In college I remember watching these players compete while I just played intramural tennis. They were the studs who won local and national tournaments. They were the ones who were coveted by coaches and got multi-year academic scholarships. The pressure was on.
Despite being the captain of my high school tennis team a couple years and going All-District, I burned out of tennis my senior year. Staying awake in Spanish class the next day after lunch was nearly impossible. Food coma! Was I just making excuses when I was younger for not wanting to try harder?
Was I too afraid of losing? Clearly, I was looking for some outlets to get my mind off a very scary financial time for us all. Tennis and writing were my two salvations. As a physically unimposing human being, I had no positive biases in the tennis world. Instead of trying to make the 4. It was a hit to the team, because all my prior wins also got canceled in favor of the opponent.
After my disappointing 4. I went in , and in But despite the winning records in 4. Once again, I had to prove my worth by challenging other players. We went on to win the City Championship as well! Rejection is motivating! Back in , I got an MRI on my left knee due to constant sharp pains that would cause my knee to buckle when walking up or down steps. It turns out that I had a torn horizontal meniscus tear in the posterior horn.
I wore a knee sleeve to keep things tight, and battled on! I promised never to complain about the pain and never tell anybody about my injury. You either win on the court or you lose. The same thing goes with our finances! In sports, you man up, learn from your losses, work on your weaknesses and try to get better. Eventually, our bodies will refuse to cooperate. But while our bodies are still healthy, we compete as hard as we can in order to discover our potential!
Only 0. None of my teammates from my old 4. All the practicing and mind-bending competitive situations paid off. Getting to 5. But how about winning at 5. Instead of just winning one match, I ended up going One win was against two self-rated 5. My partner was just like me, a former high school player who just got bumped to 5. As for my losses, I got crushed playing with a 4. When I finally got a legit 5. Not even talent can make you succeed without a tremendous amount of practice.
We all need to stick around for as long as possible to give ourselves a chance. You just never know what might happen! Most of us would rather err on the side of caution and do OK, rather than try extremely hard and fail at the chance of doing something great. Failure is embarrassing.
As soon as you feel like you belong, you will get better at whatever you do. I can easily hit a top spin one-handed backhand now, whereas before I could not for years. If you do not believe in yourself, nobody will. But I assure you that once you develop a plan, good things will happen. Your detractors are the most afraid to try! The worst is if something is just handed to you. But, the good feeling of accomplishment has not. All I really want to do is play and have fun. Excellent post. And, I look forward to following Financial Samurai.
Can you provide more information on the NTRP rating distribution table? What year? Many thanks.
Health racket: tennis reduces risk of death at any age, study suggests
I can sincerely appreciate that accomplishment. I ask that all tennis players who consider self-rating at a lower level because they are afraid of losing, please consider the effect your decision will have on players at the lower level. As you stated, you were disqualified for self-rating at 4. You seemed to breeze that off like nothing in your blog above. Did you ever stop to think about how your actions embarrassed your opponents? They trusted that you self-rated truthfully, and as such, in losing to you, you very likely caused them to lose confidence in their own game. I myself have played in a few matches where my opponent clearly self-rated too low, and I have been blown out.
It caused me to let down my team, to be personally embarrassed, and to lose confidence in my own game. Yes, your wins were eventually reversed, but there was a point in time when your opponent did not know the 3 strikes were coming. I see folks often complaining that the USTA rated them too high. Please, consider playing at the level you were rated at, and if you lose too many matches, let the system move you down. Reason: I have to believe not too many folks will complain that you rated yourself too high, as they are going to have the win and it has much less effect on their confidence.
On the other hand, the effect you will have by beating someone badly because you self-rated too low will be damaging to your opponent , and to tennis. Plus, you risk a DQ and your team will suffer. Not really. When I self-rated at 4. I played with other 4. Getting bumped to 5. But a bigger surprise is staying at 5. Remember, I did not play college tennis. Yet every 5.
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I am a new reader and fan of your site! Are you still in SF? If you are, would you be interested in hitting? He is always looking for 5. Nice to meet you! Is your husband ranked 5. Can you share physical therapy which help your knee?
I am having the same issue with my left knee. I played college tennis at decent 5. Should it be possible to pay some money and guarantee reaching that next aspirational level… how much would you pay?! Or did you self-rate down to 4. May as well share my story. Made HS varsity squad as a freshman, going on to play 2nd doubles during Jr.
