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SuperDuy
11-24-2009, 04:44 PM
Always wondered this. Never quite sure what people are talking about when they refer to them.

LeeD
11-24-2009, 04:55 PM
To me, anyone at any level who is just trying to get the ball back, not hit with winning or forcing shots to WIN THE POINT!
Rather, they choose to NOT LOSE the point, and hopefully, the opponent makes a MISTAKE, so they end up winning the point by basically... default.
There is a huge difference between playing WINNING tennis with shots over winning matches thru attrition of the mind or body.

Nadalfan89
11-24-2009, 05:14 PM
Someone who hits the ball without the intention of hitting a winner, forcing an error or setting up a point. They win by grinding down their opponent.

It's all fine and dandy until the pusher realizes that they aren't progressing their game at all by playing this style of tennis and the people that they're currently beating, will eventually be able to easily beat them.

SuperDuy
11-24-2009, 05:17 PM
I have played many of those in ping pong, its like you hit anything and they get it all. I hate players like that, they just keep the ball in play.

Nadalfan89
11-24-2009, 05:19 PM
I have played many of those in ping pong, its like you hit anything and they get it all. I hate players like that, they just keep the ball in play.

There's a lot of animosity towards pushers in the tennis world because of that reason.

LeeD
11-24-2009, 05:24 PM
Animosity?
HaroldSolomon and EddyDibbs were total pushers, both friends of mine.
AndyMurray is total pusher when receiving serve.
Nadal pure pusher! But the best pusher.
FernandoGonzalez with the big forehaned is a pusher.
DavidFerrer too.
Nalbandian.
All great players!

LuckyR
11-24-2009, 05:25 PM
Always wondered this. Never quite sure what people are talking about when they refer to them.

It is a derogatory term used to define players that the user of the term feels they are "better" than, yet lose to.

CallOfBooty
11-24-2009, 05:53 PM
it depends at which level. at the 3.5 level, it would probably be someone who just lobs, moonballs, dinks, slices, basically just gets the ball back in play no matter what. they don't have good form or follow through. their topspin backhand and forehand is non existent and they choose to either lob, tap the ball back with a really open racket face, or slice the ball. they can get to everything and the only reason they are at the level they are at is because of their fitness and agility, and it really annoys the hell out of people who can't beat them.

now when we look at the pro level, everyone has sound strokes and great form. the pushers are the ones who can't hit winners, and must rely on their opponents errors to win. now some refer to nadal and murray as pushers because they usually have low unforced errors or winners compared to the other player, which means all they do is get the ball back into play and let their opponent dictate the play, giving most of the errors and winners to their opponents. they seldom hit winners unless needed to like a passing shot or a nice lob, or off a really easy sitter which can be killed easily

GuyClinch
11-24-2009, 06:10 PM
FWIW - (and with all due respect to Brad Gilbert and some other commenators) pusher is not really a useful term in describing pros..

Here is why ...

Every SINGLE pro - Federer, Del Porto, Verdasco - any of the "big hitters" will play defensive tennis (hit a good "rally ball" back) if they receive a good forcing shot.

This is why Federer has been in some very long rally's. For example his famous rally with Hewitt. Hewitt was simply NOT giving him any balls he could 'do anything' with.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9tZhQi8aDcg

That's a 45 shot rally. The thing is neither Federer or Hewitt felt comfortable 'going for' much of those very solid early rally balls to start the point.

The vast majority of pro tennis rallys work like that. So to call one guy a 'pusher' while the other guy is not given that term is a bit foolish.

The major difference is that SOME players 'shot tolerance' is different. Some pro players have little patience and seek to go on offense earlier then others. But such distinctions are arbitrary can can change from match to match or even point to point.

If you call Nadal a "pusher" then every single pro on the tour is a pusher. Because every single pro plays defensive tennis and then switches to offense when they get a ball they think they can do something with. Yes Murray Nadal you name it. You will see plenty of winners hit by these guys when they are given the right ball.

So if Nadal is a pusher so is Federer etc etc. Thus the term loses all real meaning.

Pete

LeeD
11-24-2009, 06:19 PM
Of course, every pro player chooses to PUSH at times, to stay in the point.
The difference is that aggressive hitters choose to START the point with a forcing shot or winner, while the pushers choose to start the point by probing for weaknesses.
I like to end all points within 3-6 shots. Doesn't mean I don't play 20 shot rallys! Circumstances dictate action, and if you can't figure that out, you don't play tennis.
I've played entire MATCHES just pushing the ball around with conti grips. Pure pushing, YES!
But by choice, I'd hit to end the point within 3 shots any day.
So am I a pusher?
Of course, YES at times, but mostly, more art form aggressive hitter.
This world, and this subject, is not black or white, rather, it's shades of gray and in between. Believe it.

Mick
11-24-2009, 07:25 PM
to me, a pusher is a player whose strategy is to return all the shots and wait for his opponent to make the unforced errors.

if his opponent doesn't make many unforced errors then the pusher will have a problem.

Ronaldo
11-24-2009, 07:31 PM
to me, a pusher is a player whose strategy is to return all the shots and wait for his opponent to make the unforced errors.

if his opponent doesn't make many unforced errors then the pusher will have a problem.

Yes, plan Z when all else fails, get the ball back by any means necessary. You are hanging on to a razor's edge, best not slip.

imalil2gangsta4u
11-24-2009, 08:07 PM
Someone who hits the ball without the intention of hitting a winner, forcing an error or setting up a point. They win by grinding down their opponent.

It's all fine and dandy until the pusher realizes that they aren't progressing their game at all by playing this style of tennis and the people that they're currently beating, will eventually be able to easily beat them.

Good description

5263
11-24-2009, 08:13 PM
It is a derogatory term used to define players that the user of the term feels they are "better" than, yet lose to.

This is the best one i've seen.

