Outpush the pusher by making each point a mini game of "how many times can we hit the ball over the net"

davced1

Professional
I will try a new mental approach to beat the pusher. If I make a mini game out of each point and count the number of times the ball passes the net it should keep me motivated to move my feet and don't lose my patience. Anyone tried this?
 

ReopeningWed

Professional
To be honest 90% of this board needs to play like this as a fundamental building block to improving, it definitely helped me a lot when I transitioned from "decent but sloppy recreational player" to "men's college team/open tournament player". I see posts about analyzing body parts I've never heard of or thought about before, or people complaining about their strokes getting ruined by bad coaches or entire wings just disappearing and they never ever did their progressions or tried to practice efficiently.
 

davced1

Professional
To be honest 90% of this board needs to play like this as a fundamental building block to improving, it definitely helped me a lot when I transitioned from "decent but sloppy recreational player" to "men's college team/open tournament player". I see posts about analyzing body parts I've never heard of or thought about before, or people complaining about their strokes getting ruined by bad coaches or entire wings just disappearing and they never ever did their progressions or tried to practice efficiently.
You are absolutely right. There is this guy in my group league with a big serve and he hits hard and it looks so good BUT he loses time and time again to players that look much worse than him.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I will try a new mental approach to beat the pusher. If I make a mini game out of each point and count the number of times the ball passes the net it should keep me motivated to move my feet and don't lose my patience. Anyone tried this?
yes!

just make sure to use proper spin strokes, not bunty/blocking strokes
 

ptuanminh

Hall of Fame
Its funny that many occasions i get to play better players and get my ass whooped, they tell me that i play too aggressively. Its amazing how much you can get from playing smart and selectively aggressive.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
No! Hit big or go home!
I play some of those style players and they hit big and go home with a loss most of the time. So many rec players have this hit big mind set, it amounts to the ego being much bigger than their game.

Consistent tennis with selective aggressive hitting is the way to go, but too many players want to hit big shots and they are lucky if they are 50% when going for winners. So when you figure the amount of your big shots that your opponent will get back and add in the errors that you make going big it’s pretty much a losing strategy.
 
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FiReFTW

Legend
I play some of those style players and they hit big and go home with a loss most of the time. So many rec players have this hit big mind set, it amounts to the ego being much bigger than their game.

Consistent tennis with selective aggressive hitting is the way to go, but too many players want to hit big shots and they are lucky if they are 50% when going for winners. So when you figure the amount of your big shots that your opponent will get back and add in the errors that you make going big it’s pretty much a losing strategy.
Nooooooo man, you can't play tennis like that, you need to hit big! bigger better harder!

Max power on every single shot, even the drop shot!
 

Dan R

Semi-Pro
I think that's the pusher's game, and they are going to be better at that then you will be. You're going to have to alter your game, but don't play the pusher's game

A better approach is to just keep hitting deep with spin and when you get a short ball either pound it into the corner (only if you have that shot) or angle it off short - target for this shot is back outside corner of the service box. If they get that ball it will be on the run hitting a ball that is outside the doubles alley and at their feet. Once they pop that up volley it into the open court. You can also hit it short to them and bring them to the net for a pass - most pushers don't like to come to the net.
 

davced1

Professional
I think that's the pusher's game, and they are going to be better at that then you will be. You're going to have to alter your game, but don't play the pusher's game

A better approach is to just keep hitting deep with spin and when you get a short ball either pound it into the corner (only if you have that shot) or angle it off short - target for this shot is back outside corner of the service box. If they get that ball it will be on the run hitting a ball that is outside the doubles alley and at their feet. Once they pop that up volley it into the open court. You can also hit it short to them and bring them to the net for a pass - most pushers don't like to come to the net.
That is a good strategy however I want to test him. He will expect me to bring pace that he can feed off and wait for me to try to finish the points. What if I don't give him any pace at all. I want to test his patience and make him go for more than he is used to. He will try drop shots but I will be aware of that and stay close to the baseline.

I will try to take him out of his comfort zone by not giving any pace for him to work with. I will give him floating moonballs and test his offensive game.
 

Dan R

Semi-Pro
That is a good strategy however I want to test him. He will expect me to bring pace that he can feed off and wait for me to try to finish the points. What if I don't give him any pace at all. I want to test his patience and make him go for more than he is used to. He will try drop shots but I will be aware of that and stay close to the baseline.

