How far can I make it?

Discussion in 'College Tennis Talk' started by tobarvybz, Apr 13, 2016.

  1. tobarvybz

    tobarvybz New User

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    Hey, my name is Matthew Tobar. I am currently 16 years old and have been playing tennis since a little before freshman year. I practice with full effort everyday. I know I started late than most kids, but I have the motivation and drive that some don't have. I am willing to give 200% in making anything possible. I have been varsity on my high school tennis team since freshman year, and I am wondering how far I can make it. I know about USTA and all that, my current record is 0-1, but I am waiting a little more until I can join and dominate my way through a tournament to get my name out their. I am want to play in college, but idk how far I can make it as of now.
     
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  2. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    There are a lot of variables, but I've been working with a guy who didn't even start playing tennis until his sophomore year in high school. He is now playing D3 tennis and may transfer to a D2 school after two years, so that is at least an example of what can be done.
     
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  3. jcgatennismom

    jcgatennismom Semi-Pro

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    At the bottom is a post I wrote from a thread in Sept to a high school guy asking similar questions. You may want to skim whole thread. Bottom line-most of the 400 3 stars through blue chips for each class year are extremely motivated, giving 100%+ and they have 4+ years on you, 3000+ drill and matchplay hours on you and the experience of 400+ USTA tournament matches. Most of these guys will be UTR 11.5-13+ by the time they commit to college. If you are just a high school player for an average team, you are probably a UTR 6-8. If you work really hard, maybe you can make it to a 9, 9.5 or 10 in the next 18 months if you practice/play 15+ hours a week every week. Get a free membership to UTR or TRN. See where the guys are going to college with UTRs below 10. You might play D3 or low D2/NAIA but you will not get athletic money. Aim for a school where you can get merit $. Even if you get on a D3 team, that does not mean you would play. Many D3 teams have rosters of 15+ but only 8 guys play regularly. That said over 800 guys for the class of 2015 committed to play tennis somewhere, many with low UTRs. The guys with the low UTRs are primarily on D3 rosters, again doesnt mean they will play. I know guys that have played for 6+ years, played on high school state championship teams, and either now are playing tennis on campus (club) or hope to walk on a mid major D1. These are guys who have been serious about tennis since they were 10 or 11. A late bloomer is one who starts at 12 or 13. I know another guy who is totally homeschooled, his parents have paid for the best coaches and 20+ hours a week for 4 years so he could try to catch up, and he is right at the 3 star/4 star borderline. He has made tennis his top priority for 4 years and he still has not caught up to the guys who started 2 years earlier. Tennis has one of the longest learning curves to reach a high performance competitive level. Once you get there, you have to constantly maintain your level. If players dont keep training and playing tournaments, their level of tennis drops. 5 stars become 4 stars.
    https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/are-full-rides-likely.544057/
    Here is another post that mentions opportunities at all levels, but the club tennis at big schools is a higher level than the bottom levels of intercollegiate tennis. http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/inde...ge-tennis-players.525725/page-2#post-10171699

    Also, to be noticed, you have to dominate and go deep in high level sectional and/or national tournaments. However, you have to win matches and points at local (district) level before you may be able to get in sectional tournaments. You have to go deep at the lower level sectional tournaments to get in mid or higher level sectional tournaments. Generally college coaches only attend the level 1 national championships but some will attend high level sectional tournaments to see players they are already recruiting.

    In any sport, especially a high skilled sports like tennis, most of the guys who end up playing for a decent college team have been playing at a high level since they were 12+. Starting a sport as a freshman means you are years behind 95% of the other guys seeking college spots. Train all you can, play practice matches all you can, play at least two USTA tournaments a month, and pursue opportunities at D3 and low D2/NAIA.
     
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  4. tobarvybz

    tobarvybz New User

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    Thank you for all this information, and I will practice harder, I already play 15+ hours a week, and I believe I can catch up.
     
