We were chatting with a pro player that we helped out and we asked them a few questions about life for him on tour. We were amazed at some of his answers to the question.
What is tough about life on the road?
After hearing about how things roll for lower-ranked players, we find ourselves totally blessed!
I was lucky to start my career 15 years ago working at the top level with Monica Seles, and Giselle working with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario. We have never seen the hardship described below, but we are aware they exist.
We don’t want to slag professional tennis in any way, we want the general tennis community to know what life is like, for an aspiring tennis player. We want to help educate young players on what they need to prepare for and push through, in order to be in the top 100.
Male player's rankings sit between 1-1000. The circumstances we are talking about below relate to players ranked 200 and below. Considering they are 800 of the best players in the world it was a real surprise to us the standards they live and play in, when in fact many other professional sports (Soccer, Golf, Basketball, NFL, Car racing) whose athletes sit within the upper to bottom top 1000 are sitting a lot better off then these players financially.
Here are some of the things we found out and what aspiring players need to prepare themselves for:
These are just some of the challenges players face. Every individual has his or her own special needs as well. These can be hard to manage in foreign countries with minimal support.
My biggest concern is that there are players playing at a level very close to the top 100, who are not getting enough coaching, support, tennis fitness training, and body treatment that they need.
In these situations all you can do is manage as best you can and control what you can control; What you eat and drink, how you recover (stretch, foam roll, tennis yoga, tennis massage, mobility) how you construct your tennis fitness training, how much sleep you get and how many tournaments you play. Getting these areas right is up to the individual and ultimately will lead to a positive or negative outcome.
Wanting to do something and actually doing something are two totally different things. Doing something involves commitment and action. Not many players these days rocket to the top, most players spend years slogging it out before life gets easier and more comfortable.
I know for a fact there were times Sam Stosur, in her earlier days, had spent nights sleeping at airports.
We think all tennis players deserve a huge amount of respect for their continued efforts. In our opinion, the players who hang in there for years and years and eventually make the top 100 deserve the riches and everything else that come with it.
It would be nice to see the standard for the lesser tournaments improve to allow players a more comfortable experience and the ability to play their best tennis.
Let’s see what the future holds.
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