I will try to take him out of his comfort zone by not giving any pace for him to work with. I will give him floating moonballs and test his offensive game.
Let us know how it goes, but typically pusher's don't need pace.
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
I think that's the pusher's game, and they are going to be better at that then you will be. You're going to have to alter your game, but don't play the pusher's game

A better approach is to just keep hitting deep with spin and when you get a short ball either pound it into the corner (only if you have that shot) or angle it off short - target for this shot is back outside corner of the service box. If they get that ball it will be on the run hitting a ball that is outside the doubles alley and at their feet. Once they pop that up volley it into the open court. You can also hit it short to them and bring them to the net for a pass - most pushers don't like to come to the net.
I get to see a lot more junior tennis than play or see adult tennis. But during our JTT Nationals, the singles player that could sustain a rally the longest generally won. These rallies included rally balls with 3'-5' of net clearance and a lot of topspin. Also a lot of deep lobs to reset the rally. Our singles girl that wins lots of tournaments failed miserably because she kept seeing balls that would sit up and she felt compelled to put it away. But rather, she needed to try to win in 3 more strokes vs 1 more stroke.

Similar thing with the boys singles. The one that can hit 20+ rally balls, have a good slice, and a good lob generally won. They would draw impatience from their opponents to try to take risks though the balls would keep coming back. These are high level pushers or retrievers or counter punchers. They all have a put away slap shot, but only come out when the conditions are absolutely perfect and it becomes a higher percentage. Basically smart tennis.

As for me? Yeah, I might try that. I've been hitting more aggressively lately and that's had some mixed results... Not hitting aggressively can backfire in doubles. A good defensive shot in singles becomes a T'd up shot in doubles.
 
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FiReFTW

Legend
I get to see a lot more junior tennis than play or see adult tennis. But during our JTT Nationals, the singles player that could sustain a rally the longest generally won. These rallies included rally balls with 3'-5' of net clearance and a lot of topspin. Also a lot of deep lobs to reset the rally. Our singles girl that wins lots of tournaments failed miserably because she kept seeing balls that would sit up and she felt compelled to put it away. But rather, she needed to try to win in 3 more strokes vs 1 more stroke.

Similar thing with the boys singles. The one that can hit 20+ rally balls, have a good slice, and a good lob generally won. They would draw impatience from their opponents to try to take risks though the balls would keep coming back. These are high level pushers or retrievers or counter punchers. They all have a put away slap shot, but only come out when the conditions are absolutely perfect and it becomes a higher percentage. Basically smart tennis.

As for me? Yeah, I might try that. I've been hitting more aggressively lately and that's had some mixed results... Not hitting aggressively can backfire in doubles. A good defensive shot in singles becomes a T'd up shot in doubles.
You need to finish the point in 1 shot, everything more than that is pushing! Second serve counts too, so if the opponent can return it, it was hit too weak and is considered pushing.
 

davced1

Professional
You need to finish the point in 1 shot, everything more than that is pushing! Second serve counts too, so if the opponent can return it, it was hit too weak and is considered pushing.
I like your attidude. All tennis should also be played on fast grass or carpet. Hard and clay is for pushers.
 

zaph

Semi-Pro
I will try a new mental approach to beat the pusher. If I make a mini game out of each point and count the number of times the ball passes the net it should keep me motivated to move my feet and don't lose my patience. Anyone tried this?
Shot tolerance and steadiness is important in tennis but you will struggle trying to outlast a pusher. You need to do more than simply get back, you need to control the rally.

My method is to relentlessly hit into the backhand corner. I can hit that spot till the end of time off either wing if I am playing a righthander. Even pushers get fedup of constantly having to change direction to head back into their weaker wing. It also prevents them for doing anything, they won't take control of the point with their backhand.

Wait for them to cough up a short high bouncing ball near the net, then hit behind them of go crosscourt. You won't win every point but you will win a high enough percentage to take the match, providing you played controlled tennis and don't miss.
 

weelie

Semi-Pro
I've tried it against these guys who've played the local "1h match" league like 20-30 years. Haven't lost all of them, but quite many. I have the feeling that my odds are like 45% for each of the pusher rallies, and the way it stacks up, I lose. The problem for me is that I usually go the pusher mode when I miss a few against a pusher. So I start imitating them when I am already behind... and lose my strokes, go to bunting mode (and then balls start flying if I juice up at all). Down with a flu, I lost a match like that 2 weeks ago, coughing my lungs out. I made errors for both of us he said. Likely so. But at 1-4 I tried to push myself in to it. The problem is that when that game had taken 10 minutes, I realized it does not matter anymore, time was running out. Well, I lost the match 2-6, but at least I won my last service game, in anger, with two aces, one unreturnable serve and one serve and volley. :D

So I need to keep my shots and hit a bit bigger here and there, to keep the intensity or at least intent up. Stand closer, not further, for example.

A friend I sometimes play with who has not the prettiest strokes but is very fit and excellent counter puncher / pusher, said to aim for 7 shots instead of 2 or 3. Whatever, sound like a good number. The next match (after the one I lost 2 weeks) went completely with my plan, I won it easily, though I was not playing much better and still had the flu... but it's not the good days, it's the worst days that count, how do you win when you are not finding your range, how do you win against different sets of patterns.
 

fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
Trying to out push a pusher is usually a fast-track to the loss column. Pushers already know how to push, so think twice about playing them on their preferred terms. Suck them forward away from the baseline and see how uncomfortable they can get when that happens. Get to the net yourself and see what that brings.

