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jon166
06-13-2005, 10:22 AM
Today I played a pusher in my second match. This was so frustrating. Let me add, it was VERY VERY Windy. The balls would go out so much. The whole match I lost to him mentally. I would scream mentally and drop f-bombs there and here. I never said it directly to him though, because that would be mean.

Anyways, i would hit it to him, but then he would lob consistantly, and I have trouble with such high bouncing balls. His serve was a poke, just to get it in the box. Jesus, I could usually blast serves and I can ace very many people at this rec center but what surprised me was that I was dragged down to his serve. I started poking my serves in as well. Why does this happen?

I was clearly the inferior player here, I was mentally weak, and I couldn't concentrate on any game plan. All my strokes became like his, and I just dinked it back to him. I wasn't playing normally why is this?

I was so scared of the wind, and I was so frustrated at his strokes, I just could dink it back. I'm so ashamed..

kevhen
06-13-2005, 10:27 AM
Yeah I played the same way this weekend and lost in the second round thanks to the wind making it hard to serve. I played two pushers and am mostly a pusher myself. The guys in the 4.0 final were basically pushers too (most of these guys had good serves though) who would have like 10 and 20 ball rallies and just wore each other out in the heat and sun.

The Open players playing for $1000 were still hitting the crap out of the ball though with heavy topspin and were changing directions on balls that I would never dream of.

fishuuuuu
06-13-2005, 10:28 AM
It happens because you get scared. It used to happen to me. Playing a counter-puncher is the hardest thing in the world. Take time and be patient, outplay the counter-puncher. It will take long... trust me ... I myslef am an amateur counter-puncher ... takes me about 2 1/2 hours to break down another one.

Thanatos
06-13-2005, 11:09 AM
Today I played a pusher in my second match. This was so frustrating. Let me add, it was VERY VERY Windy. The balls would go out so much. The whole match I lost to him mentally. I would scream mentally and drop f-bombs there and here. I never said it directly to him though, because that would be mean.

Anyways, i would hit it to him, but then he would lob consistantly, and I have trouble with such high bouncing balls. His serve was a poke, just to get it in the box. Jesus, I could usually blast serves and I can ace very many people at this rec center but what surprised me was that I was dragged down to his serve. I started poking my serves in as well. Why does this happen?

I was clearly the inferior player here, I was mentally weak, and I couldn't concentrate on any game plan. All my strokes became like his, and I just dinked it back to him. I wasn't playing normally why is this?

I was so scared of the wind, and I was so frustrated at his strokes, I just could dink it back. I'm so ashamed..


Don't despair...I happens to the best of us.

Kobble
06-13-2005, 11:19 AM
You likely start dinking because you feel your normal game is overkill for such a weak hitting opponent. However, the truth usually is that your normal shots are not safe or consistent enough to overcome his lack of errors. So, in response, you have to make your average shot as safe as your opponents without losing power. This is what I have done to beat pushers, I built up the topspin on my groundstrokes, and purchased a racquet that fits right into the game plan. Additionally, I commited myself to more topspin on my second serve and just forced myself to never dink. You have to get past the dink stage, because it is just a bad servers way of avoiding double faults. You want the pusher to realize that your game is a step above his, and will never come down a notch.

TheGreatBernie
06-13-2005, 11:49 AM
You likely start dinking because you feel your normal game is overkill for such a weak hitting opponent. However, the truth usually is that your normal shots are not safe or consistent enough to overcome his lack of errors. So, in response, you have to make your average shot as safe as your opponents without losing power...

I agree with Kobble. That's exactly how it was in my case before. I simply did not have enough consistency on my normal 80% shot and began getting frustrated. It was most frustrating to see that all my opponent did was literally push the ball back into the court and just kept it in play.

I think in the long run you'll benefit more from developing your technique. The pusher will always be a pusher and not elevate his game too much, while you are working on developing top spin and a variety of shots. It just takes time.

"Keep ya head up"
-Tupac

Marius_Hancu
06-13-2005, 11:54 AM
nothing new,
might want to check:

How do you beat a pusher?
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=22802

Got creamed by a pusher - sigh
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=27921

playing a pusher
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=27157

How to beat a pusher, with a strong back hand
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=47204

pusher vs. counter-puncher
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=49139

krnboijunsung
06-13-2005, 12:17 PM
If you're not normally a pusher, you're probably never going to win against a pusher by playing the way your opponent is. THE BEST WAY TO BEAT A PUSHER is playing strongly at net. If you don't have a net game, you're going to have a real tough time. If you play net, there will be times when shots go past you, but when you get the opportunity your hitting in half the time it takes than taking a shot from the baseline. This screws with the pusher's mind because now he's scared of his placement.

