Originally Posted by leech
This may be a premature post, but I suspect that (A) I'll be bumped up from 3.5 to 4.0 next season and (B) I'll have difficulty winning any matches or even being competitive at that level.
I'm new to organized tennis and started playing USTA leagues this year. I have horrible form but am able to get to a lot of balls. I prefer playing singles, and played exclusively singles for my adult league team. Although most of the games were competitive, I finished the season undefeated. I didn't play any doubles matches or make any attempt to make my match scores artificially closer, so I assume I'll be bumped up.
My problem is that I don't think I'll be invited to play singles at 4.0 (rightfully so, as I'd be among the worst players at that level) and I am horrible at doubles. Primarily because I'm so used to having the whole court to work with playing singles, it's difficult for me to return serves where they need to go (avoiding the net player). And the pace/placement of 4.0 servers are much harder for me to deal with. I've gotten a taste of it playing in the 7.5 combo league now, and I've not done well at all. In contrast, I'm breezing through the 6.5 combo league because no one that I've played hits with much pace.
So I'm not looking forward to the next USTA season. I figure I'll have to take my lumps playing doubles in the 4.0 league (I feel sorry for the team that picks me up) and either get better as the season progresses, or get bumped down. I don't know how likely it is for someone to get bumped down.
Did you feel overwhelmed by the competition after getting bumped up? How long did it take you to adjust and feel competitive? I feel like I don't belong at 4.0, but realize that I'm too good a match player for 3.5 (my strokes are not up to par for a typical 3.5 player; a teammate gave me a backhanded compliment by saying I play a lot better than I look!).
When you move up a level, you have to work on your game, otherwise you will be stuck at that level. If you have weaknesses, work on them. If you are a well-rounded player, but don't have a lot of strengths, work on developing a strength. You are probably closer than you think if you have some glaring weaknesses. If you fix those, then you will likely be competitive. My backhand used to be a weakness, and when I got bumped I made a point to work on my backhand, and now it is a strength, and that makes a huge difference in my game, I don't have a side that is really attackable now (for my level).