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How to beat a pusher?

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How to beat a pusher?

Postby admin » Sat Feb 11, 2012 7:58 am

Do you have any tips for playing those players that are very consistent and somehow get every ball back. I often hear people in the B division wanting to move up to the A's to avoid the pushers and play against the hard hitters. The truth is at any level there are players with defensive games and attacking games. The trick is figuring out how to play them effectively . What do you do?
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Re: How to beat a pusher?

Postby wuyang65 » Sat Feb 11, 2012 10:43 pm

I lose, :)

But seriously, if someone gets everything back, it means he is better than me and I am supposed to lose. At B level most of us have some weaknesses. To win a pusher you have to either overpower him or be able to control the direction of every shot without making more errors than him. Neither is easy for a level B player...

I still enjoy playing a level B pusher more than a level A hard hitter. At least I get to hit more winners instead of winning points by the opponent's unforced errors, which feels totally out of control.

admin wrote:Do you have any tips for playing those players that are very consistent and somehow get every ball back. I often hear people in the B division wanting to move up to the A's to avoid the pushers and play against the hard hitters. The truth is at any level there are players with defensive games and attacking games. The trick is figuring out how to play them effectively . What do you do?
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Re: How to beat a pusher?

Postby junbug » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:52 am

against a pusher, patience is the key. play the angles by setting your opponent up before hitting to the open area away from your opponent. never give your opponent the same ball twice. return everything on the rise as much as possible or when the opportunity allows, hit all the floaters and short balls then attack the net. if you disagree with this, let me know. what i'm giving you players out there are some options. does it mean this works every time, to some degree yes. but it depends oh whether the opportunity will allow you to to male it happen, as the game goes along you will need to develop a game plan on the fly. that's my suggestion/recommendation
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Re: How to beat a pusher?

Postby pdx011 » Tue Feb 28, 2012 3:32 pm

Agreed with the previous, to beat a pusher you have to be patient but keep it reasonably aggressive. Keep the opponent out of balance and wait for a good opportunity to attack... But i still prefer to be aggressive and have fun playing than to be safely hitting balls and wait for another guy to make a mistake :)
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Re: How to beat a pusher?

Postby admin » Sun Mar 11, 2012 12:30 pm

You can also look at their strength as a weakness. They take few risks which allows you to get away with hitting softer balls back when you are put on the defense. You need to approach the match with right mindset that it's going to be a longer match and expect to hit a lot of balls.

I like to try and move the pusher all around the court with shots that are well within the court but with good angles.

Then wait for the perfect shot to tee off on or hit a well angled short approach that allows for an easy volley. You can be patient because you know they won't go for a winner first. Expect to miss a few of these shots which is frustrating. The idea is to win most of them and wear down your opponent.
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Re: How to beat a pusher?

Postby wemillar » Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:04 am

I agree with all the posts...and here is a great answer off Yahoo that explains the 4 ways to beat a pusher with deep approach to the weak side and coming to the net as the most effective and I agree....When I play a 5.0 I play like almost 5.0 when I play a 3.5 pusher I become a 3.5 pusher...I am trying to not match my opponent but think of my own style now...

"The absolute best way to beat a pusher is to come into the net often. A pusher keeps the ball in play, and therefore doesn't go for tougher shots usually, and consequently doesn't practice the riskier shots needed to hit a passing shot when you come to the net. Your first move would be to hit a deep ball to their weaker side, then approach the net, and this puts the pusher in a position which they are uncomfortable being in. By coming in, you limit their options to; hitting a lob... hitting a passing shot... or hitting it right at you. If they lob, you have an overhead, end of point, end of story. If they try a passing shot, it will either be slower since they are a pusher, or they will miss far more than they will make, and frustrate themselves. If they hit the ball right at you, you should be prepared to hit a solid volley and continue the point until completion. By coming to the net, you are forcing the pusher to end the point, and they HATE this!

The second best, and slightly related way of beating a human backboard is to bring them to the net. Against a player who likes to stay back and hit consistent groundstrokes, put them in a situation that they are uncomfortable with, such as being at the net. Once you have hit a short enough ball, go for the passing shot yourself, or lob them. Chances are, that they are not proficient enough at volleying to end the point, and you will be in a very good position to win that point.

Another way to beat a pusher is to be extremely aggressive. If you end the points before they have a chance to set them up, then you will win more points than you will lose due to less unforced errors. However, your own game must be good enough for you to do this, or I would stick with using an approach shot and coming to the net. You need to keep a generalized feeling of how many winners to unforced errors you are hitting, and if the errors start to outnumber the winners, then you should switch strategies.

The last way to beat a pusher is by trying to tire them out. Most pushers are in good physical condition because they are used to keeping the ball in play far longer than the rest of us, thus the points and matches are longer, and their stamina increases. But even the most seasoned pusher will get frustrated themselves, if you keep the ball in play and run them side to side, and give them a little taste of their own medicine.

The last thing I would like to mention is that you don't want to try and straight up out-push a pusher. This is the game that they have learned and stuck with for however many of years they have played, and most likely will be better at the consistency than you, so try to shy away from this.

We all have our certain "kryptonite-like" styles of opponents that are very difficult for us to beat. But now you can cross one of those off the list... pushers beware."
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