Bungalo Bill
06-13-2005, 01:33 PM
Today I played a pusher in my second match. This was so frustrating. Let me add, it was VERY VERY Windy. The balls would go out so much. The whole match I lost to him mentally. I would scream mentally and drop f-bombs there and here. I never said it directly to him though, because that would be mean.

Anyways, i would hit it to him, but then he would lob consistantly, and I have trouble with such high bouncing balls. His serve was a poke, just to get it in the box. Jesus, I could usually blast serves and I can ace very many people at this rec center but what surprised me was that I was dragged down to his serve. I started poking my serves in as well. Why does this happen?

I was clearly the inferior player here, I was mentally weak, and I couldn't concentrate on any game plan. All my strokes became like his, and I just dinked it back to him. I wasn't playing normally why is this?

I was so scared of the wind, and I was so frustrated at his strokes, I just could dink it back. I'm so ashamed..

Nothing to be ashamed about. Part of playing tennis. This style of player will test you in these ways:

1. Footwork

2. Footspeed

3. Consistency

4. Patience

5. Placement

6. Net game

7. Setting up your shot and not blowing the point when you got control

Pushers are great to play against for these reasons. They help you reevaluate your approach to tennis and your practices.

They help you evaluate whether you are in shape, are practicing your court drills as well as you strokes, improving your ability to sustain a rally, and your ability to keep the ball in play and move it around at will.

All of us have been there and at each of our levels we all have our problems. Welcome to the club! Also, notice I did not say a pusher will test you to see if you have enough power. ;)

Aron_Grey05
06-13-2005, 02:18 PM
Like everyone says it happens to the best of us. I agree that you have to play strongly at the net but also your mental game needs to stay at its peek i dont care who your playing a 5.0 player or a pusher your head needs to be there. I play college tennis and ive been in alot of tight matches were ive lost my head and ended up losing to a person i should of never lost to but you need to look past these matches and look towards the next and how you can counter this kind of play

Meat
06-13-2005, 02:25 PM
Nothing to be ashamed about. Part of playing tennis. This style of player will test you in these ways:

1. Footwork

2. Footspeed

3. Consistency

4. Patience

5. Placement

6. Net game

7. Setting up your shot and not blowing the point when you got control

Pushers are great to play against for these reasons. They help you reevaluate your approach to tennis and your practices.

They help you evaluate whether you are in shape, are practicing your court drills as well as you strokes, improving your ability to sustain a rally, and your ability to keep the ball in play and move it around at will.

All of us have been there and at each of our levels we all have our problems. Welcome to the club! Also, notice I did not say a pusher will test you to see if you have enough power. ;)


Exactly. I'm sort of a pusher, at least it's what people call me. I'm going to test people on EVERYTHING.

Can they run? Do they suck at the net, can they handle the lobs on the backhand side? How do they respond to body shots? What about moonballs?

Are they wrongfooted easily? All kinds of things.

I dunno on having problems with pushers, I sort of started out as one before developing my style of play. So I've never had problems running around and pushing balls back, let alone play someone with them.

There are a MILLION threads though and articles, ALL over the net. Everywhere. Google it, search this forum, whatever.

badmice1
06-13-2005, 03:56 PM
Man! Pushers are a pain-in-the-arse. I'm a 4.0/4.5 player and I played a pusher last wkend, got myself too worked up with frustration and lost.

Anyways. My revelation last week to beat a pusher is a combination of 1.) S/V (don't dink, but hit a solid serve, like a 2nd serve), and 2.) hit inside the baseline, with a ton of spin, which gives you opportunities to come into the net.

I can't really counter-punch a "counter-puncher" or have a consistant rally (I should). However, if you're shotmaker who like to make things happen, those 2 methods should give you immediate results.

FedererUberAlles
06-13-2005, 04:13 PM
I try to throw my racquet before the match and impale them. I'm 1 for 2 so far. ;P

Bungalo Bill
06-13-2005, 04:14 PM
Exactly. I'm sort of a pusher, at least it's what people call me. I'm going to test people on EVERYTHING.

Can they run? Do they suck at the net, can they handle the lobs on the backhand side? How do they respond to body shots? What about moonballs?

Are they wrongfooted easily? All kinds of things.

I dunno on having problems with pushers, I sort of started out as one before developing my style of play. So I've never had problems running around and pushing balls back, let alone play someone with them.

