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ubermeyer
07-08-2009, 06:03 PM
I just joined a new, very competitive club, the lowest-ranked people there are like 3.5 (except me) and there are many 4.0-4.5 players there. I am quite a bit lower than 3.5, probably 3.0. (by the way, i'm a boy, and I'm talking about the boys' ladder).

So I was losing a ton of matches, and one day I decided to push. I did track last year and I'm very fast on the court. I actually won using this tactic! Now, I am beating players who used to double bagel me, because I never miss, literally NEVER. I am moving up the rankings superfast. I can get to almost any shot, and if I get an easy ball, I crack it really hard, which almost always goes in, because I have done a bunch of work on my groundstrokes and volleys. If you think about it, pushing seems like the best course of action, because:

1: If you can get to the ball and you push it, (and are a good pusher) it will practically never miss.
2: If you can get to every ball, you will never miss.
3: If you never miss, you are like a wall, and who can ever beat a wall? I mean you can't hit winners against a wall because the ball just bounces back.

:) I luv pushing

LeeD
07-08-2009, 06:08 PM
Pushing wins when you face players worse than you....
Some consider Nadal a pusher, as Ferrer and even DJ, sometimes in certain matches against big hitters even Federer.
Point in tennis is to hit the last ball of each point into the court.
So unless your opponent can hit winners, you win by successfully returning the last ball.
Now do you like retreiving like a dog?

raiden031
07-08-2009, 06:16 PM
Pushing will win until you play against players who are good enough to pressure you by getting you out of position and then finishing off the point. I think alot of players get caught in a lower level than they could be because they are overly defensive so they don't really learn how to finish off points. Even the most defensive players such as Murray must finish off points and cannot always rely on UEs.

How you play should be based on what gives you most satisfaction. If you enjoy just waiting for opponents to beat themselves thats fine, but if you like to take initiative and make things happen, its satisfying as well when it works for you. I think it takes alot more practice to be a good offensive player though because you need to really fine-tune your shots and develop the ability to execute them with precision consistently.

ubermeyer
07-08-2009, 06:24 PM
I doubt those kids are worse than me, but I can still beat them.

They get me out of position all the time, but I "retrieve like a dog" and despite their best efforts they can't hit winners on me.

Not like they don't win points, I have to fight for every point but I win more points than they do, so eventually I win, even if it goes to a tiebreaker.

I also did cross country so I have stamina.

LeeD
07-08-2009, 06:25 PM
They're not as good as you because they can't beat you.

ubermeyer
07-08-2009, 06:32 PM
They're not as good as you because they can't beat you.

Not true... I mean, I'm pretty sure Federer is better than, say, Ivo Karlovic, yet Ivo has beaten him...

firstserve
07-08-2009, 06:33 PM
only against weak players

firstserve
07-08-2009, 06:34 PM
the only reason karlovic is where he is at, is because of the angle he is able to create off of his serve due to his height.

firstserve
07-08-2009, 06:35 PM
I have rarely seen him top the ball off of his backhand wing and when he does he normally catches it lates and it goes wide or in the net.

Mansewerz
07-08-2009, 06:44 PM
You're club members must hate you.

I hate when people push. It ****es me off to no end!

ubermeyer
07-08-2009, 06:52 PM
I hate when people push. It ****es me off to no end!

This is kinda the point, you're winning the mental game as well as the physical.

I used to hate it too, but if you can't beat em join em!

Also when people push back, I just hit really hard and usually they are worse pushers than me so I winz

r2473
07-08-2009, 06:58 PM
It works. You will get a lot of wins.

The price you pay is that your game will stagnate. The other price you will probably pay is that you will make other players not want to play with you anymore.

ubermeyer
07-08-2009, 07:17 PM
I also work with a private coach, we work on groundstrokes and volleys and serves etc. My groundstrokes are getting to be pretty killer, but I'm sure that pushing is much more consistent and also, much more annoying to other players.

Also, not to discriminate or anything, but when I play against girls (just for recreation, not counted towards either of our rankings) pushing really owns them, because girls usually hit really hard but are less consistent and not as fast on the court to retrieve drop shots/ angle shots/ lobs/ etc.

NickH87
07-08-2009, 07:48 PM
I also work with a private coach, we work on groundstrokes and volleys and serves etc. My groundstrokes are getting to be pretty killer, but I'm sure that pushing is much more consistent and also, much more annoying to other players.

Also, not to discriminate or anything, but when I play against girls (just for recreation, not counted towards either of our rankings) pushing really owns them, because girls usually hit really hard but are less consistent and not as fast on the court to retrieve drop shots/ angle shots/ lobs/ etc.

Why would you want to be annoying to other players...yes you win the mental game, but you lose in the fact that they will not enjoy playing with you and eventually they wont, unless they are forced lol. I have cut out two pushers so far, I refuse to play with them because they do nothing for me but frustrate me, which is their tactic, but at the end of the day, they lose a player to hit with.

ubermeyer
07-08-2009, 08:07 PM
You all make valid points, but being a really nice person off the court makes up for it. You see, other people WANT to learn how to beat really tough yet pusher-like opponents- such as me. They understand that I'm serious about tennis and I play them to win, and they will still hit with me - btw i usually don't push in rallies - because they, too, want to improve.

Also, if I did this in a USTA tournament, it wouldn't matter if my opponents detested me, because I wouldn't know them anyway.

Hm, maybe I should enter one ( I haven't for a long time )

firstserve
07-08-2009, 08:11 PM
take care of the process and the process will take care of you

firstserve
07-08-2009, 08:17 PM
There are many ways to beat a pusher. The most effective way to beat a pusher is to work them around the court very slightly not going for many shots and when they are stuck moving to a ball hit the ball precisely behing them and then smash the weak return if it even comes back.

firstserve
07-08-2009, 08:20 PM
ubermeyer, don't kid yourself. The best players are not pushers. Andy Murray and Nadal are counterpunchers and grinders not pushers. Big difference.

Off The Wall
07-08-2009, 08:22 PM
Just keep doing what you're doing. You're results are good. When it isn't working, be ready to evolve.

firstserve
07-08-2009, 08:25 PM
that is a piece of shtick advice. you cannot suddenly evolve. learn to play the game correctly. the better players do not self-destruct.

herosol
07-08-2009, 09:05 PM
Well pushing for me sounds like "im afraid to lose"

I play counterpunching which includes:

1. Hitting Deep
2. Neutralizing Rallies
3. Using people's pace against them
4. Alot of shot variation to create frustration for my opponents
5. Being consistent
6. Changing strategies for each opponent

Now these six things work and win. This style just fits my personality and also because my strokes aren't really that amazing that i can dominate off the ground, and my serve is workable but not a dominant force.

Steady Eddy
07-08-2009, 09:14 PM
If you think about it, pushing seems like the best course of action, because:

1: If you can get to the ball and you push it, (and are a good pusher) it will practically never miss.
2: If you can get to every ball, you will never miss.
3: If you never miss, you are like a wall, and who can ever beat a wall? I mean you can't hit winners against a wall because the ball just bounces back.

:) I luv pushing
Sounds like you've already figured out alot about tennis.

Blake0
07-08-2009, 09:30 PM
You're saying you push for rally balls and kill when you get easy kill balls and stuff? Pushing will work for a while, until you start playing people who punish you for hitting weak rally balls. Have you tryed pushing against 4.5 level players that's at your clubs? More then likely they should be punishing you for pushing on rally balls and make you on constant defense, the only reason you win the points is off a unforced error or they hit a easy ball because they're to scared to attack.

Moz
07-09-2009, 12:37 AM
More of the same. People assume that while you're pushing to win you can't be working on the more of offensive elements of your game in practise.

People really underappreciate the value of winning matches round here it seems.

doctor dennis
07-09-2009, 02:47 AM
ubermeyer your style sounds just like one of my mates. I generally disagree that its less fun to play against pushers. Against a pusher you get to really work on your game because you know that they aren't generally going to start attacking you and changing the pace. Its like playing a moving wall but the ball comes back less predictably. For me, playing against my pusher mate has helped my game no end, both in technique and mentally.
I agree with others though that a typical pusher is likely to plateau at certain level but they'll generally be successful.

raiden031
07-09-2009, 04:01 AM
Why would you want to be annoying to other players...yes you win the mental game, but you lose in the fact that they will not enjoy playing with you and eventually they wont, unless they are forced lol. I have cut out two pushers so far, I refuse to play with them because they do nothing for me but frustrate me, which is their tactic, but at the end of the day, they lose a player to hit with.

