What is life like at your USTA level?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not sure where I'm going with this exactly, but since I don't have a sports psychologist I'll raise the issue here. :)

    I'm a 3.0. This will be my second season at 3.0. Based on last season's results, the computer believes I stink. I lost all of my matches in Spring 2006. I've taken a boat-load of lessons, changed to a control racquet, played a lot and practice a lot, so I'm better now.

    I think it would take a miracle for me to win so convincingly at 3.0 this year that I make it to 3.5. My mixed results and combo results are better than my on-level results, but those won't help me. So I have at least one, probably two, seasons ahead of me at 3.0.

    The trouble is I'm starting not to like 3.0 play. It's not that my partners make errors, or we don't win. I make errors, and we win often enough. And my teammates are great ladies and friends.

    It is the style of play at 3.0 that is making me want to pull my hair out. The endless one-up, one-back. The pushing. The flat-out refusal to come to net. The camping in no-man's land. The poo-poohing of doubles strategy.

    I did a drill class a few weeks back, and I was put on a court where I was the weakest or maybe second-weakest player. My 3.5 partner that day was a tennis goddess. We talked about what we would do on each point. She loved to come in. She encouraged me to come in, even if I missed. She totally understood strategy. I had so much fun!

    What to do? I'm going to try to get on a 3.5 team, but I'll have to try out, and it's very hard to get on a 3.5 team as a 3.0 unless you're pals with someone. I was thinking of playing singles on the the theory that might be a faster route to 3.5, but it won't be if I lose.

    So. For the folks at the lower levels (or folks who were once at lower levels), did you ever feel like this? How long did it take you to move up a level, and what helped? Is 3.5 "the promised land?" Or is this likely a case of "be careful what you wish for" because I'd be unhappy at 3.5 too?
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2007
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  2. cak

    cak Professional

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    Are you sure the computer believes you stink? All those loses in 2006, where are the opponents now? Did they all get moved to 3.5? If so, the computer doesn't think you stink. You may have a lot higher rating than you think.

    It sounds from your description that 3.0 doubles is driving you crazy, so 3.0 singles might be a good solution. It may get you to 3.5 faster, especially if you win. Doubles may get you to 3.5 faster, especially if you play with someone the computer thinks is worse than you and you win.

    Mathematically, if you play against good players, and win, the amount the computer bumps you depends on how much you win by and how much difference there is between your ratings. If you and your partner's combined rating is lower, the computer gives you more ratings boost for the win. If your combined rating is higher than your opponents you may get no credit for winning. And yes, if the folks you are playing against have a much higher combined rating, and you lose, but closely, you still get the ratings boost. This is why playing up, with a good partner, may not get you bumped. If her rating is on the high side of 3.5, and you are winning in close matches against folks that are mid to low 3.5s, you won't get any ratings boost.

    That said, worrying about your rating, especially when you are the captain and have control over who you play with and when you play, is probably counter productive. My caution story: I am a doubles player. I showed up at a match I wasn't scheduled to play to cheer for our team. I was wearing flip flops and shorts, and had just come off vacation. My captain was standing there in full uniform, she was the backup player for the day. The 1st singles player called and said she couldn't make it. She asked if my racket and shoes were in the car (which of course, they are always in the car...) and put me out in singles because "it was against a good singles player, and she didn't want to mess up her own rating." Yes, it was a good singles player, having a less than stellar day, and I won. I got bumped to 3.5, and my captain didn't. Since our section does rerating twice a year, and I only play one league were the matches count, I can tell it was the last two games of the season that put me over, and that singles match was the last game.

    I spent one year in 2.5, two years in 3.0 (One on appeal, I didn't think I was ready for 3.5), and the last year in 3.5. I never played up to get bumped. And I can say the players playing in 3.5 are much better than those in 3.0. But the pusher game is alive and well. I can also say the higher you get the more players playing up there are. In 3.0 I rarely ran across a 2.5 playing up. In 3.5 I often run across a 3.0 playing up. Our team needs 3.0s, as we don't have enough 3.5s, and many end up playing against other 3.0s in the 3rd position or 2nd singles, so they aren't beating 3.5s, they are beating, or losing to 3.0s.
     
