Proud pusher

lcw

Rookie
Proud pusher.
I get a chuckle out of people calling me pusher. That’s their excuse for losing because their game lacks consistency. Poor losers always blame everything and everybody else when they loose, wind, lines, sun, racquet, noise, you name it.
No one in their right mind could expect to hit the ball hard all the time and keep it in play. Even the pros can’t do that so I choose to play within my ability and keep the ball within the lines.
I enjoy winning when I play but I enjoy losing even more because the people I loose to are more consistent.
Hitting the ball 60 times in a row without making a mistake is a lot of fun and good exercise to boot, so tennis is not only about beating the opponent but also about proving to yourself that you are in control.
I welcome any comments.
lcw
 

fishuuuuu

Hall of Fame
I wouldn't think much of it ... not that you do anyways ... winning is winning, regardless which way you do it as long as its in the bounds of the rules.

Ball-hitter-backers UNITE!
 

bee

Semi-Pro
I used to play this guy who was that way. He was a very nice guy, as I imagine you are, but I didn't enjoy playing with him. I feel that, when playing among friends, as I primarily do, there should be a certain give and take as regards to taking some risks and making the game interesting. If both players are playing ultra conservatively I guess there's nothing wrong with it, but it's not very interesting or fun, I think. It makes it more like a chore, rather than an exciting game with a real charge to it. I mean, that's why I play, to have fun. If I just wanted to get a runaround workout, I could do it in other ways. Hitting the ball hard is fun, floating the ball around is less so.
 
Well non-pushers who lose to pushers need to work hard to improve their consistency and mental state and learn something from pushers so they can improve. Pushers need to realize its fun seeing the other guy implode due to your zen like control over yourself, but sooner or later you need to develop your strokes and skills so you can improve also.
 

basil J

Hall of Fame
I used to hate playing pushers, but now I look at it as the ultimate challenge of endurance and self control. I recently lost to a guy who made me hit at least 6-10 shots per point. He lobbed very well and had good low passing shots so My efforts at the net were not successful. Instead I turned it into a battle of my pace vs his blocking and tested myself to see if I would prevail. I like pace, and hate having to create it on every shot so it was a very challenging match. Although I eventually lost 4-6,4-6 I learned a lot about myself and my game that match. As a 4.0 I need to add even more variety and strategy to my overall game instead of only big serves and hard heavy groundstrokes. I need add some high topsin baseline shots and some drop shots to be better rounded. To all the pushers out there, I say BRING IT ON.. and let's keep it FUN!!!
 
It depends very much on why one plays a game. Being hyper-cautious and keeping it in play feels for most of us too much like what we do for a living in our day to day jobs. I play sports not just to win but to feel some exhiliration, and that doesn't happen in tennis unless you're going for some winners and putting away volleys. Watching the guy on the other side of the net brood and curse may provide some perverse satisfaction, but it's not exhiliration.
 
I am a pusher due to ability, not by choice! I'm a strong 3.5 still thinking
the potential is there to be a strong 4.0 even my age of 57!

I started playing at age 25 and back then I would rather smack the ball
and look pretty than win. More often than not I lost to 60 year old pushers
in the local tournaments. If I played myself right now at age 25, I'd kick
my own butt!

You learn to play "smarter" when you get older and I do rather enjoy beating
up on the "youngsters" with their "pretty strokes". That being said, I would
love to have the ability to hit harder with good placement and just ordered
a ball machine which I think will help.

I just love this game and average 4x week of singles and some doubles. I
will say that it would be rare for a pusher to advance past the 4.0 level.

Sometimes I feel bad when my opponents complain about my lack of pace
even when I beat them, they simply don't have much fun playing that way.

Anyway, at any level, any playing style, what a great game! If I could pick
my way to go, it would be dropping over on the tennis court at 100 years
old smashing an overhead!

Ken
 

lcw

Rookie
Proud Pusher said:
I am a pusher due to ability, not by choice! I'm a strong 3.5 still thinking
the potential is there to be a strong 4.0 even my age of 57!

I started playing at age 25 and back then I would rather smack the ball
and look pretty than win. More often than not I lost to 60 year old pushers
in the local tournaments. If I played myself right now at age 25, I'd kick
my own butt!

