Tennis is a sport paved with many challenges, and as cruel as it sounds, only a select few can ever succeed in this field, with the remaining players falling into the abyss, swallowed whole by their defeats. 

Thus, tennis legend John McEnroe urged the young tennis players to get a college degree and play other sports as well.

McEnroe’s interview 

In an interview with the Smartless Podcast, the 7-time grand slam champion bared out his honest thoughts about his experiences and his perspective on sports and education, more specifically college.

He began by sharing his experiences, saying, “I grew up in Queens. The best thing that ever happened to me was not going to a [Nick] Bollettieri-style camp. I would’ve quit the game at 16 or 17. I love to play other sports.”

The former American tennis player then asserted that it is much more beneficial for individuals to participate in a variety of sports and that the notion that they must specialize in one sport is simply a misconception.

“All studies show, both physically and mentally, it’s healthier for kids to play other sports. This idea that you’ve got to go all in in soccer or basketball is a bunch of, can you say bull***t on this, it’s total BS.”

“The truth is, what I base my beliefs on and what this academy is all about, that you should play other sports and you should come to this a little later. Tennis players are peaking later than they ever did,” McEnroe said.

After making this point, McEnroe went on to say that going to college is essential for their development as it prepares them for professional life. He also sent out a reminder that not everybody can be Carlos Alcaraz, the current World No. 2, who’s taking the world by storm at the young age of 20.

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College Experience

“I think college is an experience that not only do you get to play as a team potentially if you’re in a sport, but you get to grow up a little bit & also have some fun before you work your way into a profession, and you’ll be more prepared to handle it. So I completely disagree with what academies do most often.”

“ For every person you hear that succeeds, there’s a million that don’t. Not everyone’s Carlos Alcaraz, he’s one in a billion. He’s just a freak. He’s an incredible player, but most kids have no business doing that,” said McEnroe.

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