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  5. tobarvybz

    tobarvybz New User

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    This motivates me even more.
     
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  6. ReopeningWed

    ReopeningWed Professional

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    You have to get to the point where you destroy local competition. And I mean DESTROY they aren't even a warm up for you. College tennis means you're going to be playing against the former top seeds of every section in the US, and many more successful ITF juniors.

    It's not the end of the world if you can't get into D1-D3 tennis. In most districts, ITA (community college tennis) can be very very strong, especially in California. I know of more than a handful of 4-5 star players from tennis-recruiting.net that weren't academically eligible to play tennis for a D1 school (they only have so much money to allocate for athletic scholarships for tennis), and ended up playing their first two years at a community college before transferring to a D1 school. On the plus side, this gives you more time to develop as a player.
     
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  7. Tennis_monster21

    Tennis_monster21 Rookie

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    Well it looks as if you are a "2" on utr. Good lucky buddy!
     
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  8. tobarvybz

    tobarvybz New User

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    New to the utr thing, but I will rank up quick I'm sure :) thank you!
     
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  9. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    Sorry man, if you're 16 and haven't already somehow distinguished yourself as a better player among your peers it's probably not going to happen. It takes results, not just wanting it. For most potential college varsity players its an issue of where will I play not if by the age of 16. Maybe look into USTA Tennis On Campus or club tennis, but I wouldn't make a decision on a school based on tennis at this point. Just being real.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2016
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  10. tobarvybz

    tobarvybz New User

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    I will play in a D3 or low D2 college. No doubt in my mind, thanks for your insight.
     
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  11. tennisfan17

    tennisfan17 Rookie

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    To be fair, I was in a similar position to the OP in that I started relatively late. I didn't get offers until my senior year when I started to really shine. Now I am signed to a good D3 school for the upcoming semester and will be a main line up player. But that's just my experience :)
     
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  12. tobarvybz

    tobarvybz New User

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    I plan to have the same experience, good luck with your season!
     
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  13. tennisfan17

    tennisfan17 Rookie

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    Thank you! I will say, don't take a lot of what some people on this forum say seriously :) If you have the drive and motivation to do what ever it takes to play, even at the D3 level, I am sure you can do it! I never really played USTA junior tournaments or similar things so I can't comment on the usefulness of those, but I did have good success at high school level and some Open tournaments and I didn't really start competing till halfway through my freshman year, and by the time I was a senior last year I was competing with Super Champs and Champs in my area :p. All it takes is contacting coaches, being motivated, and extreme hard work. It sounds like you are which is good! Just don't let the folks on here who are ready to be negative get you demotivated!
     
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  14. tobarvybz

    tobarvybz New User

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    Yeah it sounds as though we are on the same boat, except I am still a junior. I started taking tennis serious freshman year as well. I am doing well with my high school career, also doing more tournaments. I am making it to CIF this year, my senior year we will be league champs with me as #1 singles, and I have a good chance at CIF. My school is D3, but we compete hard and I have a lot of motivation and the drive to do what it takes, any negative comment just rolls off me lol, I'll just prove them all wrong.

    "He who says he can, and he who says he can't, are both usually right"
     
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  15. tennisfan17

    tennisfan17 Rookie

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    Very good ideology! I feel there is somewhat of a misconception about D3 tennis on this forum as some (not all) view it as inferior, when in actuality it is filled with tons of fierce competition and amazing players :) If you don't mind me asking, what is the school you're going to attend?
     
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  16. tobarvybz

    tobarvybz New User

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    Orange Glen High School, D3 Tennis. Escondido CA. In San Diego


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  17. tobarvybz

    tobarvybz New User

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    Orange Glen High school, D3 tennis. Escondido Ca, in San Diego
     
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  18. tobarvybz

    tobarvybz New User

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    Oh woops I read it wrong lol i thought you asked what school I go to, I'm not sure what school I'm going to attend yet, I still need to contact colleges. I need some help with that lol, I need to ask my coach for some advice. He said we was gonna put me into a community college near me, then have me transfer out. But I want to get in contact with coaches first lol.
     
