4.0 still full of pushers

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
I can get a sense of how good a player is without seeing their stroke technique: all I do is watch how they move. Crude but surprisingly accurate. Certainly for well-trained players. But even those with limited mobility: they know how to position themselves optimally.

No, footwork is not the least of their issues: if they could improve their footwork, even poking at the ball with no TS would become a lot more effective and consistent.
In deeed, i even think footwork is more important than hand skills. Without footwork, no hand skill can save your but.
 
I disagree, I've drafted a fantasy football team using a cell phone while playing competitively in drills, definitely didn't use much footwork, just positioning and hand ninja skills. Did a drill barefoot too once, forgot my shoes, better believe I didn't run much.
 

JoelDali

G.O.A.T.
Overheard a guy at sectionals that said he wanted to shoot 4.0 players in the knee caps like Trump said he wanted to shoot the migrants. He said there’s too many uncoordinated 4.0 players in his section.
 

JoelDali

G.O.A.T.
I disagree, I've drafted a fantasy football team using a cell phone while playing competitively in drills, definitely didn't use much footwork, just positioning and hand ninja skills. Did a drill barefoot too once, forgot my shoes, better believe I didn't run much.
I replaced a motherboard on a Compaq 1850R while playing in a 4.5 league final in front of 35 people.
 

jwalk

New User
Can confirm. Lost to the ultimate pusher today in league. I can beat these guys 9 out of 10 times but had one of those days where I had absolutely nothing going. Kudos to him for making me hit one more shot and I clearly couldn't today. Just frustrating and wanted to vent. Carry on.
 

Morch Us

Semi-Pro
Irrespective of the result, the correct question to ask is what were your top 2 patterns of play today? (especially the ground stroke patterns of play, when it gets to 3+ shot rallies).

Can confirm. Lost to the ultimate pusher today in league. I can beat these guys 9 out of 10 times but had one of those days where I had absolutely nothing going. Kudos to him for making me hit one more shot and I clearly couldn't today. Just frustrating and wanted to vent. Carry on.
 

jwalk

New User
Irrespective of the result, the correct question to ask is what were your top 2 patterns of play today? (especially the ground stroke patterns of play, when it gets to 3+ shot rallies).
Mostly my strategy with this guy was to set up a good ball to his back hand and move in. It was successful as I made him a ton of slow pace floaters back at me. Unfortunately I hit a ton of unforced errors on volleys and overheads that I usually handle fine. Plus my serve which is usually a reliable weapon was not today. Just couldn't find it. I may typically have 2 or 3 double faults but I kid you not I had between 10-20 today. Hard to hold serve if you double fault 3 times in a game. Just had a bad day. Just have to keep working and play better next time.
 

Morch Us

Semi-Pro
Depends on skill level... if the pusher is clearly lower skill level than you the below strategy will work. But it will fail more often when the pusher is same skill level as you.

By mere definition of pusher they win by staying at a "pushed" (defensive) position and keeping you at "pushed position". A good ball to someones backhand pushes someone to defensive position, which is uncomfortable for most (they rather like to be on offense), and so that is all good for against such opponents. But a pusher by definision is never trying to get to an offensive position, and they just love to be in defense. So if the pusher is same skill level as you, you are not doing anything really to make them uncomfortable.

He should really be able to push it back to you deep and high (at lower levels with probably an open racket, at higher levels with loopy topspin). Essentially making you look like you are on offense, but you really don't have an easy opening because of their extreme defense skills, eventually making you overhit.

So pushing a pusher is not really a good strategy :)

Pulling them in (there by taking their defense down, knowing that attack by pace is not their skill/comfort) and then getting onto offence and pushing them is one good strategy.

Moving them wide (again taking their defense down, and knowing that they wont make use of the available angles and court geometry to attack and get to offense), and then getting on to offense and pushing them is another one good strategy.

In the essense, you have to be able to get their defense (strength) down before you attack, to reduce your errors. The good thing is, they mostly don't wan to get to offense, so you could partially use that to your advantage when trying to take their defense down. But in general, for consistently win over a pusher at your same level, you have to structure your strategy based on taking their defense down before attacking (vs against most normal folks, you want to get them to defense and keep them in defense to extract errors from them).

