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I'm 14 years old and live in Australia.
Do you guys think theres such a thing as natural talent?
I started playing at the age of 10 which is obviously very late. I wish my parents had pushed me to play alot earlier because I love the game, really I do.
I've played tennis alot since then and have been playing 4 times a week for several hours for just alittle over the past year and jogging every morning as far as I can go.
I know this might not sound like alot to some of you but really I try really hard and no matter how much I work for it I can't seem to get past my current level.
Every time I hear people speaking about natural talent like federer I think, but if you are willing to work had enough you can get as good as him right?
A lot of people joke around about it, like in my last party some friends made a speach and in there included "I doubt you'll become the next pete sampras, but we can dream cant we?"
I don't expect to become the next pete sampras but I really do work hard and try my hardest just to show them all I can do it.
Did any of you start this late and do you think it's even possible to go pro starting at such a late age?
Because lately I've started to think that hard work alone can't always help you.
well anyways I think I typed alittle too mcuh, just wanted youre guys opinions anyways...
i know exactly what you're going through, well, not exactly. but i have a friend who plays tennis who played on natural talent alone. i mean, sure he took a few lessons here and there but i know that he never listened to the instructors, only did it cause his parents bought him the lessons, and he played 1st singles on my high school team his last two years of high school.
it makes me so angry that i take so many lessons, go out on the courts by myself to practice my serve, even hit against walls cause we can't afford a ball machine, yet i could never beat him in a match. what frustrates me more is that i know i have had the skill to beat him, but my mental game collapses everytime i play a match. and what really gets my goat is that he really doesn't even like the game all that much, just plays it cause he can.
my advice is just to keep on trying, i personally don't think starting at age 10 is too late to go pro, you're just gonna have to work a little harder than the rest of them. and don't talk to me about starting late, i started as a freshmen in high school so i have little chance of making a college team let alone going pro, but that doesn't stop me from doing my best to get better.
You haven't said what you do to work on your game, but if you have reached a plateau and are still playing the same group of people, you need to get out and play different people who are better than you. Sometimes a lot better. I was in a rut myself, stuck at a high c-level and couldn't get past it. I started playing this guy who was on the tennis team at Stanford University and he just destroyed me everytime we played, but I got better - a high B before I moved away. I could never beat him, but I learned a lot about my game - and the games of people at the highest level. As far as going pro, my advice would be to play for the love of the game - not setting your sights on that goal right now. Whether you start at 3 or 10 really doesn't figure into it, nor does the amout of talent you have. Such a small percentage of people actually make it as pros, and some with amazing talent do not. Set your sights on short term goals - making the high school team, making the college team, etc. The pro game may come, but you need to make sure you can do something else if it doesn't work out for you. You will almost certainly need a good coach if you want to go pro and tennis camps which all cost a lot, it may be financially prohibitive. If you play for the love of the game and never do make it to the pros, there are always plenty of local and regional, even national events you can participate in as an amatuer - and some of them are very competitive. Then there are the non-touring pros who teach and run pro shops at clubs - that is another avenue to investigate. There are a lot more non-touring pros than touring pros. Hope this helps.
Andy Roddick didn't start playing seriously until he was 12. Just thought I'd throw that out there.
I think that there is a certain athleticism involved with being good soon after you pick up the game. Right now, I'm playing varsity high school doubles with a junior who never picked up a racket until this year. He's doing pretty good for a player only six weeks into it. But, I believe it's because he's a tremendous athlete all-around. He's a varsity football player and a varsity basketball player. He's 180 lbs and benches 245 lbs.
Then you compare him to juniors and seniors who have played for 4-5 years and they don't come close.
I don't think there is a natural talent for tennis. That sounds ridiculous to me. But there is natural athleticism. And don't be misled by the term "natural athleticism." That may seem that it's all about the muscles, but really it's a mindset.
