Player evolution: Pusher vs. Ballbasher

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by pushitgood, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. pushitgood

    pushitgood New User

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    At the lower rec levels you see both extremes: pushers that are content to keep the ball in play and wait for their opponents to make mistakes vs. ball bashers that think they're better than they are, and try to go for broke on every shot. Neither mindset is conducive to great tennis, but which one is easier to correct and shape into a good player? I'd be particularly interested to hear from coaches.

    As you can probably guess from my username, I'm on the "pushy" end of the spectrum, although I've been trying to improve at seizing the initiative and taking calculated risks.
     
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  2. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Hmmm, I'm not sure if I agree with your definition of "ball bashers".

    Ball bashers are to me, hit as hard as one can possibly hit, but without any direction or intent, other than down the middle and hard.
     
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  3. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    I wish I played lower level Ball Bashers who hit down the middle, they miraculously always pound the corners during practice unintentionally. But in matches they resort to slicing everything because they can't play percentage to save their lives....
     
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  4. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    That's just annoying. If the dude can't sustain a rally of 10shots or more, then no winners are to be hit.

    I know this guy who tees off of feeds, or bunt returns off of an out-ball with my intention to restart a rally. Not for him to tee off of it.
     
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  5. tennisplayer1993

    tennisplayer1993 Semi-Pro

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    I'm a ball basher. I can serve well over 100 mph for first serves. My groundstrokes are usually flat and powerful. Kind of emulate the game of 2003-2004 Roddick as much as I can besides the bad backhand :D
     
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  6. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I vote pushers. They are set in their ways and like to win points more then use good technique. So they will be resistant to change - even if they SAY they want too.

    If you are a pusher and want to become a guy with 'good strokes' you are going to have to quit match play for a while and use ball machines and practice sessions until the good strokes become the new goto pattern.

    A basher OTOH is not so sensitive to winning and will readily adapt his or her technique - as long as they can still swing hard. And with good technique you can rip the ball and keep it in..

    Pushers might reveal how bad their opponents are but its just a dead end technique wise. Come back and play a pusher 5 years later and they are exactly the same guy. The young kid basher - if he still plays will likely be damn good.
     
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  7. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Here's another take on the whole pusher vs ballbasher thing:

    Pusher - will always want to play matches, pretty match tough too.
    Ballbasher - will never want to play matches, mind goes to s*** as soon as points are on the line.
     
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  8. pushitgood

    pushitgood New User

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    My feeling is that learning how to hit shots with pace, while keeping the ball in play, requires a more advanced level of technique and footwork. At the lower level, ball bashers try to rip the ball even when they are out of position or on the defensive which is why they have so many unforced errors. Both the pusher and ball basher lack the understanding of knowing when to attack.

    As someone that tends to push, I find that my ego gets in the way when I play matches. I've been trying to set aside the need-to-win mindset and approach matches as an opportunity to implement and practice techniques. This has helped somewhat.

    You might be onto something, though. I think that pushers are more results oriented whereas the ball basher is more feel oriented. The pusher has to learn to set aside their fear of losing, whereas the ball basher needs to learn to control their aggression. I suspect it is easier to develop the latter, although I'm sure that coaches have better insight into this.
     
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  9. pushitgood

    pushitgood New User

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    Do you go for broke on every shot, or do you wait for the right opportunity to rip it? Do you produce a lot of unforced errors by hitting with flat groundstrokes? What motivates you when you're playing? Hitting the perfect shot?
     
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  10. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Guy is often on the right track, but I don't agree here. Pushers cover a broad
    band of players that value making shots and placement over sheer power.
    Many are branded pushers due to putting a lot of spin/work on the ball for
    most shots, with some sacrifice of big pace. Mostly likely somewhere inbetween
    is going to work best really.