Another option is one shot or two shot finishes (if you have those skills), making use of the fact that serve and returns provide a different court position. For example when a pusher is serving, he is pretty close to baseline, and is probably slightly at a situation where his defense is down, and if he does not have a good serve, smacking the return winners would be a possibility, or doing a two shot attack with approach and volley (since their defense is down). Similarly if you have a really good serve weapon, ace/servewinners/serve&volley.



Mostly my strategy with this guy was to set up a good ball to his back hand and move in. It was successful as I made him a ton of slow pace floaters back at me. Unfortunately I hit a ton of unforced errors
 

jwalk

New User
All good points and things to consider for the future. It's also about tennis IQ with me. I played a little growing up but I was mostly a basketball player as a kid and picked tennis up again about 1 1/2 yrs ago after a 20+ year hiatus. I was able to move up to 4.0 pretty quickly because of my athleticism but my inconsistency has kept my level here. I've definitely improved as a 4 but still have a lot of work to do, especially on the backhand wing and point construction/good decision making. It's a process and am putting as much work in with a coach and ball machine/hitting partners as time allows with work, kids and a wife that also loves to play.

This guy was def below my level which always makes it frustrating to loose. Good lessons to learn though. He had zero spin and pace. Flat forehand, slice backhand. Many short heavy slice backhand balls. All usually with several feet of net clearance. Not moonballs though. Pretty much 1st and 2nd serves were the same. No throwing motion. More waiter's style motion. Should have punished his sever more. I think I just got down on myself when I wasn't making shots I usually make and got a little too defensive myself instead of sticking with my game. Also like you say I should have moved him more and brought him to the net more. I did start to do some of those things but I waited to late to make the adjustments and it cost me.

Thanks for the advice.


Depends on skill level... if the pusher is clearly lower skill level than you the below strategy will work. But it will fail more often when the pusher is same skill level as you.

By mere definition of pusher they win by staying at a "pushed" (defensive) position and keeping you at "pushed position". A good ball to someones backhand pushes someone to defensive position, which is uncomfortable for most (they rather like to be on offense), and so that is all good for against such opponents. But a pusher by definision is never trying to get to an offensive position, and they just love to be in defense. So if the pusher is same skill level as you, you are not doing anything really to make them uncomfortable.

He should really be able to push it back to you deep and high (at lower levels with probably an open racket, at higher levels with loopy topspin). Essentially making you look like you are on offense, but you really don't have an easy opening because of their extreme defense skills, eventually making you overhit.

So pushing a pusher is not really a good strategy :)

Pulling them in (there by taking their defense down, knowing that attack by pace is not their skill/comfort) and then getting onto offence and pushing them is one good strategy.

Moving them wide (again taking their defense down, and knowing that they wont make use of the available angles and court geometry to attack and get to offense), and then getting on to offense and pushing them is another one good strategy.

In the essense, you have to be able to get their defense (strength) down before you attack, to reduce your errors. The good thing is, they mostly don't wan to get to offense, so you could partially use that to your advantage when trying to take their defense down. But in general, for consistently win over a pusher at your same level, you have to structure your strategy based on taking their defense down before attacking (vs against most normal folks, you want to get them to defense and keep them in defense to extract errors from them).

Another option is one shot or two shot finishes (if you have those skills), making use of the fact that serve and returns provide a different court position. For example when a pusher is serving, he is pretty close to baseline, and is probably slightly at a situation where his defense is down, and if he does not have a good serve, smacking the return winners would be a possibility, or doing a two shot attack with approach and volley (since their defense is down). Similarly if you have a really good serve weapon, ace/servewinners/serve&volley.
 

Morch Us

Semi-Pro
What is your definition of pusher?

Here is my definition. "If your opponent is not in a hurry to get into offense, and (as a result) you don't find yourself in defense a lot, but still having a lot of lost points because of his/her extreme defensive/neutral skills, then you are facing a pusher". Essentially their weapon is their extreme defensive skills.

This definitions holds for ANY levels.

Have you seen 4.0 national players by this definition?


If you were playing at nationals men’s 4.0 18+, you won’t see any pushers. Lots of hammers
 

Morch Us

Semi-Pro
Not really. To me they are really in an offensive position to volley, so they are not really trying to stay on defense.
Of course if the opponent hits a very good return they may have to be on defense even from that position... but still that is not what they were wishing for.