You learn to play "smarter" when you get older and I do rather enjoy beating
up on the "youngsters" with their "pretty strokes". That being said, I would
love to have the ability to hit harder with good placement and just ordered
a ball machine which I think will help.

I just love this game and average 4x week of singles and some doubles. I
will say that it would be rare for a pusher to advance past the 4.0 level.

Sometimes I feel bad when my opponents complain about my lack of pace
even when I beat them, they simply don't have much fun playing that way.

Anyway, at any level, any playing style, what a great game! If I could pick
my way to go, it would be dropping over on the tennis court at 100 years
old smashing an overhead!

Ken
Ken: Great post. I am 3 years older than you are and I swing between 4.0 and 4.5 depending on the weather and the bum knees. Keep it in play you will get there because you are on the right track.
I wish I had the brains when I was younger to develop more consistency instead of letting my ego take over by hitting the ball hard. Tennis is an art and you can get as much satisfaction from hitting the ball hard as going for placement.
 

mj01

New User
Proud Pusher said:
I am a pusher due to ability, not by choice! I'm a strong 3.5 still thinking
the potential is there to be a strong 4.0 even my age of 57!

I started playing at age 25 and back then I would rather smack the ball
and look pretty than win. More often than not I lost to 60 year old pushers
in the local tournaments. If I played myself right now at age 25, I'd kick
my own butt!

You learn to play "smarter" when you get older and I do rather enjoy beating
up on the "youngsters" with their "pretty strokes". That being said, I would
love to have the ability to hit harder with good placement and just ordered
a ball machine which I think will help.

I just love this game and average 4x week of singles and some doubles. I
will say that it would be rare for a pusher to advance past the 4.0 level.

Sometimes I feel bad when my opponents complain about my lack of pace
even when I beat them, they simply don't have much fun playing that way.

Anyway, at any level, any playing style, what a great game! If I could pick
my way to go, it would be dropping over on the tennis court at 100 years
old smashing an overhead!

Ken
Its great that you enjoy playing so much. That's the main thing, and to be able to compete well at 57 is something to be proud of, pusher or not.

I think, though, that you identify in your post many of the reasons people don't enjoy playing pushers. Its not particularly fun for a lot of people. And most people are playing in large part to have fun. I think a big part of it is that it SEEMS like the pusher isn't really trying to get better. It SEEMS like the pusher is focused on winning in a short-sighted way- taking advantage of the opponents deficiencies, as opposed to developing their own skills. I capitalize "seems" because I realize it depends on the person.

I've peronally grown to appreciate what a good pusher does, and have stopped resenting it. I've come to grips with the fact that its a legit style, and if I can't beat it, its due to my own weaknesses. Still frustrating playing one, though.
 

scez

Semi-Pro
Sometimes people make soo many errors that your best strategy is to push even though you do not need it. In a tournament I recently played, this guy made so many errors that there was no point for me to hit winners. I found out where he made the most errors and hit there. I sometimes would purposly give him short attacking forhands because I knew he missed every single one of them. Instead of blasting a serve at his forhand, he made more errors when i hit it slower but towards his backhand. Playing smart tennis sometimes means you have to push :D
 

jb193

Rookie
To me, pusher tennis is smart tennis. If you want to win, you have to push to an extent. Some people just push in different ways and within those different ways, you get some results faster than others. If you think about it, almost all baseliner pros are pushers. They are just pushers that happen to hit very hard. The goal in tennis is to win with either your shots or the your opponents shots. But, these two shots do not operate within a vacuum. These shots are relative in that they interact with one another. So, if opponent #A can't necessarily win hands down with his shot, like a lot of tennis players, then opponent #A then must depend on beating opponent #B with their shots, and hence, you then have entered the world of pusherdom. Also, most pushers I know have unbelievable footwork. That is a skill/weapon and must me recognized as such and respected. So, I don't look at them as just pushers, but tennis players with skills that go beyond shot making.
 

ask1ed

Semi-Pro
There are pushers at every level of the game, even the pros. Santoro, hewitt, Gilbert are the ex. at pro level. You are allowed to win that way, but will not be popular with the guys or the girls because we all recognize it for what the style really is, calculated and reasonable cowardice. Pushers have opted out of the improvement game, and have given up and have no chance of ever reaching any higher level. At higher levels of play they ususally get blown away by more courageous players.