Blake0
11-24-2009, 09:47 PM
Might i refer you to the first thread, second or third post, on this page..

Basically someone who just taps the ball over just trying to get it in. Some people call pro's who play a defensive game just hitting the ball in as their game plan pushers too.

GuyClinch
11-24-2009, 10:28 PM
The difference is that aggressive hitters choose to START the point with a forcing shot or winner, while the pushers choose to start the point by probing for weaknesses.

Well we can agree to disagree. All pros play the same style - they hit wait for weaker shots (while try to hit good solid rally balls) and then try to hit winners off of them. The fact that some pros wait for weaker shots then others - and some wait longer then others (and this varies from point to point and matchup to matchup) doesn't really make one set of pros "pushers."

Gilbert should be ashamed of himself for pushing such a ridiculous designation. Whereas a pro players switches effortlessly from defense to offense. The rec hack only plays defense against players who have no offensive game! Its not really the same style - not mentally and of course not physically..

Pete

Ripper014
11-24-2009, 11:01 PM
I have been thinking this over... and I have friends that I have always considered pushers... but I am beginning to rethink this. The reason..? Well most of us when serving will use it as a first strike weapon... and in doing so we will press the issue until it is no longer in our favour at which point we may have to play some defensive tennis until we can again take advantage of a mistake.

My pusher friends play pretty much the same... though their serves are not outright weapons... they will still press the attack when an opportunity exists.

My new definition of a pusher is going to be a person that passes up an obvious opportunity to go to the offensive and just puts the ball back in play.

Players like Murray and the like are more counterpunchers than pushers... and that would include Harold Solomon and Eddie Dibbs as well... when given the opportunity they will attack if the percentages are in their favour. A pusher I believe will pass that opportunity up... because their game is to wear you down mentally and physically. Given my new definition... there are no pushers in the pro game.

[d]ragon
11-24-2009, 11:02 PM
This is a good definition. Thanks to Kaptain Karl

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.

Note the red/bolded/italicized. Some people need to seriously read this thread and get their facts straight: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=58284

DO NO CONFUSE PUSHER WITH OTHER TYPES OF PLAYERS THAT RELY ON CONSISTENCY. Pushers rely on 2 things. First is of course their ability to just get the ball back into play. Second, and more importantly I feel, is that they take advantage of their opponents lack of solid fundamentals. Their opponents miss these easy shots because they they don't have the high enough game to hit forcing shots (winners, aggressive approaches, ect). The key here is that the pusher lets their opponents miss.
They don't exist beyond the 4.0 level because at the higher levels, players are good enough to capitalize on weak shots. They have the footwork to get to a short floating ball quickly to set up properly and the strokes to execute an agressive putaway or approach.
A classic example of a pusher winning a point is by hit a high shot that lands in the middle of the court and his opponent hitting it out or into the net because they're fundaments in stroke mechanics and footwork are still flawed. That or they hit an approach and get lobbed repeatedly, making them miss overheads or have to run back to get them. How often do you see pro's miss slow balls that land short? How often do you see pros miss overheads? Rarely ever. Pro's and high level players have no problem being able to be aggressive with short floating shots.

I'm sick of people saying Murray and Nadal are pushers. THEY ARE NOT PUSHERS FOR PETE'S SAKE. Just because they are quick and and consistent doesn't make them pushers. They don't just "let" they're opponents miss, they force it. Forcing your opponent to miss doesn't always come with power and aggression.
I would say Nadal mostly a "machine baseliner." He hits with alot of spin and moves his opponents around the court to tire them out. The large amount of spin he puts on the balls pins them behind the baseline and he can break down their strokes by repeatedly hitting to one wing causing them to miss. He hits fairly aggressive shots but they are consistent because of the spin he gets on them.

Murray is rather difficult to classify because he hits with alot of variety. Nowadays, hee is mostly a retriever baseliner and soft baller. He can also play as a counter puncher, hitting high percentage shots, waiting for an attackable shot, and hitting agressively. When he's on fire, Murray can be very agressive. Alot of people say he is a pusher because he doesn't hit with alot of pace and plays a high percentage game but what he also does is plays with alot of variety. His shots aren't always the same. He varies the placement, spin, and power on his shots to destroy other players rhythms causing them to mess up. He forces his opponents errors in a very subtle way.

Both players are good at retrieving shots and hit high percentage shots, but they still force errors on their opponents in their own ways. Both also like to hit winners, something pushers rarely do.

[d]ragon
11-24-2009, 11:12 PM
My new definition of a pusher is going to be a person that passes up an obvious opportunity to go to the offensive and just puts the ball back in play.

Players like Murray and the like are more counterpunchers than pushers... and that would include Harold Solomon and Eddie Dibbs as well... when given the opportunity they will attack if the percentages are in their favour. A pusher I believe will pass that opportunity up... because their game is to wear you down mentally and physically. Given my new definition... there are no pushers in the pro game.

Good reasoning. That should be added to KK's definition. Pushers don't capitalize on weak shots. Pushers are lower end players who don't have the strokes to hit aggressively. In fact, most pushers have rather ugly/flawed mechanics and block, chip, poke the ball back and because they're stroke (if that's what you want to call it) is so simple, they can do it repeatly without missing.

cl76
11-25-2009, 12:57 AM
While I agree 100% with what you have said about pushers being ugly, dinky low level club players, I also wonder if KK's definitiion should be taken as the one and only definition.

KenC
11-25-2009, 01:54 AM
There are two types of pushers. Those that play tennis regularly without any real skill yet succeed in hitting almost every ball back and into an uncomfortable place for his opponent to deal with. Then there are the pushers that deal drugs to school children. One should just be shot on spot and the other put in prison for life to satisfy the man-desires of the other inmates. You guys choose which pusher gets which fate!

