"Pusher" ... Playing This (Dreaded) Opponent

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by joe28601, Oct 19, 2005.

  1. Vision84

    Vision84 Hall of Fame

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    This thread comes up a lot. I suggest use the search function for 'pushers' and you will get lots of answers there.
     
    #51
  2. 103xStateChamp

    103xStateChamp Rookie

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    I love crushing those little pusher serves :)
     
    #52
  3. JohnS

    JohnS Semi-Pro

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    I don't think that he's at the point where he is playing a pusher. IMO, pushers are very capable of being top players in HS level. What he is experiencing is being over anxious. Instead of trying to demolish the dinkers, you should just try to place your shots with your regular strokes. That alone should allow you to beat them 6-1, 6-1 or so. My rule of thumb is, now matter how bad a player seems, they can always bring you down to "their" level and beat you. Just focus on getting more balls in, moving them around, and exploit their weaknesses (most likely their backhand).
     
    #53
  4. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    "Lollipoppers." That's good.

    See the Pusher Sticky ... er nevermind. I'll just Merge your thread with it. Your "lollipopper" is just the very earliest stage of a Pusher.

    - KK
     
    #54
  5. MariaS

    MariaS Semi-Pro

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    I played a Pusher yesterday. I've come to the conclusion that everyone at 3.0 is a Pusher. And it's quite boring! They're mostly double's players though. I wonder why? ;)

    She kept the ball on the racquet longer than usual and uses her elbow-to-wrist to place the ball. Her lower arm was quite strong. She told me she's been taking lessons for that 'shot' for three years now. (sorry for laffing so much)

    It still was boring. :-o
     
    #55
  6. ht4444____

    ht4444____ Rookie

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    what's a pusher????
     
    #56
  7. staedtler

    staedtler Semi-Pro

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    Oh I just finally beat this pusher. Well not totally a pusher, but he was a solid volleyer with an affinity to slice the ball like heck. Eats all the pace and gives you none. I use to lose to him pretty badly like 6-3 or even bageled sometimes on a really bad day. But I finally got my revenge and bageled back and won another set 6-2. I think my serve was just on thankfully. I use to try to be a little too cute with the ball by going for drop shots and deep slices especially when returning his weaker slice serves. Occasionally my deep slices were good but other times not so much. But eventually I just figured to play my game and not play his. I started punishing his weaker serves by going the down the line. I also kept my feet moving, because I know if I get lazy then Im just gonna lose more points by not being in position.
     
    #57
  8. grizzly4life

    grizzly4life Professional

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    good thread.... i'm not sure i lose to too many "pure" pushers, but there are alot of variations on the pusher.

    crafty pusher

    pusher with unorthodox slice shots, ball can go any direction although they have some control over it.

    pusher with big forehand, wheels and the rest is pusher.

    i think you can outpush a pusher, although you have to patient and 100% committed to ugly tennis instead of hitting winners to impress.
     
    #58
  9. lecter255

    lecter255 Rookie

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    i played HS #6 singles once against this m*********** pusher. he would lob the ball deep and high and then rush to the net. that's all he does. damn if i was better and more mature at tennis, i woulda overheaded the ball back with spin and placement, not a flat one right at him, and i woulda crush his weak serves then rush to net, and use drop shots then lob over him. lol i actually used the last strat on a few points and had good results, but i thought that was weak tennis and i ditched it. silly me.:confused: :(
     
    #59
  10. MariaS

    MariaS Semi-Pro

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    Yes it's ugly alright. Here I am a high 3.5 player playing a 3.0. I took the first set 6.0. OK.....
    Then she started returning all my serves by barely Pushing them over the net. :-x Alrighty....
    It was a smart tactic which she did well. I finally took the match in the third set. :D
     
    #60
  11. madmanfool

    madmanfool Semi-Pro

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    I lost to a "pusher/counter puncher/whatever you want to call them "on sunday 76 46 63. The bad news is that i lost but i came close this time, next time i'll get them. I came to the net a lot in the beginning, but he had this nasty lob. And he managed to make me hit a backhand smash all the time. I went 4-1 down. No more coming to the net for me, it wasn't working. I ended up saving a setpoint with a big forehand winner and got it to a tiebreak. Then he started to hit even slower. i thought for sure it would be impossible to hit even slower, but he did it. Messed up my timing and i lost the breaker. Talk about a big blow mentally. I was very demoralised in the beginning of the second set and went 2-0 down. I thought for sure i was going to lose that set 6-0. It was as i couldn't move my feet anymore, strange what the mind can do to you. But slowly it got better and i ended up winning 6-4. But half way in the thirth set i started cramping and i lost. You cannot believe how tired you can get from playing a pusher, i had to generate all the pace all the time. I rather play someone who showed me all parts of the court, then a pusher.

