Me playing tennis.

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
Nice hitting. Your backhand seems very consistent.
Bahahahahahahhah, maybe the biggest compliment I have ever received. I've only been playing for 3-4ish years and for many of those it was with a one hander. Normally my forehand is more consistent but I was spraying it a bit that day. My grip was a bit slippery.
 

pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
Yea your self assessment is correct, your forehand is unstable and need a lot of change to make it better.

I can’t really give good feedback from watching the video as it is well known that video changes the perspection and also POV and frame rate will also affect actual ball speed.

I would say that you have good instinct and that shows in your handling of some nasty balls that kick into you.

however you often try to overcompensate by tightening up and your motion becomes very rigid and that throw off your aim and feel completely.

I think it might be that are not prepared or maybe you think hitting power with power,either way I think training on being normal or finding the routine at any given speed is definitely something you should work on to improve your consistency.

I slightly disagree with the previous post I actually think your forehand is a lot more consistent than your backhand. Your backhand has glaring weaknesses
 

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
Yea your self assessment is correct, your forehand is unstable and need a lot of change to make it better.

I can’t really give good feedback from watching the video as it is well known that video changes the perspection and also POV and frame rate will also affect actual ball speed.

I would say that you have good instinct and that shows in your handling of some nasty balls that kick into you.

however you often try to overcompensate by tightening up and your motion becomes very rigid and that throw off your aim and feel completely.

I think it might be that are not prepared or maybe you think hitting power with power,either way I think training on being normal or finding the routine at any given speed is definitely something you should work on to improve your consistency.

I slightly disagree with the previous post I actually think your forehand is a lot more consistent than your backhand. Your backhand has glaring weaknesses
I'm not sure if this was really my self assessment, but your criticism is noted. You have to remember who was on the other side of the net, and give him some major credit. I have no idea your playing background, but if you have ever played with somone at that level, balls just bounce differently. I would agree that I do have some major issues in my timing off that wing. I have since tweaked my take back, and do have a more fluid motion that has worked better. You can sometimes see a bit of a weird wrist movment on my follow through which I no longer due. Most of time I don't make the best contact it is due to the spacing and contact point (mostly to close to the body). I use to find myself inverting (the rafa thing over the head) my forehand when I ran out of time and made contact late. I just haven't played long enough to have the natural movement and ball striking to hit the ball in my strike zone as much as I would like. My newish take back helps with that (think Brandon Nakashima), but the real difference maker is how well I am tracking the ball with my eyes. All things to work on for sure.

Thanks!
 

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
Care to elaborate on this? I'm under impression that fish eye lens effect makes ball speed seem faster and also the higher frame rate. Correct?
Everything was shot with a GoPro Hero 7 at 4k at the time of filming *I believe*. Just in case that means something to you! The academy films for us.
 

Znak

Professional
Yea your self assessment is correct, your forehand is unstable and need a lot of change to make it better.
What?! What makes you say that? That's a solid looking forehand. I think what you might perceive as unstable might actually be him hitting on the rise.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I'm not sure if this was really my self assessment, but your criticism is noted. You have to remember who was on the other side of the net, and give him some major credit. I have no idea your playing background, but if you have ever played with somone at that level, balls just bounce differently. I would agree that I do have some major issues in my timing off that wing. I have since tweaked my take back, and do have a more fluid motion that has worked better. You can sometimes see a bit of a weird wrist movment on my follow through which I no longer due. Most of time I don't make the best contact it is due to the spacing and contact point (mostly to close to the body). I use to find myself inverting (the rafa thing over the head) my forehand when I ran out of time and made contact late. I just haven't played long enough to have the natural movement and ball striking to hit the ball in my strike zone as much as I would like. My newish take back helps with that (think Brandon Nakashima), but the real difference maker is how well I am tracking the ball with my eyes. All things to work on for sure.

Thanks!
When you read his critique, please be aware that pencilcheck’s level is 3.5. In other words, you are MUCH better.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
This is my college video. Shot at the start of this year, so mind you it has been around a month or two.
Would love any comments.
Hitting done with a UTR 14 at my Academy. Kind of a windy day as well. Not my best hitting but real hitting.

Good hitting! you are clearly better than the majority of the members on the forum.

