Tennis Tip #1: Your tennis journey starts with just one swing. But you need to know where you are AND where you are going. What is your starting point? What is your destination? You need a road map.
You are Here!
Whatever your proficiency in the sport of a lifetime, allocate enough time to periodically self-assess your ability level on the USTA rating scale. Every player can find his/her rating on the scale ranging from 1.0 (beginner) to 7.0 (touring pro). This will provide you with a snapshot of where you stand at this very moment. By evaluating where you are, you will appreciate the foundation in tennis you have worked so hard to establish.
How do I get there from here?
From the “You are Here” vantage point, you will see the challenges that lie ahead in terms of higher ratings and the skills they require. Being aware of your position on the scale will enable you to focus on keys to improve your play and determine what type of instruction will best help develop these skills.
Have map, will travel!
FirstServe Tennis offers programming for players ages 4 and up, for all ability levels. Adult players enroll in programs based on the USTA’s NTRP rating scale (see below). Please take a moment to self-assess your level of play before you enroll—it will help you find the perfect instructional fit for your development. Should you have any questions please contact our ratings coach at
See you on court!
General Characteristics of Various NTRP Playing Levels (source: USTA.com)
To place yourself:
A. Begin with 1.5. Read all categories carefully and then decide which one best describes your present ability level. Be certain that you qualify on all points of all preceding levels as well as those in the level you choose.
B. When rating yourself assume you are playing against a player of the same gender and the same ability.
General Characteristics of Various NTRP Playing Levels
You have limited experience and are working primarily on getting the ball in play.
You lack court experience and your strokes need developing. You are familiar with the basic positions for singles and doubles play.
You are learning to judge where the ball is going, although your court coverage is limited. You can sustain a short rally of slow pace with other players of the same ability.
You are fairly consistent when hitting medium-paced shots, but are not comfortable with all strokes and lack execution when trying for directional control, depth, or power. Your most common doubles formation is one-up, one-back.
You have achieved improved stroke dependability with directional control on moderate shots, but need to develop depth and variety. You exhibit more aggressive net play, have improved court coverage and are developing teamwork in doubles.
You have dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand sides on moderate-paced shots. You can use lobs, overheads, approach shots and volleys with some success and occasionally force errors when serving. Rallies may be lost due to impatience. Teamwork in doubles is evident.
You have developed your use of power and spin and can handle pace. You have sound footwork, can control depth of shots, and attempt to vary game plan according to your opponents. You can hit first serves with power and accuracy and place the second serve. You tend to overhit on difficult shots. Aggressive net play is common in doubles.
You have good shot anticipation and frequently have an outstanding shot or attribute around which a game may be structured. You can regularly hit winners or force errors off of short balls and can put away volleys. You can successfully execute lobs, drop shots, half volleys, overhead smashes, and have good depth and spin on most second serves.
You have mastered power and/or consistency as a major weapon. You can vary strategies and styles of play in a competitive situation and hit dependable shots in a stress situation.
6.0 to 7.0
You have had intensive training for national tournament competition at the junior and collegiate levels and have obtained a sectional and/or national ranking.
You are a world-class player.