Larry Gottfried's Introduction to tennis
“There was no clear cut path or like a master plan. We were just blessed to be introduced to it and just sort of latched on to it," said Gottfried (Gottfried, “Interview”, March 26, 2018.) Reflecting upon his introduction to the game of tennis, Gottfried became passionate about the sport unintentionally. Larry and his brother Brian Gottfried grew up together playing junior tennis. "I guess the first time I played tennis was when I was about 4 years old," said Gottfried. "Brian was involved in the game and my folks traveled with him so it was a way of survival," (Stokes, “Pro Tennis Facing Teen Boom,” Washington Post, April 25, 2018.) Larry Gottfried was one of McEnroe's day to day competition in Junior tennis (Strokes, Pro Tennis Facing Teen Booms.)
McEnroe usually won, however the exposure to McEnroe's style of game allowed for Gottfried to improve (Gottfried Interview, March 26, 2018.) "When I entered my first tournament I was nine," remarked Gottfried. "But when I was about eleven I put the game to rest. It was too much pressure being Brian's brother. I wasn't good and I couldn't handle it at that time," (Strokes, Pro Tennis Facing Teen Booms.) Gottfried’s introduction to tennis was always compared to his older brothers. Gottfried was constantly trying to pave his own way in tennis and find a name for himself in the sport (Strokes, Pro Tennis Facing Teen Booms.) His establishment in the sport was authentic and was based upon his self-motivation to become better than his brother and his opponents.