Player Rating

Player Rating Overview

These explanations show what skills you need to compete with other players in that category.  You may be strong or weak at that level but you will be working on some or all of these traits to get to the next level.  Check to see which level from 1.0–6.0+ best fits where you are right now.   

1.0-2.0 Beginner

You are working primarily on starting and keeping a rally going.
You can make a full swing on both sides.
You can make an overarm throwing action with your dominant arm.
You can move in at least one direction of the compass confidently.
You can start a rally/point with a modified serve
or feed and play out a rally on modified or full court.

2.0-3.0 Match Ready

You can hold a rally short to short with bumps.
You can time contact with a volley timed to your step.
You can chose between Forehand and backhand full swings to begin anticipating where you have to move.
You can make a full serve swing and can consistently hit a High five serve cleanly.
You can move forwards and sideways.  You can change directions with balance.
You are familiar with the basic positions for singles and doubles play.

3.0-4.0 Competition Play

You can hit a slice Forehand and Backhand in the short court.
You can volley service line, deep volleys to closing volleys.
You can control height and direction with full swings.
You have a first and second serve with direction control.
You can move aggressively in all 4 directions of the compass.
You have upper body balance when changing direction.
You can score and play full sets with tie breakers.

4.0-5.0 Tournament Play

You can use slice as a defensive and attacking shot.
You can attack with volleys and can often finish points with overheads.
You have dependable strokes, including directional control and depth on both forehand and backhand sides on moderate-paced shots.
You can switch between lobs, rally and attack shots.You can move athletically in all directions with a spatial awareness of  people and where you are in the court.
You can hit your serves with power and spin control. You can play a series of matches under competitive stress.
You can recognize strengths and weakness’ in yourself and your opponent.
You can switch through attack and defensive shots depending on your position.   

5.0-6.0 Elite Play

You can use slice as a defensive and attacking shot.  Direction and spin on your volleys are based on your position and intent.
Your combination of shots are determined by anticipation
You have developed weapons and defensive patterns to your play.
You can vary spin depending on position and intent.
You have an attacking serve that can be controlled by spin, depth and width in the service box.  The second serve is consistent and can be varied by spin and direction
You can anticipate where you will move by your opponents cues.  When in motion you can smoothly adjust footwork to the trajectory and bounce of the ball
You can play full 5 set matches.  There are different Match plans that you can use depending on conditions.   Under stress you can vary your game style.  You have a favoured game plan that gives you the best chance of success

6.0+ World Class
The 6.0 player typically has had intensive training for national tournaments or top level collegiate competition, and has obtained a national ranking.

Check out player videos

Skill tag overview
  There is a basic set of skills that are a characteristic of each level.  Players all have an individual mix of these skills, strong in some and weaker in others.  Videos, lessons and blogs will be tagged with the skill sets defined here to make it easier to find the information that’s meaningful to you.
Skill sets

Short: Volley, Overheads, Slice

Deep: Ground-strokes

Serves: Flat, Slice, Topspin, Kickserve

Play: Rally, Match play


Strength: The ability to produce force

Speed: The ability to move very rapidly

Endurance: The ability to resist fatigue

Flexibility: The ability to attain large ranges of motion at the joints

Coordination: The ability to move the body in order to accomplish a task


Basic skills

These mental skills constitute a broad base for attaining long-term goals, learning, and sustaining daily practice. They are needed on a day-by-day basis for long periods of time, often months and years.



Goals and Commitment

People skills

Preparatory skills

These skills are used immediately before performance to prepare for performance. They maybe used just before competition begins, or immediately before a specific performance action, such as a golf shot or a free throw in basketball.

Self Talk

Mental Imagery

Performance skills

These skills are used during actual performance behavior.

Managing Anxiety

Managing emotions


1. Attitude

Successful athletes:

  • Realize that attitude is a choice.
  • Choose an attitude that is predominantly positive.
  • View their sport as an opportunity to compete against themselves and learn from their successes and failures.
  • Pursue excellence, not perfection, and realize that they, as well as their coaches, teammates, officials, and others are not perfect.
  • Maintain balance and perspective between their sport and the rest of their lives.
  • Respect their sport, other participants, coaches, officials, and themselves.

2. Motivation

Successful athletes:

  • Are aware of the rewards and benefits that they expect to experience through their sports participation.
  • Are able to persist through difficult tasks and difficult times, even when these rewards and benefits are not immediately forthcoming.
  • Realize that many of the benefits come from their participation, not the outcome.

3. Goals and Commitment

Successful athletes:

  • Set long-term and short-term goals that are realistic, measurable, and time-oriented.
  • Are aware of their current performance levels and are able to develop specific, detailed plans for attaining their goals.
  • Are highly committed to their goals and to carrying out the daily demands of their training programs.

4. People Skills

Successful athletes:

  • Realize that they are part of a larger system that includes their families, friends, teammates, coaches, and others.
  • When appropriate, communicate their thoughts, feelings, and needs to these people and listen to them as well.
  • Have learned effective skills for dealing with conflict, difficult opponents, and other people when they are negative or oppositional.

5. Self-Talk

Successful athletes:

  • Maintain their self-confidence during difficult times with realistic, positive self-talk.
  • Talk to themselves the way they would talk to their own best friend
  • Use self-talk to regulate thoughts, feelings and behaviors during competition.

6. Mental Imagery

Successful athletes:

  • Prepare themselves for competition by imagining themselves performing well in competition.
  • Create and use mental images that are detailed, specific, and realistic.
  • Use imagery during competition to prepare for action and recover from errors and poor performances.

7. Dealing Effectively with Anxiety

Successful athletes:

  • Accept anxiety as part of sport.
  • Realize that some degree of anxiety can help them perform well.
  • Know how to reduce anxiety when it becomes too strong, without losing their intensity.

8. Dealing Effectively with Emotions

Successful athletes:

  • Accept strong emotions such as excitement, anger, and disappointment as part of the sport experience.
  • Are able to use these emotions to improve, rather than interfere with high level performance

9. Concentration

Successful athletes:

  • Know what they must pay attention to during each game or sport situation.
  • Have learned how to maintain focus and resist distractions, whether they come from the environment or from within themselves.
  • Are able to regain their focus when concentration is lost during competition.
  • Have learned how to play in the “here-and-now”, without regard to either past or anticipated future events.