Originally Posted by user92626
How do you know your strokes get better without competition and wins?
I have a ball machine and can attest that good strokes mean nothing if you can't reproduce them in a match. Playing real people will reveal your true capabilities.
The big picture here is that the pusher exposed all of the weaknesses in the OP's game. You can still hit winners against pushers. It first requires building the point by hitting a variety of shots with control & placement to set up the winner.
The OP found that he doesn't yet have the skills to do this. What he fails to realize is that he will develop these skills by playing pushers, not by hitting on a ball machine.