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  19. Ihatetennis

    Ihatetennis Hall of Fame

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    I am going to a d3, i was sought after by some good d3 schools and a few naia on schoalrship. I also played for 12 years prior in an academy setting.

    But while I am the top recruit for my school, there are kids who the coach recruited due to their freakish athletic ability and size even tho they are only rated 8 on utr and have been playing only since freshman year in highschool. The kid is 6'4 with a serve motion that with fixing could get his serve to 130+ as he is able to consistently get 120mph on his first serve.

    A lot of coaches will recruit role players in d3 for a solid 6 or doubles line. Use what you have and sell yourself to better schools as a hardworking role player rather than a key player or number 1.

    That's my best advice, attitude will get you a long way in recruiting and college tennis.
     
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  20. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    I agree that being a competent doubles player will make you very attractive to college coaches, especially at the D3 level. It sound like you are in California which is good and bad. The bad part is that even the D3 schools there like CMS are going to be really really good, the good thing is that there are a ton of JC's/CC's that have tennis programs. If you want to come to Texas I'm sure you could get on at one of the schools like Concordia or Schreiner.
     
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  21. jhick

    jhick Professional

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    With D3 it all depends on the school you go to. Teams can be all over the map as far as abilities. I recall a start up program where the #1 was decent, but all their other players were very weak. At the time I played #3, and I could count the number of points my opponent got on my fingers. And our program had a little under .500 record at the time.
     
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  22. Ihatetennis

    Ihatetennis Hall of Fame

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    If he wants to go to topnotch academic schools, he could possibly end up as a low recruit for allegheny or College of Wooster. There are also tons of schools like cornell college, Transylvania university, etc

    There are many high rated academic schools with lower level tennis teams which do compete and end up midpack in their conference. There are many choices for d3
     
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  23. kingcheetah

    kingcheetah Hall of Fame

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    As a D3 player, I think it's doable, but depending on the school could be really tough. I played tennis from 12 but didn't really focus on it as a primary sport until I was 17. I had some serious advantages I was able to capitalize on (facility, coaching/technical foundation, height/reach/speed) but it took a whole lot of work. The vast majority of d3 teams are comprised of all "world beaters" from high school teams-- guys that will lose more matches in their first season of college tennis than they did in 4-6 years combined of high school. They all know that it takes a lot of time to maintain/increase your playing level. In the summers, outside of tournaments, they all play 10-12 hours a week, minimum. So catching up/passing some of them will take both more time, and smarter practice(easier said than done.) You will want to get a physical advantage over the opposition, be able to go harder and longer than them. If you want to get serious consideration, set your "deadline" for the level you'll be showing to coaches for the end of the summer of your junior year. If they can see potential, it's ok if there are some flaws, but you need to differentiate yourself.
    You'll want to build a good group of practice partners, and really expose yourself to the game as much as possible. Don't wait to enter tournaments, you'll get used to getting blown off the court faster that way (and believe me, it happens to 99% of college players at least once.)

    As general info, this was my training schedule over the summer:
    Twice a week:
    4:30-7:00 Group Training
    7:00-8:30 Weight training/conditioning
    8:30-10:00 Hitting with others

    Other days:
    5:00-7:00 Hitting/Practice matches
    7:00-8:30 Weight Training/conditioning
    8:30-10:00 Hitting with others.

    This doesn't include private sessions, or tournaments, so sometimes the schedule was a little different, but this gives you a general idea of the work required if you want to make improvements that EVERYONE will notice from spring to fall.
     
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  24. tennisfan17

    tennisfan17 Rookie

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    I know Concordia is getting two good doubles players who are super champs. I've played against both in single and doubles and they're really strong. Concordia is building a good team for the upcoming year.
     
