I can't stand playing pushers.

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by tdhawks, Jun 8, 2013.

  1. tdhawks

    tdhawks Semi-Pro

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    That's my Saturday am rant. Sorry.

    I swear, all it does is messes up my strokes and I fall into the trap of playing their style. It even takes me a few days to get the feel of my strokes back.

    Am I alone?
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2013
  2. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I don't mind playing pushers as far as playing the actual points. But pushers usually tend to have a way of trying to find ALL things that make their opponents "angry".

    This is a generalization for sure (and doesn't apply to all pushers), but pushers do tend to take the "mental warfare" aspect of a tennis match pretty seriously. And some of the "extra-tennis" stuff that goes on in a match with a pusher can make it pretty unenjoyable.
     
  3. Loose Cannon

    Loose Cannon Rookie

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    adapt......why let them dictate the way the match will go
     
  4. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    You have the option to default. :grin:

    And then you can rant here again saying: "It's not my fault, they made me do it". :grin:
     
  5. tdhawks

    tdhawks Semi-Pro

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    I agree here, but the problem is not allowing yourself to adapt to their game. Sounds easier than what it is sometimes. I think the hardest part is the mental game when playing a pusher.
     
  6. tdhawks

    tdhawks Semi-Pro

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    Ha, well played.
     
  7. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    Moonball, across, with topspin towards your backhand.
    Walking, slowly, back to the center, taking my time to get ready for the next return.​
    ..............
    :)
     
  8. ttwarrior1

    ttwarrior1 Professional

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    if they are baseline players, hit drop shots over and over
    hit deep and set it up.
     
  9. tennismonkey

    tennismonkey Semi-Pro

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    this is a topic i don't think we've addressed before. i've bookmarked this thread.
     
  10. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    Please define a pusher ;-) Someone who doesn't play my game my way & hit solid medium paced balls over the net at the same pace every ball?
     
  11. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Subscribed! Fascinating new topic.
     
  12. AtomicForehand

    AtomicForehand Hall of Fame

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    For the win!
     
  13. Tennisguy3000

    Tennisguy3000 Semi-Pro

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    Some topics should be stickied so that others can refer to it before they post ;-)
     
  14. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    embrace the challenge

    respect what they can do

    become a better player physically or mentally

    devise a game plan to beat them

    dont be a whinny baby
     
  15. tdhawks

    tdhawks Semi-Pro

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    Not sure where the whinny baby comment came from, just stating what their affect had on me. In fact, I didn't say I lost to him either. But I agree with the rest of your post.
     
  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I love pushers. It is great exercise playing them.
     
  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What are some examples of that?
     
  18. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    People's definition of 'pusher' varies, but let's say a player who is very good at retrieving and defense, but is limited offensively.

    There are two traps to avoid:

    1. Playing their style. They are better at this style than you are. Just don't do it.

    2. Going for too much. You should be able to blow them off the court, right? But they are great at resetting the point, and when you think you have a winner... they make you win every point a few times, and feast off your errors as you try hit ever harder and harder.

    So, play aggressive, but within yourself. Once you realize they can't really hurt you, then you know that you can take your time, control the point, make them work, and wait for the perfect opportunity to end it.
     
  19. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    You have to be mentally prepared to play. Set up your patterns and hit balls that come back over the net
     
  20. sabala

    sabala Semi-Pro

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    Hate playing pushers eh? Good, GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!

    [​IMG]
     
  21. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    that means your weapons are not good enough. If your weapons were good enough, the ball would not come back and you would not have to resort to pushing as well.
     
  22. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    There is always a tradeoff between consistency and aggression, as you get better, that tradeoff diminishes, but it's always there. Pushers just choose consistency over aggression. If you can't hit enough winners or force enough errors against a "pusher", that means your angles/power/consistency/etc. is just not good enough to support your aggressive style at your level. Also, remember, you're also just a pusher (or a hit/miss maniac) to the player next level up.
     
  23. dcdoorknob

    dcdoorknob Hall of Fame

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    I found the "it messes up my strokes" comment interesting.

    My personal experience is that it can mess up one stroke much more than the other. My 2hbh is my best shot, and is pretty structurally sound (as far as 3.5 strokes go), so generating pace off nothing balls is not really an issue.

    My forehand, on the other hand, is often a bit dodgy and not nearly as structurally sound, and much, much more prone to being 'messed up' by a pusher. Generating my own pace on that side is a shaky proposition that can lead to errors quickly (or lead to me bailing out and just slicing my forehands more often).

    Anyways, all that to say that all pushers typically do is just expose weaknesses that you wish weren't there. That may not be pleasant to go through but it definitely can be instructive in showing you areas in which you could most afford to improve, whether it be stroke mechanics or shot selection or point construction or whatever.
     
  24. Gut4Tennis

    Gut4Tennis Hall of Fame

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    more then anything pushers bring out your weakness

    if you can beat the pusher ( consistent very little pace) then you have become a 4.5 lol
     
  25. darrinbaker00

    darrinbaker00 Professional

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    Strangely enough, I like the ones I can beat, and I don't like the ones I can't beat.
     
