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-   -   My take on the Pusher issue (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=463066)

goeblack 05-09-2013 08:39 AM

My take on the Pusher issue
 
I must admit I have been amused at the pusher threads on the forum.

I just do not get the excuses that some players give when they loser to a so called pusher.

First of all, if you are losing to a pusher then you are not as good a tennis player as they are. They must have better hand to eye coordination than you do. That being since they can keep the ball in the court and you can not.

You obviously think you have superior stokes than they do but why do you think that? You must not have any type of decent weapon. At least not sufficient enough to bother them. Of course, with your self elevated image of yourself, you love hitting winners against your normal opponents. And of course since they have strokes like you do, you assume they play good.

It boils down to this. These days the courts are full of players who possess all the TV strokes but can not hit 5 balls in at a time. They could care less since, their self image revolves around how they look when they nail that topspin backhand down the line. Maybe one out of ten times if they are having a good day.

The so called pusher, is not impressed. All that huffing and puffing and all that extra motion just amuses them. To them that big shot you have worked on, that looks so good, is no big deal to them. If it was they would not get it back all the time.

Just to prove they are better than you try this: Just try getting your ball back in the court like they do. If that does not work then just admit it you are outclassed.

beltsman 05-09-2013 08:55 AM

:roll: Spoken like a true pusher.

LeeD 05-09-2013 09:02 AM

A pusher sets his goal to be the best he can be with the strokes he already has.
A hitter sets his goal to be the best he can be with the most advanced strokes he can acquire.
Who is right?
Depends on his goals.

user92626 05-09-2013 12:36 PM

To me this pusher, bad stroke vs hitter, superior stroke argument is natural and inherent in recreational tennis. That's because rec tennis doesn't have a clearly defined objective. It gives a lot of room for losers to come up with excuses and reason for their lose which is a natural coping mechanism.

You don't see this stupid argument in WTA and ATP because every participant is on the same page, the same mission that is to win, though there are plenty of pusher hitting style existing such as Radwanska, Murray.

So to cure this "phenomenon" that exists in rec, which is a long shot, naturally you need to get people on the same page, view or objective. If you could get people to play with real stakes like I suggest in another thread, the rule of economics will occur. That is big hitters are going to change, either to substantiate their superior strokes or stop hitting luxeriously bad shots, unless they enjoy losing their stakes.

10isfreak 05-09-2013 03:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by user92626 (Post 7398781)
If you could get people to play with real stakes like I suggest in another thread, the rule of economics will occur.

In economics, there exists such a thing as violations of market principles that do not involve intervention. In tennis, how can players violate the rules?

Some players are indeed dishonest: they stretch the rules, doing something which is legal, though illegitimate. For instance, not enabling your opponent to warm up properly by trying to hit winners off every ball is not prohibited, but it's not legitimate (morally acceptable). Sometimes, they may outright cheat, making seriously bad calls. However, overall, these little efforts only rarely do a lot of damage. In an economic competition, this is all the opposite. As a businessman, I could very bluntly and legally make the market less competitive to increase my profits.

So, I would have rather used Darwinian evolution as a parallel. But, regardless, this approach is somewhat bizarre... it's too much centered on individuals when they actually do respond to a context that is provided by all other players, tennis matches, videos, instructions, etc.

It would be more appropriate to use a dialectical analysis, I think (that is, consider the interaction of individuals and their tennis community). Besides, I would also focus on culture instead of using a rationalist approach wherein people's behavior is simply asserted as the research of some optimal solution. To my sense, those you call pushers and those you call hitters do not share the same values and norms with regard to the game of tennis. For some player, maybe is learning a very formal mode of ball striking is valuable, in itself. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who values formal ball striking and who sees tennis as playing these strokes in a match... what do you see when you play a pusher? A person who doesn't play tennis. At the limit, he doesn't play by what you views as the norms of the game (using formal movements) and you sanction negatively such behaviors: you insult them, laugh, belittle their achievements, etc. You're expressing your commitment to a norm which, from what we can see, isn't shared by pushers. On the reverse, you may applaud any formal ball striking that forces you into a mistake... These comments just expresses something that is being respected or transgressed: the norm of using formal strokes.