Cody
11-25-2009, 01:56 AM
There are two types of pushers. Those that play tennis regularly without any real skill yet succeed in hitting almost every ball back and into an uncomfortable place for his opponent to deal with. Then there are the pushers that deal drugs to school children. One should just be shot on spot and the other put in prison for life to satisfy the man-desires of the other inmates. You guys choose which pusher gets which fate!

Can't we do both. :twisted:

Shot on the spot, then sent to prison to satisfy the inmates.

GuyClinch
11-25-2009, 06:54 AM
KK's is the correct definition IMHO. However people like Gilbert and others have started to substitute the word pusher for counterpuncher - because its both more "exciting" and more "understandable" by fans. Its also a terrible use of the word.

LeeD
11-25-2009, 08:20 AM
You guys who play below 4.0 think pushers exist only there.
NOPE !
Pushers exist up to and including 7.0.
Gilbert knows more than you and me. He was the epitome of the 7.0 pusher! One of the best, can vary the shots for sure, can hit winners for sure. But winners to him is like a normal groundie to YOU. No effort.
Instead, he liked to toy with his opponents, rather than put them away.
MiraslovMecir right there in skill, temperament and outlook.
But both 7.0 pushers.
Playing someone they can knock off the court, they would choose instead to punish that person with well placed shots just to watch them run until they fall down. No killer instinct, but rather like cat and mouse.
They choose to punish rather than kill.

iamke55
11-25-2009, 08:26 AM
A pusher is basically someone who is extremely good at tennis and wins all the time.

LeeD
11-25-2009, 08:28 AM
A good pusher doesn't WIN at tennis! NOPE, they let their opponents LOSE.

[d]ragon
11-25-2009, 10:47 AM
You guys who play below 4.0 think pushers exist only there.
NOPE !
Pushers exist up to and including 7.0.
Gilbert knows more than you and me. He was the epitome of the 7.0 pusher! One of the best, can vary the shots for sure, can hit winners for sure. But winners to him is like a normal groundie to YOU. No effort.
Instead, he liked to toy with his opponents, rather than put them away.
MiraslovMecir right there in skill, temperament and outlook.
But both 7.0 pushers.
Playing someone they can knock off the court, they would choose instead to punish that person with well placed shots just to watch them run until they fall down. No killer instinct, but rather like cat and mouse.
They choose to punish rather than kill.

What you are describing is NOT a pusher. Pusher don't place the ball anywhere. They just get it back into the court. A pusher isn't someone who runs people around on the court.

KK's definitions aren't the alpha and omega but they do provide a very good description. And also remember that players can be a blend of different style.

[d]ragon
11-25-2009, 10:49 AM
A pusher is basically someone who is extremely good at tennis and wins all the time.

Pushers aren't very good players in the sense they can't be very high ranked and they don't typically have the best mechanics. However, they are still better than the players they can beat.

A good pusher doesn't WIN at tennis! NOPE, they let their opponents LOSE.

I'll agree with this part

Ripper014
11-25-2009, 11:17 AM
You guys who play below 4.0 think pushers exist only there.
NOPE !
Pushers exist up to and including 7.0.
Gilbert knows more than you and me. He was the epitome of the 7.0 pusher! One of the best, can vary the shots for sure, can hit winners for sure. But winners to him is like a normal groundie to YOU. No effort.
Instead, he liked to toy with his opponents, rather than put them away.
MiraslovMecir right there in skill, temperament and outlook.
But both 7.0 pushers.
Playing someone they can knock off the court, they would choose instead to punish that person with well placed shots just to watch them run until they fall down. No killer instinct, but rather like cat and mouse.
They choose to punish rather than kill.



IMHO there are no Professional Pushers... I have never seen a Professional Player pass up an opportunity to win a point when given the opportunity... not even Brad Gilbert. He would give his opponent every opportunity to choke... but given the chance to win a point he would take it.

These players like the title suggests are PROFESSIONALS they are not going to give their opponent the upper hand by letting them dictate play. If you are going to push the ball back... eventually you are going to make a mistake and the PROFESSIONAL will make you pay. When you play tennis the game is always in transition... you are either in a neutral position were you are sparring for position... once you get a little angle or a short ball, you transition to offense your opponent to defense. Any time a professional player transitions to offense he/she is going to win the majority of the points. Even Murray... is a counterpuncher... he is hitting balls looking for the opportunity to win the point, he does not just hit the ball back waiting for you to miss (the pros are too good for that).

At the pro level I don't believe you can push and wait your opponent out, you are trying to maintain a neutral situation... but eventually you will make a mistake... and at that point the percentages switch to the offensive player.

I do however believe there are some very good pushers out there... that can compete at some high levels... They can have good strokes... and they do have the ability to hit the ball where they want. Being a pusher is a state of mind... not the ability of the player.

In another thread I made a statement I stand by... as your level of skill increases your offensive skills become effective than your defensive skills. What I am saying is... players at 3.0 are better defensively than offensively (less putaways and more balls being returned). The higher the level... the better the players are better at ending the point.

So in my humble opinion... being a pusher is a state of mind... not a skill set.

LeeD
11-25-2009, 11:57 AM
Right, it's a state of mind!
If it was skill set, then you'd not have 7.0 pushers.
In reality, VERY 7.0 pushes at times, but what separates them from pure pushers is their FIRST shots. The little topspinners probe and test, while the hard hitters just go for a forcing shot first ball.
To Fed, Ferrer is a pusher. Ferrer is top 10 in most anyone's book.

HunterST
11-25-2009, 12:10 PM
Saying guys like Nadal and Murray are pushers is nuts. They obviously are great defensive players, but you don't beat guys like Federer, Roddick, Del Potro and others by simply getting the ball back in play.

Having great defense does not make you a pusher.

A pusher is someone who has poor mechanics, little pace and/or spin, and bad strategy and knowledge of court geometry. They simply chase down balls and tap them over, hoping their opponent will miss.

