In tennis there are many unwritten rules about Game.
One of the rules about the Game that tennis Professionals, Parents or Players ever talk about in detail is Time that it takes.
OUTLIERS by Malcom Gladwell
In the book outliers by Malcome Gladwell there is a section about the time it takes to become an expert ( in anything ). the Books says it can take up to 10000 hours of practice/work to be an expert.
So, How does this relate to tennis Players?
Here is how.....
Imagine that all it takes is 10000 hours to master tennis (be a world class player) and we divide that into three sections.
so if we start tennis with 0 hours we should be in the novice/beginner level. then when we start to reach about 5000 hours we will defiantly be intermediate or advance. When we reach 10000 hours we should be advance or an expert.
Beginner Level of Play Is Three Months to 4 years.
So if you where to play 3 to 4 hours a week for three months you might not reach a new level outside of the beginner/novice ranks. Because that's still not enough time or hours on court to reach higher levels of intermediate play. ( CoachV Level theory is based of the book outliers ) You will still lack the experience in competition, tournament play, & fitness training and how to deal with pressure and mental toughness. to reach the intermediate level of play around 5000 hours with a minimum of 4 hours every week is 25 years without training or coaching.
So players that don't train, or play tennis everyday for more than 1 hour never really get good because they don't put in the time it takes to get good.
But lets try now to get us 5000 hours within 4 years...... At 1250 hours per year, divide that by 52 weeks, we come up with 25 hours a week for four years. You will defiantly be a intermediate tennis player to an advance player in four years, but not really an expert or even a tournament winner.
Intermediate Levels of Play are within a players "First year" of year 4, Or a players who has reached around 5000 hours
So if you continue playing 3 to 4 hours every week for four years straight you may still not be strong enough to win tennis tournaments. You might win matches, but you will still greatly be left behind the player who is playing or putting more time into their tennis.
The Intermediate Years, or 5000 hours of play are the years you start to control and develop your tennis game & tactic/strategies. You will refine signature tennis shots, (weapons). You will Start to learn how to control emotion in pressure situations and have/or learn mental toughness. you can even have every single tennis shot in the book. These years/hours are the years/hours you have all the building blocks.
These are also the years/hours you start to build and refine how you are gonna play:
matches, prepare for tournaments, create a serious Fitness training regiment, receive expert tennis coaching, deciding on Equipment to use, nutrition, Scheduling (Matches,Tournaments,when & where)
HOW the Pros Did it while they were young!
I am speculating......
Federer, Nadal, Murry, Djokovic, Agassi, Sampras, Vince Spadeia
The pros I mention above all started playing around the age of 3 to 4 years old. the beginning of there lives they witness great tennis professionals and athletes & they aspired to be like them. So they played Tennis full Time starting around 4 - 8 years old. So a Young child at 6 years old playing around 40 hours will be an expert in tennis by the time they are 14 years old, still no where close to their adult bodies.
(unless they are female who mature faster and are in their adult bodies usually by 14 Years old)
So at the age of 14 they are in the ITF Juniors and are winning the US-Open Juniors and playing adult ITF/ATP Challengers Tournament or have an ATP point which states that they are on the World professional Tour. They have learned all their shots and how to use them to win. their only weakness is that they are still Kids at the AGE of 14. A 14 Year old is much weaker than a 24 year old. But that 14 year expert gets another 4 year on TOUR Experience surpassing an expert and becoming a MASTER, Then out of no where we see an exchanging of the top tour players in the world Usually around when that 14 year old becomes 19/20 Years old, ( example NADAL who WON the French OPEN, Nadal is the second youngest player ever to win the French Open, First youngest "Michael Chang"(USA) age 18 or 17".)
The reason is because they learn the top players "games" and All of their opponents abilities and find ways to beat them. And When they Grow into their adult bodies or become strong enough they simple out play the top players.
Vince Spadeia, a Very Talented play back when i started tennis is the only one whose talent was equal to the top players of his time like Agassi, But Vince could not bring in the wins. How many of us ( like myself ) Have put in the work & TIME just to still lose. Tennis is a sport where you lose 90% of the time and the only players in the world who don't lose that much are the #1 and #2 in the World & They Lose 50% of the time.
