Articles, Blog

How To BEAT The Dreaded PUSHER

December 3, 2019

– Hey guys, Nate and Scott
from, and today we are going to show you how to beat the dreaded pusher. Like my good buddy, Scott, here. – So, today we’re talking about everybody’s favorite
subject, the dreaded pusher. And really, no matter
what skill level you are, you’re going to run
into this type of player at some point. So, let’s talk about it. First, I want to define a pusher. We’re all so scared of this players, but when you actually look
at what they’re doing, they’re not so scary. A pusher is somebody who does no damage, they’re not hitting a lot of winners, they’re just putting the
ball back in the court, and they’re letting you beat yourself. So, don’t be scared, this is a good thing. These players are just
gonna get the ball back in the court and they’re
gonna give you plenty of opportunities to set the point up and beat them if you’re just patient. So, that’s what I want you to focus on. When you’re playing a pusher, be patient. Wait for the right balls to attack. So, you might be asking well what are the right balls to attack? And there’s some obvious examples, a ball that’s hit short in the court and brings you in, of course,
you’re going to attack. But some other opportunities
to look out for when you’re playing a
pusher, and you’re trying to set the point up, is to attack when balls are in the middle of the court, or when you’re balanced. You see a lot of players,
they get frustrated, the pusher’s moving the ball around, and they’re out of position,
they’re just over it, and they just go for way too much when they’re out of
position or off balance. And this is really the
time you’re most likely to make a mistake. So, what I want you to think about wait for the right opportunities, a ball that’s short, or a ball that’s in the middle third of the court where you can get your balance, transfer your weight, maybe
even step into the ball to add some more power,
and do some damage. – All right, so you might be wondering, what if I’m just not
getting the short ball? What if the ball isn’t mid-court
and I can’t move forward to attack the pusher? One of the issues that we
run into is that oftentimes, when we’re playing a
pusher, we play the point laterally behind the baseline. Moving to my right for the forehand, and moving to my left for the backhand. Part of the problem with this is that the pusher is relying
upon you making mistakes. And often, they’re gonna
prey on your weaker side. For most of us that
happens to be our backhand. A simple strategy that’ll help diffuse this situation is to use our inside out, inside in forehand. And what we are gonna do is we’re gonna split the court 60/40. So, where this used to be my backhand, I’m now gonna make these forehands. So, what is the advantage
of the inside out, inside in forehand? The first is the angle in
which you can direct the ball. We can find a shorter angle
out to their backhand, moving them forward,
often times the pusher does not anticipate, nor like, being pulled forward. We can also spread the
angle to the inside in. To clarify, the inside out is when I’m working on the inside of the ball working away from my body
hitting to Arrati’s backhand. The inside in working to the left, and I’m striking the ball on the outside, working down the line. All right, this will also allow us to get a little bit more forward into the court, where
I can also anticipate another short ball. This takes us to our
second opportunity here. We’re looking for a swing volley, or a transition volley. All right, so, you might be
thinking what in the world is a swing volley? A swing volley is your normal forehand, whether it be your semi-western or your eastern forehand. But as this ball is lofted
up, I’m going to take this ball with my forehand,
and I’m gonna swing under the ball, and I’m gonna work my way
forward up to the net. If the ball doesn’t have much loft, I’m gonna work to a transition volley where I will then play
deep into the court, and anticipate the lob for an overhead or I’ll close the net
for a put-away volley. One of the key ingredients of a pusher, one of their biggest
weapons is something called the reset button. And this reset button is
exactly what it sounds like. When you get them in trouble, they throw up a high ball where you typically will back up on and the point resets. Here with this transition volley, or this swing volley,
we don’t give up ground, and we proceed forward. The next strategy we’re gonna implement, if all else fails, taking
the ball on the inside out, taking the ball on the error. If these strategies still are not working, we have one other thing that we can do. And this is to bring
the pusher into the net. The vast majority of the time pushers are not gonna to be
comfortable with the net. So, the main thing that
we need to do is by using under spin and pulling them forward is not try to hit
winners on the drop shot. Also, with a lot of my students,
the mistake is they try to make the drop shot too good, and they proceed to make additional errors playing into the hands of the pusher. So with this drop shot my only
goal is to get the pusher in, and from there I will
look for the passing shot, or I will look for the lob. – So, in summary,
there’s four major things you wanna think about when
you’re playing a pusher. Number one is definitely patience, remember these guys and
gals don’t do damage, they’re gonna give you
a lot of opportunity, so just be patient, and
wait for the right ball. – Number two is attack from the middle. Look for your inside
out, inside in forehand. – Number three, once
you’ve done some damage with this inside out, inside in forehand, is get to the net. Pushers, again, just like to get the ball back in play. When you get yourself up to the net, and put the pressure on them to pass you, they’re very uncomfortable. – And number four if all else fails, bring the pusher in using drop shots, not winners, but drop
shots to pull them in to look for the passing shot or the lob. – If you can remember these four things, I think you’ll find pushers
aren’t quite so scary, and you’re gonna have a lot more success in your matches against them. – Even at 215 pounds,
pushers aren’t scary. We’ll see you guys soon. – So, I hope you enjoy this video, I really want you to
improve your tennis game, the problem is I don’t really
know anything about you, or your skill level, so
what I want you to do click the button below, answer
a couple of quick questions for me about your game. I’m then gonna send you
custom-tailored content with things that you specifically
need to be working on to improve your game. Just click the button below,
answer a couple of questions, and I’ll do the rest.