Ripper014
11-25-2009, 12:18 PM
A pusher is someone who has poor mechanics, little pace and/or spin, and bad strategy and knowledge of court geometry.

They simply chase down balls and tap them over, hoping their opponent will miss.

You can do this with good mechanics with spin, pace, good strategy and with a good sense of court geometry. In fact these players benefit best knowing court geometry.

HunterST
11-25-2009, 12:22 PM
You can do this with good mechanics with spin, pace, good strategy and with a good sense of court geometry. In fact these players benefit best knowing court geometry.

Yeah, but my point is, once you can do that you're no longer a pusher.

Someone who can chase down tough balls, hit them with good pace and spin, and has good strategy and court geometry isn't a pusher, they're a damn good player. That style of tennis is just as impressive and requires just as much talent as being an offensive baseliner.

jazzyfunkybluesy
11-25-2009, 12:23 PM
Defensive players?

fuzz nation
11-27-2009, 10:16 AM
Defensive players?

Yeah, the same thing was occurring to me. Example: Should someone like Chris Evert go down in history as a pro pusher?

The thing with a more typical amateur pusher is that they're okay players, but they don't give opponents anything much to take advantage of. To win points in those matches, you need to survive the psych test of having to hit twice as many balls or maybe crash the net a whole lot more often.

With the pros, I have a lot more respect for guys like Nadal and Ferrer with their sick retrieving skills that can keep them in points until they can get the advantage. While they don't serve up marshmallows like a 3.5 pusher might, they effectively shrink the margins that their opponents can use to hit winners through. Rafa's defense forces guys like Roger to hit three or four of his best shots in a row to win a point instead of only one or two. That's discouraging in a different way than having to deal with the constant helping of soft stuff from the 3.5's I think.

LeeD
11-27-2009, 10:25 AM
Once again, you guys are showing your poor tennis skills.
You relate everything (in this case, pushers) to players of YOUR level.
Pushing is getting the ball back any way, not taking intiative, not trying to hit winners, not playing offensive tennis. Whether YOU can or not is not the point.
The opposite of pushing is the Safin style, always going for broke (unless bored or disinterested), always going for first strike, first forcing ball, hitting WINNERS tennis.
Ferrer and Nadal serve up plenty of puffballs, not to us, but to Fed and Safin. The question is, can Fed/Safin take advantage of those puff balls?

Mick
11-27-2009, 10:57 AM
Once again, you guys are showing your poor tennis skills.
You relate everything (in this case, pushers) to players of YOUR level.
Pushing is getting the ball back any way, not taking intiative, not trying to hit winners, not playing offensive tennis. Whether YOU can or not is not the point.
The opposite of pushing is the Safin style, always going for broke (unless bored or disinterested), always going for first strike, first forcing ball, hitting WINNERS tennis.
Ferrer and Nadal serve up plenty of puffballs, not to us, but to Fed and Safin. The question is, can Fed/Safin take advantage of those puff balls?

here are the world-class pushers :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZZMuXBr_Hk

[d]ragon
11-27-2009, 11:04 AM
Once again, you guys are showing your poor tennis skills.
You relate everything (in this case, pushers) to players of YOUR level.
Pushing is getting the ball back any way, not taking intiative, not trying to hit winners, not playing offensive tennis. Whether YOU can or not is not the point.
The opposite of pushing is the Safin style, always going for broke (unless bored or disinterested), always going for first strike, first forcing ball, hitting WINNERS tennis.
Ferrer and Nadal serve up plenty of puffballs, not to us, but to Fed and Safin. The question is, can Fed/Safin take advantage of those puff balls?

What's this got to do with our skills?
I think your confusing pushing with rally shots.
Yes a push is getting the ball back in any way but it's not the same as not taking the initiative/offensive/hitting a winner. Pros don't go on the offensive all the time because they'd lose. Even Safin (or Gonzales, a very offensive) don't try to hit winners on every shot. They hit several neutral shots before going for the offensive. These neutral shots can of course be taken advantage on but they are no means puffballs even amongst pros; they are not weak easy shots. Rallying shots have placement, pace, and or pace on them; pushes have nothing.

A playing style is determined by how the player plays consistently. A pushing is a playing style which puffballs are used consistently. Sure if you want to call rally shots "pushes" (on relative terms), then lots of pros "push". But the problem with saying that (other than the fact these "pushes" are not true pushes) is that no pro hits them consistently, over and over again hence it is not a playing style amongst pros. Pros will capitalize on weak shots. Plus hitting so called weak shot after weak shot then capitalizing on an opponents weak shot is called counter punching. But even then, these "weak" shots are not weak (maybe at the lower levels but at higher levels, these shots tend to be high percentage shots that can't be easily taken advantage of).

I suppose you could call a retriever a type of player who pushes the ball back when chasing after winners but the regular shots that player hits will not be pushes.

LeeD
11-27-2009, 11:04 AM
Beautiful to watch, the two best in the day, one rightie, one goof. Vilas was my hero, until I spent some time hitting 1HBH's like he did. I could do it really well, my arm gave out within 40 strokes. I HAD to hit 10 to win a point.
So Korda became my next idol. Simplyer strokes, much more winners, basic KISS tennis. He lasted what? 4 years?
And Agassi/Connors, even thos they had no serve and loved to hit groundies, were NOT pushers, as they always tried to WIN the point by moving you till you dropped, starting with the FIRST shot.

LeeD
11-27-2009, 11:07 AM
Shots alone don't make a pusher or hitter.
It's the philosophy of the mental game of the player that determines pusher or hitter. EVERYONE pushes at times, but when choice given, the pusher still pushes with topspin or slice, while the hitter tries to force the action.
At 4.5 levels and above, hard topspin could be all a pusher could hit. Still a pusher!
We are not what we are because of our physical state, we are what we are due to our MENTAL mind.