There are a MILLION threads though and articles, ALL over the net. Everywhere. Google it, search this forum, whatever.

You can push your way to several tournament victories up until you start to meet solid 4.5 and up players. The pusher starts doing a disappearing act at the 5.0 level.

The errors players make are a lot less and they know how to move the ball around and take advantage and punish the short soft ball.

Meat
06-13-2005, 04:20 PM
Did I phrase it wrong? Sorry about that, excsue me for my language. I'm adopted into a family of english teachers, which is a plus. But English is not my first language.

You CAN push until you reach the 4.5s or so. I generally pushed almost exclusively until I started meeting a couple 4.0 players. Then I decided to improve.

I don't give soft floaters, I set up uncomfortable situations. Deep, spinny balls and whatever. I never blast balls though, which is why many think I'm a "pusher".

It's hard to get unforced errors. That's when you take out the "un".

Gary Britt
06-13-2005, 04:25 PM
Pushers don't kill you. They lure you into committing suicide. The whole time your losing, you are saying to yourself, "I should be killing this guy".

We've all been there. Bungalo Bill is right, one you are good enough to consistently overpower a pusher, then they lose 6-0 to you. Trying to overpower them and beating them at net, etc. is easier said than done for most. That's exactly how they get you to commit suicide. You realize what needs to be done to beat them, but can't keep from making too many unforced errors trying to kill the ball past their defense.

Gary Britt

Redflea
06-20-2005, 01:37 PM
Did this a month or two ago as well...lost in 2 sets to a weak pusher. His first serve was pretty easy to return, but did have some pace & spin. Second serve was a very high-bouncing "plink" lob-serve that drove me nuts, he had a lob backhand (literally, every backhand was a high floater), and a strange slice forehand w/no pace. Stayed back unless forced to the net. Every time I came to the net (and I tried to come a lot) he lobbed me, and that was the one shot he was very proficient in...even when out of position due to my approach he still came up with some very good lobs.

I self-destructed mentally and got to the point where I was so frustrated & distracted that I was double-faulting away my own serve...one of the most painful matches I've ever played, and a really good reminder that so much of this game is in the head. A buddy told me that he even took a close set off the #1 seed in the next round before the #1 settled down and beat him handily in the next two sets.

Ahhh...feels good to talk about it. And always glad to hear I'm not the only one...

krnboijunsung
06-20-2005, 02:19 PM
Pushers are good people to rally with. You should find someone who's a pusher to practice with so you get used to play against them types.

Gary Britt
06-20-2005, 02:37 PM
he had a lob backhand (literally, every backhand was a high floater), and a strange slice forehand w/no pace.

I used to play regularly against a friend who was our team captain and had a similar style. He used a forehand grip to hit his backhand, and every backhand was a lob. But if you hit a strong approach to that backhand, he would throw up a brilliant lob on the run with the wrong (forehand) grip.

His forehand was this ultra chop backspin/slice that he hit from an open stance. Difficult to read until he hit the ball whether he was going cross-court, inside-out, or down the line. It was a wicked ball with so much fast back spin on it that it really took a while to get used to hitting it either in the air or after a bounce. He could drive it with that wicked backspin on a straight line at medium pace, and with that forehand he could hit beautiful back spin lobs that had eyes for the baseline.

His serve was hit with a frying pan grip and a downward striking action that gave his serve the same kind of backspin that his chop forehand had.

He would drive one nuts trying to play him in singles.

Gary Britt

Redflea
06-20-2005, 08:35 PM
Gary...this guy must have been his son/cousin... :-)

It was a great learning experience (I should say re-learning experience) that will help me in the long run, but I was not so philosophical at the time.

I had a match w/my team the next day and played very well, so at least the whole weekend wasn't a loss. I also discovered that I had used the "wrong" racquet in the pusher match...I had set aside one of my racquets because I didn't like the strings/tension in it, and somewhere along the line got confused and put it back into my bag. So I played w/the wrong strings, tension, and attitude.... :-)

Gary Britt
06-20-2005, 08:46 PM
Gary...this guy must have been his son/cousin... :-)


I feel for you then!!

Single most important asset to beat such a pusher. Be in great physical condition so you don't have to over hit because you are getting tired.

I wouldn't know from personal experience because I've never been really fit in my entire tennis life.

Gary Britt

newracketagain??
06-21-2005, 07:27 PM
why not ??

Gary Britt
06-21-2005, 07:44 PM
why not ??