If nothing else, I say try to make the decision to not abandon your own best stuff and join the push.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
I get to see a lot more junior tennis than play or see adult tennis. But during our JTT Nationals, the singles player that could sustain a rally the longest generally won. These rallies included rally balls with 3'-5' of net clearance and a lot of topspin. Also a lot of deep lobs to reset the rally. Our singles girl that wins lots of tournaments failed miserably because she kept seeing balls that would sit up and she felt compelled to put it away. But rather, she needed to try to win in 3 more strokes vs 1 more stroke.

Similar thing with the boys singles. The one that can hit 20+ rally balls, have a good slice, and a good lob generally won. They would draw impatience from their opponents to try to take risks though the balls would keep coming back. These are high level pushers or retrievers or counter punchers. They all have a put away slap shot, but only come out when the conditions are absolutely perfect and it becomes a higher percentage. Basically smart tennis.
This style is as boring as watching paint dry, but it will win a high percentage of matches until you hit the high 4.5 level and higher.

Problem is, if you play this way, nobody will want to play with you. In fact, about a month ago, I played a pickup match with a guy that had just moved here from Texas. He said he taught tennis a bit while there (and just generally told me how good he was during warmups). Guy had solid fundamentals for sure. When the match started, I played the way you describe and was winning every game easily. On one of the changeovers, he announced that he was done playing the match and never wanted to play with me again until I learned to hit the ball "properly". He told me I was incapable of sustaining a "proper" baseline rally with any sort of pace and that it just wasn't worth his time to play with someone like me. So I apologized for my poor play (I think I was up 5-0) and left. A few hours later he texted and said that we clearly have a different idea about how the game of tennis should be played and that he just doesn't like playing with guys like me. I didn't respond.

I decided to use this strategy a few weeks ago against a guy that was beating me pretty easily in the spring when I was hitting harder (and making more errors). We played 2 weekends in a row. First time, I went up 4-1 in the first set, noticed he was getting mad, so I started hitting hard. He won the set 6-4 (and he was happy). Second set I won 6-2. Third set I went up 5-2 triple match point on his serve. Started hitting hard. Ended up winning that set in a tiebreak.

Next weekend I won the first set 6-2 and was up 3-0 in the second. He announced on the changeover that he could only play 15 more minutes. So, we stopped after the next game.

I'd rate both these guys 4.5 level (the second guy was in my 4.5 ladder in the spring). So this style works against this level. But it really pisses everybody off. So I don't do it all the time. And I also like to work on my more aggressive style tennis. Even if a "steady diet" of that is losing tennis for certain. It does help me learn how to finish points more quickly. Though most of the time against my 4.5 level opponents, they end up using my pace and aggressiveness against me and I lose more points than I win (but they are happy and want to play again).

EDIT: I should be clear. What is making these guys mad is, I've discovered that I can float balls high and deep and neutralize all rallies. So maybe my opponent hits a hard topspin forehand. Instead of returning the same shot back to them, sometimes I'll switch to a continental grip and just loft the ball, high and deep. Most guys can't hit a winner from the back court off this ball (though I've run into guys that can), so they'll try to and either make an error, or hit a shot that I can defend in the same way. After several of these, lots of guys just come unglued. A match like this really has no rhythm at all and is really boring to play. But if I want to win, not many guys can withstand several hours of that.
 
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ReopeningWed

Professional
This style is as boring as watching paint dry, but it will win a high percentage of matches until you hit the high 4.5 level and higher.

Problem is, if you play this way, nobody will want to play with you. In fact, about a month ago, I played a pickup match with a guy that had just moved here from Texas. He said he taught tennis a bit while there (and just generally told me how good he was during warmups). Guy had solid fundamentals for sure. When the match started, I played the way you describe and was winning every game easily. On one of the changeovers, he announced that he was done playing the match and never wanted to play with me again until I learned to hit the ball "properly". He told me I was incapable of sustaining a "proper" baseline rally with any sort of pace and that it just wasn't worth his time to play with someone like me. So I apologized for my poor play (I think I was up 5-0) and left. A few hours later he texted and said that we clearly have a different idea about how the game of tennis should be played and that he just doesn't like playing with guys like me. I didn't respond.

I decided to use this strategy a few weeks ago against a guy that was beating me pretty easily in the spring when I was hitting harder (and making more errors). We played 2 weekends in a row. First time, I went up 4-1 in the first set, noticed he was getting mad, so I started hitting hard. He won the set 6-4 (and he was happy). Second set I won 6-2. Third set I went up 5-2 triple match point on his serve. Started hitting hard. Ended up winning that set in a tiebreak.

Next weekend I won the first set 6-2 and was up 3-0 in the second. He announced on the changeover that he could only play 15 more minutes. So, we stopped after the next game.

