The Reality of Becoming a Professional Athlete

The Reality of Becoming a Professional Athlete

March 06, 2018 / by Lock Laces

Many have the perception that the lifestyle of a professional tennis player reflects the elite, country club-like character of the sport. However, what most people do not see, is that it takes years of dedication, grinding and competing to reach the top tier of tennis that most people identify the sport with.

"Just because you are a “professional,” you are not necessarily making money," Lock Laces® tennis ambassador, Ronnie Schnieder said.

The public is exposed to the side of tennis that showcases famous pros like Federer and Nadal. They are often seen on Rolex and Nike commercials, or they are on ESPN often playing in manicured venues with members of royal families in the stands.

"To get to the point where you are making good money, you have to be playing the main draw of grand slams consistently, and there are not a ton of people in the world who can do that," Schnieder said.

To get to the top, it takes years of playing non-stop tennis all over the world. In the past two months, Ronnie Schneider has competed all across the U.S., in Great Britan and Canada.

"There is no doubt that traveling to a new city each week is a grind, but I feel like I have developed a pretty solid travel routine, and long days at the airport/in an airplane do not seem to bother me," Schnieder said.

Despite having to become acclimated to ongoing travel and tournaments, the young American tennis pro who graduated from University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in May of 2017 has collected some impressive wins in 2018 and 2018. However, his early success did not come easy.

"I have had to accept the fact that most every week you play, you will lose. In college, it is possible to go weeks and even months without losing. But in the pros, that never happens, and you just have to learn to accept and learn from it," Schneider said.

Over the past year, Schneider has been adamant on improving areas of his game that will help him continue to climb the professional tennis ranks.

"I have focused on my serve and return a lot. You quickly realize how important the first shot of each point is, and I have spent time each day at practice consciously working on those two items," Schnieder said.

During his first six months as a professional, Schnieder cracked into the top 500 of the ATP Rankings. In August of 2017, he was ranked 902. Currently, Schneider is ranked 491, proving that he has a high potential.

"Cracking the top 500 was a big goal of mine, but now I am shooting higher for sure. My goal in 2018 is to be in the top 400," said Schnieder.

While Schneider is driven and focused on the next step in his professional tennis career, he is thankful to have the opportunity to chase his dreams and more.

"My favorite part of my tennis journey has been the ability to meet new people and see new places. I had never traveled outside the US at all before graduating from UNC, so getting to see the world through tennis has been an amazing blessing," Schneider said.

Ronnie Schneider is an example for any young athlete to look up to. He is proof that working hard, staying humble and trusting in your talents can take you places that you didn't even know you could reach.

"Going into college, I did not even entertain the idea of playing after college, but my coaches at UNC instilled in me from day one that it was something I could definitely do. They really built up my self-confidence each day," Schneider said.

In a matter of months after his college graduation, Ronnie Schneider gained his first professional sponsor. In October of 2017, he became a brand ambassador for Lock Laces®. While starting out his professional career, he quickly realized that seemingly small details could make a huge difference in performance.

"There are a lot of things can go wrong in a tennis match, and equipment cannot be one of them. I can adjust lock laces however I see fit, and I know that they will stay that way for an entire 3+ hour match if needed," Schneider said.

Although Schneider is focused on moving up in the ATP rankings and winning as many matches as possible, he also represents the Lock Laces® brand through his actions and character.

"I value work-ethic for sure. I am typically the hardest worker by a lot. I also value having a good time. I hate when things get too serious when it is not related to my actual match. I really thrive a lot better when a practice, workout, even life in general is fun," Schneider said.

To learn more about Ronnie Schneider and Lock Laces® for Tennis, check out ambassadors pages.

See what Ronnie's favorite Lock Laces® color is here!



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