Can you beat these players? I would say if you can't beat them, then you are doing yourself a disservice by not playing with them anymore.

bukaeast
07-09-2009, 04:20 AM
Don't use the "P" word!

Describe your style as a grinder or retriever and you will be well recieved.

You get returns on most balls until you get a weak or short ball and then you attack, right? Pushers don't attack.

You go for placement rather than power?

You are using strategy rather than just testosterone ladden power.

To win!

eagle
07-09-2009, 04:59 AM
^^ Agree with bukaeast.

Do you simply slice or bump the balls back with no pace?

Or are you simply so quick on your feet that you get to all the balls and hit them back?

We're trying to establish whether you are simply bumping the balls back or hitting them back with pace, control, and direction.

If bumping is your game, then indeed that is pushing.

If hitting back with pace, then I think that is considered counterpunching.

r,
eagle

Power Player
07-09-2009, 06:31 AM
OP, how do you hit the ball? Are you just pushing it over the net flat or using placement on every shot? I ask because I can't push against guys I play..they take the pushed shot and toy with you unless it is placed perfectly every time. They can drop shot a flat push if you are back too far(pushers usually stay back and run side to side), then simply lob your scrmabling return over your head.

A lot of these guys are 4.5-5.0s though, so you may not be playing guys this good.

mikegaotennis
07-09-2009, 07:14 AM
well you can push and be a 4.0 pusher for life or you can actually play and get 4.5 if you work hard. plus i would rather win my matches on my own than have my opponent lose them for me

GuyClinch
07-09-2009, 07:45 AM
Also, not to discriminate or anything, but when I play against girls (just for recreation, not counted towards either of our rankings) pushing really owns them, because girls usually hit really hard but are less consistent and not as fast on the court to retrieve drop shots/ angle shots/ lobs/ etc

Yeah but girls dig guys who hit with pace. I push some - and its a habit I am trying to break. I want to hit out but my body won't let me because I miss so badly. <g> I am trying to fix my strokes. The only stroke I can go for it on is my serve and that's the shot that gets all the complements from the ladies.

Anyway pushing is not something to be proud of. It's something to eliminate from your game. You want to be able to hit out and use spin to keep the ball in.

Pete

Photoshop
07-09-2009, 09:04 AM
ubermeyer,

Congratulations on learning the secret to winning at such an early age. You will win 90% of your matches with the become-a-wall mentality alone.

I was taught early on to push as well... hit the ball deep, get everything back, and lob whenever opponent charges the net. I won many matches by doing just that, but it also won me many enemies :D my high school coach hated me.. I've been told to hit like a man... and I'd be well off if I had a penny for every time someone sarcastically told me I was "super consistent" (euphemism for pushing).

But the price I had to pay for loving pushing so much was that I'd become extremely risk averse. I was afraid to hit winners, ya know? During practice I'd be pounding the ball but I would resort to the same old pushing in matches. Many many times I would have a chance to hit an easy put-away to the open court, but I'd dink it back and let the opponent back in the point. Pushing was harder to quit than smoking (but I don't smoke so I don't know how hard it is to quit smoking. this analogy is a huge FAIL).

Don't get me wrong, pushing can get you far. Just watch Federer vs. Nadal/Murray/Simon :D. but soon or later you will run into people who can out-push you, outhit you... people who can paint the line and finish the point at the net. My point is you may be winning all your matches right now but you still want to improve and develop weapons.

But I'm sure you knew this already. so why did I just type all this?:confused:

I <3 pushing

goober
07-09-2009, 09:05 AM
I just joined a new, very competitive club, the lowest-ranked people there are like 3.5 (except me) and there are many 4.0-4.5 players there. I am quite a bit lower than 3.5, probably 3.0. (by the way, i'm a boy, and I'm talking about the boys' ladder).

So I was losing a ton of matches, and one day I decided to push. I did track last year and I'm very fast on the court. I actually won using this tactic! Now, I am beating players who used to double bagel me, because I never miss, literally NEVER. I am moving up the rankings superfast. I can get to almost any shot, and if I get an easy ball, I crack it really hard, which almost always goes in, because I have done a bunch of work on my groundstrokes and volleys. If you think about it, pushing seems like the best course of action, because:

:) I luv pushing

You can win at 3.0 and 3.5 with pushing. You can also win at 4.0 pushing but you have to be a really good pusher. Against upper level 4.0s and 4.5 s you will run into a wall. There will be a lot of people at that level that can defeat pushers a variety of different ways. At that point you will have to change your game to a counterpuncher or all courter if you want to keep winning.

imalil2gangsta4u
07-09-2009, 09:22 AM
It works. You will get a lot of wins.

The price you pay is that your game will stagnate. The other price you will probably pay is that you will make other players not want to play with you anymore.

I totally agree. I beat pushers, but i hate them because they show no skills or guts. If i were at your club, i wouldnt play you.

masterxfob
07-09-2009, 09:45 AM
while i don't really respect the pushing game, i don't mind going up against it. it forces me to play smarter, to construct my points, and to be patient. i don't beat myself down for losing to such a player, but use it as a reference to learn from.

StuckInMalibu
07-09-2009, 09:58 AM
Pushing is not really a goal one should aspire to. Nadal and Murray are not pushers. Nadal hits inside the baseline when he gets the chance. Murray fools around with a variety of shots and attacks occasionally. That's a far cry from hitting soft shots and lobs.

Pushing does win for awhile. Wouldn't one rather suffer losses now in exchange for building a foundation for a solid game and continue to grow?

ubermeyer
07-09-2009, 10:27 AM
Do you simply slice or bump the balls back with no pace?

Or are you simply so quick on your feet that you get to all the balls and hit them back?

We're trying to establish whether you are simply bumping the balls back or hitting them back with pace, control, and direction.

If bumping is your game, then indeed that is pushing.

If hitting back with pace, then I think that is considered counterpunching.

I bump mostly unless I get a super easy "kill ball" that would be nigh impossible to miss. Then I hit that with tons of pace, but usually I don't get such easy balls, so I just bump them back over. I always use placement when I am pushing.

OP, how do you hit the ball? Are you just pushing it over the net flat or using placement on every shot? I ask because I can't push against guys I play..they take the pushed shot and toy with you unless it is placed perfectly every time. They can drop shot a flat push if you are back too far(pushers usually stay back and run side to side), then simply lob your scrmabling return over your head.

A lot of these guys are 4.5-5.0s though, so you may not be playing guys this good.

I use placement on every shot. I am forced to net often but I just backpedal backwards so they can't lob me. I am relatively short but I still have more reach than other players expect. I have played 2 guys who are 4.5s. I beat one and the other one beat me - my only loss at this club so far. I have only played 11 challenge matches there though and I am still moving up the ladder, so I expect to play many more 4.5s

I think the top player there is supposed to be a 5.0 or something

ubermeyer
07-09-2009, 10:29 AM
There are many ways to beat a pusher. The most effective way to beat a pusher is to work them around the court very slightly not going for many shots and when they are stuck moving to a ball hit the ball precisely behing them and then smash the weak return if it even comes back.

I can return most overheads, unless I'm facing a really tall and strong player

(Blank)
07-09-2009, 11:37 AM
It really depends on how consistently deep you can place the ball if you're hitting without pace. If you can hit on the baseline every shot, that's pretty good, but the other player can tee off on shots inside the baseline then you'll have trouble with the better players.

And anyone with a decent overhead should be able to put most overheads away the first time.

raiden031
07-09-2009, 12:03 PM
I just joined a new, very competitive club, the lowest-ranked people there are like 3.5 (except me) and there are many 4.0-4.5 players there. I am quite a bit lower than 3.5, probably 3.0. (by the way, i'm a boy, and I'm talking about the boys' ladder).
...
I use placement on every shot. I am forced to net often but I just backpedal backwards so they can't lob me. I am relatively short but I still have more reach than other players expect. I have played 2 guys who are 4.5s. I beat one and the other one beat me - my only loss at this club so far. I have only played 11 challenge matches there though and I am still moving up the ladder, so I expect to play many more 4.5s
...
I can return most overheads, unless I'm facing a really tall and strong player



Some 3.0 you are.

goober
07-09-2009, 12:19 PM
Some 3.0 you are.