You will be lucky to get a TT 2.5 rating though. ;)
 

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
What?! What makes you say that? That's a solid looking forehand. I think what you might perceive as unstable might actually be him hitting on the rise.
It has been a very interesting transition from the fast indoor courts on NH to the hot and humid outdoor tennis of TX. I think it has actually given me a bit of an advantage, but coming to the academy, taking the ball early has been something I have been trying to work on. I definitely can't compete with grinding (late start + its not my game) and you cannot rely on the court speed to just use pace, so taking the ball early has been an equalizer almost (taking time away with-ought having to go for big shots) but has been a tough process to figure out. I think I have gotten a bit better at this (different prep / take back has shortened my swing!) but will try to get some footage of taking those balls on the rise.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
It has been a very interesting transition from the fast indoor courts on NH to the hot and humid outdoor tennis of TX. I think it has actually given me a bit of an advantage, but coming to the academy, taking the ball early has been something I have been trying to work on. I definitely can't compete with grinding (late start + its not my game) and you cannot rely on the court speed to just use pace, so taking the ball early has been an equalizer almost (taking time away with-ought having to go for big shots) but has been a tough process to figure out. I think I have gotten a bit better at this (different prep / take back has shortened my swing!) but will try to get some footage of taking those balls on the rise.
Stepping in and taking the ball early consistently isn’t easy because you end up taking time away from yourself, too, especially if your hitting partner is at the same level or stronger. Gotta work on fitness, footwork and speed to be able to do it consistently well over the course of a match.
 

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
When you read his critique, please be aware that pencilcheck’s level is 3.5. In other words, you are MUCH better.
Haha, I am sure he would have something up his sleeve if we played. I think its super important to be a student of the game, and for me that means that everyones a teacher especially when they have most likely been playing far longer the I! While it might be a bit late to completely change my forehand, he is definitely right about my timing and tightening up!
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Haha, I am sure he would have something up his sleeve if we played. I think its super important to be a student of the game, and for me that means that everyones a teacher especially when they have most likely been playing far longer the I! While it might be a bit late to completely change my forehand, he is definitely right about my timing and tightening up!
I suspect timing and tightening up is due to you hitting against a UTR 14 level player. :)

Do you tighten up against a UTR 7 level player? I’m gonna take a guess and say no.
 
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Znak

Professional
It has been a very interesting transition from the fast indoor courts on NH to the hot and humid outdoor tennis of TX. I think it has actually given me a bit of an advantage, but coming to the academy, taking the ball early has been something I have been trying to work on. I definitely can't compete with grinding (late start + its not my game) and you cannot rely on the court speed to just use pace, so taking the ball early has been an equalizer almost (taking time away with-ought having to go for big shots) but has been a tough process to figure out. I think I have gotten a bit better at this (different prep / take back has shortened my swing!) but will try to get some footage of taking those balls on the rise.
Awesome stuff man, keep at it!
 

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
I suspect timing and tightening up is due to you hitting against a UTR 14 level player. :)

Do you tighten up against a UTR 7 level player?
Sometimes in long points, but not really. I don't have a ton of trouble (especially when just in practice) with anyone until they are a well rounded 10. If they are like an 8 with just a massive forehand and nothing else then there would be a problem but generally I can handle it. Sense being at the Academy I have gone from a 5 -> 7, and I think with a couple more wins over some higher players in tournaments I will make a big push in UTR. I have a bunch of tough results like losses to 6's and 7's last year that should be going away soon. I am able to compete pretty well (win in a TB or loose 4-3) against 10's in practice matches but because I didn't really play to many tournaments in NH (plus no conciliation), so getting so much match play here has been a huge help. Not saying I should be a 10 or anything, but I think it is on the up and up!

I do sort of have some trouble with tightening up if I have to create all of the pace (mostly against girls, or younger guys) but as long as I am focused and watching the ball well it's not as big of an issue.
 

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
Looks very nice. I assume it's 60 fps as well?

Nice game btw. Fh kind of Djokovic like technique.
I think it is 60fps but not sure. I didn't do anything on my end so I would guess it is 60FPS!

