Originally Posted by chalkflewup
Keep in mind that rankings are often the starting point, but still just a tool, not an entrance exam into college. Coaches still want to see a kid hit a ball, preferably in a match with some adversity. At the end of the day, a college coach is more concerned in seeing firsthand a kid's ability to hold serve (singles) and volley (doubles) than a TRN or USTA ranking.
100% agree! Dartmouth recruited a girl in our section early this year when she was a 3 star. Now her TRN ranking is near top 50 after winning section championship and national open. TRN ranking will get coaches' initial attention. This is actually rather important. The following is a true story - my friend's daughter was attending a full-time tennis academy and she started to write coaches of D1 schools when her TRN ranking was about #100. She got very few positive responses. The coach of a top D1 team did not even bother to answer the email. This coach went to watch a match of a blue chip at one of the super nationals. Guess what, that blue chip was playing my friend's daughter. Even though she lost the match, the coach was impressed enough to offer her (of course the blue chip as well) a spot on the team. She became a top 30 5 star several months later and may play a higher position than the blue chip in the spring. Had a nice conversation with Bryan Shelton, the most humble and nicest tennis person I have ever met - Coach Shelton told me that he likes to recruit a kid who shows improvement year after year since this is the best indication that this recruit would continue to improve in college.