This was a good thread. I've now understood, that in practices I've only done monotonic counter-punching, almost nothing else, just hitting with my buddies harder and harder as we've progressed. I need to add variety to the hitting sessions to learn to better cope with various shots, not just the baseline ball hit hard. It'll be an interesting journey. The matches against the pushers will indicate my progression on this route. I cannot wait to get to practices now!