You might not see it, but your comment also carries a peculiar tennis culture which you have internalized as yours. It colors your vision of the game and, apparently, you think that the point of tennis is to win a match. It might not have occurred to you because you probably do not enjoy the game this way, but most hours I spent on the court are either alone hitting strokes or with someone else playing rallies. I barely ever play matches and most of these situations (those when winning becomes an objective) are spent playing tie breaks. And that's how I enjoy the game. I used to be a lot less careful and patient on a court, a lot more inclined to be frustrated and to pull the trigger too soon... exactly like the archetype of your hitter who hated pushers. However, I've spent months hitting tennis balls with the goal of being able to play my game even when a pusher was on the other side. With time, effort and experience, my perspective changed. Funnily, the pushing friend I had stopped pushing once I got used to it and once I stopped being annoyed by it, but it was still worth the go.

mightyrick 05-09-2013 04:29 PM

The stroke of a pusher is merely getting the ball back. This stroke takes considerably less skill than the strokes needed by the opponent to defeat a pusher. This is the problem. This is exactly why people say pushers aren't as skilled as the opponents they beat.

To defeat a pusher (without you yourself pushing), you need a couple of quality strokes. This is why people lose. If you only have one quality stroke, you will not defeat the pusher.

To defeat a pusher by bringing them to the net, you need a decent forehand shot to get the pusher back on their heels and then a dependable drop shot or short forehand... to bring them to the net.

To defeat a pusher by running them left and right until you draw the short ball... you need a solid dependable forehand that can hit both corners... and then a solid ability to hit a short sitter.

While I don't think it is universally true that pushers aren't as skilled as their opponents... I do think it requires twice as much skill as the pusher in order to beat them.

LuckyR 05-09-2013 04:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mightyrick (Post 7399555)
The stroke of a pusher is merely getting the ball back. This stroke takes considerably less skill than the strokes needed by the opponent to defeat a pusher. This is the problem. This is exactly why people say pushers aren't as skilled as the opponents they beat.

To defeat a pusher (without you yourself pushing), you need a couple of quality strokes. This is why people lose. If you only have one quality stroke, you will not defeat the pusher.

To defeat a pusher by bringing them to the net, you need a decent forehand shot to get the pusher back on their heels and then a dependable drop shot or short forehand... to bring them to the net.

To defeat a pusher by running them left and right until you draw the short ball... you need a solid dependable forehand that can hit both corners... and then a solid ability to hit a short sitter.

While I don't think it is universally true that pushers aren't as skilled as their opponents... I do think it requires twice as much skill as the pusher in order to beat them.


I agree that this makes sense in theory but the "pusher" has a much, much bigger weapon that has gone unmentioned. Namely the fragile ego of his opponent. I mean think about it. If the "pusher's" strokes are so inferior why couldn't his superior opponent just hit the same shots, just better? No, the "pusher's" opponent feels that his strokes are better than the pusher's. So he spins this story to himself that he won't stoop to the pusher's level blah, blah, blah and continuously hits "better" shots wide, long and into the net. True, he'll hold his head up high... in defeat. But an "L" is still an "L" at the end of the day.

Maui19 05-09-2013 05:00 PM

Playing a pusher sucks all the fun out of the game. I don't care who wins--playing a pusher simply isn't fun. I play tennis for fun, which is why I avoid pushers.

WildVolley 05-09-2013 05:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maui19 (Post 7399607)
Playing a pusher sucks all the fun out of the game. I don't care who wins--playing a pusher simply isn't fun. I play tennis for fun, which is why I avoid pushers.

This is the other side of the coin. Pushers may win by running every ball down and bunting it back into play, but pretty soon, nobody wants to play against them. Even those who beat the pusher usually don't enjoy the experience.

