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ksteph
11-30-2010, 05:36 PM
I had a clinic with my teammates today and after discussing who had/hadn't moved up, our pro told us the best level to be at playing tennis is a 3.5. He said more you move up, the less tennis you will play. He continued to say that being a 3.5 gives you the advantage of playing 6.5, 7.5, 6.0, 7.0 etc. He also admitted if he had his choice, he would go back to being a 3.5.

Personally, I would like to go back to playing 3.5, due to the fact that the 4.0 level, it can get really catty sometimes.

So my question is: If you could go back and change your level, what level would you be?

DevilsChildXD
11-30-2010, 05:50 PM
I wouldnt go back lol i want to constantly improve and what does your pro mean by you dont get to play as much when your 4.0?? Less tourneys??

OrangePower
11-30-2010, 05:54 PM
I had a clinic with my teammates today and after discussing who had/hadn't moved up, our pro told us the best level to be at playing tennis is a 3.5. He said more you move up, the less tennis you will play. He continued to say that being a 3.5 gives you the advantage of playing 6.5, 7.5, 6.0, 7.0 etc. He also admitted if he had his choice, he would go back to being a 3.5.

Personally, I would like to go back to playing 3.5, due to the fact that the 4.0 level, it can get really catty sometimes.

So my question is: If you could go back and change your level, what level would you be?

That just confirms what I've suspected all along.

Guess it's time to self-rate at 3.5 using an alias. And then using all the knowledge I've gleened from all the smart folks here on TT, I should be able to manage my rating so that I stay a 3.5 forever :)

Of course if I could change my level to *anything*, I'd rather be a legit 7.0!

goran_ace
11-30-2010, 07:09 PM
I wouldnt go back lol i want to constantly improve and what does your pro mean by you dont get to play as much when your 4.0?? Less tourneys??

Remember that the NTRP levels are distributed like a bell curve and as you go higher there are fewer and fewer players. Fewer players out there means less teams/flights in leagues and smaller draws in tournaments. The 4.0 level is still pretty well populated with players, but there's a noticeable fall off at 4.5, then another at 5.0 and 5.0+/open.

Meanwhile, at 3.5 you can play as much or as little as you want. I know quite a few women at my club who play league 4 or 5 days a week in summer - e.g. one of them plays 3.5 womens league on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, then 7.5 combo on Wednesdays, and 3.5 mixed with her husband on Fridays.

LeeD
11-30-2010, 07:30 PM
I see it the opposite way.
Getting out of 3.5 finally, I looked forward to moving up in the ladder, playing the best local players, maybe seeing how the open events went, and up.
Why settle for playing with your peers or the players you already beat?
After C is B, which is 4.5 nowadaze. I did not ever enter any B tournaments, instead opting to go to the Opens and a couple of Q's.

JRstriker12
11-30-2010, 07:37 PM
IMHO - 4.0 still gives you plenty of chances to play.

I think the best level to play at is the level where you are competitive. I would not go back to playing 3.5 (even though I won a lot more at 3.5), I enjoy the challenge of playing at 4.0

As for 4.0 being "catty", you could say that better players are more serious about their games and more competitive. But in general, I don't really see much of a difference in attitude.

atatu
11-30-2010, 07:56 PM
My experience is actually there is less gamesmanship, etc. the higher you get...

Bud
11-30-2010, 08:00 PM
IMO, most players who did not play as ranked juniors should strive to be a 4.0-5.0. This is where the game really starts getting interesting, IMO. You encounter players who start really going for their shots at 4.0 and above. You also start experiencing pace and spin during rallies that can last 6-8 really good shots.

New Kid On the Block
11-30-2010, 08:04 PM
I can see what the original poster is saying but no one who has any type of competitive spirit would want to go backwards.

Nationally, most of the players are rated in the 3.5/4.0 area, this was spread out a little more last year with the massive bump ups, so now it is more 3.5/4.0/4.5 there are very few 2.5/3.0 and 5.0/5.5.

So when somone moves up to the really higher levels there are less opportunities, such as the 5.0 league only has 1 court of singles and two doubles, because the truth is there are not that many 5.0 players and many places dont even have open division, so if you dominate everyone and get bumped to 5.5 you are looking to enter some very elite touraments or you are going to find it a little harder to get some competition.

But i certainly wouldnt want to go back, the tri level league give guys at different levels a chance to play with their friends that they might have left behind a level or two ago.

