Can I play in college?

Discussion in 'College Tennis Talk' started by Falloutjr, May 20, 2010.

  1. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    I've only been playing tennis for one year with relatively no coaching, but I've been pro-rated as a 3.5 and I plan to take the next year off and get a lot of coaching over the summer and play both USTA league and tournaments, and I practice 2-3 hours everyday. About where do you think I can be before this fall when recruiting for 2011 starts? Thank you for your time.
     
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  2. TennisBeginner

    TennisBeginner Rookie

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    If you do good in the tournaments and bring your 3.5 up a bit I'm sure you'll do fine in college.
     
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  3. Doubles

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    If you can up your rating to about a 5.0-5.5, which from the sound of things you should be able to do based on your intese training this summer, then you should be able to play DII. Though it's also important how old you are, so we can know how long you will have to improve...
     
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  4. tennisjon

    tennisjon Semi-Pro

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    There seems to be some sort of confusion on many people's parts that D1 means better than D2 and D2 better than D3. There is a lot of overlap. For example, in New England, the NESCAC schools in D3 are almost all better than the D2 schools. What is a weak region for D1 and D2 is a very strong region for D3.

    I coach at Drew University in Madison, NJ and we do get to play in a tournament with D1 and D2 schools. There is little difference between our team which goes to nationals and the other schools which are average or below average in their conference. That being said, most of my starters on the men's team are 4.5 and a couple of 4.0. Of the non-starters they are 4.0 and 3.5. We are a team that goes to nationals, most teams, however are made up of a 4.5 or two, a few 4.0's and the rest 3.0-3.5.

    I played D1 in college and although everyone is rated higher automatically because of playing D1, the top starter was maybe 6.0 and everyone else was 5.0-5.5. Non-starters were 4.5 to 5.0 ability.

    The point is, you should be able to play college tennis. I would look and see where people you know play and what positions. Play tournaments to get match tough. Make a video to send to the college coaches. Do an overnight with the team and observe practice and/or a match to get an idea of the level of play as well as the coaches involvement. Many coaches are good at recruiting, bad at the day-to-day coaching aspect and others vice-versa.
     
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  5. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    Well he said I was on the upper end of 3.5; closer to 4.0 than 3.0. Do you think a person could go from 3.5 to 5.0 in that short a time? That seems like a bit of a stretch, but I'll give it all I have :p
     
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  6. tennisjon

    tennisjon Semi-Pro

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    That's a lot to do in a short period of time. A major part of being 5.0 level goes beyond just strokes. There is a huge part in shot selection, strategy, positioning, etc. I do know people who have done it, but they also were superior athletes who excelled in other sports. What they lacked in tennis IQ, they made up for in athleticism, competitiveness, and desire. Going from 3.5 to 4.5 is certainly doable, but it will come with match experience and coaching at each level. That 5.0 level is tough! Good luck with it!
     
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  7. Puredrivetennis

    Puredrivetennis Rookie

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    best of luck mate. not impossible but certainly difficult. work hard and live on the courts. don't let anyone tell you that you cant do it!
     
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  8. justinmadison

    justinmadison Semi-Pro

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    It is impossible to go from 3.5 to 5.0 in one year. The fact that you made it to 3.5 in one year is great. If you can make it to 4.0 that would be a nice achievement.

    People make it to 5.0 after 5 or 6 years.
     
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  9. djokovicgonzalez2010

    djokovicgonzalez2010 G.O.A.T.

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    I was wondering this too.
    I will (should, anyway, though I have an issue with getting suspended) play #1 for my school my junior year. My school is traditionally district champions, though we will be weaker then. What are my chances?
     
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  10. Puredrivetennis

    Puredrivetennis Rookie

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    what state, dg?
     
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  11. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    what did you do?
     
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  12. djokovicgonzalez2010

    djokovicgonzalez2010 G.O.A.T.