I'd rate both these guys 4.5 level (the second guy was in my 4.5 ladder in the spring). So this style works against this level. But it really pisses everybody off. So I don't do it all the time. And I also like to work on my more aggressive style tennis. Even if a "steady diet" of that is losing tennis for certain. It does help me learn how to finish points more quickly. Though most of the time against my 4.5 level opponents, they end up using my pace and aggressiveness against me and I lose more points than I win (but they are happy and want to play again).
Are you kidding me? I actually get pissed on court if the other guy is slappy and goes for too much when he's pressured, that's the mark of sloppy tennis for me. If you were in the Bay Area I'd hit you up all the time, people need to figure out how to remove their ego from their tennis and just think about improving.
 

user92626

Legend
@r2473

I have to say your experience is rather strange to me. It's 4.5 level and people still complain about "styles" of playing?

My court is rather straight forward. Everyone seems to understand that making mistakes is poor playing, and everyone values consistency.


People only complain when others play too poorly, ie losing too much.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
Are you kidding me? I actually get pissed on court if the other guy is slappy and goes for too much when he's pressured, that's the mark of sloppy tennis for me. If you were in the Bay Area I'd hit you up all the time, people need to figure out how to remove their ego from their tennis and just think about improving.
What's even funnier is, most guys will play a few points like I'm doing to "show me" how boring and anti-tennis it is. But I know that they will drop a ball short before I do. And when they do, I pounce on it. That REALLY torques them off :)
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
@r2473

I have to say your experience is rather strange to me. It's 4.5 level and people still complain about "styles" of playing?

My court is rather straight forward. Everyone seems to understand that making mistakes is poor playing, and everyone values consistency.

People only complain when others play too poorly, ie losing too much.
What's happening is, these 4.5's have good skills. They really do. But they aren't able to use them against this type of play. Then they start making errors. It just frustrates the hell out of them.

And it really works just like Bill Tilden says in his book "Spin of the Ball". You can watch them start to mentally lose it. And then at some point, you know they are mentally resigned to losing. Sometimes they don't even try anymore. They just can't wait to leave.

A steady diet of high, deep floaters isn't that easy to play against. Add to that the fact that, I can hit as hard as they can. So I can (and do) take advantage of my opportunities.

I learned this style from a buddy of mine. There a lots of guys that flat out refuse to play him. It's funny watching him make "good" players fall apart and just mentally lose it.
 

user92626

Legend
What's happening is, these 4.5's have good skills. They really do. But they aren't able to use them against this type of play. Then they start making errors. It just frustrates the hell out of them.

And it really works just like Bill Tilden says in his book "Spin of the Ball". You can watch them start to mentally lose it. And then at some point, you know they are mentally resigned to losing. Sometimes they don't even try anymore. They just can't wait to leave.

A steady diet of high, deep floaters isn't that easy to play against. Add to that the fact that, I can hit as hard as they can. So I can (and do) take advantage of my opportunities.

I learned this style from a buddy of mine. There a lots of guys that flat out refuse to play him. It's funny watching him make "good" players fall apart and just mentally lose it.

It has to be much more than "A steady diet of high, deep floaters isn't that easy to play against. " since you're talking about 4.5 here.

I do know the mental quitting that you're referring to, but it usually only happens when the loser is completely outplayed at every maneuvers. Meaning, he's being strung around like a puppet to chase so many variety balls but still fail in the end. On other hand nothing he does can break through the other guy.

It's NEVER the loser loses because he cannot handle one or two particular style shot, eg "high, deep floaters" That reeks of low level playing, no offense. This reminds me of a match between a 40ish guy and a 74 man. All the young guy did was "drop shot" on the old man to win! It's stupid but it's 3.0 level.

I'm probably a strong 4.0 on a good day, I have never lost a match due to a couple of consistently played shots. To win, my opponents have to do a lot of things. Example: multiple shot consistency, corner hitting, corner serving, know how to close the net, lob when I'm at the net, on and on. That's how I and my buddy play every Wednesday.
 

Hmgraphite1

Hall of Fame
What's even funnier is, most guys will play a few points like I'm doing to "show me" how boring and anti-tennis it is. But I know that they will drop a ball short before I do. And when they do, I pounce on it. That REALLY torques them off :)
I wouldn't be surprised if at some point I won't be able to take big cuts at the ball and will use all I have left. Grooving ones strokes can lead to a great fun exciting match, but does require more warmup and movement. Some don't want to give up this part of tennis because it is a higher level. Unfortunately the short 10 minute warmup is rarely enough for the less experienced players and having an opponent that doesn't continue with hitting sessions into match leaves both players with same o same old. I have haven't reached the point of refusing to play anybody but it is frustrating due to the extended time to improve my game. On the positive side I have noticed improvement and it's not up to the opponent to play my game but I gotta play mine
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
None of them just come in on one of your floaters and take it as a volley/overhead?
If I'm doing it right, you can't volley it close to the net. It's too high. So you have to be able to volley off a mid-court ball. And if I see you come in, of course I'll adjust. So if you come in too early, I'll give you a different ball. But if you wait too long, you won't be in position to volley the midcourt ball.