If we go back to my doubles partner, playing football and basketball competitively has shaped his mindset- he goes after everything 100%. Yes, that's cliche, but it's a good one if you understand it. Going 100% all the time means that you carry little regard for your body or your life at the moment you are chasing down that lob. Or that runningback who's on his way into the endzone or that shooting guard about to make the easy lay up.
I've seen this guy play football and basketball- he will pummel guys twice his size because he uses every ounce of his being. I've seen him make spectacular defensive plays on the basketball court because he has incredible focus- in the zone as it were.
He does not have good strokes. But he plays well at net because of that same mentality- he goes after the ball and puts it away every time. He's good at chasing the ball down, he can serve well under pressure, he can return serves effectively. All without good strokes.
Tennis is the meaning of life.
i am 15 and i have been playing less than a year. i made our varsity tennis team and on a good day i can beat the 3rd ranked player. i was a tourny a little while ago and I won. The owner said i had a lot of natural talent. How good do you think i could become?
To natural talent
There is natural talent, but natural talent takes work. Like popcorn, some pop and others don't. Are you sponsored? Do have a coach? Do your parents have expendible cash? You are very fortunate to live in great climate all year round to play. When I played 10 years ago, I lived in Minnesota and there was really no winter tennis to be played, unless you had an indoor membership some where, or you were lucky enough to go to Nick Bollittieri tennis acedemy most out the year If you are 100% committed and have REAL, I mean Real talent, my advise is to get a fulltime coach, get a acedemic tutor, also. Most elite players are ranked and sponsored by 16,17,and 18 years of age. Work hard!!
Originally Posted by Unregistered
it's a pitty I didn't know about this forum a little bit earlier...so I am late a bit, but still I would like to say something to you guys. I am 21 and I started to play with 6 years of age. Well, I played for 3 months or so, that was it...I turned back to the game with 12 on my own. I leared anyghing by my self, I had no coach...I am today a relativly good player. There is a great lack of match practice. I went to germany for a month, I still am here, I played with a coach and he said, well it's amazing, if I managed to get to such a level. Well, they gave me a raquet produced in the the 1990's. My raquet which I played with, when I was six was made in the 1960's. We didn't realy had money for raquets, coaches...I worked quite a lot on my own to learn to play just for the sake of playing, because I really, truly love the game of tennis. You guys, if you start with 10 or 12, what I have heared, read in the last 10 years, it is not too late. And as you say, you really love the game, you are still 14 and u seem not to get passed you level, well, that is not a reason not to continue. Improvement can come with age. You'll grow, u practice, if u really practice a lot with determination, you can become good. Though, don't be unpatinent and don't be too eager and frustrated if the results don't come in 4-5 months
Lendl was 270 on the top of the world ranking, but I wouldn't say, he was a talented player
Besides, Agassi admitted, when he and Sampras were at the begining of theri carrers, Agassi didn't really thought Sampras could be any good. And they all saw he had talent. Probably there was a problem with the mental part
if you can but determination, practice and a healthy mind to your healty body, you can be a great player IMO
Most successful people (regardless of the industry, either sport, business, anything) have been the greatest because they've broken a rule. Now, think a world number 1 who started tnenis later than normal at 10,11, 12, 13 , 14, 15. Break that rule, tennis players become typecasted into a mould of "natural talent", it's not, if you concentrate, and just RELAX and I emphasise it, it comes so naturally to you. Don't doubt, just DO, just do what you can. Miracles happen when we least expect them, so relax and see how you are with it, then you can tell if tennis is really your core, your soul.
I believe in a champion in the future who breaks all this stereotyped moulds. Roger Federer for one broke 1, he maintained No1 position without a coach. Feed off yourself and others, but never let them poison your mind. Keep it stress free and practise as much as possible, play whenever possible. You already have one thing that makes a champion-in-the-making - passion. Push on.
I played since I was 7 years old, I've never had a coach, and learned to hit my shots through watching others. I developed an instinct with the ball, I'd say relaxing and jsut reading the ball and 'feeling' how to hit it really makes it easier.