Again, this gets us into a definitional issue. If you can consistently hit a topspin ball down the center of the court, you may consider yourself a pusher, but your opponents don't. You'll find plenty of people who want to play against you if you can hit a topspin shot like a ball machine.

user92626 05-09-2013 05:09 PM

10s,

Establish "a formal mode of hitting", "formal movement" "a norm"? That IS ..bizarre.

There are already rules explicitly defined for a tennis competition and that is you hit out you lose. Follow that. As for cheating, you may be able to get away once or twice but your reputation will get around and you'll be shunned, or simply get a friend to be an umpire.

The immediate point of a match that all parties can agree on is to compete on win and lose. Everything else is your own preferences. This point is important to emphasize because without a common objective the game is really lost. I have actually witnessed that people nearly got into a fist fight and called the police when they couldn't agree on how to conduct a court time together. One guy called the other guy stupid and told him to save his dropshot attempts for a match when they were hitting ...and it escalated fast.

10s, you're an example of how rec tennis gets weird. If everyone enjoys hitting balls alone, there won't be enough courts. And how would you enjoy a rally if the other guy kept trying to hit winners or dropshots?

user92626 05-09-2013 05:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Maui19 (Post 7399607)
Playing a pusher sucks all the fun out of the game. I don't care who wins--playing a pusher simply isn't fun. I play tennis for fun, which is why I avoid pushers.

But what do you consider a pusher?

To some players you are a pusher when you could hit two shots in a row. And where does this go when those players tell you that you suck and playing with you isn't fun? This ends up either a fist fight or no more tennis..can you imagine..an argument that destroys the very thing that it argues for.

spinorama 05-09-2013 05:24 PM

If someone beats you, they are better than you. Sometimes we feel like we had better strokes and that they just "got it back" and won. Well, that person is better than you because they won (that's what your TRYING to do, right?).

It IS frustrating to play someone who doesn't have the same technique and beautiful shots as you but can beat you because they are more consistent. But if you can't take the heat, get outa the fire. Being good at tennis means you can adapt and beat opponents no matter what stops they pull.

Lukhas 05-09-2013 05:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mightyrick (Post 7399555)
The stroke of a pusher is merely getting the ball back. This stroke takes considerably less skill than the strokes needed by the opponent to defeat a pusher. This is the problem. This is exactly why people say pushers aren't as skilled as the opponents they beat.

To defeat a pusher (without you yourself pushing), you need a couple of quality strokes. This is why people lose. If you only have one quality stroke, you will not defeat the pusher.

To defeat a pusher by bringing them to the net, you need a decent forehand shot to get the pusher back on their heels and then a dependable drop shot or short forehand... to bring them to the net.

To defeat a pusher by running them left and right until you draw the short ball... you need a solid dependable forehand that can hit both corners... and then a solid ability to hit a short sitter.

While I don't think it is universally true that pushers aren't as skilled as their opponents... I do think it requires twice as much skill as the pusher in order to beat them.

It makes sense, I can agree with that.

Mick 05-09-2013 05:42 PM

playing a good pusher is better practice than hitting with a ball machine or against the wall.

not sure why players hate playing pushers so much. I would understand if they pose no challenge and people can bagel at will then it would no fun playing them but this is not the case. Most people cannot handle pushers.

And the challenge in tennis is to play against opponents who are difficult to beat not opponents who you can beat easily.

mikeespinmusic 05-09-2013 05:44 PM

What I stand by on another post :D
 
Quote:




Originally Posted by luishcorreia

That's right. I know the problem it's mine. I'm not even one of the people that think pushers aren't real tennis players.

But I give up. I can't play against them. Don't want to. Don't know how to.

Today I had the most incredible match against a pusher I've played numerous times. I dictate the points. I am aggressive. I go for my shots. I open dome angles. I draw him in to the net. He's always defending and putting moon balls with no pace.

