Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by WARPWOODIE, Nov 1, 2011.
Your contradicting yourself by your last paragraph.
My point is that players who are not very experienced lose because they become mentally unhinged. They usually don't lose because of a couple of bad calls (unless the match is extremely close).
Here is my experience with cheating. My twin brother and I play doubles at a high level and we were playing at the ofsaa championships (ontario high school championships). We had cruised quite easily to the semi finals of the three day event and had no encounters with any cheating whatsoeverm not even a scoring dispute. So we end up winning the semi match in a tiebreaker (pro set to 8 so 8-7). Now we were in the finals of the biggest match of our lives. As we walked onto the court, we noticed that our opponents were from an upscale private school (typical d-bags). As the match progressed, it was a very thight battle, we were far a far better team, but we were having a very hard time winning points, the wind was so severe that it would blow away your toss on serve. Anyways, i think i was like 6-6 40-30 when my brother served one in play and then absolutley CRUSHED a forehand well inside the baseline for a winner. D-bag 1 playing the baseline calls it good, overruled by d-bag 2 with his hawkeye vision all the way at the net. An argument errupted, but they did not change the call. THE BALL WAS IN and we couldnt do anything about it. Sudden death deuce point after and my brother calls their ball which was 10 feet in, out. Then d=bag parents watching start to yell at us "don't play that game" etc. SO we lost to these a- holes 7-5 in a tiebreak, settling for silver, 2nd in the entire province.
Where did my post say Brad encouraged that ? He said Deiton did that , they said its not about cheating its about being fair , the point taken by a worthless kid was taken back and I was told once this happens the worthless kid finds out how much its worth to play fair.
Tracy Austin told me once that Lansdorp used to cheat her on purpose in practice to make her mentally stronger... Guess the point is if the parents themselves would only stop the whining, then maybe their kids will learn to deal with it too instead of breaking down mentally.
Me also thinks this misguided all-about-winning-because-daddy-paid-the-airfare attitude is a root cause and also what's killing the development of our kids. And FYI, my kid is not part of the "elite" and we've seen our share of nonsense in the five years he's played juniors in SoCal.
OT, watched DB hit today and had a nice chat with N1C... kid is still 6'4" and looking good, wish the team all the best!
Just to clarify we are talking about the same thing:
First, I think a few bad calls are just that bad calls.
My son always plays the ball as if it was in, unless it is really out.
I am talking about the kid who calls it out when it is a foot in and it is an important point,
and does it over and over again in the match.
Now, my son's coach (who was at the tournament) told my son that it would stop the kid from cheating
if you catch a ball in the middle of the court and say it is out....
But, isn't that just cheating back?
I guess what I am trying to say... it seems like a very slippery slope.
And while I want my son to stick up for himself,
and more importantly not be intimidated,
i think that lesson might influence future decisions.
Life gets complicated as you get older, decisions can be gray.
But, as a grownup, I find if you stick to moral grounds, life is just so much easier.
A lot of the troubles I see friends have ( financial, infidelity, IRS...) are just avoided if you follow the straight path.
Always stick to the truth and be honest , I agree but when you have your child training hard and getting ripped off what do you do ?
Let me ask you something, you buy your kid a new bike and the kid down the street comes and takes it what do you do ?
Well you can talk to the parents hhmmm they told him to do it !
You can call the cops "ref" who hangs out for a few games !
Or your kid goes and takes it back forcefully and stares the kid down and lets him know it will get ugly if he keeps it up ! Ball landing in the middle of the court !
This last one your kid is standing up for himself and showing the other kid how bad cheating looks! Is your kid cheating or teaching a lesson ?
Its like the child that bites , bite him back not to break skin but that he feels the PAIN HE IS CREATING and they learn faster then talking to them.
Define prevalent. I go to a good number of tournaments and have for years, I rarely see anything other than a legitimately close line call that a kid calls in their favor. Most of the time when parents claim cheating it seems suspect at best. It can be hard to see the right angle when off court. I can't think of more than 2-3 obvious cheats in all my experiences.
I do see gamesmanship no doubt, nothing crazy, the usual mental games that players use in most sports. But blatant line call cheating I don't see.
Chalkflewup goes to tournaments, he says it happens seldom. BB does not see wide spread cheating.