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  3. Voltron

    Voltron Hall of Fame

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    I play singles USTA tournaments in a VERY competitive B16s area. (4.0 to 5.5) Pushers are still out there, but they are easy to beat once you get in their heads. I would listen to Cak's advice, I don't quite understand the bumping system, but I would do as he says, it sounds right.
     
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  4. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    There are some sports adages that hold true even in club level tennis. 1) Ya gotta pay your dues. In other words, all these matches at any level are preparing you for future matches. Learn from them. 2) Get match tough. You do it by playing matches at any level, including tournaments. 3) Luck is preparation meeting opportunity. Take all the lessons and clinics you can afford. Work the ball machines. It will all come together and you will be tough to handle. 4) Have some fun. You appear to be taking this all to serious. Lighten up and recognize that it is a GAME. You'll never shake the world in USTA play. About the best you can hope for is to be a big fish in a little pond. Big deal. But I can the drift from some of your other posts you are trying to do too much. Lighten up and laugh, at your self if possible. You'll move up but you'll have the same issues at every level if you aren't having fun. Enjoy the journey, young lady. :)
     
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  5. North

    North Professional

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    Is it the USTA ratings stupidity that you are most concerned with or the fact that at 3.0, you play a lot of pushers and find them harder to beat than you would have thought?
     
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  6. goober

    goober Legend

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    I self rated at 4.0 my first USTA season. I found the level of competition about right.

    Happiness is a state of mind. The fact that you are unhappy has nothing to with whether you are playing 3.0 or 3.5. The style of play and same shenanigans I assure you will still be there at 3.5.

    You really need to sit down and write out 5 reasons why you are lucky/happy to be playing tennis. That is all the matters or you shouldn't playing this game.
     
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  7. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    I'm a 3.0. I have, at times, played up at 3.5. In the NOVA leagues, it seems that there is a huge range of 'skill' at the 3.0 level. What I have found is the big difference between 3.0 and 3.5 is consistency. The 3.5s just aren't going to make those errors.

    I have been playing 6.0 mixed for the first time, and I am very disappointed in the 3.0 guys. They all seem to just want to hit the crap out of the ball every time, and end up piling up errors like they are going out of business.

    Today I played in a small tournament at my club with my 4.0 guy neighbor, and we won...easily. I'm thinking 7.0 mixed, if I ever do mixed again, will be a much better fit.

    And yes, I'm a 3.0, but I take a doubles clinic once a week, and take private lessons. I play as much as my schedule and budget will allow. In doubles you will find me all over the net (and even sometimes in singles...though I haven't had the success at singles that I have had in doubles) and I know my strategies and I'm not afraid to poach. For the criticism that the 'lower' levels take on these boards...you won't necessarily find that in a 3.0 match around here. They can be *very* competitive.

    I hope to play well enough during the spring indoor and summer outdoor USTA seasons to get bumped up to 3.5 for next year. If I do, I will not be one of the people appealing down to 3.0. That's not how I roll.
     
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  8. Cruzer

    Cruzer Professional

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    If you want to get moved up to 3.5 you can either play 3.0 singles and win a lot or win all your doubles matches without losing a set along the way. It almost sounds like you are more competitive than the other doubles players on your team and if that is the case they are not going to help you get a higer rating. If your objective is get to 3.5 then you pretty much have to approach every USTA match with the objective to win 6-0, 6-0. Show no mercy on the court. Never let up not matter what the score is.
     
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  9. North

    North Professional

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    I'm glad to see this. I try to play with a sense of gratitude - that I am healthy, am able to play, and have all my arms/legs/eyes/etc. I try to just have fun and enjoy being out there doing my best. I quit league tennis because it just wasn't fun and now have a lot of playing partners with whom I play very competitively - but with a better perspective on why we all play.
     
