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-   -   I pushed...Yikes!!! (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=177310)

smiley74 01-24-2008 02:40 PM

I pushed...Yikes!!!
 
So, had my second official match today and won 6-1 and 6-2. I had won my first match 6-0 6-0 so was feeling pretty darn good!

Well, my pro was on the next court today giving a lesson. After my match I also had a lesson scheduled. He promptly wiped the smile off my face; declared I pushed the whole match and should either hit my strokes correctly or not play matches at all (due to acquiring bad habits). Knocked me right down off cloud nine!

However, I know I was tentative and conservative and wasn't hitting correctly. My serves were weak as I just wanted to get them in.

So, he continues by saying that I might win now but who cares because I won't win later. So, better to lose now and go for my shots and improve my game than to win and never get better. He said keep going for my shots now and they will eventually go in!

Howard.......OMG you were right!!!!!

To him, pushing meant I was just getting the ball over without correct strokes, pace, or spin- no follow through, etc.

So- there you have it. Pushing is NOT good!!! It's one thing to retrieve balls by hitting correctly and waiting for your opponent to make a mistake and another to just get the ball over any which way. I learned my lesson, for sure!

So, now I am mentally preparing myself to get crushed in my upcoming matches! *sigh* Maybe I will suprise myself...but I doubt it! LOL

AR15 01-24-2008 02:55 PM

It's understandable to play "tight" in your first match. However, I think if you had lost, you would play your next match even tighter, and demonstrate even worse technique.

Djokovicfan4life 01-24-2008 03:13 PM

I have the opposite problem. I tend to just swing away without thinking about playing high percentage shots. :wink:

Moz 01-24-2008 03:22 PM

Smiley

Just curious - would you honestly have been happier if you'd lost but taken a good cut at your strokes?

On the flip side of developing a game with proper strokes etc is developing a temperament where you do what you have to do to win whatever the circumstances. Sometimes pushing maybe the answer.

I see no reason why you can't develop good strokes whilst still winning by pushing - if that is what it takes in some circumstances.

Well done on the win!

wao 01-24-2008 03:34 PM

Didn't Brad Gilbert write a book called Winning Ugly, not saying that smiley that you won that way. As you go through a match you have to adapt to what is working on that day. If hitting a big flat ball isn't working then you adapt and try to hit with more spin ect. ect. If I am playing a person that can't keep the ball in play for more than a couple of strokes or can't generate power off a no pace ball then why wouldn't you go after that weekness. Winning 6-2 6-1 it would appear that they couldn't that style of game. GOOD WIN AND KEEP IT GOING WHILE STILL IMPROVING.

raiden031 01-24-2008 03:50 PM

Its good that you learned this early rather than a couple years down the road. I don't think it is ever worth it to sacrifice form in order to play a pushing game. Once people get too comfortable with pushing, its hard to get out of it because they will not have confidence when attempting proper strokes.

smiley74 01-24-2008 03:53 PM

Hi, all!

Well, I DO see his point. I think pusher as Gilbert defines it is a player who can get to everything and waits for opponents to make mistakes. They don't beat themselves. Think Michael Chang. However, he DEFINITELY hit the ball correctly.

I have the Gilbert book and it's GREAT! Also, check out Beyond Big Shots (I think that's the title) by Greg Moran.

What I guess I did was I just barely swung and "pushed" the ball over the net instead of stroking the ball correctly with proper follow through. I way let off the pace too and could have hit with more topspin.

To my pro- pushing means not hitting correctly(mechanically).

He said if I play like that I will stay at 3.0 forever like the players I am beating. I am winning now because I am hitting high perecentage shots (cross court etc), waiting for them to overhit, and am relying on my superior athleticism to get to balls and "arm" them over. However, he said once I move up, better players will be athletic AND able to hit with pace, spin, and placement.

So, if I want to be a better player 4.0+ someday I had better learn to hit correctly. He said I don't have to hit with tons of pace but I DO have to hit correctly with proper follow through and rotation.

