Outpushed by a non-Pusher

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by PushyPushster, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    I just had a horrible singles match where I was out-pushed at my own game. The first set started fine and I won easily; the guy was yelling at himself which is music to my ears. Then, halfway through the second set, my opponent completely changes his gameplan and starts pushing the ball right back at me. That's no problem - Boredom is my secret weapon. If I have to win a 3 hour match using the tennis equivalent of Chinese water torture that's cool with me. This guy just won't mentally break, though. Long story short, he eeks out the win in the second set and crushes me in the third because he had the better strokes and wouldn't get impatient. I was so depressed I actually called up the local tennis center and inquired about lessons. Is this what it's come to? I've played tennis for years without knowing the proper way to hit a ball and it doesn't seem right to start now. I'm having a real crisis of confidence. Someone help a brother out.
     
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  2. grimmbomb21

    grimmbomb21 Professional

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    duth justice be served....PUSHER!!!
     
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  3. Swissv2

    Swissv2 Hall of Fame

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    Your wily pushing ways have been thwarted! muahahahhaha, :p (pblhhhh)
     
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  4. Ripper

    Ripper Hall of Fame

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    This is a joke, right?
     
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  5. Doc Hollidae

    Doc Hollidae Hall of Fame

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    I've done it before. I got so frustrated after losing the first set that I decided I was going to start pushing back. I hit lobs off returns for no reason, hit moonballs, lob volleys, etc. Pissed the guy off completely. Nothing is more entertaining than getting a pusher to tell you to stop pushing. All I could think was, "Now you know the hell that I have to go through." Only problem is that pushing just isn't my game so I end up making more unforced errors trying to be a jerk and counter pushing, than just playing my normal game.
     
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  6. soyizgood

    soyizgood G.O.A.T.

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    I have no sympathy for pushers. You people only hit in a way that keeps the points alive, yet refuse to challenge yourself to evolve and take it up another level. Pushers have frustrated many beginners and intermediates with their stagnant form of play.

    Seeing that most of the recreational players in my area are pushers or testosterone-driven folks spraying the court and net, I get a smile when players use their mind and skill to overcome such menacing species of players.

    My best friend is a pusher and even though I usually win, I'm still learning new skills and improving my play for other challenges. He told me my style is funner, so I know he's envious. He can and does improve from playing and watching me, but I strive for greatness and work my butt off to achieve that.

    If you want to just be the king of the 3.0 realm, keep doing your thing. But pushers have a ceiling on what they can do as they only care about staying alive and hoping for opponent UEs. I'd say take a recreational class and learn how to use a full stroke. As well as serving faster than 35MPH. Good luck, pusher...you'll need it
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2007
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  7. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    No Love

    I don't feel a lot of love in the air.

    Sadly, no.

    I've had it tried against me before, but never successfully. I have fun hitting it from the baseline and don't mind doing it all day. It's not like it stresses me out, or anything. Others seem to break after twelve or fifteen balls float over the net. This guy sure didn't, though.

    How many levels do you want to "take it up"? Let's face it, none of us is going to be Roger Federer, so if you're having fun does it really matter if it's at 3.5, 4.0, 4.5 (or whatever)? Oddly enough, due to the weakness of the division I'm playing in - non USTA -, I'm probably going to get bumped to 4.0- at the end of this season. I don't belong there, but I guess according to your criteria I'm "moving on up" and therefore doing great.

    Yeah, that's me. I play a game called "How long is it going to take you to move three feet inside the baseline?" when I start a match. Almost nobody does it on the first service. It's like they think the 30mph serve is a trick and I'm waiting to uncork an ace on them. There's still plenty that are staying back after the second time around. It's not until the third service that most are willing to accept that's really all there is. Oh well. Everyone has talents and serving has cetainly never been mine.
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I have no advice, but you gave me a good laugh! And I love your name.

    I will profess my love for you right here and now, PushyPushster! :)
     
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  9. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Some pushers do evolve. I know that I have and now have some wins over 4.5 rated guys in doubles but I started out as a 3.5 defensive pusher. So don't knock the guy that is better at keeping the ball in play than you are. Work on your own game instead of belittling the local pusher that you struggle with.
     