And because of their aggressive position, defense is down, and so a returner when able to get to offense, would have an easy passing shot. So they are really counting on not allowing the opponent to get to offesne. That is not a pusher mentality.

So NO. I wont consider them to be pushers (assuming they dont change their mindest totally on their return games).

Would you consider serve and volleyers a pusher?
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
I actually agree with you, but that's not what I was trying to describe ... looks like I didn't do a good job of it so here goes:

I'm talking about getting bored playing against that style of play (40 mph, 10 ft over the net, down the middle forever)...*win or lose*. I get that folks complain about playing against it when they lose...heck, I'm one of them and happy to admit it. But the fact is, to me, playing against that style and *winning* is equally boring to me...**whether I use pace, or whether I dink right along with them**...either is boring to me. I think this is what many folks don't seem to understand.

I get no joy out of driving across town to just trade endless moonballs with someone, nor is there much interesting to me about playing serve, dink, put-away all night...win or lose. I lost to a friend the other day 3 and 2...one of the most fun matches i've played in a long time, even in losing, and it was because of the interesting play, variety of shots, and offense/defense, and problem solving going on both sides of the court...
Re the bolded part, you wouldn't understand it either if you beat someone and then he proceeded to tell you that your consistency is pushing and boring, essentially invalidate / negate everything you work for.

You thought you were playing well, playing non-pushing, decent tennis but now other people think you're a sham. Would you go with their understanding or you reject it, ie "how could you characterize my tennis as such?"
 

J B

Semi-Pro
Re the bolded part, you wouldn't understand it either if you beat someone and then he proceeded to tell you that your consistency is pushing and boring, essentially invalidate / negate everything you work for.

You thought you were playing well, playing non-pushing, decent tennis but now other people think you're a sham. Would you go with their understanding or you reject it, ie "how could you characterize my tennis as such?"
Thats because all that person cares about is winning. Forfeit, injury, broken racquet would make them equally as happy. They arent looking at getting better and pushing themselves as a person and tennis player. They only care about a W. Which is why they stay at 3.5 for 25 years. I would quit playing if I only ever made it to a 3.5-4.0 level due to playing the same style and never getting more and better strokes.

Played a guy that was diving for things on clay, he tore his shoulder running into the fence, he did get the first set 6-3. Between sets he was telling me how he cant beat anyone over 4.5 and plays to win blah blah. Super nice guy, but terrible strokes. He played for 25 years and this was his level low 4.0......but really a low 3.5 based on the competition. He asked how longer I had played and at the time it was under a year, actually i bought my first racquet 13 months ago but didnt know what a split ste was till Nov 2018. Iim not gonna post the score, because then its one upping but he said he tried higher levels and got destroyed and how he needs to learn to play better and that might mean giving up on playing to win at all costs.
He made the points, that after playing me, and knowing i just started, that he was doing it all wrong. Its not all about winning the local league, you dont even get a t-shirt. Its about progressing and having fun. He commented he wasnt having as much fun just getting everything back and playing me made him decide to go get lessons.
I did nothing to cause that, the point is for some people its all about winning and what is winning if you stay the same and beat those on their way past you???? It means you are stuck. For some people that is their gig, for me Id quit before I did that. If the hardest ball i can hit with good technique is 4.0 or less because as you age you cant hit the same... fine. I dont have pro goals. But if all i can do is pingpong? maybe i should just stick to that. But thats me... you do you.
 

undecided

Semi-Pro
Thats because all that person cares about is winning. Forfeit, injury, broken racquet would make them equally as happy. They arent looking at getting better and pushing themselves as a person and tennis player. They only care about a W. Which is why they stay at 3.5 for 25 years. I would quit playing if I only ever made it to a 3.5-4.0 level due to playing the same style and never getting more and better strokes.