  26. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    You should play as many as you can.
     
  27. antq21

    antq21 New User

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    Even if you lose to the pusher just remember, they most likely will not improve and become a better player, but you can still improve and reach a higher level.
     
  28. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    +1. You left out 'doesn't supply me with a reasonable number of free points by overhitting and putting FHs into the bottom of the net or into the fence behind the court'.

    OP, please state your level. If it's 4.0 or lower you either get used to dealing with them (there will be plenty) - hit at 75% power and pick their weaker side apart - or take up bowling. If you're at 4.5 or higher, they aren't pushers - they're just very consistent. So you either improve your consistency, pick on their weaker side until you open up enough court to hit a winner or an approach shot so you can get to net for an easy volley or overhead, make them come net if they aren't comfortable up there. Other options - see bowling above or start using your middle name and sandbag down to 3.5.
     
  29. tdhawks

    tdhawks Semi-Pro

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    I'm an upper level 4.0. I agree with you said. It wasn't a thread on I can't beat a pusher, more or less, the style of play eats at me.

    If I can't figure out a way to gain the mental edge, perhaps I can pursue being the next Ernie McCracken.
     
  30. Ironwood

    Ironwood Semi-Pro

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    Tennis certainly at club level which is where I play is 'all court'! Make use of the whole court as long as you aren't being punished. Push it, slice it, drop it lob it.....use the whole court, and have fun doing it. Of course the pros can't play this way, but they mix up their game in more subtle ways....although not many can do it well.
     
  31. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    LOL. So, what you are really saying is that these guys use a style that gives you trouble and you struggle against them because of it.

    How is this complaint any different than me saying, "I hate playing guys with huge serves. It takes all the stroke-making out of the match. They have one shot---a big serve---and the whole match devolves into a serving exhibition."

    If I were the "pusher" playing you, and you had better strokes than me or strokes I had trouble with, I certainly wouldn't feed your strength. I understand your frustration, but as a player whose game has several "pusher" qualities to it, I can't feel sorry for anyone just because he struggles against a particular style. This whole line of complaint has too much of a feel of tennis elitism to it for me.

    If you can beat them handily, then maybe it serves no purpose to play them since you win anyway and it does, perhaps, screw with your strokes. I'll take your word for that one. On the other hand, if they give you serious trouble, you would be well advised to learn to handle the frustration better and find weaknesses in their game you can exploit. Truth is, you never know when you will run into a better-skilled player with this same sort of game in a tournament or league. That's what I love about tennis---whatever the style of play, we all get a place at the table.
     
  32. storypeddler

    storypeddler Semi-Pro

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    ***cough***BULL%$@#***cough***

    Lots of "pushers" develop into solid players. They add stroke quality and efficiency to their game of consistency and they become very challenging opponents at the next level and the next.
     
  33. Aurellian

    Aurellian Semi-Pro

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    can you please elaborate? Thanks.
     
  34. antq21

    antq21 New User

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    I must not know the definition of pusher, I figured they had no weapons and just try to get the ball back over the net. I figured they would not gain weapons because they will just continue playing safe and try to win that same way, trying new things in their matches would make the pusher begin to make UE's.

    If they add new things to their game would they still be a pusher?

    pusher vs pusher = 3 hours set
     
  35. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    Always being able to hit one more ball over the net is a weapon, especially when the opponent constantly fears "one more ball" coming back to him.

    To those that want to always win the point early because he or she does not trust in their abilities to keep a long rally going, one of the most hated things in tennis is playing against a "backboard".

    but versus strong players, "one more ball" isn't a weapon.
     
  36. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    I'm trying to make this transition-- I usually hit "real" if not great topspin strokes in warmups and practice, but in matches I have found myself relying largely on a consistent slice and on retrieving ability.

    But I'm starting to loosen up a bit in matches, placing the ball better, using more topspin and sharper crosscourt angles and moving opponents around a little more, so my game is (very slowly) getting more aggressive. I'm never going to be hitting winners left and right but I want to be able to dictate play at least somewhat.

    I think someone who plays like a "pusher" in matches but keeps practicing has a chance to develop. Their passive play may just reflect a lack of confidence or a reluctance to play shots they don't own, rather than satisfaction with a limited game.
     
  37. RetroSpin

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    I don't really consider players who just try to get the ball back and don't hit with a lot of pace to be "pushers." They are just players who don't hit with a lot of pace and try to win with consistency.

    The true pusher is an evil genius who usually has good footwork and movement skills, can return serve just well enough to keep you from dominating him, can hit awkward moonballs for hours and can lob the ball into your hat. No normal person practices returning moonballs. Turns out it's not so easy. Why do you think moonballers dominated the women's tour for years?
     
  38. Clive Walker

    Clive Walker Rookie

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    In our club league matches I've been paired this year with something of a pusher- He frustrates people in doubles by having a very wristy but low pace topspin forehand which lands deep-ish and bounces high- when people crowd the net he is very adept at lobs and consistently hits them well. His standard turn of phrase when people complain (which they do) is to ask them whether he is really going to play the way they want him to?

