Thursday, July 25, 2013

Our Truth

We all have an inner guidance system wired to tells us when we’re doing the right things that keep peace in our inner selves, but following that inner voice and taking the actions to live fully and authentically takes making conscientious choices that need to be executed and continually exercised.
In my earlier years of coaching tennis and as a tennis player myself, I knew there would be a connection between how we live off the court and how we play on the court. I knew that if I could get my players to understand this that I could build a successful program.  I spent much of my time thinking there was a right way to live. What was that truth?  For me,  my truth was demonstrated every day that I found myself in front of my tennis students. Rewarded with happiness each and every day that I left the tennis courts.  After a year or so, I realized the rewarded feeling lasted just a few minutes into my drive home from practices or matches.  I realized that there was something more that I needed to do and that was to take charge of my inner self, my own personal  “home team” and be rewarded all day, every day by taking charge of my life. It was a perfect time to do this.  At the time I was a bachelor and my home team was me ! This meant organizing, minimalizing, simplifying and creating better spaces both internally and externally in my life.    
Listening to myself about who I am as a person and realizing my potential were key. Embracing and celebrating the things that I found joy in doing energized me and my teams. I understood through my experiences and passion that I am naturally born to lead and coach!  
I listened to my truth, for that was all that mattered.  A mentor and friend to me, Dale Light, reinforced and affirmed this for me not too long ago.  It’s more about the truth within that is important than strictly believing ones own thoughts, based on our visual perception, run-away processes and other toxins that live around us. It's about our environment and where we are going, rather than where we have been.   It was a learning process that enabled me to change, well, mostly everything, but it brought me peace, clarity and joy in what I do.
My pursuit to share this with others has now entered a new phase. A new journey, an exciting adventure. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Boulders Resort

I am VERY proud to be joining this world class resort in the coming weeks.  Stand by for more updates from The Boulders Tennis Courts !

The Boulders Resort - Carefree, Arizona

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Meadowdale Boys Tennis Wraps Up 2011 Season 13-3 Over-All

5-2 win puts Thunderbirds just two wins shy of undefeated season

LYNNWOOD — Last year the Meadowdale boys tennis team tore through Wesco 3A en route to an undefeated season.

This year the Mavs were the last real test for a Shorewood team trying to duplicate their feat.

Thursday, in what was an evenly battled match, Shorewood got doubles victories in the final two matches to triumph 5-2, leaving it two wins shy of an undefeated season.

“We tried to come out like it was a normal match and play steady,” said Shorewood head coach Arnie Moreno. “I think our guys handled the pressure well.”

Against Meadowdale, Shorewood nearly met its match. Having played against each other for years at area clubs like Harbor Square Athletic Club and Klahaya Athletic Club, players from both teams know each other well, which adds to the rivalry and gave the match added tension.

“There has always been a friendly rivalry that we really appreciate as a team,” said Meadowdale head coach Mark Schneider. Shorewood's Hunter Nelson needed a tiebreaker in the first set to take a one-set lead on Meadowdale's Brian Nguyen at No. 1 singles. In the second set, Nguyen suffered some tightness in his quadricep and eventually fell 6-4. Shorewood's Miles Jamieson and Trevor Cronin won at No. 3 and 4 singles, respectively, to give the Thunderbirds a 3-1 lead.

But with No. 2 singles player Nick Ekern leading Justin Oh and the No. 2 and 3 doubles teams just warming up, a Mavericks' win was still a real possibility.

Ekern, who dropped a hard-fought second set to Oh, battled back in the third set to win 6-2 and leave it up to his teammates to bring home a win. Unfortunately for the Mavs, Shorewood's doubles teams of Isaac Brengelmann and Cameron McDowell and Evan Strandberg and Logan Keebler were up to the task.

Brengelmann and McDowell contained a late charge by Meadowdale's Jason Young and Bennett Holton to win 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) and Strandberg and Keebler cruised in the final set to take the No. 3 doubles match 7-5, 6-2.

