Originally Posted by OrangePower
If you were a 4.0 / 4.5 in HS, and are in decent shape in your early 40's, then there is no way you are lower than a 3.0 now. In fact it is very unlikely even that you are a 3.0, given your age and fitness level. Maybe if you were 60. Most likely you are a 3.5 right now.
Also, when you self-rate, you keep that rating for anywhere from 6-18 months, depending on when you start playing league, and how many matches you play your first season. On the other hand, your improvement will be rapid - you will see a lot of improvement over the first few months. So you need to self rate with that perspective in mind.
Unless of course you are trying to game the system.
As for gaming the system, I couldn't care less if I win or lose in league tennis. After all, it's just league tennis.
I just didn't want to overstate my proficiency since I'm just getting back into the game after 20+ years. But as you explained it to me, my self rating needs to take into account where I think I'll be over an extended period of months, and I honestly don't think I'd remain a 2.5 for more than a month or so of playing, so I'll just self rate myself higher then.