5 Ways to Beat a Pusher

3. Be Patient: You have to remember that even though they hit almost every ball back, their shots will usually not hurt you. Be patient and wait for the right ball to step in and hit a winner or an approach shot.

If you get inpatient and try to hit the winner or approach shot to early you will end up hurting yourself, which is just what the "pusher" wants.

More: The Secret to Returning Lobs

What is nice about playing a "pusher" is that they usually don't capitalize on your mistakes like the short ball. If you miss-hit a ball and it lands short the typical player would take full advantage and make you pay for the mistake.

The "pusher" will probably push the ball right back to you. Knowing that, do not feel that every ball you hit has to be perfect. You will usually have time to recover from your mistakes.

4. Shot Selection: If you chose your shot selection correctly and execute properly, taking advantage of the previous strategies will be much easier. The first piece of this puzzle is finding out what your opponent is uncomfortable playing.

Your opponent may be uncomfortable playing at the net (typical of "pushers") or hate playing deep topspin shots to their backhand. In either case, you need to take advantage.

More: 4 Ways to Beat the Baseline Game

Hitting short angles or drop shots will force them to run up to hit the ball and make it hard to lob the ball, in fact it will force them to have to be creative which might not be in their arsenal. If they don't like playing the net they are either stuck at the net forced to play out the point or run back to the baseline which will really get them in trouble.

High topspin shots that bounce over their shoulder will also help to force a short ball out of your opponent and allow you to attack the net, cutting down your opponent's reaction time. This is another strategy that will take patience.

More4 Tips for Playing Against Heavy Topspin


Don't get frustrated when they don't hit back the first ball short enough that you can attack. This could take several shots to draw the short ball.

Take the ball on the rise: This last strategy is for more advanced players. Taking the ball on the rise (on serves and ground strokes) takes a lot of practice and coordination. However, this strategy again takes time away from your opponent which can force errors or cause them to rush their shots and hit short.

5. Stay patient, focused and do not get angry. The "pusher" looks very beatable from far away, but once you get into the match they can cause many people problems. 

Keep the points smart because they will most likely not be short points.

Remember, they do not smash the ball if you do not hit the perfect shot, if you hit a short ball they will most likely not make you pay for the mistake and you can rework your way back into the point.

If you can execute the correct shots at the right times you will give your opponent something to get mad about instead.

More: 3 Ways to Reverse Your Opponent's Momentum

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About the Author

Scott Baker

Scott Baker is a singles and doubles expert based in central Ohio. To learn more from Scott, visit Tennis4You.com.
Scott Baker is a singles and doubles expert based in central Ohio. To learn more from Scott, visit Tennis4You.com.

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