I just realized the OP is only age 14 from another post. All the NTRP ratings therefore are not legit computer ratings. He is guessing his own rating and guess the other boys in his club ratings. A 3.0 could not get a game off a 4.5. let alone win a match.

raiden031
07-09-2009, 12:31 PM
I just realized the OP is only age 14 from another post. All the NTRP ratings therefore are not legit computer ratings. He is guessing his own rating and guess the other boys in his club ratings. A 3.0 could not get a game off a 4.5. let alone win a match.

I think he rates the competitors based on how hard they hit the ball, not by how good they actually are. So if he beats a hard hitter, then it feels good because he beat a 4.5, but if he beats a pusher like himself, then its not as good because he beat another 3.0.

masterxfob
07-09-2009, 01:20 PM
I just realized the OP is only age 14 from another post. All the NTRP ratings therefore are not legit computer ratings. He is guessing his own rating and guess the other boys in his club ratings. A 3.0 could not get a game off a 4.5. let alone win a match.

that explains a lot. i'm pretty close to being a 4.0 and can beat most pushers on a good day. so i was some what baffled by him beating 4.5's.

Steady Eddy
07-09-2009, 02:06 PM
that explains a lot. i'm pretty close to being a 4.0 and can beat most pushers on a good day. so i was some what baffled by him beating 4.5's.
Sounds like you think that all pushers are at the same level. That if you can beat one, then you can beat them all. Of the people who adopt a pushing style, some are better than others. There are certainly pushers, or people who can adopt a pushing style, who can beat 4.5's and higher. Don't be baffled.

masterxfob
07-09-2009, 02:19 PM
Sounds like you think that all pushers are at the same level. That if you can beat one, then you can beat them all. Of the people who adopt a pushing style, some are better than others. There are certainly pushers, or people who can adopt a pushing style, who can beat 4.5's and higher. Don't be baffled.

there are pushers, then there are counter punchers. pushers don't have weapons to hurt you other than their consistency. i highly doubt that there are many if any pushers at all in the 4.0+ category.

theagassiman
07-09-2009, 03:26 PM
how does a pusher hit the ball?

Mansewerz
07-09-2009, 03:36 PM
I also work with a private coach, we work on groundstrokes and volleys and serves etc. My groundstrokes are getting to be pretty killer, but I'm sure that pushing is much more consistent and also, much more annoying to other players.

Also, not to discriminate or anything, but when I play against girls (just for recreation, not counted towards either of our rankings) pushing really owns them, because girls usually hit really hard but are less consistent and not as fast on the court to retrieve drop shots/ angle shots/ lobs/ etc.

Stop wasting your money with a private coach. it's obvious you are not using anything he is teaching you.

You all make valid points, but being a really nice person off the court makes up for it. You see, other people WANT to learn how to beat really tough yet pusher-like opponents- such as me. They understand that I'm serious about tennis and I play them to win, and they will still hit with me - btw i usually don't push in rallies - because they, too, want to improve.

Also, if I did this in a USTA tournament, it wouldn't matter if my opponents detested me, because I wouldn't know them anyway.

Hm, maybe I should enter one ( I haven't for a long time )

Please, go to a USTA tournament. I'm sure most players would handily defeat you (I saw a kid attempt to push during a match. He lost 0 and 3 because the other player would kick serve it over his head and attack the net).

More of the same. People assume that while you're pushing to win you can't be working on the more of offensive elements of your game in practise.

People really underappreciate the value of winning matches round here it seems.

Ever heard the expression that you learn more from losing than from winning?

His game will most likely stagnate. If he wishes to stay at the lower level, so be it. But don't come crying when you can't finish the point because you're scared.

GuyClinch
07-09-2009, 05:12 PM
how does a pusher hit the ball?

Softly with an abberviated stroke. I know cause I am like some unwilling pusher. I don't want to push but in a match I seem to end up doing it.. Its like a curse man. I hate it. I'd rather hit out and miss but I can't seem to make my body do it..

The sad thing is a decent pro can help me make adjustments and I will start wailing on the ball. But then I leave the lesson and revert back to normal.

Dreamer
07-09-2009, 05:20 PM
Forget pushing!!! Develop your game the right way. Pushing may give you immediate results now, but you'll discover that at a certain level you cannot compete. Don't limit yourself to pushing.

NickH87
07-09-2009, 06:43 PM
I feel like pushing is being afraid. A lot of you guys who say you can play with pace in practice and not in game seems like you lack confidence in your ability and just play safe because thats all you know in competition.

Steady Eddy
07-09-2009, 07:28 PM
there are pushers, then there are counter punchers. pushers don't have weapons to hurt you other than their consistency. i highly doubt that there are many if any pushers at all in the 4.0+ category.Bobby Riggs won the Southern California boys division using nothing but his consistency and ability to retrieve balls. He developed more as a player later on, but he was quite comfortable to sometimes just chase everything down. BJK and Margaret Court were amazed at how softly he hit the ball. None of the women on the tour hit as soft as he did, yet Jack Kramer lists him as one of the 10 best to ever play tennis. So Riggs was a pusher but he was certainly world class and higher than a 4.0. Eddie Dibbs, Harold Solomon, and Jose Higueras also might be called pushers. Maybe the issue is that "pusher" has a pejorative connotation, so that if a pusher is successful people re-phrase it as "counter-puncher", but I've seen players who are very successful by relying on defense at all levels of the game. I've also seen guys who thought they were great players get tears in their eyes after losing badly to someone who isn't a big hitter. To the OP, nothing wrong with being consistent, don't believe people who tell you power always makes you better. In fact, I suspect that the search for power ruins more players than it helps.

10nistennis
07-09-2009, 07:55 PM
This is how I see it.

Sure you can beat the kids at your club right now, which makes you feel very good about yourself. That's fine. But sooner or later, you're going to hit your ceiling, and you won't be able to get any better playing that style. Then, while your game stays the same, and doesn't improve, the kids that you used to beat have now gotten a lot better because they play with the RIGHT strokes and techniques, and now when you play them, they are whooping your butt.


THEN, you will feel down and then try to change your game and hit real strokes, but you will find that this won't be very easy because something called MUSCLE MEMORY will bring you down. It will be much harder for you to develop a good, solid game if your style of play is pushing for so long.



So, if you want immediate results, and just care about winning NOW, then push. Go for it.

BUT, if you want to progress into a good, maybe even great tennis player, then you have to start playing matches with the stuff you work on with your coach. You say you run cross country or track, this already gave you a big head start. You are fit, and fast, and you should use this to your advantage and incorporate this into a good style of tennis, like an all-courter, maybe counterpuncher, or chip and charger.

10nistennis
07-09-2009, 07:59 PM
Bobby Riggs won the Southern California boys division using nothing but his consistency and ability to retrieve balls. He developed more as a player later on, but he was quite comfortable to sometimes just chase everything down. BJK and Margaret Court were amazed at how softly he hit the ball. None of the women on the tour hit as soft as he did, yet Jack Kramer lists him as one of the 10 best to ever play tennis. So Riggs was a pusher but he was certainly world class and higher than a 4.0. Eddie Dibbs, Harold Solomon, and Jose Higueras also might be called pushers. Maybe the issue is that "pusher" has a pejorative connotation, so that if a pusher is successful people re-phrase it as "counter-puncher", but I've seen players who are very successful by relying on defense at all levels of the game. I've also seen guys who thought they were great players get tears in their eyes after losing badly to someone who isn't a big hitter. To the OP, nothing wrong with being consistent, don't believe people who tell you power always makes you better. In fact, I suspect that the search for power ruins more players than it helps.



Yes true. Especially for boys, the search for a big, power game usually makes them try to crush every single ball that comes after them, be it to impress girls, or just because they think "fast" balls mean better balls.



However, incorporating power into your game is also a good thing, as long as you know how to control it.

I would much rather play an opponent who hits with only loopy topspin shots, then an opponent who can mix up hard, flat balls into their shot arsenal.

