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Harry Cicma speaks with New Jersey tennis legend Mickey Cook. Cook currently serves as the head tennis coach for Monmouth University's Division I men's tennis team, and was previously a Big East Coach of the year at Rutgers University. Cook was a top NCAA regionally-ranked tennis player at Rutgers, and he is considered to be one of the best players in New Jersey High School state history.
Questions and Answers
Harry Cicma (HC): Under your guidance, Monmouth Tennis has continually competed at a solid level in the competitive Northeast Conference. How have you been able to maintain this performance? Mickey Cook (MC):
A lot of factors contribute to the programs success. But the ability to recruit students that are motivated to excel in both athletics and academics is the biggest factor. Also my players see my dedication and committment to the team, and in turn they want to perform up to their greatest potential.
HC: You are a former Big East Coach of the year at Rutgers - and a top player in your own right. How have those experiences helped you as a coach?
MC: Being a former collegiate player has made it easy for me to relate to the challenges and triumphs that players encounter. These experiences also allow me to have realistic expectations with regard to their performance and goals.
HC: How are you able to keep your players focused - both on and off the courts?
MC: The key to keeping the players focused is by stressing to the athletes that academics and athletics need to be their top priorities. I emphasize to them that work ethic, time management, and goal setting are keys to their success in both areas.