Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Wuppy, Jul 14, 2012.
Mats Wilander comes to mind. And he won 7 Grand Slams. :shock:
I have a feeling that the guys who complain about pushers, dinkers, moonballers lose to them regularly. And the guys who call people who lose and complain snobs are probably pushers, dinkers and moonballers.
Knew a guy that predominately hit slice, chip forehands, very solid 4.5 that used to play Open in his youth. I would not ever consider labeling him a pusher though, has all the shots.
did you watch the match between Serena Williams and Sorana Cirstea at Stanford Bank of The West Classic tournament? Well, in the post match interview on ESPN2, Serena said she figured all she had to do was to keep the ball in play and Sorana would overhit the next ball. It works even for players who have massive weapons like her.
Here's the thing, if I had better consistency, I wouldn't be 3.5
I got beat recently again by a guy who hit slice moonballs for his forehands, and slice drops for his backhands. I spent half the time either running to the net or waiting while his ball fell out of the sky. It wasn't fun for me.
So I'm thinking I'll start playing at 4.0. I've been losing 6-3 6-3 to these slicing 3.5s. When I play a guy I know who wins 50% of the time at 4.0, he legitimately beats me 6-3 6-3 by hitting winners.
I'd rather lose to 4.0s who hit actual winners than 3.5s who hit a thousand moonballs until I get bored with the rally and dump one into the net.
Pushing is just sad, that's all. It's sad because I don't feel like I learn anything or get any better when I play these guys. When I play guys who are legitimately better than I, who hit harder shots, with more consistency, etc., I feel like I step up my game and improve. When I'm with these guys who win based upon my errors and nothing else, I play worse.
A female friend of mine watched a few games and later texted me saying, "You didn't play your best, he was hitting semi-lob slices every time, you couldn't get into a hitting rhythm."
People will push you at 4.0 all day long as well. They will just be better at it and you will get even more frustrated.
Good point and noted....I did the same thing 37 years ago.
But, sooner or later, you'll have to bear down and learn to beat soft hitting rabbits, whether you choose 4.0 or Open Q's. Soft hitting rabbits exist right up to the 7.0 levels....BradGilbert, MiraslavMecir, any of the Indian guys except old Vijay.
Just so they don't hit moonballs and forehand slices, and actually can hit winners.
I play to improve, not to win.
I want to be able to say "Great shot" or at least "Great try" every couple of games. I can't say that to these guys. They have no great shots, and they don't even try.
That sliced forehand can be a formidable weapon, and at pretty high levels, including 5.0.
I used to practice occasionally with an old feller by the name of TomBrown. He was so wrinkled and decrepit I was sure I could snuff him off the court. Guess what? Even winning 3 rounds in A/Open, I couldn't. His slices, angles, dink teasers and low level sliced lobs were confounding me, and most of the other A/Open players of the mid '70's. Not all, of course. The top 20 in NorCal would just hit winners against him. I was closer to bottom 200.
Mecir wasn't soft hitter all the time. He used to change pace and could hit flat bullets if he wanted to. He had fantastic feel for the ball. I used to watch him practice with Marian Vajda (current Djokovich coach) when they were still juniors. The only shot that was always letting him down was his serve.
Mecir was a pro tennis player. Those guys could hit hard or soft.
But playing the top players of his time, his best matches happenned when he off speeded his opponents, confounding them into errors.
Sure, he could hit 120 serves, 95 forehands, and winning angled volleys, but his game was based on taking the hard hitters OUT of their games, by using spins, slices, sidespins, and off speed stuff.
i think it was Barry McKay who said that Mecir's strategy was first to put his opponents to sleep by hitting low pace shots and then when they least expected it, hit a winner or move into the net and knock off a winner.
You mean like...using your head, playing smart, outwitting your opponent?
As opposed to baseline bash every ball as hard as you can.
yep. that's what unique about Mecir's game. he's called the "big cat" and he played like one too.
good 4 u. every1 else is playin 2 win. thats why they keep score
dood, if ppl dont have 2 hit winners 2 beat u then y would they try?
ultimately the problem is u, not the pusher. dont matter how high u get, n how talented ur opponents r - if ppl realise they can beat u with pushy pushy safe shots then thats all they r gonna hit at u
pushers are borin, unsatifyin n frustratin players at any level, to any player. this aint news
if u wanna stop playin them then learn how 2 beat them. then they will have to play 'good' tennis 2 beat u
Yep, I could watch him whole day, the way he moved around the court. He looked so effortless.
