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ExpertLoser
10-29-2011, 06:17 PM
Hey all.

Here to vent, realize I may get crucified in the feedback. Posted earlier in the year about my frustration with pushers - got some great feedback, because honestly, I didn't know how to play them. Since that time, it's been one pusher after another in the league and I've lost my will to live, let alone play. I understand that I have to deal with the fact that the ball comes back over the net - but you should see some of the junk grips and techniques and hail-mary lunges that gets the ball back. Part of what I find so frustrating is that my technique-aware mind analyzes the discombobulated tennis dysfunction on the other side of the net and concludes that the ball SHOULDN'T come back over the net, and if it does, it shouldn't land in the court.

Today, I tossed a match for the first time - I just didn't feel like playing that style one more time. That was a bizarre thing to experience in myself, for sure! Then, after the loss, I asked the guy if we could play a set really hitting out. He said sure - and you should have seen the errors!

Right now I think I have a choice to make. I need to choose if I want to win, or improve in my tennis technique. I've been choosing the latter, but am bothered that I'm losing. I comfort myself by saying, "I'll beat them eventually with better technique and with more experience playing them" - problem is, I hate the thought that it may never happen.

And now I'm whining on a global board. Oi vey. What has become of me?

I'd love some comfort, but I'll take my lashings, too. Thanks, y'all.

dozu
10-29-2011, 07:31 PM
as the community park king, I fully understand.

stop complaining.. just get better.

instead of venting, why not start by posting a video, get feedbacks on swing flaws, and correct them.

tennis is not about hitting out. it's about winning.

to be the king, you need to know how to win.

GuyClinch
10-29-2011, 07:55 PM
Pushing is a hard habit to break - let me tell ya. Sometimes you really want to smack the ball and your body is like 'no' and you tense up and hit a push. :(

Have some mercy on the poor pushers - often they can't help themselves.

Caesar
10-29-2011, 08:27 PM
Life's too short to play pushers.

TTMR
10-29-2011, 08:53 PM
Hey all.

Here to vent, realize I may get crucified in the feedback. Posted earlier in the year about my frustration with pushers - got some great feedback, because honestly, I didn't know how to play them. Since that time, it's been one pusher after another in the league and I've lost my will to live, let alone play. I understand that I have to deal with the fact that the ball comes back over the net - but you should see some of the junk grips and techniques and hail-mary lunges that gets the ball back. Part of what I find so frustrating is that my technique-aware mind analyzes the discombobulated tennis dysfunction on the other side of the net and concludes that the ball SHOULDN'T come back over the net, and if it does, it shouldn't land in the court.

Today, I tossed a match for the first time - I just didn't feel like playing that style one more time. That was a bizarre thing to experience in myself, for sure! Then, after the loss, I asked the guy if we could play a set really hitting out. He said sure - and you should have seen the errors!

Right now I think I have a choice to make. I need to choose if I want to win, or improve in my tennis technique. I've been choosing the latter, but am bothered that I'm losing. I comfort myself by saying, "I'll beat them eventually with better technique and with more experience playing them" - problem is, I hate the thought that it may never happen.

And now I'm whining on a global board. Oi vey. What has become of me?

I'd love some comfort, but I'll take my lashings, too. Thanks, y'all.

Yes, clearly the problem here resides with the other guy's technique.

Fuji
10-29-2011, 10:04 PM
Just learn to serve and volley, life will make so much more sense! ;)

-Fuji

arche3
10-30-2011, 03:14 AM
Listen to Dozu. He is not the king because he clobbers the ball.

eliza
10-30-2011, 04:55 AM
It is not unusual to hate pushers. But what it is strange is your ID: expertloser??????
If you can analyze others'stroke deficiencies so well, why do not you try to teach? You will discover "humility". I am serious. Last year I got so fed up playing leagues, b/c I was "so superior"and had to play double with moonballers. I went so far to decline playing a match, just b/c a good player was available the same time, and it was so much more fun play with him. Then a coach told me : "You are being condescending", "when you play with "the ladies" work on your touch and feel, instead of whining about they do not generate any power"... Change your attitude, if necessary club, so the energy around you can be positive again!!!

dozu
10-30-2011, 05:23 AM
it's interesting that you don't hear golfers complaining about losing to pushers... although you can prolly find these type of savvy players who hits not long off the tee and never miss the fairway.

yet in tennis some people feel like they got robbed if they lose to opponent with less power.

remember Spain didn't win the soccer world cup because they score a bunch of goals... they score 1 goal, then just 'push' to run the clock out..... I can imagine it does feel awful for the losing team.