Anyway, I'm the type who would not listen to the coach for stroke techniques or physical components of the game if I had one. I would only listen out for things like diet, and really listen to the mental improvement of the game. That's most important in my heart.
Kid from Australia, you still can make it.
Hey kid from Australia, don't worry about it. I am 18 now, I started playing tennis at the same age you did. I am from Russia, but now studying in the U.S. I play college tennis for University's team. I am not planning to become a pro anymore, however, there is still a good chance. So, you have a very good chance, I am pretty sure you can easily make to the U.S. and play college sport + you can have a scholarship. There are a lot of examples of professional players who first played college sport. By the way there is a kid on my team who is from Australia, too.
My suggestion to you, work hard every practice, no matter what don't look at anyone who does not try that hard, but still is pretty good player, and all the more don't listen to anyone. As long as, you like the game and try your hardest every practice, it will pay off eventually. And remember one thing, only hard work not talent builds up real skill.
Good luck with that.
From what Nikitos said, yeah I believe in it.
Effort, practice produces and finds that talent. I think if you define talent it would be pure instinct based on past choices. So develop a habit to practice with flair, just experiment with shot, adjust your swingstyle, feel comfortable. That's the most important thing I think. I blieve you'll make it easy in college tennis, and make nationals with a nice rank too.
It's about experiment, trial and error. Those who are willing to lose are ready to win. Sounds corny, I know, but it's all about that and being comfortable with your play.
lived the dream
Originally Posted by Unregistered
Listen very carefully because I lived the dream. Do not confuse a strong tennis player with natural athletic talent with the Pros in the top 70 in the world. They are prodigy players. There is a huge difference. Prodigy players not only have natural talent, but they are flat out extremely gifted for the sport of tennis. And with that natrural athletic ability, would excell in many other sports also. The "Prodigy" player is identified fairly early in age with a game plan for development by knowlegable tennis people and money behind them. Hear is the good news! 10 years old is not to old to get started and although you are in critical development age at 14, there is hope. You need to set realistic goals, and once they are achieved, move on to the next level. I palyed on the ATP tour myself and never pick up a racquet untill the age of 15. I earned a 4 year college scholarship at 24 and 4 MVP honors and a top 10 National Ranking by the time I was 28. I later became a rookie on the ATP Challenger series tour at the ripe old age of 31 and played aginst players in the top eighty in the world. All this was accomplished on my own and never a tennis lesson in my life! I've had many coaches see me play and say if I had started earlier with lessons, I could have been top 10 in the world. How's that for frustration! However, that was not the case for me. If you have the drive, focus, intelligence, and burning desire to win and succeed, you can do it. Hear is is the kicker, Tennis is and never was my favorite sport. I saw and opprotunity to get a free college education, it saved my parents college money, it fueled my compeitive drive, and the sky was the limit. I am 50 years old now have been a Tennis director/Head pro (28 years) at a Florida Club and lets face it, there are worse ways of making a living than what I do. If you want to be involved in tennis as a job, you don't have to be a tourning Tennis professional. You could train to be a teaching Pro, but it does take a love for the game. Don't give up on your goals and if I can help you out with advice or answer any questions you may have, please feel free to email me at Tprocurt@tampabay.rr.com. Good luck, Coach Curt
Last edited by Tprocurt; 01-13-2006 at 05:31 PM.
It's never to late to play a sport. Im 16 and I started getting into tennis, Im not the best player, Im been playing for a week and Im still learning this game. I think tennis is a great sport. I think the game is about been flexible and quick mind. Just practise and eventually you will get better.
yeah i knwo im kind of repeating the same thign as everyone here, but i also agree, i think if you have the quickness and agility you can play tennis, but thats my personal oppinion. Sure you need strokes and serves and what not, but if you can get to the hard ot get balls and return them then.. yeah.
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