Originally Posted by pushitgood
At the lower rec levels you see both extremes: pushers that are content to keep the ball in play and wait for their opponents to make mistakes vs. ball bashers that think they're better than they are, and try to go for broke on every shot. Neither mindset is conducive to great tennis, but which one is easier to correct and shape into a good player? I'd be particularly interested to hear from coaches.
As you can probably guess from my username, I'm on the "pushy" end of the spectrum, although I've been trying to improve at seizing the initiative and taking calculated risks.
You ask a specific and interesting question. The answer is that although theoretically either can be improved into a great advanced player and that there are plenty of individual examples of each, one is clearly easier
to change (which was your question, after all).
Any student of personality types and behavior will recognize that the pushy types fear making mistakes and enjoy winning more than "looking good". The bashers are the opposite, they don't mind hitting low percentage shots (and even losing) because their payoff isn't winning matches, it is the gratification of hitting great winners... when the shot happens to land in.
In my experience it is easier
to teach high quality, winning strokes to someone motivated to hit whatever shot it takes to win, than remold the strokes of someone who is invested in their current stroke type.