Players used to be obsessed with their USTA ranking, and I really didn't think I would see the day when this would no longer be true, but it seems to be so.
Juniors have found a new focus, and are now preoccupied with their standing on Tennisrecruiting.net or in tennis speak, "TR." This, by the way, is a serious omission in the article in the May/June 2010 issue of Long Island Tennis Magazine entitled, "What's the Story With Tennis Lingo?"
TR has a good ranking system, and I am told by several 12-year-old ranking experts that it is more accurate and reflective of actual ability then the USTA system.
I coach a "Five-Star" who I think is in second grade. The concern is that he will need to achieve "Blue Chip" status to build interest by fifth grade or his marketability will have suffered.
Steve Kaplan is the owner and managing director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as director emeritus of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation and executive director and founder of Serve & Return Inc. Steve has coached more than 1,100 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 state high school champions, two NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions, and numerous highly-ranked touring professionals. Many of the students Steve has closely mentored have gone to achieve great success as prominent members of the New York financial community, and in other prestigious professions. In 2017, Steve was awarded the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award by the USTA. He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.