    The good news is that my mate also played a pusher and won 7-6 in the thirth after being behind 5-2. Then we teamed up to play doubles against the two pusher. A match we had to win if we wanted to beat the other team. I was cramping all over my body. At one point i even had to drop my racket because my hand was cramping. We won 64 64. Poor pushers, i could hardly move, but they couldn't take advantage. Since i only had to cover half of the court and they pushed the ball over all i had to do was walk towards the ball. A short angled forehand was simply not a shot they had in their repertoire.

    We beat the other team 5-4 and now through to the final round of the interclub. Take that pusher team.

    Btw i don't agree that you have to see pusher as better players. Take the guy i lost to. He lost to somebody else in a previous encouter 6-3 6-3, who i beat 6-2 6-0 with two fingers in my nose.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2007
    #61
  12. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Don't give up the net game bro. You have to do it differently sometimes with a *true* paceless pusher, who can't pass you with pace or topspin.

    Learn to volley from the service line!!! When you go in, don't close to the net too soon. Stay on that service line, because then when they lob, you easily cover it, and get back to the service line. Soon they start hitting some lobs short, and you can overhead them away.

    Also, learn to move into no mans land and volley to the corners. You will have them running in ways you can't imagine. Don't think put away volleys, think set up volleys.

    This type of play, is really only effective or safe against a true slow ball pusher. When I play this kind of pusher these days, I think it is a day to practice set up volleys from mid-court. Only...when you see how they have to run to cover these easy volleys, because you are cutting off all their shots, you will relax, and literally, enjoy the show of watching them run until they have nothing left. It can be comical.

    See...they like that slow game. That is their comform zone. They *feel* good playing that pace. But if you are halfway in, cutting off their balls to corners, they suddenly have HALF the time they normally do. You don't have to use pace, because you shrank the court on them in a big way. Try it next time.

    One word of caution. You actually have to practice volleying from the service line with the intent of not trying to hit put aways volleys. It is not something I see many players practice, but it pays huge dividends even against higher level competition when you see them off balance. You can take control of the point, and then move in close on better players who will attempt to pass you with pace.
     
    #62
  13. Undrayon

    Undrayon New User

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    This is just something I have experienced in playing varsity level high school tennis, a topspin or kick serve is usually pretty effective against a pusher. Why? The good pushers will block back a hard flat serve (for a winner sometimes, believe it or not) meaning you do all the work. With spin, however, they adjust and just float it back to you. Maybe I haven't played amazing pushers, but I haven't had any problems following up my serve and putting the push away at net.

    This doesn't solve everything, but winning your service games just gives you one less thing to worry about.

    I don't try to outpush pushers but I do rally against them ( >.< ) untill they hit a short ball. I try to put the shortball away from them to get them off balance. Hopefully then they give me a nice ball I can easily putaway. Sometimes they manage a good lob (more often than not if they are really on the run they send it long or give me a nice overhead). Think about it, if it lands inside the serve line or a bit behind you have an easy overhead or forehand. If they hit it on the baseline, well, I run back and do it again. Sure it's tiring, but the odds are against them if you think about it.

    I agree with alot of people on here. Playing pushers isn't fun...but I know I'll win in the end.
     
    #63
  14. tennistechie

    tennistechie Guest

    This info is great - I can't stand this type of opponent.
    Thanks for the tips - I'm glad I found this board.
     
    #64
  15. BHStennisplayer

    BHStennisplayer Rookie

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    Thanks. Pushers should not be allowed to play tennis.
     