I had a 10 year window in my life when I was pretty fit. Unfortunately during that period I was a diver on the swimming team and then working full-time during the day while I went to college full-time at night. By the time I started playing tennis about 15 years later, I was a bit overweight and definitely not in good physical condition.

Gary Britt

panatta
06-22-2005, 04:52 AM
Another good way to play against pushers is to do a step inside the court. When you hit your forehand or backhand, a second before the pusher hits the ball, do 2-3 steps towards the net. You don't have to run.. simply step inside the court.
At 99% the pusher will play a weak stroke. If the ball is high enough over the net, you can enter the court with another one - two steps and play an easy midfield volley.
If the ball he hits is not so high or is crosscourt or you think it's hard to get on it to play a volley, 2-3 steps back and play a baseline stroke and wait for another suitable weak stroke of the pusher to play at the net or at midfield.
You will not get tired and you'll win a lot of easy points..

Gary Britt
06-22-2005, 06:45 AM
Another good way to play against pushers

another one - two steps and play an easy midfield volley.


Sounds workable. If you hit the midfield volley do you come in so the pusher can lob over you, or just retreat back a couple steps again?

Gary Britt

TheGreatBernie
06-22-2005, 09:44 AM
Single most important asset to beat such a pusher. Be in great physical condition so you don't have to over hit because you are getting tired.

I agree. Yesterday I played a counter-puncher and found myself hitting on the run a lot against this one. And it got tiring. I couldn't seem to consistently hit clean winners from the baseline using power because he would just block it back low and at fairly good angles. I found that trying to end points earlier than I normally would led to me getting tired, so I decided to slow things down and counter-punch myself. It worked wonders.

Placement turned out to be the key and overpowering this guy wasn't going to help. Although I lost this match, I learned a lot.

cervelo
06-22-2005, 10:10 AM
One thing I've noticed in my experience about playing pushers is the common personality of the player. Generally conservative but very calculated- and very well versed in the mental/emotional side of tennis.

The ultimate goal of the pusher personality is simple: they must set the stage for you to beat yourself- this effort is oftentimes made shortly after the match begins. Whether pushers intend it or not, they design ways to frustrate people. They want to annoy you by their mannerisms, they tick you off with the way they make their calls, the tone of their prematch discussions- who they beat or lost to last week, the delay between points, etc. In my opinion, the best pushers are sports psychologists who's best weapon is between their ears.

One way to combat their effort is to use a little gamesmanship and dictate the mental side. Put aside your frustrations and get inside their head where you can do the most damage! Hit a winner and celebrate it- make sure they see it! So you went for a sitter ball and missed - tell 'em that you got your miss out of the way and Christmas is over. If they're going to the well by dinking a half-slice to your backhand, let 'em hear that you're on to their gameplan. Make 'em wait to serve- sometimes I'll actually smile a little while returning a pusher's serve- especially a second serve.

Tennis is a mental game and gamesmanship, however distasteful, is a weapon that can get you through a "quality" pusher.

Camilio Pascual
06-22-2005, 12:18 PM
I'm so ashamed..

FINALLY! Somebody with the brains and courage to acknowledge that they might not be better than the pusher that just beat them. You have no cause to be ashamed.

What IS shameful is Cervalo's proposal to break the rules by not allowing the server to serve at his own pace, then call a pig a princess by calling his cheating "gamesmanship." That is truly pathetic.

Shame on you, Cervalo, beat a better playing by improving yourself, not by resorting to being a cheat. You degrade the sport.

cervelo
06-22-2005, 01:04 PM
Camilio:

"Better" is for Nobel Peace Prize winners or regaining health after an illness ... "Winning" is about competing and is about playing your cards right. What I propose is gamesmanship, plain and simple - check the Code and get back to me. As a competitor, I believe that you should employ all LEGAL strategies or risk selling yourself short in the outcome.

A quick note to your "serving rule" reference, the server has the right to serve at his own pace but is to give the returner a reasonable time to prepare to return serve. I'm not advocating breaking the rules- rarely enough does a returner allow himself a reasonable time when rushed by a server- especially by a pusher who seeks to dictate the rhythm of a match.

To be clear, I'm suggesting that a pusher's personality is about catering to the mental side of winning and there are several ways the game can be played. If you don't use every aspect of your game that the rules allow for, including gamesmanship to test the mental side of your opponent, you're not using all the tools at your disposal. The mental deprogramming of a pusher is a weapon- you're annoyed with me because you don't see it as "proper etiquette." Go to a Qualie tournament and see the intensity of minor league tennis- you'll understand the interplay of etiquette and competition and see first-hand what I'm suggesting.