In today's match I was always at deuce, 30-40 or 40-30... But somehow... With all of this.. He won 6-0, 6-2. God...

This was on clay. The one time I played him on hard court I won 61, 60.

It's not the case that he's a better player. I have more strokes, fitness and power than him. The only thing he's stronger is the mental game. Never.. Not once.. I've seen this guy loose its cool or even say anything on court.

I think my game just doesn't fit. Is it just poor tactics?

Another thing: I can stay with him in most points and make him go for his shots a bit more... But it's soooo boring... It's all in slow motion. His shots just sit there.. In mid air.

It's just boring to play that way.

I give up


--------------------------------------------
Here's what I think works pretty dam well.

Hang in there brother. I had the same problem.

I was responsible for this post.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=453976

Yes, they are quite sick people. Their goal is to make the game as boring as possible because they want you feeling like "this game is a waste of time, get me out of here"

The only effective way i went about it, was using another racquet specifically against them. A moonballer and a short/low pusher (or both) mainly has one weapon. Dying balls. Its no point trying to hit top spin groundies against them, The more they sink like a stone. The harder it is to hit through. And the more you're opponent will hope for your errors.

Put away your good hybrid or poly set up racquet. Forget about your abilities. And get something forgiving and comfy for the long haul. Something with a bit more power so you can have a slower swing. If you're fitter and faster. You're gonna win because they'll start to hate their own games and take risks. Chances are you're much fitter and faster. I've never met pusher that I couldn't outrun.

You need the wins to move up. So swallow your proud power pride (like what i had to do) and use your "B" game.

Beat them at their own game. Use a racquet with just some comfy springy synthgut and just hit back junk like them and move them around. Chop it down low if you have to. Make them bend over as much as possible. You want them hating you, and you want them to try everything they can to stop you. Then mix it up with some moonballs. They'll start moving in for an easy passing. Be sure to serve short and low. Always short and low You want them hitting up and bending so you can slam one down. Then follow up with short and low groundies. Just plod along between points. Or you can try to serve as soon as they're ready to upset their rhythm and wear them out faster. Almost give the body language like you're humoring them and that you're that much better than them. Be cheerful about it

There may be even times when you can easily end the point, sometimes it might help if you dont and make them sprint that extra 10-15 yards. Do that if you're in good position and in the lead.

Why? Because despair will set in. They'll try to hit with more pace and up the level of play to end points quickly (which you're already better at). You can always just switch to your normal racquet afterwards if you feel the need. But if it slips away. Go back to the mockery style.

Next time you play them, I guarantee that they'll try to belt the ball past you and you'll probably destroy them with your normal "A" game.

Now that I've moved up the 2 grades that I wanted to, I don't have to resort to that as much these days (the pushers aren't there). But If need be, I will.


Hope this helps.

Velvet Ga el 05-09-2013 06:12 PM

I'll never understand why people get so worked up about pushers. Develop a net game and the match is quickly over. I don't care if a pusher has Monfils type wheels because they're not running down many short angled volleys as long as they're only pushing back approach shots. Hell, you don't even have to be that aggressive with your net positioning and can actually hang back a bit to take away the lob.

But there's the catch. People would rather bash winners from the baseline to claim GOAT status instead of finishing up at the net with an easy volley. Something deeply ingrained in the male ethos I suppose.

HughJars 05-09-2013 06:59 PM

So much this ^


If you hit a ball that your opponent can't get thats in the lines or forces them into an error, chances are you win the point. Do this to a pusher, and you most likely will win the point. Do this to a pro and you will probably win the point.

If you lose a match cos you make too many unforced errors then you deserve to lose. Pushers feed on their opponent's inability to not make errors. Yet they are classed as moral cheats for not making them. More like sour grapes from the people who cant beat them....

Pushers dont have a magical ability to get to every ball. Or any more ability to get to a ball than other players. They do well to get a majority of their shots within the lines - which, from my understanding of tennis, is one of the fundamental requirements of the game to win.