LeeD
11-27-2009, 11:09 AM
..and an impala runs fast, can eat tough shrubbery, can jump high, but it's still a DEFENSIVE animal.
A lion can run fast, can eat some tough veggies, can even jump some, but it's an OFFENSIVE animal.
The impala would be the pusher!

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-27-2009, 11:35 AM
Always wondered this. Never quite sure what people are talking about when they refer to them.

You're bloody kidding me right? REALLY NOW?!

You don't even need to do a bloody search on this, because IT'S STICKIED ON THE TOP OF THE BLOODY FORUM PAGE!

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.)

LeeD
11-27-2009, 11:41 AM
Kaptain Karl never got beat by HaroldSolomon, MirislavMecir, BradGilbert, or Barrasetchi.
BELIEVE it. When you are 7.0 level, you will find MANY pushers at that level.

Ripper014
11-27-2009, 11:46 AM
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.)
- KK


IMHO this does not give the pusher the credit they deserve... I still deem that it is a state of mind (strategy), and that some pushers do have flowing strokes... my personal opinion is that their game plan is not to beat themselves... like in the movie ANTZ it was "be the ball" I am sure they say to themselves... "BE A WALL"...

I still believe they can make shots... relatively deep into corners... making high precentage shots that do not put them at risk. So in that way they do have a skilled game... I do not believe they just aim for the T and do nothing.

But maybe we can get a recovering pusher to chime in and and get his thoughts on this.

[d]ragon
11-27-2009, 11:47 AM
Shots alone don't make a pusher or hitter.
It's the philosophy of the mental game of the player that determines pusher or hitter. EVERYONE pushes at times, but when choice given, the pusher still pushes with topspin or slice, while the hitter tries to force the action.
At 4.5 levels and above, hard topspin could be all a pusher could hit. Still a pusher!
We are not what we are because of our physical state, we are what we are due to our MENTAL mind.

It's not all about mentalities. Playing styles are determined by both mentality and shot selection. A push is a type of shot: slow, not alot of spin or pace, typically not deep or near the lines. A pusher is a playing style with a definsive mindset (mentality) and consistently employs weak shots (shot selection)
Every pro/high level player will force action against all weak shots hence there are no pushers because no pro consistently tries hits weak shots.
But its not all about offense vs. defense because you are forgetting about neutral.You are calling any shot not hit offensively a push. Totally not true. Topspin and slice shots are not weak, they are neutral. They are used as rallying shots to set up the point.

..and an impala runs fast, can eat tough shrubbery, can jump high, but it's still a DEFENSIVE animal.
A lion can run fast, can eat some tough veggies, can even jump some, but it's an OFFENSIVE animal.
The impala would be the pusher!

Again you are dividing everything into offensive or defensive. Plus you cannot compare tennis to animals because tennis is so much more complex.

Ripper014
11-27-2009, 11:47 AM
Kaptain Karl never got beat by HaroldSolomon, MirislavMecir, BradGilbert, or Barrasetchi.
BELIEVE it. When you are 7.0 level, you will find MANY pushers at that level.

Lest I say it again... these are not pushers...

Ripper014
11-27-2009, 11:51 AM
..and an impala runs fast, can eat tough shrubbery, can jump high, but it's still a DEFENSIVE animal.
A lion can run fast, can eat some tough veggies, can even jump some, but it's an OFFENSIVE animal.
The impala would be the pusher!

These are different animals... one eats plants and one eats red meat... so yes one of these two animals would be in danger of being eaten... and he would be the one on the defensive... while the other being the aggressor and likes to eat red meat would be the one on the offensive... but what is your point?

LeeD
11-27-2009, 11:52 AM
SURE THEY ARE !
TO you, and against you, they are not pushers.
Harold and EddyDibbs TOLD me they were pushers! TO MY FACE, while other's were listening in. PUSHERS!
And I already considered them as pushers, even thos they would not push when they played ME, but run me off the court double zips.

fed_the_savior
11-27-2009, 11:59 AM
SURE THEY ARE !
TO you, and against you, they are not pushers.
Harold and EddyDibbs TOLD me they were pushers! TO MY FACE, while other's were listening in. PUSHERS!
And I already considered them as pushers, even thos they would not push when they played ME, but run me off the court double zips.

Pardon the interruption, but why don't you put a space between a person's first and last name? :confused:

[d]ragon
11-27-2009, 12:00 PM
IMHO this does not give the pusher the credit they deserve... I still deem that it is a state of mind (strategy), and that some pushers do have flowing strokes... my personal opinion is that their game plan is not to beat themselves... like in the movie ANTZ it was "be the ball" I am sure they say to themselves... "BE A WALL"...

But maybe we can get a recovering pusher to chime in and and get his thoughts on this.

I will agree with you that pushers do employ a "be a wall mentality" and plan on not beating themselves. However, other playing styles employ this mentality as well such. The other part of the equation is what shots they use. Soft ballers, machine baseliners, and pushers (to name a few) all adopt that mentality but where they differ is the shots they hit to achieve it. A soft baller will get alot of balls back but will redirect them with placement. A machine would get alot of balls back but with spin and pace (but still do so consistently). A pusher would just get the ball back with little spin, pace, or placement.

BTW, ANTZ is such an old movie ahah. You're the first person I've seen actually mention it.

[d]ragon
11-27-2009, 12:03 PM
SURE THEY ARE !
TO you, and against you, they are not pushers.
Harold and EddyDibbs TOLD me they were pushers! TO MY FACE, while other's were listening in. PUSHERS!
And I already considered them as pushers, even thos they would not push when they played ME, but run me off the court double zips.

Perhaps they don't know the true definition of a pusher. Just because they are good players doesn't mean they know everything about the game (I know a nationally ranked player that doesn't know what racquet she uses other than its a Yonex).