But yes, good players do exactly that (and I switch to a different strategy)

But most guys have little if any experience volleying midcourt balls above their head (and they are either just plain scared to try it, or try it and make a mess of it).

If you try it and don't put it away (or make it tough for me), you'll be standing in no-man's-land pretty much and I'll have an easy pass (or lob).
 
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r2473

G.O.A.T.
It has to be much more than "A steady diet of high, deep floaters isn't that easy to play against. " since you're talking about 4.5 here.

I do know the mental quitting that you're referring to, but it usually only happens when the loser is completely outplayed at every maneuvers. Meaning, he's being strung around like a puppet to chase so many variety balls but still fail in the end. On other hand nothing he does can break through the other guy.

It's NEVER the loser loses because he cannot handle one or two particular style shot, eg "high, deep floaters" That reeks of low level playing, no offense. This reminds me of a match between a 40ish guy and a 74 man. All the young guy did was "drop shot" on the old man to win! It's stupid but it's 3.0 level.

I'm probably a strong 4.0 on a good day, I have never lost a match due to a couple of consistently played shots. To win, my opponents have to do a lot of things. Example: multiple shot consistency, corner hitting, corner serving, know how to close the net, lob when I'm at the net, on and on. That's how I and my buddy play every Wednesday.
Possibly true. You'll never know until you are faced with it. Until you are feeling a bit of anger. And this anger messes with your strategy and execution (and makes you even angrier).

This style is all out mental warfare. This guy explains what's going on pretty well:

https://www.amazon.com/Quit-Losing-Hackers-Pushers-Dinkers-ebook/dp/B00S2VMQ6K
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
I will try a new mental approach to beat the pusher. If I make a mini game out of each point and count the number of times the ball passes the net it should keep me motivated to move my feet and don't lose my patience. Anyone tried this?
a common warmup we do is to hit 100 balls cooperatively (50 each) without missing... full strokes 2/3 pace. usually can do it with only a couple restarts.

but yeah, this is also a tactic I use against anyone better than me. i just try “beat my record” of how many balls I can get back in a row.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

user92626

Legend
My weekly opponent warms up very fast and has a very good work ethic. He loves ripping every shot that he has control on. If he's tired he would go for broke at the side lines. He would make 3 out of 5 attempts.

It's tough for me to play him when I am not completely "on". I can't make mistakes, can't give him short balls, every point has to be built up because he's willing to run.


I had been losing 2 times in a row -- quite annoying -- so last week I thought I would try "just keep the ball in". He got caught surprised by my sudden 100% consistence, and to boost, my weak shots made him overshoot his shots.

But, I was only successful for about 3 games!!! He made adjustment, dialed down his aggressiveness, stopped rushing his running but still ripping the ball and going for open court which was a lot easier now since my shot was slower!!!

Lesson learned. I can't substitute a bad game with another mediocre game! :) There's no quick fix!
 

Traffic

Hall of Fame
None of them just come in on one of your floaters and take it as a volley/overhead?
As @r2473 pointed out, the deep, lofty ball that resets the point will wreak havoc on a UTR 7-8 player. But a UTR 10 or 11 player will step forward and take the ball out of the air to cut off the time his appointment has to reset. Also to disrupt the timing. He'll set up for a weaker return that he'll try to put pressure on by hitting a good angle and then the next shot is the put away (usually an OH or volley).

My son can usually wear down a 4.5 player. But a good 5.0 player cuts his time for reset with taking the ball out of the air and sharper angles.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
As @r2473 pointed out, the deep, lofty ball that resets the point will wreak havoc on a UTR 7-8 player. But a UTR 10 or 11 player will step forward and take the ball out of the air to cut off the time his appointment has to reset. Also to disrupt the timing. He'll set up for a weaker return that he'll try to put pressure on by hitting a good angle and then the next shot is the put away (usually an OH or volley).

My son can usually wear down a 4.5 player. But a good 5.0 player cuts his time for reset with taking the ball out of the air and sharper angles.
Yeah, an occasional deep, lofty ball definitely works as a reset all the way up to ATP level.

It's the "steady diet" of floaters that can easily be attacked at 4.5+ because it's easy to anticipate the floater, and then just step forward into the court and hit a volley or overhead.

Federer put away several of these against Anderson today (floaty BH slice), when he could anticipate one coming...
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, an occasional deep, lofty ball definitely works as a reset all the way up to ATP level.

It's the "steady diet" of floaters that can easily be attacked at 4.5+ because it's easy to anticipate the floater, and then just step forward into the court and hit a volley or overhead.

Federer put away several of these against Anderson today (floaty BH slice), when he could anticipate one coming...
@Traffic has seen it and understands. It’s one thing to know what to do. It quite another to actually execute it. And UTR 7 and 8 can’t do it. It takes a better player than you think.

