How to beat a DAMN PUSHER????

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

  1. Jim_Courier's_Fluffy_Hair

    Jim_Courier's_Fluffy_Hair New User

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    #51
  2. TommyM

    TommyM New User

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    The best strategies against pushers are:

    1. Attack the net! Their shots usually don’t have any pace (that’s why they are called pushers…) so you’ll have lots of chances at the net. They know that too so expect many lobs…

    2. Get them out of their comfort zone! Bring them to the net and serve them their own medicine. And even when you play a short ball to bring them in they usually can’t hit a winner of that short shot.

    3. Play short cross court shots and make them run! They enjoy deep shots with no direction which they can just “push” back. Play slower and short and open up the court to attack the net.

    4. Take the ball earlier and reduce their recovery time even though you don’t hit harder. Eventually you’ll get a really short ball for a putaway shot.

    5. Most pushers are really fast around the court. Use that to your advantage and play behind their back.

    For a comprehensive guide on how to play pushers and a wealth of information on tennis tactics do a Google search on Tennis Strategy Encyclopedia.
     
    #52
  3. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Sounds more like a mental issue with you calling them "Damn" pushers. Think of them as just consistent players and that you need to work on your own consistency to rise above them. Don't blame or get angry at them for you losing. Look within and learn to control your emotions and learn the art of the rally and staying patient throughout an entire match. Openings will open up throughout the rally where you can go for more but let the game come to you and don't try to force it. Stay relaxed and calm even after losing long points.
     
    #53
  4. MasterTS

    MasterTS Professional

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    Hehe I've overcome most pushers but occasionally they can get to me as well. I have an overall consistent game so I don't go for many winners either. Kinda like a Monfils game.. well the problem is when I play a pusher I end up going for more winners because its too tiring staying in a 15+ stroke rally on every point lol! All they're doing is bumping the ball back while you're putting a lot of topspin.
     
    #54
  5. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Bumping, I like that description.
     
    #55
  6. LazyAzN

    LazyAzN Rookie

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    I just played my 3rd pusher... and still lost...

    I tried to make him run around the court through baselining, and then smashing it....
    But then it was a smash rally and lob return...
    :(...

    Guess I have to play net A LOT more...
     
    #56
  7. OSD

    OSD Guest

    Pushers are the best kind of players for beginners IMO. I've played against a good player recently (maybe a 4.5?) and a pusher my lvl. Sure, I learned a lot of new stuff from the good player, but when you are a beginner, you wanna be able to run around and the hit the ball in as many different way as possible. Pushers are pretty much the ideal "wall" since you can get a truer sense of your shots in the courts. And one thing about pushers, aim for their feet near their backhand side. Do it a couple of times and then do a slice into it. It usually throws them off balance ^^
     
    #57
  8. mdhubert

    mdhubert Semi-Pro

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    Good power approach shot on the weak side, go to the net, either play in the open court or wrong-foot him. If it's not your game, play the percentages and let him create the game and pace, he will fall apart after a while. Takes more time though. Good luck.
     
    #58
  9. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    ^ Awesome! I liked reading this story..
     
    #59
  10. MaxT

    MaxT Rookie

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    No. If you are forced to play their game, and you are not a natural pusher, you will likely loose. They can loop to each other for 40 times, and most others are not used to do that. So you have to try to play your game and make him out of his elment as well.
     
    #60
  11. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    Pushers who win don't just push, they also do something else really well. They all have some kind of defensive weapons, lob, drop shot etc, all they lack is an offensive weapon. If they had an offensive weapon they would be playing on tour.

    If they just push and don't have a defensive weapon then easy, just hit a deep approach shot, come to the net and finish him off with a volley or two. However, in reality, the pusher will finish you off with a perfectly placed lob or a medium pace passing shot that manages to barely pass you by, every single time, time after time after time. I find that an experienced pusher (ie a good one) either has perfectly placed lobs or pinpoint accurate passing shots. So forget about coming to the net, unless your last name is Rafter or something.

