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Cheating Without Cheating: Tennis “Backhand” Tactics August 12, 2006

Posted by ticktockclok in Mental.

These are the low-down, dirty tactics that you know you’re not supposed to use, but do anyway. You’ll never use these in a tournament or competitive match- if you have any conscience at least. But, they are valid tactics in time of desperation. Some I’ve used, becasue people use them accidentally anyway. But others you will find in dark alleys under your show. Low-down.

1) Good Job!: You’re playing match, and your opponent’s forehand is a monster today. He’s been hitting return winners all over the place, and you have nothing to stop him. Maybe you’re hitting a bunch of weak shots in fear, which he’s just pounding you. Well, just make some small talk on the changeover, and tell him how great his forehand is going, and ask how he’s doing it. If you’re feeling courageous, ask him to show you a few forehands. After this little chat, he’ll lose it. He’ll be out of the zone, and begin to think of how exactly he’s hitting the tennis shot. Start getting more aggressive, and push to the net as he hits pathetic shots. Reversal of roles!

2) Tie Your Shoe: This dirty tactic is best used on second serves and with shoes with hard to tie laces. What you do is extend the opponent’s wait, and possibly getting them out of the zone as they get frustrated at your inability to tie your shoe. Use sparingly, if you even do. You could very well be attacked if you start using this one every point. You could do it with a tied shoe, but then you have to cover the motion and fake very well. Imagine using this in a doubles team! One person ties their shoe, gets ready, then the other guy pauses the point and starts to tie his! You had better be careful here. The net opponent could catch you with tied shoelaces! A similar thing to do is move balls out of the way at the last moment which are on the service line, or make a big fuss about a few balls coming into your court.

3)┬áThe Bad Feeder: You have a few balls in your pocket, and the other guy is serving and in need of a few. “Accidentally” hit them to the side, not far enough that he won’t run for it, but not close enough that he can just stick out his racquet. This will get him short of breath, and also somewhat annoyed at you. An advantage to this tactic over the other two is that you can use it multiple times, saying ‘sorry’ each time.

So, if you’re ever feeling a little bit cunning and sly, give these a go! Just don’t mention that I told you!