    In my experience, big hitters that miss frequently rarely earn great improvement.
    They often get pace from poor habits.
    All the while those deemed pushers tend to hit tons of balls in most
    games and tend to develop attack/put-away skills to control points once they
    get things skewed in their favor. Not only do they learn more about building
    points, and how to let opponents donate points, but also they learn to attack
    with good form when the game or set score allows them to take some risks.
    Generally they are more heady players.

    Hitting lots of balls hard till they start to go in just doesn't seem to happen.
    I'd say it's likely a myth and only works in rare cases with very regular work
    with an instructor on top of them to improve the technique all the time, and even
    then, they usually continue to struggle with shots that take more touch.
    I've known and hit with 4 top 10 in the Nation Jrs over the years and 3
    went on to play Pro. None of them were big hitters in jrs early on,
    but they were all consistent point builders,
    with power coming on more later in Jr ranks. Arod was a pretty consistent
    type player early on as well his coach told me.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
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  11. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    nobody hits like that. most ballbashers try to hit the Corners but are not always succesfull.
     
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  12. anubis

    anubis Hall of Fame

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    To me, pushers are simply comfortable in their ways and know their limits. A pusher says: "I know I can't hit beautiful, 70 mph winners -- so I don't even try."

    There's nothing wrong with that. If you want to get better, then its always best to know what your strengths and weaknesses are. A pusher knows that his or her strength lies in consistency.

    I love playing against pushers. I love winning because I played well and was able to earn points through hitting winners and drawing a forced error.

    On the flip side, I hate playing against ball bashers who have no control and every 3rd shot goes into the net or sails long. It's no fun for me to win by default because the other guy couldn't hit the ball over the net.
     
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  13. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

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    -Started it out as a "Pusher" for about 3 years.

    -Now"Ball bashing" in practice sessions 5 days a week.

    -Slice and dice, junker with medium pace and attack the net when opportunity arise in the real match. I tend not to go for a winner in the match and prefer to finish the point at the net (or lose the point lol)

    Funny thing is that I don't practice like the way I play in real matches :confused:
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2013
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  14. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    You ask a specific and interesting question. The answer is that although theoretically either can be improved into a great advanced player and that there are plenty of individual examples of each, one is clearly easier to change (which was your question, after all).

    Any student of personality types and behavior will recognize that the pushy types fear making mistakes and enjoy winning more than "looking good". The bashers are the opposite, they don't mind hitting low percentage shots (and even losing) because their payoff isn't winning matches, it is the gratification of hitting great winners... when the shot happens to land in.

    In my experience it is easier to teach high quality, winning strokes to someone motivated to hit whatever shot it takes to win, than remold the strokes of someone who is invested in their current stroke type.
     
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  15. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Yeah, it also has sh#$% written all over it. It's really no good.
     
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  16. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    From my experience, a low level pusher is a hacker... he doesn‘t have any more of a good technique than the ball basher does. Both are doing very big mistakes technique-wise. The difference is that the ball basher is using mostly top spin shots, whereas a low level pusher rarely can hit any of it... we‘re talking sort. Of 3.0 players here.

    From what I know, it‘s easier to take the strokes of a ball basher to make them consistent and decent than to take the strokes of a pusher to make them powerful and heavy. Pushers typically do not have anything ressembling a good form, whereas ball bashers are closer to it. Technique wise, it‘s easier to improve a ball basher than a pusher.

    However, you need to know how to play a match to win it. Strategically speaking, it‘s not as bad to waste some offensive opportunities than to overhit. When you overhit, you loose the point; when you miss a chance to attack, you just give your opponent one more chance to win the rally. In that regard, a pusher might be more easily turned into a great tactician since he probably can switch more easily from fearing the mistake to being patient,, waiting for the right ball. The ball basher‘s attitude has to be changed as a whole to do the same thing... it‘s difficult.

    As a whole, I‘d say it‘s slightly easier to turn a pusher into a great player than a ball basher. To me, one of the most fundamental trait of great players, what makes the difference between good and exceptional, lies in the players‘ head. The great player is patient, lucid and calm... everything in its attitude opposes him to a ball basher. Of course, strokes means something, but it‘s mostly about how you use your tools, not about which tools you have... unles two opponents are really not of the same level, it‘s the hoow which matters most.
     