    #65
  16. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    LOL - well neither should guys who hit hard but miss every third ball. The object of the game is not technique, but getting the ball over the net one more time than your opponent. You are confusing tennis with sports where technique is judged (ice skating, diving). It's all fair in tennis.

    If a person can't beat a pusher---they have something to learn, so thats a good thing. :grin:
     
    #66
  17. bank5

    bank5 Rookie

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    Stay Aggressive!

    To beat a good pusher you must stay aggressive and try to dictate the points. Take a step in from the baseline and start hitting the balls on the rise. If they hit a real soft one back, take another step or two in and hit the ball before it bounces. This is a tougher shot, but gives your opponent much less time to react.

    I use a similar approach to this. Hit short, angled, topspin forehands to his forehand side. This will bring him in and off the court (way out of position) Then follow that up with a deep ball to his backhand. If he gets to the backhand shot he won't be able to put any pace on it so ATTACK the net. If he's able to get the ball back it'll be a real soft ball and you'll be in perfect position at the net, so slam it home and yell "TAKE THAT ALICE!!!"

    IMO, most good pushers fall between a 3.5 and 4.0 rating. Great pushers will beat most 3.5 players, however, 4.0 players will almost always beat great pushers.
     
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  18. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    I used to be a pusher before (still my plan C) and the approach you indicated will not work ** atleast with me with my pusher game **. I always see what my opponent doesnt like and strive to provide him with a LOT of it during the game. If he doesnt like high backhands, guess what ..he will play the entire match hitting high backhands. I dont care if my opponent hits me a angled forehand or whatever. I used to always retun the ball to the spot where i wanted to the ball to be.

    Attacking the Net....is a joke especially against pushers with Good lobs (unless you are a 4.5/5.0 calibre player with great overheads from baseline).


    In my opinion the best strategy to beat pushers is to be Patient, prepared to play a long match and take the oppurtunities as they present themselves. There will be plenty of oppurtunities to hit winners during a match with Pusher and all one has to do is wait for them and go for the winners.

    People who can beat pushers are players who can "Construct" points. Not trying to blindly attack.
     
    #68
  19. bank5

    bank5 Rookie

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    You don't attack the net every point, but attack in the situation that I described (once you get your opponent running back towards the baseline trying to hit a backhand). Hitting a backhand while running full speed away from the net is a very tough shot for any player. Hitting a lob in this situation is even tougher. If your opponent is able to attempt a lob there's a low chance that it will go in and most of the time it will be short of the service line because all of your opponent's moment is going away from the shot. When it comes up short you're in perfect position at the net to slam it and end the point.
     
    #69
  20. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    No Sir. I have to respectfully disagree. a Lob is easy to hit under any situation. Before i developed my strokes (which is not too long ago), i could lob from any location to backhand corner of my opponent. My lobs usually land a foot or so before the baseline and cause all sorts of troubles to my opponents (please note i am referring to 4.0 or less players).
    If an average player can do it, anyone can.

    In order to hit a good Lob, one doesnt need any power. Just some common sense and decent ball sense.

    In the past and in present, I enjoy players coming to the Net. They offer me the best chance to end the point with one Good shot(or a Lob).
     
    #70
  21. bank5

    bank5 Rookie

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    Sounds like you have one heck of a lob. I've never seen anyone who can hit a lob from anywhere on the court while running full speed and have it consistently land a foot from the baseline.

    The technique that I described has worked well for all of the pushers that I've played but it takes good control and good pace. If you're under a 4.0 or are playing someone who can lob better than Federer, I would recommend using a technique that KK previously described.
     
    #71
  22. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    I dont know what to say but i am not trying to kid or boast. I have a respectable lob. For a long time Lob was my offensive shot (thats the only shot i could count as winner). Yes..I have hit the lobs i described while running away from the net and taking the ball on my backhand. There are numerous occasions i failed to make that shot too but good enough to win a match against 4.0 calibre players by pushing /lobbing.

    But please also note that i am not playing somebody like Federer (even though i wont win a single point against him, i would still relish oppurtunity to play against him). I played against 3.0-4.0 players. They dont quite have the same power/versatility as Federer ;)
     
    #72
  23. Zets147

    Zets147 Banned

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    You gotta be more sneaky about these pushers threads.. Coded messages only so the pushers who frequent this message board will not be able to beat us, the "real" tennis players
     
    #73
  24. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Wow! You should be on the Tour.