Ripper014
11-27-2009, 12:18 PM
Pardon the interruption, but why don't you put a space between a person's first and last name? :confused:

He forgot to put Harold's last name in all together... but maybe he has reached first name status... unlike Eddie.

mtommer
11-27-2009, 01:05 PM
ragon;4151184']A pusher is a playing style with a defensive mindset (mentality) and consistently employs weak shots (shot selection)


It can be. I would wager that most low level "pushers" are pushers because they can't actually play any other way. But who knows for sure.

Anyway, I do agree pushing can be offensive when it's done strategically. I do think there's a difference between pushing and being a pusher though. A pusher is someone who always pushes, they have nothing else. However, sometimes someone who pushes has already demonstrated they can be/are an aggresive player as a matter of course. They aren't a pusher, just pushing.

[d]ragon
11-27-2009, 01:10 PM
It can be. I would wager that most low level "pushers" are pushers because they can't actually play any other way. But who knows for sure.

Anyway, I do agree pushing can be offensive when it's done strategically. I do think there's a difference between pushing and being a pusher though. A pusher is someone who always pushes, they have nothing else. However, sometimes someone who pushes has already demonstrated they can be/are an aggresive player as a matter of course. They aren't a pusher, just pushing.

Of course. A player can be a blend of different styles or just choose to play a certain way on a certain day, definitely a good strategy to mix things up and keep your opponent from getting comfy. Perhaps though what they do the majority of the time is what determines their style.

Mick
11-29-2009, 10:32 AM
whoa, according to wikipedia, caroline wozniacki is a pusher.

Playing Style
Many tennis fans and commentators consider Wozniacki a pusher although she can be aggressive when the time comes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_Wozniacki

GuyClinch
11-30-2009, 04:19 AM
I was just watching the so called pusher Murray rip winners the other day on TV at the ATP championship round robin event..

It's just a crappy use of a word that meant for rec player that Gilbert started. Counterpuncher is a much better description for the male pros.

Pete

LeeD
11-30-2009, 07:40 AM
The weakest pusher in the pro level can crack winners off weak balls. Remember, they are 7.0's pusher or hitter, SEVEN POINT OH'S!
And against us, they could play like SAFIN, just crush us off the court if they choose so.....
But against equal competition, they turn meek and mild, and just probe and repost, waiting for the OTHER guy to make the first move. That is PUSHER!

GuyClinch
11-30-2009, 10:00 AM
The weakest pusher in the pro level can crack winners off weak balls

Then the word "pusher" has no meaning for a pro level. They all crack winners. They all hit neutral balls and rally balls.

r2473
11-30-2009, 10:22 AM
THE PUSHER

From the 1968 release "Steppenwolf"
Steppenwolf Cover


Words and music by Hoyt Axton

You know I've smoked a lot of grass
O' Lord, I've popped a lot of pills
But I never touched nothin'
That my spirit could kill
You know, I've seen a lot of people walkin' 'round
With tombstones in their eyes
But the pusher don't care
Ah, if you live or if you die

God damn, The Pusher
God damn, I say The Pusher
I said God damn, God damn The Pusher man

You know the dealer, the dealer is a man
With the love grass in his hand
Oh but the pusher is a monster
Good God, he's not a natural man
The dealer for a nickel
Lord, will sell you lots of sweet dreams
Ah, but the pusher ruin your body
Lord, he'll leave your, he'll leave your mind to scream

God damn, The Pusher
God damn, God damn the Pusher
I said God damn, God, God damn The Pusher man

Well, now if I were the president of this land
You know, I'd declare total war on The Pusher man
I'd cut him if he stands, and I'd shoot him if he'd run
Yes I'd kill him with my Bible and my razor and my gun

God damn The Pusher
Gad damn The Pusher
I said God damn, God damn The Pusher man

LeeD
11-30-2009, 10:35 AM
We are what we are because we choose to be...
Physical is not who we are, mental is... the choice, not the means...
We can choose to be vegan, vegetarian, meat eaters, Askins, or whatever, but it's our CHOICE that defines us.
If we choose to push, we're pushers.
If we choose to force the issues, we're not pushers
It's not the ability, but the CHOICE.

jazzyfunkybluesy
11-30-2009, 10:43 AM
A pusher is a massive tool.

Ripper014
11-30-2009, 10:52 AM
We are what we are because we choose to be...
Physical is not who we are, mental is... the choice, not the means...
We can choose to be vegan, vegetarian, meat eaters, Askins, or whatever, but it's our CHOICE that defines us.
If we choose to push, we're pushers.
If we choose to force the issues, we're not pushers
It's not the ability, but the CHOICE.

Pros are not pushers... when provided the opportunity they will not pass it up...they will force the issue and win the point.

As mentioned earlier in the thread... pushers will pass up obvious and all offensive opportunities and continue to push.

r2473
11-30-2009, 11:47 AM
We are what we are because we choose to be...
Physical is not who we are, mental is... the choice, not the means...
We can choose to be vegan, vegetarian, meat eaters, Askins, or whatever, but it's our CHOICE that defines us.
If we choose to push, we're pushers.
If we choose to force the issues, we're not pushers
It's not the ability, but the CHOICE.

That's very existentialist!

Ripper014
11-30-2009, 12:19 PM
That's very existentialist!

Now that is hysterical... and perhaps valid point. But can you say that here without being banned..?