Moz
07-10-2009, 12:49 AM
Ever heard the expression that you learn more from losing than from winning?

His game will most likely stagnate. If he wishes to stay at the lower level, so be it. But don't come crying when you can't finish the point because you're scared.

Well, tournaments don't work that way do they.

Don't push lose, in the first round - get one match.

Push in the first round, maybe you win, get another match - don't worry, you'll most likely lose at some point in the tournament anyway.

Get some experience WINNING matches and then you'll get experience in MORE matches and then you'll get your magic, all-experience LOSING matches aswell.

See, that's what I mean. Pushing = being scared, what nonsense. You can develop the ability to hit winners, but push if that's what it takes to get the win.

Djokovicfan4life
07-10-2009, 01:13 AM
I see you've retired from tennis, Moz. No more wee inducing low volleys, huh?

Moz
07-10-2009, 02:37 AM
I see you've retired from tennis, Moz. No more wee inducing low volleys, huh?

Ha ha. Not competitive ones anyway. I'm doing some coaching and have an appointment with a surgeon early next month as I may get it operated on. I'm still too young to fully stop!! How are you?

chico9166
07-10-2009, 03:03 AM
The question of whether to "push" or "not", leaves out a rather large grey area. It doesn't have to be either/or.

The OP's new found success, is not based on the fact that he "pushes" the ball (bunting the ball does not present a larger problem for his opponant), but rather because he doesn't "break down". He is finding out, that patience, consistency, and winning through attrition, goes along way in beating 14-15year old boys. Even without "his strokes".

Why not try and keep this "pusher's mentality" and use it within the framework of his "regular strokes". This can be done by perhaps playing more topspin, choosing more conservative shot lines, and emphasis on defense , consistency, etc.etc

Alot of teenage boys, could learn from the OP's experience.

Power Player
07-10-2009, 05:12 AM
The OP is probably BSing a lot. I played a pusher last night. The best way to beat one is to run them around a lot. My guy could get anything side to side, so I just dropped in slices and drop shots whenever I wanted to end the point. He definitley made me make mistakes now and then when I went for the lines, but no biggie.

Make the pusher think you are going to hit big all the time, then drop shot them to death. They will not "get to all lobs" like the OP claims. A good lob is not going to be touched by any pusher if done properly.

Mansewerz
07-10-2009, 08:17 AM
Well, tournaments don't work that way do they.

Don't push lose, in the first round - get one match.

Push in the first round, maybe you win, get another match - don't worry, you'll most likely lose at some point in the tournament anyway.

Get some experience WINNING matches and then you'll get experience in MORE matches and then you'll get your magic, all-experience LOSING matches aswell.

See, that's what I mean. Pushing = being scared, what nonsense. You can develop the ability to hit winners, but push if that's what it takes to get the win.

I agree with that, that winning ugly is sometimes the way to go. But not playing a with good strokes also cannot help. He needs to play in a "non"-pushing style, and then use the pushing as a very last resort.

Plus, OP mentioned ladder matches, not tournament play.

Bilbo
07-10-2009, 06:14 PM
Stop wasting your money with a private coach. it's obvious you are not using anything he is teaching you.



Please, go to a USTA tournament. I'm sure most players would handily defeat you (I saw a kid attempt to push during a match. He lost 0 and 3 because the other player would kick serve it over his head and attack the net).



Ever heard the expression that you learn more from losing than from winning?

His game will most likely stagnate. If he wishes to stay at the lower level, so be it. But don't come crying when you can't finish the point because you're scared.
the tone of ur response is not one of assistance, it's one of anger and frustration. U arent giving this young man ne tips on how to improve his game, ur just telling him it wont work. From ur response, it sounds to me that u were recently beaten by a pusher, and now r taking out ur anger on this thread.

Newho, a earlier poster made a very good point about pushers. Many of u guys consider "pushing" 100% negative, and, like the poster said, if a player on the pro level succeeds with pushing u incorrectly label him a counterpuncher. Higueras was most definently a pusher, as is Gilles Simon today.

Perhaps the most well known "pusher" of all time was... Brad Gilbert. Brad had very ordinary groundstrokes, a very ordinary serves, and extremely ordinary volleys. So... how did he win? He kept the ball in play and outsmarted opponents.

Many of u said u can "easily" beat a pusher. The problem is, not all pushers are on the same level. The "pushers" uve "easily" beaten, probably suck. Im positive there are good pushers at every level of tennis. As a matter of fact, there's a pusher in my high school tennis conference who has achieved a lot of success by doing nothing more than pushing the ball and outsmarting opponents.

So, before u guys bury the man, giv his playing style a chance to succeed. U guys should also remember to encourage the guy, dont discourage him...

GuyClinch
07-10-2009, 07:22 PM
Newho, a earlier poster made a very good point about pushers. Many of u guys consider "pushing" 100% negative, and, like the poster said, if a player on the pro level succeeds with pushing u incorrectly label him a counterpuncher. Higueras was most definently a pusher, as is Gilles Simon today.

Perhaps the most well known "pusher" of all time was... Brad Gilbert. Brad had very ordinary groundstrokes, a very ordinary serves, and extremely ordinary volleys. So... how did he win? He kept the ball in play and outsmarted opponents.

LMAO. No pro is a pusher - NONE of them. This is just nonsense. A pusher is someone who doesn't take a full swing at the ball. Guys who play percentage tennis or go after a weakness like Brad did are not "pushers."

If guys who play safe tennis and hit winners are "pushers" then nearly every player on the tour is a pusher! The term loses meaning. Nadal is a pusher. Hewitt is a pusher and so on.

That's not what the term means at all. Its about club level players using hack half or quarter strokes to "push" the ball back. Pros on occasion DO push - when they have get caught in a bind and just hold the racquet out there - or have to use a squash shot. But they certainly do not do that every shot.

At the club level people do hit like that every single shot. They are pushers and all but the best of them are defeated by 4.0 or better players quite easily. They don't have an offensive game..

goober
07-10-2009, 08:03 PM
LMAO. No pro is a pusher - NONE of them. This is just nonsense. A pusher is someone who doesn't take a full swing at the ball. Guys who play percentage tennis or go after a weakness like Brad did are not "pushers."

If guys who play safe tennis and hit winners are "pushers" then nearly every player on the tour is a pusher! The term loses meaning. Nadal is a pusher. Hewitt is a pusher and so on.

That's not what the term means at all. Its about club level players using hack half or quarter strokes to "push" the ball back. Pros on occasion DO push - when they have get caught in a bind and just hold the racquet out there - or have to use a squash shot. But they certainly do not do that every shot.

At the club level people do hit like that every single shot. They are pushers and all but the best of them are defeated by 4.0 or better players quite easily. They don't have an offensive game..

I agree. It is a complete joke to call any pro player a pusher. If any club player played Giles Simon- he would be in awe of of how heavy of a ball he is hitting. Just because he plays percentage tennis against other pro players does not make him a pusher (or as manly Fedace like to say "he hits like a girl").

Blake0
07-10-2009, 08:57 PM
Sounds like you think that all pushers are at the same level. That if you can beat one, then you can beat them all. Of the people who adopt a pushing style, some are better than others. There are certainly pushers, or people who can adopt a pushing style, who can beat 4.5's and higher. Don't be baffled.

There's no way a pusher can go higher then 4.0's. That's there maxed out limit in my book atleast.

quote from this thread.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=58284

"There are no pushers in the pro ranks. None. The Pusher tops out at the 4.0 level."

Bud
07-10-2009, 09:14 PM
It works. You will get a lot of wins.

The price you pay is that your game will stagnate. The other price you will probably pay is that you will make other players not want to play with you anymore.

Bingo!! :)

Steady Eddy
07-10-2009, 09:25 PM
"There are no pushers in the pro ranks. None. The Pusher tops out at the 4.0 level."
That's quite a quote. It goes from asserting that there are no pushers in the pros today, to saying that there aren't any higher than 4.0! Does this mean that anyone past 4.0 is professional? It would be hard to know about all professional players, but it's impossible to know about ALL 4.5s, 5.0s and so on. I think there's a strong case that Bobby Riggs was a pusher, even when he was at the top of his game. Could he compete with todays pros? I don't know. But he would certainly have been able to compete against one of today's 6.0s. So his success proves that pushing goes way past 4.0.