They are like snipers in the bell tower. Picking your men off from a hidden position, one by one. We hitters call them girl/men.

Many players used to practice with girls before they played the pusher's idol, mister winning ugly himself, and he was hated in the locker room, as all pushers will always be hated, for the same reason, that we hate the coward over the hero.
 

North

Professional
ask1ed said:
There are pushers at every level of the game, even the pros. Santoro, hewitt, Gilbert are the ex. at pro level. You are allowed to win that way, but will not be popular with the guys or the girls because we all recognize it for what the style really is, calculated and reasonable cowardice. Pushers have opted out of the improvement game, and have given up and have no chance of ever reaching any higher level. At higher levels of play they ususally get blown away by more courageous players.

They are like snipers in the bell tower. Picking your men off from a hidden position, one by one. We hitters call them girl/men.

Many players used to practice with girls before they played the pusher's idol, mister winning ugly himself, and he was hated in the locker room, as all pushers will always be hated, for the same reason, that we hate the coward over the hero.
LOL - well said!
 

peter

Professional
ask1ed said:
There are pushers at every level of the game, even the pros. Santoro, hewitt, Gilbert are the ex. at pro level. You are allowed to win that way, but will not be popular with the guys or the girls
Yeah, exactly! Just look at those ugly wives of Santoro and Hewitt... Eh, wait a minute...
 

ask1ed

Semi-Pro
peter said:
Yeah, exactly! Just look at those ugly wives of Santoro and Hewitt... Eh, wait a minute...

On the pro level, it doesn't apply, cause everyone is a trophy spouse. That doesn't mean they aren't hated in the locker room, although santoro is more a magician than a pusher, and I enjoy his tactical battles.
 

scez

Semi-Pro
It has me worrying because peopel always tell me how they hate someone for pushing, but yet they are friendly to me, and i sometimes push, not a complete push though. I hope people are not talking behind my back, but if so, w/e.
 

quest01

Hall of Fame
I'm a proud counter puncher. i rely on defense and consistency to win games. I try to wait for my opponent to make the unforce error.
 

thejerk

Semi-Pro
ask1ed said:
There are pushers at every level of the game, even the pros. Santoro, hewitt, Gilbert are the ex. at pro level. You are allowed to win that way, but will not be popular with the guys or the girls because we all recognize it for what the style really is, calculated and reasonable cowardice. Pushers have opted out of the improvement game, and have given up and have no chance of ever reaching any higher level. At higher levels of play they ususally get blown away by more courageous players.

They are like snipers in the bell tower. Picking your men off from a hidden position, one by one. We hitters call them girl/men.

Many players used to practice with girls before they played the pusher's idol, mister winning ugly himself, and he was hated in the locker room, as all pushers will always be hated, for the same reason, that we hate the coward over the hero.
Just can't beat that pusher can ya. I'll bet he doesn't even know that you are better than him.
 

goober

Legend
Pushers have never bothered me especially older pushers. As a counterpuncher it is easy to set up your shots against them. You just have to wait and be patient then come to the net/dropshot/angled winner. Pushers that you see in tourneys generally only are successful at the 3.0-3.5 level. Once you get to the 4.0 level pushers may win a match or two but they will not be going deep in the tournament in most cases.
 
It appears people have a different definition of what a "pusher" is and confusing it with "counterpuncher". Goober differentiated the two in his post. My understanding is that a pusher is someone whose strokes are generally not textbook and in some cases not pretty at all. It looks like they are "push"ing the ball more than swinging through the ball. None of the pros mentioned have much problem with the form on their groundstrokes. Hewitt, for example, is a counterpuncher and definitely not a pusher. Ugly strokes or not, pushers can be hard to beat for inconsistent ball whackers. I'm getting better as I play them more. Patience is key. This is when it's most important to set up a point. I try to pull them off the court to either side and give myself a good, well set up, and SAFE put away shot.
 

