Tennis is a wonderful sport. It is a great exercise for both the mind and the body and sometimes critics say that it is all a mind sport. Unlike many other sports, all the responsibility to perform well is on you. If you are not in the right mindset you probably will not get very far. While I do agree with this statement, a great athletic body definitely helps more often than not. Players like Rafael Nadal have used their extremely well-built bodies to become legends, they work on their bodies as much as they work on their minds.
Learning tennis to the extreme levels requires mental fortitude and athletic ability that only a few in this world can manage. But this should not deter you from learning this beautiful no matter what age group you belong to. You can become a pretty awesome tennis player that is satisfied with their game without spending countless hours on court or turning it into a full-time profession. It is just a matter of consistency, the right technique, and some willpower.
If you are beginner starting out you might have been scared by all the different complexities of the game and might have felt overwhelmed by them. You might be wondering that it takes a very very long time to achieve some sort of proficient level in this game. You will be surprised to know that tennis is a very awesome game and if you keep your level of play consistent and employ the right technique, you will be able to play at a pretty good level in no time at all compared to other sports.
Before answering this question, we should gauge your level of interest in the game and how far are you willing to go to learn this beautiful. There is no harm in playing just for fun but if you want to compete in tournaments and win some prize money and stuff then you should have some realistic expectations and should be ready to work towards that goal.
Do You Just Want To Have Fun With Your Friends?
You and your group of friends just started to play tennis just to have a little fun with it. You do not plan to compete or anything. Your main focus is to have fun and have a good time with your friends. You do not care about whether you have the proper technique or the form, you just want the ball to keep in play and have some long and exciting rallies with your group of friends.
This is a little tricky stage to comment on but I can safely say that for a player like this, it can take a really long time to learn the game at some kind of decent intermediate level but if you do not care about that then it should not stop you enjoying this beautiful game. Have a few laughs with your friends and enjoy your time.
You Want to Get To a Decent Intermediate Level
Most people aspire to get to this level without wanting to go full time on tennis. And it seems to be pretty achievable. You can expect a 1-year learning phase and slowly rise to a pretty good intermediate player by your 5th year. That being said, you must be willing to work hard and accept some criticism from peers. You must develop your technique either from paid coaching or from Youtube Lessons and practice them on the court.
Most people I come across with want to achieve that level and you can too with just little bit of hard work. Setup a weekly routine in which you play tennis at least 3-4 times a week, give one day to doing some cardio or some light weight lifting to strengthen your core. Having a strong core is vital to your shots. If you have a dedicated hitting partner then its but if not then try joining a club that is not too heavy on the wallet. You will find like minded people who have the same objective as you and are looking for hitting partners. This has the added benefit of increasing your social circle.
You Want To Compete In Local Tournaments
So, a lot of people are very competitive in everything they try. They want to have the best business if they get into it, they want to be the best at their job when they get it, etc. If you are that sort of person and you look for excellence in your game but do not want to commit professionally to this then it is going to take an upwards of 5-10 years to play at some decent level like club level or USTA sponsored tournaments.
Keeping in mind that you will have to dedicate a lot of time each week with a private preferably to achieve this level. But if you have the money and mind to do this then you can do this no matter what age you essentially start at because you can play tournaments at any level except the pro ATP or WTA level because you need sponsors and dedicate time fully for that.
Most kids who are in their teens have the ability to reach this level of tennis. Because they have the free time and the athletic prowess to learn and compete in tournaments by the time that they reach their senior college years.
You Want To Play At The Collegiate Level
This is a pretty serious level of tennis. The NCAA colleges have a very high skill ceiling for their tennis programs. They are looking for players who preferably have an ITF ranking and pretty proficient at their craft. To achieve this level of tennis you have to get your child in training from a very young age, like at 7-9 years old. They should have a dedicated plan for what they are going to do in their formative years because you have to maintain a balance of study and great tennis to get accepted into NCAA colleges on a sports scholarship. If your kid shows the talent then they can learn all the fundamentals in less than two years and they can keep practicing to perfect them.
This level and the pro level share a lot of similarities simple because things have gotten a lot competitive in recent years. NCAA level players sometimes go pro after graduating college like John Isner. So, they accept nothing but close to perfection from young aspirants. There are NIAA colleges that offer some partial scholarships and they do not have the same rigorous requirements as the NCAA but often times they are very small colleges which are always the second choice for most students.
You Want To Go Pro
So, if you are reading this one, you are probably a parent who sees some talent in their child and wants them to go pro when they grow up. It is essential for your child to start Tennis at a very young age, like close to 5-6 years. What this does is make the game instilled in their muscle memory forever. Tennis becomes a habit for them and it becomes second nature.
They might have to sacrifice their education a little bit but some kids can go pro without sacrificing. If your kid has the ability to balance them both then it’s a great thing. You can probably get some private coaching for them in their formative years or get them admitted to a Tennis Academy which focuses on their education as well as the game. They will probably be playing great tennis by the age of 12-13 years and they’ll be participating in tournaments