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-   -   How to beat a pusher? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=303383)

maddogz32 12-23-2009 12:15 PM

How to beat a pusher?
 
I need help. I am on a high school tennis team and there are two people in front of me in the rankings. They are both pushers. One of them i have beaten before and i know i can but the other one is harder. He doesnt power at all. His forehand is half swing, he doesnt even follow through. He is making it the finals of local tournaments by doing this and its ******* me off. I am good enough to beat him but i always have problems against pushers. How do i beat this kid and all other pushers?

USERNAME 12-23-2009 12:18 PM

junk ball the life out of them, or if your good enough move em around alot. I find bringing them in and passing them is quite easy.

mikeler 12-23-2009 12:25 PM

Pushers thrive on longer points since it gives you more chance to make an error. Pressure them by shortening the points. Get to the net or bring them up to the net. Watch for the lob, a favorite pusher shot.

Mick 12-23-2009 12:26 PM

by hitting winners without making too much unforced errors?

Kostas 12-23-2009 12:26 PM

The better player usually wins on the tennis court.

chanee 12-23-2009 12:27 PM

Chip N Charge! Only way to go!

Steady Eddy 12-23-2009 12:50 PM

Hurry him! Don't let him get comfortable on the baseline. Hit short to one corner, then long the other way. Feed him a variety of paces and spins. Tire him out by giving him a drop shot followed by a lob. Put the lobs on his backhand side, so that he has to run around them or hit the difficult, and weak, backhand overhead. Rush the net at unpredictable times. Remember, since he's a pusher, he's less of a threat to hit a winner so you are under less pressure in a way. Avoid errors, if you're confused as to what shot to hit, just hit down the middle and deep, you can always get aggressive on the next shot when playing a pusher.

xFullCourtTenniSx 12-23-2009 01:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by maddogz32 (Post 4217433)
I need help. I am on a high school tennis team and there are two people in front of me in the rankings. They are both pushers. One of them i have beaten before and i know i can but the other one is harder. He doesnt power at all. His forehand is half swing, he doesnt even follow through. He is making it the finals of local tournaments by doing this and its ******* me off. I am good enough to beat him but i always have problems against pushers. How do i beat this kid and all other pushers?

Well... Then clearly you aren't good enough to beat him.

Beating pushers requires a mental strength that most players just don't have. It requires patience, confidence, and intelligence. The more flexible you are in your game, the more you can do to hurt them. The problem is, few people choose to work on their second serves, their transition game, or their net game. So all the pusher has to do is out-rally you, which is easy against most people they play.

One great option already mentioned before is to shorten the points. If you don't like the junk they're giving you, then don't take it. I remember a pusher who had less than half a swing, but could still beat most high school players he faced. Why? They tried to out-rally him, blow him off the court, and all sorts of stupid things that played right into his plan. Though when he faced a 4.5+ player, he got blown off the court.

First thing is to find the first ball you can consistently crank on. For me against the pusher I just mentioned, that was his second serve. It was short, and it sat up, which made it great hitting practice for my forehand. Would that finish the point right away? Not always, so I follow it to the net and volley to the other side of the court at an angle, just outside his court coverage (and I mean JUST OUTSIDE; the fat guy is deceivingly quick). Wasn't even hard to do. The ball was at the perfect height with no pace, so I just bunted it to the side. The other chance I had at a first strike was off my serve. He stood so far back to return it, that I didn't really need to bomb it. Second serve or first serve, I just followed it to the net and finished with an open court volley. Obviously, you want to swing them wide, otherwise they can cover more court. You can serve down the middle if you want, but then you might need to hit a second volley to win the point.

I never rallied with him. I just didn't see any point in it. It took too long, and it didn't get the job done effectively. Off the first serve I had to chip and charge since I couldn't blow the ball off the first serve consistently, but it worked well anyways.

The concept is the same no matter what. Find the shot you can consistently attack and attack it. Put them on the move and finish at the net. If you let them back into the point, that's completely your own fault if you lose the point. You had a wide open window to close out the point but you failed to take it. You don't want to rally with them if it's not necessary. Sometimes, you need to be patient to get the shot you can attack. If you have to wait a REALLY long time for it, either you need a LOT of work on your consistency and aggressive game, or they're a counterpuncher and on a level far above you.

For dealing with counterpunchers, the idea remains more or less the same, though you have to be more patient. You may not be able to attack off every serve, and maybe not every second serve either. You'll have to rally until you get the short ball to attack and finish at the net. However, there's always multiple ways to finish the point easily, based off the opponent.