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    Ummm first for racket abuse, then audible obscenity (during practice!!!)
    Virginia
     
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  13. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Some people never make it to 5.0. I'm not going to give my opinion on this person's chances of playing college or getting a 5.0 rating because I don't want to discourage anyone nor do I want to give anyone a false sense of hope, but I think it is important for people to understand just how tough it is so here are is the distribution of ratings at the start of 2009:

    2.5 - 19,352 (6%)
    3.0 - 82,803 (27%)
    3.5 - 121,270 (39%)
    4.0 - 66,717 (21%)
    4.5 - 18,605 (6%)
    5.0 - 2,698 (1%)
    5.5 - 143 (<1%)

    The year end ratings bump moved more of the population into 3.5 and 4.0. Also, training alone won't get you anywhere. It's been said over and over again in other threads - there's a lot more to tennis than stroke production. You have to know how to use everything in your skillset in live situations. Morevoer, you need to know how you will respond under pressure. To learn point construction, strategy, defense, transition, mental toughness, etc. you need match experience. So I would recommend playing as many tournaments as possible.
     
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  14. subban

    subban Rookie

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    Well you are young and you could jump levels easier than someone older. But as tennisjon said there are subpar div III schools that you could start for with your 3.5 rating so I would'nt worry about trying to be 5.0 as the end all in being the standard to play college tennis. If you really want to jump levels fast I would recommend trying to work on your serve by putting more pace. Also try to learn a kick or topspin serve. This alone would take to 4-4.5 range.
     
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  15. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    I have a kick serve but it doesn't have much pace on it. It's in the 50-60 mph range and college players that I hit with just kill it. I've been working more on my slice serve and it seems to be much more effective. My opponents can't attack it as easily and as far wide as it stretches people to return I usually have a wide open court to hit an inside out forehand. I think it would be in my best interest to develop that as my main second serve and keep the kick serve as a change of pace should they step too far inside the baseline or cheat to their forehand side.

    Like I said, my serves are pretty solid. I can hit it in the low 100s but my % can be a little dodgy (around 40% usually) and when I try to go right down the T or out wide, it makes my % dip farther. My footwork and movement are probably the weakest part of my game. I can handle balls that have pace and spin, but sometimes I don't recognize a ball will land short and I end up reaching for it or hitting a poor approach shot and I either end up with weak position at the net and get passed/lobbed or I back up and get caught in no man's land and end up with a fastball at my feet so awareness and footwork would probably be my best bets to improve. Also, my mental game is a little weak. I don't get frustrated or mad when I play, I just tend to start slow. I always play better when I'm behind, it makes me focus more and puts more pressure on me, but I don't seem to step on the pedal from the beginning when I don't feel any pressure, so I often find myself in 4-1 or 5-2 holes and losing a set 6-4 or in a tiebreak or barely winning the set; something along those lines. Then, just the overall consistency, which will come with hitting back and forth over and over again and just develop solid shot making that it takes to be a well-rounded all-round tennis player. I think if I can hammer some of that out, I'll be fine. I know that's not a standard to be a college player, but it's always easier for me to set a goal for myself. I'll run around like a chicken with it's head cut off if i don't have something to strive for.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2010
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  16. subban

    subban Rookie

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    Serve in the low 100's...You could easily take some mph off this and serve in the upper 80's or low 90's and you could easily jump another level. How do you know you serve this high? I went to the US Open once and they have a demo booth with a radar gun to see how fast you serve. My friend served in the low 90's and I could only get it up in high 50's and low 60's. I would say the avg speed serve of a 3.5 player. My friend is also a 3.5 but he played minor league double A baseball for a couple of years as a pitcher and he says the serve is very similiar to pitching in terms of using your legs to generate pace on the ball.
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Read TennisJohn's post a few more times and let it sink it.
    You CAN make 5.0 if you are the best athlete, non injured, best vision, and willing to put in the hard work...and have the physical size and skills, of your entire area..whatever you consider.
    By now, you would need the biggest serve of anyone around...thos not consistent yet, can hit huge groundies that match up to 4.5's, and run and change direction like the wind.
    If you lack any of that, no chance. Everyone's got a 7 year head start on you.
    And you'd better be at least 6' tall, around 170 lbs., and can practice seriously....5 days a week, 5 hours a day, with good partners and good coaching.
     
