How to deal with cheaters. We've all been there. It's a league or a tournament match. Your opponent does not want to lose, so they cheat you. Most common cheating call is on a ball near the line. So they call it out. You can see it is clearly not out. Sometimes it's so far in that it borders on the insane. The whole purpose of the cheater is to psych you. He wants you to get angry over the obviously bad call. He also wants to steal the match from you. It's one of the most effective psyches out there. Another common cheat is the score cheat. He will say, "It's love 40.", when you know you won a point. He is gambling that you can't recite how each point went, and most of us cannot. Even if you get a ref, he knows that the score will go back to the last agreed upon score. Refs can't tell who is lying and who is telling the truth. But calling one in will solve a few problems: He cannot obviously cheat, but he can still call balls out that are on the line, and refs won't be able to be sure on those calls. The score cheat will now no longer be able to do that anymore, as the ref will remember and force you to call it out. Calling it out loudly before each point is required by the code anyway. Another common cheat is the psych expert, one who will use all types of psyches to upset you, and jam your internal timing. So how do we armor ourselves against these low brow tactics? I once had a match at Golden Gate park in San Francisco, with a local guy. The whole crowd was there to see him play and cheer for him, a german transplant to the park. It started before the match played a single point: He told me to spin for serve choice. I did. He lost. He then said, "I didn't see the racquet butt. How do I know you told the truth about it?" (I showed it to him and he lied.) My face fell. I knew what I was in for, an unprecedented match of all types of cheating psyches. The first set was an all out war. Brutal points.. All sorts of cheating. I made the mistake of not calling a ref. I won that set 6-4, and we went to a second. I called a ref out but he won it, and now it was too dark to play. The next morning, at 8am, the fog was blowing into the court, and I had spoken to a friend about how to deal with this epic cheat. He said, "Start complimenting him on his good shots. Don't react at all to his ****. He will have nothing to react to, and his adversarial crap will fold in upon himself. He will collapse." I went down love 4 right off the bat. My body was too cold in the icy fog drifting across the courts. I adopted the complimenting style and began to visualize coming back, and winning, and seeing his face after he lost a huge lead. He began to miss easy shots and I did come back and win. He refused the hand shake and left, kicking and beating things, including himself. So what did that teach me? It taught me not to react to cheats, and to get a ref quicker. IN league play, there are no refs, unfortunately so that is not an option, but if you spot a bad one, call a ref out very fast. Decide not to react to any psych he tries. Decide to use the complimenting style against the worst, as they feed off your anger and derive pleasure from it, and if there is none, and if you are being decent no matter what, they will fold in upon their own evil intention. As far as the psych master cheats: Learn which ones are most common: and decide to be able to recognize them ahead of time. Decide to make yourself a coat of psych armor as part of your game and practice being invulnerable to all psych. "My, aren't you serving well today?": Aussie psych. I was playing Nick Saviano once, and used it against him. He got so mad, he won a tough game on serve, and then slammed the ball down into the ground so hard it bounced up about 50 feet high! He screamed: "If you can touch my serve!", and stormed off to the bench. He knew what I was doing and still could not control his temper. Lots of other psyches out there. Armor yourself. Visualize a suit of psych armor on your body when you go up against the win at all costs assshole.