TennisCoachFLA
10-30-2011, 05:51 AM
it's interesting that you don't hear golfers complaining about losing to pushers... although you can prolly find these type of savvy players who hits not long off the tee and never miss the fairway.

yet in tennis some people feel like they got robbed if they lose to opponent with less power.

remember Spain didn't win the soccer world cup because they score a bunch of goals... they score 1 goal, then just 'push' to run the clock out..... I can imagine it does feel awful for the losing team.

Golfers do have the same thing, they call it 'cautious' or some other term meant to be moderately derogatory. The guys that don't go big usually get teased. Countless times I have been in the club house and guys would be teasing the cautious players over a beer.

So it is the same MO as getting on a pusher in tennis.

Photoshop
10-30-2011, 06:52 AM
Listen to Dozu. He is not the king because he clobbers the ball.
so I take it you lost to dozu?

RoddickAce
10-30-2011, 07:16 AM
To be honest, I think we all, in our conscious mind, know what to do to beat the pushers. Being patient, moving the pusher around and angling off the putaway or finishing at net. When I played pushers in the past, I realized that I didn't need to hit hard all the time. I wait until I can hit my favourite shots, then I drill the ball. It just depends on whether you are willing/patient enough to implement that strategy on every point (and I guess it depends on how your net skills are).

arche3
10-30-2011, 07:46 AM
so I take it you lost to dozu?

No we never played. I am paying homage to dozus community court king status.

fuzz nation
10-30-2011, 08:20 AM
Howdy E-L, and thanks for sharing. I'm not getting on your case here so much as encouraging you to keep looking for answers. You seem to be sensing a problem that you can't put your finger on - I can relate.

While we're not seeing any video footage of the action in these matches and going only on your description of things, there's an alarm going off for me in terms of your perspective and expectations on the court, and not only against them pushers. I honestly think you need to get your head straight.

For one thing, beating a pusher isn't about technique nearly so much as it's about being mentally tough enough to stay patient, bring your lunchbox, and stay disciplined enough to get the extra shots over the net to win some points. You're letting yourself get distracted with your own expectations in thinking that lots of balls coming back to you are either lucky, crappy, or both. SO WHAT?! They're coming back, brother. You've got to accept that and get to work. Luck looks just as good as talent on the score sheet when it's a win, so let's get beyond it.

Maybe you had a really great outing one day and felt as though you were hitting like a rock star. That's not going to happen on a regular basis, so don't expect it until you've built a strong skill set and can rip off big solid shots at will. No, it's not easy, but once you make real progress and can honestly run with some of the big dogs, you'll know you've achieved something for yourself.

A few years ago, I read Vic Braden's book, Mental Tennis, and it was full of stuff that I wish I knew decades earlier. You sound like a great candidate for Braden's couch - he's a licensed psychologist in addition to his standing as a long-in-the-tooth tennis guru. Great book for any tennis player's head... or maybe every player's head.

Bagumbawalla
10-30-2011, 01:56 PM
This is one of the most common complaints seen on the board. Each poster wants an explaination of what to do so they can overcome the dreaded "pusher". Most are reluctant, however to do the obvious (practice/improve)- and so they continue to be victims.

The most basic answer is that you have to become a better and more well-rounded player.

It can be difficult to play pusher/human backboard, because-

1. The lack of pace forces you to create pace and direction on your own.

2. You are being forced back and forth and side to side and this wears on your stamina.

3. You are forced to scamper for drop-shots, junk-balls, short/sliced balls, lobs and other shots that you rarely practice and feel uncomfortable hitting.

4. The successful pusher is quite sure of him/herself and is confident that, unless you are equally self-confident,-- you will lose.

5. The pusher has a wide selection of annoying strokes and tactics to chose from. if one does not work, they will adapt with another. If you have a weakness, it will be found and punished.

6. You are forced to keep returning the ball- or go for a winning shot- and you lack the consistancy and skill to do either.

So, how do you overcome this person? Try finding an answer to each of the problems listed, above.

1. Practice and drill. Don't just go out and hit for fun. Perfect your strokes and find the positioning, balance, and stroke production that allows you to do what you want with those "nothing" balls. Start by having someone just toss you balls while you step in and stroke through them again and again.

