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RidiculousForm
03-23-2009, 10:56 AM
So I began playing tennis with friends last summer, and just recently started getting more into it. I picked up a new racquet that suited me better, and I've been playing every day, or at least going down to practice serves or different shots. I've joined the Tennis Club here on campus and will be going to that at least a few days out of the week for some matches. My question is how long does it usually take to get to the point of playing college level tennis? I've seen some guys who I believe play on the school team, and they're pretty good but it doesn't seem that unattainable. I plan on picking up a coach this summer and continue training.

If it matters (which it probably does), I go to Penn State.

Joeyg
03-23-2009, 01:47 PM
Playing tennis for less than a year and thinking you can play DI tennis? Not to shatter your hopes, but you have absolutely zero chance by the time you graduate.

Enjoy the game and work hard and maybe you can play at the 4.0 level in a few years. I would guarantee every person on the Penn State team has played for the majority of their lives and all of them have recievd high level coaching for many years.

It's nice to have a goal, but reality has to raise it's ugly head once in a while.

bet
03-23-2009, 01:56 PM
Your chance is zero. BUT since you are there, you can try if you like as long as your studies don't suffer too much.

The answer is right in front of you. Try playing those guys on the team, ask them to play "seriously" (they won't play completely seriously of course, you probably can't even play well enough to see their real level yet). If you get the chance, and the coach is around and not too busy, while you are playing, ask him a few questions if you have the chance and see if he'll watch you for a few minutes and give you some tips.

Play tournaments, see what level you are really at. Remember, that is what really counts, not whether you can hit one forehand and look like a college player but how effective is your forehand in real tournament play.

RidiculousForm
03-23-2009, 06:16 PM
From reading about the rating system I'd say I'm at around a 3.5.

Well I mean I started playing tennis again this past summer... I had hit it around every once in a while before, but this past summer was when I started playing and haven't really stopped modulo weather concerns.

What about DIII? Or any sort of competitive team? I really don't think they're as good as you make them out to be... our tennis team here, for lack of a better word is pretty bad in comparison to who they play. Straight set defeats aren't that uncommon according to the site.

RidiculousForm
03-23-2009, 06:17 PM
From reading about the rating system I'd say I'm at around a 3.5.

That is if you mean NTRP

Tennisman912
03-23-2009, 07:14 PM
RidiculousForm,

That is a great user name because what your are asking is ridiculous. It would take 5-10 years to get good enough for most to play college tennis and that is with high quality instruction and tons of on court time, let alone playing a few times a week just hacking the ball around.

And no, you are nowhere near 3.5 NTRP. The trouble is you don’t even know enough yet to know “what you don’t know.” Go to a local tennis club and set up a match with a 3.5 and you will see what I mean. Play someone on the PSU team and they will kill you playing with their off hand most likely. Ask them to hit even an easy serve for them and you won’t ever get it back. Those guys have been playing their whole lives and you have no idea how good they are in spite of “the poor record and compared to who they play in your opinion.”

Realistically, you are years away from playing competitively successfully at a high level. There are many who never even make it to high levels in spite of playing for 10-20 years or longer. Sorry to burst your bubble. Wasn’t trying to be mean, just honest. As you can tell by our tone, we get these questions all the time.

Good luck

TM

bet
03-23-2009, 07:34 PM
From reading about the rating system I'd say I'm at around a 3.5.

Well I mean I started playing tennis again this past summer... I had hit it around every once in a while before, but this past summer was when I started playing and haven't really stopped modulo weather concerns.

What about DIII? Or any sort of competitive team? I really don't think they're as good as you make them out to be... our tennis team here, for lack of a better word is pretty bad in comparison to who they play. Straight set defeats aren't that uncommon according to the site.

Ok, well, let's say for arguments sake you are a 3.5 (again, the best way to determine what you actually are is to get out there and play tournies, plenty right in your area from the looks of it).

Then you are saying you think the Penn state team is 3.5....I am quite doubtful of this. But again, you are right there, there is no point asking strangers on the internet whether a player we've never seen can make a team we've never seen.