So please define prevalent and wide spread. Do you see it 1% of calls, 10%, 50%? Are 20% of matches decided by cheating? Give up your honest opinion as to how prevalent it is.
It's a good idea to get an official before a tiebreak starts.
You should have gotten one after the 2nd guy overruled his partner. I think you might have had a good case for replaying the point since the partners did not agree on the call.
I think a lot of people would define the gamesmanship to be cheating.
Like faking anger over "bad calls" when you know the calls were good but are only doing this to get under your opponent's skin.
Also, I have seen kids change the score when their opponent goes to the bathroom or something like that.
It isn't always blatantly bad line calls.
There are at least 3 kinds of junior players, the ones who seem to abide by the rule, "if the ball is close to being in, and I am not sure it was out, I'll play the ball"
Then there are the "if the ball is close to being out and I am not sure, I'll call it out,"
Then there are the professional bad sports who only make bad calls at critical junctures, so it blindsides the opponents (kind of like the guy who said the bad calls came in the match deciding tiebreaker).
Certainly, things would go more smoothly in junior tennis if someone was officiating every match.
I also think a lot of the "nicer" kids probably get turned off by tennis because of all of the psychological games.
Yet and still most experienced players are used to handling the hooking and gamesmanship, so it probably doesn't affect outcomes as much as it otherwise would.
See, this is the issue, gamesmanship and psychological games are in every sport. Trash talking and mental games are in every sport a kid plays, soccer, basketball, football, softball, you name it. Any kid turned off by them will have trouble in all sports.
Walking behind behind an opponent shooting foul shots and saying something, working the refs to get calls, fans chanting, faking injuries to get time, a ton of stuff. Basketball and soccer players and football players get held and poked when the refs are not looking all the time. All kinds of filthy things are said, in Spanish kids soccer and American football, you name it.
So unless we are talking blatant cheating on line calls or score changing, we are being silly. Gamesmanship is even worse in most other sports and in life in general. Sounds to me we are using too broad an umbrella to cover cheating.
Blatant line call cheating and score changing are the only forms we should be talking about....they are unique to junior tennis. It is simply not practical or even that wise to sanitize gamesmanship out of tennis. So what is the prevalence is blatant line call and score changing cheating?
Seeing what you have wrote here makes me realize why our country is producing a bunch of panzy's.
Yes, gentlemen, we are constantly reminded that the nanny state is well established here and in western Europe.
Alongside the proliferation of 'Newspeak';
a decline in general geographical knowledge;
and severely substandard spelling and grammar,
this represents the pansification of western civilization.
Incidentally, the plural of pansy is pansies. There is no 'z'. There is no apostrophe.
Yup, the coaches in my group are always debriefed by the parents when kids return from tournaments. Excuse after excuse after excuse when they lose. Johnny was cheated, Missy played a girl who just pushed, Bradley hurt his pinky.
Like I said before....there is cheating in junior tennis, and there is also a lot of imagined cheating used as an excuse for losing.
This is silly. So you think wanting fair play and good sports is part of the "nanny state" and being a "pansy"
I don't know if you've noticed but one of the biggest problems facing Americans today is the lack of fair play by a small minority in control of people's futures and finances.
We don't have problems in this country because we are too fair and too decent. It's just the opposite.
yes I liked it when I was growing up.. when someone cheats we just tell them to "" stop cheating or I'm gonna take this racket and shove it up your ***"" then we would occasionally get into a fight ...these days people just talk crap but no one gets into it anymore... a good street fight on the tennis grounds was cool... these days everyone's so civilized,so political correct no one stands up for anything anymore .. a half-day at the precinct was all in a nice day's work..
I may be in the minority here but I don't think there's a widespread cheating problem. The bigger challenge revolves around the parents understanding their role in the process, managing expectations, parents goals vs kids goals, etc...
I don't disagree with you completely , I know our main problem is parents not expecting their kids to be the best and push them to be better then all the others competing with them not by cheating but just out working them .
We also rely on coaches that have 1 interest getting their hourly rate or organizations that push the parent off to the side and tell you they will perfect the project for them and their proper place is to stand off afar and watch from a distance.