But again, if you do it against these types of players, they’ll hate you and won’t play you. At least a lot react like that. So though it works, I won’t often do it over and over. Certainly not in a friendly match
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
This style is as boring as watching paint dry, but it will win a high percentage of matches until you hit the high 4.5 level and higher.

Problem is, if you play this way, nobody will want to play with you. In fact, about a month ago, I played a pickup match with a guy that had just moved here from Texas. He said he taught tennis a bit while there (and just generally told me how good he was during warmups). Guy had solid fundamentals for sure. When the match started, I played the way you describe and was winning every game easily. On one of the changeovers, he announced that he was done playing the match and never wanted to play with me again until I learned to hit the ball "properly". He told me I was incapable of sustaining a "proper" baseline rally with any sort of pace and that it just wasn't worth his time to play with someone like me. So I apologized for my poor play (I think I was up 5-0) and left. A few hours later he texted and said that we clearly have a different idea about how the game of tennis should be played and that he just doesn't like playing with guys like me. I didn't respond.

I decided to use this strategy a few weeks ago against a guy that was beating me pretty easily in the spring when I was hitting harder (and making more errors). We played 2 weekends in a row. First time, I went up 4-1 in the first set, noticed he was getting mad, so I started hitting hard. He won the set 6-4 (and he was happy). Second set I won 6-2. Third set I went up 5-2 triple match point on his serve. Started hitting hard. Ended up winning that set in a tiebreak.

Next weekend I won the first set 6-2 and was up 3-0 in the second. He announced on the changeover that he could only play 15 more minutes. So, we stopped after the next game.

I'd rate both these guys 4.5 level (the second guy was in my 4.5 ladder in the spring). So this style works against this level. But it really pisses everybody off. So I don't do it all the time. And I also like to work on my more aggressive style tennis. Even if a "steady diet" of that is losing tennis for certain. It does help me learn how to finish points more quickly. Though most of the time against my 4.5 level opponents, they end up using my pace and aggressiveness against me and I lose more points than I win (but they are happy and want to play again).

EDIT: I should be clear. What is making these guys mad is, I've discovered that I can float balls high and deep and neutralize all rallies. So maybe my opponent hits a hard topspin forehand. Instead of returning the same shot back to them, sometimes I'll switch to a continental grip and just loft the ball, high and deep. Most guys can't hit a winner from the back court off this ball (though I've run into guys that can), so they'll try to and either make an error, or hit a shot that I can defend in the same way. After several of these, lots of guys just come unglued. A match like this really has no rhythm at all and is really boring to play. But if I want to win, not many guys can withstand several hours of that.
The guy you were playing is a big crybaby and can’t take losing. Play properly what an a hole. There no such thing, play the game the way you want to and your opponent can play the way he wants to. That’s what makes tennis interesting there are all kinds of styles to adapt to.

I’ve played against these narcissistic jerks before they just whine because they are not that good and can’t beat a solid consistent player. So they come up with all this BS about I need to hit against more pace and your nothing but a pusher and on and on their excuses.

Again it just comes down to these guys have egos that are much bigger than their game is. They want to blast the ball because they think that makes them a good player, but if they can’t do is consistently enough they will lose most of the time. So they want to play against other ball blasters that make a lot of errors so then their errors aren’t so costly.

As far as better players not wanting to play against consistent grinder style players I’ve found the exact opposite. I get to play with quite a few of the better players at my club because they know I can keep the ball in the court and they will get to hit plenty of shots. Better players do not want to play against lower level players that come out there blasting the ball around trying to impress them.
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
The guy you were playing is a big crybaby and can’t take losing. Play properly what an a hole. There no such thing, play the game the way you want to and your opponent can play the way he wants to. That’s what makes tennis interesting there are all kinds of styles to adapt to.

I’ve played against these narcissistic jerks before they just whine because they are not that good and can’t beat a solid consistent player. So they come up with all this BS about I need to hit against more pace and your nothing but a pusher and on and on their excuses.

Again it just comes down to these guys have egos that are much bigger than their game is. They want to blast the ball because they think that makes them a good player, but if they can’t do is consistently enough they will lose most of the time. So they want to play against other ball blasters that make a lot of errors so then their errors aren’t so costly.

As far as better players not wanting to play against consistent grinder style players I’ve found the exact opposite. I get to play with quite a few of the better players at my club because they know I can keep the ball in the court and they will get to hit plenty of shots. Better players do not want to play against lower level players that come out there blasting the ball around trying to impress them.
What you say is ultimately true, but I get his perspective though. He's just a "regular guy" that gets to play tennis a few times a week at most. He doesn't want to play against a guy that frustrates him. He came out to enjoy himself and unwind. Not to get involved with some pusher/looper type guy. He didn't come out so when he left he would be angry. He came out to enjoy himself. And he wasn't enjoying himself.