    Since even pushers have "weapons" they also have weaknesses. You need to go to their weaknesses in order to win and there is no single solution, it depends on their weaknesses. I find that most pushers actually break down when you can outlast them. So consistency is the key. The good thing about playing a pusher is that they don't have offensive weapons so you can experience without risk being blown off the court. For example, I know a pusher whose only weakness is a slow kick serve with no pace but spin and height. With other players, that kind of serve could be risky but with him, it is deadly. There is another pusher who can hit perfectly placed lobs everytime with his backhand but not forehand. So if I need a point, I will approach to his forehand and the chance is good that I will get that point.

    So with a pusher, you can afford to take your time and experience with all kinds of shots (except volley) without much risk and see what kind of shot he doesn't like. When you find it, use it but only sparingly. You might not blow him off the court but the odds are with you this time.
     
    #61
  12. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Golden Retriever - You are not describing "Pushers" above. You are describing Counter Punching when you write about passing shots and "weapons". That's not pushing, IMO.

    - KK
     
    #62
  13. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    i think so too. there's no shame in losing a tennis match to a counter puncher but if you lost a match to a "true" pusher, you need more practice to play better tennis. A true pusher doesn't beat you by hitting winners. He would beat you by causing you to commit unforced errors, and a good tennis player should be able to reduce those unforced errors when facing soft balls that land in the middle of the court.
     
    #63
  14. inferno303

    inferno303 New User

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    but still... pushers have got to be one of THE most annoying things on the court. thank god for the volley drive, it seems quite universal
     
    #64
  15. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    IMO, a pusher who does nothing but push is only a beginner and loses all the time. People wouldn't be complaining about that kind of pusher. A pusher must be doing something else right besides pushing to become the kind of pusher that people complain about. Maybe he pushes with extremely good placement etc. If he just pushes, anyone can finish him off by coming to the net, no way he can run down volley after volley.

    If a pusher who can do more than just pushing is a counterpuncher in the strictest definition of the word then the ones people are having troubles with are counterpunchers not pushers.
     
    #65
  16. arnz

    arnz Professional

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    If you are playing against somebody who sends the ball deep, runs you side to side, can lob or pass you, and can track down your harder shots until he forces an error from you, then you have no business calling him a pusher. You are simply being outplayed by a better player, period.
     
    #66
  17. alan-n

    alan-n Professional

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    When it comes to playing pushers, if you don't have the ability to hit put away overheads and volleys than you are in deep trouble. Those floating shots with no pace that lands near the service line are very very tough to hit for flat winners. Either you coming in to hit the winning volley / overhead or face defeat.
     
    #67
  18. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    What defines a pusher?
     
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  19. AJK1

    AJK1 Hall of Fame

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    Someone who actually thinks about the game, moves the opponent around, hits a variety of shots and has some tactics. Not like the young blasters that hit it at 1 zillion mph and never get it in the court.
     
    #69
  20. The Watchman

    The Watchman Rookie

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    So so true.

    If you can consistently volley/hit overheads, pushers are easy. But then again, if you can hit volleys and overheads consistently, you're probably too good to meet pushers often.

    It's hard to hit winners from shots that have no pace against a fleet footed pusher - again, if you can do it consistently, you're probably too good to meet pushers often.

    Which I think is the crux of the problem - pushers get the ball in consistently, albeit with little other motive. If you're to win, you either have to be more consistent than them (ie be a better pusher) or hit shots that you can *consistently* make that can *consistently* win you points.

    Something easier than volleys/overheads or flat winners is to (1) move them out of position then (2) hit to the open court. The hard bit is obviously (1). I use a topspin forehand to achieve (1), but others may have a good slice or whatever. Good luck!
     
    #70
  21. Roy

    Roy Semi-Pro

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    with consistency and then seizing the opportunity of a weak reply...
     
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  22. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    #72
  23. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I have been pretty active in the past 2 months doing tennis leagues and it seems that almost every opponent I play is a pusher. Here is my profile for a pusher:

    Level of play: 3.0-3.5
    age: 35+, younger players are less likely to be pushers
    mobility: very fast
    backhand: no topspin, only slice shots
    serve: horrible, 1st serve always in the net, only 2nd serve dinks
    forehand: weak topspin shots, strong slice shots
    other: these types of players seem to play alot of doubles and not so much singles

    I'll probably get bashed because someone will have to point out that there is at least one pusher that is less than 35 years old, and I realize there are exceptions, so don't even bother. I'm just wondering if anyone else sees the same thing. I am 0-4 against pushers.
     