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  10. JLyon

    JLyon Hall of Fame

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    4.5 here Arkansas after 8 seasons in Texas. There seems to be a stigma here once you hit 4.0 you do not want to get bumped to 4.5, so most 4.5's will sit 3 years or play down to get back to 4.0. Very disappointing. In Texas it was the same except nobody wanted to get above 4.5, which explains the large number of sandbaggers.
     
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  11. magmasilk

    magmasilk New User

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    Best way move up is to play up ...

    i was in a similar boat - outgrew a flight faster than my rating.

    i think you should keep looking for a 3.5 team. what were you going to do once you got moved up to 3.5, what team would you play on? If you aren't quite 3.5 skills yet you could always play on a 3.0 team and sub part-time on a 3.5 team ... that will also give you potential to move up faster than just playing 3.0 and dominating.

    d
     
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  12. JHBKLYN

    JHBKLYN Rookie

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    As they say, the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Where I'm from, the 3.0 ladies and 3.5 ladies' talent aren't that far off and you have the same so called pushers, people playing 2 back and never come to the net, etc. etc. The 3.5's are a bit more consistent and obviously no beginners on that level. But the style of play isn't like Sharapova vs Serena, it's similar to 3.0 with more consistency. 4.0 is where the ladies are pretty good!

    A fast way to move from 3.0 to 3.5 is for you to play 3rd doubles (providing your format is 2 singles and 3 doubles) with a strong doubles player and beat everyone badly. But remember, once you move to 3.5 you need to prove that you belong or you may be bumped down again. 3.5 is not the promise land because if you are unable to win at 3.0, you're probably not going to win in 3.5.

    As others said , just play your best and let the NTRP computer decide (though I think it's a bit quirky) where you should play. You may also want to be pals with a 3.5 captain so you can get on without trying out. Oh yeah, and have fun. :)
     
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  13. JHBKLYN

    JHBKLYN Rookie

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    That reminds of an incident with this guy who was in his early or late 50s who got bumped up from 3.0 to 3.5. The computer must've thought he was a good player because he won most of his matches by playing 3rd doubles against weak competition. The captain had to appeal and get him bumped down, and the reason was he ain't that good and he can barely see and he would get killed at the 3.5 level. :lol:

    BTW, are you undefeated when wearing flip flops and shorts to matches? :p
     
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  14. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    that sucks you lost every match. you must suck though,haha :p

    tennis goddess....doesnt sound right. if you hate the style of play at 3.0, just change it. go up to the net and put it away. turn it into singles baby. thats what i would do.

    and yes, you should just do singles if you want to bump up. you said you switched rackets, rpacticed, etc etc so it should be much easier now. good luck :)
     
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  15. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    North, great points by you and Goober, not only for tennis but for life. I love tennis for a wide variety of reasons. But I am 61 years old and can see the sunset. It makes me ever mindful that every match is a gift, no matter how well I or my opponnent play. I am still competing well with guys half my age but have begrudgingly accepted that my matches aren't as technical as they once were. I'm just happy to be out there. Thanks to you and Goob for reminding me.
     
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  16. rasajadad

    rasajadad Hall of Fame

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    Two things-
    You could be losing doubles matches by employing improper court position. Just becasue someone is a 3.0 doesn't mean they can't read a book!

    Second, go enter a 3.5 tournament. See how you measure up. (Remember, fitness level counts highly.)
     
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  17. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Cindy,

    Sounds like you and I have alot in common. I don't like 3.0 play because the speed of the game is too slow. At that level, you're more likely to get stuck with a partner that frustrates you because of major weaknesses. I find it difficult going from my baseline bashing game to the doubles dinker game and I am overhitting alot because I am not used to the slow pace. I am realizing more and more how bad my netplay is, and thats kinda holding me back. It sounds as if you are more serious about developing in tennis with proper technique, unlike alot of your peers. Since you can't always guarantee you'll have a strong partner to help you win, your best bet is to play singles as much as possible in USTA play. But still play doubles to better your game, but less so in USTA if you want to move your rating up.