Tennis isn't about winning for everybody and for every match. Sometimes you just want to play a guy that has a compatible style and is fun to hit with. Sure, you'll never get good just playing against guys that compliment your game and your skill set.

And because I know this, I try not to frustrate people that are easily frustrated. Unless I don't want to play them again. Otherwise, I try to play a friendly style and make the match enjoyable.

That said, this particular guy is an ahole. That's why I did what I did. He really got frustrated (and pretty much gave up) when he tried to cut off my shot and hit the volley. For the most part, he either made an outright error or hit a poor shot that I could pass him on. And he just got frustrated. Mostly because all he really wanted to do was have a groundstroke battle with the occasional finish at the net. He didn't want to patiently work points. He wanted to have fun.
 

tlm

G.O.A.T.
What you say is ultimately true, but I get his perspective though. He's just a "regular guy" that gets to play tennis a few times a week at most. He doesn't want to play against a guy that frustrates him. He came out to enjoy himself and unwind. Not to get involved with some pusher/looper type guy. He didn't come out so when he left he would be angry. He came out to enjoy himself. And he wasn't enjoying himself.

Tennis isn't about winning for everybody and for every match. Sometimes you just want to play a guy that has a compatible style and is fun to hit with. Sure, you'll never get good just playing against guys that compliment your game and your skill set.

And because I know this, I try not to frustrate people that are easily frustrated. Unless I don't want to play them again. Otherwise, I try to play a friendly style and make the match enjoyable.

That said, this particular guy is an ahole. That's why I did what I did. He really got frustrated (and pretty much gave up) when he tried to cut off my shot and hit the volley. For the most part, he either made an outright error or hit a poor shot that I could pass him on. And he just got frustrated. Mostly because all he really wanted to do was have a groundstroke battle with the occasional finish at the net. He didn't want to patiently work points. He wanted to have fun.
If someone is easily frustrated then they shouldn’t play tennis, we all get frustrated at times but that’s part of playing any sport. I’m not sure what you mean by playing a friendly style and make the match enjoyable. Does that mean when playing a baby poor loser that you play sloppy so they can win?

One of my hitting partners is a more aggressive hitter than I am but we are pretty close in skill level. So our matches can go either way, if he is on enough with his bigger hitting he has a good chance of winning. But if I’m playing well and he can’t hurt me enough with his big shots then I will probably win.

We both try to win but even though our styles are somewhat different we never complain about our opponents style. We just play tennis the way we know best. When I play league matches I hear some of the crying from the ball blaster type players that I usually beat.

It’s always the same BS, I’m used to playing against more pace or I don’t like high topspin shots I’m used to hitting against lower faster shots. I’ve never played a sport with so much crying and excuse making as tennis. This would be like telling a pitcher in baseball that I don’t like curve balls so only throw fast balls or I’m going to get mad and not play anymore. Lol
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
If someone is easily frustrated then they shouldn’t play tennis, we all get frustrated at times but that’s part of playing any sport. I’m not sure what you mean by playing a friendly style and make the match enjoyable. Does that mean when playing a baby poor loser that you play sloppy so they can win?

One of my hitting partners is a more aggressive hitter than I am but we are pretty close in skill level. So our matches can go either way, if he is on enough with his bigger hitting he has a good chance of winning. But if I’m playing well and he can’t hurt me enough with his big shots then I will probably win.

We both try to win but even though our styles are somewhat different we never complain about our opponents style. We just play tennis the way we know best. When I play league matches I hear some of the crying from the ball blaster type players that I usually beat.

It’s always the same BS, I’m used to playing against more pace or I don’t like high topspin shots I’m used to hitting against lower faster shots. I’ve never played a sport with so much crying and excuse making as tennis. This would be like telling a pitcher in baseball that I don’t like curve balls so only throw fast balls or I’m going to get mad and not play anymore. Lol
I don't know. There's a guy that is a notorious drop shotter. He has trouble finding playing partners. Few people want to spend the evening running down drop shot after drop shot. Sure, it's tennis. But it's not much fun.

Adult "club" tennis does have unwritten rules of "fair play". And if you go too far over the line too often, you get shunned by the tennis community. That's just life.
 

user92626

Legend
@tlm,

The problem why this whining exists is basically recreational tennis doesn't have rules. Incentives are different for each players. Ultimately it's the natural law of supply and demand at work here. Someone may have to put up with a whiner, sore loser because there's no one else better to play with. Sore losers are allowed to behave like that because...well...there's no penalty or loss.

In one of my groups there's this big fat short guy who literally has the worse attitude that I ever have come across. He badmouths everyone, instigates every problem. Other people, me included, have to put up with him because he's always at the court and there aren't enough players for a doubles. Because he's very fat and slow he would cuss at anyone who drop shots on him -- not in a funny way but dead serious, homophobic insults. If his opponents repeat the drop shot, he would threaten to quit the game. If he's losing, they better let him call all the line calls or he'll quit.