I wish my backhand was as loose as his, but I will say the NH skiing lets me slide all over the place so I have that going for me :)
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I do sort of have some trouble with tightening up if I have to create all of the pace (mostly against girls, or younger guys) but as long as I am focused and watching the ball well it's not as big of an issue.
Yes, your forearm/wrist structure is quite rigid throughout the stroke. I suspect this is the source and cause of the tightness.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
This is my college video. Shot at the start of this year, so mind you it has been around a month or two.
Would love any comments.
Hitting done with a UTR 14 at my Academy. Kind of a windy day as well. Not my best hitting but real hitting.

I've played those courts. My son has been to Newks as well. Great program for development and nice facility. The covered courts back there get like a sauna in the summer, but better than the direct heat...maybe. They ever get the obsticle course cleared back there? Was a jungle last time I was there.
 

MaxTennis

Rookie
Your hitting partner is amazing!

I wish I had UTR 14 partners to hit with. These guys would clean house in the money Open tournaments in NorCal.
 

MaxTennis

Rookie
@Liam Grennon what schools are you aiming for? I think the College Tennis Talk forum may be a better bet.

If your UTR is around 7, I would look into D3 programs primarily. I feel most D2 programs would want at least UTR 10. D1 would probably be UTR 12. Good luck!
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
I am not a coach so take my words with a grain of salt.
A difference i noticed between you and your hitting partner (orange) is: he has way more time to set up his forehand. Seems like he gets set up, still have a split of a second to wait, and release. You, on the other hand, get set up and hit right a way. Of course, orange is UTR14 and his FH take back is so simple, but efficient. :)
 

Curious

Legend
I am not a coach so take my words with a grain of salt.
A difference i noticed between you and your hitting partner (orange) is: he has way more time to set up his forehand. Seems like he gets set up, still have a split of a second to wait, and release. You, on the other hand, get set up and hit right a way. Of course, orange is UTR14 and his FH take back is so simple, but efficient. :)
And how do you explain that? Very typical of high level players. It’s like they have so much time always, never look rushed. Is it the first move ie turning very quickly as they read the ball much better?
 

pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
Care to elaborate on this? I'm under impression that fish eye lens effect makes ball speed seem faster and also the higher frame rate. Correct?
I don’t know the science behind it but I guess because it compresses the side It made a court feels bigger on the side but make the court feel shorter so thus it makes it feeling like the ball travels slower if it goes across the screen (when it is fast) etc
 

pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
What?! What makes you say that? That's a solid looking forehand. I think what you might perceive as unstable might actually be him hitting on the rise.
I also observe how close OP stands to the baseline and hitting on the rise, and that is no small feat pretty impressive for someone who learned only 3-4 years.

OP forehand is different from mine so I can’t dive too deep as it has very different mechanics than what I am used to.

however I would say that your hitting partner is very good to keep returning really good rally ball one after another.

My guess the cause of tightening up is mostly due to footwork, where OP either get too close to the ball or too far away. If he can move quickly and setup faster he would hit a lot better (just my two cents)
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
And how do you explain that? Very typical of high level players. It’s like they have so much time always, never look rushed. Is it the first move ie turning very quickly as they read the ball much better?
If i know, i will be coaching for money now haha. i think you might be right about the quick turn though. definitely helps.
 

pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
Haha, I am sure he would have something up his sleeve if we played. I think its super important to be a student of the game, and for me that means that everyones a teacher especially when they have most likely been playing far longer the I! While it might be a bit late to completely change my forehand, he is definitely right about my timing and tightening up!
Appreciate the comment.

To clarify my comment, I am not talking about your stroke here. I played also enough to learn that there is no one perfect stroke however I believe in well timed footwork. I think if you have faster and accurate movement pattern to handle ball going into you or away from you quickly you should be hitting a lot better (just my two cents). I am struggling in this department as I get lazy a lot of times and I feel I didn’t have the right training to move faster.
 
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Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
I've played those courts. My son has been to Newks as well. Great program for development and nice facility. The covered courts back there get like a sauna in the summer, but better than the direct heat...maybe. They ever get the obsticle course cleared back there? Was a jungle last time I was there.
Obstacle course is still running! They have made some nice renovations I am told. Was your son an Academy student or did he come over the summer? Definitely a place where if you want to put in the work, there is very little to limit how good you can get. What did your son do with his tennis?
 