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  18. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    Just from the eye test my serve looks at least 100. It's a very straight trajectory serve. It hits the fence in one bounce, usually hitting the fence a couple feet above the ground and most players I played with either got aced by it, or put up a weak ball that I can finish with, and my school historically plays one of the strongest schedules in the state. On average I would say the people I play against at first singles are solid 4.0s, with a few weaker 4.5s in there.

    And yeah I'm 6'1, 180 and I run a 4.6 so I do have the athleticism so I think that's definitely in my favor; I don't get injured easily. My vision is actually not that great I've been thinking about going to get my eyes checked out last time I was at the doctor was for my physical for the season and I had 20/25 vision and sometimes my depth perception fails me when a ball is coming at me. I definitely don't mind putting in the work though.
     
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Good stuff.... !!
    Get the footwork and incorporate the full shoulder turn on all shots.
    Start working on movement...short term. Toss 5 cones or objects around the court, randomly run full speed to touch each one. That's the best practice for the starting and stopping, change of directions, for tennis.
    Incorporate and practice a topspin second serve, swung faster than any first serve swing.
    Learn to probe, analyse, and recognize your opponent's weaknesses and strengths during warmups.
    Work on an all court game, but be sure to have topspin fore and backhands that are consistent and well placed. Pure power is useless without placement.
    At least double your time on the court. Everyone else is going 4-5 hours a day, 5 days a week.
    Depending on your height, your first flat serve should hit around mid 120's for any chance at Div11 singles. And have a 100% reliable second topspin and/or kick serve at around 75mph.
     
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  20. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    Okay I can do that to work on my footwork. Topspin is probably the strongest part of my game though. Off my forehand side I can get solid pace for all the spin I hit with (I use full western). My backhand has a little less pace on it, but it's still a pretty solid shot; I don't have to run around either of them. I can go for the hard winner if I get a good look at it and make it more than I miss, but I don't go for a lot of power I focus more on the consistent side of the game and try to construct points with angles and control. I'll try to make a video over the next week if I can so you guys can get a more accurate assessment of my game than me just describing it.

    And I do watch my opponents when I warm up I have a basic understanding of how to pick at my opponent's weaknesses but if I'm playing someone who's a very flat and hard hitter it's more difficult for me to hone in on it because I have less time to change the direction of the ball and I start playing pushy and usually just put the ball right back at their feet on the baseline and I lose control of the point, like if I see my opponent likes to hit flat I junkball them and slice and hit away from them so they don't get clean shots at the ball or if they push I'll approach and play the net or if they have bad movement I'll drop lob em and make them hit balls on the move.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
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  21. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    There is zero chance you will be a 5.0+ player next year. However you have a good shot at finding a weak college to play at. Just don't expect a scholarship.
     
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  22. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    Well I was offered scholarship money to play at some NAIA schools but I wanna play a higher division
     
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  23. tennis08tarheels

    tennis08tarheels Professional

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    If you want to stay in Ohio, check out Kenyon. Top 10 D3 program that's losing a lot of seniors this year. But I mean, you'll have to be very, very stellar to play at Kenyon. If you couldn't play at a mediocre DI school, you definitely can't play at Kenyon. Plus, I don't know about your grades but Kenyon is far from a cakewalk.

    Denison has a good program. Again, very good academic institution and it's not easy to get into. Case Western Reserve is another good school with a strong program, a little easier to get into.

    I don't think Oberlin has a good tennis team right now, but I'm assuming their facilities are amazing because they're hosting the national championships this year. I checked out Oberlin because I study music, it seems like a nice place. And if the facilities are that good, that's saying good things about the program's future.

    Depends on your level of play this time next year, and what you want from your college tennis experience. Would you rather be a practice partner on a team competing for a national title or a 4-year starter for a weaker school?

    Spend a little money and have someone make a good-looking video of your strokes and some match play this summer or early next fall. I don't know about there, but here there are people who will do that for around $100. Send it to coaches at a variety of levels and see what kind of feedback and interest you get. Go to as many college matches as you can next year and see what it's like...it's very different from high school in basically every way.
     