There is a huge cheating problem. There is also a lot of blaming losses on cheating as an excuse. These two things are not mutually exclusive.
Gamesmanship is a wider term. Some tactics can be construed as cheating while some are simply mind games but it isn't good sportsmanship either way.
I could name you four Florida region girls graduating this year who would be on every parent/players 'cheaters' list. All 5 star or greater. So sad, these girls are all supremely talented and trained.
Here's a story, my daughter lost to one of them last summer (2010). My daughter was having a terrible match and the outcome was evident to everyone from very early on but this did not stop the bad calls, volitile behavior and childish pranks in the least. My daughter lost 6-1, 6-2 and the cheating had absolutely no bearing on the end result but every adult who watched the match commented on the disgusting display of sportsmanship by the winner. Me? I wasn't surprised and it didn't bother me as the result was never going to be in question that day. But it's still a sad commentary.
Thanks for voicing in on the topic. It is nice to hear from posters who actually have kids who play in the juniors and have a stake in the game.
In regards to gamesmanship, my son tries to take advantage of the multiple bathroom/injury timeouts by having something to drink.
Well said. The country is a mess.
Thanks for posting, I see your point.
That is the surprising thing I've seen also. Some of these kids even when winning decisively still cannot stop the nastiness and bad calls.
There's one little girl in our section who is a 5 star player. She has a really ugly game but wins a lot and an even worse attitude.
It was rumored that her dad had the police called on him at one tournament. I heard this 2nd hand, but I wouldn't be surprised.
My daughter played her a couple of times and with the girl winning the first time by a mile and my daughter winning the 2nd time. Even during the first match, where she beat my daughter pretty decisively, when returning the balls to my daughter to serve, she wouldn't pass them to her, she would purposefully hit them away to a corner of the court. She would only change her side of the score on the scoreboard. Close line calls were also questionable but not blatant. Some of these kids are just raised to be really mean and nasty on the tennis court. I don't think it is necessary to be nasty to be a good tennis player. Our number 1 and 2 girls in the state are both really lovely people.
TCF, if you read the posts of mine, keysmickey. tennis5 and Soianka's personal experiences, how can you dismiss then as just complaining?
Yes you have been to a ton of tournaments, but not as a parent. You will learn first hand once your girl starts playing tournaments. Then you will understand what we are talking about.
If you played junior tennis or college tennis, you would be sympathetic towards us, instead of being hostile.
Tennis is not basketball!
Soianka, your recent posts are right on. I couldn't of said it any better.
Tennis is a sport like any other. There are cheaters in every sport. There is gamesmanship in every sport.
25 years ago when I played HS hoops some guys were experts at grabbing your thigh to give you a charley horse. Same in football, soccer. Girls in volleyball would whisper that the girls at the net looked fat in their uniforms.
This stuff is part of all sports, including tennis and part of the real world. You can't ban sailors from cursing and you can't take gamesmanship and cheating totally out of sports.
The parents who work to train their kids to fight through the nasty players are training them to survive in the real world. Those that allow occasional cheating to be a big deal to their kids are not.
But the other side of the coin is that a good number of parents use any close line call to be an excuse to label someone a cheater. I have seen it for myself many times.
You keep saying only a parent with skin in the game would know the cheating. That same skin in the game makes those same parents sometimes exaggerate the cheating when their kids lose. It cuts both ways. When watching your kid losing, it is a natural parental reaction to look for any close call as an issue.
Collette Lewis once said cheating is a big problem in junior tennis. But she said its also because she sees kids let 1-2 close calls destroy them and think they are being cheated. This is a 2 sided issue, real cheating and excuse making.
I was hooked only a very few times threw my years in the juniors, cant recall it costing me big in any case. Now in team tennis and league I saw more obvious cheating and questionable calls but again this never costed me a win (or even a set).
IMO, there is no compassion between basketball and tennis.
-basketball is a team sport with coaching during games and up to three officials
-tennis is a individual sport with the most part no official on court, and of course no coaching (except WTA and college)
In regards to cheating it does compare. A properly placed elbow can take the best player out of the game. Gamesmanship also compares, it mentally affects the opponents.
Tennis has an advantage of no fan talking during points. Other sports have constant fans yelling while shooting free throws or making a field goal.