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
Your hitting partner is amazing!

I wish I had UTR 14 partners to hit with. These guys would clean house in the money Open tournaments in NorCal.
Yeah we had him and another player from Argentina this semester. Incredible people for sure. The one I played with beat a UTR 14.4 6-1 6-4. They both could have gone anywhere in the country but had loyalty for the Utah coach. They always came to practice, and were always great role models. He didn't hesitate when I asked him to hit with me.

@Liam Grennon what schools are you aiming for? I think the College Tennis Talk forum may be a better bet.

If your UTR is around 7, I would look into D3 programs primarily. I feel most D2 programs would want at least UTR 10. D1 would probably be UTR 12. Good luck!
The point of the post was more about the tennis but given it was a College video I am happy to answer any questions regarding that. I have some great offers from lots of schools. A couple of roster spots for D1 programs (I am not reliant on athletic scholarships), and a whole bunch of great academic D3's. I have really been blown away with some of the schools I have talked to. It's interesting, you would think D2's would be in the 10 range, but most of the schools I would be interested in that are D3 have better teams then the D2's I have looked into. Hard to pass on an education from some of these places. I have heard of kids going D1 with UTR's ranging from 8-14, so there is not really a set number you have to hit. Some coaches see potential in tons of different places and the team environment can be as important as the UTR's.
I am closing in on a final list of places to visit. I will keep everyone posted on that process.
@jcgatennismom - looking for your thoughts here, if you have the time!
 
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mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Yeah we had him and another player from Argentina this semester. Incredible people for sure. The one I played with beat a UTR 14.4 6-1 6-4. They both could have gone anywhere in the country but had loyalty for the Utah coach. They always came to practice, and were always great role models. He didn't hesitate when I asked him to hit with me.



The point of the post was more about the tennis but given it was a College video I am happy to awnser any questions regarding that. I have some great offers from lots of schools. A couple of roster spots for D1 programs (I am not reliant on athletic scholarships), and a whole bunch of great academic D3's. I have really been blown away with some of the schools I have talked to. It's intresting, you would think D2's would be in the 10 range, but most of the schools I would be intrested in that are D3 have better teams then the D2's I have looked into. Hard to pass on an education from some of these places. I have heard of kids going D1 with UTR's ranging from 8-14, so there is not really a set number you have to hit. Some coaches see potential in tons of diffrent places and the team environment can be as important as the UTR's.
I am closing in on a final list of places to visit. I will keep everyone posted on that process.
@jcgatennismom - looking for your thoughts here, if you have the time!
Good luck!
 

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
I am not a coach so take my words with a grain of salt.
A difference i noticed between you and your hitting partner (orange) is: he has way more time to set up his forehand. Seems like he gets set up, still have a split of a second to wait, and release. You, on the other hand, get set up and hit right a way. Of course, orange is UTR14 and his FH take back is so simple, but efficient. :)
And how do you explain that? Very typical of high level players. It’s like they have so much time always, never look rushed. Is it the first move ie turning very quickly as they read the ball much better?
You are both very right! I will try to find a video of him hitting. I am a super visual learner so just watching them play makes me better :) .
First thing to note is that they are both absolute monsters. The one in the video isn't that tall but he is jacked, and his calf's look like the size of softballs. He has a smaller back swing, and yet has more racket head speed with a heavier racket, so right there I am outmatched in pace. He moves extremely well. And very rarely is hitting a ball outside his strike zone. He registers all things like spin, direction, net clearance, and depth, all before the ball crosses the net. He wastes no energy in his movement. He just hits the ball so well, every time. He also stands a bit further back then me.

Basically what it comes down to is that because he recognizes and moves to the ball so quickly he has the extra second to load, and strike the ball perfectly, while I am still making mini adjustments. His racket is at a 90 degree angle and he just drops the racket head as he starts to turn his shoulder. Because he is in the right spot, he is strong enough to just make any last adjustments mid swing.

I will try to get videos of him hitting.
 

Liam Grennon

Semi-Pro
I also observe how close OP stands to the baseline and hitting on the rise, and that is no small feat pretty impressive for someone who learned only 3-4 years.

OP forehand is different from mine so I can’t dive too deep as it has very different mechanics than what I am used to.

however I would say that your hitting partner is very good to keep returning really good rally ball one after another.