Played a guy that was diving for things on clay, he tore his shoulder running into the fence, he did get the first set 6-3. Between sets he was telling me how he cant beat anyone over 4.5 and plays to win blah blah. Super nice guy, but terrible strokes. He played for 25 years and this was his level low 4.0......but really a low 3.5 based on the competition. He asked how longer I had played and at the time it was under a year, actually i bought my first racquet 13 months ago but didnt know what a split ste was till Nov 2018. Iim not gonna post the score, because then its one upping but he said he tried higher levels and got destroyed and how he needs to learn to play better and that might mean giving up on playing to win at all costs.
He made the points, that after playing me, and knowing i just started, that he was doing it all wrong. Its not all about winning the local league, you dont even get a t-shirt. Its about progressing and having fun. He commented he wasnt having as much fun just getting everything back and playing me made him decide to go get lessons.
I did nothing to cause that, the point is for some people its all about winning and what is winning if you stay the same and beat those on their way past you???? It means you are stuck. For some people that is their gig, for me Id quit before I did that. If the hardest ball i can hit with good technique is 4.0 or less because as you age you cant hit the same... fine. I dont have pro goals. But if all i can do is pingpong? maybe i should just stick to that. But thats me... you do you.
And in some cases, you can't go further no matter what you do. I've been playing for 20 years now in my 50s. Not sure who would win if I played myself from 10 years ago. I have a much better backhand than back then, tennis IQ is also a lot better, I now have a reliable slice but other things have regressed due to injuries and the resulting layoffs. Serve is nowhere near where it was. My FH is more consistent than back then but lost some pop. Eyesight is worse in low light (indoors). What I am trying to say is that the improvement journey is not a straight line, you will hit a lot of bumps along the road.
 
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J B

Semi-Pro
And in some cases, you can't go further no matter what you do. I've been playing for 20 years now in my 50s. Not sure who would win if I played myself from 10 years ago. I have a much better backhand than back then, tennis IQ is also a lot better, I now have a reliable slice but other things have regressed due to injuries and the resulting layoffs. Serve is nowhere near where it was. My FH is more consistent than back then but lost some pop. Eyesight is worse in low light (indoors). What I am trying to say is that the improvement journey is not a straight line, you will hit a lot of bumps along the road.
I agree with that and put it at the end. Your skills are going to atrophy but im pretty sure you still try to hit the ball. Not sit back in fear of losing... because at that level you want to have fun. I am at that place in hockey. I just want to have fun but im not going to fire any puck i get down the ice in fear of losing it. Thats what the pusher is doing, they can hit the ball with pace but are scared to because it would require themget better and learn to keep it in.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
I replaced a motherboard on a Compaq 1850R while playing in a 4.5 league final in front of 35 people.
lol. A bit off and on topic, your post reminded me I still have an iPaq 2215 sitting in my home office I wanted to get running for some legacy fun.

Back on topic...

Again, I think it depends on leagues and area. We rarely see pushers at 4.0, even down to the low dubs court. I dropped to the #3 dubs since I have been struggling in top spots for singles and dubs, and while one of the opponents had a fluff serve, the rest of the match was good paced with a good smattering of blazing winners too. I got tagged on the elbow with a screaming high volley (my fault as I was trying to pressure the net player by moving forward). But the two higher courts were really cooking and great action. So I just don't get the blanket statememts like that. I played #1 singles Monday and while the guy had higher arched groundies, it was far from a pushing shot, and still had more solid strikes.

Carry on.
 

J B

Semi-Pro
lol. A bit off and on topic, your post reminded me I still have an iPaq 2215 sitting in my home office I wanted to get running for some legacy fun.

Back on topic...

Again, I think it depends on leagues and area. We rarely see pushers at 4.0, even down to the low dubs court. I dropped to the #3 dubs since I have been struggling in top spots for singles and dubs, and while one of the opponents had a fluff serve, the rest of the match was good paced with a good smattering of blazing winners too. I got tagged on the elbow with a screaming high volley (my fault as I was trying to pressure the net player by moving forward). But the two higher courts were really cooking and great action. So I just don't get the blanket statememts like that. I played #1 singles Monday and while the guy had higher arched groundies, it was far from a pushing shot, and still had more solid strikes.

Carry on.
But this goes back to my previous argument of real 4.0s vs 4.0s because they self rated and beat another self rated 4.0. They dont use the UTSA rating chart and USTA doesnt. If they did most 4.5s would be 4.0s and then you would all find a true 4.0 doesnt push.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
But this goes back to my previous argument of real 4.0s vs 4.0s because they self rated and beat another self rated 4.0. They dont use the UTSA rating chart and USTA doesnt. If they did most 4.5s would be 4.0s and then you would all find a true 4.0 doesnt push.

