The Perfect Way To Punish A Pusher!

by Head Coach

Tennis Tip of The Week: (part 2) 3-9-09 :: The Perfect Way To Punish A Pusher!

I don’t know about you, but my mind is still on those pushers. I just couldn’t stop thinking about them for the past 2 days. Is it an obsession? I sure hope not icon wink The Perfect Way To Punish A Pusher! .

Anyway, I was so consumed with that style of play that I went back and reviewed our last tip of the week, and I noticed that I left something out, and I’m really sorry.

I didn’t even tell you how to really “take it to them.” It was more of how to “hang in there.” So, let me ask you a question.

Why are the pushers so successful?

It’s easy. They’re on the attack! No, they’re not attacking you with powerful strokes, but they’re penetrating into your game plan, the spot where you’re the most comfortable and the thing that really drives your game.

They know you love balls that have nice pace so you can find your rhythm, but they’re not giving you any of them. So, what do you do? Attack them back! Hey, it’s the golden rule. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It’s only fair.

What’s the best way to do that?

Yank them out of their comfort zone by coming to the net the first chance you get. You have to be decisive with it though. So, when you get a short ball (…which pushers seem to hit a lot of), BOOM, you’re coming in!

When you come to the net, it puts added pressure on that pusher of yours and forces him to think. They’re going to be saying to themselves, “Where should I go, cross-court pass, down the line, or should I hit it right into their body?”

So, all of a sudden, you’ve forced them into having to make very quick strategic decisions. And that’s definitely not their strong point.

I mean, just the thought of seeing you in an unfamiliar spot on the court can be extremely frustrating for them. It’s sooooo much easier for them to hang out behind the baseline in a huge open space.

So as a result, they’ll be the one coughing up unforced error after unforced error, while you’re the one laughing on the inside about how so much easier winning the match has become.

Try this out on the next pusher you face, and let me know how it works for you. The results should be amazing, and the stress you used to experience should have decreased by at least 75%.

Have a good day, and an even better game!

All the best,

Brian Hall, Head Coach
Tennis Mind Camp

P.S. If you have any suggestions for future tips of the week or have concepts that you would like covered, simply reply to this post.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jose M Bonilla

Brian, I just played a pusher and I instinctly went up to the net and did work for a few. I ended up running back to tend lob shots. I am sorry to say I did loose that set. I guess it frustrated the heck out of me. Any additional advice or depth in the subject is greatly appreciated! Realy want to beet the heck out of the next pusher comes along. Thank you!


Cool blog. Thanks for your posts and insights. I am a pusher and do not appreciate you telling opponents ways to address me. :-) However, I am also a LOBBER and as soon as you come in, you will be getting a heavy dose of high balls to the backhand side. Pick your poison. You will not get to play your game against me. You are going to have to figure another way to win.

Head Coach

You’re very welcome Jose! Sorry for taking so long to respond. I just saw the comment believe it or not. :) Sorry to hear about the loss. I’ll be giving more info on pushers really soon. I can’t stand em either haha!


When I come to the net against a pusher they begin to hit really hard or they just hit a lob (which is all they do). Is there any other way to beat them?

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