Aug 21, 2018
Withdrawal from the backdraw of our biggest national tournaments has reached a ridiculous level. At last week's Kalamazoo Tournament (Boys 16s & 18s National Hardcourts), backdraw walkovers were at 16.89% up from 5.88% only fifteen years ago.
Why are so many players pulling out once they lose in the main draw? What can coaches and parents do about it? What SHOULD coaches and parents do about it?
That's the topic of this week's conversation with coach Marc Lucero. He feels very passionately about this issue and shares his thoughts on the reasons behind all the withdrawals and what can be done to curb the trend.
After recording, I received a request via email from a parent: "Please discuss the summer schedule which contributes to fatigue and injuries. There are too many high level events too close together in my opinion."
Marc's response: "I think it’s a valid concern. However I think it’s less to do with the schedule than the feeling that you need to play everything on the schedule, if that makes sense. I think there is an education component to this that the USTA can do better but also some culpability falls on the coaches of the kids to take a more proactive role with helping guide parents in the scheduling. Parents also would have to give up some control in this scenario and this is also assuming that coaches have experience in this area. For those that don’t have experience or for parents who do this on their own, a good way to think about optimum scheduling is to pick the one or two biggest events in the summer and put those on the calendar. Then work backwards from there. The health of the player always comes first in my mind. I want the player to be as fresh and healthy as possible (ready to go play) heading into the biggest events."
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