We have our normal #1 singles guy we call Steady Eddie. He is the opitome of paced placement. His shots aren't slow by any means, but I don't recall ever seeing him "crush" a ball. He never looks rushed, has no high RHS, and moves deliberately, making things just look slow or easy, but it's far from how it is playing him. Even when he does play those higher paced players, he has the same game. I assume that is what some guys would call a pusher.

Interesting though, while he rarely loses in singles, that kind of play is more 50/50 in doubles. 4.0 doubles is definltely not pushing.
 

Morch Us

Semi-Pro
That is because the skill is tough to divide between two players. In singles even before he hits a shot he knows(anticipates) where the next ball he will be hitting from. This is because based on where he is targeting the ball there is a high percentage and obvious are the opponent is going to hit the ball. And he automatically and naturally anticipates it. In doubles, even if both players have very good anticipation, the anticipation cycle starts only AFTER you see the opponent getting ready to hit the ball. It is still a good skill, but not as productive as in singles play.

nteresting though, while he rarely loses in singles, that kind of play is more 50/50 in doubles. 4.0 doubles is definltely not pushing.
 

Morch Us

Semi-Pro
Here is a question. Do you want to improve your overall match play or just your shots?

If you want to just improve your shots, just practice shots, do not play a single match.

If you want to have an overall improvement, on top of practice, you need match play as well. And who gives you optimal match play, for improvement? Pushers. Playing pushers is the best way to improve your patterns and match play.

Do pushers improve? Of course they do. You just don't recognize it because it is not just in "the pace of the shot" (even though they improve in some of that too). Obviously there are pushers who does not improve, just like aggressive hitters who does not improve.

You may not have realized this, but you have to learn to hit the ball across the net before you can increase the racquet speed. Reduced racquet speed increases the possibility of you using the correct technique when you are not skilled enough.

They arent looking at getting better
 

J B

Semi-Pro
Here is a question. Do you want to improve your overall match play or just your shots?

If you want to just improve your shots, just practice shots, do not play a single match.

If you want to have an overall improvement, on top of practice, you need match play as well. And who gives you optimal match play, for improvement? Pushers. Playing pushers is the best way to improve your patterns and match play.

Do pushers improve? Of course they do. You just don't recognize it because it is not just in "the pace of the shot" (even though they improve in some of that too). Obviously there are pushers who does not improve, just like aggressive hitters who does not improve.

You may not have realized this, but you have to learn to hit the ball across the net before you can increase the racquet speed. Reduced racquet speed increases the possibility of you using the correct technique when you are not skilled enough.
No they dont because the only people they beat are the up and comers that dont know how to play them. They are forever stuck at 3.5 or the fake 4.0. When I talk to a pusher who has been at 3.5 or 4.0 for 20+ years... they are not improving.
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
Anyone have video of these 4.0 pushers they can find. I know TTPS used to say Andrew (iRacer) who is 4.5/5.0 was a pusher, so just curious what a pusher looks like. I don't see them often.
 

denoted

Rookie
He's not a pusher as I see it. Just a fast guy who hits with margin and doesn't miss much. I think at 3.5/4.0, maybe even 4.5, pusher means someone who has unorthodox technique to some extent, plus an entirely defensive style.
 

SaltyDDDog

New User
Not a long-time player, so take this as simply one perspective. "Pusher" to me is whenever I fail to release the racquet through the swing. If my arm swing is the same speed as my strings, then it's a push. As a player trying to improve (currently mid-3.5), I find a relaxed and released swing produces greatly improved shots, or at least an opportunity to do so. Many other factors of course, but I've started calling myself a "pusher" mid-match to try and fix a mechanical problem I've recognized.
 

Morch Us

Semi-Pro
My definition is a bit more level independent.

Someone

1. Who like to remain in a pushed position (defensive position), and keeps the opponent in a neutral (pushed) position (by lack of pace provided on balls at low levels, by ball height/depth/spin at bit more advanced levels).

2. Does not show any hurry to advance to a more attacking position, and is very comfortable to remain in defense and control the point by extreme defensive skills and anticipation.

3. Earns most of the points by remaining at defense and extracting errors from opponents, when they try to force something happen.

This does not mean they CANNOT attack (especially at higher levels). But they are so comfortable at defense that they never try to hurry and make things happen.

It is also apparent that, because of their style of defense, they may look less skilled than their peers at same level.