Maybe the reason we see so much power at the higher levels is only because that's what everyone is taught to do, even though it's not proven what tactic is best? Occasionally a defensive player shows up who is very good, and everyone is surprised at how the bigger hitter lost. In the old days of tennis you had: power hitters, retrievers, and 'junk' ballers. There wasn't a consensus on which was the 'right' way. Eventually, power became the conventional wisdom, but if that is what everyone is taught, then it means nothing if that's all we see. I believe that good retrievers can give world class players trouble, and anyone who is a 5.5 or below and thinks that their pace works in their favor, is deluding themselves. Weekend players should only strive for more consistency. They don't understand how truly inconsistent they are and their grasp for power only makes them less consistent. Their infrequent winners play no significant role in their matches, but it does make them feel good about how they play, and falsely leads them to assume that they approach the pros in their skills. Read McEnroe's autobiography. He says that in the juniors all that matters in consistency, McEnroe didn't develop his aggressive style until shortly before he became a pro. Until your skills become extraordinary, going for lots of winners makes you worse, not better.

GuyClinch
07-10-2009, 10:26 PM
That's quite a quote. It goes from asserting that there are no pushers in the pros today, to saying that there aren't any higher than 4.0! Does this mean that anyone past 4.0 is professional? It would be hard to know about all professional players, but it's impossible to know about ALL 4.5s, 5.0s and so on. I think there's a strong case that Bobby Riggs was a pusher, even when he was at the top of his game. Could he compete with todays pros? I don't know. But he would certainly have been able to compete against one of today's 6.0s. So his success proves that pushing goes way past 4.0.

Have you seen him play? His strokes are not pushes. He has full complete strokes. He comes to the net and finishes a point. The commentator claimed he put on another 'sharp shooting expedition'. He hits pretty solid flat shots that go low over the net.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxHrO8pwSww

I don't agree with your assertion he is a pusher from that video. Those strokes have some pace for 1937. <g>


Now I suppose maybe there is some NFL CB out there who could push his way at the 4.0 level. In fact I think said NFL CB could likely push past 5.0 women. But if you think of a pusher as someone who doesn't use full complete strokes - and doesn't have an offensive game.. Then they don't really exist beyond the 4.0 level. I have never seen a video of a guy dinking and dunking his way past a legit league rated 4.0.

If we want to redefine "pusher" as a guy who doesn't play stupid tennis and go for ridiculous winners when he isn't in good position like you seem to want to then we have to say that Andre was a pusher, Hewitt is a pusher, Nadal is a pusher and so on. And that's pretty stupid.



Pete

Steady Eddy
07-11-2009, 07:00 AM
Have you seen him play? His strokes are not pushes. He has full complete strokes. He comes to the net and finishes a point. The commentator claimed he put on another 'sharp shooting expedition'. He hits pretty solid flat shots that go low over the net.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxHrO8pwSww

I don't agree with your assertion he is a pusher from that video. Those strokes have some pace for 1937. <g>

Thanks for the video, BTW. I read Rigg's biography, "The Last Sure Thing". When he wanted, he could hit hard and end points. But usually, he would rally by hitting balls that cleared the net by several feet. His favorite tactic against a net player was to lob. When he won Wimbledon, (he played his doubles partner in the final), the rallies were so long and defensive that many fans walked out during the match. When the match ended there were large empty sections. Maybe his style is one reason that he wasn't selected for Davis Cup, then, as now, people don't think defensive players are good.

I have never seen a video of a guy dinking and dunking his way past a legit league rated 4.0.
One could get made. I've seen Federer bring a top five player to the net and then lob him, just like he was toying with a beginner! Tell Federer that he's not allowed to use his power, that he can only 'dink' and 'dunk' and see if he can handle a 4.0 that way. Sure he could. He doesn't need the power to win. He could probably beat a college division 1 player that way, and maybe beat touring pros by just using his court coverage and ball control.

If we want to redefine "pusher" as a guy who doesn't play stupid tennis and go for ridiculous winners when he isn't in good position like you seem to want to then we have to say that Andre was a pusher, Hewitt is a pusher, Nadal is a pusher and so on. And that's pretty stupid.I'd never call Andre a pusher. Never seen someone hit groundstrokes so hard. Nadal uses topspin, he'll go for a winner when a situation presents itself, but in some ways I do consider Nadal a pusher. He doesn't need to ever go for a winner to beat most of his opponents. He gets to everything, always gets it in play, usually deep in play, and he doesn't get tired. Those are some pusher-like aspects.

I've always heard that if you're impatient, then, to succeed in tennis, you need to play an aggressive style, such as serve and volley. True, but what this doesn't say is few people will ever evolve into successful serve and volleyers. The truth is closer to; "If you're impatient in tennis, you'll probably lose alot." The height of the net and the court dimensions work against agressive play. Only the best of the best experience some success that way. Weekend players who try blasting near the lines give away more points than they win. They often play opponents who do the same stupid thing, so they don't see how it doesn't work. Then they lose to a steadier player and are shocked. The best evidence of this are these boards which frequently have a deluded basher whining about getting whipped by a pusher. They say that pushing isn't fair. But really, they just found out that they're not as good as they think they are.

Teaching pros ought to tell people that tennis is about being able to control the ball. Being able to hit targets on the court: hit it deep, short, lob, near a sideline sometimes, without ever making a UE. Instead, people have the idea that if they can blast a shot, that shows potential. "All" they have to do is learn to get it in play. With practice they get more in play, but not nearly enough, and they still don't control it enough to aim it away from the opponent. The courts are filled with them. They self-rate a high NTRP, but they're not good, and until they quit using their racquet as a battering ram, they never will get good.

Bilbo
07-11-2009, 08:22 AM
LMAO. No pro is a pusher - NONE of them. This is just nonsense. A pusher is someone who doesn't take a full swing at the ball. Guys who play percentage tennis or go after a weakness like Brad did are not "pushers."

If guys who play safe tennis and hit winners are "pushers" then nearly every player on the tour is a pusher! The term loses meaning. Nadal is a pusher. Hewitt is a pusher and so on.

That's not what the term means at all. Its about club level players using hack half or quarter strokes to "push" the ball back. Pros on occasion DO push - when they have get caught in a bind and just hold the racquet out there - or have to use a squash shot. But they certainly do not do that every shot.

At the club level people do hit like that every single shot. They are pushers and all but the best of them are defeated by 4.0 or better players quite easily. They don't have an offensive game..

ohhh... i see. our disagreement is on the definition of "pusher". u and i have two different definitions for the word. Going by ur definition, ur absolutely correct, there r no pushers in the pros. But, going by my definition, pushers do in fact, exist on every level of the sport.

raiden031
07-11-2009, 08:44 AM
Maybe the reason we see so much power at the higher levels is only because that's what everyone is taught to do, even though it's not proven what tactic is best? Occasionally a defensive player shows up who is very good, and everyone is surprised at how the bigger hitter lost. In the old days of tennis you had: power hitters, retrievers, and 'junk' ballers. There wasn't a consensus on which was the 'right' way. Eventually, power became the conventional wisdom, but if that is what everyone is taught, then it means nothing if that's all we see. I believe that good retrievers can give world class players trouble, and anyone who is a 5.5 or below and thinks that their pace works in their favor, is deluding themselves. Weekend players should only strive for more consistency. They don't understand how truly inconsistent they are and their grasp for power only makes them less consistent. Their infrequent winners play no significant role in their matches, but it does make them feel good about how they play, and falsely leads them to assume that they approach the pros in their skills. Read McEnroe's autobiography. He says that in the juniors all that matters in consistency, McEnroe didn't develop his aggressive style until shortly before he became a pro. Until your skills become extraordinary, going for lots of winners makes you worse, not better.

Just for clarification, I use the word 'pusher' to be synonymous to 'dinker', so I'm not referring to people who hit high percentage topspin shots.

Tennis is so damn competitive that what happens at the top of the game can only be the result of the most effective ways to play the game. If being a pusher (ie. dinker) was an effective strategy, then we would no doubt see them in the pro ranks.

