Everybody hates playing pushers, but have you ever really sat down and thought about why? What do they understand and implement so well that makes people fear and loathe them SO much?
In this episode of the Podcast I’ll tell you what that is and also explain how you can copy them to win more matches.
STOP blaming and disrespecting “pushers” for your losses and start learning from them instead!
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Nicely done podcast. Covered all the stuff I've struggled with and, hopefully, have worked to overcome, especially the confidence thing and not being afraid to take one step back to make two steps forward.
For example, the high swinging volley for the high sitter has been one of my bugaboos when playing with the duffer senior crowd. Too low for an overhead, and, without a swinging volley, returns tend to be neutral in nature. So over the past couple months, at my weekly hour at the ball machine, I'd set up a load of balls to hit high sitters to work on a high swinging volley. I'm perhaps 300 balls into it over several sessions — still kind of shaky but getting more in than out. Last night, in a doubles practice match, I got a chance to use it during a game, and to everyone's surprise, it actually was a total kill shot, just like the big boys (and girls) hit. Short hand translation — a confidence builder… Didn't come without a lot of work and screwing up…
Good topic. Pushers seem to prefer long rallys. They keep returning until you miss your shot. In a rally, out of 10 shots, I would hit 1 out or into the net. A pusher would normally hit 1 out (or into the net) in 20 shots. So you have to match him with rally endurance. He is quite comfortable hitting a 10 shot rally. (just like I am comfortable hitting a 5-10 shot rally). You have to go to where he is out of his comfort zone. I find that playing long rallys against pushers gives me the opportunities to move him around, study his forehand, his backhand, his shot deep, his shots off a fast ,medium, or slow ball. My pet hate is when they lob to within 2 inches of the baseline and you automatically wait for the bounce and end up with a high bounce to contend with. I now hit these on the full as a kind of drive-volley. You just have to be patient and wait for the short one. They generally have no pepper on their shots and rely on the pace you created on the ball.
p.sTrying to hit winners from the baseline -or beyond- against these guys is not a good idea.
i think the reason players struggling against pusher is because they can't hit through pushers from the baseline but they're uncomfortable at the net that allow the pushers keep floating the ball back. and stay in the rally. Like Ian said, you don't want to press too much against pushers, you'll need to be more of a complete player to beat them.
Playing pushers actually is a good opportunity to work on your game, I prefer to play pushers when I tinker with my technique or make changes to my game. After all, if they give you weak shots and they still win, it's not their fault that your game needs improvement
Yes, Ian, I feel like I owe you a lot after having learned quite a lot from your amazing, FREE podcasts and videos. I would be more than happy to make a cash donation, whether you re-institute the donation link or not. Thank you so much for your generosity!
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Yeah, you might want to restore the Donation facility, and state what it is intended for like you told us in this podcast. I believe that the Donation options is for those that listen to the podcast, appreciate the time that you spend on it, and don't take your paid courses.
Great podcast Ian. I will strive to play smart tennis and respecting pushers from now on. And for those other than Ian that read this, I've paid for Ian's courses and they are good.
Excellent podcast, Ian! Learning from pushers is very good–part of learning from every one of our matches or our competitors. I myself have been practicing "controlled aggression" in my matches this last year and attest to the value of doing what you need to do, and keeping weaponry "in reserve" for times I do want to use it. I don't have to use it all of the time, and it gains in value when I do use it. It seems like a sort of military battlefield strategy, and it works very well assuming that my initial intelligence, what I need to do, is good.
I don't disrespect pushers, but i hate playing them. i am thinking that I should go find some and play them in succession and beat them all. if I do that, not just playing them but beating them will become routine, and then I won't hate playing them as much. I might be able to think of them not as a focus demanding endurance match which does not exercise my game, but as a warmup, an easy one that I will win, that enhances my game… I do respect all of my practice partners; why shouldn't I respect a pusher too, for doing so well what they can do?
Your attitude is 100% spot on, Stuart! That's something I should have added into the episode: if you hate playing pushers then call up as many as possible to set up practice matches. Lots and lots of players avoid them like the plague….but guess what? They never learn how to actually beat that style of play and the problem perpetuates.
Thanks so much for listening and for your feedback!