I need to increase my endurance if I'm going to be a pusher

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by dman72, Sep 28, 2012.

  1. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    So I've given in and decided that at my level (3.5 to 4.0) pushing is the best strategy. So I play this style for the last set of a match 2 weekends ago and a full match last weekend.

    I win the match last weekend fairly easily against someone who I've played competetively against many times but probably have a 40% winning percentage against. This is a guy with smooth strokes, ok fitness and movement. It was really simple...when in doubt, hit a moonball. My intention on every rally shot was the clear the net by 3 feet and have it land within 3 feet of the baseline, 4 feet inside the sideline.

    Do not attempt even a forcing shot unless the ball is near the service line. This strategy worked very well. He ended up making errors 3 to 4 shots into rallies generally, or I was able to come to the net behind something he hit weakly. I made a few errors also even trying to push, but far fewer than I did playing more aggresively.

    Wednesday in my league I play another guy who I've played quite often with about a 40-45% winning percentage against. His stokes are not as solid as the previous guy but he is much more fit and quicker.

    I go up 5-2 in the first set and I'm playing well, and again the strategy is working, but damn is this hard work against a counter puncher!! Every rally is long, and we have some that are upwards of 20 strokes. I win more of them than I lose, but they are taking their toll.

    Then I run out of gas and end up losing 7-5 and the next set 6-2 or something.

    So, this game plan works if you have the fitness to keep at it. I obviously don't. But I start running more this weekend. A pusher is born.
     
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  2. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    What you say is true.

    Good luck getting fit.
     
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  3. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Good luck getting out of 4.0 then, I don't think pushing will be rewarded above 4.0. Hell even against a good 4.0, it's not going to cut it.
     
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  4. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    dman,

    I like your post. :) What you said is true. Yeah, get in good shape. However, even in good very shape, you will inevitably lose to the class of player that has sound strokes and just whip the ball. I observe that pros play like this, ie style and mindset.

    I know couple of guys at the park playing this way. Their shots are nearly impossible to return. For the park/rec level it's almost universal that these guys do not have to keep their rally more than 5 shots, and yet they always come out ahead of you in point though. I'm training myself to play this style also. It's very liberating.
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I need to learn to hit harder.
    Already I have a decent first serve and lately, a pretty powerful topspin forehand if I go predominantly CC.
    I cannot run two steps, or push off with my left leg.
    Lately, a topspin backhand is coming back, hit faster than any serve I see coming my way at our paltry level RoseGarden courts. Problem is, smart servers mix up spin pace, and lately hit into my body, taking the swing away from my toppsin backhand.
    Smart play against me is to dropshot, then lob high defensively, making me run to fetch for them. Since everyone knows I can't run, it's smart strategy.
     
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  6. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

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    You might even win a slam someday.
     
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  7. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    I'll believe it when Gilles Simon wins a slam.
     
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  8. samarai

    samarai Rookie

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    Yes the running is gonna help your game immensely. I started a regular running routine duringsummer and do 3-4miles 3 times a week now. The pushers at our courts give me no more problems, they can slice, lob ,moon ball me all day, they usually wear out before I do. Ican go almost a whole set before needing a water break.
     
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  9. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    Just like .00000000001% if the people who post on this board.

    :confused:
     
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  10. goober

    goober Legend

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    The problem is that with play style it is harder and harder to maintain as you get older unless you drop down play lower levels. I suggest you develop into a counter puncher rather than a pusher.
     
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  11. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    The best pushers make their opponents do most the running. If you are running more than your opponent, then he's a better pusher than you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
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  12. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Not true. There are pushers at every level.
     
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  13. vil

    vil Semi-Pro

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    You definitely need to get fitter, since you've chosen this style of play. Being a pusher, fitness is the main attribute. When you see that other guy falling on his face after 20 exchange shots or so, you should be barely gasping for air and still manage to have relaxed grin on your face. That puts the other guy even further down into the hole mentally and physically.:)
    Ok, seriously, having this style drives a lot of players nuts but you also have to be prepared, it will lose its effectivness (if you find boring at winning) and decide to try higher levels. These guys don't buy any of your shots. You'll get wipped off the court really quick. Pushing has its limitations in general. What I mean, eventually you will have to pick up the pace and accuracy, which usually screws up consistency, pushers are known for. This is, why most players try to learn hitting the ball the way pros do so they can dictate points. If you end up playing one of these hard hitting but consistent guys, you will have no chance dictating point.
     
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  14. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    You don't have to be a pusher. If you want to play 4.0 tennis you have to learn how to hit the tennis ball right without making mistakes. As I see it, 4.0 and 4.5 are about not making mistakes while improving your strokes. At 4.0 it is worthless to try and hit winners off of every shot because you just don't have the capabilities at that level. You certainly don't want to fall into the pusher trap and start hitting moonballs and junk back, you want to be able to hit a decent shot back and in. It doesn't have to be a winner, it just has to be a decent rally shot. If you use the 4.0 level as a springboard to great strokes you will find that at 4.5 you can start adding more pace and honing in your precision and start playing more aggressively, but still the theme is to not make stupid unforced errors. In fact, that theme will follow you right up and through the pro ranks.

    The difference between a good 4.0 and a 4.0 pusher is the good 4.0 has the strokes to keep the rally going all day if necessary, while eventually the junk of the pusher will create an error or a weak ball to attack.
     
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  15. danno123

    danno123 Rookie

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    You're doing it right. The strategy you're adopting is a winning strategy for tennis at virtually every level. At your level, it's considered "pushing." As you get better, however, you can keep the same strategy and, instead of hitting moonballs, you can hit safe cross-court shots until you get a ball you can attack. Some of the rallies between pros go 20 shots or more but, interestingly enough, no one calls them pushers.
     
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  16. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    this is not true, people on this board call Nadal, Murray, Simon, etc... pushers all the time :)
     
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