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  17. pushitgood

    pushitgood New User

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    Haha! You know, I never noticed that. Ah well.
     
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  18. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    As with any debate the involves pushers - the problem here is the definition. Unfortunately 'pusher' has become the default complaint of losers. That is if a guy hits with massive topsin instead of hitting winners he is a pusher. Thus Murray is a "pusher" and Nadal is a pusher and so on..

    But the old school defintion of a pusher is a guy who hits with stilted incomplete strokes and just blocks the ball back and/or uses gravity to win points. (sometimes they have a little topsin - other times underspin).

    So no they will not adapt to using 'real' strokes because in the short term swinging out does ABSOLUTELY not help them win.

    Most of these players are bit older and enjoy beating the 'real' tennis players and aren't really even trying to improve.

    Bashers generally have a big forehand and try to rip everything. The guys might lose alot - but with some tweaking they could be good, IMHO. They are taking too much risk with every shot - and aren't really interested in rally balls. But the fact they can actually hit nice tennis shots moves them ahead of the pusher.

    Its more important to build good technique first. If you put the emphasis on trying to win the 'pusher' result is sure to happen.

    The women's serve is perhaps the best example of this. Most women don't serve well - and so you will meet women that just dink it in. This is actually an easier pattern - and leads to alot more points (some of them get 'good' at it and just dink it over the net and watch people try to crush it and fail).

    But you will NEVER develop a good serve like this. If you want to develop a good serve you need to either practice off court or have the ability to suck up some double faults.

    It's the same with all the strokes. There are 'dinker' techniques that are easier to execute and lead to better results in the short term.
     
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  19. hawk eye

    hawk eye Hall of Fame

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    Very true.. it's all about the art of 'playing within yourself'.
     
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  20. pushitgood

    pushitgood New User

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    If I were going to characterize the mindset of the stereotypical pusher and the stereotypical basher it would be as follows:

    Pusher: Okay Pusher! Don't lose this point! Don't lose the game!
    Basher: I'm going to bash the hell outta this ball and win this point right NOW!

    I have a friend who goes for broke on every shot. Once in a blue moon, everything falls into place and he manages to hit screaming winners. But 98% of the time, he double faults games away and/or loses on unforced errors. The idea of constructing a point is completely foreign to him; he wants to end it with his first strike. Thinking on it, he tends to be lazy with his footwork and even if he's out of position, he'll still try to swing for the fences. A couple of his peers (who have moved beyond him) have tried to help him with his game, but he's not very reflective and any suggestions he's given are quickly forgotten rather than taken to heart.

    Of course, this is purely anecdotal and it's possible that some pieces could fall into place and my friend could turn things around. I do agree with you that you there are a lot of old pushers who play junky tennis and never seem to improve. I can't say that I've ever seen an old ball basher, although there are probably some out there somewhere...
     
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  21. pushitgood

    pushitgood New User

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    Interesting thoughts. It seems like the natural progression, if you're a pusher, is to become a counterpuncher or an all-courter. A basher, provided they can develop some level of patience, would probably become an aggressive baseliner. I recall reading that Almagro used to hit the ball as hard as possible when he was a junior. I believe Agassi was trained to swing really hard too.
     
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  22. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I generally agree with your assement. My point is that true pushers have so many "bad but effective" habits that its tough for them to change.

    Bashers OTOH often hit near textbook forehands - but they might be a bit lazy with their feet or hit a bit flat for their position. A few hours with a teaching pro can 'fix' them.

    It might take years to unlearn the "no shoulder turn - slight underspin - bunt back forehand'. Unlike most posters I don't think pushers are common. Most "pushers" are just mediocre tennis players. Others are just good players who play conservatively (Murray for example). But a real true pusher who uses effective but unorthodox technique - they never change.