My guess the cause of tightening up is mostly due to footwork, where OP either get too close to the ball or too far away. If he can move quickly and setup faster he would hit a lot better (just my two cents)
No you are definitely right here!!!

I would only add that a lot of the time the biggest correlation is between the tracking of the ball and footwork. When I am seeing the ball well, my back leg will always swing around, meaning I stay on balance. While obviously you can improve your speed and coordination in terms of footwork, your still making adjustments (just faster).

I am seriously lacking in the tracking department. I see kids playing in L4's and above, and there footwork isn't really better then mine (now maybe it is in the video), they aren't moving faster or doing more footwork, they are just doing it more efficiently. Everything they do is just muscle memory, and all they focus on is the ball. They don't waste any energy with miss steps, there feet always go to the right place and get them planted well. I think this can only be improved with hitting balls in footwork drills (as apposed to on court fitness, with ought rackets).

Of course just my observations !
 

Jhreamer

Rookie
SWEET.

I'm in NO position to offer advice, but I'll offer encouragement! Looking very promising. Your aggressive FH footwork kinda reminds me of Roddick's. Liking the S&V plays. It was cool to see your form from a few different camera heights.

Best of luck, man. I hope you get some good options.
 

Curious

Legend
SWEET.

I'm in NO position to offer advice, but I'll offer encouragement! Looking very promising. Your aggressive FH footwork kinda reminds me of Roddick's. Liking the S&V plays. It was cool to see your form from a few different camera heights.

Best of luck, man. I hope you get some good options.
When I saw his video and that he’s only been playing for 3-4 years I immediately thought he is a better version of your tennis journey so far but obviously he’s had a much more serious training.
 
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pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
This is my college video. Shot at the start of this year, so mind you it has been around a month or two.
Would love any comments.
Hitting done with a UTR 14 at my Academy. Kind of a windy day as well. Not my best hitting but real hitting.

I rewatched it again, I noticed a couple places that maybe if you do (that I also need to work on for myself as well) you would have a more consistent and faster footwork and setup.

Staggered step === Split step as someone might called it here, but both can be abbreviated as SS

1. Your SS is too late, the timing is not in sync with the ball hitting, sometimes I even noticed you double hop, first hop when your hitting partner hits the ball, the second hop to get into takeback position but then you slide into actual hitting position after the ball bounces which is a bit too late against an opponent that produces consistent spin.

In my opinion, the ideal sequence should be, SS before ball hit, immediate slide into position with hands already in place when you see the ball leaves the racquet string, have all the time to dream about what breakfast you will have next morning, hit

You can observe that your hitting partner is doing almost exactly this, he has a lot of time to time his ball and swing to his fullest, but at the same time, you are not hitting as hard comparatively, so he do have a lot of time on his end than you.

What you are doing is more: SS when ball leaves the string, when landed the ball has already past the net, then you tried to walk/hop quickly to where the ball roughly is going, then takeback, immediately hit with no time for any adjustment, etc

2. Sometimes I noticed you are almost jumping when doing SS. Hopping so high gives you no way to get into position when you are in mid air, I think just enough to feel you are in athletic standing would be enough.
3. Your takeback is not immediate/decisive, a lot of times you seems to hesitate (maybe deciding which forehand or backhand to use perhaps?) and thus you always seems to be short on time
4. After SS, try not to hop into position, don't walk either, try doing sliding instead. You should hear your shoe squeaking a lot

I think I myself also need a lot of training in these part of footwork, it is really not easy esp when the ball might curve around with sidespins, it messed me up a lot in this area. I default into forehand when I can just do backhand a lot that also hurts me when I rally :p
 