Its all part of sports. Tennis is a sport, plain and simple.
I didn't read that article, would be interested to see it especially the part that "1-2 close calls destroy them......."
However, she did say this ( and yes, this is from the thread, " I said the ball was out" and I pulled the quote from Zoo Tennis.)
Colette Lewis reported on this article in January 09, with her own remarks: (Article follows below)
"Bob Larson's Tennis News contained a link to legendary coach Robert Lansdorp's
denunciation of the prevalence of cheating in junior tennis and the responsibility of the USTA to do something about it.
Any of us who attend tournaments regularly know that there is nothing far-fetched about his examples,
and can cite our own horror stories.
I couldn't agree more that the USTA needs to insist on an adequate number of officials at every tournament,
and I think they should pay those officials from a separate fund that is earmarked from the entry fee.
In fact, there are very few parents who wouldn't pay something extra if they could designate the amount for on-court officials."
By Robert Lansdorp
Recently I was asked to become a member of a special advisory council for USTA player development,
so apparently I am now officially entitled to share my opinions about what is happening in American junior tennis.
So let me start by making a few comments about a topic no one ever talks about publicly:
the enormous amount of cheating now going on in junior tennis.
Maybe the most shocking thing is that it’s so prevalent in the younger divisions, the 14 and unders, and even the 12s.
I’m not talking about an occasional bad call here and there.
I’m talking about a culture that almost sees cheating as part of the game,
almost as a strategy to use at certain times to win matches.
Somehow that is now ok..
There you go again, getting quotes off the internet, no real life experience to draw on.
TCF, you have made your point that you think that all kids should learn to deal with the "gamesmanship" and just suck it up and stop complaining or use it as an excuse for losing.
That would be ideal, but in reality it's different.
Many kids develop physically and mentally at different ages as they grow. Girls 12, you could have a girl thats already menstruating and physically and mental similar to a adult, while there could be another 12 yr. old girl that looks like she is still 8.
How do you expect that younger girl to compete with the physically and mentally advanced girl. Do you tell her to just suck it up and stop complain when she gets cheated?
Your posts reek of one who has no life experiences, maturity and understand of other points of view.
Strange, I was thinking the same thing about you. You sound like you are living in a bubble. Go to any playground and see how 6-8 year olds work each other with mental games. Its called real life.
Other points of view? I have said a bunch of times that there is real cheating. You have never admitted once that there is also imagined cheating.
I have dealt with many like you on these boards over the years, you accuse others of doing what you are actually doing. Whatever, its a silly message board. No big deal.
Please don't dismiss this board as being "silly", there is a tremendous amount of important information, idea's and experiences shared. Even you have contributed greatly.
Let me tell you about my "real life".
Worked in the service industry for 25 yrs., now retired, played college tennis, played junior tennis in socal in the late 70's to early 80's.
My two kids played junior tennis, one earning a scholarship to a D1 school in Los Angeles.
We committed our lives to our kids tennis, traveling to many national tournaments in the US. Spent 6 Christmas's traveling to winter nationals, some would complain, but our family loved it.
I guess that's living in a tennis "bubble".
Of course. Good post.
No, I do not thing wanting fair play is pansyish. I think cheating is pansyish.
I think the nanny state is in action when everyone's a victim.
I want it both ways. I want the America that plays fair and does not have to raise a generation of whiners....raised by a generation of whiners.
Yes, I want the best for our kids.
I want a cooperative, family tennis feel like I hear they have in parts of Europe. I want academies and coaches to be a part of that. I want kids to feel that competing hard (and with integrity and effort) IS the goal (not a certain ranking/certain #of stars by a certain age).
For our children, I want all-court tennis, a little bit of dubs, and the type of strokes that will last a lifetime.
Yeah, I am talking about youth sports, but I'm also talking about finance, industry, government, truth, relationships and serving others. I guess I am being an idealist.
Hey, I was also making fun of Number1coach's spelling.
I'm told the real cheating and gamesmanship occurs in college tennis.
As for frequent bathroom breaks, it sounds like its 10s or 12s problem. If the opponent is doing this - wait until he/she gets back to the court and then politely tell your opponent that nature is calling and then walk nice and slow to the bathroom. Is that gamesmanship? Perhaps. It sends a message within the rules and it usually solves the problem. And mentally, it helps give you the edge back.