It sounds like you don't have any great shots either though..so maybe they think the same? If you have a consistent shot you can attack a pusher and get to the net to finish the point.
dude!! next time start drinking the pigs blood right away. if you wait until you start to get tired, its too late.
don't be afraid to drink a gallon of it if you need it
Good point. I've seen a lot of players exhaust themselves by simply getting dehydrated. Particularly in hot summer days, you've got to keep drinking gallons of water.
Just use the pusher for practice...... 100+ shot rallies are always fun
yeah but if the rally last 100+ shots then both players are pushers
You sound like a pusher, and that's wonderful. If playing at low levels is all that matters, and you're content to stay at 3.5 or whatever for the rest of your life, winning the occasional match by dinking everything back and hitting slice forehands on every shot to play it safe, then good for you. I'm glad you're that easily satisfied.
But there are those of us who don't really care about that stuff. Beating shmucks who can't even hit with topspin in meaningless matches for no money is not something that makes me jump for joy or brag to my girlfriend.
I'm really only in this sport to watch myself improve. Winning a match against Joe Blow is of zero interest to me. So if I spend the money and the time to come out and play, I really want to play someone who can actually beat me with shots that are better than mine, not just annoy me so much that I get impatient and beat myself.
wrong. i play college tennis n i am a lefty who plays s&v as my main tactic. i am, by any standards, a naturally very aggressive player
regardless, if i come across a player who cant rally for ***** and gets his panties in a twist if u serve him up slice n junk, guess what i'll be hittin to him all day?
its called strategy brah. it dont matter if u are a 3.5 or a pro, if the most effective way of winnin is keepin the ball in and lettin the other guy beat himself then thats what the smart players will do. didnt u watch sam stosur lose at wimbledon? top 10 player and reigning uso champ - beaten by pushing tactics
the reason there aint much pushing at higher levels isnt because the players are 2 good to push. its cos their opponents are too good to be beaten by pushing
if u dont want to play pushers, then fix ur game. it aint hard. any decent 3.5 should be able 2 attack the net effective enough to beat pushers of his own level
if they start rippin passing shots past u, then they aint a pusher. they r a counterpuncher, and they are a better player than u are
Therein lies your catch 22. What if your playing a tournament for prize money and your playing a "pusher". Whom plays % tennis only, awaiting for you to get impatient, upset and subsequently forces you to hit errors and lose the match.
Your statement about improving, is a good one. You need to play all sorts of players included "pushers"; as your going to be forced to play one in the future.
I'll never be good enough to play for money. But I do want to get to 4.5. (Not really rated 4.5 but just the equivalent ability level.) And that's why these tournaments are a colossal waste of my time and money.
I guess I'm starting to realize that tournaments just aren't for me, since I don't give two sh*ts about beating these nobodies. I thought that I would go out and get beaten by guys who had better shots than I do and that I would learn and get better. This hasn't been happening. Sure they're consistent, and I could be too if I wanted to go out and dink shots back, but that's not why I play. I play to take chances and hit winning, masterful shots.
If I knew a guy who played at 4.5-5.0 level, I'd love to spend the $30-$40 I usually spend on a tournament to just go out and play with him. That would be far more fun and interesting for me.
Maybe I'll look into that. I'm thinking tournaments are not what I'm looking for at this point. I think people play in tournaments -- at least USTA NTRP tournaments -- once they've maxed out their ability. I don't see myself getting better or learning anything interesting when I'm on the court with them. The only time I raise my game, and walk off the court a better player, is when I play someone who is truly a better player than I. Not just someone who can get to 6 games faster than I can, but someone with truly better shots.
dood, u probably are - they just dont have 2 use those shots 2 beat u
if u want someone 2 play their best shots at u, u have to EARN their best shots
get more consistent n then mebbe ur opponents will actually realize they gotta hit some winners, not just put the ball back in n wait 4 your mistake
I hit with a girl last night who had played college tennis. We didn't play a match or anything but just hit rallies for almost an hour. It was awesome. She was good, hit hard with topspin, and I stepped up and was hitting great shots back. It was just a rally but the physical pleasure I got from it was so good. Just ripping the sh*t out of balls and having her rip them back. A nice cadence.
I think that's what I'm looking for. It's like ripping a 290 yard drive or hitting a pitching wedge to within 10 feet of the pin. Purely physically pleasurable. That's why the winning (or losing) is of no importance to me and why these tournaments are so boring. I'm not getting that physical pleasure from them. And that's really all I'm looking for.