    #73
  24. maverick1

    maverick1 Semi-Pro

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    That is a pretty close to how I would define them. Except the doubles part. Are you sure you didn't mean to say say the opposite of what you said?
    Pushers are not good at doubles. Their slow returns would be poached every time. Their mobility would not be much of a factor in doubles.
     
    #74
  25. Slice Approach

    Slice Approach New User

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    A pusher is equivalent to a mobile backboard. Their goal is to get every ball back in play and wait for their opponent to self-destruct. I have respect for this type of style, however it can only take you so far.

    A counter-puncher, on the other hand, is a different animal. As opposed to the pusher who bunts or slices the ball back with practically no pace, a counter-puncher has solid stroke mechanics and hits a heavier, deeper ball more consistently. They have good defensive skills to handle the pace of more advanced players, but will hurt you if given the opportunity.

    To beat a pusher easily, you have to have a solid overall game and be able to take advantage of opportunities to put the ball away or force an error. You also have to be prepared to hit more balls in a rally than normal.
     
    #75
  26. AngeloDS

    AngeloDS Hall of Fame

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    Get some lessons and better refine your technique and strokes. A lot of players don't realize how bad their stroke mechanics are.

    A ball that floats or has virtually no pace, you should make that in 9 times out of 10 and be able to place it in a specific spot.

    I jump on balls that have little or no pace. It's a ball that I dream of, as I don't see too many in the level I play. All the balls are heavy and have quite a bit of pace and you're just waiting for that one moment which doesn't come often.
     
    #76
  27. arnz

    arnz Professional

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    Nowadays I'm seeing lots of topspin and pace, side to side, a benefit(???) of increasing level of competition I see. Usually, I cough up the paceless ball in the middle which my opponents jump on. I would be so happy if I see a paceless short ball that I can attack. I'd be happy to play the Damn Pusher:mrgreen:
     
    #77
  28. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    since a good pusher is about 3.5 - 4.0, you gotta be above that level to beat him. if you can't beat a damn pusher, then you are still not good enough. You make too many unforced errors against a pusher.

    If I could beat a damn hard hitter, I would be willing to be a damn pusher to humiliate him. :p:p
     
    #78
  29. Will888

    Will888 Semi-Pro

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    Make them run side to side, then come in and volley that crap
     
    #79
  30. dannyjjang

    dannyjjang Semi-Pro

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    how about runaway?
     
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  31. SoBad

    SoBad Legend

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    Beat him with your approach shots and volley if you must.
     
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  32. mahouFuji

    mahouFuji Rookie

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    honestly make him run but if hes OIA champ and he has the angles just give ur best shot and try not to get double bageled
     
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  33. OMGIMACAR

    OMGIMACAR New User

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    aim for the balls lol jk
     
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  34. mahouFuji

    mahouFuji Rookie

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    smart atk the dudes sacred jewels no man has balls of steel
     
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  35. Zets147

    Zets147 Banned

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    aim for the "sweetspot" and keep attacking.

    I hate pushers..
     
    #85
  36. Dan007

    Dan007 Hall of Fame

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    I do win a lot of points when come into the net, but I'm a baseliner so I don't feel comfortable. My volleys are a lot better than it used to be, I should keep working on it.
     
    #86
  37. Head_Rocketman

    Head_Rocketman Rookie

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    Can anyone give video of the famed and notorious "pusher" haha
     
    #87
  38. DrewRafter8

    DrewRafter8 Professional

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    I have found that it is a good strategy to attack the net against a pusher. However, some do have VERY good lobs. A guy I play at my racquet club is a pusher with incredible passing shots and lobs. What I normally do is turn up the topspin and hit deep. He typically has a problem with hitting on the rise, so he either backs up or misses the shot. Also, make them RUN!!! Side to side, front to back, etc.
     
    #88
  39. mdhubert

    mdhubert Semi-Pro

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    #89
  40. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    #90
  41. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    I agree with Mick. That guy's not playing the Pusher style. He's hitting for the open court and counter punching.

    Pushers just bunt the ball back; they don't have much directional control and they don't hit passing shots.

