September 14, 2020 - A Trick to Beat a Tricky Pusher

Some players have very accurate pushes, and will push very wide to your backhand over and over - unless they see you stepping around, or even hedging that way. That's when they push to your wide forehand and catch you off guard. Let's say your forehand loop is stronger than your backhand loop, but your pushing opponent isn't giving you the chance to use it. Here's a simple trick: Serve backspin or push to the pusher's backhand. Then take a step to your left with your left leg (for right-handers). As the pusher is about to push, step back into position. You'll be amazed at how many pushes you'll get right into your forehand, where you are now ready and waiting! The pusher saw your fake "step around," and changed directions – but you were one step ahead of him! (I call this the "Hokey Pokey" tactic: "You put your left foot out, you put your left foot in, you put your right foot out and you loop a forehand in, you do the Hokey-Pokey as you celebrate your win, that's what it's all about!" Lefties reverse, and if you haven't heard of the Hokey-Pokey, Youtube is your friend. I first devised this tactic many decades ago as an up-and-coming player when trying to figure out how to beat USATT Hall of Famer and master pusher Jim McQueen.)