How to beat a DAMN PUSHER????

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Dan007, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. Dan007

    Dan007 Hall of Fame

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    As title says.
     
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  2. skuludo

    skuludo Professional

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    Service ace and service winner. Just wait until the tie breaker and win one point off the pusher's serve.
     
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  3. Woodstock_Tennis

    Woodstock_Tennis Rookie

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    Pushers don't like to be out of there element. Try moving him all around the court, bring him towards net and lob or pass. Hit to corners, and come in for the volley. Most pushers give you easy volleys...
     
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  4. ceejay

    ceejay Semi-Pro

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    Read Winning Ugly.

    Basically (reading from the book) be patient, take your opportunities when they arrive but don't force them, come to the net, bring them to the net, and serve well. It also mentions depriving them of pace on shots to use against you if applicable.

    I hate pushers too. Hope that summary helps :)
     
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  5. LoneGun

    LoneGun New User

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    Pushers usually like to hit two kinds of shots. Weak high balls and short slices. To counter those weak high balls, come to the net and volley or if those balls are too high to volley, hit high loopy balls to their backhand, which would probably results in short slices. In that case, come in and hit short angle shots or drop shot. Remember, stay calm and try to play consistent tennis instead of trying to hit winners all the time, because that's what the pushers want you to do.
     
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  6. Dan007

    Dan007 Hall of Fame

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    Pushers like running, they'll chase every ball and just push it over.
     
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  7. Triple S

    Triple S New User

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    Only way I found to beat pushers is to push back...
     
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  8. Dan007

    Dan007 Hall of Fame

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    That would take a long time. Think how long one point could take and games. So many dueces. I've actually seen a pusher play a pusher. It was the most boring match I ever seen. The only way you win a point after 20 shot rallie is to hit a drop shot and hit a lob or gets tired and hits it into the net. Winning 4-5 games took almost 2 hours.
     
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  9. Triple S

    Triple S New User

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    Yeah it does take a long time...

    I move them around the court by pushing and since they don't have the most spectacular shots, I wait for the chance to hit a winner.

    Playing pushers is sooo annoying. Hate playing against them
     
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  10. kevhen

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    Push back and wait for the short ball to attack....
     
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  11. ZPTennis

    ZPTennis Semi-Pro

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    Pushers are my favorite type of player to play. The reason why is because they have really nothing to hurt you with. So there is no reason to feel threatened by their game. There only weapon they have if you call it a weapon would be that they can get to a lot of balls and they tend to be very consistent.

    This is how I play them but it may differ depending on your strengths.

    Assuming they are right handed, I purposely hit crosscourt to their forehand. This cuts down on the angle to get to your backhand and makes it easier to continue using your forehand. As soon as you get a shorter ball, go for a sharp crosscourt angle forehand so basically your ball path is traveling over the alley. All they can do is hit back towards you and follow it up by hitting towards their backhand corner. With them this far off the court it will make it quite difficult for them to get to the ball. Even if they do, make sure you have followed up this shot at net and be ready to angle off the volley or overhead.

    For those points where they do get to your backhand, just simply hit a deep backhand crosscourt, not trying to go for a winner but just placement and wait for the opportunity to use your forehand crosscourt and use the same strategy again in the above paragraph.

    This is a relatively simple strategy but it works. This allows you to avoid the long boring baseline rallies they love to play and end the point relatively quickly.

    Probably the most enjoyable thing about this is they are running like hell and after you do this multiple times to them, even they start to suffer the effects. And because they have no attacking capability there is nothing they can do about it. :)

    So your only requirements are a good forehand, ok volleys and a decent overhead. I hope this helps.
     
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  12. TENNIS_99

    TENNIS_99 Semi-Pro

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    Play better than him. :) I am a "baseliner". If I can not rally and win over paceless balls, I don't deserve to be called a "baseliner". If I can move my opponent 10 times corner to corner and still lose the point, either he is a super pusher or I have work to do. I really don't think people should look for a specific strategy to beat a pusher. IMO,if you are aiming to the next level you have to beat the pusher at your level in his own games.
     
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  13. magilligan

    magilligan Rookie

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    I have a similar strategy against pushers. I used to lose to them because i was too inconsistent and impatient. What I do now is serve big, which makes service games pretty quickm and generally "safely agressive" tennis. By this I mean constantly "probing" what your opponent can do by mixing up spins, angles, pace, and placement, but NOT going for winners. This will generally reward you a ball that is short enough for you to approach with and finish up at net, or to hit an outright winner off the ball depending on where your opponent is. The biggest thing is to always be agressive and look to come forward, because a true pusher wont be able to come up with a good passing shot if you make a decent approach. It works well for me :)
     
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  14. nViATi

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    If you can't beat a pusher no tips will help you except to play more and more and improve your game.
     
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  15. mucat

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    Pick the right time then come to the net.
     