I wholeheartedly disagree with you on what weekend players should do. It is proven through obvious results that you can reach all levels of the game with a power game. The style someone chooses should be determined based on their goals as a player. If someone wants to be an offensive player with powerful shots, they must realize that they will have to practice more to reach higher levels of play because of consistency problems. However if they put the effort in, it will pay off exceedingly more than just being a pusher where they just need to work on consistency on basic rally balls.

I started off in usta as a 3.0 with too much power for my own good, so I missed alot more shots than I made. I stuck with it and practiced hard, knowing that eventually I would develop control and consistency and ended up playing at the 4.0 level in a fairly short amount of time. I used to lose badly to classic 3.5 pushers. Now I can beat a 3.5 pushers effortlessly by basically blowing them off the court with power. I even beat a 4.0 pusher this year as well using offensive tactics, mainly S&V. My road hopefully will end at 4.5, and I can't help but think the fastest way I will get there is to further improve my ability to dictate play using pressuring shots and being able to construct and end points dependably. I don't see how I would keep improving if I just focused on returning every shot back and waiting for an opponent to make a mistake.

Mansewerz
07-11-2009, 08:55 AM
the tone of ur response is not one of assistance, it's one of anger and frustration. U arent giving this young man ne tips on how to improve his game, ur just telling him it wont work. From ur response, it sounds to me that u were recently beaten by a pusher, and now r taking out ur anger on this thread.

Newho, a earlier poster made a very good point about pushers. Many of u guys consider "pushing" 100% negative, and, like the poster said, if a player on the pro level succeeds with pushing u incorrectly label him a counterpuncher. Higueras was most definently a pusher, as is Gilles Simon today.

Perhaps the most well known "pusher" of all time was... Brad Gilbert. Brad had very ordinary groundstrokes, a very ordinary serves, and extremely ordinary volleys. So... how did he win? He kept the ball in play and outsmarted opponents.

Many of u said u can "easily" beat a pusher. The problem is, not all pushers are on the same level. The "pushers" uve "easily" beaten, probably suck. Im positive there are good pushers at every level of tennis. As a matter of fact, there's a pusher in my high school tennis conference who has achieved a lot of success by doing nothing more than pushing the ball and outsmarting opponents.

So, before u guys bury the man, giv his playing style a chance to succeed. U guys should also remember to encourage the guy, dont discourage him...

The tone of my response is rooted from the smug tone of the OP, my friend.

Brad gilbert was not a pusher. He didn't use a whole lot of pace, and he constructed points.

Steady Eddy
07-11-2009, 09:15 AM
Tennis is so damn competitive that what happens at the top of the game can only be the result of the most effective ways to play the game. If being a pusher (ie. dinker) was an effective strategy, then we would no doubt see them in the pro ranks.
Agreed. If anyone could make millions of dollars a year playing ugly, plenty of people would be willing to do it. I don't mean to suggest that top players change what they do so much as suggest that weekend players might not do well emulating people like Roddick.

I wholeheartedly disagree with you on what weekend players should do. It is proven through obvious results that you can reach all levels of the game with a power game. The style someone chooses should be determined based on their goals as a player. If someone wants to be an offensive player with powerful shots, they must realize that they will have to practice more to reach higher levels of play because of consistency problems. However if they put the effort in, it will pay off exceedingly more than just being a pusher where they just need to work on consistency on basic rally balls.
This part confuses me. 'All levels with a power game?' Power will work for a 3.0 player in his first year of tennis? Maybe sometimes, but that's probably unusual. "They must realize that they will have to practice more...", right, but being a weekend player, where's that practice time going to come from?

But suppose the player learns to hit very hard and still keep it in play 80% of the time? I'd still say that 20% UE rate is way too high. On average, he can only hit 5 consecutive shots in. He'd be better off keeping 98% in, even if it meant taking something off the ball. He might feel that he's letting his opponent off the hook this way, but he'd be surprised at the pressure his opponent would feel, and how many UEs from his opponent he'd be able to rack up.

I started off in usta as a 3.0 with too much power for my own good, so I missed alot more shots than I made. I stuck with it and practiced hard, knowing that eventually I would develop control and consistency and ended up playing at the 4.0 level in a fairly short amount of time. I used to lose badly to classic 3.5 pushers. Now I can beat a 3.5 pushers effortlessly by basically blowing them off the court with power. I even beat a 4.0 pusher this year as well using offensive tactics, mainly S&V. My road hopefully will end at 4.5, and I can't help but think the fastest way I will get there is to further improve my ability to dictate play using pressuring shots and being able to construct and end points dependably. I don't see how I would keep improving if I just focused on returning every shot back and waiting for an opponent to make a mistake.
What you've described is what I'm talking about as well. At 3.0 you hit too hard. Hard practice made the improvement. You don't have to limit yourself to your opponent making a mistake. When you see an opening, take it. But if you can learn to make less mistakes...well, I have a hard time seeing how THAT would hurt your game. One's goal should be to make no UEs in a match. None! Then the only way you can be defeated is for your opponent to hit more winners than errors, and that is very difficult, even at the pro level.

raiden031
07-11-2009, 09:49 AM
This part confuses me. 'All levels with a power game?' Power will work for a 3.0 player in his first year of tennis? Maybe sometimes, but that's probably unusual. "They must realize that they will have to practice more...", right, but being a weekend player, where's that practice time going to come from?


Well in my first year I won half my matches at 3.0 with my power game. So yeah I can say it worked some of the time, but not against the better players at the level.

Really my philosophy is that a player who wants to reach their true potential should strive to develop their shot-making skills to the maximum of their ability, and then let practice, repetition, and experience add the consistency component to it. So instead of practicing just consistency, they should allow that to come naturally. I play the same strategy at 4.0 that I did at 3.0, except for maybe adding a little more variety because I'm more developed on all the shots than I used to be, but my strategy has always been the same. Its basically to try to pressure my opponents into hitting a shot that will set me up for a putaway. If you are content being at a low level, then by all means don't play this type of game, but if you want to keep improving, I think its the best approach to take.

EDIT: Let me rephase this a little. I think there are two main components to determine how good a player is. One is the ability to defend, and second is the ability to attack. All players must learn how to defend, otherwise every shot their opponent hits will result in a error by the receiver or a winner. How good you can defend can take you to a certain level, at which point you must also learn how to attack.

Now how high you go from there is determined by how effective your attacking shots are (basically any shot in which you are not on the defense), and also how consistent they are. Most rec. players have very undeveloped attacking shots but are very consistent. Thats why we see so many pushers at 3.5 and sometimes even 4.0 levels. When you talk about a player trying to reach 4.5, 5.0+, its much easier to add consistency to more developed attacking shots and hence raise your NTRP to a high level, rather than maximize consistency on less developed, less effective shots to raise your NTRP as this would force you to rely way too much on defense. That is why the pushers max out at 3.5-4.0. That is why I think its best to prioritize the development of your attacking shots than to focus too much on consistency at the earlier development stages.

And the reason I think so many players become pushers by neglecting to improve their attacking shots is because they are afraid to hit errors and lose matches, that they know they can win with their more consistent, less effective shots that they already own.

Steady Eddy
07-11-2009, 11:21 AM
And the reason I think so many players become pushers by neglecting to improve their attacking shots is because they are afraid to hit errors and lose matches, that they know they can win with their more consistent, less effective shots that they already own.
I think this is true, and it helps me to focus on the point I want to make. You don't want to get lots of shots in at the expense of hitting little, crappy shots. But you want to keep your consitency level high, even as you expand your arsenal. Your goal should be to keep your UEs under 5 per set. Few enough so that you can recall them afterward. Some players seem to act like placements count +20, but errors only -1, and still grin even after making a string of silly errors. The trick is to focus on EVERY shot, not just some. Because I feel I can focus well mentally, I don't get discouraged playing more athletic players. This kind of concentration is something I see being important even at the highest levels. Willander is an example of a player who was always tought to beat. And I think he's not an icon because he wasn't as gifted an athelete as, say Edberg or Becker. His scrappiness kept him in there against more talented guys. I like pushers because I see them as scrappy. They'll be giant killers sometimes because they're more focused.

boojay
07-11-2009, 01:24 PM
Two prime examples of pushers with success: Nadal & Murray, so to answer the OP's question, yes.

raiden031
07-11-2009, 01:29 PM
I think this is true, and it helps me to focus on the point I want to make. You don't want to get lots of shots in at the expense of hitting little, crappy shots. But you want to keep your consitency level high, even as you expand your arsenal. Your goal should be to keep your UEs under 5 per set. Few enough so that you can recall them afterward. Some players seem to act like placements count +20, but errors only -1, and still grin even after making a string of silly errors. The trick is to focus on EVERY shot, not just some. Because I feel I can focus well mentally, I don't get discouraged playing more athletic players. This kind of concentration is something I see being important even at the highest levels. Willander is an example of a player who was always tought to beat. And I think he's not an icon because he wasn't as gifted an athelete as, say Edberg or Becker. His scrappiness kept him in there against more talented guys. I like pushers because I see them as scrappy. They'll be giant killers sometimes because they're more focused.

