| By Steven Kaplan

When dieters keep a log of everything consumed for a week or two, they are often surprised at how many empty calories appear. Try keeping a tennis training diary and be highly detailed. You might not be optimizing your time.

I'll bet most junior players, even those spending long hours on the court, recognize at least a few of the following traits in themselves and training partners.

1.You hit fewer balls than you think.

2. You hit few serves and even fewer returns, especially considering the importance of these skills.

3. You talk a lot, particularly if you play unsupervised, with friends.

4. You spend a good deal of time mindlessly hitting.

5. You do little movement preparation before play, and even less cool down after play.

6. You don't drink enough and you eat soon enough after a workout.

7. You display more anger and frustration in an average practice session than Roger and Rafa have in their collective professional careers.

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.