“We had much more competitive matches in both No. 1 and 2 singles today — as well as the No. 1 doubles match,” said Schneider. “Our level of play is closely matched — but, in the end Shorewood's doubles got the job done.”

Schneider was especially impressed with Ekern's 6-2, 6-7 (6-8), 6-2 win over Oh. Ekern, who lost to Oh in the players' first meeting on Sept. 22, overcame a tough second set and some bad cramping to put away the feisty singles player from Shorewood.

“It was a great match for Nick,” said Schneider. “He cramped up early in the third set, but after a banana and some Gatorade, he was good to go. He accomplished what I emphasize each and every match: Finish strong and leave everything on the court. He's a happy guy tonight.”

Shorewood will be heavy favorites going into it final matches against Everett today and Lynnwood Saturday. But Moreno is continuing to preach to his team to avoid getting overconfident.

“We have to stay focused,” Moreno said. “We have to go into these matches not doing anything different; just do what we do.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Serena Williams the Professional. Not really...........

What about Discipline, Spirit, Mental Toughness, Accountability, Integrity,  Selflessness,  Pride and Humility.   I think Serena needs to visit a Coach Bruce Brown Clinic - and realize that there are thousands of young tennis players watching her.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Cop ? An Accountant ? Nope....I'm a Tennis Teaching Pro

I'm 100% on board with this article - and if you're not on court with me find a pro like me.... you won't be sorry. 

Problem-Solving Skills to Look For in a Tennis Teaching Pro  

It's great to know where you want to go, but you also need to know how to get there, and in tennis instruction, the best route isn't always the one that looks quickest or most direct. If you're learning a stroke for the first time, you'll probably learn it best from a teaching pro who knows how to use a progression to teach it. A progression breaks a complicated task, such as the serve, down into easily mastered steps that each lock into the student's mind a key element of the stroke, such as point of contact. A progression intentionally takes longer to get to the full stroke, but once the student arrives, the stroke is sound. For beginners, mastery usually occurs faster, because the time it takes without a progression to retry the full stroke over and over before it starts working correctly usually exceeds by far the time the progression would have taken.

What to Do vs. What to Make Happen:

Once a student has fundamental elements such as the grip properly set, either of two main types of stroke correction might be more effective. Let's say your forehands are flying too high and thus long. The what to do approach would give you direct instructions on how to change your stroke, such as to tilt your racquet face down more on the backswing. The what to make happen approach would tell you to try to hit the next three balls into the net while still swinging low to high, letting your instincts and intuition lead you to make the adjustment needed to make the ball go lower. (Students usually hit lower without actually hitting the net.) Most teaching pros start with what to do, because it's quicker and more direct, and it increases the student's understanding of the biomechanics and physics of the stroke. The what to make happen approach is often easier for the student, though, because it doesn't require as much conscious thinking. Some students do much better with one approach than the other. Look for a pro who uses both approaches.


Teaching and correcting strokes and tactics often requires some creativity, such as devising images and analogies that will be memorable for a student at a given level of experience and intellect. Look for a pro who puts ideas in a form you find easy to remember.

A pro's creativity is most valuable when inventing or modifying drills and games. Many of the best-known tennis drills and games have major flaws. Try to find a pro who has invented or greatly modified a large set of games and drills and who seeks your input in continuing that process. You'll enjoy applying your own creativity and having significant input into your drills and games, and you may see your ideas take hold as popular improvements used throughout the program.

Fostering Self-Reliance:

Much as some players (including many tour pros) seem to wish they could, you can't bring your coach out onto the court to play the game for you. In tennis, you have to rely on yourself, or in doubles, on yourself and your partner. Although it may be in a tennis pro's self-interest to make you feel entirely dependent, you will do much better by knowing how to analyze, correct, and improve your own game. This won't make your teaching pro obsolete--even the world's all-time greatest champions have had plenty yet to improve--but it will help you think your way through matches, practice more effectively, and perhaps most important, feel confident that every problem has a solution.
By Jeff Cooper-About