I feel like when people try too hard to reduce their UEs, they inadvertently play too tentatively.

(Blank)
07-11-2009, 01:31 PM
Two prime examples of pushers with success: Nadal & Murray, so to answer the OP's question, yes.

But they actually use full strokes. If the OP is bunting the ball back or using half strokes in matches then his development will hit a wall pretty early. If he's as young as others have said he is, it's more important to develop as a player than win with bad strokes. If his technique is fine, then continue on playing the way he is.

boojay
07-11-2009, 01:44 PM
But they actually use full strokes. If the OP is bunting the ball back or using half strokes in matches then his development will hit a wall pretty early. If he's as young as others have said he is, it's more important to develop as a player than win with bad strokes. If his technique is fine, then continue on playing the way he is.

I guess I better elaborate on my description of pushing then. Not using full strokes is just one aspect of pushing, IMO. A pusher is someone who doesn't have the weapons to hurt you (or maybe he does, but chooses not to use them and employs a pusher-style until an opportunity presents itself for him to attack) and simply keeps the ball in play at all costs until the more aggressive player makes the mistake.

Basically, when you play against a pusher, the outcome of the match depends more on your racquet than on theirs. Pushers try to frustrate the more technically sound player by throwing in awkward shots (known as junk balls at the amateur level) when they don't have to. Pushing only works if the other player breaks down, and unless you're a Nadal or Murray who are capable of extending the match long enough so that the other pro player eventual breaks down, the more technically sound player wins.

That said, while I see them as pushers, Murray and Nadal are more than capable of playing the more aggressive game, but if they come against someone who hits bigger than them, they begin to push more in order to frustrate the other player.

Here's some pusher-pusher action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAywQoSaovw It starts off well, but there are some ugly points in this one.

Blake0
07-11-2009, 03:05 PM
That's quite a quote. It goes from asserting that there are no pushers in the pros today, to saying that there aren't any higher than 4.0! Does this mean that anyone past 4.0 is professional? It would be hard to know about all professional players, but it's impossible to know about ALL 4.5s, 5.0s and so on. I think there's a strong case that Bobby Riggs was a pusher, even when he was at the top of his game. Could he compete with todays pros? I don't know. But he would certainly have been able to compete against one of today's 6.0s. So his success proves that pushing goes way past 4.0.

Maybe the reason we see so much power at the higher levels is only because that's what everyone is taught to do, even though it's not proven what tactic is best? Occasionally a defensive player shows up who is very good, and everyone is surprised at how the bigger hitter lost. In the old days of tennis you had: power hitters, retrievers, and 'junk' ballers. There wasn't a consensus on which was the 'right' way. Eventually, power became the conventional wisdom, but if that is what everyone is taught, then it means nothing if that's all we see. I believe that good retrievers can give world class players trouble, and anyone who is a 5.5 or below and thinks that their pace works in their favor, is deluding themselves. Weekend players should only strive for more consistency. They don't understand how truly inconsistent they are and their grasp for power only makes them less consistent. Their infrequent winners play no significant role in their matches, but it does make them feel good about how they play, and falsely leads them to assume that they approach the pros in their skills. Read McEnroe's autobiography. He says that in the juniors all that matters in consistency, McEnroe didn't develop his aggressive style until shortly before he became a pro. Until your skills become extraordinary, going for lots of winners makes you worse, not better.

First off ...read what a pusher is in that thread..

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=58284

better yet here's the whole thing.

"6 - Pusher tennis players win by relying nearly exclusively on their opponent's unforced errors. They block, bunt or poke the ball with the goal of “just getting it back.” Pushers aim for just beyond the T in their opponent’s back court. This target gives them the largest margin for error.

They give you no power, no pace, no depth or placement. They just "get it back.” The strokes of the Pusher are never full and flowing. They have little ability to employ topspin. Any “passing shots” the Pusher hits are hardly intentional. (But they never act surprised when a shot of theirs becomes unreturnable.)

Pushers have unshakable psyches. Mind games and insults about their lack of “real” tennis ability have no effect on them. (They tell anyone in the Club about the times they beat the local High School “hero” in straight sets.) Pushers are completely aware that tennis competitors are not scored on “style”. They care only about the “W / L column.” Pushers are content with the fact that they will never be at the top of the 4.0 ladder; they know most Club payers don’t advance beyond 3.5 ... and since they are in the upper third of the 3.5 ladder, they are content.

Pushers are some of the friendliest and most outgoing members of the Club. They are always willing to help fill-in to complete your doubles court (which usually elicits groans from the other two players on your court).

There are no pushers in the pro ranks. None. The Pusher tops out at the 4.0 level.

Believe-it-or-not, I distinguish two types of Pushers....

6 a. - Soft-Ballers, as Pushers, have excellent court sense. They never seem to be out of position. Your efforts at blasting winners come floating back to land just beyond your service line. This Soft-Baller may be athletic from success in another sport, such as basketball, football or baseball. They may not have pretty strokes, but they know where to position themselves to give you the least likely angles of success. When you are begrudgingly shaking hands with them after they’ve embarrassed you again, you usually notice they are hardly even sweating ... which only “adds insult to injury.”

6 b. - Retrievers, as Pushers, move around the court like water bugs, getting to your best “winners” and floating them back again. Their foot speed is remarkable and they seem never to tire. Your frustration at not being able to hit winners against the Pusher Retriever only seems to refill their tank” for more.

They even have the temerity to smile throughout this match which is ripping your guts out. You try hitting even bigger winners -- or “wiping that smile off their face” with your display of power -- and they *love* this in you. They delight in watching your mind disintegrate as your very best shots just keep on coming back.

Back in the Clubhouse, they really “twist the knife” by offering to buy the beer with that SAME SICKENINGLY PLEASANT SMILE ON THEIR ROTTEN FACE!!! The Pusher Retriever makes you seriously think about taking up some other sport from which you will gain more fulfillment. Something like ... catching javelins for the Track Club. Sheesh!!!

-kk"

So yeah you must be referring to a soft baller or retriever or counter puncher when you said that pro's can play against 6.0's pushing.

StuckInMalibu
07-11-2009, 03:08 PM
So yeah you must be referring to a soft baller or retriever or counter puncher when you said that pro's can play against 6.0's pushing.

We should all make a tennis dictionary on this website. That will save a lot of time and reduce confusion.

Steady Eddy
07-11-2009, 03:15 PM
I feel like when people try too hard to reduce their UEs, they inadvertently play too tentatively.
Life is cruel that way, isn't it? The ball doesn't go in by wanting it in too badly. That backfires. I especially see this on 2nd serves. A serve tapped so softly that it doesn't even make it over the net.

If overhitting means hitting losers does underhitting mean consistency? I think that taking a little off it helps alot, but then further reductions do little and might even hurt your percentage. It's not about hitting slow, slow, slow. It's about having good enough concentration to play near your best on every shot, in every point. When Federer played Roddick, whoever dropped serve would lose. Lose your concentration for a little while and you're out. No way to come back. Sometimes a pusher is just a guy with bad strokes but good concentration. He beats the guy with the better strokes because the "better" player is so likely to make the first mistake because his mind wanders. It sucks, but that's tennis. :)

GuyClinch
07-11-2009, 03:30 PM
Two prime examples of pushers with success: Nadal & Murray, so to answer the OP's question, yes.

Uggh. These guys hit harder then anyone on this board. Like i said if you redefine pusher to be percentage player nearly all the pro players are pushers.