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  10. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    Hi Pushy. Let's face it. Once you get to 4.0 you're pretty much stuck. You won't find any pushers in 4.5. There aren't very many in 4.0 either. There may be some in doubles, but not many in singles. I used to get beat by pushers such as yourself, but at this point, I am a good 4.0 and I have no doubt at all that I will beat any pusher on any given day. So the question is, are you happy playing at the 3.5/4.0 level for the rest of your life. If you are, then there's nothing wrong with playing the game you want to play. If you'd like to move up to the higher levels, you'll need to learn some strokes.
     
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  11. Clive Walker

    Clive Walker Rookie

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    1st time I've logged in here in months and funnily enough the top thread is one on pushing;)

    Good to see nothing changes.
     
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  12. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    No sympathy for me. I think there's a special place in hell for pushers. ;)
     
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  13. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    It's funny how I never see any 4.5-5.0 guys on here complaining about pushers.
     
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  14. allcourter

    allcourter New User

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    For those of you don't know what ZAT is; it is Zone Advancement Tournament, the lowest level of USTA sanction tournament. Once you got 65 pts than the next level is Championship level(another 65 pts.) and the last level is the Super Championship level which is the top level for 18 yrs and under. My daughter is in ZAT right now and she is in the upper 15% pack. These tournament are held once a month only.

    To make the story short, there are a few top girls who have earned 64 pts. (1 point away from moving up to Championship level) and I am witnessing 1 of these girls for several months trying to earn that 1 pt. to move up but couldn't because her style as a pusher impeding her progress to move to upper ladder. Several of opponents who she had beaten before already moved to the next level except this girl. It's painful to watch her trying to earn that 1 point.

    It used to be 64 points to move up to next level but because the upper levels so clogged up that recently they added 1 more point to make it much harder for everybody.

    When I coach my children, pushing is not allowed because the style doesn't have any varieties and lack of weapons to help player to end matches in a timely manner. And these girls have to play an average of 3 matches a day. No one can last through that stretch by pushing the ball.
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2007
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  15. EZRA

    EZRA Rookie

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    It's cause they know how to handle pushers... and they actually love it. It's just a battle of consistency and 4.5+ players are consistent but with pace and depth and with deadly accuracy. Imagine a pusher trying to push against someone who can pull him from side to side throughout the whole match. The pusher would be very exhausted halfway through the first set... not to mention the frustration he'll have when the 4.5+ player crushes his 50-mph first serve. You'll see the pusher crying before the firts set is over.
     
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  16. A.Davidson

    A.Davidson Semi-Pro

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    While it is true that at higher levels, most players can adequately dispatch a "pusher" or "backboard", I don't think that they have reservations in hell or anything...It's a style, same as serve-and-volley or aggressive baselining.
     
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  17. migjam

    migjam Professional

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    The guy won by playing smart. Too many times I see matches played where a player, who is losing, just sticks to their same routine and game, not taking into account what is going on in the match.
     
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  18. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    Confidence restored

    Thanks, Cindy - the lone voice of sympathy in a forest of ridicule! :)

    My confidence was somewhat restored by playing a basher this weekend who was trying to beat the cover off the ball. He was a young kid just out of college and was flying around the court and pasting everything he could get a racket on. He even measured the net before the game and cinched it down a couple of inches. Embarrassingly, when I rifled through my mental rolodex of tennis rules, "Net Height" was notably absent. I had to take his word for it. He was having trouble keeping the bouncy, fuzzy thing inside the court, though, so things worked out okay.

    As for those saying I'm never going to have any luck beyond the 4.0 level - you're probably right. What can I say? I've got over six years of self-taught tennis to unlearn and if I tried to hit the ball the way I'm supposed to it would be like blowing my game apart with a piece of dynamite. I have a lot of fun playing on various tennis teams so that's a daunting prospect. Maybe I'll work on one stroke per season, or something.
     
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  19. haerdalis

    haerdalis Hall of Fame

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    Pusher is the way to go. You cant ever get very far if you miss too much. Only thing is you dont have to be a club pusher. Just push a little harder and with more depth. Tennis is a game about movement.
     
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  20. Pleepers

    Pleepers Professional

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    Like you said in your last sentence; it sounds like a confidence issue not your strokes. Most pushers rarely have to encounter a fellow pusher, and when they do I think it is like two strange birds trying to decide who has the prettier feathers. You just had your feathers ruffled. Hopefully now you've had a taste of your own medicne and know why the rest of us hate playing people like you.
     