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  25. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Should be interesting to see how long it takes Whitehead to build that team, they are taking some tough losses this year but I did see that they beat Sul Ross the second time they played after taking a loss early in the year. Lot's of young players on that team, do you know where they practice ? I noticed they don't have courts on campus.
     
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  26. tennisfan17

    tennisfan17 Rookie

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    No clue. You're right though. Tons of younger guys and solid strength on the team. To be honest I am surprised that Sul Ross beat them the first time and how close it was the second match.
     
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  27. Ihatetennis

    Ihatetennis Hall of Fame

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    Country club near the school.

    Whitehead lost a couple recruits to bigger name schools like ut Tyler
     
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  28. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

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    At the end of the day you get out of it what you put in.

    How dedicated are you to getting better?

    I mean youre probably talking about amassing 20hrs of tennis 5 or 6 of fitness another 3 or 4 of flexibility work on a weakly basis. Loads of tournaments (now! enter them now, not when you think you can win them). And then from there how are you going to make those hours of the greatest possible quality? Are you going to get to practice 30mins early and warm up properly every single session. Are you going to cool down properly after every session. Are you going to make sure youre getting plenty of sleep? Are you going to come in to your sessions with a written plan? Are you going to spend the time post session writing up what you did, and what you learned? The practices you set up are they going to challenge you enough but not too much?

    Are you aware of what better players actually do better? Hows your diet? How much money have you got to spend?
     
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  29. Ihatetennis

    Ihatetennis Hall of Fame

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    Method tennis is right

    I am going d3, and had a handful of preferred d1 spots and a few naia scholarships.


    I use clarke pitviper poly, 33$ a reel. I pop every 2-4 sets depending on my opponents serve and quality of points. I also break strings every practice or so depending on age. I string 3-6 rackets a week, during the summer about 10.

    I traveled to 2-3 tounraments a month, and get lessons for free now, but used to be 50$ a clinic 4 times a week.

    I wear out shoes fast, so I wear barricades. They send me new ones so it is worth the 145$.

    I probably wear 8-12 shoes a year.

    I go through 3-5 rackets a year because stringing so much takes its toll. Plus matching, weighting and buying new grommets almost monthly. As well as overgrips and leather grips. I use 1-2 overgrips a session if I have to change rackets(my hands are super sweaty) and I swap out leather grips every 2 months because they start to thin out and feel weird.

    I also am up in the gym 4-5 times a week at 5:30 to get stronger and doing flexibility 7 days a week, basically yoga. It also serves as my pre match routine.

    I hit 200 serves at least 4 times a week. I do conditioning 3 times a week( I know I'm a slacker).

    I probably buy a case of wilson us open balls once a month.

    Do the math on all of this and it adds up.
     
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  30. tobarvybz

    tobarvybz New User

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    Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. And yeah I'm working really hard, i know I'll make it. I'm the 4th seed in my league tournament, and I'm focusing on winning right now.
     
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  31. tennisfan17

    tennisfan17 Rookie

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    Makes sense about the country club and losing recruits to Tyler. Still getting some strong players though.
     
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  32. Ihatetennis

    Ihatetennis Hall of Fame

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    yeah, dropped the ball on a solid 3 star, my friend.
     
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  33. tennisfan17

    tennisfan17 Rookie

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    A 3 star? Dang that's unfortunate.
     
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  34. Ihatetennis

    Ihatetennis Hall of Fame

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    tho he might get another who was not admitted into trinity or southwestern

    tho he will most likely follow to tyler
     
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  35. tennisfan17

    tennisfan17 Rookie

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    Yeah because as it stands it appears the highest recruit he has coming in is a 2 star which certainly isn't bad, but with the depth of tyler in the conference, it will be tough to hold up against.
     
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  36. Ihatetennis

    Ihatetennis Hall of Fame

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    The 2 star isn't that solid of a 2 star tbh

    He's got a decent serve and forehand, but unless he overpowers you, he's not going to win.