    I suppose it works as I'm the big server and big hitter that prevents opponents from getting any rhythm- I would prefer someone who hits with a bit more pace which lets me get in the points more at the net- anyway..

    In a match earlier this week we played a pair who completely out pushed him... He was getting frustrated, claiming he was going to fall asleep if it got any slower, and losing his one great weapon- his consistency. - We ended up sharing the spoils, losing a breaker and winnign 6-2, largely due to me hitting them around a bit.

    Afterwards I pointed out how he usually gets others to feel like he did during the sets, he pretty much took it on the chin and gave it some consideration.
     
  39. HRB

    HRB Professional

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    there really is only one answer to this post...NO ****, WHO DOES?
     
  40. Avles

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    Honestly, I would relish the chance to play a pusher.

    Knowing that my opponent has nothing to hurt me, that I'll get plenty of strokes in and a good workout, that I will get some practice constructing points, running him around, cleaning up at the net... knowing that if I lose it'll be because of my errors and not because the opponent didn't let me in the points... all that sounds great to me.

    But for whatever reason most of my usual opponents hit pretty aggressive shots, (some more effectively than others). I wish some of these hated pushers would come my way...
     
  41. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    I second that.

    It's one of the best practice sessions you can have, because you have to be focused, play to your strengths, have good footwork to get to those drop shots, slices and other junk, go the the net, attack short balls, etc. It's great. Playing someone who hits big and makes unforced errors all the time is not nearly as beneficial for your game, unless they can do this and be more consistent than you at the same time (which means you'll be destroyed quickly, but it's a good experience as well).
     
  42. paul500w

    paul500w Rookie

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    I have played this guy 3 times in my Ultimate Tennis league. He has beaten me each time. I thought I was better than he was but he did reset the point each time and caused me to "PUSH" to make a better and better shot each time and I normally made the mistake. I say "CLAP CLAP CLAP" to him for knowing his game and winning at it. It's my fault for not making him change up.
     
  43. HRB

    HRB Professional

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    Dude, where the hell do you live, Monaco? Is you court of choice "burdened" with nothing but great players? There is no shortage of "pushers" anywhere in organized tennis I've been exposed to.

    Do I fear them? Not at all...Is it fun having to just concentrate, put the ball away, and bagel or breadstick someone?...Not at all!

    I like to force someone to their limits and have them respond by forcing me to mine..win or lose, that is most satisfying for me.
     
  44. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    If you're bageling and breadsticking, you will be moved up and will have to deal with pushers that will bagel you instead. Why is it hard to accept that there are players worse than you at your level? If you want a challenge every time, then play up.
     
  45. Avles

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    haha... I didn't say they were great players, just that they're aggressive ones. A couple are good and can blow me off the court when they are hitting their spots; others are not so good and make plentiful errors. But for whatever reason almost everybody I play these days goes for their shots-- they either don't want to, or can't, extend the rallies.


    Well I wouldn't want every match to be like that-- but that sounds fun to me. :)

    Sounds like you're a better player than I am (and better than many of the people who complain about pushers).
     
  46. TTMR

    TTMR Hall of Fame

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    Not me. I'm not interested in extended sessions that make me work hard, sweat and improve my stamina. In principle, a three hour singles match sounds exhilarating, but in practice I want an opponent that hits hard and sprays errors left and right, where we spend the bulk of our 39 minutes picking up balls.
     
  47. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    I used to hate 'em, now I kinda love 'em. Actually a lot of my training partners are pushers, some are really good at that. It makes for an interesting match up, where I generally find my self in charge of moving them around and they just keep hitting balls back. I win almost all matches against them, but they do "push" me to concentrate and play a commanding offensive game without making too many unforced errors. Great training.

    I remember the best of my pusher friends really driving me to the brink in a 3rd set tiebreaker. I hit a crosscourt backhand right in the corner to set up matchpoint 6-5 and finished it off on my serve. I know he would never have taken the chance to hit a winner on that match-deciding point, but I sure did and it paid off. My theory is that concentrated offensive play will almost always win against pushers and that was the best proof.
     
  48. roman40

    roman40 Rookie

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    I like playing against aggressive players, if they are better than me, but I learn and improve more playing with pushers, especially those with some counter-punching ability. Against players who spray errors left and right, I just resort to "keep the ball deep and in play" strategy, which is somewhat boring.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2013
  49. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    I like playing pushers. Since they put no pressure on me I get to hit every shot in my repertoire--topspin, slice, flat, angle, deep, short, drop shots, lobs, volleys, overheads, kill shots, big serves, kick serves, slice serves, drive returns, chip and charge returns, high balls, low balls, etc, etc, etc. Players who lose to pushers don't have much of a repertoire--their game is as limited as the pusher's. If you can only play well when your opponent hits a certain type of ball you're not very good.
     
  50. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    Pretty much this ^^^^
     

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