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  21. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

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    That's probably a good idea, but I wouldn't limit myself to one per season. I'd start with one particular shot and work on that until you feel comfortable enough to use it in the right situation in matches. My suggestion would be a topspin crosscourt forehand. Just work on that one shot during practice until you feel like you have control over it. Then when you get the right ball in a match play that shot. Once you've gotten that far, pick another shot.

    So maybe one at a time is a good way to do it. I bet if you can succeed at pushing then you can probably manage more than one stroke per season. Just don't go for the massive overhaul.
     
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  22. Doc Hollidae

    Doc Hollidae Hall of Fame

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    I've played against several at the 4.5 level. Frustrating as hell, but they don't go very far in tourneys.
     
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  23. TheGreatestAudia

    TheGreatestAudia Rookie

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    If my opponent ever checks the freakin' height of the net, I'm walking off the court. You have got to be kidding me. Are a few inches really going to throw you off that much?
     
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  24. PushyPushster

    PushyPushster Rookie

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    Checking the Net

    It actually made sense for this guy's game. He had a heater of a first serve and didn't take much off the second, either. What bothered me was that he didn't have a tape measure or anything. He stacked two rackets together and claimed that the end of the handle of the second was equal to 36", despite it looking noticeably lower than the other courts. This was a 'quick and dirty' method he saw on the tennis channel. I'm not real confrontational (read: wuss) so I just let it go. Maybe I'll bring a ruler to the courts from now on.

    Toward the end of the first set, however, I hit one of my normal awful backhands and just clipped the top of the net. It crawled over the top like a dying mouse and expired on the other side. As we watched my "winner" dribble toward the alley I couldn't help but note, "If you'd cinched the net down a quarter-inch less I think you would have won that point." Heh.
     
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  25. TheGreatestAudia

    TheGreatestAudia Rookie

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    "Quick and dirty" is absolutely correct. I have never heard of anyone doing this before but whatever. It's fitting that you would hit one of those, right? The ball...(and I guess the net as well)...never lies.
     
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  26. goober

    goober Legend

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    Not crazy too check the height of the net especially if the net is obviously too high or too low. This occurs more commonly on public courts. A lot of flat ball hitters do get thrown off if the net is 2-3 inches too high.
     
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  27. tennisee

    tennisee Rookie

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    I think Pushy needs a bit more love. One of the great things about tennis is that there is no rule saying "Before commencement of play, your opponent must first enquire what style of play you prefer and then spend the match feeding you balls that don't show up the deficiencies in your game."
    If I'm playing a young guy with a huge forehand am I going to hit to it? (rhetorical question) Instead I might try feeding him a short piece of junk that has him scrabbling to the front of the court and then hitting his power shot way long because he didn't get his feet right. Or I might draw him in and see if he can volley, or see if he is consistent on the backhand. If I play a pusher I need to find a way to win, and with a pusher you'll have to be proactive. It's not like facing a kid with a Babolat who tries to belt 200mph shots every time, only 30% of which go in, where your game plan consists of standing there going "Oh, sorry mate - that was a bit long." A decent pusher will put the pressure on you to come up with the winners; it's a chance to improve your strategy and test your concentration.
     
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  28. TheGreatestAudia

    TheGreatestAudia Rookie

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    Give me a break. The pros are barely effected when it comes to 1-2 inches on the net. You would have to be a player that hits that close to the net all the time to be able to be thrown off so much as to check the net height. Obviously, goober, if the net is down around my ankles or up to my nips, I'm going to ratchet that thing to the normal height. Also, I understand if someone doesn't want to play with a net that doesn't have a middle strap pulling it down in the middle. That would drive me crazy but as far as an inch or two, no one is going to be able to notice that. They'll just think they are hitting too sharp or not enough arch.
     
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  29. goober

    goober Legend

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    The pros ALWAYS play with the net at regulation height so I am not sure what your point is there. I bet that >95% of pros would notice if the net was 1-2 inches too high or too low. In fact they are much more likely to notice it than regular club players. I Have been to NBA games where the players noticed that the rim was a couple inches too low and the officials measured it and the players were right. I have been around a lot of players that can notice a net off by 1-2 inches. I don't know why you find that hard to believe unless you are only playing with low level recreational players.

    Sure a wrong net height may not throw off your game, but to simply dismiss it as trivial is not right.
     
