How do I know if I am a pusher?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by t-bear, Jan 6, 2006.

  1. t-bear

    t-bear New User

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Messages:
    11
    I have read lots of posts about pushers. Nobody seems admit to being one. How would I know if I were a pusher?
     
    #1
  2. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    17,790
    Location:
    Montreal, Canada
    no winners, or rare ones ...
     
    #2
  3. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491
    If your opponent yells out:

    "Stop hitting like a girl"

    "I am not use to hitting balls that have no pace"

    "Are you just going to run around all day and just bunt the ball back or are you planning on actually hitting the ball?"


    it could be a clue :)
     
    #3
  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Messages:
    34,762
    You have a lot of small trophies after winning against 3.5 and 4.0 players.

    These people make snide remarks about you and avoid inviting you to play with them.

    You have improved a lot in physical fitness and running.

    You can predict with great accuracy what weak shot/error your opponent is going to make.

    You play with a light, head heavy and big-headed racquet.

    You slice on the forehand.

    Your shots usually clear the net by at least 6 feet.

    You hit all backhands with the continental grip.

    You have been at the same level for 15 years.
     
    #4
  5. bcaz

    bcaz Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    986
    .... when all you care about is winning on that day as opposed to playing for the joy of playing or trying to improve your future game ... when you don't trust your strokes and just bunt and short-arm the ball around ... when your defensive lob is your go-to shot ..
     
    #5
  6. theace21

    theace21 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2004
    Messages:
    3,263
    When nobody at your level wants to practice with you...
     
    #6
  7. t-bear

    t-bear New User

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2006
    Messages:
    11
    Is being a pusher a skill level that people don't progress from?
     
    #7
  8. LostMyMojo

    LostMyMojo New User

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    85
    Well, if you're "pushing", you're simply holding the racquet out and sending the ball back without doing anything or supplying any spin/power.

    If you really do that, and don't want to change, it's hard to get better doing that and you're not going to change as a player. Meaning you can't improve.

    But most people aren't really pushers, it's just that the guy who lost to them lost because they were more consistent than he/she was and needed an excuse to justify his or her loss.
     
    #8
  9. troytennisbum

    troytennisbum Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2004
    Messages:
    353
    That last quote really cracked me up.
    But yeah....this above post pretty much sums up my observations about pushers as well....although I wouldn't say they have too much success against true 4.0's. I would say up to 3.5.
     
    #9
  10. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    When your primary and, really, ONLY weapon is consistency, you're a pusher. Like above poster said, when most, if not all, of your points are won due to an opponent's unforced error.

    Pushing is not a bad thing per se. It's only bad when you push because you want to win so badly that you're willing to never improve, to think long term, in order to win in the short term. Even then, if that's what makes tennis fun for you, it's not a sin to keep doing that. But people don't want to play with you after a while.

    I actually like playing certain types of pushes, the kind who hit with top spin. The ones who hit flat forehands and moonball slice backhands, though, they're not fun.
     
    #10
  11. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,303
    In my opinion, if you have to ask, then you're a pusher.
     
    #11
  12. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    Also, another mark of a true pusher is that the point is always in the hands of their opponent. This goes along with the unforced error thing, just another way of looking at it. Whether the point is won or lost is always determined by the pusher's opponent. The person playing the pusher always gets the last word in, whether by hitting a winner or missing.
     
    #12
  13. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    haha...this actually has some logic to it!
     
    #13
  14. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,223
    Location:
    Cocos Islands, WA
    My last doubles partner was a pusher with volley skills.

    Majority of his baseline shots were deep sliced "pushed" lobs within half meter of the baseline.

    He had players of 4.5 scrambling back to chase his lobs. And when they waited for his lobs, he then mixed in dropshots and short angles.

    He had a good smash and volley skills, nice consistent angle serves and excellent anticipation at the net for poaching off my services.

    He was very fit for his age and mentally tough.

    We had a great winning record together. Something like 35+ wins, 4-5 loses.

    Those loses mainly came only when he was over powered players who could consistently reach his lobs and smash them away.

    When i played him in singles though i could over power him fairly easily by running him side to side.

    Most of 3.5 players are pushers and play good pecentage tennis for there level.

    Half the battle at that level is keeping your unforced errors down.
     
    #14
  15. nViATi

    nViATi Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2005
    Messages:
    2,223
    If you just poke and prod the ball like you would poke and prod a dead body with a stick then you are a pusher!
     
