The State of Junior Cheating and Other Relevant Topics with Bill Patton

cheatingThis week’s podcast:

The topic of cheating in junior tennis seems to come up ad nauseum both on this podcast as well as on the ParentingAces social media outlets. I’m not sure if that means the issue is getting worse or if we’re just talking about it more, but, either way, it is something we as a Tennis Community need to act on to ensure the growth of our sport.

In this week’s ParentingAces podcast, Bill Patton and I revisit past conversations we’ve had around cheating and what to do about it. Bill lays out some specific action items in his e-book, How To End Cheating in Junior Tennis (click here to view and order the book). He also leaves the ParentingAces community with a challenge to take specific steps ourselves to stop this negative aspect of our sport.

We also discuss Bill’s upcoming USATennisCoach Deep Coaching Workshop. You can get more information on the USATennis Coach Facebook page here.

To watch Bill’s live YouTube broadcast of the first part of our podcast, click here.

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2 Comments on “The State of Junior Cheating and Other Relevant Topics with Bill Patton”

  1. My son has been playing USTA tournaments, team and individual, for nine years, since he was six. FIrst in South Florida (West Palm Beach) and for the last four years in Southern California. The amount of cheating he encounters on a regular basis is monumental. The players who regularly cheat in his age group are generally well known. Parents and players warn each other about those who habitually make bad calls at important moments and who change the score or taunt or belittle opponents, or take bathroom breaks in the middle of games or sets when momentum goes against them. One local academy seems to teach kids to do the latter, as every boy from that academy my son has played has taken abrupt bathroom breaks whenever my son surged ahead in the score. Every one of them. I followed one and saw him receive coaching while he was off the court and his play altered drastically when he came back to resume the match. These actions are common. While I agree that bad calls are mistakenly made during EVERY match by even the most honest players, deliberate cheating is different, and far more frequent than 5% of the time. Some kids are clearly pressured by parents to win and resort to cheating when they feel they have to. My son understands this and feels sorry for those kids. He was so nice to one who hooked him during a match that when they shook hands at the net, the boy apologized for making the bad calls. But the USTA does nothing. When players seek umps to monitor cheating opponents, the injury is compounded – umps walk on suspecting the complaining party as much as they suspect the player accused of cheating. So our young kids experience the pressure of match play PLUS it feels as if the deck is stacked against honest kids and, as you noted, great kids leave the sport because of cheating. And talented kids who depend on cheating to win mentally collapse when they get to college and umps overrule them. Why doesn’t the USTA respond to what feels like a crisis to us?

  2. The screaming and taunting after each point in your opponents face even after a double fault is so disrespectful and sad. The USTA needs to enforce better sportsmanship with point penalties and defaults as it will continue to cause players to drop out. Also parents need to yank there kids off the court after cheating and taunting. Tennis should be a positive experience ,not a war zone.

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