Cindysphinx
12-01-2010, 04:04 AM
Good question, Ksteph. I feel like I have one foot in both worlds because I play 3.5 and 4.0, as well as 7.5 combo.

First, I'm not finding 4.0 to be any more catty than 3.5 but my experience is more limited than yours. I find some players are more seasoned overall and are more likely to know the rules, etc. though.

I have to say, I think being on the high end of 3.5 is awfully convenient. As you say, there is a wide mix of teams upon which to play. Tenniswise, this means I have the option to be the dominant player on a team and doubles pairing (6.5 combo) with the task of protecting my weaker partner. Or I can be the weakest player on the court, carried around on the shoulders of a 4.5 guy. Both of these options provide real tennis challenges of a different nature.

That said, I would ideally like to settle in at the high-middle end of 4.0. The reason is that few 3.5 teams play doubles in the most exciting way -- everyone coming to net. It just never seems to happen that we have one of those exciting, fast-paced, 4-at-net exchanges at 3.5. I don't see this in any setting other than 8.0 mixed. Since 8.0 is where the fun is, that's where I want to be and it's easier to do that as a 4.0 than a 3.5.

bcart1991
12-01-2010, 05:09 AM
There are definitely more leagues at 3.5 than at higher levels, because that's the middle range of levels. That said, I would hate to go back to 3.5 because the matches wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

Camilio Pascual
12-01-2010, 05:17 AM
...our pro told us the best level to be at playing tennis is a 3.5. He said more you move up, the less tennis you will play.
So my question is: If you could go back and change your level, what level would you be?
More importantly, you should change your coach.

pennc94
12-01-2010, 06:09 AM
I had a clinic with my teammates today and after discussing who had/hadn't moved up, our pro told us the best level to be at playing tennis is a 3.5. He said more you move up, the less tennis you will play. He continued to say that being a 3.5 gives you the advantage of playing 6.5, 7.5, 6.0, 7.0 etc. He also admitted if he had his choice, he would go back to being a 3.5.

Personally, I would like to go back to playing 3.5, due to the fact that the 4.0 level, it can get really catty sometimes.

So my question is: If you could go back and change your level, what level would you be?

Get a new coach. He/she thinks it is better to maximize play rather than improve.

Cindysphinx
12-01-2010, 06:13 AM
Ah, come on. I think that's a little harsh.

We have a bunch of women, some of whom apparently did not get moved up from 3.5. They are perhaps disappointed. Coach in a clinic tries to make them feel better by telling them that they will get more and varied playing opportunities at 3.5 than 4.0. Lemons, lemonade. Is that so horrible?

Consider also that a strong 3.5 will also get more playing time *and* will get to play against the strongest teams/opponents, which should present a nice challenge. The line between the bottom of 4.0 and the top of 3.5 is a slender one, so the coach does have a point.

cknobman
12-01-2010, 06:14 AM
Choosing to go back down a level in my opinion is counterproductive and defeats the purpose in playing.

I play to improve and challenge myself and anyone with the same goals should be ashamed of themselves for wanting to back down a level.

Now for the other-side of the coin, if you are playing for social interaction and dont care about competition then go back down a level because all your doing is getting in the way of the people that DO want to compete.

pennc94
12-01-2010, 06:18 AM
Ah, come on. I think that's a little harsh.

We have a bunch of women, some of whom apparently did not get moved up from 3.5. They are perhaps disappointed. Coach in a clinic tries to make them feel better by telling them that they will get more and varied playing opportunities at 3.5 than 4.0. Lemons, lemonade. Is that so horrible?

Consider also that a strong 3.5 will also get more playing time *and* will get to play against the strongest teams/opponents, which should present a nice challenge. The line between the bottom of 4.0 and the top of 3.5 is a slender one, so the coach does have a point.

I would agree with you if the coach was trying to console those that did not get bumped up, but the OP stated that the coach wished he/she could go back down to 3.5. The coach is stating that his improvement came at a detriment to him/her!!!! There are plenty of people to play as a 4.0 or higher (unless you live in a tennis-starved section).

JoelDali
12-01-2010, 06:25 AM
We're one mistake from playing mixed together
Let's not ask why it's not right
You won't be a 3.5 forever
And we can get away with sandbagging tonight

Perry the Platypus
12-01-2010, 08:02 AM
Never played 3.5 so I can't say. I did get bumped from 4.0 to 4.5 a few years back and I have to admit that in many ways it was more fun being a 4.0. At 4.0 you had more playing opportunities and got to play a much wider variety of players. At 4.5 you play the same people multiple times a year, year in, year out. Even at state and sectionals, it is the same old folks. Yes, the competition is better, but the variety and ability to play more matches was nice.