Then that term serves no purpose. It's just synomous with a defensive player. The whole point of calling someone a pusher is to point out that they win using a defensive style AND hit with incomplete half/quarter PUSHES. They DINK AND DUNK.

Being a DEFENSIVE PLAYER doesn't make you a pusher. Its the PUSHING that makes a pusher! I wish I could hit like Murray. But I can't - so I often end up pushing. Pros hitting with full complete strokes are not pushers. And could a pro out push some pretty good players - sure. But people with that kind of ability and footwork QUICKLY develop real strokes so it never happens.

Like I said I do believe a professional basketball player (PG), Football CB, or boxer would be really good pushers. But with their superior footwork and athleticism they would quickly develop weapons (at the 4.0 level) and they would no longer be a pusher.

GuyClinch
07-11-2009, 03:38 PM
Really my philosophy is that a player who wants to reach their true potential should strive to develop their shot-making skills to the maximum of their ability, and then let practice, repetition, and experience add the consistency component to it. So instead of practicing just consistency, they should allow that to come naturally. I play the same strategy at 4.0 that I did at 3.0, except for maybe adding a little more variety because I'm more developed on all the shots than I used to be, but my strategy has always been the same. Its basically to try to pressure my opponents into hitting a shot that will set me up for a putaway. If you are content being at a low level, then by all means don't play this type of game, but if you want to keep improving, I think its the best approach to take.

I tend to agree. Maybe a pro here on the board disagrees. But I think if you want to learn to hit hard you need to try to hit the ball hard. Its not going to come after you get really consistent and magically you will start having hard strokes.

This is why pushing is a dead end for your game. I have to say though from personal experience its REALLY hard to break that habit..

Pete

rk_sports
07-11-2009, 03:49 PM
Sometimes .. 2 words 'Brad Gilbert'

ubermeyer
07-11-2009, 04:07 PM
I think he rates the competitors based on how hard they hit the ball, not by how good they actually are. So if he beats a hard hitter, then it feels good because he beat a 4.5, but if he beats a pusher like himself, then its not as good because he beat another 3.0.

Wow, this is definitely not how I rate them. I rate them based on how good they are. I know that people who hit very hard are not necessarily the best players. In fact these 4.5's don't smash every ball, because that is mindless and they would not win as much as they do. They are also consistent, but can rip the ball if needed, and do not "push" like me. I beat one, but lost to one. I actually get the most satisfaction out of beating other pushers, because good pushers are some of the hardest players for me to beat.

There's no way a pusher can go higher then 4.0's. That's there maxed out limit in my book atleast.

quote from this thread.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=58284

"There are no pushers in the pro ranks. None. The Pusher tops out at the 4.0 level."

I'd just like to remind you of one pusher that is undefeated, in countless matches... He is NTRP 8.0 despite the fact that the rating system only goes up to 7, he has never given up a set, indeed never even lost a point.

Who is this legend? The WALL! You see, not even Federer can beat the wall. When you play tennis with the wall it always wins.

So, by emulating the most successful tennis player ever- a solid mass of brick- wouldn't people do better in matches? well that's my theory, and that's why I became a pusher

10nistennis
07-11-2009, 04:37 PM
I'd just like to remind you of one pusher that is undefeated, in countless matches... He is NTRP 8.0 despite the fact that the rating system only goes up to 7, he has never given up a set, indeed never even lost a point.

Who is this legend? The WALL! You see, not even Federer can beat the wall. When you play tennis with the wall it always wins.

So, by emulating the most successful tennis player ever- a solid mass of brick- wouldn't people do better in matches? well that's my theory, and that's why I became a pusher


Except for the fact that you, my friend, are not made out of brick, and unlike you, the wall has no stamina, no brain.

herosol
07-11-2009, 04:41 PM
all i know is that. no matter whether if a player is good or not.

everyone hates someone who changes up the pace of their shots.

everyone loves short balls, but not everyone likes really short balls.

everyone loves sitters, but not everyone likes really high sitters.


i guess i am a pusher. not because i dink. because i push people to make better and better shots. if they can :D

raiden031
07-11-2009, 05:01 PM
Wow, this is definitely not how I rate them. I rate them based on how good they are. I know that people who hit very hard are not necessarily the best players. In fact these 4.5's don't smash every ball, because that is mindless and they would not win as much as they do. They are also consistent, but can rip the ball if needed, and do not "push" like me. I beat one, but lost to one. I actually get the most satisfaction out of beating other pushers, because good pushers are some of the hardest players for me to beat.


It just didn't make sense to me that you rated yourself as a 3.0, and then said you beat some 4.5s. That would never happen if those were your true ratings. A 4.5 would beat a 3.0 with no effort whatsoever.


I'd just like to remind you of one pusher that is undefeated, in countless matches... He is NTRP 8.0 despite the fact that the rating system only goes up to 7, he has never given up a set, indeed never even lost a point.

Who is this legend? The WALL! You see, not even Federer can beat the wall. When you play tennis with the wall it always wins.

So, by emulating the most successful tennis player ever- a solid mass of brick- wouldn't people do better in matches? well that's my theory, and that's why I became a pusher

Nonsense. If you wanted to beat the wall, you would just hit around it and it would never move. The wall is a cooperative partner, not a competitive partner.

ubermeyer
07-11-2009, 05:27 PM
If you hit around the wall, that would be out.

raiden031
07-11-2009, 05:34 PM
If you hit around the wall, that would be out.

Some courts have a wall that is much smaller than the actual court size. So you could hit off to the side and it will hit the chain-link fence instead of the wall and not land in your court after the bounce. Its still within the court dimensions and you beat the wall. Anyways the whole argument that the wall never loses is flawed because you don't compete with the wall.

boojay
07-11-2009, 08:00 PM
I'm not the only one who thinks Murray's a pusher:

http://www.murraysworld.com/news/article/14246/

Steady Eddy
07-11-2009, 08:15 PM
I'm not the only one who thinks Murray's a pusher:

http://www.murraysworld.com/news/article/14246/
Good article.

"You can get through the juniors just being a pusher, a retriever getting balls back.

I call it negative tennis and that's not going to win you Slams."
So you can dominate the juniors by pushing and even get to the semi-finals of Wimbledon by pushing? Yet someone said that a pusher can't beat a 4.0 player? I rest my case.

ubermeyer
07-11-2009, 09:07 PM
Some courts have a wall that is much smaller than the actual court size. So you could hit off to the side and it will hit the chain-link fence instead of the wall and not land in your court after the bounce. Its still within the court dimensions and you beat the wall. Anyways the whole argument that the wall never loses is flawed because you don't compete with the wall.

Well those walls are posers, they don't deserve the name "wall"

Are you saying that you don't always play to win? that's not a good mentality, man. I always play to win. Yet I have never beaten the wall :cry:

Mick
07-11-2009, 09:38 PM
i once played with this pusher. his name was "pong", just like roddick's opponent in the tv commercial. i thought what a cool name, it fits his style of play too :)

GPG
07-11-2009, 10:17 PM
A friend of mine is a complete pusher, he only passes slow and soft balls. He actually made me play until I won 6-3, 6-4 on wednesday (and unluckly for me, we played doubles today and his skills were gone, we lost thanks to his excesives UE)

raiden031
07-12-2009, 03:51 AM
Good article.

"You can get through the juniors just being a pusher, a retriever getting balls back.

I call it negative tennis and that's not going to win you Slams."
So you can dominate the juniors by pushing and even get to the semi-finals of Wimbledon by pushing? Yet someone said that a pusher can't beat a 4.0 player? I rest my case.

Well they can take the word 'pusher' away from us recreational players, but we still own the word, 'dinker'. There are no dinkers above 4.0! Is that better? :mrgreen:

Steady Eddy
07-12-2009, 06:25 AM
Well they can take the word 'pusher' away from us recreational players, but we still own the word, 'dinker'. There are no dinkers above 4.0! Is that better? :mrgreen:
Yeah. Don't be a dinker, you'll never get to 4.0.

raiden031
07-12-2009, 08:10 AM
Yeah. Don't be a dinker, you'll never get to 4.0.

I played a 4.0 dinker. He was moved up from 3.5 after last year's season. He was the only guy I beat at 4.0 this year. I think this is the type of player most on the board refer to when they say pushers don't go above 4.0.