    Or the problem could simply be that it takes longer to develop consistency with proper technique than it does with comfortable technique. I know that consistency is my main problem, because I get alot of compliments about my groundstrokes and serve, yet I still lose the matches.
     
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  18. cak

    cak Professional

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    You would think this would work, but it doesn't. If you are really playing against the worst players on the other team (though there is no guarantee they didn't flip their lineup too) it is possible that you are playing against a team with average rating of 2.5 and you and your strong partner have an average rating of 2.9 or better. In that case, if you beat them by anything less than 6-0,6-0 your rating will actually go down.

    For that matter I've seen doubles partners that went 11-0 playing 1st doubles not get bumped. So you really can't count on stellar play to get moved up either. It helps if the 3.0 ladies from your section win Nationals, so whatever you can do in your power there....;-)
     
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  19. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I play with a woman who went 8-0 in league play at 3.5 singles last year and did not get bumped up. She played against a few 4.0 players in tournaments and didn't do well against them, but definitely dominates the 3.5 arena.
     
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  20. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Lots of great observations here.

    Zapvor:

    No, I didn't suck. I **SUCKED!!!** :)

    Yeah, it was that bad. Coming off of a successful season at 2.5, I expected 3.0 to be a breeze. I was surprised that pushing the ball back up the middle short wasn't enough to win at singles at 3.0. Go figure. :)

    Tennis-n-sc, I think you're onto something. I know my remarks on the board sound competitive and intense. Guilty as charged, but I plead mitigating circumstances. I'm 45. I don't know how many years I have to play tennis. I feel like I need to improve every time I step onto the court or I will be dinking the ball etc. for the rest of my life. So yeah, I'm crazy possessed about improving as fast as I can. I should relax and enjoy the ride a bit. Maybe 45 is not so old after all.

    CAK, thanks for the reality check that 3.5 won't be some sort of tennis nirvana where all players play "correctly." It will still be a mixed bag; maybe there's something to be said for being a big fish in a little pond as long as the computer will allow.

    North, no, it's not the ratings stuff that gets me, if I understand your question. There are people who view their ratings as a commentary of their worth. I know someone who was 3.0 and appealed up to 3.5 because all of her friends moved up. That is nonsense, IMHO. And it's not that I can't beat the pushers. I have been doing OK lately. It's just that it is frustrating when a partner is insisting you do X when you know full well that X is wrong in doubles. And then the other team scores points because we are doing X. Gah!

    You know, there is one of my teammates who might make a good doubles partner for me. She has huge weaknesses in her game, but then again what 3.0 doesn't? Where she's strong is that she believes that positioning and strategy matter, and she is dead serious about improving. We have our first match together in a couple of weeks, and we're going to enter a tournament in May come hell or high water. So I'll let you know.

    And I'll keep looking for a 3.5 team! :)
     
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  21. lordmanji

    lordmanji Guest

    hey cindy you sound a bit like me. right now im a 2.5 (self-rated as advised by my captain but should be a minimum 3.0) playing in the mixed doubles league. im always trying to improve my game: ive fixed my forehand so now its got good technique, switched from a flat serve to a kick and have pretty decent footwork.

    in my recent doubles match which i double faulted quite a bit, i asked my capt. if he had any advice and he advised me to develop a DINK!!!! i completely lost respect for him at that one moment and told him theres no way im gonna do that, that i'd rather work on consistency of my new serve otherwise why even bother? (btw, the kick serve IS a second serve)

    that's not all. he also said i swung too hard even though i had a total of two unforced errors off bh/fh the entire set, none of which i tried to waste the ball - just going for my complete stroke, which is necessary for my racket and proper technique. again, i lost confidence in him. but what else can i expect? ive read up on tennis quite a bit and likely know more than he does in certain areas.

    though losing the match sucked partly due to my double faults, im not playing to dink stuff over. im playing to improve as it sounds like you are and though losing in the short run stings, in the long run therell be pay off. the same goes for your opponents. if they're just pushing stuff over or whatever, its still up to you to beat them. each opponent still offers a chance to work on areas of your game.
     