    I've never seen *anybody* with as good a lob as you describe.

    - KK
     
    #74
  25. bank5

    bank5 Rookie

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    KK, I was thinking the exact same thing.
    ---------------------------------------------------------------
    Pushers make a living off of frustrating decent players and taking them out of their game. It's a great feeling when you learn how to frustrate a pusher and control the match. Being able to run a pusher 3 times more than you is icing on the cake.
     
    #75
  26. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Guys, it doesn't matter really. I have played these master pusher lobbers over and over, and I beat them a the net 99% of the time. Of course I post up on the service line to hit overheads off their lobs, and only close to net on a shorter one.

    I have seen guys come 'close' to what tennis_monk describes when balanced, but none that can hit perfectly placed shots while on the run, and going backwards. Perhaps a little 'Walter Mitty' tennis fantasies going on there...maybe just a bit?

    The typcial combo is either the heavyly angled short topspin to the side T, then deep to the backhand, move in ---kill, or a soft chip to the forehand side T, same combo.

    After you execute that combo about four times, you start hitting behind them on the second shot, and the winners start pouring in because they get tentative with thier first step. Then they quit committing their weight so much, which in turn, causes them to start getting later to the ball when you do the normal combo again.

    It is a thing of beauty, really.

    When Brad Gilbert says to get to the net on pushers, and guys who have beaten pushers badly by going to net, who have developed a net game, and overheads say it....then believe it, thats the best way to beat them. Only Tennis_monk has the pusher skillz to easily defeat us all. I just won't play him LOL! :mrgreen:
     
    #76
  27. bank5

    bank5 Rookie

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    I completely agree.

    The toughest thing about the combo is hitting a good angled short ball on the first shot. Once you hit a good first shot though, everything just falls into place. If you want to practice to beat a pusher, I'd recommend setting up a ball machine to feed short balls and working on hitting the side T.
     
    #77
  28. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    You seem to be missing the whole point Or i didnt articulate it correctly. I am not playing a federer or some great players like the "TW forum members" to worry about deep unreturnable shots. I am talking about average 3.0-4.0 players . Atleast the ones i have played didnt possess such great depth on their shots every time, you are referring to. i was fortunate to have a decent serve(at my level ofcourse) and didnt have much difficulty in holding my serves against these players.

    They sure do have depth on some shots and they win points. But in the grand scheme or things, I win more points than them and help them loose.

    I am no longer a pusher (Atleast based on the definitions our TW forum experts came up with). I have a decent 4.25 level game with Good forehand and Serve. I occassionally Push if i need to stay in the point or my A/B games are not working.

    The point i was making was regarding assumptions that blindly rushing to net would make pushers panic and loose points. A good approach shot followed by a net volley would be a good percentage play. The definition of good "approach" shot varies from player to player and their tendencies.

    There seems to be an assumption that somehow opponents can direct play against pushers. That may be true sometimes, but not always. A lot depends on one's skill and opponents Pushing capabilities.
     
    #78
  29. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    ANy situation is exaggeration. But enough situations against 3.0-4.0 players i played with to win the game.
     
    #79
  30. stevekim8

    stevekim8 Semi-Pro

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    this is really good.
    i think it will help me a lot
     
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  31. order

    order New User

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    Thanks for the article, I have always had problems playing against pushers; they frustrate me so much. :mad:
     
    #81
  32. madmanfool

    madmanfool Semi-Pro

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    i actually read the article now. Well re-read it, i remember i once read it before. It's an excellent article, no doubt, but there are a few things i don't agree with.

    He says you can't out-push the pusher. I don't agree. When you adapt a similar strategy you'll win. Reason? Simple: you're the one with the better technique. When it comes down to it, he's more likely to miss first. I speak from personal experience. I remember i once played this young kid. Not sure wether he was 100% a pusher, but he was a pusher in the sence that he didn't have any weapons and just kept the ball in. I won the first set easily, but was down two set points in the second. That's when i played two pusher rallies with him, just kept the ball in play. It were 40-50 stroke rallies, but in the end he missed. So i think you can out-push the pust, you just have to make sure you don't have to be at some place on time after the match.

