That is true. That's why one of the prerequisites is that it's implemented in a fixed group, with frequent players who kinda know each other. We were talking about such type of groups and people, right? Those that we semi give a damn about. They're more reliable as playing partners than random strangers.while our philosophies are similar, i think our execution/implementation of them are different.
i'm not a fan of "spotting" people (thoug the system in europe is based on spotting points per game, or games per set), only because it seems like an ego thing to say, "i'll spot you" (because i'm much better than you)...
vice versa, alot of folks don't like getting spots, and/or don't want to acknowledge that anyone is better than them...
so IMO the best way to solve that is to beat someone "normally" and if it's "easy" change your strategy without telling them, in such a way that equalizes the game, and improves something i need work on (ie. always hit dtl bh to their fh, or s&v if i'm a baseliner, or only slice, if i hit too big (or vice versa if they can't deal with slice)).
then the other side maintains their ego, if they lose... or has somethign to be happy about if they win (vs. how satisfying is it to "win" if i spotted you 9 points in a 10 point game?).
Your "best way" is difficult for me though. It's hard to fake your level with those who know you. Say, I'm a baseline grinder and would kick person A handily, then one day I play s&v and struggle and look like an *** in the process. Person A will think that I'm horsing around.
Frankly, I do this alot with those who are lower level and i can't approach the handicap approach with them. I always take advantage of an easy game and try stuff and get the game score to 6-4 or 7-5 (no point in leaving early). Guess what? They always know that I am not trying my best, I'm horsing around and they don't seem interested to try.
What's their solution (to have an even match)? They pair me up with the worst, fattest, oldest guys!
Also, it's interesting that you talk about ego.
You participate in martial arts where you guys get physical hits and everyone is ok, leaving ego outside? (just curious, I would think it would hurt the pride even more) But tennis players are a lot more touchy over a tennis loss? Are tennis players some sort of special, more fragile nerved breed of people? Just interesting how perception goes for different people.