I started about 2 years ago and for the first full year my partner and I just hit rallies. For 3, 4 hours at a stretch. No matches, not even much serving. Just rallying. It was great.
The problem with that is that I'm always trying to hit winners. I would never, under any circumstances, go out and just push.
Unless I were playing for money. Then that would be a whole 'nother story. If we were playing for money, then my strategy would be different, I would not go out trying to hit winners to the corners or hit risky shots.
But these are amateur tournaments. You literally win absolutely nothing. The only thing that brings me out is the hopes of hitting some kick-@ss, fun shots and getting into some rallies where I can go "Wow, that was a fun frickin rally" and, hopefully, get some improvement in. There's literally no other reward.
I hate to say it wuppy, but these guys are right. I was in your shoes, I didnt take it the way you did though. You need to accept, YOUR NOT AS GOOD AS THIS PLAYER. You need to learn to work a point, and WAIT for the shot to put away. even fed, delpo,etc only play as aggresive as they need to, to win a match. As most have stated, most of the pusher types dont really mind pace or even like/love it.
Bottom line, accept its your tennis that needs improving, not the pusher. work on adding consistancy, more shots to your game. you might just find yourself at the 4.5 level one day.
P.S. If your tired of lobs, learn to hit an overhead. I suggest you play some doubles if your not already, youll hit plenty of volleys(improve your net game) and have plenty of chances to hit overheads.
I know this post came off as mean, but Im just hoping for you to step up. You can kill that pusher with an aggresive game, you just need to learn to implement it. You can do it man.
bolded being key. i guarantee that if u met her in a competition she would hit junk at u all day until u imploded, college player or no.
me, i find that borin as bat manure. havin someone hit hard shots straight to me that fall right into my strike zone - not challenging. nice way 2 groove ur strokes but thats about it. tennis is a sport n sport is about competition. its about dealin with an opponent, outstrategizing, hittin balls that are awkward n difficult 2 deal with - and still comin out with great shots. hittin winners n winnin matches is a lot more pleasurable when u know that ur opponent is usin all their tricks n cunning 2 beat u and ur still coming out on top.
what ur talkin about - its like takin up baseball and just hittin in battin cages ur whole life. glad it does it for u, but its a bit sad n limited
That's cool and I appreciate it. The thing is, I don't want to beat the pusher. I don't want to play the pusher in the first place. And, since I'm not making my living at tennis so I'm not required to play anyone I don't want to, I don't have to.
Even those times when I do manage to beat the pusher, it's just not fun.
Well, that's what does it for me. I play for pure physical pleasure and to watch my strokes get better, which gives me more physical pleasure. The competition is meaningless to me. Winning and losing are meaningless to me. In fact the other people on the court are meaningless to me. I'd love to have a ball machine with an hour's worth of balls in it and just hit shots over and over and over. The only reason I play against people at all is because I have to.
Maybe it's because I grew up playing golf. There, you're really not playing against anyone else, you're just hitting balls as best you can.
brah im just pointin out ur contempt 4 pushers is misplaced. getting bein beaten by pushers is just a symptom of ur own limitations as a player
nobody enjoys playin or beatin pushers. u aint alone
only difference between u and most ppl is that most ppl take it as an incentive 2 improve, so that opponents have 2 stop pushin n use other tactics against them.
ur attitude otoh is so have a sook, take ur bat n ball n go home. which is cool i guess. if ur in elementary school
Well I appreciate that y'all would take the time to discuss it. It's a personal journey for me, and just this thread has given me insight.
To me, it's short-sighted for others to play to win (when there's no money on the line). To others I'm sure, it's short-sighted for me to only want to play people who can give me the physical pleasure I'm looking for.
Diff'rent strokes fo' diff'rent folks. Some people don't care how it feels, as long as they win. I don't care whether I win, as long as it feels good.
Playing pushers simply doesn't feel good, whether I win or lose. That's the best I can sum it up. And since the only reason I'm playing this sport is to feel good, I simply won't play them. Which means of course I can't play tournaments.
