| By Steven Kaplan

If I were a college coach, I  would look very closely at a potential recruit's tournament back draw record. Specifically, I would look for a persistent pattern of back draw defaults, and if I identified it, I would have concerns. Almost every player defaults a back drawn match once in a while. It may be due to an illness, an injury, a pre-existing commitment or even convenience. Some players default almost every back draw match and that is an indication of something more insidious. This behavior indicates competitive dysfunction. The logic I hear most often used for a back draw default is "I didn't see the point of playing because I had nothing to gain."

Well, nothing except for match experience and the ability to demonstrate perseverance, tenacity, resiliency and the overcoming of adversity.

Great players hate to lose, but the only way to ensure never losing is to avoid playing, and great players love to play.

If you would rather not play at all, then play and lose, I wouldn't want you on my team and it's difficult to imagine a coach who would.

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.