    Dead end technique - its a real problem. The truth is in tennis you can get the ball back with some seriously awful strokes. This is why you can play at ton of tennis and never really improve. And this is why some academy shy away from playing points until the student is older. They want them to learn correct technique first..
     
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Now which style if more fun to play?
     
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  24. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Its more fun to be a basher. It's more fun to play against a pusher.

    But honestly wanna bet that say the guy in the video here that hits all the floaters is not much better nowadays?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ER9FKDpSi_g

    Slow lazy shoddy technique - and the guy is playing 3.5 league play..
     
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  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Must be tough to play in temperatures over 100 degrees.
     
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  26. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I agree above totally...:)
     
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  27. davced1

    davced1 Rookie

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    This is just like the forehand of a pusher style player I play against. He can't generate any speed by himself on his forehand so the pace of the game is entirely up to me. If I feed him hard shots the ball will come back low and hard with underspin but if I don't give him any pace to work with he struggles because he built all his tecqnique around redirecting pace.

    I see the flaws in his forehand and try to help him. I tell him to swing low to high to get some top spin and that he needs more racquet head speed but he just can't take it in. He has been training with a coach for some years too but still can't hit a proper forehand. I want to tell him that he needs to rebuild his forehand from scratch but he has been playing for 10 years so that would be too tough on him I think.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
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  28. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    Some people do not understand with a logical argument what they should be doing. It is not out of stupidity... experience tends to give them a certain view of the game and if you go against that perspective, they simply won‘t listen or will take your tips as insults.

    So, instead, you need to show them your point. When you get really good at tennis, you can trade some pace for some more spin, vary your depth and so on. If a guy can‘t generate enough, serve him a few sitters. If you get the ball to arc sufficiently and to fall short enough so that the spin makes it rise quite high, the guy will be forced to generate something if he wants to rally... or, else, he‘ll have to have a pro level slice to keep it low.

    As you said, they adapted their technique to win in a peculiar environment. Changwe the environment, make swinging low to high with a closed face the new usefuul tool and they‘ll suddenly evolve into better ball strikers. I did this with a friend... being patient, varying the balls he faced and using some thought whenn I played him forced the guy to change the way he played. Last time I played him, he was crushing forehands... and he used to be a classical pushers, using junkballing as his main asset.
     
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  29. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    I think that you‘re placing too much importance and value on learning a certain way to hit the ball. You should stop viewing this as learning a technique and start thinking about it as learning skills. That way, you‘d pick what could be transposed from pushing to actual hitting - and a lot can.

    My brother is trained in muay thai, not in tennis. But only few pointers were necessary to make him a good ball hitter and hitting partners... sport is often sport, so to speak.
     
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  30. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    Must have strong shins, unlike a certain tennis player(me :( damn shin splints....)
     
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  31. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Sounds positive. I have never seen it happen though. Players don't suddenly evolve - especially guys with grooved pushing strokes.

    I'd suspect you have never played an accomplished pusher. They are a force to be reckoned with - beating players with prettier strokes who are trying to play 'properly' and sending them back with their tail in between their legs..

    FWIW 'junk ballers' IMHO hit with a ton of spin. So these guys are very far from pushers. They are often good players just fooling around.. You need good technique to generate heavy topspin because you are adding alot of energy to the ball.

    A real pusher adds very little energy. He just redirects force - and if not given much force uses just enough to place it and lets gravity bring the ball down.

    I am not a great ping pong player but they have this concept called 'blocking' - whereby the player just redirects the shots with a block. It's a very short movement - and it allows players to be very consistent..

    Unlike tennis this 'pushing' style is used at the pro level.. But at the lower levels pushing is an effective style.. These guys aren't going to change. You need to go play a real pusher to understand.. If they lose they think they just need to push better. And truthfully very often they are correct.. I don't see alot of players a good pusher can't beat especially in the tennis coldspots (any bad weather place without a good tennis culture).
     