    - KK
     
    #91
  42. mahouFuji

    mahouFuji Rookie

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    lol notorious pusher search for matthew tavares hes oahu oia champ 2006 hes over NOTORIOUS
     
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  43. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    At last some tactics. I am so glad I found this thread. Got a new racquet. Promptly lost to the pusher-man. Got to get used to the racquet. Got to employ the tactics here. Was coming into the net but cannot judge my touch shots with this racquet. Yet. But I am a bad tradesman blaming his tools.

    Will actually now seek out pushers because although it is a frustrating style of play (less adrenalin, less fun) it's still very interesting to find where my game is at against the human-backboard.

    Crucified the puisher in doubles. Lost 6-3 in our one-only singles set. Interesting, very. Thanks for the ideas here.
     
    #93
  44. arnz

    arnz Professional

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    AHAHAHA!!! Funny, but the kid is trying the right things, like coming in and volleying. Unfortunately, while he puts the guy into a bad position with his nice backhand, he cant put away the volley, or at least send it away from the guy and not into his racket.
     
    #94
  45. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    It's cringeworthy aint it? From sort of DVD by the looks of it. C'mon we've all been there aint we? The Kid, he's bouncing on his feet. Toe to toe. But the slow-shoe snowshoe wins! All the fun of the fair.

    There are 3 or 4 pushers at my club and I will seek playing them. It can only be constructive. I eman they're pushers who are better than this one in the video. More athletic and more certain of what they plan and are doing. Good advice in this thread.

    Pushers play well within their own remit. The tennis court is a small place, seemingly smaller with a lower paced ball, suddenyl you're standing inside the baseline wondering what to do.
     
    #95
  46. Stinkdyr

    Stinkdyr Professional

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    Bert is on target...

    One of the probs vs a pusher is you find yourself in unfamiliar territory...ie, standing near service line with a no-pace blob bouncer that you are tempted to smack down the line for a winner. Sounds easy right? Then why do we miss that shot so much? So often that the pusher COUNTS on our missing that seemingly easy put-away.
    1. One reason is that we try to overhit the shot cuz it looks too easy.
    2. Second reason is that WE NEVER PRACTICE hitting those shots. The solution is to PRACTICE hitting them. You can practice it whenever you find yourself standing on court waiting for your partner to return from getting a drink, going potty, to show up for the match etc. Just bounce the ball up to head height around the service line and start smacking away with different strokes until something feels right. I have developed a sort of stiff-armed, side/top spin shoulder-high bh that I can smack consistently down the line even when the ball hit to me has no pace. I am still working on the fh side.
     
    #96
  47. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Good advice to actually practice what we receive in these matches. Too often we practice how we ideally would like to play - fast and hard behind the baseline. That just doesn't translate sometimes. A medium paced floater landing between service T and baseline can be very annoying, and unusual - until you start receiving them in a match with a pusher - it's funny I have to get my head around these matches. I don't reallyu want to but they are a necessary evil on the true path to tennis enlightenment. ;)
     
    #97
  48. Rafa's best friend

    Rafa's best friend Banned

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    First and foremost, you have to be patient and come into Net whenever possible. and You must have a good consistant Overhead. You must let him know you will come to put the ball away if he keeps pushing it, and let him know you will fight to the death.
     
    #98
  49. bcsax123

    bcsax123 Semi-Pro

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    5 ways to beat a pusher:
    1) Pushback
    2) Make him/her run
    3) Keep hitting to thier backhand (Pushers usually have weak backhands)
    4) Go up to volley, giving them less time to run around
    5) Just play normal
     
    #99
  50. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I have the belief that if you can't put the ball away, then you can't beat a pusher. Thats it. AMEN! And I cannot put the ball away, therefore I cannot beat a pusher. If you don't put the ball away, then the pusher will always be a step ahead of you because he is better at just keeping the ball in play. I have tried playing aggressively at the net, at the baseline, hitting deep, and the only way I seem to have success is by crushing those floaters off to the corner. I just can't do it consistently enough to win. Thats why I believe that a pusher dominates the 3.5 level. This is just my opinion so no need to flame. I figure if this thread is still alive then nobody has solved the dilemma yet.
     

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