    #15
  16. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    4,856
    If you never break your strings in a year or less or have to cut your strings out because they are dead, you might be a pusher.
     
    #16
  17. MasterTS

    MasterTS Professional

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Messages:
    1,124
    You know you're a pusher when everyone you play says you suck and they won't play with you again, even though you beat them.
     
    #17
  18. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Messages:
    12,740
    Location:
    USA
    You're a pusher if your idea of a winner is a dropshot. You're a pusher if your serve bounces twice...in the service box! You're a pusher if you return all your groundstrokes with backspin. You're a pusher if your ideal passing shot is a lob. You're a pusher if the only time you come to net is when your opponent draws you in. You're a pusher if the old couple on the next court hits with more pace than you.
     
    #18
  19. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    You're a pusher if you have no facial hair when you make contact with the ball, but by the time the shot reaches your opponent you have a full beard.
     
    #19
  20. Phil

    Phil Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2004
    Messages:
    3,877
    Location:
    In a tent, along the Silk Road
    So true!
     
    #20
  21. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2005
    Messages:
    2,225
    You're a pusher if you love pace hit at you. You're a pusher if you have no winners and no unforced errors. You're a pusher if you always aim for the middle of the court.

    Pushers may advance fast initially, but then they hit a plateau.
     
    #21
  22. erik-the-red

    erik-the-red Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Messages:
    680
    "Your shots have no pace" is a common complaint against pushers. Once a player learns how to hit on the rise, unless he is returning shots struck at Gonzalez or Safin calibre, it is pretty easy for him to return 'paced' shots. Shots where you have to supply all the power are much more difficult.

    Also, what MasterTS said is very true. I once hit with a DIII college player. He beat me very easily in the first set, like 6-2 or 6-1. But, in the second set, I broke him twice. I was serving to even it up 5-5 when he retired citing "poor play". Most likely if we had continued he would have broke me and won 6-4. After that, he has basically refused to even practice with me.

    Pushing can be fairly effective up until the true 4.0 level. After that the guys will start to hit nasty approach shots off of dinks.
     
    #22
  23. Squall Leonheart

    Squall Leonheart Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2005
    Messages:
    223
    I started playing tennis last year, but my strings still haven't broken. I only played from about march to June. Does this mean I'm a pusher? I really hope not...
     
    #23
  24. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Messages:
    3,477
    To me, breaking of strings is not a barometer. It is certainly true that more power game you play, the more wear and tear string will undergo.

    But it all depends on style of play and guage of string used and etc etc.

    And being a Pusher doesnt mean anything other than "guy plays pusher game". To me that is an acceptable style of play and one has to contend with it. They are no diff to me than "S&V players" and "aggressive baseliners".
    I love to play all players with all those styles.
     
    #24
  25. 35ft6

    35ft6 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2005
    Messages:
    6,557
    I agree.
     
    #25
  26. PBODY99

    PBODY99 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2005
    Messages:
    3,196
    When I can beat Brad Gilbert, and when did you see him break a string, then I will be a pusher.:cool:
     
    #26
  27. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Messages:
    3,477
    You are spot on with some . However i am not sure (in my opinion) about the following.

    >>You have improved a lot in physical fitness and running.>>
    >>You can predict with great accuracy what weak shot/error your opponent is going to make.>>

    The above, I believe are a must for any GOOD tennis player.They are not qualities of Pusher. They are qualities of Pros.

    <<You hit all backhands with the continental grip.>>

    Hitting backhands with continental grip is not bad.Just that it seems a lil bit outdated.
     
    #27
  28. equinox

    equinox Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2004
    Messages:
    3,223
    Location:
    Cocos Islands, WA
    You know you're a pusher. When you thrash your opponent and start bagging the clay court and your opponent walks side on shouting abuse about how much your game sucks and isn't proper tennis.

    Happened to my partner.
     
    #28
  29. jonolau

    jonolau Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    5,090
    Location:
    Singapore
    Sounds like this guy is a bit of a sore loser. The whole point of playing a game is to win it. All styles are legal as long as it doesn't personal such as purposely aiming volleys at your opponent's body when they are also at the net.

    I play with some much older experienced guys (in their mid to late 50s) who are true control masters, and they don't pull out their stops. Tons of lobs, drop shots, short returns, angled shots, underhand serves. I'm a hard hitter and they know better than to give me deeper returns to the forehand which I can power back and wear them out. So, what they do is control the pace, and eventually try and control (and restrict) my style. Initially I got frustrated, but I learnt to adjust my style and pace to suit theirs when I play with them. So now the games are not so lopsided.