These players can't hurt you (well... good counterpunchers can given the right opportunities based on their level) and rely on you to hurt yourself. Once you realize that, you have to accept that you are your own worst enemy out there and play through it using easily repeatable shots that will give you the upper hand in the point, both in terms of positioning and consistency. This is why consistency is so important, as is a complete game. If you own every shot, then you always have another shot to fall back on to save your *** that might drive the other guy crazy.

tennis005 12-23-2009 01:12 PM

Hit a big serve or ground stroke then rush the net!

xFullCourtTenniSx 12-23-2009 01:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennis005 (Post 4217575)
Hit a big serve or ground stroke then rush the net!

Did you read my post and simplify it to one sentence?! Now you're making me look bad! :evil:

r2473 12-23-2009 01:16 PM

Just like you beat anyone else.

Construct points to emphasize your (relative) strengths and hide your (relative) weaknesses / prey on his (relative) weaknesses and not let him use his (relative) strengths.

It sounds like your opponent understands this and is not letting you utilize your strengths and is exposing your weaknesses. If you want to win, you need to change that balance. If you want to lose, just keep on believing you are better without actually imposing your will on the court. It doesn't matter if you have the greatest shots in the world. If you are not allowed to play them and are forced to rely on your weaknesses too often, you will lose every time.

Blake0 12-23-2009 01:33 PM

Move up to net, and finish points up there. From baseline, stay consistent don't go for too much too soon. Patience is the key to beating pushers.

86golf 12-23-2009 01:50 PM

In men's/boys tennis, the serve should be a weapon. If you are losing, then obviously you can't hold serve against this kid. Get your first serve and second to the point that you are winning cheap points or getting short reply's. Next, work on your returns so you can get ahead in the points on his serve. And as others have mentioned, finish things off at net.
I don't rally with pushers because they'll win most of the time unless you are a true level above them.

tennis005 12-23-2009 01:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xFullCourtTenniSx (Post 4217579)
Did you read my post and simplify it to one sentence?! Now you're making me look bad! :evil:

Sorry didn't mean to make you look bad. Or did I?:twisted:

xFullCourtTenniSx 12-23-2009 01:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tennis005 (Post 4217686)
Sorry didn't mean to make you look bad. Or did I?:twisted:

Haha. Eh... I like long, detailed responses with plenty of examples. XD

But short responses work too. I gotta learn to find a medium in my writing. Haha.

mikeler 12-23-2009 02:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by xFullCourtTenniSx (Post 4217699)
Haha. Eh... I like long, detailed responses with plenty of examples. XD

But short responses work too. I gotta learn to find a medium in my writing. Haha.


I'm a short and sweet person, but the long response was excellent in this case.

LuckyR 12-23-2009 02:16 PM

The advice to approach and hit volleys is valid... if you do that well, which is uncommon in the modern game. Most feel better at the baseline. Playing a high consistancy player with a low consistancy strategy is a recipe for disaster.

For the modern baseliner, which in my estimation would be the majority of folks in HS, I would advise hitting balls to the outer thirds of the court, CC. Many if not most pushers are quite fast in footspeed. When they send up their pattycake returns, resist the temptation to hit a winner, since for those who lose to pushers, that is a low percentage shot. Instead, either hit behind the pusher if he is just entering back onto the court, or hit it to the outer third again if he is already back to the hash mark. Keep hitting high percentage shots to the outer third as he keeps hitting pattycake shots to the center of the court. Long story short, he runs, you don't. Eventually even the most fit rabbit will tire and their consistancy level will drop dramatically. At that point they are just a poor player and can be beaten in any technique you prefer.

Larrysümmers 12-23-2009 05:18 PM

ok im in the same boat as you, this one kid he is not an issue anymore for i have gotten better and beat him on a regular basis
anyways, i just start to S&V, i serve hard, he pushes over and i slam it over the fence or volley it. on returns i chipped and charged him. again his serve has little pace just a lot of spin, so i just either blast a heavy ball to his back hand and charge the net, or i will (85% of the time) chip it low and soft to his backhand and he will have the rare passing shot when im at net in both situations, but i win more points than lose.
i hope this helped :-)

ayuname 12-23-2009 05:34 PM

hit a big shot and then drop shot him.

mikeler 12-23-2009 06:19 PM

Net game. If you don't have it, develop it.


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