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From my own experinece as a player (I started when I was 12 years old, and got tennis scholarship in U.S.A.) and my experience as a coach(I was with one person from the time she was 6 year old to WTA ranking) to try to make as a professional tennis player would not be smart move on your part.
I would state just few reasons why:
- professional tennis is highly competitive sport
- at 13 you already missed the best phases of development for certain physical capabilities
- it takes 10 years (10000 hours) of training to get to the point where one can say if there is chance to become professional
- tennis is very unjust sport.Only players within first 100 ATP/WTA can make living playing tennis
- to start you have to have everything of high quality what is very expensive
The chance to succed in tennis when you start at right time(first 100 in the world) is very small.Your chance at 13 to do this is non existant.Everybody who says opposite is oversimplifying complexity of one to become professional tennis player.So, I would suggest that you learn tennis to be able to play as recreational player, and use your energy, drive, and time for some other goal which you have realistic chance to achieve it.
I must mention one episode from my coaching life.In 1995 I started to coach a 10 year old girl who started to play tennis when she was 9.She already competed in the tournaments 10 and under.I noticed her talent, but because of the late start she was not equal to her age peers.Althought, she was making fast progress when I found out that at the same she was playing badminton (she started to play badminton when she was 6 years old), and doing fine, I recommended her parents to stop playing tennis, and concentrate on badminton.They did. I was proud of myself as I made her very good tennis player.8 years later, I read in the newspaper that she made national team in badminton.
In Depth Description of Bringing a Child Up a Competitive Ladder with Advices and Recommendations
Last edited by Bubo; 09-08-2009 at 01:07 PM.
it's up to you. if you have the perseverance and thoroughly enjoy the game, there's no doubt in my mind that you can.
Originally Posted by katie101
What happened to my last post?[/B]
ANYTHINGS POSSIBLE. but yeah dont think about that now! lol think about improving, every1 can dream, but the only way to get there is hard work.
The story of John Isner is interesting. He didn't even take tennis seriously until he was in high school and decided to forego going for basketball (he's 6' 9") and by his senior year he was the top player but needed to go to college as he was a late bloomer. You might find his story interesting. Also, I don't buy the 10,000 hours theory because there are numerous exceptions though it tends to be a rule. If you have the correct technique, motivation, and master coaching, you can cut that in half, I believe...Martina Hingis I think wanted to be a pro golfer and took up tennis late and within five years was 5 in the world. Todd Martin only played tennis five hours a week with one private lesson from Rick Furman in East Lansing Michigan, not exactly a tennis hot bed. He went to college, turned pro with little success but then gotJose Higueras to teach him to hit up and across the ball and he went to #4 in the world. He didn't go to a fancy academy and credits his limited play time with keeping him hungry and taking his practices seriously.
The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle has a lot of great information for tennis parents. Any book that compares John Wooden to the greatest bank robber in history and argues why a run down tennis academy in Moscow with one indoor court produces more top players than the entire USA the last seven years in history is bound to be interesting. Essentially, you need
1. ignition (something or anything that ignites in a child a desire to be the best they can be...often produced by factor #3, or watching a 17 year old American beat three top world ranked players with no real weapons other than her desire...can you say Melanie?)
2. Deep practice: not only being in the zone with focus, but being allowed to experiment, to create, to take responsibility for your mistakes, to correct them on your own without necessarily being told what do do
3. Master Coaching: tennisking1 points out technique is everything. He is correct. The Russian women dominate not because they are genetic freaks or having nothing better to do, they don't even play tennis full time and are limited to 3 to 5 hours a week until age 9. Even then, they practice on average no more than 15 hours a week, something very different from the USA. But they learn the correct technique from Day 1, the double bend windshield wiper associating the butt of the racket at finish with the direction of the shot. Coaches who respect their individuality, who allow their players to creates, yet how know the proper biomechanical techniques that will allow that studen to reach their level of mastery. John Wooden and the greatest bank robber in history as well as singing coach Linda Septien knew how to relate things honestly to their students, no false praise, but they also knew how to ignite and pour gas on the flames of passion of their students because they had correct technique, often against the norm in their respective fields. I teach MTM (Modern Tennis Methodology) by Oscar Wegner because it's the only method I see that promotes biomechanical efficiency from day one of the every stroke. Keep it simple, teach on a gradient, and never as Dick Bradlee said regarding tennis instruction in his 1962 Instant Tennis book, "never teach a position that you will have to correct later."
For more info on the Spartak tennis club and How to Grow a Super Athlete:
Last edited by teachestennis; 09-06-2009 at 03:50 PM.
i've got a similar problem.
i seriously would do anything for tennis.
i spend every second on the court wanting to play.
I would practice 6 hours a day if I could.
I started as a late twelve year old (played at younger age also)
Even with that and talent, could I make it?
What's depressing is that no collegiate woman has gone from there to wta.
And the russians are absolutely right.
I didn't learn the real serve/ windshield wiper forehand/backhand from my coach, I learned it from FYB!
Coaches suck so much money out of parents, and kids learn nothing.
I think for myself, I'm going to do my absolute best and give it my all, and god help me!
You definitely do have a strong desire to play tennis professionally.. I can understand why. Ya know, many tennis players retire before the age of 30. Because of this, it is understood that one needs to start playing tennis as early as possible (5 -6 years of age) in order to go pro. Chris Evert played her first WTA match at the age 13! There are two common advantages to being young while playing tennis. They are agility/quickness and recovery/injury. I can't argue with that or can I?