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  22. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    You can't really blame your captain for wanting to win. From his point of view, he'd rather win matches than have someone practice new things at his team's expense. You should just tell him "this is the way I play, take it or leave it", but don't necessarily say that you are working on using proper technique rather than getting the ball in play.
     
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  23. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    That's an interesting debate. Do league players have an obligation to, for lack of a better expression, "dink one for the team."

    I can only speak for my team, but let's say a teammate lost the first set using their developing forehand and asked me whether they should ditch that and go back to the dink shot for the second set. As captain, I would say no. Many teams are in it to win. We are in it to improve. Losing with good technique is better than winning with pushing unless you're happy to remain a pusher forever, IMHO.

    That's what my pro said, anyway. In the early going, he told me to be prepared to lose a lot more, but don't ever dink shots out of fear of losing. If the stroke isn't working, keep tinkering with it, move your feet more, focus more, figure out what element of the shot is off. But don't abandon ship.
     
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  24. lordmanji

    lordmanji Guest

    to clear the air, my kick serve is not something new. ive been developing it for over half a year, tinkering with the mechanics and have just recently started to add more power (but not trying to "hit hard").

    yeah, i know he wants to win despite having several talks with him where he says it is just for fun and it doesnt matter if we finish last (he said that). but its ridiculous for him to advise that i DEVELOP a dink. i dont think dinks are something you even need to develop. but that's beating a dead horse. at this point, i havent hit a dink in over half a year and to suddenly dink in a match cause my serve stops to go in the result would probably be ugly and inconsistent.

    the way i see it, my serve has been improving bit by bit. what was before a 20 percent chance of going in it's now a 40-50 percent chance of going in on each serve. with some more time, i'll have a reliable second topspin kick then move on to an american twist before moving on to...you get the idea.

    besides, my returning scores enough cheap points to make up for any double faults i do.
     
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  25. lordmanji

    lordmanji Guest

    cindy: exactly. most club players have incredibly ugly shots that they've DEVELOPED due to a fear of losing and is ironically now their normal but technically fallible shot in terms of pace and consistency. i'd rather lose first than later if the cost is sound technique.

    i think your team will be very strong in the future. one day you will play a match and all your hard work will come to light and you'll blow away your opponents. or you can keep playing to win and dink serves, slice fhs and bhs and moonball.

    i made ue's off of lobs in my first two matches but in this match it was easier to put away those balls. sticking with what i learned in the first set we beat them 6-1. now that was only my third league match and my partner's first so as we get tougher mentally as well, we'll be a force to reckon with.
     
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  26. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Lordmanji, I'm curious. You say you have a "kick" serve. Do you mean slice serve, or do you mean a true kicker (with topspin, toss a bit farther back, hits the court and forces opponent back)?
     
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  27. lordmanji

    lordmanji Guest

    true topspin kick. and im working off throwing it at one location which i'll use to later deliver a topspin/slice and twist.

    some of my double faults came when - since im adding more pace -kicked ball long by about half a foot, which i think is fine since its better to miss long than hit the net.
     
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  28. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I have heard the term kick serve to refer to either a topspin serve or a twist serve, and I never know which people are referring.
     
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  29. cak

    cak Professional

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    So exactly why are you playing TEAM tennis? If it's all about you, what do you need the team for? If you can't find individual matches for practice (and heck, to hone serves you don't even need an opponent) you could sign up for tournaments, or ladder leagues. Then you don't need to have confidence in your captain. It's all on you.