  • Reply RSH137 December 18, 2018 at 7:34 pm

    I tried to click your "button". It did not work . Using Chrome browser.

  • Reply Donald Killen December 19, 2018 at 12:30 am

    Damned the Pusher Man!!!

  • Reply Dan Le December 28, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Definitely one of a best lesson on how to beat the pusher & an extra great advice on how to hit Inside-out and Inside-in FH. Thanks again for a great lesson.

  • Reply January 7, 2019 at 6:18 pm

    Don't forget to check out the PlayYourCourt community to receive custom video coaching, find practice partners and improve your tennis game. Here's the link:

  • Reply Thom T February 22, 2019 at 1:08 am

    Humbly adding two more strategies: 1) make sure you don't start "pushing" back with your swimg, where you telegraph the direction of your shot. Instead take their soft shot and hold it to last microsecond before ripping one so they can't see it coming; 2) Another if all else fails is to hit deep topspin sem-lobs; lots of pushers like to use your flat ball pace but with heavy spin they can't do so easily

  • Reply S Mona February 22, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    good advice, but, if you want to compete with these other online tennis coaches you need to demonstrate

  • Reply feistybastard March 1, 2019 at 10:04 pm

    Good tactical strategy, but you've gotta use VIDEO. Put the words into action. No one wants to watch a guy hold a racket and just talk. Otherwise, great tips.

  • Reply Joseph Henry March 7, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    Would have given this a 10 / 10 if there were a couple of on court demos

  • Reply David Morrison March 11, 2019 at 6:32 pm

    Good tips, but American tennis trainers are like American text books I.e. lots of words that are unnecessary. Be pithier!

  • Reply S Mona April 6, 2019 at 8:09 pm

    Stop spinning your racket and show us!!!

  • Reply Gary Morris April 7, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    you needed to demonstrate

  • Reply tribute act April 12, 2019 at 2:53 pm

    as an older player ,its so difficult to beat the pusher especially if their younger,you just get to the point where you just want to hit a winner and end up in the net or play a long ball.
    jesus ,i hate the pusher.

  • Reply InfiniteQuest86 May 14, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    I love the drop shot advice! I always try to win with it, but it makes a lot more sense to play it safer and bring them into a spot where they are uncomfortable. I don't know why I didn't think of it that way before. Thanks!

  • Reply toptenguy1 June 24, 2019 at 1:05 am

    I stand corrected from my previous comment in the "Junk ballers" video. 70% of my local league are PUSHERS! LOL

  • Reply Ryan Stefani October 30, 2019 at 4:37 pm

    Pushers are fine. Junk Ballers are the worst.

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