Does pushing really win?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by ubermeyer, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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

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

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

    :) I luv pushing
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Pushing wins when you face players worse than you....
    Some consider Nadal a pusher, as Ferrer and even DJ, sometimes in certain matches against big hitters even Federer.
    Point in tennis is to hit the last ball of each point into the court.
    So unless your opponent can hit winners, you win by successfully returning the last ball.
    Now do you like retreiving like a dog?
     
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  3. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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

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

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    I doubt those kids are worse than me, but I can still beat them.

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

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

    I also did cross country so I have stamina.
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    They're not as good as you because they can't beat you.
     
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  6. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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

    firstserve Rookie

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    only against weak players
     
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  8. firstserve

    firstserve Rookie

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    the only reason karlovic is where he is at, is because of the angle he is able to create off of his serve due to his height.
     
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  9. firstserve

    firstserve Rookie

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    I have rarely seen him top the ball off of his backhand wing and when he does he normally catches it lates and it goes wide or in the net.
     
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  10. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    You're club members must hate you.

    I hate when people push. It pisses me off to no end!
     
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  11. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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

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

    Also when people push back, I just hit really hard and usually they are worse pushers than me so I winz
     
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  12. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    It works. You will get a lot of wins.

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

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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

    Also, not to discriminate or anything, but when I play against girls (just for recreation, not counted towards either of our rankings) pushing really owns them, because girls usually hit really hard but are less consistent and not as fast on the court to retrieve drop shots/ angle shots/ lobs/ etc.
     
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  14. NickH87

    NickH87 Semi-Pro

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

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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

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

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

    firstserve Rookie

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    take care of the process and the process will take care of you
     
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  17. firstserve

    firstserve Rookie

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

    firstserve Rookie

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    ubermeyer, don't kid yourself. The best players are not pushers. Andy Murray and Nadal are counterpunchers and grinders not pushers. Big difference.
     
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  19. Off The Wall

    Off The Wall Semi-Pro

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    Just keep doing what you're doing. You're results are good. When it isn't working, be ready to evolve.
     
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  20. firstserve

    firstserve Rookie

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    that is a piece of shtick advice. you cannot suddenly evolve. learn to play the game correctly. the better players do not self-destruct.
     
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  21. herosol

    herosol Professional

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    Well pushing for me sounds like "im afraid to lose"

    I play counterpunching which includes:

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

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

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like you've already figured out alot about tennis.
     
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  23. Blake0

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

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

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

    doctor dennis Rookie

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    ubermeyer your style sounds just like one of my mates. I generally disagree that its less fun to play against pushers. Against a pusher you get to really work on your game because you know that they aren't generally going to start attacking you and changing the pace. Its like playing a moving wall but the ball comes back less predictably. For me, playing against my pusher mate has helped my game no end, both in technique and mentally.
    I agree with others though that a typical pusher is likely to plateau at certain level but they'll generally be successful.
     
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  26. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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

    bukaeast Rookie

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    Don't use the "P" word!

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

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

    You go for placement rather than power?

    You are using strategy rather than just testosterone ladden power.

    To win!
     
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  28. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    ^^ Agree with bukaeast.

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

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

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

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

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

    r,
    eagle
     
    #28
  29. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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

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

    mikegaotennis New User

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    well you can push and be a 4.0 pusher for life or you can actually play and get 4.5 if you work hard. plus i would rather win my matches on my own than have my opponent lose them for me
     
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  31. GuyClinch

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

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

    Pete
     
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  32. Photoshop

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    ubermeyer,

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

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

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

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

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

    I <3 pushing
     
    #32
  33. goober

    goober Legend

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    You can win at 3.0 and 3.5 with pushing. You can also win at 4.0 pushing but you have to be a really good pusher. Against upper level 4.0s and 4.5 s you will run into a wall. There will be a lot of people at that level that can defeat pushers a variety of different ways. At that point you will have to change your game to a counterpuncher or all courter if you want to keep winning.
     
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  34. imalil2gangsta4u

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

    masterxfob Semi-Pro

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    while i don't really respect the pushing game, i don't mind going up against it. it forces me to play smarter, to construct my points, and to be patient. i don't beat myself down for losing to such a player, but use it as a reference to learn from.
     
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  36. Pushing is not really a goal one should aspire to. Nadal and Murray are not pushers. Nadal hits inside the baseline when he gets the chance. Murray fools around with a variety of shots and attacks occasionally. That's a far cry from hitting soft shots and lobs.

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

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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

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

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

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    I can return most overheads, unless I'm facing a really tall and strong player
     
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  39. (Blank)

    (Blank) Rookie

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    It really depends on how consistently deep you can place the ball if you're hitting without pace. If you can hit on the baseline every shot, that's pretty good, but the other player can tee off on shots inside the baseline then you'll have trouble with the better players.

    And anyone with a decent overhead should be able to put most overheads away the first time.
     
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  40. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    Some 3.0 you are.
     
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  41. goober

    goober Legend

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

    raiden031 Legend

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

    masterxfob Semi-Pro

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

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

    masterxfob Semi-Pro

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

    theagassiman Rookie

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    how does a pusher hit the ball?
     
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  47. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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

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

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

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

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

    The sad thing is a decent pro can help me make adjustments and I will start wailing on the ball. But then I leave the lesson and revert back to normal.
     
    #48
  49. Dreamer

    Dreamer Professional

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    Forget pushing!!! Develop your game the right way. Pushing may give you immediate results now, but you'll discover that at a certain level you cannot compete. Don't limit yourself to pushing.
     
    #49
  50. NickH87

    NickH87 Semi-Pro

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    I feel like pushing is being afraid. A lot of you guys who say you can play with pace in practice and not in game seems like you lack confidence in your ability and just play safe because thats all you know in competition.
     
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