He gets his ways a lot. I think that's because he doesn't care to play alot, he tires out faster, that's why he's fatter than anyone, while other players still want to play badly. LOL.

He gets on my nerves with his cheating, childish behaviors but fortunately I only need one hour of playing and he always picks me to be his partner (so I can cover for him).
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
I don't know. There's a guy that is a notorious drop shotter. He has trouble finding playing partners. Few people want to spend the evening running down drop shot after drop shot. Sure, it's tennis. But it's not much fun.

Adult "club" tennis does have unwritten rules of "fair play". And if you go too far over the line too often, you get shunned by the tennis community. That's just life.
Then his opponents should return the favor!
 
To be honest 90% of this board needs to play like this as a fundamental building block to improving, it definitely helped me a lot when I transitioned from "decent but sloppy recreational player" to "men's college team/open tournament player". I see posts about analyzing body parts I've never heard of or thought about before, or people complaining about their strokes getting ruined by bad coaches or entire wings just disappearing and they never ever did their progressions or tried to practice efficiently.
No! Hit big or go home!

I actually think it is in between. Many rec players can only push or swing as hard as they can.

If you really want to get better learn to hit a rally ball at 60-70% intensity. This is not easy to do because naturally the body wants to go either very low intensity or full intensity. If you can teach your body to swing cleanly at 60-70% it will make you a much better player. Let's say your max forehand is 70mph then try to hit a rally ball around 50mph. Pros max at 100 mph and their average rally ball is like 70 mph so they do this too.

If you hit that 70% rally ball you put enough pressure on the pusher without going a high risk. This is much better than trying either push with him at 30 mph or try to rip it 70 mph.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
I actually think it is in between. Many rec players can only push or swing as hard as they can.

If you really want to get better learn to hit a rally ball at 60-70% intensity. This is not easy to do because naturally the body wants to go either very low intensity or full intensity. If you can teach your body to swing cleanly at 60-70% it will make you a much better player. Let's say your max forehand is 70mph then try to hit a rally ball around 50mph. Pros max at 100 mph and their average rally ball is like 70 mph so they do this too.

If you hit that 70% rally ball you put enough pressure on the pusher without going a high risk. This is much better than trying either push with him at 30 mph or try to rip it 70 mph.
I actually think it is in between. Many rec players can only push or swing as hard as they can.

If you really want to get better learn to hit a rally ball at 60-70% intensity. This is not easy to do because naturally the body wants to go either very low intensity or full intensity. If you can teach your body to swing cleanly at 60-70% it will make you a much better player. Let's say your max forehand is 70mph then try to hit a rally ball around 50mph. Pros max at 100 mph and their average rally ball is like 70 mph so they do this too.

If you hit that 70% rally ball you put enough pressure on the pusher without going a high risk. This is much better than trying either push with him at 30 mph or try to rip it 70 mph.
But theres a difference if you get from 100mph to 70mph by swinging slower, or by simply putting more energy into spin.

The 2nd option is more desirable and a much higher level shot.

Not saying you do it all the time of course, when your out of position or late or whatever obviously you can't do that effectively, but if you are set then you can, or at least hit as fast as you can (based on your ability) to maintain consistency, but work on learning to swing faster and faster, but putting more into spin in order to get control and consistency.
 

watungga

Professional
You need paced shots. A fast ball which can be directed straight at him, in a manner he doesn't need to move laterally. This way, you are making his coverage smaller. His agility could stop at certain time by training him to get lazy. The rest is up to you.

This instance usually happens during the return of serves. Catching the server by surprise by attacking his feet.
 
What you say is ultimately true, but I get his perspective though. He's just a "regular guy" that gets to play tennis a few times a week at most. He doesn't want to play against a guy that frustrates him. He came out to enjoy himself and unwind. Not to get involved with some pusher/looper type guy. He didn't come out so when he left he would be angry. He came out to enjoy himself. And he wasn't enjoying himself.

Tennis isn't about winning for everybody and for every match. Sometimes you just want to play a guy that has a compatible style and is fun to hit with. Sure, you'll never get good just playing against guys that compliment your game and your skill set.

And because I know this, I try not to frustrate people that are easily frustrated. Unless I don't want to play them again. Otherwise, I try to play a friendly style and make the match enjoyable.

That said, this particular guy is an ahole. That's why I did what I did. He really got frustrated (and pretty much gave up) when he tried to cut off my shot and hit the volley. For the most part, he either made an outright error or hit a poor shot that I could pass him on. And he just got frustrated. Mostly because all he really wanted to do was have a groundstroke battle with the occasional finish at the net. He didn't want to patiently work points. He wanted to have fun.
The pickier he is, the more careful he has to be about who he plays. If only one style is enjoyable, then it's up to him to find people who play that style, not complain about the people who don't.

The whiner is like a picky eater who goes to a random restaurant, orders the special, doesn't like it, and blames the chef.
 
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