Friday, May 6, 2011

Tennis is relative for undefeated Meadowdale sisters


Above, Kari (at the net) and Erica Beaulieu during a match. Below, Erica chases down a ball. (Photos by Char Blankenship)
By Allison Pascoe
Sisters Kari and Erica Beaulieu are tearing up the court at Meadowdale High School. The Beaulieus, who play doubles on the varsity tennis team, are undefeated this season.
 Kari, a senior, and Erica Beaulieu, a sophomore, have played tennis for the Mavericks for  two years, and during that time have only played doubles together. “I really like playing with my sister,” Erica says.
The sisters agree that knowing each other and their capabilities so well is a major advantage in a match. “We have better communication,” explains Kari. The sisters are able to be more open and honest with one another than most doubles teams. Throughout a match the girls constantly let each other know of possible plays and where to improve. They explain that their criticism isn’t personal, it only serves as encouragement.
The girls are also able to separate the sport from their personal lives. After each match the Beaulieus discuss highlights and points that they need to work on, but then they leave the competition on the court.
“They are both incredible athletes and they have really inspired the team with their competitive spirits” says Meadowdale Head Coach Mark Schneider.
Kari has been accepted to the Honors Program at Washington State University, where she will be attending next fall. She plans on playing intramural tennis at WSU, but says “I will miss playing tennis with my sister.” In future seasons without Kari, Erica will play singles tennis for the Mavericks.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


                                                                   BIG BALL

Check out this great game that works well as a warm-up or as a team building exercise.  Big Ball emphasizes explosive movement and spacing to the ball - along with team-work and excellent conditioning.  Try this as a singles game one -on-one for a real work-out. You'll be surprised at the cardiovascular work-out you'll get!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

USPTA Tip of the Week

This week's tip features the strategic component, which involves a player's overall game plan and usually incorporates two or more of the tactical elements. Strategies may change during the course of a match, so a player must learn how to adjust his strategy in certain situations based on outside variables such as an opponent's style of play, the physical environment and the particular game or match score.
The seven strategic subcomponents are: repetition, recognizing strengths, game style, surfaces, game situations, match situations and tournament situations.

Repetition is the ability to reproduce tactics that have proved successful against the opponent. The player needs to be able to recognize and identify which tactics are working and make adjustments when needed.
Recognizing strengths – knowing your own strengths and weaknesses and how to use them in developing a game plan or tactics against the opponent's strengths and weaknesses.
Game style – a player's game style depends on his personality, strengths and weaknesses. These traits determine the strategies and tactics he implements in competition.
Surfaces – knowing all types of playing surfaces with their individual characteristics and the ability to adapt to each one of them appropriately.
Game situations are conditions that exist in a game such as the score, whether the player is serving or returning, winning or losing, environmental conditions such as sun, wind, etc. A player's ability to handle and adapt to different situations is critical.
Match situations involve adapting to situations that unfold during a match such as when to change a losing strategy, starting the match during the day but finishing at night, playing a morning versus an evening match, the score – whether it is an eight-game pro set or best-of-three sets, etc.
Tournament situations – adapting to the variety of challenges that occur in the normal course of a tournament, such as if a player will be playing one or two matches per day (sometimes more if doubles are involved), if it is a weekend tournament or a week-long tournament, draw size, rain delays, etc.

Meadowdale senior hopes to get back to 3A state tournament

By David Pan, Weekly Herald Sports editor

The Maverick senior is making up for lost time, though.

Dow got really serious about tennis her sophomore year when she played No. 2 singles. She moved up to the No. 1 slot last year and demonstrated she had upped her game by winning the Western Conference 3A singles title. Dow finished third at the district tournament and advanced to state where she went 1-2.

In preparation for her senior year, Dow immersed herself in the sport last summer.

“I was coaching in the morning and playing in the afternoon,” Dow said. “Then I'd go play at Harbor Square and then a different camp. I was just going all day long. That's just what I love.

“I was looking to take tennis to the next level.”

