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View Full Version : Pusher or no? And how to beat?


rbowser
05-09-2007, 03:50 PM
Hey guys, I got a question. I played my friend yesterday for the 2nd time and he totally changed his game. He improved lots, but his shots seemed pusher like. I wanted to play a match, but I felt he could beat me, so i resisted. lol. We warmed up for a while and got my butt whupped. He kept lobbing, whether i was at the baseline or net. I hit relatively flat, so I could do it, just not consistent enough. (medium-fast paced, but lacks control since I try to bomb it back) He likes spin serves and lobs constantly, then uses topspin a lot. I know he's not a pusher, but it's really annoying. I try to play him (he's probably better than me), but he thinks he can whup me just hitting lobs. (im short like 5 foot) *i know, short* He's like 5'8". How do I counter lobs? He always does them when i rush the net and it seems nothing works...help!

SteamWhipper
05-09-2007, 03:52 PM
Work on your overheads?

rbowser
05-09-2007, 03:54 PM
Lol. My footwork isnt that greath tho.

rbowser
05-09-2007, 03:55 PM
Oh yeah, and I don't know why, when I'm at the baseline, I don't think of going for smashes, and moving in. I rarely get smashes in unless during warm-up. =(

Matt_MS
05-09-2007, 04:12 PM
Hit his lobs on the rise, or allow them to drop and slice one to bring him into the net. Pushers are usually not so good at volleying, if you can hit an at least decent passing shot.

ps60
05-09-2007, 08:28 PM
i hate ppl hitting lob all the time, without real need. i'll just find another partner. Boring to play with those lobber, they probably don't play any other strokes :sad:

i think u won't get any satisfaction beating them, so forget them !

rbowser
05-10-2007, 03:36 PM
Yeah, but he also hits with lots of topspin, not just lobs. He's just mean like that, and if he's "serious", he'll stop using lobs.

Rulo
05-10-2007, 03:43 PM
Best weapon against pushers=> Serve & Volley

rbowser
05-10-2007, 03:44 PM
Lol. Didn't you see ^. He lobs all the time as well.

beernutz
05-10-2007, 07:46 PM
Maybe he is just better than you and instead of devising some kind of 'strategy' you should practice more.

DavaiMarat
05-10-2007, 08:23 PM
Hehe sounds like less of a pusher but more of a counter puncher. He takes your pace and uses it against you. Heavy top off both wings probably. A pusher when just try to get the ball in deep, a counter puncher will move you, make you hit off balance and force errors.

I'm afraid your friend 'is' better then you. You'll just have to learn to hit off top spin and learn to keep your shots deep and consistent. Counter punchers don't like to be drawn to the net usually, so if you can get him there on your own terms, it might be a way to keep him off balance.

Good luck,

Mike

ps60
05-10-2007, 09:58 PM
He's just mean like that, and if he's "serious", he'll stop using lobs.

That's why i said Forget about that guy.
He's not serious playing with U. I hate to play anyone who isn't serious.

We have a uncle in the club, he just lobs, lobs, lobs. and feeds balls to my female partner like it's a coaching session during game match. U know what i do ? i hit as hard as i can whenever there is a short ball. Soon he run around the court, not to retrieve balls, but to duck :D, even though i aim at all the open spaces

But it is still boring, it's too easy, not challenging for me. So if i have choice, i won't play that guy.

Mick
05-10-2007, 11:13 PM
to beat a good pusher you have to be able to hit winners, either from the baseline or at the net.

If you can't hit winners, a good pusher will keep the ball in play until you commit the unforced errors.

penpal
05-11-2007, 07:36 AM
Hey guys, I got a question. I played my friend yesterday for the 2nd time and he totally changed his game. He improved lots, but his shots seemed pusher like. I wanted to play a match, but I felt he could beat me, so i resisted. lol. We warmed up for a while and got my butt whupped. He kept lobbing, whether i was at the baseline or net. I hit relatively flat, so I could do it, just not consistent enough. (medium-fast paced, but lacks control since I try to bomb it back) He likes spin serves and lobs constantly, then uses topspin a lot. I know he's not a pusher, but it's really annoying. I try to play him (he's probably better than me), but he thinks he can whup me just hitting lobs. (im short like 5 foot) *i know, short* He's like 5'8". How do I counter lobs? He always does them when i rush the net and it seems nothing works...help!

You might try playing him from the baseline and only half-rushing the net. By that I mean, when he hits his lob, you hit it back and rush up to somewhere just a little deeper than the service line. I know, I know, this is no-man's land, but if he continues to lob it's actually a good place to be, as he will have a very difficult time lobbing over you in this position. If he sees that you are doing this and decides to go for more topspin instead of a lob, you can close to the net and hit an angled volley.

Depending on how good each of you are you still might not be able to beat him, but you'll give him a little more to think about at least.

OrangeOne
05-11-2007, 07:41 AM
If I was 5 foot tall (or should that be 5 foot short? ;)), and I was playing someone who I knew was probably a better player than me in general, and I knew that player had a great lob....well I don't think I'd be 'rushing the net', not at all.

