The U.S. Open is about to bring the tennis world together into our backyard, but here on Long Island, the local tennis scene is anything but cohesive and it's worth a discussion.
Self-promotion is a great way to grow your program, but sadly, I see many examples of some going too far with dishonest representations, or even worse, in belittling other clubs and programs which does a great disservice to our tennis community as a whole.
I cannot help but notice, for example, the pros who take pictures with the winners of tournaments and post these pictures on social media to suggest that they have coached that player in a meaningful way with deceptive hash tags when they have not. These and other disingenuous practices need to stop.
Tennis is a highly competitive sport and business. We are all entitled to our opinions and thoughts, but we need to be accountable for our actions because the tennis community is not stupid. Let's not forget, we are leaders and role models for children. If we don't compete with restraint, boundaries and fairness with one another, we should not complain about the tennis community’s realization that we are not fit to teach competition to anyone.
Steven 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.