2. Work on your stamina. Run, do wind-sprints, run up stairs, do aerobics, focus on drills that force you side to side then back to the center.

3. Practice all the strokes- the one you are not confident in is the one they will kill you with. Make sure of your overhead smash, volleys, half-volleys, lobs (offensive and defensive), serves (master them all), and on and on and on. "All the strokes" includes all the strokes.

4. Confidence is nothing more than knowing that you can get to the ball and do something with it- no matter what they hurl at you. You build confidence by building your game.

5. Study the game. Buy some books, learn about tactics, how to respond to various shots, when to play steady, when to go for winners,where to place the ball, how to set up shots and put the opponent in an awkward position, how to take advantage when you do get a weak response. Take some lessons. Undo bad habits, strengthen good ones.

6. Do not practice with the same old group of people you enjoy hitting with. Find practice partners that force you to play really well and can test you. Play against people with styles that you dislike. When playing practice/fun games, don't always play just to win, rather, think of it as a time to try new things.

Of course this won't help you much tomorrow. Start training and let us know in a few months what you have improved.

InspectorRacquet
10-30-2011, 02:13 PM
>3. Practice all the strokes- the one you are not confident in is the one >they will kill you with.

Definitely agree there. And found that out myself, unfortunately. As long as you are confident, you can't lose.

The main thing I learned how to beat a pusher is learning how to direct your shots. Most lower leveled players aim for right or left side of the court. You need to perfect your strokes to where you can direct the ball not just left or right, but near the hash mark or near the lines - on both sides of the court.

Doing that plus maintaining your confidence will ensure your victory over the pusher.

samarai
10-31-2011, 06:55 AM
Take it in stride. The pushers in my court have been playing together for years ( one combo has played for close to 20 years) It may be deceiveing watching them play but once you get on the court, you see why they win 90-95 percent of their matches. What I have observed is that you can usually win the first 2-3 points before they realize your weakness and then its all downhill from there. Now I love to play them cause it helps to work on my weak areas. It has helped with the regular court bashers ( groups who seem to look down on the pushers) since I can throw more variety in my game.

prgault
10-31-2011, 07:16 AM
Just my barely 3.5 experience, in my league there are ususally 2 or 3 pushers that hang around the bottom quads with me and they used to give me fits. I can remeber the actiual match that turned it around for me. I simply decided to quit trying to jump all over every high bouncing, no power, dinked ball and begin hitting my normal fairly solid groundstrokes. With most of them that did the trick, with a few others it took a little more patience and hitting more angles...

P_

GuyClinch
10-31-2011, 07:21 AM
Most people that lose to pushers are pushers themselves. I have never seen even a single video of a guy who hits out with proper strokes losing to a pusher.

I have never seen it in IRL - and I have never seen it on video. At best you get one pusher playing out of control tennis and shanking alot of balls losing to one guy who can actually return the ball..

ExpertLoser
10-31-2011, 10:57 AM
To all of you who replied to my post,

This is a genuine, non-sarcastic "Thank You". I needed a mirror held up to myself. I've got patience, attitude, focus, discipline, and strategy issues y'all picked up on that are undermining my Win/Loss record. This is only my second season of league play (I've been playing competitive pick-up matches for years) so I'm learning at an exponential rate given the consistency with which I now face my opponent (apparently myself!).

Thanks for having the cahonies to call me on it all. And thanks for the book recommendation, I'm going to pick it up.

Again, many thanks!

sunof tennis
10-31-2011, 03:40 PM
You also should think clearly about a strategy. Working the point to finish at the net is often a good strategy against a pusher. However, some pushers are great lobbers and if you are not tall and have a good overhead, you may have to do a lot of running. But what if your pusher doesn't like to volley? If so, bring him into the net with short balls. Or you can combine the two strategies, come in off a short ball (watch Federer do this) and you can end up in an eye to eye volley exchange. Usually pushers don't like this.

yonexpurestorm
10-31-2011, 04:00 PM
beating a pusher is as easy as two words

"point construction"

Can't think of a name
11-02-2011, 06:31 PM
Life's too short to play pushers.

http://i44.tinypic.com/akh347.jpg

MarinaHighTennis
11-02-2011, 06:51 PM
If you ever get frustrated in match you can cool yourself down by bouncing your racket against the floor and catching it again... or you can throw your racket against the net. My friend does that in tournaments and never got penalized so you can vent all you want like that.