Then step up a couple of levels to the ITF junior tournament division and it is a whole different ballgame. Now, jump up another 2 to 3 levels and you reach the satellite and challenger tours where you make not a whole lot of money. Now, jump up another 3 levels to get into the top 200 in the world where you can make a living. 99% of the kids who started playing at 7, 8, and 9 years old don't make it on the tour. It is great to dream about these things, but always be prepared for a reality check when dealing in the world of professional sports.........
Reality checks are all fine and good, but I'm talking about a relentless pressure on just focusing on studies. That makes life difficult for almost everyone.
I'll be happy as high level college player, but talking about tournaments, having no emotional support is difficult for anything..
It's tough either way. Many great young tennis players have parents that scream and curse at them during practice. It's crazy. I would rather have no support than a psychotic, negative, egotistical parent who was always standing over me telling me what I do wrong. It happens all the time at the academies in Florida. Most of these parents have the false idea that their child is going to make it big in the professional ranks. It just isn't always feasible. Just play tennis as much as possible and focus on your studies as well.
Originally Posted by 03White
Nice, I know sometimes people lose interest within the first six months or so. I've had so many tennis partners come and go and I've only been playing for a year. I admire your aspirations.
Different cultures definitely do have different ways of raising their children. However, my parents were the same as yours. They wanted me all of their kids to go to school and find a skill or profession they were good at. I rebelled to some extent, but now I understand their point of view.
Despite the fact that he's most likely right, TK1, your response seemed a little heartless He does have the numbers on his side - making money in professional tennis is next to impossible. The thing I disagree with is the age in which you start. I really don't believe you need to start at the age 5 to go pro. This is even more true in the WTA where the grinding competition is half of what it is in the ATP. Nothing against the WTA - just that women don't care about athletics like men, so you're going to have half the fight.
Everyone seems to agree on this: Just go have fun playing tennis. If something amazing happens, then enjoy the benefits and God-given gift.
I'm used to it from my parents already. I generally do give my best shot in whenever I play. Its not as though I set specific goals of becoming a pro, I just don't know generally how to recognize talent or not.
I really love tennis, but I love many other things as well, so its certainly possible I can be happy doing other things.
Perhaps this is a early life crisis?
Yes LT, thats true, the WTA isn't that athletic yet.
The game will probably evolve though, and anyways if you want to be better, you'd best be athletic anyways.
I will give it my damn best, and God help me from there... =)
Either way, I'm going to India this summer, so I actually have a shot at some hardcore training, as TK terms it.
Last edited by 03White; 03-22-2010 at 08:35 PM.
Wow cool. I'm guessing you'll be staying with family?.. Just make sure you have fun. You'll play better, enjoy your time, and live longer
Originally Posted by 03White
Yeah, half of my family or more lives there.
Its a lot of fun
Its hard to not let the frusturation get to you.
When I'm practicing, whenever I screw up, I tense up, and that makes me mess up more..
BTW, it was like scientificly proven that happier people live longer.
TK, do you have any particular idea of how to better use limited time? Just basically work on what you feel are your weaknesses?
I know exactly what you're talking about regarding frustration. Sometimes I feel like I'm getting worse and become borderline furious with my game. Just recently like the past few months I've been trying to just have fun hitting the ball. I laugh when I make mistakes, and I laugh at my opponents' errors as well (It's all in good fun and he knows it). Since I've been enjoying playing tennis, my game has gone up. Seriously try it. Look how Marcos Baghdatis beat Roger Federer. Marcos had a smile on his face; he never became down on himself and defeated the world number one!
Martial arts is all about reacting and acting, probing and reposts, so it's the basic tenet for all of tennis. Tennis is man against man, so all it's knowledge is tranferable.
It DOES NOT help with tennis anticipation or how to hit the ball, that needs tennis practice and recognition.
My Dad was a Master back in China (South of Canton). My brother choose academics while I choose easily applicable school sports, to the consternation of dad. We decided to live our own lives.
In answer to the original question:
If you have the talent, the physical ability, the motivation, the training facilities, hours of excellent coaching, money or sponsorship, a good manager and plenty of match play - then the answer is yes.
If any one of the above are missing then the answer is no.
Hello i need some help.
I used to play tennis since i was young (around 8 years old) but then i stopped for a few years, and now ive started again for almost a year and i want to go pro but i dont know if its possible. I went to a coach in Germany and he said that the way i was playing was as though ive been playing for 10 years. Im 17 but turning 18 soon so i dont know i can if go pro, its my dream and im very determined, i take tennis as a passion. Since there isnt a chance that i can enter the junior championships (because of my age), can i still go pro?
Last edited by nano; 07-05-2010 at 12:25 PM.
Hi and welcome. Do you know your rating? If your coach thinks you've been playing for ten years because you're that good, you're probably a 4.5 or 5.0. Join tournaments. If you win at this level, then surely you have a shot.
To O3 and other's .....
Just what do you think is your idea of "PRO" in tennis?
You can make it to Q's, you can probably make it to a first round of the main draw, if you try enough tourneys, find a smaller, less crowded draw, and get lucky. Basically, first round gets you from $200 to $2,000.
Making even money is someone's idea of "PRO", isn't it?
Buying a house with tourney winnings, buying property in MonteCarlo, and flying first class is OUT OF THE QUESTION!
I didn't do as well as the moderator here. I started tennis at 24, got past B's by 27, and entered 2 Q's for SanFrancisco's TransAm tourney. First, I went 4th round and lost. Second, I went 5th round and lost to RussellSimpson, a SA, the following year ranked top 30. He was a Q like me, went to finals that tourney. JoaroSoares, another Q the year before I lost to, was ranked top 50 in mens the following year. I didn't keep track of this progress after I lost to him.
Both those guys went on to relatively short, moderately successful careers as lower level pro players. I took up motocross full time by '79.
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