But that's just me!

Caswell
05-11-2007, 07:49 AM
...I know, this is no-man's land, but if he continues to lob it's actually a good place to be, as he will have a very difficult time lobbing over you in this position. If he sees that you are doing this and decides to go for more topspin instead of a lob, you can close to the net and hit an angled volley.

I actually had a response with this strategy in it, and I thought "I'm going to get flamed all over creation for suggesting camping in no-man's land."

In 3.5 league and tournament play I see a lot of true pushers - guys that simply dump the ball back with no pace to the service line. I also see the guys they're playing running themselves ragged stepping into the court to cover the short ball and then retreating back to the baseline. They're not confident enough in their net skills or the pusher has a better lob than they have overhead, so they're reluctant to come in to the net.

I've camped in no-man's land for entire matches against pushers with good lobs. You take time away from them by staying inside the court and you stop running yourself ragged moving up and back to the baseline. You just have to be ready to step in quickly and take a deep shot out of the air - that I can handle fine, because most often those shots are right where I want a volley, at shoulder height.

As for the OP's opponent, it really sounds like he's playing more of a counterpuncher than a pusher. Can't offer any tips on beating that strategy - that's how I play, and even if I could I wouldn't want to give away the farm :P

smoothtennis
05-11-2007, 08:34 AM
I've camped in no-man's land for entire matches against pushers with good lobs. You take time away from them by staying inside the court and you stop running yourself ragged moving up and back to the baseline. You just have to be ready to step in quickly and take a deep shot out of the air - that I can handle fine, because most often those shots are right where I want a volley, at shoulder height.



Casswell - I concur on no man's land in this one instance. I learned to hit volleys, from there, and from the service line specifically for these types of players, and once this skill is aquired, it is priceless against a true pusher - with no real weapons or topspin. I'll take the high slow deep ball in NML, shoulder height to the corners, and camp on the service line so no lobs get over me. From there, it is easy to hit the corners on set up volleys until you get what you want. You can also cover 95% of the court from that angle against a pusher. But sometimes, it is just plain fun to watch them chase the corners for 6 trips from sideline to sideline.

zapvor
05-11-2007, 09:19 AM
If I was 5 foot tall (or should that be 5 foot short? ;)), and I was playing someone who I knew was probably a better player than me in general, and I knew that player had a great lob....well I don't think I'd be 'rushing the net', not at all.

But that's just me!

how come you always steal my reply huh;) so yea, if hes lobbing over you so much....i wouldnt go to net. but i dont go to net anyways.

LuckyR
05-11-2007, 10:47 AM
A couple of things:

1- If he is beating you using constant lobs then he is currently better than you.

2- I agree that this guy should not be your practice partner since he brings nothing to the table for you from a self improvement standpoint.

3- Having said that, I would not ignore this guy, since you do need to develop a strategy/skill for beating this type of player, since you will run into them in tourneys and in league play and it sounds like currently you are very vulnerable to that style.

You should seek him out on occasion to practice your improved strokes on, until you can handle him.

richw76
05-11-2007, 11:59 AM
I'm off work Monday Mornings so I play with the "old timers" sometimes at my local tennis court. Most are solid players. There's one guy that plays like your guy. Hits these topspin heavy deep balls(it's the same shot as my topspin lob) very consistantly. Stop worrying about winning(oops did I say that, doesn't sound right) Use him as a Human Ball machine. Consentrate on hitting the ball 3-7ft above the net with good topspin, can you get to 10 - 20 hits? Every couple balls throw in a nice 3/4 pace ball. Don't try to kill it just focus on your technique and get good pace. In 6 months you'll be able to work this guy like a 10 dollar ....... well you get the idea ;-)

PimpMyGame
05-11-2007, 12:03 PM
To play a "pusher" who beats you in a frustrating way is usually a reality check that you're not as good as you think;)

Sorry to say the above but it happened to me last year. You just gotta sit back and work out why you're not as good as you thought you were. Then you can come back stronger. Good luck.

shindemac
05-11-2007, 01:06 PM
This guy could be a lobber or moonballer depending on how high he "lobs" it. Did u look at the pusher thread (first thread) and post your Qs in there? Lots of good stuff in there. You don't even need to use the search function, although u could since there are like a million threads on this topic.

rbowser
05-11-2007, 06:48 PM
Yeah. I know. I read the whole thing. I'm going to practice lots. Again, I have another question: How do you practice 'out-of-position' lobs? My usual hitting partner is my uncle, and he's about as good as me, but he can't control his lobs. It goes wide, to far back, to close, and I use rather used balls, so if it lands, it's if I'm hitting a groundie. How would I do that? Another thing: I can control my shots: down the line, crosscourt, etc., but now I want to try and hit better angles. I want to hit the lines, or very close. (I know it takes years of practice) but anyway to start practicing now? Thanks for all the tips guys, you are really helpful.

P.S.-You guys are right, If I didn't mention it: He is better than me, but like me, all his shots are inconsistent (I think a little teeny bit worse than me), but more spin. Most consistent thing I think he has is his lobs. LOL.