Source of motivation when playing with pushers

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by torpantennis, Jun 13, 2013.

  1. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,364
    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!
     
    #51
  2. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,364
    Yeah, not pusher as traditionally thought. But he's a spinmeister, the pro version of a pusher, hitting a lot of junkballs. I actually respect the game of Fabrice a lot. It's very nice to watch!
     
    #52
  3. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,022
    You need to play a lot more "pushers", a lot more often.
     
    #53
  4. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    Messages:
    7,072
    A junkballer is not necessarily a pusher. If he is trying to WIN the points with spin and trickery - forcing the other guy into an error with the surprising spin, that is not pushing. If he is using the spin to just dump the ball in the middle of the court, that is pushing.
     
    #54
  5. pushitgood

    pushitgood New User

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Messages:
    41
    My pusher friend is a nice guy and he doesn't care about playing psychological games or making me feel stupid. He plays the way he plays because his technique doesn't enable him to play aggressively and win. He has a short takeback and he doesn't know how to create topspin, so hitting with pace tends to be a losing proposition for him. So he mainly uses his racquet to block the ball ball back. He knows that other players disrespect his game because of his ugly technique. But technique is only one part of tennis; it's a means to an end. Tennis also has a mental and strategic component to it, and my friend has a pretty good mental game. He stays focused and is pretty unflappable. He has fun on the court chasing down balls and getting them back. If he makes a bad shot he doesn't get down on himself. On the strategic side he keeps it pretty simple: keep it up the middle, don't make mistakes, let the other guy make the error.

    If you go into a match against my friend thinking that he has awful technique and that you're going to crush him 0 and 1, then you're just setting yourself up. You'll end up playing shots that you have no business playing, and as you rack up the errors you'll begin a downward spiral and your game will implode. My friend doesn't do this on purpose, he just wants to have fun on the court. His opponents beat themselves. It's an easy trap to fall into. I do it fairly often, which motivates me to go out and practice more and it also tells me that I need to work on my mental game.
     
    #55
  6. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,370
    I love the hit. I love that feeling of great form, the racquet whipping into the ball, the crack at impact, and the ball going exactly where I wanted it to exactly how I wanted it to go there. When I can string a few high quality hits together and craft a truly great point - I think about it for the next couple of days.

    So playing pushers doesn't do this for me. I avoid them because they're no fun to play with, for me anyway, and I'm playing to have fun. However, I can beat them. For me, I just come in on everything, and give them deep balls with no pace and no angle. They either have to pass me with their no pace, pusher strokes which they generally can't do, or they have to lob me. I have a good enough overhead that if all you can do is push a spinless lob up into the air, it's going to be coming back pretty fast. Every once in a while I'll crush a groundie just to mix it up, especially after I've established that I'm coming in most of the time. If I miss it it's no big deal, because I'm winning my points on safe volleys and safe overheads for the most part. If I nail a few groundies then I can get them feeling that it's hopeless. Since emotional warfare is a part of their game, it fun to turn the tables on them.

    I do go for the serves, so that's one area where I can have some fun.

    But still it's careful, no UFE tennis with few rippin' shots and little excitement. The serves and angled volleys are fun, but I'd rather play someone who can put something on the ball, even if I lose.
     
    #56
  7. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,364
    WOW! I had a hitting session, where I intentionally used a lot of BH slice and dropshots. Never had so much fun on the court! I think I just found a new dimension of this sport.

    It was so rewarding to use the slice to force weak replies. I e.g. used a pattern where I first hit a very low bouncing slice BH DTL, then moved up and got an easy FH putaway. It was much easier to hit the putaway as you're already preparing for it. Another pattern was the use of dropshot, where I also got some rewarding passing shots and lobs. I think there's no going back from this now!

    So what I've always done wrong with the pushers is, that I've just been ripping my topspin strokes with the same pace as in practices with my buddies. Then I've done a lot of "stupid" mistakes to the zero-pace balls. This is of course frustrating as you feel that you've got superior game compared to the opponent, but just keep making these mistakes. Now I'll stop using this kind of tactics, i.e. trying to hit winners off these pusher balls. I'll start dictating the game with the slice/dropshots, since it's much easier to hit these into the zero-pace balls. When the opportunity comes, then you can rip the ball for a winner.

    So pushers are actually very good. They force you to improve your game. I guess I should now thank all the pushers for directing me into a new dimension with the sport.:lol:
     
    #57
  8. torpantennis

    torpantennis Legend

    Joined:
    May 3, 2013
    Messages:
    6,364
    And regarding the OP, this kind of tactics gives excitement even with the pushers. You try to force a weak reply and wait for the moment to rip the ball hard. It's always exciting to wait this moment. You can easily keep mentally concentrated with this approach to the game.
     
    #58

Share This Page