I'm certainly not advocating that any player ever show blatant disrespect to another player- there's no room for fistfights on my courts either. I make comments to myself, but within earshot of the opponent. That's the skill of gamesmanship- knowing when or how to push/pull your opponent's heartstrings without breaking the Code.

In any case, I'm saying, "Here's a concept (unlike the others suggested) and how it works for me, get inside your opponent's pressure system and see the turn-around." There's no violations for "benign commentary" between points during a match. Lleyton Hewitt has no shortage of "Come on's" - and there's no rule violation there.

I've seen many instances where players experience frustration against a pusher and their frustration makes the game miserable. I'm saying it's perfectly okay to act out and play head games with your opponent, it brings out some intangibles and presents a new challenge to overcoming our own ego. I never fail to remember that tennis, for me, even at its worst, is still super fun.

I love tennis and am the first to congratulate my opponent for great play--- calling me shameful just shows me that you're happy to compete on half a tank, failing to understand or consider what is a huge part of the mental game ... but in the name of proper etiquette, it's better to look good and lose, I'm guessing.

cervelo
06-22-2005, 03:17 PM
FYI: The service rule is Rule 29/Receiver Readiness.

eLterrible
06-22-2005, 04:08 PM
wind = abandon baseline and go to the net. If he tries and lob it over, HE has to deal with the wind, or you have a overhead.

dennis10is
06-22-2005, 09:08 PM
BB is right on.

Pushers disappear once you get to 5.0. Either they want to improve and change their styles or they never get above 4.0/4.5.

The reality is that until you get to 5.0 and basically have a bunch of weapons, your shots do not have enough of consistency, placement, pace, and spin. Your dedicated pusher/scambler/hacker will be able to chase most of your shots down. A 4.5 in some situations will be able to put the ball away.

Think of it this way, sure your shots are better than his but your shots are not good enough to hit winners against him consistently.

Until you become a 5.0, hit the best stroke, technically,tactically, and strategically against them. If your strokes are better, you should be more consistent and pressure them more and in the course of a match the odds favors you. You are building toward a better game and seek to develop your game instead to being trap in a local maxima. That is, a pusher wins lots of little battle, but never get a chance at the bigger prizes.

The Fundamental Attribution Error would predict that people tend to over estimate how good their shots are and under estimate their opponents shot making abilities. Hence, the difference between your stroke production and that hacker may not be so great. You are setting yourself up to failure if in your mind, you think you should be creaming them, when the local pro, with an impartial eye may think to themselves, eh 55-45.

A pusher is just about the best test for a player, you should look forward to play them. They will tell you which shots you own (? 80%) and which shots you are just posing. To get to a 5.0 + you had to develop consistency somehow. Where do you think we got it :)

When I get to play a pusher, I make sure I get to hit a few drop shot / topspin lob combos. Revenge is sweet when served cold!!!

Camilio Pascual
06-23-2005, 06:41 AM
One way to combat their effort is to use a little gamesmanship and dictate the mental side.
Make 'em wait to serve- sometimes I'll actually smile a little while returning a pusher's serve- especially a second serve.


Nice rewrite on your opinion, so much so it amounts to a satisfactory retraction, now you sound more reasonable than the advice to cheat above. I'm satisfied if you recognize your obligation as specified by the rules to be ready as receiver within a reasonable time and do not make the server wait.
I was calling you out on this because of your attempt to use the term "gamesmanship" as a cloak for cheating.
If you love tennis as you say you do, please don't degrade the game by cheating or counseling others to cheat.

cervelo
06-23-2005, 06:51 AM
The part you quoted was not edited or rewritten at any time after the initial posting. (nice try) You did alter the order of my post, however...

Nothing in my post amounts to cheating - you and I both know it.

I edited parts which, after rereading it, may have been unclear to the reader- in either case, my edit's were minimal for grammar and, at the point where I described missing a sitter, to be sure not to suggest a personal attack on the opponent, which I felt could be interpreted from the original post.

What is clear is that I never condoned cheating - whether you understand that or not.

cervelo
06-23-2005, 06:59 AM
Camilio:

(please take this continued thread as friendly discourse, not personal attacks, which I wont continue if it swings that way ...)

WHAT'S WRONG WITH WHAT I'M SUGGESTING ... SERIOUSLY?????