    Little variety, not to bash him. Just not close to anything ut Tyler or utd has
     
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  37. tennisfan17

    tennisfan17 Rookie

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    Ah really? That's unfortunate. Looks good on paper though I suppose. The two doubles players I mentioned earlier are both very good all around the court and are one stars. Interesting year it is shaping up to be.
     
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  38. Ihatetennis

    Ihatetennis Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, i train with them. Unfortunately not much they can do against ut tyler. But i do think that concordia will be a good team. Ive played all the recruits and was recruited by whitehead.

    If it was better academically I would have gone, i loved the location and school
     
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  39. ReopeningWed

    ReopeningWed Professional

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    At some point you're going to play too much and injure yourself from not having time to rest. Nothing wrong with being an average tennis player, or playing USTA. Put your education first.
     
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  40. tennisfan17

    tennisfan17 Rookie

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    Agreed. Tyler will continue being a powerhouse in this conference. I'm excited for the new season to begin.
     
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  41. fivepointfiveplayer

    fivepointfiveplayer New User

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    Some advice I'd like to share from experience : Learn to win. 16 years means you still have lot of time. But you need dedication and resources to get there. Don't think how far you can get and just take what you can have. Play lot of tournaments and lot of matches. I hear you can transfer from lower division schools to higher division schools. So nothing is set in stone.

    I came from a country with not many opportunities as USA. If I was in USA when I was young I'd probably be somewhere else. I am 28 now and play tennis recreationally in USA. I played with a high school kid whose dad introduced me to play with him. He is applying to D2/D3 colleges. He is really good at technical execution of strokes but has no idea of how to construct points and doesn't even know his own weaknesses. He just plays and has very basic point construction and no strategy. He loses pretty handidly to me even though he is technically better in terms of pace and spin than me. If I had his pace, spin and movement he'd probably have a hard time even getting point off of me. I do relate to him since it took me quite a while to get to a stage to start thinking about strategies and learning throughout the game.

    I am teaching him some strategies and trying to show him his weaknesses and patterns that I see and guide him to practice those etc but it seems like this is something that's not going to work in long run as every opponent is different and he has to learn to adapt. His dad is very adamant and talks too much about modern tennis etc, since he does very well against other kids. Of course I don't argue or anything since its none of my business but I do feel for the kid seeing how much potential he is wasting. At-least the kid can see very clearly and quietly listens to me and is eager to learn. This is something that doesn't come with hitting. He goes to an academy here where there are lot of drills but not much varied match play etc. Even the other kids he plays against don't seem to be developing points. They are however hitting clean and well and playing on how they feel at the moment, while when I play with him 80% of playable points are constructed by me. He puts no pressure on serve and doesn't setup winners etc and then becomes very easy to read when he is tired making it even more easy.

    Taking from this experience maybe that's something you can try to get ahead and work on to put you out of their league. That's not going to show in your recruiting videos, but will help you in tournaments etc and results mean more than anything, even in pro tour and real life. Play a lot of match play against a lot of different people and try and develop a strong playstyle that works most with strategies in mind that uses your strengths.
     
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  42. ChaelAZ

    ChaelAZ Hall of Fame

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    Hard to say, but we had one of our high school boys that started playing (like, had never even picked up a racquet) his Freshman year and was just given a half-ride scholarship to a good university to play. He was out every day, worked for our coach to pay for private lesson time, and was as dedicated as I have ever seen anyone be. He lived and breathed tennis every single day and worked hard to improve. No pride and all effort. He did have above average athletic skills so that was a great base to build on.

    Point is, you have all the potential. What you do from there is up to you.
     
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  43. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Hey Matthew is there an update on your progress ?
     
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  44. atatu

    atatu Hall of Fame

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    Looks like he hasn't played a UTR recognized match in a year, I really hope he's still playing and didn't give up.
     
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