Originally Posted by andfor
Here's the recurring theme I see coming up over and over. Cheating is the parents fault. That said, offended parents should file letters against the child/participant cheater to get them under the eye of big brother. Does anyone not see the long term problem with this?
Teach your kid how to handle cheating. Teach them they are responsible for what happens on the court. Just like being responsible for their school work, chores and job.
Stop blaming cheating on your kids parents, lack of official, the cheater, etc. Tennis is not fair. Life is not fair. There are dignified ways to go about navigating life's waters. Blaming others is not one of them.
There are two kinds of cheaters.
First, the ones we all know, anything within a foot of the line, if the official is nowhere to be seen, is OUT.
Second type, I've encountered this one in the past year, and its actually brilliant! (if you take out the blatant dishonesty)
...Anytime the "cheater" is down a game, two games etc, as they are calling the score (semi-audibally ) ...you notice the score sounds wrong...you kind of hear it, but think you must have misheard (it was just 4-3, not 3-4.).. But now suddenly your kid is upset (you were right!). The "cheater" argues, you kid argues, the official comes over. Guess what happens? Score is set back to 3-3.. Because its the "last score the kids can agree on". Technically true, but so wrong!
I saw this in two tournaments (NL3 Regionals), same offender, witnessed it in four matches. It was crazy. Someone spoke to the offender's parent, but he just kind of hung his head and said "what can I do ?,I can't interject...". I saw three 12 year olds in tears. Tears! The injustice! And it was. Worst thing I've ever seen in a junior league. Once is a mistake, 4 times (plus the other cases I didn't witness but I heard about from the offended)...It is a strategy.
So you watch your potential opponents (the cheater "beating" everybody), and you tell your kid what's gonna happen. Because it will. And what we drilled is, do not let them serve until you both hear the score. Stop the serve if you don't hear. Make them call the score out. If there's a discrepancy, put you racket up. Keep putting your racket up until the officials get so tired of walking back and forth, they just stay there.
Because the worst thing to see is your kid, playing better, but giving up when everything near a line is out, and every game won is a "back at square one" . It would discourage me too! It literally becomes not about tennis anymore. It some kind of poker game...what are you gonna do about it?!
You have to give your kids the tools..the exact specific tools. "This is what they WILL do, this is what YOU HAVE to do when that happens. Do not wait." No benefit of the doubt for that specific opponent. It is not a maybe, it is a strategy.
Sad, so sad. But true. In 6 years of jr tennis, I can truly say I have only seen two habitual cheaters, but those are the ones that will break your kid down, and the ones, in their "winning" strategies, you will see over and over again. Most important thing is: keep calling the official. When the official once again walks away, call them back, and then again. About the fifth time, they stay. Between the officials presence, and your kids insistance on questioning calls and calling officials, the other kid starts to understand. Its the Only shot your kid has to show the "cheater" their game will not work today.
Saying this, most kids make mistakes or bad calls, but they try their best. They believe what they believe, and the parents see what they think they see. You have to trust or let go. Most of the time, they are not "trying to cheat" they just aren't. We're all human.
So now, if I see the ball hit a line, I assume it might have been out, or in, ...and the caller gets to call it. No use worrying about those. It's the blatant calls...two foot in or out, and the change scores on you type of calls that are the only ones that offend my sense of justice.
All the other 99% of the kids making calls are just trying their human best.