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  30. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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  31. TheGreatestAudia

    TheGreatestAudia Rookie

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    Let me re-phrase, Goobs. By no one noticing, I meant the majority of us who do not play professionally and do not play for clubs. I said the pros wouldn't be effected by it as much as everyone else! They could play it and it wouldn't change much of their game, if at all. Granted, you might get one in a million pros who hits with such a flat stroke consistently and it might throw him/her off a bit but to say that it would cause everyone else to play worse is ridiculous. I'm not an idiot. Even I can tell if a rim is too high or too low. Judging a net is a little more difficult, IMO. As far as the "low level recreational" players comment, is 3.5-4.0 low level recreational? Or is that middle of the road? You tell me.

    Beernutz, look at the quality of the pro game, they are not going to be effected by it because of their skill and control. My reasoning for saying that not as many people being effected is that not as many players as you think can hit the ball within 2-3 inches of the net consistantly with any kind of depth for prolonged periods of time, thus proving that many of us would not be effected by it anyway.
     
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  32. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    I guarantee you that a pro is going to notice if the net is as little as 2 inches off. You don't play as long as they have to play to get where they are and not notice something like that. If they notice the difference, they are going to be affected if only psychologically, particularly if the net is 2 inches too high. I remember an Olympics where the officials set the women's gymnastics vault an inch too low and one of the gymnasts was seriously injured as a result. My point is that you don't practice hours and hours and hours and not notice and be affected by something that integral to the game or sport.

    I hit a really flat serve and even as unskilled as I am compared to a pro I can tell when the net is too high. People who hit flat groundstrokes as opposed to big loopy topspin strokes are going to notice as well. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that if you are hitting the tape more than ususal either you are hitting lower than usual or the net is too high.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2007
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  33. TheGreatestAudia

    TheGreatestAudia Rookie

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    No it doesn't take a rocket scientist but the first thing 90% of us out there are going to blame it on is the fact we are just hitting too low. I guarantee that. My best serve is a hard flat one and if I'm hitting the tape constantly, it's because I need to hit the ball at just a tad higher than what I am doing. Being effected psychologically and being effected physically are two totally different things. I understand where you are going with the gymnast but it is a little different. She runs and jumps off of the same vault thousands and thousands of times. Being off by an inch can and will produce bad results. A net being off by just 1-2 inches is not going to have quite the same effect. Obviously, no one is jumping off the net so they are not going to get hurt but you don't hit the ball at the same level every time. If you're really, really good, your ball will stay around the 5-6 inches clearance pretty consistantly and that, my friend, is not going to entice many errors physically. Once again, the argument I was making was to say that pros wouldn't be effected, not that they wouldn't notice the net difference. I would even venture to say that some pros would still miss it. It's not an exact science. It's not something you look for commonly and if you're so focused on your opponent and strategy, you're not going to notice an inch difference either way. I promise.
     
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  34. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Well I promise you they would more than likely notice and that if they do notice, they will be affected.

    How's that for an argument?
     
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  35. TheGreatestAudia

    TheGreatestAudia Rookie

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    Agree to disagree... for the most part. Deal?
     
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  36. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Done.





    10 characters
     
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  37. LoveThisGame

    LoveThisGame Professional

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    Playing with the correct height of the net in higher level doubles is important. Besides serve aspects, there are two areas.

    One comes when trying to chip so that the opponent has to return the shot up ... the old chip and dip. The other come when hitting hard low shots, which the lowness is important in making the shot a bit difficult to return. (I have no idea how, but a long time ago this hard, low shot became a key shot with decent probability for me.)
     
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  38. JHBKLYN

    JHBKLYN Rookie

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    If you're going to play, might as well play it with the right dimensions. I played in parks where there are no center straps and since I play in leagues and tournaments, I want to practice in the same enviroment so I bring my own middle strap to get the correct center height. What's the point of practicing on a 2.5 foot center height or a 3.5 foot center height when the same shots will have a different trajectory on a regulation net. Though I'm not a pro or close to it, I've programmed my racquet to hit the ball exactly 3.1 feet up the middle so an inch here or there will make or break me. :)
     
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  39. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    I was playing singles in a tournament when both me and my partner noticed the net was too high. It was really affecting her shots, and she was hitting much lower than I was, so her regular stroke was going into the net. We got it fixed, and then she proceeded to beat me 7-6, 6-3.

    And we're both 3.0s...so if we noticed...well, I think you can fill in the rest of the sentence on your own.
     
