On NTRP

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by skiracer55, Apr 5, 2011.

  1. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    That would be great...

    ...they don't have private messages on this forum, so we'll have to find another way to exchange contact info, but, yeah, let's definitely do it soon...
     
    #51
  2. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I sent an E-mail through the message board, never tried that before so I don't know if it will work.
     
    #52
  3. ian2

    ian2 Semi-Pro

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    Skiracer, I happen to be your neighbor just down the road in Louisville. I'd be surprised if I haven't seen you before at the tournaments and such, but as it is I don't know who you are... at least I don't think I do. Hope to meet you in person some day to hit a few balls if that works for you (though I'm nowhere near your level) or just to chat. I'll try shooting you an email through your TW profile. Meanwhile, thank you for an interesting discussion!
     
    #53
  4. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    worked like a charm...

    ...will respond to your email....
     
    #54
  5. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Got it...

    ...will respond ASAP...
     
    #55
  6. GPB

    GPB Professional

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    you said that phrase a couple times in your comments... ahh, the crux of my tennis existence!
     
    #56
  7. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    We all do it...


    ...including Fed and those guys. To me, you're always kind of walking a tightrope between playing consistently and playing aggressively. That's kind of what makes tennis challenging, isn't it? Or, to paraphrase Brad Gilbert, 5 days a year, you're in the zone, and you can't do anything wrong. 5 days a year, you play like dog doo, and there's nothing you can do to fix it. Everything in between is what makes you a tennis player...
     
    #57
  8. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    I am playing a tournament tomorrow, and every time I think about it, I get nervous...any tips to calm nerves?
     
    #58
  9. ian2

    ian2 Semi-Pro

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    Some herbal medicine... ahem? Seriously now: the question wasn't addressed to me but I'll try to answer. It's OK, and absolutely normal, to be nervous before your match. If this cripples your game however it's clearly a problem, and the only real solution (I think) is to play a lot of matches that matter - i.e. tournament matches in your case, so they become a routine.

    From a personal observation: when I'm not at all nervous before an "important" match, it's not a good sign. It basically means that I ran out of juice, physically and/or mentally.
     
    #59
  10. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Watch the ball...

    ...hit it hard, and don't think. It's just a tennis match. It's just a game. If you lose, they won't take you out and shoot you, if you win, you won't get a wild card into Wimbledon. Just go out and believe in yourself, leave it all on the court, and have fun, and it'll all work out...
     
    #60
  11. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    Yes, move your feet. Tension(pressure) can kill good footwork.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
    #61
  12. eidolonshinobi

    eidolonshinobi Professional

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    #62
  13. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Is there a Cliff Notes version of this thread somewhere?
     
    #63
  14. NoSkillzAndy

    NoSkillzAndy Rookie

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    Get fit + Practice with a purpose + Focus on long-term improvement = Win
     
    #64
  15. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    Well, played my tourney match yesterday, won in straight sets,but frankly, I didn't play well. Didn't have confidence in my strokes enough to follow through completely and got caught in a pushing type match with a lesser player. Just used tactics like coming into net to win points.

    That won't be near good enough today as my opponent crushes the ball, so I'm mentally prepared to crush the ball as well, I just need to go for my shots today. We'll see what happens.
     
    #65
  16. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Thanks! Great advice about practice. Too many people practice in a way that only ingrains their bad habits.
     
    #66
  17. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    So I played the semi's today, had a set point in the first set, but lost the tie-break 8-6. In the second set I just decided to go for my shots more. Bad move. Lost the 2nd set 6-1.

    Still have a long way to go, though I know it's a progression. Would have liked to make the final, he definitely was a cagey player; knew when to keep it in and when to hit shots hard.

    My serve, once again, let me down. Lots of doubles, and you're not going to win much that way. I could have dinked them in, but I don't want to get caught starting to do that, it won't bode me well.

    I really have to work on my mental game. I almost won the first set, and then when I didn't, I stopped really trying, just trying to crush the ball, with poor results. Should have stayed with what was working. 4.0 is where I belong right now, lots to work on in my game. 4.5 just got a little bit farther away...
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
    #67
  18. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Saw your post...

    ..have been swamped, will get to it tomorrow or the next day...
     
    #68
  19. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    Well, you know what you need to work on(some people either don't know or don't have the discipline to work on their short comings).
    That, coupled with more tournament experience, will make you touney tough. When will you compete next?
    2nd serves under pressure are certainly difficult!
    This Turbo guy has some interesting articles on tennis:
    http://www.tennisserver.com/turbo/turbo.html
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
    #69
  20. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    I'll probably play another tourney in about a month, but I've got some league matches coming up.

    The frustrating thing is I've been working on my serve and got it to a manageable level. I'm willing to start the motion completely over if it means I can get a consistent 1st and 2nd serve in. It's really hurting my game right now, I got broken just about every time, and I have a pretty good looking serve, though results are telling me to work on it a lot.