How many 6-8 year olds do you see close up every day? How many 9-12 year olds? How many 13-15 year olds?
Kids change fast. I taught 7 year olds 20 years ago, 10 years ago, and every day now. The 7 year olds today are way ahead of the ones 10 years ago and light years ahead of 20 years ago. They act differently, talk differently, tease differently, play mental games differently.
So if your kids are older and you don't see today's kids on a daily basis, you are in a bubble. And today's parents are different than 20 years ago.
We see more gamesmanship at younger ages, on playgrounds, schools, sports. We see many more parents micromanaging....every close line call is cheating, a slight of their kid, an excuse for losing. Parents and kids use WAY more excuses for losing than they did 10 years ago.
My point is that there is real cheating but LOTS of imagined cheating. And gamesmanship is a growing part of daily life for today's kids.
If you are using a reference of when your kids played 10 years ago, than you are not up to date. Heck, I think the 8 year olds I teach now are more jaded and have more mental games than just 5 years ago! Things change fast in the internet age. Today's tennis parent imagine more cheating than in the past and the kids use gamesmanship in their daily relationships.
parents .. ''don't teach your children gamesmanship "" that's the next step to cheating.. teach them tennis,teach them discipline,teach them how to hit a better ball, ect.. but don't teach them gamesmanship and cheating... too many crazy-*** academy coaches teach that crazy stuff.. and all these kids use it win.. and now everyone complains about it.. don't keep adding on to the problem.. soon we'll have the McEnroe and Conners era back if these things keep regenerating itself..
TCF, you are missing a very important teaching moment here. Instead of claiming that parents and juniors are using cheating as an excuse, think the other way and say "wow am I missing something here".
You, as a coach, have the opportunity to change that culture of gamesmanship/cheating.
The experiences given by parents post are real to them, there is nothing you can say to change that.
Remember as a coach, you make your living from us parents, if anybody, you can start making the junior tennis experience better for all.
I know of a particular academy whose kids have the reputation for cheating and gamesmanship. It is also the same academy that really puts pressure on the parents to have their kids maintain their attendace there, so the cash flow is maintained..so their program keeps running. During tournaments, the academy coaches turn a blind eye to the the cheating/gamesmanship as the rove around during tournments watching their students. End result: they keep their jobs as long as they win at whatever cost. Pretty sad!
I realize that my frame of legitimate commentary is on the clock as my daughter played her last usta tournament one year ago December. But she is playing D1 tennis now and has had no cheating issues this fall.
I agree with TCF that many, many parents over state cheating issues, blaming cheating for losses rather than take a realistic view of the kids performance ... I did it when I wasn't careful. BUT real cheating is very serious and is a big cause of many of the usta tennis woes. It creates a level of complexity that most kids simply do not enjoy and will not always adjust to, despite what they say to their parents, despite their apparent work ethic and despite their apparent love of the game.
Parents can be placated very easily. My daughter, who was a mid level 4 star and, as I mentioned, playing D1 on a full has already announced that tennis won't be on the agenda when she has kids. Too much pressure, drama and mostly confrontation that she feels was just too much.
She knows what tennis gave her and in my mind the experience prepared her for real life very well. But she disagrees ... to a certain extent anyway ... and will look to other sports for her kids, probably a team sport that will lessen the individual angst.
Hmmm, so there's conflict of interest in tennis?
Oh, okay, I get it....it's a profit deal!
I usually agree with TennisCoachFLA but I have to take issue with him here. Put aside the excuses parents make for losing and exagerrated claims of cheating. No doubt this is true. But how about actual intentional cheating by juniors of all ages? I believe it is on the rise not just in tennis but in school, homework, writing papers, and college applications. I used to think there were a few bad calls by juniors here and there but not much intentional cheating. I now think differently and I have seen hundreds of junior matches the last 10 years. I want to address one issue only- not how so and so hooked me and I lost the match or the other kid cheated my kid and the parent said nothing. How many times have you seen a close match late in the 3d set or in the tiebreaker where there was an official on the court- either roving all called by one of the players? How many times have you seen that official make an over rule of a player's call on a match critical point? Even on a match point. I have seen it too many times. I just saw an overule at 8 all in the 3d set tiebreak. One of my players in a level 4 received the benefit of overules late in consecutive matches- one in the tie break, one on game point. Had the opponent's initial call stood my player probably loses both matches. I am old school. You just cannot under any circumstances not give the opponent the benefit of the doubt late in the match on any call. So yes there is cheating. Yes it is widespread. Yes the parents and coaches are to blame. But is doesn't change anyone's career, anyone's life, or anyone's college choice.