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  24. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    I would rather be a practice player on a good team with a good teaching coach that would give me the best opportunity to improve while I'm in college.
     
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  25. kimbahpnam

    kimbahpnam Hall of Fame

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    don't think it's going to happen, but good luck
     
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  26. tennisjon

    tennisjon Semi-Pro

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    As a coach, I can tell you, most people who don't crack the lineup in the first two years rarely stay on for year #3. Remember, you are putting in a lot of work for very little return in playing time. Plus, most coaches focus on the starters and the few players that they expect to have an impact the next year. There is usually not enough coaching resources to be able to focus on everyone equally. Also, you have to remember, every year there are new players coming in so not only do you have to leapfrog people who are there, but you have to be able to beat newcomers as well. That being said, you are right to look for colleges where the coaches know what they are doing. It can be hard to tell. Not all "successful" programs have coaches who know that much about tennis. Most matches are won by who recruits best, which is a completely different skill. I would always recommend doing an overnight with the team during the season. Go to class with them. Watch practice and a match if possible. See how active the coaches are in those situations.
     
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  27. farmpro

    farmpro New User

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    Kenyon, Middlebury and Emory almost annually have teams that would compete/beat half of the DI schools out there.
    Greenberg is NASTY.
     
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  28. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    falloutjr - you want to be familiar with NCAA eligibility rules. I know that DI has limitations on what level tournaments you can play without losing eligibility years. College coaches don't really want to use a scholarship on a kid that has to sit out a year...unless he will be a total stud for 3 years.

    I coach high school & you sound just like a player I coach. He has played 2 seasons at #2 & #3 for us after being a beginner 2 years ago. I have encouraged him to seek a 2 year JuCo and look to transfer after 2 years if he continues to improve at the rate he currently has.
     
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  29. tennisplaya14

    tennisplaya14 New User

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    if you do not get into a college the first time on the team get more matchs in and try walking on the next year if they see big improvments they will be impressed i no lots of college tennis players
     
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  30. DownTheLine

    DownTheLine Hall of Fame

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    Going from a 3.5 to a 5.0 in 1 year is nearly impossible, especially only playing 2-3 hours a day.

    I was in the same boat as you are a year ago. I was about a 3.25(lol) and I played 5-8 hours a day in the summer and improved to about a high end 3.5 if not a 4.0. I played everyday in the winter and am now about a 4.5, but am very far away from being a 5.0.

    You can play college tennis, yes. But you have to be realistic with the things you want to do. I'm not saying you will never be a 5.0, but it won't be easy to get there.


    What would you guys consider a person that got 3rd in the state at flight 1 in high school tennis? The person that got first was once in the top 5 for recruiting in the nation, and the second guy was in the top 35 for recruiting in the nation?
     
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  31. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    I don't wanna go to a juco because a lot of pre-med programs dont accept credits from those schools. I wanna major in chemistry. And the money is not of much concern to me my grades aren't stellar but I scored some pretty high SAT scores so after scholarships and financial aid tuition at schools I applied to for this year were only 5-6k a year. I would choose walking on to an upper division than scholarship money at a lower division.
     
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  32. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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  33. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    It takes about 3 years of Intense training and play to get from 3.5 to 5.0 level.
     
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  34. tennisjon

    tennisjon Semi-Pro

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    I strongly recommend going to practice and to a match of the teams that you are interested in joining. You can usually do an overnight with one of the people on the team. It will be much harder to improve on a team when you aren't a starter and aren't getting as much attention by the coaches. Just because a person coaches at the D1 or D2 level it does not mean they know any more about coaching tennis than someone at a D3 level. You might be best served improving your game at a lower level for a year or two and then transferring if you feel that the competition isn't good enough. That being said, the top of D3 are all 5.0 and above.
     
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  35. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    You don't seem committed enough if you're shooting down JuCo so easy.

    I think you should go to the school of your choice & play club tennis. You sound more focused on academics than sports, which is great. It's probably time to wrap up your junior career this year and just start playing for the fun of it as an adult.
     
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