He said I can add more pace and spin later on because than I will have the proper foundation to support it.

I mean, I can hit with good pace and spin but I am like at 75% because I can't control it when I go all out. Problem is I hit this way in fun rallies, lessons, and clinics but "pushed" in the matches.

I think part of the problem is I feel pressured to win. The Tennis director said if I win my ladder matches than I can be placed on the Travel team and USTA team. So, I am just trying to "win". He was pleased that I won my first 2 matches by the scores I did considering I have been playing for less than 5 months and my opponents have been playing for years. However, my pro is disgusted and thinks the wins don't matter. :-(


I do hit with a USTA Computer generated 3.5 and can hang ok with her. She NEVER pushes!!

So, I am a bit bummed out right now. :???:

wao 01-24-2008 04:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smiley74 (Post 2035484)
Hi, all!

Well, I DO see his point. I think pusher as Gilbert defines it is a player who can get to everything and waits for opponents to make mistakes. They don't beat themselves. Think Michael Chang. However, he DEFINITELY hit the ball correctly.

I have the Gilbert book and it's GREAT! Also, check out Beyond Big Shots (I think that's the title) by Greg Moran.

What I guess I did was I just barely swung and "pushed" the ball over the net instead of stroking the ball correctly with proper follow through. I way let off the pace too and could have hit with more topspin.

To my pro- pushing means not hitting correctly(mechanically).

He said if I play like that I will stay at 3.0 forever like the players I am beating. I am winning now because I am hitting high perecentage shots (cross court etc), waiting for them to overhit, and am relying on my superior athleticism to get to balls and "arm" them over. However, he said once I move up, better players will be athletic AND able to hit with pace, spin, and placement.

So, if I want to be a better player 4.0+ someday I had better learn to hit correctly. He said I don't have to hit with tons of pace but I DO have to hit correctly with proper follow through and rotation.

He said I can add more pace and spin later on because than I will have the proper foundation to support it.

I mean, I can hit with good pace and spin but I am like at 75% because I can't control it when I go all out. Problem is I hit this way in fun rallies, lessons, and clinics but "pushed" in the matches.

I think part of the problem is I feel pressured to win. The Tennis director said if I win my ladder matches than I can be placed on the Travel team and USTA team. So, I am just trying to "win". He was pleased that I won my first 2 matches by the scores I did considering I have been playing for less than 5 months and my opponents have been playing for years. However, my pro is disgusted and thinks the wins don't matter. :-(


I do hit with a USTA Computer generated 3.5 and can hang ok with her. She NEVER pushes!!

So, I am a bit bummed out right now. :???:

Don't be bummed. We are ALL trying to get better, it's all part of the PROCESS. Keep working at it.

HowardH 01-24-2008 04:31 PM

:)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Moz (Post 2035380)
Smiley

Just curious - would you honestly have been happier if you'd lost but taken a good cut at your strokes?

On the flip side of developing a game with proper strokes etc is developing a temperament where you do what you have to do to win whatever the circumstances. Sometimes pushing maybe the answer.

I see no reason why you can't develop good strokes whilst still winning by pushing - if that is what it takes in some circumstances.

Well done on the win!

I won a match by "pushing" once. (please, lets not go round and round about the meaning of push) I absolutely hated it. I felt like I was playing patty cake baby tennis. I felt like I had sold out to myself or something, it was wierd and I didn't like it. I also didn't get any respect for playing that way from my team mates. Sure they were glad for the win but I was sort of embarassed by the way I played becasue I know I can play better.

On the flip side I started coming out swinging with both barrels, although I lost I felt better about myself. Since then I've learned a few things.

My game plan now is start slow, not pushing, just being consistent and staying in the point. As I start loosening up later and finding my range I start putting more and more pace on the shots and go for bigger passing or winning shots. Then I feel good about the tennis I'm playing and make far fewer unforced errors.

Part of learning the game.

HowardH 01-24-2008 04:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smiley74 (Post 2035484)
Hi, all!

