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.
Steve Kaplan is the Owner and Managing Director of Bethpage Park Tennis Center, as well as the Director of Lacoste Academy for New York City Parks Foundation and Executive Director and Founder of Serve & Return, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that provides free tennis programs to individuals experiencing adversity and struggle. Over the last 35 years, Steve has coached more than 1,000 nationally-ranked junior players, 16 state high school champions, and 2 NCAA Division 1 Singles Champions.He may be reached by e-mail at StevenJKaplan@aol.com.