So we mimic the Top Pros, And Study them and Speculate on what is going on with our games based off the top players. We may change or learn something new and even get better or win a tournament from what we learn. But what really separates us from the top players is the quality time put into our tennis games.
if you started late Which is like 11 - 13 years old & you don't have that Special TALENT or Natural Talent. You will Most likely give up the chase of becoming a world class player. But becoming a world class player/expert is never completely out of reach if you put the time in. The time When you reach that 10000 hours & MORE expert or world class player status however will be pass your prime............
The Time it takes to become a great tennis player Takes time allot of TIME, or to shorten the time Allot of Quality Working HOURS.
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Replies to This Discussion
Definitely takes a long time to get to an advanced level. I've been playing on and off for 15 years, and 10 years for racquetball. I didn't make my greatest improvement until the last three years, so it took 12 years of regular play to get to those three years of real advancement. Too bad I didn't run into someone like CoachV earlier. ;)
I hav just started to play racquet ball & Squash. The Transition to these sports is Fast coming from tennis thats my next Blog here.
Ah, cool! Now, squash is ridiculously hard. I think it's harder than tennis or racquetball. You have to be laser quick because the ball does not bounce higher than 3-4 inches. Definitely have to patient in the backhand back wall corner (since all the serves are going there). Plus, your ass is gonna be sore from all the squatting and dead start sprinting.
I just picked up a bad ass Dunlop graphite squash racquet for $6 at Goodwill. And a Gear Box racquetball racquet for $6 at the same Goodwill. :)
Squash is easy compared to tennis. there is no break ( which is rough on your legs ) and you play 11 point tie breakers 3 out of five. But I have been playing for about 5 days total & i am getting on the Tails of the Veteran Squash players of the club. I'm not winning any matches. But I am Losing like 11 - 6. I have figured out the down the line & cross court patterns & Strategy. I am learning lob strategies & Drop shots. Movement to the Ball and court coverage Still in the learning phase. but I think within the year I should be a Pro at it. I have already given Beginner squash lessons... For MONEY.
I hate racquet ball though. I don't like the Spin in a circle & Wait business. or the " Crap which way do i hit this ball now."
Ah, I just won cut throat racquetball after being a whole year off. The two guys I played against, we all split two games, then I won the decider 21-14-?. I love racquetball! I won 3 out of 4 tournaments and was the UC Riverside intramural champ.
Well, you're supposed to be in the middle as much as you can. There is a lot of looking back. I just take a quick peek and then head to where I think it's going before they hit it. I always try to kill it in the front corners. If I can't, I'll play a lob along the side walls or hit down the alleys. If they are stuck on one side wall, I hit cross courts. I hit alot of drop shots and corner fades when I am in front.
I have revised this blog let me know what you think NOW!
I haven't read Outliers yet, but it is definitely on my list. It is strange that just this weekend my son's coach recommended that my son and I read it together. But from what I understand, I doubt someone would still be an novice after having practiced something 4999 hours. My feel is that the "intermediate" category is a large one and that the number of hours practiced to fall in the intermediate range is probably more like 2000 to 7000 hours. Again, I need to read the book - then I'll come back and let you know what I learn.
Hey Mark, I make my Tournament Players Read Outliers & The Tipping Point, both by Malcom Gladwell for the last 3 years. The Tipping point Will explain why 5000 is just an intermediate stage better or a 4.0/4.5 player.
The Reason is..... the Tipping point around that 5000 hour point will either Tip towards the expert Range or stagnant or they will max out their ability without further growth or the learning growth becomes so slow that they become Vince Spadeia. but that tipping point is completely a different book which will also cross reference the outliers book or complements outliers very well. both books should be read and there is a 3rd book called blink, in my professional opinion the book read orders for tennis should be
the Tipping point,
then Blink. all by Malcom Gladwell
I hope i have just help your sons summer reading.
@TennisProCoachV agree 100% with that @bgtennisnation So how Can i change it? I have so many confused kids that love tennis and want to be good, but they have mixed messages @TennisProCoachV thats a great question be honest and try to get them to enjoy game and get better @bgtennisnation I lose more kids that way & JOBS. the tennis industry needs to move away from the service industry & go back to competition
look at this article I was sent. http://webtennis24.com/index.php?option=com_jaggyblog&task=view...