Mick
11-30-2009, 12:39 PM
i remember someone at espn2 asked brad gilbert if he was offended when people called him a pusher. gilbert said no but he said he did not like it when they said he wasn't athletic :)

come to think about it, you've got to be athletic to be a successful pusher, esp. at the higher levels.

rk_sports
11-30-2009, 02:03 PM
THE PUSHER

From the 1968 release "Steppenwolf"
Steppenwolf Cover


Words and music by Hoyt Axton

You know I've smoked a lot of grass
O' Lord, I've popped a lot of pills
But I never touched nothin'
That my spirit could kill
You know, I've seen a lot of people walkin' 'round
With tombstones in their eyes
But the pusher don't care
Ah, if you live or if you die

God damn, The Pusher
God damn, I say The Pusher
I said God damn, God damn The Pusher man

You know the dealer, the dealer is a man
With the love grass in his hand
Oh but the pusher is a monster
Good God, he's not a natural man
The dealer for a nickel
Lord, will sell you lots of sweet dreams
Ah, but the pusher ruin your body
Lord, he'll leave your, he'll leave your mind to scream

God damn, The Pusher
God damn, God damn the Pusher
I said God damn, God, God damn The Pusher man

Well, now if I were the president of this land
You know, I'd declare total war on The Pusher man
I'd cut him if he stands, and I'd shoot him if he'd run
Yes I'd kill him with my Bible and my razor and my gun

God damn The Pusher
Gad damn The Pusher
I said God damn, God damn The Pusher man

LOL!!! now thats a complete tangential deviation I did not expect to see in the middle of such a absorbing discussion ;)
But looking at these lyrics, it seems like whoeover wrote it hated pushers :twisted:

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-30-2009, 03:01 PM
whoa, according to wikipedia, caroline wozniacki is a pusher.

Playing Style
Many tennis fans and commentators consider Wozniacki a pusher although she can be aggressive when the time comes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_Wozniacki

Wikipedia is user submitted... Bet LeeD modified it to call her a pusher. :wink:

LeeD... You still don't understand the idea of relativity and how it DOESN'T apply to things like offensive, defensive, pushers, and so on...

A low level pusher compared to a lower level pusher does not make him the aggressor all of a sudden... It just makes him the more consistent pusher.

And for those of you who don't agree with Kaptain Karl's interpretation of a pusher, look at the thread and read his descriptions for other types of players. They don't 100% fall in line with mine, but overall he's got it all pretty well covered.

Counterpunchers are essentially the "high level pushers" who can actually do something with the ball.

Also, Harold Solomon lived in a time when you're either a "pusher", a "ball banger", or a net rusher. People weren't able to do as many things with the ball as they can do now, so now things are more thoroughly defined. Harold Solomon called himself a pusher because society broke everything down to 3 categories, and you had to fit in one of them; so since he didn't hit that hard, he was labeled a pusher.

LeeD
11-30-2009, 03:08 PM
Actually, I"ve never even seen Caroline play on TV, vid, or live.
Oudin is a pusher.
Lots of European short hotties were pushers, in women's 7.0 levels.
William's are not pushers, nor Shara, or Hunt. They go for angles and forcing shots first ball.

Mick
11-30-2009, 05:20 PM
Actually, I"ve never even seen Caroline play on TV, vid, or live.
Oudin is a pusher.
Lots of European short hotties were pushers, in women's 7.0 levels.
William's are not pushers, nor Shara, or Hunt. They go for angles and forcing shots first ball.

I think wikipedia has it wrong, Wozniacki is a "super" pusher :)
see below:

2009 US Open Semifinal (Wozniacki vs Oudin)

Match Facts
- Wozniacki won 69 points, 43 of which ended on unforced errors by Oudin.
- Wozniacki hit just five winners in the match. Oudin hit 11.
_________________

"She plays incredible defense," said Oudin. "She makes me hit a thousand balls and is a really great player. I don't know what else I could have done. I could have been more consistent and been more patient, but she really made me think out there and made me have to hit a winner on her to win the point."

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/match_reports/2009-09-09/200909091252546687859.html

Ripper014
11-30-2009, 05:28 PM
Wikipedia is user submitted... Bet LeeD modified it to call her a pusher. :wink:

LeeD... You still don't understand the idea of relativity and how it DOESN'T apply to things like offensive, defensive, pushers, and so on...

A low level pusher compared to a lower level pusher does not make him the aggressor all of a sudden... It just makes him the more consistent pusher.

And for those of you who don't agree with Kaptain Karl's interpretation of a pusher, look at the thread and read his descriptions for other types of players. They don't 100% fall in line with mine, but overall he's got it all pretty well covered.

Counterpunchers are essentially the "high level pushers" who can actually do something with the ball.

Also, Harold Solomon lived in a time when you're either a "pusher", a "ball banger", or a net rusher. People weren't able to do as many things with the ball as they can do now, so now things are more thoroughly defined.

Though I agree in general with your statement... I don't agree with the bolded portion of it, players back then I think could do just as much if not more. During the golden years the equipment allowed for more creativity... compared to the more one dimensional power game of today.


Harold Solomon called himself a pusher because society broke everything down to 3 categories, and you had to fit in one of them; so since he didn't hit that hard, he was labeled a pusher.

Now this comment I can fully support, I don't know if there were only 3 categories but definitely fewer than those defined now.

There are no professional pushers.... maybe if I say it enough I can win!

[d]ragon
11-30-2009, 05:49 PM
There are no professional pushers.... maybe if I say it enough I can win!

I gave up on trying. Some people are just stubborn :)

Mick
11-30-2009, 07:57 PM
ragon;4162241']I gave up on trying. Some people are just stubborn :)

it goes to show that pushing wins in debates too :)

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-30-2009, 11:10 PM
I think wikipedia has it wrong, Wozniacki is a "super" pusher :)
see below:

2009 US Open Semifinal (Wozniacki vs Oudin)

Match Facts
- Wozniacki won 69 points, 43 of which ended on unforced errors by Oudin.
- Wozniacki hit just five winners in the match. Oudin hit 11.
_________________

"She plays incredible defense," said Oudin. "She makes me hit a thousand balls and is a really great player. I don't know what else I could have done. I could have been more consistent and been more patient, but she really made me think out there and made me have to hit a winner on her to win the point."

http://www.usopen.org/en_US/news/match_reports/2009-09-09/200909091252546687859.html

Damn! So... 43 unforced errors from Oudin, 5 winners from Wozniacki, and 21 forced errors from Oudin... O.o What was her unforced error count?