    Also, have to work on my diet/fitness. I was soooo tired after a few games, I kind of got 2nd wind in the 2nd set, but I was being impatient and trying to dominate a counter puncher with winners...very hard to do at my level. I certainly have to be patient and really construct points instead of just going for winner after winner. But that will take great fitness for long rallies, and I'm not there.

    One thing I did REALLY well was get to his drop shots. My instructor has been working on me moving forward and anticipating those shots, and I got to every single one he hit...and there were numerous, with plenty of time. I also played at the net really well, put a lot of balls away, though I did get passed some as well.

    I think if I can get my serve to a place where I trust it, and don't DF anymore, I win matches like these. This is a journey, we'll see where it goes from here.
     
    #70
  21. nickarnold2000

    nickarnold2000 Hall of Fame

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    I know from experience that having a reliable 2nd serve kicker in pressure situations is a must - it definitely deserves some extra practice(as do serves in general).
    Keep working hard and let's see how you do next tournament. :)
     
    #71
  22. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Here's a thread...

    ...that some people liked, other people hated, but a bunch of people read it, which was my main goal...comments, anyone, a year later?
     
    #72
  23. ronray43

    ronray43 New User

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    My two cents: The same people win year after year and don't get moved up--they have fun--every year. The same people lose year after year and don't get moved down--we don't have much fun--every year.

    Improvement: Because the USTA won't publish dynamic ratings after every match, we don't know if we're statistically improving. In golf, I know if I played well, regardless of how many skins quarters I lost that day, based simply on my handicap. If I played under, it was a good day; if I played over, it wasn't such a good day. If USTA would simply allow us to view our dynamic ratings to the hundredth point, then we'd at least be able to guage how we're doing from match to match.

    But, the USTA continues to not move up folks who always win, continues to not move down the folks who always lose, and continues to operate under a veil of secrecy that prevents us from basically seeing our handicap so we can't even tell how we're doing from match to match.
     
    #73
  24. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    This isn't exactly "On Liberty".

    "Philosophical musings racket............." Never quite heard it described like that.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012
    #74
  25. goober

    goober Legend

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    Seeing your exact rating would simply allow too much managing of your rating. It is bad enough as it is, but this would take it to a whole new level. I agree that most people like winning better than losing all the time. If you are at the top of your level and you saw that you were getting really close to being bumped, it would be too easy to lose some matches so you don't get bumped. So I actually agree with the current USTA policy.

    What I wish they would do is bump and benchmark people who are in playoffs and sectionals year after year. This would make 4.5 and 5.0 leagues more palatable in my area because currently if you get bumped, your USTA league playing days are over. 4.5 is dead and 5.0 is basically nonexistent.
     
    #75
  26. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    That's an interesting one...

    ...because I know a guy who is a 3.5 who won everything in sight at that level and didn't get bumped to 4.0. I'm not saying you're wrong...because I've heard the same story from other people...just that the USTA doesn't, apparently, have a lot of rationale behind what level you are, regardless of whether you win or lose.

    I also agree with what Goober says in post #75 about how dynamic ratings would tend to allow people to manipulate their rankings even more than they can right now. In addition, from the USTA's point of view, it would be a lot more administriva for no more money. And at the end of the day, NTRP is just another way for the USTA to make money. In addition, you'd have all kinds of screaming and yelling. As in, I have a 4.0 team, but my average dynamic rating is 4.13 and the team I'm about to play has a dynamic rating of 4.22, and it's just not fair.

    I dunno...to me, NTRP and one's current rating can be a real trap, depending on what you want to get out of the whole thing. Just remember that NTRP isn't the whole game of tennis, and the way it works and it is administered, you can't necessarily do x, y, or z and be happy with the results...if your rating and winning are what counts.

    If your current rating puts you in a slot that you don't like, you can go do other things, like finding some other people who want to work on their games and play for fun (remember that?). You can play age class tournaments. There's actually a whole world out there on the court outside of NTRP. So if you don't like the fact that you're a 3.5, or a 4.0, or whatever, take a vacation from NTRP and just go play tennis...
     
    #76
  27. Xisbum

    Xisbum Semi-Pro

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    I'm pretty much with you on this one, Ski. I do enjoy the competition, but I also get just as big a thrill - maybe more - out of just hitting with someone for an hour or two. And I don't mean just swapping the same strokes over the center of the net; I mean both players using all their shots, corner to corner, angles, drops, etc., for a full-court workout. I just like the physical act of hitting a tennis ball; when you inject competition and scores into that, things can and often do get testy.

    The problem is finding others of like mind who don't have to have competitive structure to enjoy the game. While USTA claims its team tennis structure is growing tennis, I actually think it strangles local tennis except in places like Atlanta where local tennis rules.
     
    #77
  28. ronray43

    ronray43 New User

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    I also agree with what Goober says in post #75 about how dynamic ratings would tend to allow people to manipulate their rankings even more than they can right now. In addition, from the USTA's point of view, it would be a lot more administriva for no more money. And at the end of the day, NTRP is just another way for the USTA to make money. In addition, you'd have all kinds of screaming and yelling. As in, I have a 4.0 team, but my average dynamic rating is 4.13 and the team I'm about to play has a dynamic rating of 4.22, and it's just not fair.