The road to the Class 3A state tournament is more difficult this season since a number of schools with elite players have dropped down to 3A this year.

“It's definitely going to be tough this year,” Dow said. “There are going to be some long matches out there.”   Meadowdale coach Mark Schneider predicts that Dow will do just fine.

“I don't think it's going to impact Josie,” he said. “She's still the same athlete as she was last year. She's going to do just as well this year.”

If she should make it back to state, Dow feels she is better prepared to handle the pressure. Last year's tournament was a learning experience.

During a critical tiebreaker point in a first-round match last year, a ball was hit out but because a post was blocking her view, Dow didn't see it. Instead of asking an official for a ruling, Dow assumed the ball was in and she lost the point.

“I'm learning what to do with the referee,” Dow said. “You always have to question if you're unsure.”

Dow strengthened her fundamentals during the summer and expects all her hard work to pay off in the postseason.

“I just feel like I'm not going to break down as much in the tougher situations,” Dow said. “They say if you're not as fundamentally sound, when you get nervous or when you get tight, that stuff is going to revert back.

“I'm really working at keeping all that I've learned and showing it on the court.”

Dow's confidence level also is much higher. She admitted that she sometimes felt like the underdog going up against players with more experience.

“I played a lot of tough girls since last year,” Dow said. “I feel like I can definitely hang with these girls.”

Like many elite tennis players Dow started playing when she was young but then her focus shifted.

“I played tennis in the fifth grade, just like rec in the summer. It was really relaxed,” Dow said. “Then I quit for soccer.”

Eventually, Dow realized that soccer wasn't the sport for her and she decided to go back to tennis as she entered high school.

“It's been my main sport ever since,” Dow said.

And it's a sport Dow hopes to continue playing in college at the University of Puget Sound. The school is Division III, which means players try out for the team.

Earlier this month, Dow attended a match between Puget Sound and Whitman College and had the opportunity to see former teammate Olivia Bates, who plays for Whitman.

“I felt like I could definitely step up and play at that level,” Dow said. “It's something I can work and strive for. I'll definitely be working a lot on my tennis over the summer.”

Right now Dow is focused on preparing for the postseason. A wrist injury kept her on the sidelines from November through January. The start of the high school season marked the return of Dow to serious competition. The wet spring weather, however has limited Meadowdale's opportunity to practice outside.

As a result, the regular season has taken on an added importance as Dow uses matches to continue to refine her skills.

“I definitely have a lot more confidence that I can really prove myself this year,” Dow said. “I just have to play my best. There's nothing to lose now. It's my senior year.”

Keeping the Ball OUT of their Comfort Zone

During yesterdays match,  I discussed keeping the ball out of the opponents strike-zones or out of their "comfort zones".  This particular tactic demonstrated in the short video below is excellent.  It works well with the the non-aggressive player or the player that won't move their feet to get into position to handle the shot.    This provides an excellent opportunity to put you into an offensive situation so take advantage of it and  follow your shot, you'll find yourself finishing the point at the net.Putting your opponent under stress... you may find that they'll start trying to hit outside of their zone or running around the backhand forcing more unforced errors. 
Remember to analyze the warm-up- give this ball to your opponent early to see how they    handle it! 


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Time Out With Kari Beaulieu, senior, Meadowdale Tennis

Bad communication equals bad results for doubles tennis partners.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are competitors like Kari Beaulieu and Erica Beaulieu. The cohesive sisters constantly talk on the court to make sure they are ready for every exchange.

"I love playing with my sister," said Meadowdale High School senior Kari Beaulieu, who currently teams up with Erica, a sophomore, in the Mavericks' No. 2 doubles slot.

During matches, the sisters repeatedly holler directions to each other to improve their positioning. Afterward, they critique one another's performances. It gets intense sometimes, but it usually works: The Beaulieu sisters are 11-0 this season.

"The fact that she's my sister allows me to be really open with her," said Kari Beaulieu. "I don't feel uncomfortable telling her, 'You can improve on this' or 'You can improve on that.' No matter what happens, we're always going to be close.