Even if we also assume Penn State is 3.5, then they're not really much of a college team anyways! You can play 3.5 tennis anywhere...why do you even want to be on a 3.5 team? For bragging rights? It can't be that glorious being on a 3.5 college team that gets destroyed by real teams.

LeeD
03-24-2009, 09:01 AM
Yeah, long tough roe for you to hoe.
Given you're a 3.5 now, but you aren't of course.
Takes easy 2 years of 5 days a week, 4 hours a day practice and matches to get to the next level, 4.5, which won't even make your school's doubles teams, JV's, if they have it.
To get to singles level, try more like 5 years of tennis, 5 days a week, 4 hours a day. That is reality.
Maybe you can hit hard now, but you can't hit hard consistently and under MATCH pressure, which is the defining point for better players.
And you haven't experienced the pressures of match play, and the needs for strategy when PlanA doesn't work, and you don't know about assessing the opponents skills and flaws, what shots work in windy conditions, sun, stomach flu's, no sleep, hard hitters, pushers, moonballers, S/V'ers..... etc.

RidiculousForm
03-24-2009, 04:07 PM
Ok, well, let's say for arguments sake you are a 3.5 (again, the best way to determine what you actually are is to get out there and play tournies, plenty right in your area from the looks of it).

Then you are saying you think the Penn state team is 3.5....I am quite doubtful of this. But again, you are right there, there is no point asking strangers on the internet whether a player we've never seen can make a team we've never seen.

Even if we also assume Penn State is 3.5, then they're not really much of a college team anyways! You can play 3.5 tennis anywhere...why do you even want to be on a 3.5 team? For bragging rights? It can't be that glorious being on a 3.5 college team that gets destroyed by real teams.

No I'm not saying I think the Penn State team is a 3.5 (they are most definitely better). I think what I'm trying to say is that taking plateauing into account, I think I could get to a very competitive level within 8-12 months.

RidiculousForm
03-24-2009, 04:09 PM
And just for future reference, how is 3.5 defined?

Obviously the USTA got it wrong then.

bet
03-25-2009, 03:16 AM
No I'm not saying I think the Penn State team is a 3.5 (they are most definitely better). I think what I'm trying to say is that taking plateauing into account, I think I could get to a very competitive level within 8-12 months.

oh ok. Well if we say the team is at...5.0, then I'd say your chance of going from 3.5 to 5.0(in tournament play) in 8-12 months are zero. In fact, the percentage of people who EVER go from 3.5 to competing 5.0 is very low and the percentage that go from 3.5 to competing 5.0 as adults is very nearly zero. But try if you like, just don't count on it.

LeeD
03-25-2009, 07:56 AM
RF...
Basically, a tournament level 3.5 is at least a 3 year experienced player in match play, can hit first and second serves, has a strong consistent topspin forehand and maybe the same backhand, can volley with correct underspin short strokes, can hit most overheads inside the service line, can place most serves to the opponent's backhand, and can return most serves up to 5.0 levels, but is not totally consistent or grooved from years of match play.
A real 3.5 is the BEST playground player out of 20, unless there are ranked higher players around, and plays out of a little black book. A 3.5 cannot find singles matchs in pickup, because there is not enough competition floating around.
That is a 3.5.

RidiculousForm
03-27-2009, 08:28 AM
I passed by the school tennis center on my way back to the dorm from class today and I saw the mens team starting some warmup stuff for an event at 3 pm. I guess I'll check that out to see how they play.

To be honest from watching some serves in their practice matches they're good but not ridiculous.

Tennisman912
03-27-2009, 11:01 AM
RidiculousForm,

I hope you realize this team “that is good but not ridiculous” in your words was ranked 38 in the nation at the beginning of the season. I don’t know what they are ranked now and don’t care, but the point is you have no idea what good tennis looks like. You would have to be at least 5.0 to probably make the team and play.