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  32. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    I find that pushers know how to play tennis where as ball bashers know how to hit hard. It may not look great because they are hitting the ball soft , but there is a lot of strategy going on.
     
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  33. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    delete post
     
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  34. marosmith

    marosmith Professional

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    I completely agree with your definition of pusher. People use the term too broadly. A retriever who hits massive spin strokes is not a pusher.
     
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  35. newpball

    newpball Legend

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    I think you have a fundamentally wrong understanding how tennis works.

    Improving consistency is the most important factor in becoming a stronger player. Playing within one's means and slowly improving those means is the key to success, playing to make a good winner one out of 5, in the hope you improve your consistency that way, is not.

    People who do not understand this will NEVER improve their game.

    They are the horror of every serious trainer because they are wasting their own and the trainer's time.

    Learning a new serve stroke or improving it can in my opinion only be done using endless 'dry serving' first, e.g. without a ball. Only when the new stroke is 'in the muscle memory' then start learning it with balls. The reason is that learning a new stroke must be done slow first and unlike with other strokes you just can't do that with real balls on a serve.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
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  36. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I agree with you and Guy on this, but have given up on that battle. Seems
    anyone who doesn't hit as hard as "you think you do" and make enough UEs
    to suit you....must be a pusher.

    By the way, ...was not referring to hitting harder than marosmith..just a general
    comment on what we keep hearing.
     
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  37. Thepowerofchoice

    Thepowerofchoice Semi-Pro

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    May be Muay Thai is a secret to success in tennis...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  38. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Just play your own game and let the chips fall where they may. Slowly you will get better.
     
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  39. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    I agree with this. It seems on this forum anyone who can hit the ball into court the more times than you is a pusher. When in reality anyone who can hit the ball into the court more than you is better than you. The seemingly prevailing idea that it is somehow more noble to lose going for broke than playing percentage tennis is too absurd for words. A good player knows when to go, and when not to go, for offensive shots. A bad player hits every ball hard without any consideration for the circumstance, the score, or the conditions.

    And to answer the OP's question, I feel it is better to 1st establish consistency then embellish upon it and add to it than vice versa.
     
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  40. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Don't agree. Junior boys need to experiment and test the limits and just let go in order to discover their potential, otherwise they will end up playing like old club guys. Control comes later by itself. It is true in any field of life for any entrepreneur.
     
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  41. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

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    The one that wants to change into a good (better) player and is open to change.

    The best pusher I know spends a fair amount of time working on his strokes as does one of the hardest hitting but error prone bashers.

    Unless the mental desire and openness is there to change it ain't gonna happen regardless of current style.

    I'm firmly convinced a decent % of players could move up a NTRP level (.5) by merely learning and implementing better strategy. Things like when to change ball direction, when to hit an aggressive shot and when to hit a defensive shot, what balls to approach the net behind, what line to take to the net, what balls to put some air under to give you more recovery time, when to volley in front of you and when to volley cross-court, court position and recovery position. (I'm primarily talking singles here and I'm talking 3.0 to 4.0 level rec players).

    Technique-wise I don't think I've improved in the last year but will likely be bumped up next year purely b/c I've spent time reading and learning about the things above. I've turned several matches around by reminding myself of fundamental strategies. My physical abilities have peaked (father time waits for no one) so it was time to start using my brain a bit more. Gotta be open to it before it can happen though IMHO.
     
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  42. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    No. No. Establishing consistency is ONLY important once you have established a respectable base technique wise.

    This is why : What I described before as "pushing" (the stilted incomplete strokes) are MORE consistent then REAL strokes when you have not mastered those strokes. Topspin can add consistency to a good flat stroke. But its actually tougher to hit then a push. This is why any semi-decent pro will admonish you for 'pushing' or 'guiding' the ball. It doesn't matter that your stroke had 'good' results in the short term. It's a dead end technique.

