tennis pusherSeeing that most of the kids that my daughters played against were very steady from the baseline (real human walls), we decided we had to come up with a good tactic against them. And indeed we DID!

These combinations of shots won at least two matches (easily) during my daughters’ latest tournament:

Two days before we took off for the tournament I set up the ball machine and had my daughters practice their drop-shots.
Once they got a good feel for the short balls, we proceeded to discussing what they’d do from there on…

Considering that “pushers” are very comfortable playing at the baseline, once at the net, they might try to either back away from it (towards the baseline) or stay up where their volleys would not be solid enough.
Right after the drop shot, my daughters had to be inside the baseline and get ready for an eventual short ball return or a deep one.

Tactic 1:
If their opponents would back up and away from the net following the drop-shot return, my daughters were going to take the next ball early and hit it to their feet or easily pass them considering their fragile balance while backing up.

Tactic 2:
If the opponents were going to stay up at the net, I instructed my daughters to hit the first ball in the direction of their opponents and try to pass them on the second attempt.
By hitting to them first, the opposing player might be taken by surprise expecting a pass. On the second attempt, while opponents trying to defend themselves a passing shot would be easier to execute.

The first tactic was the more efficient since most of the pushers did not feel comfortable staying at the net and tried to move back to baseline.

At least two matches were won by my daughters (each) applying these tactics!
Try them and let me know if they worked for you too.

For more tactics and strategies that work, click here!

Cosmin Miholca