How to Beat a Pusher in Tennis? Outsmarting The Pusher

In tennis a pusher is someone who plays a defensive role, they play to just hit the tennis ball rather than score a winner. A tennis pusher is a smart player, some people might not agree but a pusher’s strategy is to win a point on your mistakes. Their motive is to “help you lose”.

Playing with a pusher can be frustrating sometimes, therefore it is essential to understand the role of pushers in tennis. Once you are aware of the tactics that they use then you can effectively create your strategies to counter them.

pusher in tennis
In this picture: A man is holding a tennis racquet and playing tennis

Characteristics Of A Pusher In Tennis

A tennis pusher is an extremely quick and consistent player, they rarely make mistakes they rely on your mistakes to win a point. The pusher keeps hitting the opponent’s shot until they get tired and frustrated enough to play offensive. The offensive play results in favor of the pusher.

Pushers have extreme patience to keep the tennis match going on without scoring any points. Their shots contain a lack of power and not any spin, but they overcome that with their consistency, accuracy, and ability to make their opponents uncomfortable.

Here are some of the characteristics of a pusher in tennis. It might help you to analyze your opponents to verify if they are a pusher or not.

  • Lack of power in their shots.
  • Always on the defense, They love to play defense.
  • Have a good sense of court positioning.
  • They are very consistent and patient to keep the tennis match going on.

5 Ways To Deal With A Pusher On Court

Ways To Deal With A Pusher in tennis
In this picture: A woman is playing tennis on the court

I know how frustrating it is to play tennis when your opponent is a pusher. I have played with multiple pushers and guess what rather than me getting frustrated I made them angry enough to make the mistakes that they were expecting me to make. Just a few psychological tricks can make a pusher lose their temper and a few court strategies as well.

No 1: Reverse Psychology

Surprise them!!! Usually, a pusher’s motive is to frustrate you, so what if you turn the tables and use the same techniques on them? Theoretically speaking when both players are using the same technique there is most probably a chance of a tie.

But here’s the thing your opponent aka the pusher wasn’t ready for this, so you take them by surprise and gain a competitive advantage. This way you can make them look like a clown on the court.

No 2: Bring Pusher To The Net

The one thing pushers hate the most is the net, they usually don’t have great net skills. The best part is that pushers are used to moving left and right and are not comfortable with moving forwards and backward. So, after bringing them closer to the net you can target your next shot at the back of the court causing them to drop the shot and giving you another point.

No 3: Target The Pushers Weak Points

This strategy is best to counter any pusher in tennis. What you have to do is try and hit the ball on different areas of the tennis court to move the pusher around the court and create an open for yourself to land a shot.

This needs to be done strategically, while playing against a pusher notice their weak points. For example, some pushers have weak backhands so you should target your shot accordingly.

No 4: Constantly Shift Your Playing Style

A pusher who only rely on one technique will face a hard time when you constantly throw different type of shots at them. For example, start with playing a few backhand shots to make your opponent feel more comfortable and then suddenly attack them on their forehead. This way you will take them out of the blue and they will surely drop the ball resulting in giving you a point.

No 5: Serve And Volley

Serve and Volley is the best way to beat a pusher in tennis because pushers mostly do not come near the net therefore leaving you a chance to close the point. To make a serve and volley shot, you have to serve the shot and then move forward to the net to finish the point quickly.

This will put pressure on the pusher to make quick decisions and there is a high probability that a pusher will always mess up this shot.

Difference Between Counter Puncher And Pusher

A pusher is someone whose primary focus is making a higher number of balls in play rather than scoring a winner. On a professional level, there are no such pushers. A pusher is a tennis player with mediocre skills who only rely on their opponent’s mistakes.

While a counterpuncher is a smart player who studies their opponent, in this case, it’s the pusher. After tracking every one of their moves they redirect it back and sometimes with new techniques.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to beat a pusher in tennis?

Pushers usually use one technique on a tennis court, therefore, serving wide and volley shots is best to counter a pusher.

What is a pusher in tennis?

Pusher plays a defensive role on the court, they play to just hit the ball rather than score a winner. A pusher mainly relies on the mistakes of their opponent to gain a point.

What is the hardest skill in tennis?

Tweener is one of the hardest skills in tennis. In this, a tennis player aims to counter the ball by hitting it between his or her legs.

How to play a pusher in tennis?

By constantly shifting your playing style. A pusher who only rely on one technique will face a hard time when you constantly throw different type of shots at them.

What is a moon baller in tennis?

A moon baller is a type of shot in which a player shoots the tennis ball high up into the sky that lands close to the baseline. This shot requires a high trajectory, slow pace, and deep landing. Usually, tennis players use this shot as a defensive strategy.


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