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View Full Version : Can I push without looking like a pusher?


Golden Retriever
08-21-2004, 03:04 PM
I think at my level (3.5 something) the best way to beat a pusher is to push back. Trust me I have tried everything, S&V, chip and charge, dropshot, you name it. At my level I just can't come up with anything consistent enough to beat a good pusher. I have no choice but to try to beat them at their own game. However I don't want to be just another run of the mill pusher. I don't want to stupe to the level of their halfswing paceless strokes. However their halfswing paceless stroke is actually a necessary arsenal of a pusher. Not only is it very consistent, its pacelessness gives the pusher ample time to recover and get to a good position to push another ball back. It would actually hurt them if they start using pace, it is part of what pushing is all about.
So how do you outpush a pusher without ended up poking the ball back and forth 50+ times per point? BTW, I can do everything well but 3.5 level well. My backhand and serve are approaching 4.0.

Bungalo Bill
08-21-2004, 03:51 PM
Well for one thing it will be difficult to beat a pusher at their own game. You just have to keep trying to improve your conditioning and your strokes so you can finally execute your game plan.

That is all it is.

Like someone else said, when you get stronger and take full strokes at the ball, you will get a lot of short balls to win ppoints off of - the key is execution!

KingBugsy
08-21-2004, 03:53 PM
If you have developed good ground strokes, then you can hit deep groundstrokes with nice topspin and wait for a short ball. Once you get a short ball you can either chip and charge, or hit a solid groundstroke into the corner and follow it to the net. Ultimately, if you're strokes are solid enough (which they probably are not at 3.5), you will beat the "no-stroke" pusher.

I would encourage you to develop your strokes and volleys by trying to play with a good technique. Since you have been on these boards for a while I am sure you have read enough to start (or already have) the foundation to build on. As a player that is going through a similiar progression in regards to pushers, I tell you there is a light at the end of the tunnnel! Don't give up and revert and play that sissy game! You can do it!

Cypo
08-21-2004, 10:51 PM
I think you also may want to think about your game style. If you are really a retriever (golden or otherwise) then you may be able to be more consistent than a pusher using good strokes. Don't be afraid of endless rally's though - as a retriever this is (will be ) your bread and butter. I watched a 4.0 level match recently between a retriever and a slicer/dicer. The retriever won...eventually, 4-5, 5-4, 15-13 (four game sets with champions TB).

aahala
08-22-2004, 07:05 AM
I think only you can solve this dilemma. You want to beat a pusher and you think the only way is to push back, but you want to look good doing it.

The question you must answer is which is more important to you - winning on the scoreboard or winning the beauty quotient.

Pushing is one of those things that the worse it looks, the better it can be, as it's effectiveness is difficult to accurately measure and the process gets under an opponent's skin.

andreh
08-22-2004, 11:35 AM
I think a good gameplan to beat a pusher is S&V. However, you have to be able to play it! S&V is a very difficult game to master. Believe me, I know. When I'm off my game, I can go down unbelievably hard. Serve and volley at my level is somewhat of a gamble, days when I'm on I demolish my opponents, days when I'm not...but it seems to be either or mostly.

Golden Retriever
08-22-2004, 12:11 PM
Well for one thing it will be difficult to beat a pusher at their own game. You just have to keep trying to improve your conditioning and your strokes so you can finally execute your game plan.

That is all it is.

Like someone else said, when you get stronger and take full strokes at the ball, you will get a lot of short balls to win ppoints off of - the key is execution!

I know what you are talking about but the problem is while I am improving "they" are also improving. At one time I was able to overpower them with my serve but before long they figured out my serve and rendered it ineffective. There is no end to it. I don't think there is a key to win all pushers by the same token that there is not a key to win all S&Vers, baseliners or whatever. Pushing can carry you all the way to Wimbledon championship. IMHO, pushing is simply easier, less demanding and gets the job done so why not be a pusher myself. In my definition a pusher plays defensive shots and wait for the opponent to miss or the perfect chance to put it away. At the club level a defensive shot could be just a half swing poke at the ball, at the pro level it could be a full swing with good pace, depth and spin anything less than that would be suicide instead of defensive. That is the kind of "pusher" I want to become.

Skinny Dip
08-22-2004, 06:50 PM
A strong defensive player isn't the same as a "pusher" in that they do take full strokes with pace. But I have a similar problem with pushers.

When I'm on, I can make a good showing, but they eat me alive unless I'm in pretty top form. For me the key is to take control of the points, focus on hitting "difficult shots" more than passing shots, and make them hit as many "on the run" shots as possible. Even pushers can get frustrated.

Plus you can't be afraid to come to the net. Most of my points against pushers it seems like are finished at the net.

mucat
08-22-2004, 09:13 PM
If the pusher is not good at volley, make him come to the net...

kevhen
08-23-2004, 07:14 AM
Rally with the pusher until you get the short ball and then attack it all out. All the top 4.0s around here are great defensive players who don't hit with pace. To beat them you have to avoid errors and hit many winners usually by attacking net or hitting a short ball for a winner. But you must be patient until you get the attackable ball. Good luck, I am still struggle with these guys and thought the pusher tactics would disappear at the 4.0 level but they just get even better at it, and are much stronger at the net too so bringing them to net isn't always the best play either.

thehustler
08-23-2004, 10:42 PM
I have to agree with just about everyone here. I especially agree with the person who said you should serve and volley. I know that when I was pushing for a while the thing I hated most is when my opponent came to net. I couldn't pass and my lobs were always short. I then remembered this as I got better. Occasionally I play a pusher in a tourney and sometimes I stay back for some dumb reason. I then realize they have no pace on their shots so I might as well attack them. I still face a couple pushers today and I just attack them at will. Sometimes they get a good passing shot or lob, but most of the time I end the point quickly by coming to net and making them pay.