"It's not personal," Kari Beaulieu added. "It's just part of the game."

Coach's corner

Meadowdale tennis coach Mark Schneider said Beaulieu and her sister are one of the most in-synch duos he has ever mentored: "They're really good friends and they communicate really well on the court. In fact, their communication is some of the best I've seen on a doubles team in the 14 years I've been at Meadowdale."

                        Kari Beaulieu on left while Erica and Coach Schneider talk about overheads
                                                            Photo by Char Blakenship

Drastic improvement

Although this is just her second season playing high school tennis, Kari Beaulieu improved quickly by challenging high-caliber opponents. "I've just learned from playing against people who are better than me and learning from their techniques and mimicking what they do," she said. In particular, Beaulieu enhanced her backhand, which was once a big weakness.

Always hustle

Beaulieu is inexperienced but she counteracts that deficiency by hustling to get every ball. "I have a really positive attitude," she said, "and I always push myself: 'Go for it. You have nothing to lose.' I end up getting a lot of balls that people don't think I'd be able to get to."

A break from soccer

Soccer, not tennis, is Beaulieu's primary sport. The outside midfielder started playing soccer at age 8 and played three seasons on Meadowdale's varsity team. She also played select soccer for the Northwest Nationals of Edmonds. After recently playing the final select game of her career, Beaulieu is ready to move on. "I'm just looking forward -- now that soccer's over -- to play more sports," said Beaulieu, who plans to try several intramural sports, including badminton, in college.

Piano woman

Now that she has more free time, Beaulieu plans to learn how to play the piano. Her first priority is to learn some classic Elton John songs.

Giving back

In the past year, Beaulieu volunteered more than 80 hours at the Lynnwood Food Bank. In addition, as a Link Crew leader she helped incoming freshmen transition to Meadowdale High. She is also a member of Inter-High, a district-level ASB outreach organization. She helped Inter-High organize a talent show that raised money for an Edmonds-Woodway High student diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Headed to Pullman

Beaulieu was accepted into Washington State University's honors program. Beaulieu -- who has a 3.75 cumulative grade-point average and scored 1950 on the SAT -- is especially excited to study Spanish in college.

Favorite flicks

Two of Beaulieu's favorite films are the Dr. Seuss adaptation "Horton Hears a Who!" (2008) and the holiday comedy classic "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (1989) starring Chevy Chase. Beaulieu's favorite scene in the latter movie is when wacky patriarch Clark Griswold gets trapped in the attic, puts on women's clothing to stay warm and watches heart-warming home movies.

Mike Cane, Herald Writer

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

7 Tactical Subcomponents - USPTA Tip of the Week

This week's tip covers the tactical component, which involves the variables a player implements during a point, such as power, spin and placement. Where a player hits a shot, how early he takes it, the speed and trajectory at which he hits a shot and the type of shot he chooses to hit all require the implementation of certain tactics. A player's use and combination of tactics with every shot create an overall strategy.
The seven tactical subcomponents are: consistency, placement, patterns, spins, power, shot selection and competitive situations.

   I found a great video to share - by USPTA Professional Jim Parker, in my opinion a key point that he makes in this video is that 80% of points played, end in unforced errors. If you combine that fact with the reality that you only need to win 51% of the points in a tennis match to win,  you should have a winning combonation. Of course, you'll need to build on this by applying and improving your skills using the 7 tactical subcomponents. Listed below.  Check out the video here:  

