| By Steven Kaplan

I often hear players talk about favoritism by coaches. The frequent complaint is that "favoritism is unfair treatment," and while there may be a small absolute truth here, the larger truth is that "sameness" is not "fairness."

I am sometimes described as "treating players unequally" on the tennis court, and I would say it's an accurate observation because I believe that individuals are all different and each person has unique needs.

If a teacher, coach or any leader treats everyone the same way, that's unfair.

John Wooden, the legendary basketball coach at UCLA who nurtured many great athletes and great people believed that "Treating everyone the same is the most sure way to show favoritism." Coach Wooden believed that everyone deserves to be treated fairly, while acknowledging, validating and encouraging individual differences.

I will take some license here and argue that Wooden would also agree that players should stop complaining about "bad" feeds.

Steven Kaplan

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 New York 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.