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  40. TheGreatestAudia

    TheGreatestAudia Rookie

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    First of all JHB, why are you talking on here if you're programmed to hit the ball at 3.1 feet every time? You should be in Florida right now playing in the Sony. An inch is not going to make or break you, son. I bet there have been times you have played on a net that is been just a little off. There's no way all those neighborhood and public courts have all been at the exact height. No way. Also, there's no use in saying, "might as well play at the right dimensions," because no one is going to play if they know the net is off for whatever reason. And finally, do people really play you on a court with no strap? We're not stupid so of course we would never play on a court with no strap unless it was the only place we could play and we didn't happen to have a belt on our khakis that doubled as a net-strap.

    Topaz, once again, the argument was not that we wouldn't notice. A lot of people would but I know a lot of people wouldn't as well. Not everyone has an "eagle eye" and can spot when a net is 1-2 inches of nor are they all looking for it. My main argument was that 1-2 inches is not going to throw you off your game by that much if any. Tell me, how far off was the net height when you played your singles opponent? Was it more than 2-3 inches or was it just 1 inch and when you fixed it, all your shots went in?
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2007
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  41. Topaz

    Topaz Legend

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    This was about two years ago...so I don't really remember. It didn't affect me as much as her...and yes, once it was fixed, her forehand winners were going over instead of getting netted. If you hit low shots that normally barely clear the net, then yes, that difference of one or two inches will matter. I hit higher balls, so it didn't make a difference in my shots.

    Chill out...I was just adding my experience.
     
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  42. TheGreatestAudia

    TheGreatestAudia Rookie

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    I apologize if that came off as insulting but several posters have pointed out that people would notice and it is frustrating to have to keep repeating myself. I find it very hard to believe that if the net was moved 1-2 inches either way that it would vastly improve ones game. If she was hitting the balls that close to the net every time, she couldn't have had any kind of depth on her balls, right? I posted earlier that if you're really, really good, your ball will be on average about 5-6 inches above the net. If that's where they are then 1-2 inches will not change anything.
     
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  43. goober

    goober Legend

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    Why do you find it hard to believe that somebody would be affected by a net that is too high? Just because you would not be, doesn't mean that somebody else wouldn't be. There is a definite psychological factor in play if you are serving or hitting flat and you think the net is too high. That can affect your play. You don't have to hit consistently 2 inches over the net to affect you. Club players hit all over the place 1 inch above the net to a foot or more over the net if they hit flat. Over the course of the match you will notice that you are missing some balls that you would normally make. There are a lot of club players I know that carry tape measures in their tennis bags and I have no problem at all if they want to measure the net before starting.
     
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  44. Raiden.Kaminari

    Raiden.Kaminari Semi-Pro

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    LOL! Turnabout is fair play ;)
     
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  45. Raiden.Kaminari

    Raiden.Kaminari Semi-Pro

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    Don't forget that center net height also affects the alleys (for those of us that need to keep our passing shots in the alleys low).
     
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  46. Raiden.Kaminari

    Raiden.Kaminari Semi-Pro

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    I have to agree.

    Getting into a rut and pushing is the best way to never improve in tennis. I like your attitude. Take some lessons, learn to be aggressive.

    I love playing against pushers (aka golden retrievers). Since they're usually good at horizontal movements, I love hitting drop shots, and then lobs or passing shots instead of trying to move them side to side. When they hit a drop shot in return, I usually move up with a drive, and expect a lob if they reach the ball, or at least something I can hit an aggressive volley with.
     
    #46
  47. Nick Irons

    Nick Irons Semi-Pro

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    Pusher's should be banned from the game.
     
    #47
  48. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    Because they're able to keep the ball in play longer than you are?

    The only reason people get angry about pushers is because they don't have the skill to beat them. I tend to enjoy playing pushers - I have patience and prefer to practice developing points against pushers.
     
    #48
  49. Nick Irons

    Nick Irons Semi-Pro

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    Yeeeeeeeeeah , that's it. (Insert ***** Slap Emoticon)

    You think I didn't figure out how to beat a pusher years ago ?

    No guts, no glory. Play ball or get the hell off the court.
     
    #49
  50. SlapShot

    SlapShot Hall of Fame

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    Since when was tennis a bigger Johnson contest? There are different styles of play, which is what makes tennis so fun to me.

    If you want a sport where you are only judged on power, go play softball or racquetball - leave tennis to the people who want to play athletic chess.
     
    #50

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