Went to a DIII university and was invited to be a walk-on, but decided against it — chose heavy partying and intramural sports instead. Tore ACL as a sophomore playing pick-up basketball… had it reconstructed. Tore meniscus 6 months later… and that was the beginning of a year hiatus from athletic activity — competitive or otherwise — of any kind. Not to mention the fear of ever having to experience excruciating injury again. Life sort of swept me up from there … but always, my love of basketball and tennis nagged at my soul.
Still, I became a shell of my former self without sports in my life. At 46, with feelings of mortality egging me on along with the overdue need to get in shape, I knew I needed to do something. Last summer, a newer buddy of mine mentioned that he played tennis with a group of guys at some local public courts and suggested that I hook up with them.
A mix of 4. I started out playing once a week, for hours at a time. In retrospect, I should have only played hours max… but I was hooked! The pain and swelling I experienced was rather harsh at first, taking me days before I felt able to play again. But after 2 months, my knees and foot, and elbow, and shoulder, and back, and..
Use it or lose it, indeed. This public club fields 4. The 4. A self-rated 4. And I recognize the long road ahead to achieve a solid 4. Better physical condition 20 lbs? Hearkening back to what you said about detractors, Sam… I now have something to prove to someone other than myself. Great article! Fellow tennis addict, USTA 4. I think these personal goals define your passion. Funny, I set the same bucket list to visit all 4 grand slams. It is definitely a lot more active too…the tennis court is my gym and my mind is totally Free for those mins I sweat out there.
The sort of Freedom you cannot buy or drink or wear. Thanks Sam! Nice to hear from you! How difficult and how much time does it take to become a certified instructor? I may do that as well as I am now coaching high school tennis! Hi Sam, a brief background from my perspective: I have a systems engineering degree, work as an IT consultant by day, and become Tennis dude by night playing times a week if I can. I also run 2 tennis blogs jctennis. I teach on junior players on weekends a few times a month at a local club for my cousin. They offer a 1-day option half the exam is tested online and a 2-day option where you learn everything hands-on , but on alternating months.
I would recommend spending weeks to review and prep for the exam — they want everything taught a very specific way. Since you are rated between 4. From an ROI perspective, it might be tough for a part-timer to justify. Quick Update: I think the students in the 2-day class all passed. At least 2 guys who did the 1-day option had to come back. The stroke that was the toughest even for the former Top all-american was the 3 bounce drop shot.
Luckily, even if you miss most of these attempts, it is in the same category as overheads which you should Ace. As long as the average per category is good, you will get that mark in the end. The other shot that is uncommon, is the forehand cross-court slice for accuracy. Recommend practicing the serves as well. On day 2, you have the Group and Private Lessons.
My 18 yr daughter plays in a 4. There are some players in her league that are barely a level above beginner and there are a few former D1 and junior players who are clearly 5. I think the USTA understands the lack of 5. I could be wrong about that. Had the exact same feeling. Played a lot in juniors. Took it light in my late teens and early 20s and been playing USTA league the last 15 years. I turned 40 this year and got bumped to 5. There are no 5. I tried to appeal my rating but got denied. Once in a while you get lucky and feels great to kick someones butt 20 years younger. Used to grind and hit topspin when i was younger.
Now, I take the ball early and flatten it out. My all time favorite match is Blake vs Agassi in US open quarter finals. Every other sense is sort of useless. While others may choke on the big occasion, Osaka appears to possess the mind to excel. It feels a little bit more electrifying I guess. And just more fun. This is borne out by her record. Those with a better record are among the greats of their respective generations; Williams, Chris Evert , Steffi Graf and Martina Hingis.
Of course, people lose all the time. But I just felt like I should at least win a tournament every month or something. Other times it just makes me overthink. But Osaka knows that to gain the respect of her opponents, so they clear a path for her, she must win relentlessly. At the next tournament.
At the next Grand Slam, the French Open, which takes place this month. At Wimbledon in July. The Olympics next year. And again. Only then will her ambition be sated. Osaka wants to win so much that her opponents stop contemplating victory. OK, so you know when Serena was Number One? Basically, everyone knew that everyone else had no chance. I kind of want myself to be like that in the future.
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Listen to this article Play audio for this article Pause What was mispronounced? Optional: help us by adding the time. Osaka serving against Serena Williams during the final of the US Open, which she won in straight sets. It [was] kind of dialled down. Reuse this content opens in new window.
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