    As a captain there is nothing more frustrating to me than a person who signs up just to work on their own game. It's even worse if they are playing doubles. You get all sorts of emails that NO ONE wants to be on the court watching their partner double fault points away so they can get a kick serve in (at 2.5 no less, where ANY serve in the box gives you a 50/50 chance to win the point...) They are out there to play, and that's not playing.

    There is nothing wrong with going for the win. Surprisingly, that is also something that needs to be practiced, it IS an area of your game. Matches aren't an efficient place to work on serves. Matches aren't an efficient place to work on grooving your volleys or ground strokes. USTA Matches are an excellent place to work on what your whole game looks like, including finding a plan B or even C when plan A is not working. (And for those looking to move up in USTA ratings, winning counts, pretty strokes don't.)
     
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  30. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Another 45. Dodo Cheney is still winning at 90+.
     
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  31. lordmanji

    lordmanji Guest

    im playing team tennis to HAVE FUN. winning along the way is nice, too. it's not just to work on my own game although im doing that at the same time. you know, multitasking...and im new to team tennis, it was only my third match. i lost my first match 0-6, 1-6, second match 6-7 1-6, and third match 6-7 4-6 0-1. i am getting better on my terms and in the near future wins will soon come.

    and like i said about my kick serve, it goes in 40-50 percent of the time in match play, 60-70 in practice sets. it's not like im just practicing my serve out there. ive practiced it on my own and in my practice sets and hitting those serves is simply an extension of putting practice into real life situations. i think this you'll agree with.

    if you want to talk about winning, then let me tell you that it's usually my partner that loses the point - not to get egotistical - through a ue, not me. yes, i'll double fault occasionally but i more than make up for it on everyone else's service.

    you're right that usta matches are a great way to find other ways to win, but if it's just a stroke that's off you're better off correcting it than trying an unpracticed stroke. and believe me ive sliced shots before -and missed some due to non practice - just to get the ball in play and it's not a good feeling hoping the other player will lose rather than winning it on your own terms.

    regarding the "winning counts, pretty strokes dont" comment, let's just say that i can out-rally anyone of my official 3.5 male teammates who have ugly strokes and who will never move up to 4.0 because theyre practicing something over and over that inherently limits their ability to get better. it's like investing in a vending machine. sure you can make reasonable amount of money but your reward isnt gona be much. now if you invest in a restaurant, that's what id rather and am doing.
     
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  32. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    CAK:
    CAK, I understand what you're saying, but I'm not on board just yet.

    Off the top of my head, I can think of three reasons why people play league tennis:

    1. To win.
    2. To have fun.
    3. To improve their tennis game.

    Why would Reason No. 3 be unacceptable? I can certainly understand that many players/captains want to win, and this is the most important thing to them. But hey, 2.5s and 3.0s are at the bottom of the heap. Even if you win sectionals at that level, you're still a pretty crummy tennis player, so what have you got? But if you play to improve, you'll at least reach your potential someday.

    That said, there's nothing wrong with playing to win and expecting players/partners to do whatever it takes and make whatever adjustments can be done to win that match on that day.

    It just means the "improve" crowd had better not be on the same team as the "win right now" crowd.

    As for why play team tennis if you're just or primarily looking to improve, well . . . because it feels good to win, it feels good to improve, and it feels best of all to win because you improved. Playing league tennis lets you test out your improved strokes under pressure, and it lets you test them out against a huge variety of opponents. I don't see why that's a big problem, so long as players and captains communicate about these things. It seems that lordmanji and his captain need to have a talk, and if the captain isn't OK with lordmanji's approach to his matches, then perhaps an amicable parting would be in order.

    Here's a serious question, though:

    For those who are playing league tennis primarily to win (as opposed to the other two reasons I listed), what's the payoff for winning that you don't get when you lose?
     
    #32
  33. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    A lot of what you say doesn't add up. You are a 2.5 that can out rally your 3.5 teammates? A 2.5 with a kick serve? A 2.5 who double faults yet blames UE on their opponent? If you have all these tools and skills, then why aren't you winning 2.5 matches???