Settling into your return is not illegal! It is acceptable to make a hasty server wait! Most club players don't settle in and strategize, I think slowing pace is absolutely advisable. If the effect of the small delay disrupts your opponent's mental flow to your advantage, I say "try it." I'm not saying disrupt his service motion or purposely distract him - I'm saying, "pick up the third ball that's not needed for the upcoming point- but perhaps breaks up the rhythm of the match."

Banter between points is not illegal and may swing momentum ... WHY NOT EMPLOY THIS AS A TACTIC??? I'm not telling anyone to verbally attack another player and I've tried to make that clear in my prior posts. I'm saying: "Get him/her thinking and of out their comfort zone."

Do you seriously still believe that I'm violating the Code??? I took your suggestions to two teaching pro's, both of which have watched me use these tactics against pushers and better players with some success. BOTH OF THEM AGREE THAT MY BEHAVIOR IS PERFECTLY LEGAL AND ACCEPTABLE!!! I'm not a cheater (I'm also not a screamer or a racquet smasher- which, technically is illegal). But I do try to play head games whenever possible.

I still say: nothing I've suggested is cheating and I've used these tactics to beat a nightmare of a pusher as recently as last week.

Camilio Pascual
06-23-2005, 09:04 AM
Camilio:
(please take this continued thread as friendly discourse, not personal attacks, which I wont continue if it swings that way ...)
WHAT'S WRONG WITH WHAT I'M SUGGESTING ... SERIOUSLY?????

But I do try to play head games whenever possible.

As long as you agree that it is your duty to play at the server's reasonable pace, which means to give the receiver reasonable time to get ready and not excessive time in order TO MAKE THE SERVER WAIT, we don't have a disagreement. Otherwise, it is cheating, regardless of what your coaches say.

Do you actually play head games whenever possible? I'm not trying to personally attack you, but I hope you understand it is hard for many people to respect that. Do you really feel as good when you have played head games with an inferior player than when you haven't?

cervelo
06-23-2005, 09:30 AM
Again, let me rephrase and explain (I thought you might pick up on that quote but I didn't want to re-edit):

With the "head games" quote, I meant to suggest this: I try to figure out mentally, emotionally, how my opponent is wired so that I might put the pressure of the match is on his/her shoulders- I don't worry only about my side of the court- I have an opponent to analyze and strategize against. I'm not purposely going out of my way to tick them off, but I'm considering his mental weaknesses, if any or applicable.

My tactics may serve some purpose which might simply do nothing more than help me stay focused and relaxed. It gets me involved in the intangibles of the match- I'm not ultra-focused on my strokes- changing this or that, but I'm asking: what's going on with the other guy? I'm also looking to see if my opponent might be vulnerable to a let down? Would it be beneficial for me to try and play into it?

I recognize that more experienced players don't buy it and my impression of its impact against a 4.5/5.0 is certainly exaggerated. But it DOES help me remain confident and play better tennis.

As far as my concern over the rules, if I was truly a degradation to the game, I wouldn't have posted here 50x to be sure that I wasn't violating the Code. I assure you, my gamesmanship has never drawn hostility from my opponents.

GugaGuga
06-27-2005, 09:19 AM
Oldest story in tennis. The wind makes it so much harder too. Don't beat yourself up about it.

I played a pusher recently with flat tennis balls. (I never let myself play with flat balls anymore, because it screws up my game bad--and takes away my greatest strengths--i.e. my serve and big groundies). He beat me I admit, but I ran his a&* until he looked like he was going to pass out. I vowed never, ever to play a match with flat balls again though. It's pointless, and a pusher will always win in that situation, because it takes away your ability to hit winners. It was kind of a good practice experience though. I was laughing though--I ran him from side to side to side until he finally quit playing in the third practice set. He had to have been sore for a week after that. Hee hee.

kicker75
06-28-2005, 10:10 AM
I too have quite a bit of trouble with pushers, particularly the ones who have exceptional lobbing ability.

Sometimes I will play serve and volley and that helps, but you get a pusher who's a fantastic lobber, you're done.

I've noticed that 5.0 players and up destroy pushers mainly because they get a better read on what the pusher will do next.

For those under 5.0 like myself, the most effective tactic that I have found against pushers is the drop shot. Most pushers hate to come to the net, and it's extremely difficult for them to lob when they're at the net because most pushers "punch" their lobs as opposed to "topspinning" their lobs...and with their reduced court distance being at the net, a lot of times, they will try to lob and hit long.

The other bonus is that, from what I've seen, 9 times out of 10, a pusher will return the drop shot with a lob, so if you can, stay close to the net and then when they try to dink the ball, try cutting it off and smashing it into the court before it can get any air...