This is an excellent point.
1 older boy who is friends with my son is a very athletic kid.
It almost jumps at you from an early age when I would watch him.
High energy kid, that could do a somersault romping on the couch and was fast and well coordinated.
( a handful to watch)
Anyway, cut ahead to ten later, this boy is playing soccer, basketball and tennis.
Very good in all sports.
A few years of travel soccer and tennis tournaments where he performed really well in both.
( now tall kid, still fast and very coordinated).
The problem was he and his parents didn't like all the nonsense that went on at the tournaments.
( cheating, opponent yelling, .. you have the picture).
And the craziness that went on at the tournaments did not look like the tennis on tv
And what is he doing now... playing soccer full time. Mostly like will get a full ride at a Div 1
as the coaches are contacting him ( although they are not legally allowed, but that is another story...)
Would he have been a famous pro?
Doubt it, but the level of complexity as you well put it of cheating and gamesmanship pushes a lot of kids away.
I don't see where we disagree at all. My initial point is that there is real cheating and imagined cheating. Others seem to think that all cheating is real and none is imagined. I said that the times I have sat next to a parent claiming cheating, a good percentage of the time the call looked borderline to me at best....I consider that imagined cheating that I see with my own eyes.
There is plenty of real cheating, plenty of imagined cheating to cover for losses. Both are increasing.
I do not think there is an entire group of cheated kids who would be playing D-1 tennis if not for cheaters.....I get the vibe that a good deal of tennis parents think that. If not for all that cheating, my boy would be playing for Stanford. Its a cesspool of excuses, delusions, real cheating, imagined cheating.
I have a few rules that I used with my own kids that may help alleviate the pressure to win at all costs (and hence the cheating):
1. Never tell your player they got cheated during a match.
2. Don't celebrate wins; don't get angry at losses. Treat them the same.
3. Don't focus on rankings or points. Focus on playing for fun. Focus on improvement. Don't chase a ranking. Don't chase points.
4. After a loss- leave the player alone. After an hour or so ask what they think they did well, what they didn't do well, and what they think they need to work on.
5. Before the match tell your player that it is not life or death, it is only a tennis match.
6. Repeatedly tell them education comes first. Academics are more important then tennis. Tell them you really don't care if they win the match, you really do care how they do on that chemistry test.
7. Don't talk about winning. Talking about winning prevents winning. It causes your player to play with fear of losing. All that Vince Lombardi stuff about winning is everything is nonsense.
8. No crying after losing a tennis match. Tennis is a fun thing.
Know their knot!
Kidding. Great post. Great rules. Commandments, really, for parents and coaches alike.
Thanks for poasting.
Great post! Parents should laminate it and carry around with them.
1.When your player is being cheated let them know so next time they play the jerk they know to get a line judge ASAP
2. When you win celebrate, because your there to compete and one person is a winner and one is a loser.
3. Focus on playing your best technical tennis ,play high % and the points will take care of themselves.
4. After a loss find a track and field or stadium stairs and have your player put in some road work , this will teach them that losses are to be overcome by more hard work.
5. Before a match tell your player that this is what they have trained hard for and they are there to show no mercy and do their best to destroy the competition.
6. Tell them to be honest to themselves that this match at this moment in time is all that matters, as a coach I will be honest and tell them I am one of there biggest fans and them winning is what we have worked for.
7. Make sure they fear losing cause it taste horrible and it takes days to get rid of.
8. If they cry after a match tell them that is good it shows they care about their game and wanting to improve.
If you enter sports "its about competing and the end results is either winning or losing" and if someone tells you that does not matter they are a loser , Find a new coach.
you are my main man....
Coaches. You can do better than this.
Separate names with a comma.