Want To Get Better?

Brent Abel
Brent Abel
The prime factor of senior tournament success, according to online tennis guru Brent Abel, is fitness and conditioning.

Monday was a tennis rainout, so I went for a walk and listened to a podcast from last season on Brent’s www.WebTennis.com . He chatted with local Naples tennis pro and top tournament player Phil Landauer about helping players move up from a 4.0 level to a solid tournament-level 4.5 player.

A Prime Example

And the example Brent used was Evert Jonsson, who he said raised himself up by hard work and dedication from being just a club player to a nationally ranked senior and World Champion doubles player.

Want To Get Better?

While at the Longboat Key tournament last week, I had a chance to talk with Florida tennis pro Patrick Swafford, who remembered that a student of his said “I really want to get better at tennis.”

And Patrick said, “No, you want to BE better at tennis; and I don’t know if you are willing to work hard enough to get there.”

Yes, the prime factor is fitness and conditioning and most seniors are not willing (interested enough?) to work to get there.

Your thoughts?

Aging Up This Year?

Mark Taylor, USTA Florida, asks:

In an effort to ensure no player is overlooked in the upcoming Florida Super Senior Grand Prix season, can all players who are moving up an age group as of 1/1/16 to send me an E-mail regarding such if they play any of the Florida SSGP events?

Players can E-mail me @ CatsCane@aol.com with “SSGP Age Up” in the subject line. So even if the E-mail hits spam, I can find it. Thanks.

If you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at George@seniortennisandfitness.com

My Book: and if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page.

3 thoughts on “Want To Get Better?

  1. Fitness and conditioning are a prerequisite for earning the right to compete through a season’s senior tournaments. Winning against other fit and conditioned players is a different discussion. The more gifted athletes (hand eye , quick feet, snap strength) can win with consistency while those of us that are not exceptional athletes need to develop tactical strategy and weapons (drop shots, heavy top spin or slice, moon balls, unexpected down the line backhands) that can overcome the consistent, physically talented players (sometimes).
    How to combine fitness with shot weapon development is exemplified by a recently very successful 60+ tournament player, Bill Ashley. He drastically improved his game by several years of consistent drilling developing a very effective western grip heavy forehand. His conditioning and footwork clearly improved while acquiring this weapon. He has earned his success. It has been fun to watch his progress.
    Combining shot development with fitness requires a work ethic, time commitment, and intelligently designed technical strategy. Someone to at best guide and at least share the work is a critical first step. Now, if I can just follow my own advice!

    Winder, I watched Bill Ashley in the finals at Longboat and he is a solid player. thanks. george

  2. George & Mark,

    A few comments on aging up players. It is a problem which the USTA supposedly has solved by providing the National Seeding / Selection list which is supposed to include aged up players with their points from the younger age group. Ironically when you click on it the title is National Age Up List. Why not just call it that? Apparently there is an Age Up ranking but it only applies to Juniors so doesn’t work for adults, go figure. Hopefully this January before too long they will publish the Seeding/Selection aka Age Up List again. Unfortunately FL does not publish the list. When on the committee I suggested that we rank the same as the ITF which 1) gives an age up player an asterisk and 2)automatically moves them up into the rolling ranking. We don’t move them until they play a Cat II and with only those points. My suggestion was shot down because it was too expensive an upgrade. Those asterisks are expensive. So we now a nice mismatch of inaccurate stuff.

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