Unlike some folks tend to believe, pushers does not stop at any specific level. They are all over in ATP rankings as well. It is just that a 4.5 pusher does not look like a pusher to a 3.0 guy, and an ATP pusher does not look like a pusher to a 4.5 guy.

pusher means someone who has unorthodox technique to some extent, plus an entirely defensive style.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
My definition is a bit more level independent.

Someone

1. Who like to remain in a pushed position (defensive position), and keeps the opponent in a neutral (pushed) position (by lack of pace provided on balls at low levels, by ball height/depth/spin at bit more advanced levels).

2. Does not show any hurry to advance to a more attacking position, and is very comfortable to remain in defense and control the point by extreme defensive skills and anticipation.

3. Earns most of the points by remaining at defense and extracting errors from opponents, when they try to force something happen.

This does not mean they CANNOT attack (especially at higher levels). But they are so comfortable at defense that they never try to hurry and make things happen.

It is also apparent that, because of their style of defense, they may look less skilled than their peers at same level.

Unlike some folks tend to believe, pushers does not stop at any specific level. They are all over in ATP rankings as well. It is just that a 4.5 pusher does not look like a pusher to a 3.0 guy, and an ATP pusher does not look like a pusher to a 4.5 guy.
That iRacer3 youtube dude is a perfect example of a higher level rec player thats kinda a pusher, hes like 4.5 to 5.0 level or around utr 8 to 9

Tho I would also call such players grinders.. i guess theres not much difference.. grinder/pusher, whatever you call them.

Anyway he doesnt really have weapons, neither his serve nor his groundstrokes, hits loopy deep balls constantly and grinds out points. And even when he gets short balls he hits balls over then goes back to baseline and avoids net play much.

I even commented on one of his videos where he sometimes hit a good loopy ball crosscourt and pulled his opponent wide and got a shorter easy ball yet instead of driving it ddl he many times hit a very loopy ball to the middle or ddl but with no real pace so his opponent could easily recover.

And i said why? He pulled him wide, and got a weak shorter ball.

And he said that he is comfortable just playing defense and loves grinding out points and making opponents miss after a while and playing like that.

So that would be one example of such a player.
 

J B

Semi-Pro
That's being biased against pushers: ask anyone who has been at the same level for 20+ years and it's unlikely they are improving either, pusher or otherwise.
no its addressing the current post. If you asked me about a serve and volleyer being stuck at X level I would say the some thing. The thread was about pushers. There are more pushers than serve and volleyers.
 

E46luver

Professional
I think one of the biggest factors at 4.0 is your level of competitiveness. Some guys I hit with are 4.5-5 because every point is a huge deal to them and losing a game\set/match is everything. For me I play not to lose instead of dying to win.
I've found 4.0 players to be hyper competitive.
They don't want to lose, ever.
This is actually why many have low quality pushy strokes.
They never developed higher level strokes since that would involve losing matches during the adjustment period.
So, they never evolve.
 

vex

Hall of Fame
I've found 4.0 players to be hyper competitive.
They don't want to lose, ever.
This is actually why they have low quality pushy strokes.
They never developed higher level strokes since that would involve losing matches during the adjustment
... dude they’re better than you lol

You think your strokes are superior but the reality is you don’t have the skill to consistently execute them, that’s why the 4.0s you “perceive” to have worse strokes stomp u
 

E46luver

Professional
I respect pushers with inferior strokes, I have learned a lot from them. If I lose, he is better. If I win, I am better.
At 4.0, and won half my matches. This season will be even stronger. Always get compliments on my strokes, as well.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
I've found 4.0 players to be hyper competitive.
They don't want to lose, ever.
This is actually why many have low quality pushy strokes.
They never developed higher level strokes since that would involve losing matches during the adjustment period.
So, they never evolve.
They never developed high quality strokes because they never learned as children. To me that is the biggest difference between those with text book strokes and those with less technical strokes. Also applies to golf. The younger you learn, the more technically proficient your strokes.

I also find that the faster and fitter you are the less likely you are to have good strokes. But that's a microcosm of evolution. A fat or slow player can't get to 4.0 if he doesn't learn to put some pace on the ball and hit through the court accurately. He has to finish points early to stand a chance in a match. Additionally a fast and fit man with good strokes will be a 4.5 or above.
 