Sometimes it is more difficult to beat a player who may not be quite as good, but plays differently from what you are used to than it is to beat a really good player who you just know how to beat. I guess I just wish there were more 4.5's.

Also when my wife got bumped to 4.5 her playing opportunities dropped dramatically.

NoSkillzAndy
12-01-2010, 08:22 AM
Choosing to go back down a level in my opinion is counterproductive and defeats the purpose in playing.

I play to improve and challenge myself and anyone with the same goals should be ashamed of themselves for wanting to back down a level.

Sometimes people just aren't ready to get bumped up. They might not have the skills and the shots necessary to compete at the next level. In those cases it is counter-productive to be playing at a higher level than they can compete, because it doesn't help them improve when they're getting overpowered or outplayed on every shot. They would be better off developing their strokes at a lower level against opponents that they can grove against, creating a good foundation of technique so that they have a better skill set to work with when they move up.

I see this in juniors tennis all the time. You can't just throw a first year student into tournaments right off the bat. Not only are they going to lose, but they won't get anything out of it besides some bad habits that won't help them one bit. You have to build a solid foundation first, only then can they hope to succeed at higher levels.

That being said, there are definitely some people who want to play at lower levels just because they want to dominate without any intention of actually improving :)

bcart1991
12-01-2010, 08:27 AM
We're one mistake from playing mixed together
Let's not ask why it's not right
You won't be a 3.5 forever
And we can get away with sandbagging tonight

This forum needs a reputation system.

jdubbs
12-01-2010, 08:46 AM
3.5 players would bore me to death. Even hack 4.0'ers bother me. Give me a 4.5 match any day (even though I'm a true 4.0).

If you're just looking to play a lot, I guess stay at 3.5. But I can't imagine playing at that level all the time. I'd be bored out of my skull.

RogerRacket111
12-01-2010, 09:40 AM
Its so sad that people want to play at lower levels. And taking lessons from a guy who would want to play in 3.5 that ridiculous. I don't even feel like taking lessons from our pro who has played USO, Wimbledon and was head coach of Rice albeit long time ago because I feel his game is old school and I rather learn by watching the real pros who are playing now.

I would rather lose badly at a higher level than win easily at a lower level. Its not just a number it represents how good of a player you are. You should want to play at a higher level and be rated at a higher level.

Its like a kid saying I really like 3rd grade I can get A's all the time so I will remain in 3rd grade.

UnforcedError
12-01-2010, 10:10 AM
I find it interesting that people think tennis revolves around USTA leagues. I play some USTA league and tournament matches but it is a small part of the total tennis I play. As a 4.5 I have more people to play with than I have time. My goal for this year is to be bumped up to 5.0 which will exclude me from any USTA league play in my area, I won't be sad about it.

SweetH2O
12-01-2010, 10:11 AM
I don't think the pro's comments had anything to do with winning and losing. It probably comes from him not having many people at his level to play with so he envies all the 3.5s who can show up to a court and probably find someone to hit with around their level.

And I also don't think he's saying he would like to go back to 3.5 while also staying at his current playing ability. Perhaps he was saying that tennis was most fun for him when he was a 3.5 so he wishes he could go back to that time in his life. When tennis didn't feel like a job for him.

JoelDali
12-01-2010, 10:18 AM
This forum needs a reputation system.

You've never heard the song 17 FOREVER?

:(

cknobman
12-01-2010, 10:53 AM
Sometimes people just aren't ready to get bumped up. They might not have the skills and the shots necessary to compete at the next level. In those cases it is counter-productive to be playing at a higher level than they can compete, because it doesn't help them improve when they're getting overpowered or outplayed on every shot. They would be better off developing their strokes at a lower level against opponents that they can grove against, creating a good foundation of technique so that they have a better skill set to work with when they move up.


If your playing USTA and have been a part of that system for at least 2 seasons then when you get bumped the system has determined your ready to play at that level and usually the system is right unless someone is intentionally losing matches to trick the system.

Sure you may not "feel" like your ready but when you get bumped its because you have been winning(or playing very well against the best) at the level your currently playing.

If your constantly winning then how are you improving? Even Nadal and Federer are always trying to improve and they are at the top of the game. Truth is unless you loose your likely not going to improve on the parts of your game that need it because the people your playing are not good enough to exploit your weaknesses.