Consistency is a player's ability to get the ball back more times than the opponent using optimum pace and control, while hitting shots to a specific target or area without error.
Placement represents the ability to hit the ball to the selected target. It allows a player to run the opponent, pick on his weaker side, wrong-foot him or hit into the open court.
Patterns are combinations of shots and shot sequences utilized during a point that emphasize a player's strengths and exploit the opponent's weaknesses.
Spin is simply the direction the ball is rotating when it comes off the racquet. Spin can be manipulated by the path and angle of the racquet face at contact, and it allows a player to control the speed and trajectory of his shot, making it more accurate.
Power is the amount of speed put on a shot and the ability to develop pace on a ball. It is generated through the combination of a player's strength and the kinetic chain. It is imparted on shots for both offensive and defensive purposes.
Shot selection is a player's ability to recognize what is going on in the point, understand the shot options available to him and choose the best possible shot based on all the information he has gathered. It requires fast thinking and split-second decision making.
When faced with a competitive situation in a match, it is essential for a player to know how to best select his tactics and shots to play and win the next point or game. Mental focus and toughness play a significant role into choosing the right shot, going with the proper patterns, and using optimum placement and consistency.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Meadowdale Showing Promise

Meadowdale showing promise
Senior Dow back to defend singles crown
By David Pan  Enterprise Sports editor        

A young Meadowdale girls tennis team is showing some early season promise despite being in what coach Mark Schneider describes as a rebuilding situation.
While Schneider is looking to the future, his 18-player roster has some good experience at the top. Senior Josie Dow is back and looking to defend her Western Conference 3A singles crown and improve upon her 1-2 performance at the state tournament. Dow has been tested this season and has responded with victories in all but one of her matches, a three-set loss to archrival Meera Limaye of Shorecrest.
The two battled back and forth last season with Dow defeating the Scot freshman in a winner-to-state match at the district tournament.
“It’s a friendly rivalry,” Schneider said. “They have a lot of respect for each other.”
Dow has come into 2011 with not only more power but an improved mental game, according to Schneider.
“She’s probably worked a lot of singles strategy and overall consistency,” he said.

The wet spring weather has meant the Mavericks have spent a lot more time in the gym working on conditioning.
The new Wesco 3A with the addition of Shorewood and Mountlake Terrace shouldn’t impact Dow too much in her quest for a second straight trip to state. “She’s still the same athlete as last year,” Schneider said. “She’s going to do just as well this year.” The Mavericks’ singles lineup behind Dow includes junior Isabel Reeb and seniors Vanessa Wood and Breanna Sankey. “All of them are hard workers,” Schneider said. “They’ve all improved their games from last year,”Woo is bringing some of her doubles’ skills to the singles’ game. “That’s helped her quite a bit,” Schneider said. “Her net game has improved. She plays very aggressively in singles because of her doubles experience.”
Seniors Tessa Helber and Kayleigh Barrett are a new doubles team that has stood out for the Mavericks. Barnett is a year-round player, while Helber is simply a superb all-around athlete, Schneider said.
“She (Helber) just brings her raw athleticism to the tennis court,” he said.
A returning doubles team are juniors Sarah Hamburg and Jennifer Bishop.
“They communicate well and are very aggressive getting to the net,” Schneider said.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

8 Technical Components

The technical component includes all of the elements involved in developing sound shot technique, such as getting into position, setting up for a shot and the biomechanics of correctly hitting a ball.

The eight technical subcomponents are: tracking skills, racquet skills, shot fundamentals, ball control, movement and footwork, modern shot technique, developing weapons and developing game styles.

Lianne Fijalka and Sara Portesan 
  2009 District Champions  
Combined season and tournament record 45-5 
  1. Tracking skills involve judging the incoming ball's characteristics and flight path such as spin, speed, height, depth and direction. A player needs to anticipate where the ball is going to be and when it's going to be there and prepare properly.
  2. Racquet skills imply the ability to use the racquet as an extension of the arm to maneuver, manipulate and control the racquet based on the type of shot the player wants to hit. Knowing how to use the different types of grips in order to manipulate the angle, speed and direction of the racquet face is also very important.
  3. Shot fundamentals involve the foundation of all shots, from anticipation to execution including knowledge of the hitting zone, the use of proper posture, head position and the follow-through, to name a few.
  4. Ball control is one of the secrets to shot making and tactics in tennis. It represents a player's ability to hit the ball with accuracy, consistency, proper pace, spin, direction, angle and trajectory. It is extremely valuable to be able to have your shots accomplish your intentions.
  5. Movement and footwork are the foundation for a solid technique and can briefly be described as getting in the right place at the right time using the adequate footwork pattern. The more a player uses the feet, the easier it is to hit the ball. It requires several skills such as predicting, intercepting, preparation and recovery.
  6. Modern shot technique has been influenced greatly by the addition of power and speed to the game. It implies the popularity of the semi-western grip, open and semi-open stances and the use of the kinetic chain and angular momentum.
  7. Developing weapons means having one or more punishing shots that are hit as winners or that force errors with great regularity. Weapons do not necessarily have to be limited to specific shots, but can also be some of the intangibles within the game such as speed, movement, footwork, touch or even mental toughness. A weapon must, however, be something a player can and will use most often in the course of a point or match.
  8. Developing game styles involves drawing on a player's personality, skill level and ability, and is based on stressing strengths while minimizing weaknesses.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