Go hack the ball around and stop showing your obvious lack of tennis knowledge across the board. It makes you look more foolish with every post. You might as well just ask the pilot on your next commercial flight that you want to take over because you have been practicing your flying. Not a completely fair comparison granted but just as ridiculous as your thoughts about making the tennis team at PSU. Kids today seem more out of touch with reality every day. Sorry, but that is the truth people have been subtly trying to tell you but you have not caught on yet.

Just play, do your best, enjoy the process and get the best you can at it. Good luck.

TM

rscottdds
03-27-2009, 12:13 PM
I remember when my son first started playing tennis. We went out and watched UCSB play a match. He was in 9th grade at the time and said he thought he could probably beat some of those guys by the end of the year (had to love his confidence).

He's played for 5 years now taking lessons every week and playing pretty much everyday. He went from playing JV his first year to playing the #1 singles spot on varsity his senior year and gives lessons at our club. He now starts on the local city college team.

We went to a UCSB match recently. His comment was that they must have gotten a lot better in the past 5 years (said with a big grin). The point is that when he didn't know much about tennis he thought these guys weren't that much better than he was. Now that he knows alot about the sport he realizes how good they really are.

Anyway, bottom line is there's no way you make a D1 team. Some universities have club teams and even those might be hard to make as a 3.5. If Penn has a club team though that would certainly be a more realistic goal.

-Robert

ttbrowne
03-27-2009, 01:14 PM
Is this a joke??!!

Because if it's NOT.....

About 4 months to go from 3.5 to 5.5.
About 3 more months to win a NCAA Singles Championship.
Another couple of weeks to make the ATP tour. (if you don't play Nadal/Fed/Joker.)
Then 6 months to win your first Major!

Okay, Quit wasting time. Get to practicing.

nickynu
03-30-2009, 03:48 PM
Hey dont flame the guy he is asking what must seem like a perfectly reasonable question to somebody who admits they have a limited tennis background, he will find out the truth if he tries it, so no need to be so mean.

Ridiculous, anything is possible for anybody if they truely believe in it. HOWEVER I rate your chances 1/1000 even if you really work hard.

Tennis is such a technical sport, and the fact those guys make it look easy just means they are better than you think. They would only be worse (ie closer to your level as a relative newcomer) if they didnt look like they knew what they were doing and were all over the place.

Think of it like chess. Two guys combatting their relative tactical/tecnichal abilities - it doesnt look that hard does it, but the truth is you have absolutely NO shot against somebody studying and playing the game for years if you are a newcomer to chess.

All that said good luck

ElectricTennis
03-30-2009, 07:27 PM
They are being harsh but oh so true.

Can I ask how playing some fun matches with your friends in the summer, and playing again now, gets you to 3.5, and Penn quality?

High Schooler or not that seems totally exaged.

P8ntballa
03-30-2009, 08:04 PM
Ummm I dont think its totally impossible, with the right coaching... It took me 3 years to reach the 4.5 level (I hav been rated by a pro and do play tournys.) Of those 3 years, 2 wer playing competitively and only around 8 months was spent with a private coach. I got to the 3.5 level by jus practicing with my gf, we jus hit, no drills. My coach got me to the 4.0 level in about 1 summer, and I hit 4.5 shortly after that. Im still with my coach and he hopes to get me up to the 5.0 level by this summers end. Realistically look at around 1 1/2 years-2 years to get to the level where u can rally with the college players, u can tryout as a walkon, but its gonna b extremely tough and u wont get much playin time if u mak it. But if u can impress som of the players u might gain som new hitting partners and possibly an invite to practice with the team even if u dont mak the cut, which i think is really good. Jus really work ur butt off, find a GOOD coach and put in alot of time with him/her. Jus try ur hardest and do not fool around.

Vicious
03-31-2009, 07:42 PM
If you practice 9 hours a day, JUST maybe. But what he is saying, is he had some fun, hit around in the summer, than started again, and has decided he is a 3.5

Guarentee he is exagerating. People tend to rate themselves better than they are.