Again as I stated before if your playing to improve, challenge yourself, and become a better player than you should relish the times when you get bumped because those are the times when youll have the most opportunity to improve your game.

bcart1991
12-01-2010, 11:13 AM
You've never heard the song 17 FOREVER?

:(

Thankfully, no. We still need a rep system. :twisted:

JoelDali
12-01-2010, 11:24 AM
"If a reputation is considered a possession, then mne is the most important thing I own..."

Arthur Ashe
----------------------------

I don't live up to AA standards, I'm just a ****.

ksteph
12-01-2010, 02:02 PM
I don't think the pro's comments had anything to do with winning and losing. It probably comes from him not having many people at his level to play with so he envies all the 3.5s who can show up to a court and probably find someone to hit with around their level.

And I also don't think he's saying he would like to go back to 3.5 while also staying at his current playing ability. Perhaps he was saying that tennis was most fun for him when he was a 3.5 so he wishes he could go back to that time in his life. When tennis didn't feel like a job for him.

This is exactly what he was saying. Our pro is one the more respected coach in Howard County area. He definitely doesn't want us playing at any level lower than 4.0. By time I'm done with his 90 minute session, I can barely move.

In the Mid Atlantic section, there's been a increase in 4.0 leagues due to last years bump up. I know couple of friends who were moved up to 4.5 and they have travel all the way up to Pennsylvania to play tennis.

DeShaun
12-04-2010, 04:27 PM
IMO, most players who did not play as ranked juniors should strive to be a 4.0-5.0. This is where the game really starts getting interesting, IMO. You encounter players who start really going for their shots at 4.0 and above. You also start experiencing pace and spin during rallies that can last 6-8 really good shots.

This seems correct to me, based on very limited experience I've had. Most people I hit with, or play matches against, are 3.0. A few are 2.5; a few more are 3.5; but there is one guy whom I hit with who is rated a 4.0. He is the only person who regularly goes for (and actually hits the vast majority of his) winners. He can blister my corners with his put-away shots, and I would estimate that he does so (hit blistering winners) accurately roughly eighty percent of time, whenever I've accidentally sent him a short ball. The rest of my regular hitting partners simply cannot do this...but they are not 4.0s

Maui19
12-05-2010, 05:23 AM
This seems correct to me, based on very limited experience I've had. Most people I hit with, or play matches against, are 3.0. A few are 2.5; a few more are 3.5; but there is one guy whom I hit with who is rated a 4.0. He is the only person who regularly goes for (and actually hits the vast majority of his) winners. He can blister my corners with his put-away shots, and I would estimate that he does so (hit blistering winners) accurately roughly eighty percent of time, whenever I've accidentally sent him a short ball. The rest of my regular hitting partners simply cannot do this...but they are not 4.0s

I might be wrong, but your 4.0 friend's ground strokes sound like they are well above the 4.0 level. Is his game less polished in other areas?

fleabitten
12-05-2010, 06:11 AM
I would agree with you if the coach was trying to console those that did not get bumped up, but the OP stated that the coach wished he/she could go back down to 3.5. The coach is stating that his improvement came at a detriment to him/her!!!! There are plenty of people to play as a 4.0 or higher (unless you live in a tennis-starved section).

THIS. I think your coach may have been trying to be nice to the girls that didn't get bumped. There are still plenty of players at the 4.0 level and you will play as much tennis as you schedule.

jdubbs
12-05-2010, 07:44 AM
I might be wrong, but your 4.0 friend's ground strokes sound like they are well above the 4.0 level. Is his game less polished in other areas?

Against 3.0's and 3.5's, who usually put little pace on the ball, I can do this as well.
When I play true 4.0's and 4.5's the winners don't come nearly as easily and the UE's build up.

DeShaun
12-05-2010, 04:43 PM
I might be wrong, but your 4.0 friend's ground strokes sound like they are well above the 4.0 level. Is his game less polished in other areas?