    Pushing consistency over technique is how pushers get made. Pushers have found that the blocking method and using gravity leads to more consistency at the lower levels then trying to hit 'properly.' And that's what they are winning with. Even more troubling is that pushing TAKES ALOT LESS PRACTICE TIME. So it might take 10,000 hours to master 'real' strokes. It takes alot less time to just guide the ball back and use gravity.

    This isn't really that different then other sports. Its easier to learn to shoot a basketball for very little kids with a kind of two hand underhand throw. But this is a kind of dead end technique - so no one teaches that. Once kids get a little older all their shots will be blocked (outside of the foul line of course).Going back to tennis - just think of the dink serve. A dink serve is MUCH more reliable then a topspin kicker - when you can't hit a topspin kicker. Its more reliable then even a slice serve when you don't know how to hit these.

    But if you went out and hit dink serves - you would never get better.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JYHBFkDAbs

    That's probably the only dink serve I could find on youtube as most folks would be embarrassed to have it filmed.

    Again this is precisely why all the teaching pros/academys et al put emphasis on proper technique and limit competition for the very young players. You can win alot of points with very bad technique especially against mediocre players. There are lots of ways to get tennis balls over the net but only a few of them are close enough to good form to allow the player to improve. This is why coaches will often say - I don't care about the results I just want to see the "finish". They want to know you are hitting the ball correctly. If just playing tennis for points put one on the path to awesome tennis - we would have a heck of alot more awesome players.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
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  43. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    It depends if you find winning tennis matches "fun"...
     
    #43
  44. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    Try to view the issue differently, from this point of view: how you execute or perform a certain tasks depends upon your perception of that task. To paraphrase Freitag, your life as a human being is symbolically mediated.

    Depending on what sort of framework you use, you will give a different meaning to what happens when you play. Your interpretation of objective events is as important as those events. My bet is that if you put pushers into a different situations, their interpretation might in the end stop making sense: they'll have to change their pushing attitude before they will change their strokes, but that's true as well for ball bashers.

    It might sound bizarre, but one of the reason pushers and ball bashers play the way they do is because it makes sense... to them, it's a sensible way to play tennis. You need to get rid of that to make either player evolve.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
    #44
  45. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    You underestimate pushers. They are well aware they aren't playing textbook tennis. They delight in beating people with their half strokes. And they like the fact they won't have to practice alot to continue to do it. Pushers get to just go out and play tennis. They don't need to rent ball machines or take lessons.

    As for both needing to change attitudes - of course. But the basher has the edge technique wise. What I would describe as a basher isn't just someone who misses all the time.

    Bashers can absolutely POUND the ball - and in the lines too. Its just they don't do it frequently enough. I have a 3.0 friend and he has this awesome forehand. Its really as hard as any teaching pro I have hit with. The problem is its very flat and when he misses just a little it gets netted or goes long. It has low margin of error. But sometimes he can hit 5 or 6 balls in a row - into the corners - with good pace.

    His overall technique is fine - good shoulder turn. He steps into it (its like Kournikova forehand OTS) - good finish. Its fairly textbook.

    Pushers don't do anything textbook - they have learned another style of tennis and they do well with that. They are very unlikely to change - and most of the time they don't want to change. The average good pusher is going to absolutely dominate my friend. That's because they play to win.

    So no bashers are the better prospects by and large. I haven't seen any true pushers graduate into good players. But with bashers (usually young HS Kids) it happens all the time. That's the truth.
     