    I'm confused.
     
    #33
  34. jagsv650

    jagsv650 Rookie

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    I don't get it when I hear players that are 3.0 wanting to get bumped up to 3.5 so they can play 3.5 tennis. I'm a 3.5 right now and want to be a 4.0 next year so I joined a 4.0 team this year. I thought I would just be a sub but have actually played first doubles in all of our team matches. I've lost in each of the first 3 matches (6-1,6-3 / 6-4,7-5 / 7-5,7-5) but feel that will be changing soon. Even if I don't get moved up next year I'll still play 4.0 again. If I do get moved up to 4.0 you better believe I will be looking for a 4.5 team to play on. In the mean time my 4.0 experience is giving me a ton of confidence for my 3.5 matches.
     
    #34
  35. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Probably because 3.5 players don't want 3.0 players on their team because they will lose.
     
    #35
  36. jagsv650

    jagsv650 Rookie

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    Well you would have to think 4.0 players don't want 3.5 players on their team but my 4.0 team has 3 3.5 players on it. My 3.5 team has 2 3.0 players on it. The best way to get better is to play up.
     
    #36
  37. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I guess it depends on if there are enough players at the specified level to fill the teams. I would imagine its easier to find 3.5 players than 4.0 players. Also I'm sure it depends on the captain.
     
    #37
  38. lordmanji

    lordmanji Guest

    to clear things up, i played a year of tennis in high school so by ntrp standards i should self-rate as a 3.0 minimum. i spoke w my captain about what i should rate as and he said i should give myself options meaning to play on 6.0 and 7.0 mixed doubles team. not to sandbag, but cuz i had potential and also cause im new to league tennis.

    i dont know if you play league tennis but there are alot of older players there who are 3.5. most of my teammates are older and i can easily hit them off the court when it's singles. the younger 3.5s i can hold my own. but as it worked out, there were enough players on 7.0 team so i stayed on only 6.0 team.

    about my kick serve, i said its developing. i'll make ue's on my serve but for the majority of ues its my female partner that makes the majority of them due in part cuz they hit it more to her.

    about why i lose matches, here's all the reasons i can think of: my first partner had the mobility of a 70 year old and it was her first match as well as mine. result: 0-6, 1-6. the second match was against the top team in our league and i was out of gas after the hour long first set cuz i didnt eat a proper breakfast since i set alarm clock wrong. result: 6-7, 1-6. the third match i was not used to the position of BLOWING AWAY the opponent, let up for the first few games in the second set and was unaggressive at net due to tightness and lack of confidence on only my backhand volley wing. result: 6-1, 4-6 0-1(tiebreak).

    btw, these aren't 2.5 matches. the players have ranged from 2.5 to 3.5. and as its my first time in a league, it takes some adjustment but if you look at my progress i think the results speak for themselves. also, there's the matter of partner performance. we are not losing only because of me.

    i hope this clarifies my background to you.

    p.s. is it me or am i getting a lot of hostility for saying i have a kick serve? it makes me wonder if some of the posters here are jealous that their set ways are being one-upped, their world "rocked" if you will. well i do have a kick serve and have gotten quite the number of compliments on it, for all you doubters.
     
    #38
  39. jagsv650

    jagsv650 Rookie

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    I think to many players just except playing at the level the usta rates them at.
     
    #39
  40. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Well, you're getting some hostility because a true kick serve is a fairly high-end shot. Someone who has rated correctly at 2.5 or even 3.0 doesn't often have a kick serve, or serve 110 mph, or have an American Twist. So those sorts of skills at your level do raise some red flags about sandbagging. And when you say you can spank 3.5s, it does make me want to ask "How come you didn't rate as 3.5 then?" It's not envy or jealousy; it's just an atypical profile so people want to know what's going on.