It's hard for me to criticize my buddy's game when he's not here to defend it, besides we almost never play actual matches so I haven't really seen him serving except for one occasion about twenty minutes total. But he's really dependable and consistent when it comes to putting away the short sitters that I tend to hit accidentally against him, and he can hit me off the court from his baseline with sheer power pretty much whenever he wants to. You have got to keep in mind, however, that I only started learning how to play tennis since this past March, and so, while he states that he believes that I may actually be a 3.0, I would tend to rate myself a 2.5 and as such, it doesn't take too much to impress me..but this is being kind of unfair to him because, as I said earlier, I have other hitting partners, who have participated in 3.0 tournaments locally, whom I have played informal matches against and lost to, barely winning a game or two per set, and these 3.0 buddies of mine do not strike the ball half as cleanly or powerfully as my 4.0 buddy. On the other hand, I cannot honestly comment on how match tough my 4.0 buddy is, although, I am positively certain that at least one 3.0, and possibly a second 3.5, buddy of mine are extremely match tough and mentally composed under pressure. In the end all I can safely say is that I have buddies whose forehands, for example, are very steady and consistent, but only my 4.0 buddy's forehand is what I would call an actual weapon, with which he can end points in one stroke; he can hit it FROM multiple locations TO multiple locations--it is a legitimate weapon. His one handed backhand is pretty steady too, and he can generate a good bit of topspin pop with it (because he drives forwards into it well, using good footwork). His serve (from what little I've seen) is nearly the heaviest of all my buddies', but it's not necessarily the most reliable, and his second serve looked to be somewhat predictable. Of all my buddies, his backhand slice is second best in terms of the amount of spin that is put on the ball, but it's the absolute best at staying very low and going deep and skidding (One 3.0 buddy of mine who is, I guess, a junk-baller has this slice that is wicked for its spin but not placed as well/deep/low as my 4.0 buddy's)

kimbahpnam
12-05-2010, 04:49 PM
I'd never trade improvement for playing time.

MrCLEAN
12-05-2010, 06:20 PM
I kicked @ss in 3.0's :).

I enjoy the better quality of tennis at 4.0, though I do lose more often than not, at least you feel like you're sort of starting to be a decent player.

goober
12-07-2010, 06:53 AM
Remember that the NTRP levels are distributed like a bell curve and as you go higher there are fewer and fewer players. Fewer players out there means less teams/flights in leagues and smaller draws in tournaments. The 4.0 level is still pretty well populated with players, but there's a noticeable fall off at 4.5, then another at 5.0 and 5.0+/open.

Meanwhile, at 3.5 you can play as much or as little as you want. I know quite a few women at my club who play league 4 or 5 days a week in summer - e.g. one of them plays 3.5 womens league on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, then 7.5 combo on Wednesdays, and 3.5 mixed with her husband on Fridays.

It depends where you live. I know a 4.5 woman that plays on 6 different leagues/teams- 2 USTA, 2 club league, interclub team and nonUSTA league.

The whole premise though that a club pro would go back to playing 3.5 is absurd. 3.5 is filled with hackers, pushers and all kinds of play that most higher level players would not find enjoyable.

Spokewench
12-07-2010, 08:16 AM
Thanks for calling me a hacker and a pusher because I'm a 3.5! It is really nice that you would lump us all in the same basket! Now, I know what the OP meant when he said 4.0 is full of catty players. Oh, another statement lumping everyone in the same basket. I am a 3.5 now, I do not intend to stay a 3.5 and will improve my tennis as I play more. You have to realize that 3.5 is also just a level on the way up the tennis ladder. I'm coming into my 4th year of playing tennis at the age of 50/51 so I've still got some improvement coming and so do many other 3.5s. You also have to realize that all people don't play tennis just to kick butt. Some enjoy the game for recreation and a social avenue. Let them enjoy the game of tennis for what they enjoy it for.

Now, on to what I was going to say. With the bump ups of the last two years, and living in a small rural area, there are hardly no 3.5s left in my District. The majority of players are now in the 4.0 level and of course, the 4.5 area has grown but is still not huge. I do not think the USTA intended for this to happen as I believe the 3.5 ranks are where improving players come from. If you don't have 3.5's you won't have 4.0s and the like. I myself am finding it almost impossible to put a 3.5 senior team together cause all my players have moved up or are injured and there is not a pool to pull from. It's tough out here in the hinterlands.

goober
12-07-2010, 08:48 AM
Thanks for calling me a hacker and a pusher because I'm a 3.5! It is really nice that you would lump us all in the same basket! Now, I know what the OP meant when he said 4.0 is full of catty players. .

Reading comprehension issues? I said that 3.5 is filled with hackers and pushers not that ALL 3.5 players play like that. I must have missed the part of the post where I was calling you out. Obviously there are many playing styles at any level but as a general premise, I would say that there are many hackers and pushers in 3.5. Do you disagree? Also my point was that a teaching pro who is presumably 4.5+ would actually want to go back and play that level of tennis by choice is pretty crazy to say the least.