So to beat pushers - hit it wide of them, force them into errors, and dont make any unforced errors. Just like any other player! The ball is coming back slower so it should be easier. Simple! If not, keep smashing it into the net and losing. Least you'll still look cool... least you'll sharpen up on making excuses on why you lost to an apparently worser player...

kpktennis 05-09-2013 10:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 10isfreak (Post 7399468)
In economics, there exists such a thing as violations of market principles that do not involve intervention. In tennis, how can players violate the rules?

Some players are indeed dishonest: they stretch the rules, doing something which is legal, though illegitimate. For instance, not enabling your opponent to warm up properly by trying to hit winners off every ball is not prohibited, but it's not legitimate (morally acceptable). Sometimes, they may outright cheat, making seriously bad calls. However, overall, these little efforts only rarely do a lot of damage. In an economic competition, this is all the opposite. As a businessman, I could very bluntly and legally make the market less competitive to increase my profits.

So, I would have rather used Darwinian evolution as a parallel. But, regardless, this approach is somewhat bizarre... it's too much centered on individuals when they actually do respond to a context that is provided by all other players, tennis matches, videos, instructions, etc.

It would be more appropriate to use a dialectical analysis, I think (that is, consider the interaction of individuals and their tennis community). Besides, I would also focus on culture instead of using a rationalist approach wherein people's behavior is simply asserted as the research of some optimal solution. To my sense, those you call pushers and those you call hitters do not share the same values and norms with regard to the game of tennis. For some player, maybe is learning a very formal mode of ball striking is valuable, in itself. Put yourself in the shoes of someone who values formal ball striking and who sees tennis as playing these strokes in a match... what do you see when you play a pusher? A person who doesn't play tennis. At the limit, he doesn't play by what you views as the norms of the game (using formal movements) and you sanction negatively such behaviors: you insult them, laugh, belittle their achievements, etc. You're expressing your commitment to a norm which, from what we can see, isn't shared by pushers. On the reverse, you may applaud any formal ball striking that forces you into a mistake... These comments just expresses something that is being respected or transgressed: the norm of using formal strokes.

You might not see it, but your comment also carries a peculiar tennis culture which you have internalized as yours. It colors your vision of the game and, apparently, you think that the point of tennis is to win a match. It might not have occurred to you because you probably do not enjoy the game this way, but most hours I spent on the court are either alone hitting strokes or with someone else playing rallies. I barely ever play matches and most of these situations (those when winning becomes an objective) are spent playing tie breaks. And that's how I enjoy the game. I used to be a lot less careful and patient on a court, a lot more inclined to be frustrated and to pull the trigger too soon... exactly like the archetype of your hitter who hated pushers. However, I've spent months hitting tennis balls with the goal of being able to play my game even when a pusher was on the other side. With time, effort and experience, my perspective changed. Funnily, the pushing friend I had stopped pushing once I got used to it and once I stopped being annoyed by it, but it was still worth the go.

My guess is that when one really been far even as learned once to use even go want, it is then that he has really been far even as valuable to use even go want to do look more like

USArmyTennis 05-09-2013 11:56 PM

All I do with pushers is heavy, penetrating topspin to push then back, approach on the short ball, and volley the winner away. I had struggled with pushers before even at 4.5, but once you take the time to learn the tactics required to beat them, it's easy to take away their advantage. Once you show them they can't win just putting balls in play they will change their tact or lose. Time management is definitely key. Bring them to the net or you come up. Take the ball on the rise and don't allow yourself to get pushed around. Play smart tennis.

mikeler 05-10-2013 05:08 AM

I like playing pushers because I typically get a chance to set my feet. The big ball bashers I feel like I'm always on the run trying to retrieve their shots. You also get the best exercise against a pusher. Several have mentioned coming to net to beat them. If you can hit a swinging volley out of the air, it sucks away all their time when you hit a good shot and they reply with their typical defensive lob.


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