E46luver

Professional
Everything is relative, but adults can develop somewhat decent strokes. But that is serious work for any age. Most can't do that. So they just play matches and find ways to win with poor strokes. Those who are good at this, and play smartly and safely, make it to 4.0

Yes, fit player can win with pusher style, and may not see a need to develop good strokes. I had a guy on my 4.0 team who was never trained, but was young and fit and could return many balls. He did well at 4.0 and was the classic case of ugly strokes beating the "better" player. It was beautiful. I beat him in a practice match and that's when I knew my strokes had come a long way. (To be able to beat a 4.0 retriever with my offense)
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
There will always be the exceptions to every generalization. A true athlete can definitely develop closer to text book strokes probably at most ages. But the world is full of very mediocre athletes that if they try to learn a sport after a certain age, will generally struggle to develop technically sound strokes.

All the 5.0 players at our club and a vast majority of the 4.5's played as juniors. All the 3.0-3.5 players at our club took up the game seriously as adults.
 

E46luver

Professional
All the 3.0-3.5 players at our club took up the game seriously as adults.
Define seriously.

I do not view those who play 7x a week as serious players, if they are still just casual players who never improve.
Those who take lessons and drill and practice are serious players, even if only 3x a week. Students of the game.
Those who try to improve but don't get results because they are clueless players, since they don't know what improvement actually entails.
 

Dartagnan64

Legend
Define seriously.

I do not view those who play 7x a week as serious players, if they are still just casual players who never improve.
Those who take lessons and drill and practice are serious players, even if only 3x a week. Students of the game.
Those who try to improve but don't get results because they are clueless players, since they don't know what improvement actually entails.
To me serious is joining a tennis club. It separates those that play as their primary hobby vs those that occasionally head out to a tennis court to bang a ball around. Then there are the hard core learners which make up a tiny fraction of the serious tennis players. Especially in the 3.0-4.0 levels.
 
Define seriously.

I do not view those who play 7x a week as serious players, if they are still just casual players who never improve.
Those who take lessons and drill and practice are serious players, even if only 3x a week. Students of the game.
Those who try to improve but don't get results because they are clueless players, since they don't know what improvement actually entails.
You cannot be serious[ly]!

Anyone who does a recreational activity out of choice 7x/week is serious; whether they improve is irrelevant.

Also, what if the person did "take lessons and drill and practice" but still didn't improve? Would you now consider them not serious?

I define serious based on the effort [ie 7x/week is significant effort]; you define it based on improvement.
 

E46luver

Professional
Yes, I defined those players as clueless. Getting better at tennis implies knowing how to get better. A weekly lesson will do nothing. One should figure that out fairly quickly.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
For almost any non-impaired adult - if you are taking lessons from a pro, going to drills, playing matches, and taking care of yourself physically and actively trying to get better, the only reason for not reaching the 4.0 level is because you don’t want to and you would rather sandbag. The players who stall out at 3.5 are the guys who only play USTA matches and who will drop $1200 on 4 new Pure Aeros instead of spending $1200 on lessons from a good teaching pro.
 

E46luver

Professional
I know 3.5 players that take lessons and do not constantly buy rackets.
But, they never reach 4.0 because they over hit and have poor shot selection.
They think slicing is fake tennis, for example. They are beyond saving.
Also, their rating is entirely made up of doubles, so they lose to older players
 
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For almost any non-impaired adult - if you are taking lessons from a pro, going to drills, playing matches, and taking care of yourself physically and actively trying to get better, the only reason for not reaching the 4.0 level is because you don’t want to and you would rather sandbag. The players who stall out at 3.5 are the guys who only play USTA matches and who will drop $1200 on 4 new Pure Aeros instead of spending $1200 on lessons from a good teaching pro.
Disagree.

For one thing, that hypothesis is unprovable: anyone who hasn't made it to 4.0 will simply be dismissed as "not trying hard enough".

Everyone has a different ceiling; for some, that might be < 4.0.

There are legions of <= 3.5 who would argue they are doing everything you described and still can't break through. Who am I to say "you're just not trying hard enough"?

The main thing holding a lot of rec players back is that they haven't played a lot of sports and they do not have very good coordination. It's tough to teach that.
 

E46luver

Professional
4.0 players are just 3.5 players who figured out how not to give away points with errors.
Safe serve, no double faults, not trying to end the point after 2 balls with a baseline cannon
 
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