Ever wonder what your tennis playing level is? The USTA has developed a system that is used in their league play to help tennis players determine their skill set so they can play with others without being over matched or out of there comfort zone.
Below is a description of the different levels the USTA has identified. What is your level? What areas do you need to work on to move up a level or more?
NTRP LEVEL 1.5
This player has had limited experience with stroke development and is still working primarily on getting the ball into play. This player is not yet ready to compete.
NTRP LEVEL 2.0
This player needs on-court experience, with an emphasis on play. This player struggles to find an appropriate contact point, needs stroke development / lessons and is not yet familiar with basic positions for singles and doubles.
NTRP LEVEL 2.5
This player is learning to judge where the ball is going when receiving the ball, although movement and recovery are not in sync. Can sustain a rally of slow pace with other players of similar ability and is beginning to develop strokes. This player is becoming more familiar with the basic positions for singles and doubles. This player is ready to play social matches, leagues and low-level tournaments. Potential limitations: grip weaknesses; not attempting full swing on serve; inconsistent toss on serve; limited transitions to net.
NTRP LEVEL 3.0
This player is fairly consistent when hitting medium‐paced shots but is not comfortable with all strokes and lacks execution when trying for directional control, depth, pace or altering distance of shots. Most common doubles formation is one up, one back. Potential limitations: consistency when applying or handling pace; difficulty handling shots outside of their “strike zone”; can be uncomfortable at the net.
NTRP LEVEL 3.5
This player has achieved improved stroke dependability with directional control on moderate shots but still lacks depth, variety and the ability to alter distance of shots. The effective use of lobs, overheads , approach shots, and volleys is limited due to a lack of confidence. This player is more comfortable at the net, has improved court awareness , and is developing teamwork in doubles. Potential limitations or strengths: This is the level at which it begins to be about what skills a player can display on court, not what they can’t. Players at this level may start to utilize mental skills related to concentration, tactics and strategy.
NTRP LEVEL 4.0
This player has dependable strokes including directional control, depth and the ability to alter distance of shots on both forehand and backhand sides during moderately paced play, plus the ability to use lobs, overheads, approach shots, and volleys with more success. This player occasionally forces errors when serving. Rallies may be lost due to impatience. Teamwork in doubles is evident. Potential strengths: less likely to beat themselves; more dependable second serve; recognizes opportunities to finish points.
NTRP LEVEL 4.5
This player has begun to vary the use of pace and spins, has good movement, can control distance and depth of shots, and is beginning to develop game plans according to strengths and weaknesses. This player can hit the first serve with power and accuracy and can place the second serve. This player tends to overhit on difficult shots. Aggressive net play is common in doubles. Potential strengths: points are won and lost off the serve more often; better able to cover weaknesses; beginning to develop a weapon around which their game can be built.
NTRP LEVEL 5.0
This player has good shot anticipation and frequently has an outstanding shot or attribute around which their game can be structured. This player has the confidence to regularly hit winners or force errors off of short balls and can put away volleys, can successfully execute lobs, drop shots, half volleys, overheads, and has good depth and spin on most second serves. Potential strengths: better decision making; covers and disguises weaknesses well; mentally tougher but can still break down in stress situations.
NTRP LEVEL 5.5
This player has developed pace and/or consistency as a major weapon. This player can vary strategies and styles of play in competitive situations and hit dependable shots in stress situations. Potential strengths: can hit offensively at any time; can vary strategies and styles of play in competitive situations; first and second serves can be depended upon in stress situations.
NTRP LEVEL 6.0 – 7.0
The 6.0 player typically has had intensive training for national tournaments or top level collegiate competition and has obtained a national ranking. The 6.5 and 7.0 are world-class players.