Player evolution: Pusher vs. Ballbasher

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

  1. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Not a coach. But I'd guess the pusher.

    I tend to be on the pushy end of the spectrum as well. I think that as our strokes slowly but steadily get better, then we will become the all court players that we were meant to be. The sort of players who win most of their matches against similarly rated opponents. :)

    I vote pushers too. But for a different reason. I think they have learned the all-important attitude and skill of diligent patience. I know some 'pushers' with pretty good technique. 4.0+ guys. I can't beat them at the pushing game because they're not just blocking balls back, they're hitting corners. Even the just 3.5+ guys can hit pretty decent drop shots and lobs pretty consistently. I can't play 10-15 stroke rallies point in and point out. So, against those guys, the really good pushers, I reluctantly become something of a basher. Problem is, I'm just not good enough to hit winners past 26 year olds who can run all day in 90 degree heat and have good strokes. So, even though I'll win a few games, I basically get crushed.

    Anyway, yeah, the 'pusher' has, generally but maybe not always, the most potential for improvement, imo.

    I think you can do both.

    Bashers are generally impatient sorts, and they generally get beat by pushers.

    Maybe. If he learns something of the diligent patience that the pusher has.

    Also, I don't think that pushing is necessarily a dead end technique wise. As I mention above, I've played some 'pushers' who have really quite good stroke mechanics and preparation. They just like grinding, and it works for them against similarly rated opponents as well as lower level players like me.
     
    #51
  2. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Nice post. Basically agree. Your previous one, #49, even better. (Just read it.)
     
    #52
  3. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Guys with quite good strokes mechanics aren't pushers. The word "pusher' comes from the stilted strokes these guys use. Its like the forehand "push" in table tennis vs. the forehand loop.

    So yes under the definition that defines Nadal, Murray, Chang et al as "pushers' they are way ahead. I wasn't talking about those guys though. I am talking about the hacks who use half strokes/non-strokes to guide the ball where it needs to go - relying on gravity to bring the ball down into the court.

    We need to stay away from the BS definition of pusher - which is 'anyone who beats me who doesn't hit alot of winners.'

    In truth for a rec player almost everyone who beats you will fall into this catergory..

    Most of the players on this board come from strong tennis areas and are good players so they haven't seen the real pushers that are often in cold weather regions and generally hang around crushing the hopes and dreams of the other players..who are realistically 2.5s and 3.0s (despite being self rated at 3.5 and 4.0).
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
    #53
  4. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I don't know why he think it's bizzare, but 10is got it right. It's all about what making sense to them. If pushers and bashers aren't successful in what they do, they'll change, unless they're crazy. Problem with rec tennis is there's no system or structure that puts them in an unsuccessful situation. In other words they can always easily find such games and opponents that reenforce their successful pushing, bashing mindsets.
     
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  5. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

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    My case exactly! The winters are cold here, and tennis is quite marginal. You see a lot of these "real pushers" at clubs. They can only use this blocking/gravity-based technique for all their shots, nothing else. The shots have no pace or spin, so you need to generate all the pace by yourself.

    Now, after playing a lot of matches during winter against these pushers, I'm in a serious motivational slump. The problem is that my hitting partners and I try to use proper strokes, so I don't get any repetitive experience dealing with these zero-pace blocks. Then the matches with these "real pushers" of course don't go that well, because it's something totally different compared to practice sessions.

    I don't really know what to do with the sport now. I have no motivation to play (only) these ping-pong matches any more. But I do want to play competitive in the long run. Any ideas how to practice dealing with these blocks? I don't want to ask my hitting partners to stop using their full strokes.

    Regarding the OP, I think that pushing is a dead end technique. And to be honest, I think that players without any ability or DESIRE to use some kind of proper strokes should be banned from competitive play. They have no intentions to improve their game, so why have them limiting motivated players from developing?
     
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  6. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    I do not think it's bizarre, but some people might think so. I suspected that Guy Clinch might find the idea... weird.

    Actually, my point goes further than this. Even the way people view the notion of success can vary. Success is about achieving something, about attaining a goal, fulfilling a purpose and goals differ from person to person.

    Upfront, it's hard to tell what would end up reinforcing someone's habits which is why Skinner's definitions of rewards and punishments places the emphasis on the consequences they have on someone's behavior: when it makes the behavior likelier to occur, it's a reward; observe the opposite and you can call it a punishment.

    Some people do not get the nuance, but it's an important one.
     
    #56
  7. pushitgood

    pushitgood New User

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    If losing to pushers demotivates you, then how motivated can you truly be? I have a "real" pusher buddy that I play every week. Sometimes I lose to him and it gives me a reality check. But I've been working on rounding out my game. I've learned to push him back with deep shots followed by droppers. I'm developing my offensive capability against his midcourt sitters. I'm getting better at following in approach shots and putting away the volley. When I play a basher, I don't learn anything because everything's over after one or two strokes.

    My suggestion: 1) Check your ego. 2) If you can afford it, get a ball machine and work on the shots you need to beat the pusher. 3) Befriend with a pusher and play matches with them every week. Use this as your gauge for improvement.

    You need to learn to beat the pusher. You need to check your ego and accept that you are not better than them.
     
    #57
  8. 10isfreak

    10isfreak Semi-Pro

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    This is a must, with a ball machine or else. Against pushers, a strong transition game is required.

    Overall, I do agree with the underlying intention of your post. Personally, I usually label these problems as matters of respect. You have to respect the efforts and shots of your opponents because it's this respect (you'd say humility) which allows you to accept being put on the defensive, to accept playing a more neutral stroke when you're not in great position... you have to commit yourself to play as the situation commands and that takes some respect for your opponent.

    Want an example of someone who didn't respect his opponent? Heard about a recent boxing match, Dawson vs Stevenson? The American got smoked by the Quebecer in 69 seconds and lost his title. Dawson didn't respect Stevenson.
     
    #58

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