    I would call this intelligent play, rather than a game that sucks.
     
    #29
  30. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    4,856
    Sounds to me like there's a few pushers in denial here who can't break their strings.;)
     
    #30
  31. Sweden

    Sweden Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Messages:
    191
    You are definitely a pusher if you are a camper while playing Counter-Strike! Anyone agree on that?
     
    #31
  32. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491

    Well camping in CS and pushing in tennis both are two very defensive styles. You wait for the opponent to make a mistake. But I am not sure how you play video games translates into playing tennis. I play FPS games very aggressive but my tennis game is counterpunching.
     
    #32
  33. golden chicken

    golden chicken Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Messages:
    345
    haha isn't that odd? i'd rather camp with an assault rifle, yet i serve and volley and look to come in as much as possible! and i hardly ever break strings because i'm volleying all the time.
     
    #33
  34. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    43,303
    Huh? :confused: Aren't the balls hitting your strings with more pace and impact then, and thus, more likely to break from the constant greater force?
     
    #34
  35. andfor

    andfor Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Messages:
    4,856
    That's funny I play the same. But while at net I get my fare share of overheads and that's when my strings go. Serve, volley, volley, here comes the lob, BANG! It's gone and so is another sting job.
     
    #35
  36. golden chicken

    golden chicken Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2005
    Messages:
    345
    yeah, but i'm not changing the direction of the spin, and therefore there is less string movement. most of the people i play don't lob too well so i see few overheads. plus i don't string super-tight.
     
    #36
  37. Sweden

    Sweden Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2005
    Messages:
    191
    Maybe it is not odd! If you lose the point you can still imidiately play another point, at counter-strike you must wait for a long time until next round! And if you are like me you don't want to do that :)
     
    #37
  38. BillyBee

    BillyBee Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2005
    Messages:
    123
    You know you're a pusher when you hear "Great get" a lot from your opponent but you're still losing most of the points.

    By the way, is there any difference between a "pusher" and a "retriever," or are those terms synonymous? Ditto question with "counter-puncher."
     
    #38
  39. goober

    goober Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Messages:
    8,491

    It has been debated a bazillion times but in my view

    pusher: never goes for winners, simply gets the ball back in play with a block shot or something similar. Generally not seen above 4.0

    Counterpuncher- will go for winners but waits until his opportunity arises. Definitely not a pusher IMO. Seen at all levels of play.

    retriever: close to a pusher but actually hits the ball with a full stroke. basically plays defensive.
     
    #39
  40. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2005
    Messages:
    4,652
    Location:
    "Where Moth & Rust Destroy"
    Hummm. Not always true. This is a VERY common excuse to save face...

    Plus, I'd like to add two things:

    1. If you can't beat a "pusher", you're NOT a better player than him/her [this could be a signature, lol :) ]

    2. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US started out as a "pusher" and its just that some people elect to keep playing that way (and perfect the "style") for the rest of their life; where in the rule books does it say that they can't? Again, don't feel like you're better than them, if you can't beat them; YOU'RE NOT!

    Edit: Back to what MasterTS said, I guess if EVERYONE YOU PLAY says it, then I suppose it's true.
     
    #40
  41. jonolau

    jonolau Legend

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2005
    Messages:
    5,090
    Location:
    Singapore
    Thanks goober for clarifying this as I really was in a haze reading through this thread. In my many years of tennis, I've never really heard these terms used in my neck of the woods.

    In other words, would a pusher be someone who plays an extremely cautious and safe game, then waits for you to make the mistake (most likely out of frustration)?
     
    #41
  42. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2004
    Messages:
    4,405
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    When I played 3.5, my doubles partner used to call me a junkballer when we went head to head and he lost. Many people start out as pushers and then either become counterpunchers, defensive grinders (retrievers), or junkballers. In my case I started as pusher (retriever), then junkballer, and finally became an all-court player who still throws in some nasty junkballs and gets alot of balls on the run back (usually sliced) while able to hit some flat winners on both sides too. Lots of labels to call people but I prefer winner best.
     
    #42
  43. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    Messages:
    5,236
    Location:
    The High Country of Colorado
    Save me the typing. Click here.

    - KK
     
    #43

Share This Page