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ChaelAZ

Legend
Obstacle course is still running! They have made some nice renovations I am told. Was your son an Academy student or did he come over the summer? Definitely a place where if you want to put in the work, there is very little to limit how good you can get. What did your son do with his tennis?
He did the academy when there. That was a few years back and he lived there for a bit. He graduated this year and had offers from a local community college and another Christian college, but did not confirm. A weird place to be as a Dad, but he has to carve out his own place in the world, so he is working and hasn't touched a racquet in months. Anyway, I did group play and hit with a lot of the juniors when I visited, and that was also my first taste of clay on the Har Tru courts. I did not join for the wake-up hill runs. :D
 

jcgatennismom

Professional
. A couple of roster spots for D1 programs (I am not reliant on athletic scholarships), and a whole bunch of great academic D3's. I have really been blown away with some of the schools I have talked to. It's interesting, you would think D2's would be in the 10 range, but most of the schools I would be interested in that are D3 have better teams then the D2's I have looked into. Hard to pass on an education from some of these places. I have heard of kids going D1 with UTR's ranging from 8-14, so there is not really a set number you have to hit. Some coaches see potential in tons of different places and the team environment can be as important as the UTR's.
I am closing in on a final list of places to visit. I will keep everyone posted on that process.
@jcgatennismom - looking for your thoughts here, if you have the time!
I would recommend you look at D3 schools with UTR rosters for top 6 from UTR 8-10. I looked at your UTR-your best win was 7.78 but you had some close matches with a 8.4 and a 9 but also were blown out by some lower 8s. The recent chart UTR put out saying male D1 players ranged from 8-14 is misleading. If you use UTR's own college fit feature and input UTR 10 for #6, only 19 out of 250 D1 colleges with men's tennis programs show up-about 8%. There is also around 20 D1 schools that won 25% of their matches or less with 12 D1 programs that did not beat a single other D1 team-not even other team in their relatively weak conference. Now players with UTR 10 or less may be on D1 rosters, but it is unlikely they will ever play on a team unless it is team #235-250-some of those have 1-18 records-coach is probably PT too. I wouldn't recommend D1 for players with <11 UTR. For the best experience with a decent team and college: UTR 11.5+ for midmajor, 12.5-13+ for power 5. I was trying to help some seniors who play for the same HS as my son did-one was an 8, one a 9.5. For them D3 or a club team at a big in state school were their best chances of playing with a long shot at some D2s for the 9.5. Of course the 8 is still applying to D1, asking his academy coach to talk to the college coach, and maybe the college coach will allow him on his roster because he has good grades and SAT scores, will receive a merit scholarship, but he will have a very slim chance of ever playing.

I skimmed your video. Did you ever return serve of your opponent? If so, I missed it. I liked that you tried different shots, did some approaches, had some ace-looking serves but you are still a developing player. Your opponent was obviously holding back. A 13.5 or even a 12.5 would pull you wide with a good serve, get a weak return if one at all, and then finish the point with a shot to the opposite corner-serve +1. I think you should have a video made of you playing a UTR 8.5-10 in a practice match with the high ranked opponent told to give you his best shot-no holding back. The coaches of the teams that would be a good fit for you would not expect you to play well vs a 13.6. Your current video is fine for coaches as they can still guesstimate your level but the 2nd video would help you know your strengths and weaknesses vs players just slightly above your current level. I am not a coach; I am more of a numbers/data person who can suggest where a person might be successful while still celebrating the outliers who take different paths and exceed expectations. I am not a USTA tourney fan.

A full pay player of any UTR is going to get offers. Make sure you choose a school where you will get to play not where you are paying so the coach can fund others' scholarships. Look at the #6 players of the schools of interest and see what their UTR was when recruited-that 8 might have been a UTR 9 junior. Most freshmen go down .4-.5 from their junior height. A junior UTR 11.5 is not the same as a college 11.5. I know 4-5 stars who are now juniors whose UTRs have dropped 1.0-1.75 in college. I also know of players or parents who stated on the TW college board of how they or their kid improved 1.5 UTR in a year or played competitively vs players 1.0+ higher. The one parent was sure his kid who had made a jump from 10.5-12 in a year when sent to an academy was going to be a 13 by the time he graduated and play Big10. The other guy who was close to a 10 went D3, played at #3 a lot freshman year, played a little soph year, doesnt play for team at all now and is UTR low 8. The UTR 12 played 6 at a midmajor his freshman year, left the team after fall of his soph year and dropped to UTR 10 before becoming unranked.

