What are the general characteristics at each NTRP rating level?  Do you feel like you are at the correct level? In this episode, we review the USTA NTRP General Characteristics for levels 2.5 to 5.0.

What Should You Be Able To Do At Each Level?

Erin found a document that USTA produced called “NTRP General Characteristics.” You can find it here. We read each NTRP level and discuss whether we believe we are at the correct level based on the guidance. Carolyn and Erin figured out they have some characteristics of their NTRP level but definitely not all and have some improving to do!

In fact, we weren’t even sure what a half-volley was at the time of the recording. We now know and in clinics, Erin will yell out “did you see my half-volley?!”

Characteristics Of Different Rating Levels

Here are some of the highlights of the document:

This player is learning to judge where the oncoming ball is going and how much swing is needed to return it consistently. Movement to the ball and recovery are often not efficient. Can sustain a backcourt 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, and is ready to play social matches, leagues and low-level tournaments.

This player is fairly consistent when hitting medium-paced shots, but is not comfortable with all strokes and lacks accuracy when trying for
directional control, depth, pace or altering distance of shots. Most common doubles formation is one up, one back.

This player has achieved 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. This player is more comfortable at the net, has improved court awareness, and is developing teamwork in doubles.

This player has dependable strokes with directional control and the ability to alter depth of shots on both forehand and backhand sides during moderately paced play. This player also has the ability to use lobs, overheads, approach shots, and volleys with success. This player occasionally forces errors when serving. Points may be lost due to impatience. Teamwork in doubles is evident.

This player can vary the use of pace and spins, has effective court coverage, can control depth of shots, and is able 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.

This player has good shot anticipation and frequently has an outstanding shot or attribute around which his or her game can be structured. This player can regularly hit winners or force errors off of short balls and puts away volleys. He or she can successfully execute lobs, drop shots, half volleys, overheads, and has good depth and spin on most second serves.

Are you playing at the right level?