lcw

Rookie
PedrosCousin said:
It appears people have a different definition of what a "pusher" is and confusing it with "counterpuncher". Goober differentiated the two in his post. My understanding is that a pusher is someone whose strokes are generally not textbook and in some cases not pretty at all. It looks like they are "push"ing the ball more than swinging through the ball. None of the pros mentioned have much problem with the form on their groundstrokes. Hewitt, for example, is a counterpuncher and definitely not a pusher. Ugly strokes or not, pushers can be hard to beat for inconsistent ball whackers. I'm getting better as I play them more. Patience is key. This is when it's most important to set up a point. I try to pull them off the court to either side and give myself a good, well set up, and SAFE put away shot.
My definition of pusher is a counter puncher who relies on the opponent's power to generate an effective stroke. Generally no big swing and not a lot of spin on the ball. They are also players who go for consistancy and placement rather than power. Pushers can be very effective and successful when they combine their consistancy with intelligence to find a way to win the game. They play to the weakness of the opponent and that's why they are not very popular in some clubs. I will not describe pros on the tour as pushers because no matter how good pushers are they can be beat by good players. I am between 4 and 4.5 but loose often to better players who have the stroke to disturb my timing. As for the other players described on the thread, they use lobs, spin and drop shots to defeat better players who don't have the game to adjust. Those players seldum get above 3.5 level.
 
I would agree with your definition. So I think it would be safe to say that all pushers are counterpunchers, but not all counterpunchers are pushers. A successful pusher's strengths are definitely his brain, consistency and his wheels. If any of those are a weakness, they won't win many matches.

I haven't had much competetive singles exprerience until recently, so I haven't faced many pushers one on one. The few times I've played a pusher before left me confused and angry with myself that I could lose to such a player. After playing 2 pushers in my last 2 singles matches, I understand and I think I've figured them out. I won one match and the other I lost in a 3rd set tiebreak. The lesson I've learned is not to try to blow them off the court, but to hit with them and set up a put away shot all the while maintaining control of the point.
 

Geppetto

New User
Since coming back to tennis in June '04 after a long (>10 years) haitus, I find that many players in 3.5 leagues and tournaments tend to play very consistent, defensive, low-pace tennis - and do very well. Being one who loves to hit hard (often when I shouldn't), I initially found it frustrrating to play - and lose to - defense-minded players. I now look forward to such matches, as I find out quickly what I need to continue working on (dealing with high balls to the backhand side, keeping the ball in play rather than go for "winners," forcing the opponent to the net, etc.). Apart from that, I find that the "defensive" players tend to be some of the nicest people on the courts.
 

Gaines Hillix

Hall of Fame
Well, the key to winning a match is to consistently put the ball back between the lines just one more time each point than your opponent. Whether you do that by banging the ball like Andy Roddick or pushing it around, it's still a winning point :) Just my $.02 .
 

ohplease

Professional
The fact of the matter is that most tennis players simply aren't good enough to consistently make you pay for giving them a plain old boring rally shot. Short of really strong 4.5's or open players - loopy, 1/2 to 3/4 pace deep all day long, and you'll get something short enough to consistently and easily punish within 3-5 balls.

Play like a man - whatever. It's not my fault you're not as good as you think you are.
 

rocket

Hall of Fame
ask1ed said:
Pushers have opted out of the improvement game, and have given up and have no chance of ever reaching any higher level. At higher levels of play they ususally get blown away by more courageous players.
Exactly! Pushers love a steady pace, whether their opponents bang hard or resign to push the ball back, playing right into their hands. One way to bring them out of their comfort zone is to feed them a mixture of angles, depths, heights, pace & spins. Move them around the court, make them stretch wider & wider each time. :cool:
 

cruise30166

New User
I started playing tennis at age 15 and quickly learned to be a good pusher. By the time I was 18, I became a very good counter puncher and the #1 tennis player on my high school team in Ohio. I then began playing USTA tournaments in the summers and found that I had to pick up my game even more and concentrated on becoming an all-court player. I purposely sought out matches against pushers to improve my game and worked on approach shots and attacking at the net. At first the pushers won. I continued on anyway. Slowly, over time, I learned to beat the pushers and I became a true all-court player. Now, however, I'm 47 and I guess I've returned to being a very good counter puncher again. As time goes by I'll probably end up being a pusher again. The cycle of life.
 
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