Given the fact that the world itself is already filled with cheating and other bad behaviors, should the tennis court be yet another place where we expose our children to this problem behavior so that our kids can learn how to handle it the right way when it happens in their personal lives outside the tennis court?
Shouldn't junior tournaments be a place where, during their formative years, ALL children will learn how to compete gracefully under the pressure of match play without compromising their integrity, without abandoning virtues of honesty and respect for others? Wouldn't this not only be good for our children, but also good for the sport? After all, no one is bigger than the sport itself, and I would think that all those involved in the sport would do their part in maintaining its integrity, its reputation. At the pro levels, we see a lot is being done to ensure that the image of tennis is not tarnished. The same must be done at the junior level, especially since we are dealing with children.
I write this because I love tennis and care for ALL children and the influence that they will have in the world later in their adult lives. Cheating, unsportsmanlike conduct, profanity, and any other vulgar behavior should have no place in tennis if we could help it. It will continue to happen, I know, despite our efforts, but we should make sure that we are doing everything we can to make sure it is minimized, if not permanently eradicated, in the sport of tennis.
Unfortunately, some parents believe that they can only get ahead in life by cheating. Maybe it is because they have never met successful people who have forged ahead without cheating and despite cheaters, so they teach their children what may have worked for them or what they wrongly believe to be the only way to success. Junior tournaments should be a place where the children of these parents learn otherwise.