News & Features
Beat the Cheat - Part II
by Nick Bollettieri
, 8 February 2008
In "Beat the Cheat - Part I", I discussed both the internal and external pressures that drive athletes to cheat. I also addressed what I believe we, as coaches, parents, and role models, can do to reduce and/or prevent cheating in our young players. Unfortunately, there will always be those who choose to cheat. Therefore players must develop skills in their youth that heightens their ability to maintain their composure in the midst of unfair competition, whether on the court or off. Developing these skills will prove invaluable to them in a match - as well as in life.
Part II - Can one develop an immunity to the "sting" of cheating?
In competitive sports, athletes are dependent on one another. Of course, there's the simple fact of needing a "body" to play - in order for there to be a match there must be an opponent. One's play is directly influenced by his opponent's decisions and actions during the match. The dynamics of any situation drastically change when one side chooses to cheat. As in life, when one side cheats, both sides lose.
If you're old enough to read this article, then chances are pretty good you have felt the "sting" that comes with being cheated. In competitive sports, the sting of injustice can give way to anger in a split second. So now, not only does an athlete have to be physically and psychologically prepared for a match, but they must also develop an immunity to the "sting" and learn the delicate art of "Beating the Cheat"... before the Cheat beats them!
As in life, when being cheated in a match, there are really three avenues a player can take in response: (1) Ignore it; (2) Cheat back; or (3) Get outside help.
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