    #45
  46. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    You missed my point. Being consistent does not mean you're pushing--despite that being the prevailing attitude of this forum. By establishing consistency first then embellishing on it I mean learn to hit a certain shot 10X in a row. Now instead of just being satisfied with that now try to hit the same shot a little bit harder, with a little bit more/less spin, to a smaller target, etc. When you can do that 10X then go for a little more. Take it in stages. You know then you can always fall back on the safe shot in a pinch. But going out and bashing and only being able to hit 1 or 2 in hoping that the 'control will come' as if by magic will only result in players complaining that they can't play pushers. I can beat pushers, but not just by bashing the ball every time, I know when to back off a play a 'consistent' shot and when to go for more offense. Nadal's 3,000+ rpm topspin forehand is a consistent shot--and I'd like to meet the guy who says he pushes it. But I'm certain the 1st day he walked on to the court as a kid he didn't hit it like he does now--he learned to hit the ball in first then embellished it. Murray had a consistent enough forehand but has recently worked on making it more offensive--but he knows he can hit a consistent one when he needs to.

    And show me where I said anything about pushing consistency over technique as if it has to be one or the other? Can't you do both? It's not black or white--it's not just pusher and basher. There are many shades of grey in between. You can be consistent and not be a pusher. And being consistent does not mean you can't develop further.
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2013
    #46
  47. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    You sound like a pretty good player getting better. I don't disagree with your pattern. I am not saying you have to be a basher to learn tennis. The OP wanted to know who in our opinion had the better chance of becoming good. I picked the basher. It's a speculative fun topic..


    Absolutely. Bashers are going to have to change their game to beat pushers. Most bashers are going to get decimated by pushers. My point is that pushers are usually guys at a dead end tennis wise and they aren't interested in getting better. They love where they are at.


    Murray always had a big time forehand - he is a pro. He might be picking his spot to flatten it out but like all pros he always could put alot of energy into the ball. Don't listen to the hype that Murray was a pusher. All the pros can punish the ball.

    Pushers are a special breed - they don't take lessons - they play a ton. They have a lob as their best shot. And they beat all the people who are learning and below 3.5.
     
    #47
  48. JW10S

    JW10S Hall of Fame

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    I was a ranked junior, played for an NCAA National Championship team, and played pro tennis--I still occasionally compete and play exhibitions...
     
    #48
  49. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    To paraphrase Simone de Beauvoir, no one is born a pusher: they become pushers. And if they can become one, they can become something else as well. If you get rid of some of the conditions which contributed to the maintenance of their habits, behavior and attitudes... what will happen, do you suppose? They'll adapt themselves to the change. I do not deny that it won't be long, especially considering that people can indeed adapt themselves by finding original excuses to justify their mistakes. I simply said that it was possible.

    Go a little beyond that, try to step in their head and see through their eyes.

    The definition of a good stroke in my mind revolves around a form that enables a certain results to happen. It's possible that you understand what is a good stroke more or less the same way I do. However, pushers might not view this thing -- the good stroke -- the same way we do. Some of them might tell you that a good stroke is anything that keeps the ball in play and/or annoys your opponents, drawing errors from them.

    Put yourself in their shoes. You practice very little, you manage to get the ball back in play and you win. The others practice, spend time working hard and they think about their game... and they loose. What does this teaches you about tennis?

    You say: with time, good form and work will get you to outplay pushers.
    They say: I put in little and get out a lot; my way is better.

    As I said, if you change this thing which makes the two answers diverge, everything else will follow. It's not any harder for a pusher or a ball basher, I think.
     
    #49
  50. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    If you don't play the highlight shots, you should just hang your racket and leave the court for good. If you go out to serve, hit above 130 mph or expect to be laughed at when you leave the court. Play it like a real man or don't.:lol:

    More seriously, you made a great point here. Many people want their game to look good, but it takes some serious skills to have a good looking game. It's already hard, but they make it even harder: they try to hit big right off the bat. Challenging yourself is an excellent idea, but overdoing is as bad as not doing it. If you go for broke on every ball, you're just trying to go for more than your skills allow... you have to put yourself in a tough, uncomfortable situation, but not in an impossible one.

    And if it wasn't enough, bashing balls all over the place doesn't force you to experience long rallies. You'll see fewer balls and you won't be able to practice covering the court, playing different series of strokes, etc. because your average rallies last two hits.
     
    #50

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