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  16. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    haha. I think I can out push most pushers because I have pretty good ball control and I am very patient.

    Once the pusher realizes that you can beat him at his own game, he's totally demoralized.
     
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  17. ZPTennis

    ZPTennis Semi-Pro

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    I don't think you've run into a super pusher then. There are 2 guys I know of in my city that I can hit topspin corner to corner and they will get every one back over 10 times. Corner to corner isn't good enough if thats all you do.

    So I don't agree with not using a strategy. I know everyone has there opinions but i've played a couple good pushers within the last few months using good strategies like I mentioned in the other post and I think the most I ever lost to one of them was only 3 games in an entire match.
     
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  18. mucat

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    Oh yes, super pusher, I hit corner to corner and hit the baseline many times and it just kept coming back, many years ago, still have nightmares...
     
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  19. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

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    My basic philosophy is that you should love the pusher, junkballer, hack, chipper, moonballer, dropshotter, slicer, and topspin fanatic because they force you out of your comfort zone.

    Playing them, (rather than avoiding them like a plague) forces you to deal with your weaknesses and over come them.

    The best way to beat them is to :

    2, improve your came so that you are confident in every aspect.

    2, Play people that frustrate you until you can dominate them with ease.
     
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  20. TENNIS_99

    TENNIS_99 Semi-Pro

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    Have you ever seen a pusher (even a super pusher) win tournaments higer than 4.5 ? I've never. If you can get your opponents run from corners to corners 10 times and return you back paceless balls (by definition, a pusher)and you can not finish it, boy, you are in troubles. By no means I think it is easy but no offense,if you really want to be good, better set the standard higher:mrgreen:
     
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  21. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    I once played a set with a tennis coach. Because he was so much better me, he would only hit soft slice forehands and backhands and I had absolutely no chance against him. He had great foot speed and could retrieve just about any ball.
     
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  22. ZPTennis

    ZPTennis Semi-Pro

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    Like I said in my very 1st post, I finish the point before I even get in those 20 shot total rallies. And like I said before, the most games i've lost to one in a match is 3. So I think I am setting the standard higher. :) You have your way and I have mine. But what I was trying to point out before was, my way is easier and quicker than corner to corner. Why make it longer....:rolleyes:
     
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  23. The Watchman

    The Watchman Rookie

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    Being a bit of a pusher myself, I love the role pushers play in tennis.

    I sometimes play guys who think they can rely on hard groundstrokes and go for them. They also tend to think they'er very good. They don't give many short balls, in which case I can't hit aggressive angled TS FHs, and I'm forced to get the ball back deep to their backhands (ie push).

    I find that their shots break down and they realise they can't depend on their groundstrokes as much as they thought (after which they usually go to a board like this or their friends and complain about pushers).

    If they changed their losing game and pushed back, I'd start attacking their short balls with sharp angled TS FHs (which is how I beat pushers). It takes a while, but I've done my cardio and I'm more confident of winning this way. Other people may be more comfortable attacking the net after a flat approach, or slicing to the corners or short or whatever.

    At the end of the day, I think to beat the DAMN PUSHER, you have to give them respect and know that they're asking a question of you - is your game really as good as you think it is?

    If it is, then you know your game and how you win most of your points. If you're good, you should win, cos they (I) have nothing else. If you play your game and still lose to the pusher, they're too good for you, and you need a better game. I personally don't think you should change your game just because your playing a pusher - they're better at it than you are.
     
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  24. ramseszerg

    ramseszerg Professional

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    How do you beat pushers who don't miss a passing shot? Amazing pace and accuracy on the passing shot, keeps pushing until I get to net. Is this the ultimate pusher?
     
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  25. TENNIS_99

    TENNIS_99 Semi-Pro

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  26. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    I know a few pushers who PUSH (or Defend) until they have the ball setup and RIP for a winner. So i dont neccessarily agree that Pushers dont have weapons.

    Bottom line: While Playing against Pushers, Consistency is the key. Keep unforced errors to minimum and play to your strengths.
     
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  27. The Watchman

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    Sounds like me! (And I know that sounds very humble) I'm not sure if these people are pushers - they look like they're selecting their shots so that they're not going for a winner if the opportunity isn't there, and defend instead.

    I think they're even less obviously a pusher if they mix up slices and angles or move the ball around to try to extract a short ball and/or draw their opponent off court while 'defending'.

    I think pushers are those who have no choice but to defend off every single shot (and you get to see that shot over, and over, and over, and over again)
     
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  28. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    Take the ball on the rise.
    1. It gives the pusher less time to chase the ball and chasing the ball is the only thing that a pusher is good at.

    2. It makes returning those paceless balls easier because a ball always have more pace on the rise so even a paceless ball has some pace to work with if you take it on the rise.
     
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  29. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    The Watchman, you're not a pusher. pushers have no weapons.
     