Couldn't resist....Pusher = human ball machine.
the problem lies in your definition of "playing to improve". in your eyes, playing to improve means being able to trade groundstrokes w/ hard hitters. for most folks, playing to improve means understanding and acknowledging our weaknesses on the court, working to eliminate them, and mastering every stroke so that you can execute whatever shot the situation calls for. if you're getting killed by pushers, it means that your footwork, shot anticipation and consistency are clearly lacking.
the girl who had played college tennis...sure, she could stand back and trade groundies with you, but she probably had another gear or 2 and if she chose to turn it up a notch, she could move you around and hit right through you. or if she felt like it, she could have killed you painfully by administering a heavy dose of slice and dice. the point is she has improved her game enough where a pusher or a harder hitting rec player wouldn't force her out of her comfort zone.
playing pushers is fun when you're able to dictate play. you force them to play your game. playing pushers is frustrating when they're dictating. so improve your play so that you can start dictating play.
How do you know your strokes get better without competition and wins?
What do you mean you have to play against people? Are you 7 and being forced by parents?
The ball machine wish is easy. Get one. Mow lawns, recycle cans, do whatever to save $$$. It's only a few hundred dollars. I wish my love comes that cheaply.
If ball machines hit like the pushers I've been playing, people would be demanding their money back
Are you kidding? I love to play them. In a world of crappy hitters, they're gems. If I'm good, i'll get to enjoy sending them running and trying various strokes. If we're equal, I'll get that too plus my own workout. What's to hate?
And I say again, if those things weren't lacking, I wouldn't be 3.5
Fortunately I don't care what improvement means to others. I only care what it means to me. And I like hitting big groundies back and forth over and over with someone who hits hard and with topspin. I'm a baseline basher. That's what I like, that's what gives me pleasure and makes me happy, so that's what I'm gonna do. :twisted:
what kinda tennis player complains about another man hitting forehand slices? shouldn't u be thinking of ways to beat him instead of whining about it?
its borin. they either strangle u to death with ur own errors (if theyre better than u), or u beat them in a pretty straightforward manner usin approach the net tactics (if theyre not). u never get high quality rallies outta them unless they stop pushin when u start to beat them (which most of them dont cos thats all they know)
very unsatisfyin players 2 play against. only ppl who like playin pushers are other pushers
pushers are the poor man's ball machine. not what im really lookin for in matchplay
if that's your rationalization and makes it acceptable for getting your @$$ whupped by a pusher then more power to you. but it sounds like you're just
but apparently you do care otherwise you wouldn't have started this thread.
so u r a baseline basher and love hitting big groundies? however unable to generate your own pace from slices?
save this thread b/c years from now when u finally get to 4.0 or higher, u will get a good chuckle reading it.
Woopy, I don't get it. You obviously hate getting out of your comfort zone.
If that's the case, then just enjoy loose hitting with who ever you like to play with, because the idea of having balls fed in your striking zone by your opponent in a match, is just plain ridiculous. These guys in above posts are right. Pushers like the pace. I personally don't mind having a hit with them. (for some reason they don't want to play with me any more) It's a perfect training for dealing with dead balls. If you ever want to get better you have to learn to deal with them to the point where you actually enjoy it.
as a 3.5 when I run into a player that hit's bigger than i do instead of getting into a ball bashing match (which I am sure i will lose) I go to slices/drop shots comming to net often and making the pace irregular.
and like you they give me a lot of free points with errors.
If I am on par or can hit harder than my opponent I will play the baseline bashing game (because I enjoy it)
but in the league match a W is a W and I will adjust my play for best results.
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.
i am the stronger player, for my strokes are the best; i lose every match 4-6 2-6. but it's okay because he's a pusher so im actually better.
This has happened to everyone I'm sure, getting beat by someone you'd normally thrash who pushes and puts you off your game.
I remember a couple of months ago I played down the park with a couple of guys who were your usual public court rats. I'd been off for about a month or so but I still expected to whip them. But these guys were like professional public court amateurs (if that makes sense). Sliced everything but always got the ball back into play, and annoyingly got it back into play quite deep the majority of time. I didn't play a full match against them, but it was winner stays on for a game, and I remember losing quite a few in a row simply by beating my myself (and getting quite peeved about it too). Their soft shots simply invited the mistake, and I couldn't help firing long/wide.
In the end I just chilled out and played them at their own game by getting the ball back into play (since they could never hit a winner past me) and eventually the quality of my shots would out theirs (forcing them to error, or set up easy put away), and I stopped losing any games.
I think the trick is to keep it together mentally, play them at their own game (be patient and keep the ball in play) and wait for an easy winner/net put away. But even if they're a pusher, always respect your opponent in the sense that don't expect yourself to win before you've won.
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