    Second thing is the moonballs. Yes, they struggle with moonballs, especially if there is a lot of topspin on them. But they always will get them back. That's what they do, they get things back. So, what do you do AFTER that? That's usually were it goes wrong. I see an opportunity and i force things.

    But apart from that, i believe it is an amazing article. I remember when i first read: "you got to respect the pusher", i was like....wow, that's not easy! Whenever i play a pusher, i let them know exactly what i think of their gameplan. If their plan is to broke me down i'll return the favor my way. I'll tell them exactly what i think of their junk and applaud for every typical pusher rally they won. But that's not respecting the pusher now is it?

    Other things i often do wrong as well. I do try to overpower them too much. i'm trying to hit deep, instead of using angles. And i give up on the net game too fast. Main reason is that my smash is so terrible. I'm not patient enough, i'm lasy on the footwork,..Last time i played a pusher i was just spinning my serves in. I could have won so many more points if i actually tried to do something with it.

    And about the "not let the pusher see you angry of frustated" i get an F. I usually scream it out of frustation after an hour or so.
    So i guess i still got a lot things to work on.

    Something i was wondering about. How many of you people who struggle against pushers play on clay, like me??
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2007
    #82
  33. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

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    I agree with you. It is possible to "Push" a Pusher. You just need to be patient while playing/Pushing and pull the trigger(winning shot) when appropriate.

    One thing i dont understand is why people have so much difficulty playing a pusher. May be i havent faced a "top level" pusher these people are referring to. All the pushers i have faced had some initial success against me but thats it, after a set or two , i usually figure them out. Either i "outpush" them or chip away against them with a mix of power and placement until they get it that they cant win against me with pushing.
     
    #83
  34. order

    order New User

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    The reason so many people have difficulty playing a pusher, at least from my personal experience, is that alot of us are reluctant to try to out play a pusher and we go for hard angle shots and deep shots all the time which results in us missing. I remember playing a pusher like that (we were playing to 3) and I, at first tried to avoid pushing back. My little tactic, however had me down 40-0 in the fourth set and it was 2 all. I knew I had no choice and then I started just keeping it in; I made up all the points and won the game. THe thing about playing a pusher, for me anyway, is that I don't want to become one; I dislike that playing style that much and I think that's thesame thing that happens to other people that have trouble with pushers. It's all about swallowing pride.

    Something else I found useful was bringing a pusher up to the net and then hitting a hard passing shot; you've got to be ready for those low returns though.
     
    #84
  35. Cheez-It

    Cheez-It New User

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    Great article. I had always had trouble with pushers, but the first few months of teaching my fiancee gave me a lot of insight into the strategies that would work the best (those described in the article).
     
    #85
  36. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Hey ---- the biggest thing you can do to beat a pusher, and have it come naturally, is the work hard on developing your short game, and net game. The strategy will flow once you really truly devlop those aspects of your game.

    Right? That doesn't just mean strokes, but also smooth mid-court transition, balance, angles, and ability to always be in position to cover most of the court with fewer steps. And yes, that is a BIG order and can take years. That will take a player from 3.0-3.5 to a true 4.0 player.

    Then at 4.0, you get to what I call the talented or skilled pushers (retrievers). They have some technique, can add pace if they have to, but prefer to play matches using slow balls and very high percentage tennis. And that is NOT the kind of pusher I think we are talking about here.
     
    #86
  37. K-LEG

    K-LEG Rookie

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    My worst day...

    I was playing tennis against a pusher (or so I thought). Right when I started getting used to being patient, hitting those paceless balls halfway in the game this kid starts attacking like a pack of hyenas. Seriously he was hitting the ball so hard I had trouble seeing it, but they were lacking topspin so I could manage but dang...
     
    #87
  38. Kaptain Karl

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    Ha-ha! He was sandbagging you, K...!

    - KK
     
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  39. sliceworks76

    sliceworks76 New User

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    Some of the posts in this thread are really simple-minded. I'm a counterpuncher who can generate a good deal of pace from both sides, but don't use a lot of topspin, so it's wise for me to play consistently. If I'm playing a strong player with big shots, I'm going to keep the ball in play to win the match. That's smart tennis, period.