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  30. tempura_MAKI

    tempura_MAKI Rookie

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    Ace him, then and attack his serves. make him return the ball out of his comfort zone so you control the court. hit short vollies and fast forehands. play a mind game with him, hit it easy where he wants it then switch it up with a rocket up the alley.
     
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  31. The Watchman

    The Watchman Rookie

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    Mick, thanks for your vote of confidence. I humbly agree! (Which is why the dudes Mr Monk are describing don't sound like pushers to me either.)

    However, I *do* play like a pusher when I first start playing someone who is hitting aggressively and is not giving me short/easy balls to attack. (I might add, they tend to be young folk armed with the latest babolats or wilsons.) Difference between me and pusher is that I am choosing not to use my 'weapons' to try and hit low percentage shots off their deep, hard shots. My opponent doesn't know this, and plays me like a pusher.

    And I commonly see that they make lots and lots of UEs - their shots simply aren't good enough to win points most of the time. (I wish that their parents would do something more useful than bury their faces in their hands, like keeping track of winners/forced errors and UEs. Junior might get some feedback about what's happening, rather than go to a message board and complain about how pushers used voodoo on their previously perfect unassailable games.)

    If my opponents don't make UEs ... well, I remark to their parents on what a sterling job they've done, gird my loins and take more risks with my 'weapons' to try to make things happen.
     
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  32. hyperwarrior

    hyperwarrior Professional

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    Like Federer said, you play their own game!
     
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  33. onkystomper

    onkystomper Hall of Fame

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    Not becoming lazy on your footwork is the key. Then just being prpared to hit as many shots as it takes without losing concentration.

    The reason pushers beat others is because they bore them. Playing someone who keeps lobbing the ball back with no pace is boring.

    You have to keep your concentration and discipline and beat them with your game.

    There is no point being one of the whingers who loses to a pusher and saids "this is **** tennis, This guy is rubbish" etc etc.

    You have no right to critiscize someone style who you can not beat.

    Beat them move on, dont play them again. Beat the next one
     
    #33
  34. skuludo

    skuludo Professional

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    I want to play a pusher. Maybe I'll get a shot at a 100 shot rally.
     
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  35. emo5

    emo5 Rookie

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    I think I played a pusher today.. (maybe not?)

    MY GOD IT WAS HORRIBLE!
    EVERY FRICKIN' SERVE I DID WAS WASTED EFFORT! SHE KEPT RETURNING THEM
    !!! ARGH I FEEL LIKE SMASHING THE BALL AT HER!
    kicks, slices, flats, twists what the f?

    now that i think about it, she probably wasnt a pusher but just consistent.

    I won the doubles though so im happy
     
    #35
  36. accordingtoome

    accordingtoome New User

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    im new.. whats a Pusher?? :confused:
     
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  37. spot

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    A pusher is someone who doesn't "hit" the ball. They just guide the ball back into the middle of the court every time waiting for you to make a mistake.
     
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  38. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    I once played a 5 minute 60 shot rally when playing left handed against a slow and steady topspinnner. Neither one of us could put the ball away but eventually he short-angled me off to the left of the court and hit a winner into the middle of the court.
     
    #38
  39. Supernatural_Serve

    Supernatural_Serve Professional

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    I know 2 guys who play most of their points that way. Their matches take hours for a 2 setter. They don't moonball much, just hit nice and deep to each other all day long (30-50 ball rallies EVERY POINT) and when they come in for a short ball, they hit an approach shot and then they usually run back to the baseline.

    They lift that finger into the air with such pride when one of their opponents balls lands out instead of a foot or two inside the baseline!
     
    #39
  40. maverick1

    maverick1 Semi-Pro

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    I beat a classic pusher recently. He was a very nice guy(50yrs, very fit) who was open about the fact that he didn't really have any weapons and he liked to run around the court and get exercise. He has been playing at the club since it was opened 30 years ago. He seemed quite sporting with calls too. There was not a single shot where I felt the ball was close and he called out. Anything close was in. There are only a couple of players with whom I have had this experience. Most people seem to use the rule that if they are more than 50% sure if was out, they call it out.

    The match had a bizarre pattern. I knew beforehand that he was a pusher. Still, he won the first 2 games on a series of UEs by me. Then I found my consistency. I patiently rallied with him and gradually earned advantage in a point before coming to the net. He would try to lob me, but my overhead was really on that day. When he tried to pass me I could pretty much volley away all of his slow passing shots. I repeated this pattern to win 11 out of the next 12 games to go up 6-2 5-1. Then he changed strategy a bit and stumbled into a weakness of mine - volleying low slices. Slices tend to hit the top of my frame when I volley. Even though my conscious brain knows, my "reflexive game" has never figured out that slices float whereas topspins dip.(BTW, I could use a tip on this)

    Anyway, this guy started to slice everytime I was at the net, and I either missed or sent back a very tentative volley that he could easily get to and make me run. Being a pusher, he didn't hit winners.
    I gamely kept trying without losing composure, but kept losing every game. He went up 6-5. Then I accidentally found that he was very susceptible to a drop shot on the forehand side. Eureka! I had at least 6 easy points with that shot in the next two games and won 6-2 7-6, and have never been so relieved. I was wondering if my confidence in my mental toughness would ever recover if I lost this match from 6-2 5-1; at 5-6 in the second set, I had been almost certain I would lose.

