849 N. Buffalo Dr. Saratoga Springs, UT 84045801-368-3927carl@saratogaspringstennis.com

Tennis Players are the Best Athletes in Sports!

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Jeff Salzenstein

I’m a big fan of Jeff Salzentein (that’s him above). He’s a former Stanford University All-American (2 times), a NCAA champion (2 team titles), and a former top 100 pro. His website jeffsalzensteintennis.com has a wealth of tennis training information. Check it out; you’ll be glad you did.

Awhile back I received and email from Jeff with the following statement:

“One could argue that professional tennis players are the best athletes in the world.

Sure basketball and football players can be more explosive and certainly quicker, but what sport requires incredible explosiveness combined with over the top endurance while adding in the insanely high skill required to hit a tennis ball from all positions in the court.

 And the fact that tennis is a “mano y mano” sport with no coaching allowed during individual competition, and you have created a combination of attributes that athletes in other sports can’t match.  

The French Open certainly brings out all of these qualities that make tennis players the best athletes:  Strength, Endurance, High Skill, and Mental Toughness.”

What do you think, are tennis players the “Best Athletes in the World”? I’ve played the other sports, and I’m sure you have also, and I think tennis does produce the best athletes in the sporting world!

Think about what it takes to be a good tennis player. You must be blesses with great whole-body coordination. You must have great eye-hand coordination with great hands for touch and feel. You must have great feet for quickness and speed. You must have a fast, acute mind. And this is just the beginning!

Then think about all the things you have to learn. You have to learn all the strokes—forehand, backhand, volley, serve, overhead, and the list goes on. Then you have to learn all the nuances of all the strokes. Then you have to learn the strategy. Then you have to be in great shape physically. Wow, do we do all this stuff?

Name one other sport where you have to hit a ball that’s coming at you at over 130 mph while you are moving and trying to get it into a relatively small court area—and doing it over and over again just to win one point.

I love this sport! But, more than the sport itself, I love the challenge of this sport.  I’ve mentioned this in past posts that one of the many things I love about tennis is the challenge of constant improvement.  The thrill of getting just a little better each time you play.  Maybe you’re hitting that serve more consistently, or maybe you’re hitting it faster, or maybe you’re hitting it with more spin, or maybe you’re hitting it further up the sideline, or maybe … I could go on and on … remember this is a game of nuances and that’s what makes it so much fun and so difficult to master.

So, once again, are tennis players the world’s greatest athletes?  I think you already know my answer; what’s yours?

See you on the courts!

Coach Carl

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LoriJanuary 22, 2013 at 5:31 pmReply

Great job babe!

Garin HessMay 31, 2013 at 8:30 amReply

I’d like to think so since it is my favorite sport ;). I do think it is fun sometimes to take another athlete on the court that is great at basketball or football who makes disparaging comments about how easy tennis is. The lack of the coach during match play is what I think really separates. Mental toughness is not required at the same level in any other sport that I know of. It’s another great reason for kids to learn tennis as it helps prepare them mentally for many challenging situations in life.

CarlMay 31, 2013 at 7:49 pmReply

Hi Garin,

Thanks for your comments; it’s nice to hear from a friend. I especially like your point about other athletes playing tennis. Tennis is all too often dismissed as a trivial sport by those that don’t really understand it–they lump it together with other “sports/activities” like bowling, croquet, etc. Just because you’re a great athlete doesn’t mean you’ll naturally be a great tennis player; you still need to put in the practice to develop the needed skills. Athletic ability can get you in the game, but skill is what wins the match!

Coach Carl