Why tennis players are cheating?

I recently watched a player call so many in balls out the coach had to go onto the court to make the calls for him. This is a fifteen year old boy who knows better than to cheat. What is it that makes them cheat? If you had been at the match the previous day you would know. This poor young man was playing his match and struggling with some of his shots. Dad sat behind the fence adding his rather “negative” (I’ll be nice) thoughts about the young man’s ability. Frustrated the young man finally screams out “I am trying Dad!!!” My heart broke, you could hear how upset he was with disappointing his dad. So why did he cheat the next match? He was not going to disappoint his dad again! To my dismay, the father did not show any negative feelings about the bad line calls. What do we teach our kids?

Us Tennis Parents

Source  http://www.nova.edu/ssss/QR/QR11-1/casper.pdf

Because junior tennis players have to enforce the rules of the game against each other, cheating to give a player an unfair advantage is common. While this deviant behavior is found to be commonplace in the sport, there is little research to investigate its cause or influences. Results indicated that junior players felt that personal and parental pressures were the most common sources of perceived pressure to win that resulted in cheating behavior. The prevalence of parents who cheat was also cited as a major issue with the participants. Implications as to how the current study adds to the literature of youth cheating as well as practical implications are discussed.  

Cheating in youth tennis is a prominent issue. There are many opportunities to make a bad call or call the score in one’s favor without an outside spectator being able to overrule because the players make the…

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4 comments on “Why tennis players are cheating?

  1. I have never understood the parents who yell at their kids or their opponent, during a tennis match. I encountered it during my junior years. If they were yelling something at me, I would usually stop what I was doing and just stare at them. Sometimes I would really slow the pace of the match down.

    One of the things I love about tennis is that it’s supposed to be a fair sport. So, it’s not unreasonable to expect your opponent (and their parents, family or friends) to abide by the etiquette.

    • You sound very similar to my son. He loves the “stare.” He has also been known to ask the parents to please be quiet. One finals match he played a boy who had a father that was known for cheating. As was expected the father began calling balls in and out and even tried correcting a call his son made of in to out. At that point my son was fed up. He called for the officials and they had the dad removed from the site. I was so proud of him for standing up for himself.
      I believe in a fair match and you should stand up for yourself to make sure you get one.

  2. Totally agree.

    Another situation which can be frustrating is when I’m out for a hitting session and I have a couple of beginners playing on the court next to me. Beginners, are very unaware of the etiquette. I’ve seen a few times where someone ran in front of my partner to grab a ball which had rolled over on to our side. I mean they’ve done that during our point.

    Since I hit a hard ball, I get concerned that they will run onto the court and accidentally get hit with the ball or worse my racquet.

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