    But you seem like a nice guy, and you are losing, which suggests that you rated properly. :)
     
    #40
  41. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm 3.0. 3.0 ladies are a dime a dozen. If you're filling a 3.5 team and you go through the list of available players, you will see a huge number of 3.0s looking for teams. Why even try out those players when there are plenty of computer-rated 3.5s looking for teams? So if I were a computer-rated 3.5, I could more easily find a 3.5 team.

    Gotta go earn that 3.5 rating, I guess . . .

    I think it might be easier for a 3.0 lady to "play up" at 7.0 mixed than get on a ladies' 3.5 team, though. The 4.0 guys need partners, but a lot of 3.0 women don't want to play mixed at such a high level.
     
    #41
  42. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Yup, Cindy just kinda summed up my thought process right there. 2.5s aren't 'supposed' to have a kick serve, developing or not.
     
    #42
  43. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Cindy, I just played, and won, a small mixed tournament this weekend. My partner was a 4.0, and I'm rated a 3.0. I had no less than four people tell me I should be a 3.5. I would agree that it might be easier to get on a 7.0 mixed as a 3.0 lady than a 3.5 lady's team, unless of course you know someone! I'm not having a great time at 6.0 mixed, and playing as a 7.0 combo this weekend was so much better! Having a strong partner relaxed me enough that I played at the top of my game, too.

    I'm also hoping to find a 3.5 lady's team to play 'up' on, and I'm a 3.0 benchmark (went to districts last year), but still...I haven't been able to convince anyone yet! It is frustating, to be sure!
     
    #43
  44. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    Thanks for clearing up, and see Cindy's comments, as she summarized my confusion quite nicely!

    IMO, you should've rated at least a 3.0.
     
    #44
  45. lordmanji

    lordmanji Guest

    hey cindy, topaz,

    yeah i see what you're saying. to add to this, i'd say that i'm getting stronger with each match. i think when i started out i was maybe a strong 2.5 but now with more match play, confidence and practice outside matches, i think with my inconsistent serve as it is right now im probably a solid 3.0 or weak 3.0.

    i knew i'd have a hard time adjusting to league play, to recreate practice results into match results so that's a huge part of the reason why i self-rated as 2.5 (i have a group of people i play recreationally on the side, though) i didn't do so to beat up on 2.5s and in actuality it's been the reverse :grin:

    i just hope i win once before the season ends to validate my "bragging."
     
    #45
  46. jagsv650

    jagsv650 Rookie

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    I just looked at the womens 3.5 league here (in SC) and saw they have 12 teams. Almost every team has at least 1 3.0 women and some have 2 or 3. I understand every area is different but it seems like there might be some oppertunities out there if you go looking for them. My mens 4.0 league has 4 teams in it. I called the captian of each team asking if they could use me on their team. I figured if all I got to do is practice with them it would make me a better player, it has by the way.

    I'm sorry, I'm not trying to preach to you here. My point is don't just let the USTA dictate to you which level you play. If you want to play up go look for the oppertunities to do so.

    PS- You can always do what my 6.5 combo did. We entered the same team in 6.5 and 7.5 for the experince. We won 1 match out of 7 but there were many 3 set matches. We didn't get blown out of any of our matches and it was great experience.
     
    #46
  47. tennis-n-sc

    tennis-n-sc Professional

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    What part of SC?
     
    #47
  48. jagsv650

    jagsv650 Rookie

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    Hilton Head
     
    #48
  49. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, I do intend to try. And if I have to submit to a try-out, I will.

    I would imagine captains wouldn't be very impressed with me on paper. There's that losing season last year. And there's the fact that I couldn't practice with the 3.5 team. I have my own 3.0 team to practice with, and I can't do two tennis team practices each weekend.

    So I need to find a 3.5 captain who will take a 3.0 that won't practice with her team. Wish me luck! :D
     
    #49
  50. Laker

    Laker Rookie

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    Sorry for the off topic but may I ask, talking about 3 or 3.5 tec., which ranking or scale do you refer to?
    Any link?
    Thank you.
     
    #50

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