    I had been too stupid to recognize until he told me after the match that
    - he had moved a step back on the baseline to cover my approach shots.
    - He had much more trouble moving forward than sideways.

    I should have probed & learned much earlier that any time I had a short ball, he could not adequately cover both my drive to back hand corner and the drop to the forehand side.
     
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  41. normrose

    normrose Rookie

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    ZPTennis - excellent posts just what I needed to cope with our local club pusher.
     
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  42. beernutz

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    Post of the week.
     
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  43. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    No. (Keep reading.)

    You two are not describing "Pushers". You are describing Counter Punchers. Pushers -- by definition -- don't have offensive shots in their arsenal. (Passing shots are offensive shots.)

    To know more, go to the Playing Styles thread and read at least the first three posts.

    ZPTennis' tips are very good for playing a pusher. Inherent in those suggestions is the theme of patience (as already posted).

    Another strategy is to give the Pusher a variety of spins -- but not a lot of power. Wait for a ball from your opponent which you can take well inside the baseline ... and put that ball away. (But think "placement" more than "power" when going for the winner. Pushers love it when you give them more power.)

    - KK
     
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  44. mucat

    mucat Hall of Fame

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    Pusher definition: Any player I lost to.

    Ha.
     
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  45. spot

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    Tennis_Monk- sounds to me like you are the pusher who isn't able to put your opponent on the defensive because you have no weapons. SO they wait for you to hit a poor shot then they take advantage by ripping one past you.

    The bottom line is that if someone isn't attacking back at you, you should be able to hit good deep shots that will put them in weak position. If you aren't able to put your opponent in weak position then you are a pusher too
     
    #45
  46. ZPTennis

    ZPTennis Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for the compliments. :)

    I used to lose to good pushers in the past until I finally figured out some good ways to beat them. It was definitely a big step for me. I still respect the pushers game though. Having almost no unforced errors will beat a lot of people.
     
    #46
  47. boojay

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    playing pushers are fun cuz i get to practice my power shots and specialty shots. i'm not worried about losing, but i usually don't.
     
    #47
  48. ATXtennisaddict

    ATXtennisaddict Hall of Fame

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    when playing pushers, the most important thing is to mix things up. That's what I learned. Just give them some no-pace shots, short balls etc. If they are low level pushers, they probably just want to get the ball over, then pounce on it and fire a good offensive shot. Most low-level pushers don't know how to deal with varietyy. If they are good-pushers (ie they can volley, hit too approach shots, overhead, attack short balls) then well, they aren't pushers, they are counter-punchers.
     
    #48
  49. Tennis_Monk

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    Personally i wudnt guess someone's game with out watching them play and make a Post of it.

    Thanks for the information though.
     
    #49
  50. jlui21

    jlui21 Rookie

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    This by far the better of posts to go up against a pusher. I played my first tournament and against my first pusher. I cruised through the first 3 rounds, and had to work on the semifinal match. But after a 4-4 tie in the match, I won the next four games w/ a variety of serves to win it 8-4.

    Then the true test came. I broke my strings in the first game, and instead of having a chance to break my opponent (the pusher), I sprayed the last two points with jacked up strings. I didn't have a replacement until I lost the first game. So I ran to my apt, got a new one, and everything continued to fall apart. I had no patience and tried to hit out right winnners. I realized by the 6th game that volleying was pretty effective, but I did not implement it too much b.c I was pretty much flabbergasted throughout the whole match. The harder I serve, the more he got back. I threw kick serves, flat serves, and slices at him, and still he got them back. BTW, slices were probably the most effecitve but I didn't follow it up with volleying. (Shame on me.) Only once did I try slugging it out groundstroke for groundstroke. After a dozen + shots, I gave in and went for another winner and lost. He just ran down everything.

    All together, I blew up a half of dozen times yelling and giving a vicious swing into the air. Then I blew it off and smiled, regaining some composure. Even though I think along with the other players thought I had the talent to beat him you got to give my opponent credit. Although he's pretty with flawed tennis technique and the like, he gets the job done.

    So I shook hands and got his phone number. Armed with a strategy from here and hopefully an understanding that PATIENCE is key, I will hope to beat him soon. Although I didn't win the tournament, I got something even better - a better hitting partner to make me more consistent.
     
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