    People who complain about "pushers" usually aren't mentally strong and don't know how to adjust their games to beat different types of opponents. Tennis isn't all about hitting the ball hard and smacking winners. It's also about grinding your opponent down, mentally and physically. If I can play solidly and frustrate my opponent, it makes sense to just be steady, even if a winner exists. A great user of this strategy was actually Andre Agassi. Yes, he could hit huge, but in his later years he often wouldn't go for the winner and would let his opponent play longer points to wear him down. That's smart tennis.

    The tactics described to beat "pushers" will work on a 3.0, maybe even a 3.5 player of this type, but they begin to break down at 4.0 and 4.5. Players at this level have seen every type of game and expect their opponents to try other strategies. As a counterpuncher, I like to see the player at the net because it's a target to hit around. I've also played enough doubles to not mind playing the net. Whatever works.

    It's sad to fight really hard and beat a good player and then have them diminish your game by calling you a pusher. It might be wise to remember that being consistent is a strategy designed to win, and it often works. Saying that they shouldn't play tennis because it's a different style is short-sighted thinking.
     
    #89
  40. Steady Eddy

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    When lots of people try to go for winners, they hit more losers than winners. However, if their opponent agrees to play the same way, and they are about the same ability, each has a chance of winning, and they feel good about their game because each hits lots of winners (but even more losers). So when they run into a player who plays within his game, they lose, and complain that the "pusher" didn't play right. But really, he's just showing them that they aren't as good as they think they are.

    What should you do? Don't go for winners until you are good enough to make that a high percentage shot. Until that happens, admit that your game is not as strong as it looks and that a pusher can beat you.
     
    #90
  41. Commando Tennis Shorts

    Commando Tennis Shorts Hall of Fame

    Joined:
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    1,708
    Just as many on this board surely are, I am also peeved at some people's disrespectful classification of pushers. However ugly a pusher's game is, it is still a legitimate style of play, as any style of play within the rules is.

    My main hitting partner in college was a major pusher who, for a long time, was able to push me to my limit. It was extremely frustrating because I knew that my tennis skills/technique were superior to his, yet he could frequently steal sets from me.

    It was only after I began respecting his game and looking at him as a legitimate tactician that my game came around and I was able to crush him.

    Just as was stated in the article, respect is the key. Respecting the pusher is the first step to putting him down.
     
    #91
  42. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
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    No. You dont really need to respect pusher. You just need to know that he is not going to give the match to you. You have to take it by playing smartly and consistently making use of your strengths.

    You generally dont find "pure" pushers. One can debate endlessly on the definitions this forum listed but in the end it is what it is.Most people you play have a pusher game with a good stroke or two and one needs to watch out for them.

    (In our forum definitions, Pushers dont have weapons per se. I dont endorse the same view of Pusher)
     
    #92
  43. treo

    treo Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
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    One thing that pushers do is disrupt your ideal playing rhythm. Bashers like to react and hit without much thought. Pushers give you too much time to think about options. They also disrupt the rhythm of your natural stroke. If you love a high pace game, you have fast preparation. A no pace shot gives you too much time and throws off your ideal stroke production. The solution could be not to move to the ball as soon as you can, but wait until the last moment so you can make your swing the same as if you were hitting against pace. Like the Sundance Kid.
     
    #93
  44. MoonVolleyer

    MoonVolleyer Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2007
    Messages:
    106
    Im not a big pusher but i do it and that article says they dislike them moonballs and high bounces and that i love those shots cuz they give me time 2 hit a nice ground stroke or moonball back at em. That article seems like its written for people who only style is pushing
     
    #94
  45. Oxford

    Oxford Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2006
    Messages:
    238
    Location:
    Carlsbad California
    Lately it seems that all I have been playing are pushers and have found success in just pounding their backhand with low heavy shots deep in the corner. All the pushers I play do not like alot of pace and often their backhand is a weakness and limits their arsenal of pusher tactics. Digging BHs out of the same corner makes THEM nuts and frustrated after a while.

    Once I see them hanging out there or running around their BH I might head to the other corner for a winner.

    Hitting to their forehand just provides a platform for their bag of pusher tricks.