    Understand where you're coming from, but in Golf, if I go 0-12 in match play for the year, but my handicap goes from 15 to 12, then I've had a good year and know I've made progress. With the USTA not publishing either dynamic ratings or en-of-year ratings to the hundredth point, other than win-loss record, we have no way to guage how we're doing.

    Perhaps if the USTA would make win-loss record at least a part of NTRP computation it would help--have never understood why they continue to push back on this--even if a person's win-loss record comprised only 10%-15% of the individual's NTRP, it would sure help folks near the top move up and folks near the bottom move down.
     
    #78
  29. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    Do you really need your full dynamic rating to know how your year went? I tend to break down my matches based on the quality of my opponents and it is pretty easy to group them as strong, average or weak within my level. With my current skills, I expect to consistently beat the weaker players, win more often than not against average players, and be competitive with the occasional win against the strong players. Seeing how that changes over time gives me a good estimate of both how my skills are improving as well as what is likely happening to my rating.
     
    #79
  30. ronray43

    ronray43 New User

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    For those in the bottom half of an NTRP range who get very few wins in a year, I'd say yes, it would be a solid measure of success. Again, using the golf analogy, if I lower my golf handicap over the year, I really don't care if I won a single match. Would be nice to do the same in tennis. NTRP to the hundredth point would effectively become your tennis handicap, and simply moving up a few points every year would be a measure of success, even without a single win.
     
    #80
  31. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    Its interesting, I'm playing 4.5 and expected a big jump in skill level, but haven't seen it yet. I see less dropshots/lobs and more topspin but its not huge strokes or anything. Just solid, good, high percentage tennis. I've won about half of my matches at this level, so I know I'm at the right level.

    The main difference between 4.5 and 4.0 is just consistency. You really have to grind out matches and I expect to have long rallies and really have to finish points vs waiting for my opponent to make a mistake.
     
    #81
  32. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    Yep, that's my mode...-

    ...I have a couple of hitting partners and we do the kind of hour or two of working on everything that you describe, then play points, maybe sets. Yep, you have to do some work to find like-minded folks, but they're out there.

    The USTA's team tennis structure is growing its revenue. Once they have their money, all the USTA has to do is maintain a wins/losses database and a set of rankings, which a reasonably intelligent chimpanzee can do with a laptop. The team captains, league coordinators, and so forth, do all the work, and I'm pretty sure they're not on the USTA payroll.

    I agree that team tennis is strangling tennis, and not just local tennis. The USTA will continue to provide NTRP leagues and the associated stuff as long as it's easy and profitable for the USTA. It looks to me like there's a rising tide of dissatisfaction with NTRP and while the USTA tweaks things, it doesn't look like it's for the better. If the USTA gets enough static about NTRP and how it's working...or, more accurately, not working...the USTA will drop NTRP like a hot potato.
     
    #82
  33. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    I see your point...

    ...but I can't do anything about it, nor can anyone in this forum. You're a USTA member, you're supposed to have a voice, what you're talking about sounds like a reasonable proposal, so go voice it directly to the USTA and see what they have to say...
     
    #83
  34. ronray43

    ronray43 New User

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    Ski, Have done that a couple of times over the years, to include writing an algorithm to adjust the end of year NTRP based on win-loss record with a variable limit where the USTA can set the degree win-loss recored would have on overall NTRP. The National office basically said using win-loss would have too great an effect on a person's NTRP, even though I gave them a variable in the formula where they could set the limit themselves--they really weren't interested.

    As far as the NTRP to the hundredth goes, USTA national is in agreement with you that it would create even more sandbagging and rating manipulation.

    I think as long as their leagues are growing and the dollars are coming in, the USTA isn't going to change much. For the majority of folks in the middle or top of an NTRP rating, the system probably works fine. It's the folks stuck at the bottom end of a rating where the system fails.
     
    #84
  35. skiracer55

    skiracer55 Hall of Fame

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    There you go...

    ...I think it's commendable that you spent the time to make the proposal to USTA, I'm also unsurprised that they turned it down. As you've noted, they have a license to print money, and there's no incentive for them to change.

    Yep, it's a difficult system for anyone, regardless of whether a player is at the bottom of an NTRP level or elsewhere. If you go through this thread from the beginning, one of the things I was trying to suggest was "Stop obsessing about your current or desired NTRP rating. Just go become the best player you can be, and your ranking will sort itself out." Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case...which is, I think, an advertisement for purging NTRP from your consciousness and becoming the best player you can be...
     
    #85
  36. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    After all this time.....still a GREAT thread, and deserves a bump.
     
    #86
  37. pkshooter

    pkshooter Semi-Pro

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    Your thread killed me... ^ far as i got sorry:oops:
     
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