Perhaps Oudin was just playing poorly? Haha. What was the average and longest rally length? If average tops 20 and longest topped 40, then we have what could possibly be the closest to a legitimate professional pusher! Though I still stick by the label of counterpuncher, just throwing balls back deep crosscourt and absorbing pace.

Though I agree in general with your statement... I don't agree with the bolded portion of it, players back then I think could do just as much if not more. During the golden years the equipment allowed for more creativity... compared to the more one dimensional power game of today.




Now this comment I can fully support, I don't know if there were only 3 categories but definitely fewer than those defined now.

There are no professional pushers.... maybe if I say it enough I can win!

Well, players owned a greater variety of shots on average, true, but still there were court surface specialists and certain things can really only be done with a graphite. Graphite rackets have added tremendous amounts of power to today's game, and these polyester strings add tremendous amounts of control and spin. Overall, back then you can get away with hitting flat and just throwing the ball crosscourt. Now, you need pace on the ball, whether it be domestically made or a foreign donation.

As for there being 3 categories, this is an example of how people could do much more with graphites nowadays than with wood. We have around 6 clearly defined categories (based on Kaptain Karl's interpretations, so I'd say a few more could be added and maybe a few categories could be merged together) that have a few subcategories to each. Back then, you're pretty much one of the 3 because you couldn't really do much else with a wood racket. It wasn't until Borg (then later graphites) came around that we had a wider range of consistent baseliner categories.

it goes to show that pushing wins in debates too :)

You have no idea! I believe there are a few US Government debates that were won on the idea of pure "pushing". Eventually, they added new rules to prevent this so people could go on with their lives.

As for LeeD's stupid "Theory of Pusher Relativity" (I assume that's what he'll call it), if we follow those rules, then Federer is frequently a pusher in his matches; especially in matches with big aggressive hitters like Roddick and Safin. Against Roddick, you'll regularly see Federer slice a backhand. Does this make him a pusher? According to LeeD's "Theory of Pusher Relativity", yes. According to basic logic, no - he's just playing the junkballer role to control Roddick's/Safin's court positioning as well as preventing him any pace to use. Also, this would make Nadal and Borg two of the biggest pushers in the history of the game.

Now, it's funny how these 3 aforementioned "pushers" have nearly the biggest forehands of their time. Federer's is widely considered to have the best forehand of all time, and Nadal is considered to have the second best. Borg in his time hit an insanely hard, fast, and heavy forehand.

I guess pushers can hit winners from anywhere on the court now eh? They're just too dumb to do it or what?

Oh, I guess this also makes Sampras a pusher against Agassi, seeing as he just pushes those volleys into the court and pushes those groundstrokes back deep from the baseline while Agassi dictates play... Guess Agassi lost his matches to Sampras because he got frustrated with Sampras' pushing, right?

LeeD must be the best pushing debater the world has ever seen! :shock: He can't throw up sh*t for an argument, but he settles for hanging in there and repeating the same stuff over and over again as if it really helps his argument...

[d]ragon
11-30-2009, 11:21 PM
it goes to show that pushing wins in debates too :)

Darn those pushers. Beating me in tennis, now this! :lol:

RafaBrain
11-30-2009, 11:32 PM
...
..

imo, A pusher is a person who uses (calculated?) shots to push (run) you around the court.

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-30-2009, 11:35 PM
...
..

imo, A pusher is a person who uses (calculated?) shots to push (run) you around the court.

That's not even close to a pusher.

Mick
12-01-2009, 02:27 AM
What was the average and longest rally length? If average tops 20 and longest topped 40, then we have what could possibly be the closest to a legitimate professional pusher! Though I still stick by the label of counterpuncher, just throwing balls back deep crosscourt and absorbing pace

I could not find the statistics on the rallies but i think she could return 100 hits easily if her opponent did not go for a winner.

watch this video and you'll see why :shock:

wozniacki vs 2 male pro coaches
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZhSnRK6Orw

mawashi
12-01-2009, 03:05 AM
Let's see if according to this board, a player is a pusher if:

A. You lose because you make more uf errors then the other guy.
B. They can keep a rally longer than you.
C. They hit unorthodox shots.

Sheeze if those're the lame ***** excuses as to why you lost... you suck!

Someone bring back Fabrice Santoro.

mawashi

TommyGNR
12-01-2009, 11:24 AM
If Carolina Wozniacki is a pusher then 95% of the people on this board are pushers or people who should be playing as one. For that matter so was Borg(who said "if two opponents play the baseline game properly there should be no winners - only errors).
Maybe its easier to describe what DISQUALIFIES a player as a pusher:

Hits with topspin - aint a pusher
Hits heavy slice - aint a pusher
Hits passing shots - aint a pusher
Able to place shots into corners - aint a pusher.

If you can do any of the above you aint a pusher - you might be a softballer, machine baseliner, counter puncher, or spinmeister, but you aint a pusher.

Bud
12-01-2009, 11:36 AM
I could not find the statistics on the rallies but i think she could return 100 hits easily if her opponent did not go for a winner.

watch this video and you'll see why :shock:

wozniacki vs 2 male pro coaches
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZhSnRK6Orw

That's impressive by Wozniacki to keep 2 balls going like that... placing them back to their origin.

TommyGNR
12-01-2009, 12:27 PM
That's impressive by Wozniacki to keep 2 balls going like that... placing them back to their origin.

Man I would love to be able to "push" balls like that. I could beat every club player in Westchester County.

Mick
12-01-2009, 01:02 PM
Man I would love to be able to "push" balls like that. I could beat every club player in Westchester County.

i think mary joe fernandez has it right, she calls caroline wozniacki "a wall" :)