    OX
     
    #95
  46. Shosho

    Shosho New User

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Messages:
    53
    I played a Pusher in singles once. At the end of the match, she didn't want to be the one to call in the score because she might have to explain HOW she played so well against me. :p
    I'm just glad I will never have to worry about that.
     
    #96
  47. topgun78956

    topgun78956 New User

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Messages:
    50
    Location:
    New York
    thanks man, great article. My training partner is a counter puncher which i think is worse than a pusher... its a good pusher, its a pain in the ass and he is fast as hell. I think this will help me beat him more soundly
     
    #97
  48. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    Fort Worth, TX
    Funny thing...I played a really good solid pusher at 4.0 a few weeks ago, and he can hit passing shots decently, along with overheads. I say pusher, because in a match, he resorts to nothing put slice, and only uses pace if you give it to him. This guy loved pace, and his forehand was his stronger side. So I did just the opposite here...I hit dead balls, low slices to his backhand for two sets, and he couldn't do anything with those. Eventually, I would get that same open forehand court, and force an error, or he would hit a short ball, and well...open court and force an error again.

    I beat this guy pretty easily. He beats a lot of good players. I noticed if I tried to play a faster game, he was really good at feeding the balls back to corners. But slow it down, and ouch, he was normal.

    So what was I 'thinking' putting my game plan together? I was thinking...my game is footwork, and covering shots...never hit a winner, come to net on short balls, and watch for medium short balls to hit into the open court. That was it. And I hit plenty of winners. So why is it that I normally work so hard?!? LOL! I should always be patient like this! :mrgreen:
     
    #98
  49. chunlimeyers

    chunlimeyers Rookie

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    166
    After much time of having to play and hit against pushers, I think I have come up with the solution of why it is difficult to hit against the pusher. I realized the other day that the pusher, having no pace, the ball bounces lower, and this requires all of us power players a shot we rarely work on, hitting a hard ball from a very low position. I am 6 foot 2, and i realize that hitting a short ball on the tour would and is much easier than hitting a low, no pace ball from a pusher because you can stand much more upright and hit much harder for a winner. If you try to hit hard when the ball is low and you are too high, it sails out(what the pusher makes his living off of). I just tried hitting against the best pusher in my town yesterday, staying as absurdly low as i could, waiting for a ball that wasn't going to bounce high. I swung as hard as my normal shots this time, and i CRUSHED the ball to a corner, problem solved!!.. They prey on the fact that you are bigger, stronger, sometimes faster than them, but if they keep the ball LOW, you can't get the proper LEVERAGE on the ball to hit it hard. Also, if you don't already have it, use a window washer forehand, as this stroke, vs a plow forehand stroke, doesn't require weight from the ball to hit hard or with spin and control. Their lack of weight on the ball makes all the math you worked soo hard to develop, pointless and off, because they give you nothing to hit. So, break out the knee pads, and hope that your knees and hips are in good shape to BEND LOW for the entire match, and, like playing a midget, you can then pretty much play normal tennis! Hope this helps all the guys like me that just want to get through the first two rounds of pushers before we can meet a player that wants to hit hard, waist high shots so we can compare where we belong in the actual tennis world!
     
    #99
  50. sigep1967

    sigep1967 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2006
    Messages:
    239
    Played a pusher tonight grrrr I hate them. The whole team from our neighboring town are pushers not a single one with any sort of normal looking strokes. Nothing but paceless short balls or lobs. I am ranked a 3.0 but play with guys as high as 4.5 and do well in casual matches where the ball is blasted back at me but I can't seem to beat these dinkers as I call them not even what I would call real pushers. you can hit a good solid shot to them and they actually swing (well sort of ha ha) and the ball comes back like a knuckleball barely clearing the net and bounces about as high as your shin cause it is hit so softly. I just do not play them very well and get no enjoyment from playing this type of tennis. I hate having to lift everysingle shotover the net from inside the dang service box. I get bored then beat. Oh well just have to get better at the windshield wiper type shots I guess which I do not hit well as I have always been a flat hard stroker of the ball which just doesn't work well against these guys. My timing is always screwed up playing them and I hit so many balls early and into the tape.
     

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