Well, I DO see his point. I think pusher as Gilbert defines it is a player who can get to everything and waits for opponents to make mistakes. They don't beat themselves. Think Michael Chang. However, he DEFINITELY hit the ball correctly.

I have the Gilbert book and it's GREAT! Also, check out Beyond Big Shots (I think that's the title) by Greg Moran.

What I guess I did was I just barely swung and "pushed" the ball over the net instead of stroking the ball correctly with proper follow through. I way let off the pace too and could have hit with more topspin.

To my pro- pushing means not hitting correctly(mechanically).

He said if I play like that I will stay at 3.0 forever like the players I am beating. I am winning now because I am hitting high perecentage shots (cross court etc), waiting for them to overhit, and am relying on my superior athleticism to get to balls and "arm" them over. However, he said once I move up, better players will be athletic AND able to hit with pace, spin, and placement.

So, if I want to be a better player 4.0+ someday I had better learn to hit correctly. He said I don't have to hit with tons of pace but I DO have to hit correctly with proper follow through and rotation.

He said I can add more pace and spin later on because than I will have the proper foundation to support it.

I mean, I can hit with good pace and spin but I am like at 75% because I can't control it when I go all out. Problem is I hit this way in fun rallies, lessons, and clinics but "pushed" in the matches.

I think part of the problem is I feel pressured to win. The Tennis director said if I win my ladder matches than I can be placed on the Travel team and USTA team. So, I am just trying to "win". He was pleased that I won my first 2 matches by the scores I did considering I have been playing for less than 5 months and my opponents have been playing for years. However, my pro is disgusted and thinks the wins don't matter. :-(


I do hit with a USTA Computer generated 3.5 and can hang ok with her. She NEVER pushes!!

So, I am a bit bummed out right now. :???:

Wow, sounds exactly like my instructor! Almost word for word.

smiley74 01-24-2008 04:44 PM

Thanks Wao!

Howard- is your Pro Russian too as maybe it's a cultural thing? :shock:

HowardH 01-24-2008 04:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smiley74 (Post 2035647)
Thanks Wao!

Howard- is your Pro Russian too as maybe it's a cultural thing? :shock:

My instructor is hispanic I beleive.
I do play practice matches a couple times of week with a guy I thinks is Russian but have never asked him. He's very big, athletic, long hair and pony tail with a strong accent that sounds russian to me but could be anything. I have to listen close because it's hard sometimes to understand him. Great guy and a great practice partner.

maverick66 01-24-2008 07:13 PM

i disagree with your instructor on this. you need to win to gain confidence. if that means you push till you feel comfortable to hit out then do it. how does losing help even if you have correct form you lost. that puts doubt into your head about how your swinging and leads to all kinds of bad. learn to win first then start worrrying about making adjustments to your game.

HowardH 01-24-2008 08:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maverick66 (Post 2036106)
i disagree with your instructor on this. you need to win to gain confidence. if that means you push till you feel comfortable to hit out then do it. how does losing help even if you have correct form you lost. that puts doubt into your head about how your swinging and leads to all kinds of bad. learn to win first then start worrrying about making adjustments to your game.


Doubt for a little while now and pick up a few measly wins but good stroke technique in itself provides confidence. Sure you can win by pushing and feel good for the win now but get left behind and crushed later, by those that have taken the time to learn right. We aren't all playing just for a small win over a nobody player now. Some of us are trying to make our games better in the long run. :)

HowardH 01-24-2008 08:12 PM

Let me rephrase, I'm a small nobody players now and will never be a pro or make a living at tennis but I have seen a huge confidence boost as a result of trying to play good technique tennis and I'm starting to win more matches and gain more respect from my peers in the game. Also the better I play the more fun and competitive tennis is for me.

Cindysphinx 01-25-2008 04:29 AM

Smiley, you have a terrific pro, IMHO. Stick with that guy!

I played only one 3.0 singles match last year. I won, giving up just 3 games.

And I was embarrassed. Because I pushed. I just outlasted her. I checked what little technique I had at the door because I wanted to win. It's a waste. Like Howard says, it doesn't even feel good.

