Do you live in northern New Jersey and do you want to play lots of tennis?
This is a social group designed to bring together recreational tennis players of various levels who want to find partners to play with and socialize with other tennis players. We will have regular meetings to practice on public tennis courts after work and on weekends. We will also have occasionally social events. Please, take advantage of the message board or email group members directly to find tennis partners.
Beginners are welcome, however we do not provide tennis instruction. For those who have little/no experience, we recommend you take a few introductory lessons so that you have some of the basic skills needed to enjoy the sport.
During the warm weather we typically schedule events throughout the week, weather permitting. In the winter we use some of the local indoor courts so players can keep their skills fresh year round.
If you have ideas for some tennis related (or just general sports/fitness/social) activities and want to volunteer to organize it, please let me know and I can put it up on the meetup calendar.
Below are few miscellaneous items that may be of interest to the group.
To register for this group, we do ask you for your playing level. These days the United States Tennis Association (USTA) assesses players based on their won-loss record against other rated players. If two players are at the same level and of the same gender, it should be a competitive match. Generally speaking, if there's a 0.5 point difference between player, the better player should usually win a set by a score close to 6-1.
When rating themselves, players should use players of the same gender as reference points. However, for those individuals wishing to compete against players of the opposite gender, the following can be used as a guide. At approximately the 3.5 rating for a man, a woman with a 4.0 rating will be competitive. When a man reaches the 5.0 level or above, a woman needs to be approximately 1.0 higher in order to be competitive.
The majority of tennis players don't participate in USTA-recorded matches. That means we're often left with rating ourselves or asking a professional tennis instructor to do so. One of the most challenging and fun parts of tennis is that your level needs to be assessed as a total package. It's possible for you to be an advanced player in one area of your game such as groundstrokes, but not much better than a beginner in another area such as net play. The bottom line is that when you assess yourself you should go through each area of the game (serve, return, groundstrokes, net play, footwork, consistency, control, etc.) and "add up" the impact of each area on how you think you would fare against other players.
Remember your rating is only a reflection on your game and not on you. Don't think too hard about it. Have fun!
Gist of it:
Below is a summary of the United States Tennis Association's playing level ratings (for official guide, start at page 7 of the document for the National Tennis Rating Program or NTRP).
Beginning level players will range from 1.0 to a potential 3.0.
- 1.0 This player is just starting to play tennis.
- 1.5 Has limited experience and is still working primarily on getting the ball into play.
- 2.0 Needs on-court experience. Has obvious stroke weaknesses but is familiar with basic positions for singles and doubles play.
- 2.5 Learning to judge where the ball is going although court coverage is weak. Can sustain a short rally of slow pace with other players of the same ability. About 5% of USTA-rated players fall in this category.
- 3.0 Fairly consistent when hitting medium-paced shots, but is not comfortable with all strokes and lacks execution when trying for directional control, depth or power. Most common doubles formation is one-up and one-back. About 15% of USTA-rated players fall in this category.
Most players will be intermediate-level who will range from a solid 3.0 to a potential 4.0.
- 3.5 Has achieved improved stroke dependability with directional control on moderate shots, but still lacks depth and variety. Starting to exhibit more aggressive net play, has improved court coverage and is developing teamwork in doubles. About 40% of USTA-rated players fall in this category.
- 4.0 Has dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand sides on moderate shots, plus the ability to use lobs, overheads, approach shots and volleys with some success. Occasionally forces errors when serving and teamwork in doubles is evident. Rallies may be lost due to impatience. About 30% of USTA-rated players fall in this category.
Advanced-level players should have no trouble rating above above a 4.0.
- 4.5 Starting to master the use of power and spins and beginning to handle pace, has sound footwork, can control depth of shots and is beginning to vary game plan according to opponents. Can hit first serves with power and accuracy and place the second serve. Tends to overhit on difficult shots. Aggressive net play is common in doubles. Less than 10% of USTA-rated players fall in this category.
- 5.0 Has good shot anticipation and frequently has an outstanding shot or exceptional consistency around which a game may be structured. Can regularly hit winners or force errors off of short balls and can put away volleys, can successfully execute lobs, drop shots, half volleys and overhead smashes and has good depth and spin on most second serves. About 1% of USTA-rated players fall in this category.
- 5.5 Has developed power and/or consistency as a major weapon. Can vary strategies and styles of play in a competitive situation and hit dependable shots in a stress situation. Less than 0.1% of USTA-rated players fall in this category.
- 6.0 Generally do not need NTRP ratings. Rankings or past rankings will speak for themselves. The 6.0 player has obtained a sectional and /or national ranking.
- 6.5 Has extensive satellite tournament experience.
- 7.0 Makes his/her living from tournament prize money.
We don't get into the business of assessing your NTRP rating. You can always change your NTRP rating by going to your own Meeting Group profile and editing your answer to the Profile Question ("What is your playing level?"). Most of the Leadership Team has permission to change an optional title that is often "Playing Level: N.N", which we hope to be consistent with your answer. If you want to change the NTRP rating displayed in your title, just ask any member of the Leadership team.Tennis Ladders
Players who enjoy a bit of competition should feel free to join the ladders that have spun out of this group. How to Improve
There are, of course, lots and lots of ways to improve: taking lessons, improving your fitness, going to a tennis camp, practicing against a ball machine/backboard or attending tennis meetups to hit more
. If you want a free resource to work on tennis fundamentals (grips, forehand, backhand, footwork, serve, net play, etc.), it's hard to do better than Video Tennis Lessons at Fuzzy Yellow Balls