I am saying this to be conservative on where you think your tennis level will be when you start college. I do think it is easier to make big jumps for newer players with UTRs under 10. You could possibly be an 8.5 or 9 level by the time you play college ball, but you will need to play a lot of tournaments vs 8s and 9s to get there-maybe play men's opens over holidays, ITA summer circuits and men's opens, prize $ tourneys over the summer. My son improved 2.5+ UTR in 2 years and 9 months from summer after 9th to senior spring but he also grew 8 inches and gained 60 lbs. Players who are already seniors are limited in that type of growth! Many US juniors have played 500+ USTA matches before they land on campus. However, I have seen players reach 4 stars only playing about 4-6 USTA tourneys a year but going deep in all of them, playing high level HS team tennis and being state tennis champs or finalists. One guy like that who was about TRN 100 played 2 on a top 30 college team so it can be quality over quantity as far as tournaments. That guy who wasnt even a UTR 12 in Aug at the start of his sr year beat a 13.8 as a college soph. OK to dream but be realistic and continue to test yourself in real tournaments as practice match wins dont predict tournament or college success. Choose the right level tourneys where you can be competitive. I see 1 stars getting in Nat 2s or 3s (b/c a lot of players are chosing ITFs and adult tourneys over USTA or just too many USTA tourneys) and losing badly in MD and back. Best tourneys are one with a lot of players .5-1.5 ahead of you and some .5-1.0 below. Good to play slightly lower players and practice executing your A game to win efficiently and quickly and learn how to fight back a momentum change when you are ahead.

A few other tips: Choose a school 1)that you would be happy attending even if you didnt play tennis and that has your major 2) that is on the Forbes list of 650 colleges (of course not all schools on the list have tennis teams 3) where your SAT is at least at the 50%ile level-better if it is at 75%ile level. For D1, NCAA surveys show the average tennis player expends 32hrs a week in season in tennis related activities (the 20hr countable a week excludes a lot). D3 would be somewhat less. If a player is not at least as intelligent as the average student and then has to put in 32 hours of tennis that they dont have to do, he is not going to enjoy trying to balance academics and tennis.

There will be a coaches happy to have you on your team as you have a good work ethic, you have drive for tennis to move across the US to improve your tennis, you are a strategic analytic thinker about your tennis, you are coachable, and you have financial resources. There will be players with similar limited experience who will improve faster due to experience in other sports, innate athleticism, and a high degree of natural tennis intuition. You just have to find a coach of the right level team that is willing to develop players-many expect players to arrive developed as most of the coach's time is spent recruiting. If you have questions about specific schools and if they would be a fit, you can PM me. On your own, look at archived rosters for schools where players play all 4 years, where their UTR has improved from juniors or at least stayed the same (UTR has historical stats for many players from 6/16). Look at team archived stats-is team competitive within its conference? Did players who had a UTR of 8 in the fall of their freshman year get to play at least half of the dual matches? Or do they only get to play in the fall? Does the team play a full schedule in spring-close to 20 matches before conference playoffs? Does team go on spring break trip? Some D3 teams even send players to D1 fall tourneys. Conversely some teams are poorly funded. Even if the team has a good coach, if the coach has to spend his time fundraising for team, and team doesnt travel much, the experience won't be as good as regularly playing for and traveling with a team that wins at least 40% of its matches. Also you can google ITA scholar athletes or ITA scholar team with the university or conference name to get an idea of the team's GPA to make sure academics is important too.
 

Louis33

Rookie
Good job hitting you look like a solid player I like how you always keep your feet moving it makes a big difference. What I see giving you trouble is your forehand. It would benefit you shortening up your motion to improve consistency and timing. Your forehand is similar to how mine was, and what I see happening is you turning your shoulder and torso to early getting those loopy shots and pulling to the left. I still struggle doing this when I get tired and it’s pretty apparent in the shape of my shots. When I play golf I do the same thing I can hit big but my miss is always a hook from extra body/shoulder rotation. What has helped me big time is taking the racket back wide with the shoulders and getting my left arm out. I noticed yours drops fairly early and it’s what causes the shoulders and body to turn left and over rotate too soon. Focus on keeping that left arm out and your head still through the follow through for a more linear motion. Watch a slow motion forehand of Federer and watch how long he keeps his left arm out in front of his body. This helps keep the racket from dropping too far to the inside and the shoulders from over rotating. Keep up the good work and I hope this helps improve your tennis.
 
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