Originally Posted by 03White
In my mind, a tennis player in general can only last so long. Age is irrelevant. If somebody starts playing tennis ate the age 5 and then retires at the age 30, that is 25 years of tennis but probably only 15 years of hard grinding tennis. What I am getting at here is that if that same person were to have started playing tennis at the age 10 instead of 5, I believe they simply would have extended their career till later in life (age 35 instead of 30). Basically, in this example, their body could only take 25 years of tennis before their body said "give me a break!" Now of course there is a limit to that. I'm not saying that if you start at age 20 you're going to be playing at the pro level at the age 45. Am I making sense?
It will be extremely tough. You will be developing your game for the next few years and in order to go pro, it needs to be done right. Teachestennis-the thing on Hingis is not correct. I traveled with her back in 1999 and 2000 and have been in her home at Saddlebrook Resort numerous times. She had a racquet in her hands at 4 years old and was the number one junior in the world by the time she was 14. She was 16 years old and already well on her way to be the #1 woman in the world. She has amazing feet and hand-eye coordination. Not a lot of power, but she makes up for it with her intuition on where the ball is going to be. Johnathon Isner is at Saddlebrook as well and he was a highly ranked junior at a very young age. He may not have focused totally on tennis until high school, but he definitely was a great player by 9th grade. The best answer to this question is to play a ton of tennis and see what happens. There really is no way of knowing if you can make it unless you give it a go. Even if you fall short, you should be able to get a college scholarship and pay for your school. Either way is a great way to go. Plus you can really meet some great people playing tennis. Take it from a former tour player, pro tennis is hell. You win that 4 hour second round match and guess what, your next opponent is just as good or better than the one you just beat and you may have to go four hours with that player and you may lose. My advice.......enjoy the game and give it a run if you so desire..............
^I see what you mean. The thing is, athletic scholoship's aren't probably any good for me, because I'm a good student academically anyways.
How much practice would you tell me to get?
I would hit till I drop, but obviously, that's not the best idea.
My parents have strict rules , and it's studies before sports.
Also, my plan is to learn the stroke with proper technique, and then practice it a lot, and then learn more?
Is that right?
Yes. I can't say just how much training you need. It all depends on you. If you get an academic scholarship as well as the educational, you will pay for absolutely nothing. Life will be great. Play a lot and have a good time doing it. The more fun it is, the more you will want to play. The more you play (with good technique) the better you will get. Have a goal of hitting the ball well and moving well and then begin playing tournaments. Learn how to win as well as lose and don't get too hyped up over either.
Originally Posted by 03White
I am an involved in elite sporting development… in soccer (or as people endlessly argue “real football”) I started however (many years ago) as a nationally rated junior tennis player (my so-called glory days), so this is a cross-over reply to your question… as many of the same sporting principles apply.
Starting at age 13? Certainly an uphill battle, but possible.
Mmm… generally speaking, (this is not an essay) the early ages 0-10 are for children to develop their motor skills, their hand-to-eye (or foot-to-eye) coordination, and simply to burn off energy, be social and have a good time. (being kids is no bad thing) During this 0-10 phase, the natural ball-players stand out in whatever sport they play and they can switch between other “ball” sports easily and be “instantly good” with little effort. Sheer raw talent reveals itself.
Sometimes 0-10 players focus on one sport, but this is usually associated with external influences (parents that play, a zealous coach, or simply the environment they live in – eg: South American kids play street-football like the religion it is).
During the 10-15 phase, usually a sporting focus develops. Basic skills are developed together with the love of the game. Natural players are easily identified. 10-15 is crucial because this is the time that the players develop skills and techniques (both basic and advanced) that (if done properly) will not need correction later.
15-20 is the critical period because it’s the time when the body develops into adulthood and the mind becomes independent. It is the time when the love of the game is tested. The dedication to improve is not through external influences like parents or coaches, but from inside the player.
Between 15-20, mental toughness is tested because these young athletes learn to adapt their decision making themselves. They will soon find themselves against 30 year old opponents (some with less raw talent) that can out-smart them if they stick to a pre-ordained plan. They need to become smart players.
This is why the 10-15 is crucial and the 15-20 is critical. So, starting at 13 still lands you within the (outer) limits of possibility… but like any sport, there is very little certainty of predicting success.
And lastly, with all this predictable analysis, it must be noted that the great players add something beyond the mix. They manage to add the “exception-to-the-rule” principle. Federer in tennis. Zidane in football/soccer. The not so popular at the moment Tiger Woods.
I have read all the replies to our friend and they all scare me because i started my playing at age 16. I belive it can work with determination. I am in a country that got no courts but we still try on. All in all u can make it.
I have played tennis in my country for the last 5 years and i feel i got a talent to nature before its too later, but as i write this the problem is being brought up in a country that does not recognise the sport, in that the only time we get a tournament is once in a university semester or our own made competitions. Wat can i do?
You have to make your own path....
Get to school in a tennis country.
Hang out with foreign players in your country.
MOVE out of your country.
It's not easy, but it can be done.
In the meantime, keep playing ball sports or martial arts to keep fitness and footwork, anticipation, and eyesight.
It all depends of the player's talent. It will be pretty hard but if the player is motivated and follow a good and regular practice it could be possible. Some pro players started to play pretty late.
If 13 might be too late for pro, it could always lead to a good college level and who knows after that, a lot of pro went to college before going actually on the tour
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