And in the long run, it flat out does not work. Eventually you meet someone who *is* hitting correctly, and you can't hang with them by pushing. So you try to revive the technique you have paid all of this money to acquire, and you can't do it in the heat of battle because you have grown used to pushing.

I think you have to decide whether you want to win now by pushing (and get on the USTA team or whatever) or want to win later by developing your technique.

As for me, I am very glad that for the most part I tried to stick with my technique even if I lost. I don't mean that you or I should try to blast the ball. I mean that every shot should be the best quality shot we can produce at that moment.

My pro said that you have to play the way you practice and practice the way you play. If you are trying to switch back and forth between hitting correctly (practice) and pushing (matches), you'll slow your progress considerably.

You know, my pro doesn't ask me whether I won or lost. He wants to know whether I personally played well. He's right, you know? Some of my finest memories of matches are times when I played well technically and strategically but still lost.

The matches where I chickened out and pushed I'd like to forget.

fe6250 01-25-2008 04:42 AM

Interesting dilema for a new player. I agree that getting the technique right is important and that simply getting it back won't get it done long term, but sometimes it's hard taking the loss when the technique isn't working. Eventually you will have the weapons to win with technique - but altering your strategy (conservative / aggressive, etc...) to win, while not compromising hitting good strokes.

Hang in there and don't be too sure you will lose!

goober 01-25-2008 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by smiley74 (Post 2035235)
So, had my second official match today and won 6-1 and 6-2. I had won my first match 6-0 6-0 so was feeling pretty darn good!

Well, my pro was on the next court today giving a lesson. After my match I also had a lesson scheduled. He promptly wiped the smile off my face; declared I pushed the whole match and should either hit my strokes correctly or not play matches at all (due to acquiring bad habits). Knocked me right down off cloud nine!

However, I know I was tentative and conservative and wasn't hitting correctly. My serves were weak as I just wanted to get them in.

So, he continues by saying that I might win now but who cares because I won't win later. So, better to lose now and go for my shots and improve my game than to win and never get better. He said keep going for my shots now and they will eventually go in!

Howard.......OMG you were right!!!!!

To him, pushing meant I was just getting the ball over without correct strokes, pace, or spin- no follow through, etc.

So- there you have it. Pushing is NOT good!!! It's one thing to retrieve balls by hitting correctly and waiting for your opponent to make a mistake and another to just get the ball over any which way. I learned my lesson, for sure!

So, now I am mentally preparing myself to get crushed in my upcoming matches! *sigh* Maybe I will suprise myself...but I doubt it! LOL

Unless you want to stay at 3.0-3.5 forever, your instructor is spot on. The main problem with winning matches with push strokes is that it becomes habit. You start doing it all the time because it works and it becomes in engrained in your muscle memory. You keep winning but eventually you get to a point when you move up to a level where you can't beat anybody because of your strokes. It is very difficult for somebody who has been hitting bad strokes for years to then suddenly change. Many don't and that is why you see people who stay at 3.0-3.5 for decades. That is not necessarily bad, but most serious club tennis players aspire to something higher.

It is much easier to start learning the correct techniquet to begin with even if it means you lose early on.

Nellie 01-25-2008 06:55 AM

I think a big problem we all share is to play one way in practice and to then tighten up and play more conservatively in a match. I don't know if you changed your technique because of your nerves or because you started hitting a couple and it just worked.

I think that your instructor is giving you good advise because there is nothing worse than losing your strokes during a match. If you start poking at the ball and it stops working, there is little you can do, whereas if you start long, you can shorten your strokes as needed, for example, if the opponent is giving you a lot of pace.

JRstriker12 01-25-2008 06:59 AM

Don't mean to disagree with your pro, but CONFIDENCE can do wonders for your game. If you get two good wins under your belt with a nice margin (6-0, 6-2 etc.) that means you may be able to go for a bit more in your match. Don't go all out, but it means you can go for a bit more.


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