The "pushing" style of play is fairly easy to describe. First, your opponent is a retriever who usually gets to virtually every ball you hit. He or she may not appear to be fit nor fast of foot. Yet, somehow, they manage to get a racquet on most of your shots. Second, the "pusher" rarely hits balls with much pace. He/she prefers to "dink" balls over the net with incredible backspin and/or sidespin or he/she will simply guide the ball to a court position that is disadvantageous for his/her opponent. The "pusher" likes to pull her/his opponent into the center of the court in "no person's land" (see Euclidean Tennis). This combination of elements (balls with spin that lack pace hit to an undesirable court position) are usually enough to elicit an error from the opponent.

The "pusher" sees the court differently, and frequently, likes to hit short drop shots followed by incredibly high and deep lobs. The opponent is forced in and out, back and forth like a puppet on a string. If you hit hard to the "pusher" she/he will float the ball back with slice. In a short period of time, the "pusher" has completely frustrated her/his opponent and has the opponent going for winners on every shot. This usually results in errors. Occasionally, just to break any rhythm the opponent may be developing, the "pusher" will hit a few balls with pace that land just at the opponent's feet. Again, the net result is a frustrated opponent who is taken out of his/her game! "Pushers" don't make many unforced errors and rarely go for big winners.
So given all of this, how does one beat the pusher? Well, it isn't always easy, but it can be done! First, you must respect the "pusher!" He/she wants you to look down upon him/her. He/she doesn't want you to take him/her seriously. The "pusher's" game is based more on psychological warfare than upon tennis skills and strokes. As soon as you ridicule the "pusher" in your mind, she/he has won a major victory. Recognize that this style of play, though not flashy, is a valid way to approach the game. In fact, each of us at one time or another has won a tennis contest by pushing, albeit we may not want to admit it.
Second, you must not resort to playing the "pusher's" game. You can't beat a "pusher" by "pushing" yourself. She/he is probably much better at it than you. Once you begin to "push," she/ he will miraculously find a way to hit hard and flat winners. This will invariably add to your frustration. There are several things that the "pusher" does not like. "Pushers" generally do not like moonballs. She/he hates balls that bounce high and keep the her/him behind the baseline. Hitting slice and sidespin off of high bouncing balls usually is difficult for the "pusher," and forces her/him to experience a bit of frustration. Second, "pushers" usually do not possess great passing shots. If you can get to the net quickly and volley away from the "pusher," you can probably put away any passing shot she/he may hit. Frequently, the "pusher" attempts to lob over the net rusher rather than attempting to pass her/him. So, if you are at net against a pusher, keep an eye out for the lob. Fortunately, most pushers do not disguise the lob well. When I play the "pusher" my first plan of action is to serve and volley. On the return of serve, I frequently chip and charge. Net rushers are the "pusher's" Nemesis. (Another good reason to develop your all court game!). Pushers like to move side to side...they are used to it. However, they hate to move on diagonals. If you hit a shot deep to the "pusher's" backhand and then follow it with a short shot to the forehand, he/she will have to run diagonally to get to the ball. This action usually forces the "pusher" to hit a weak reply or to go for a shot he/she probably doesn't own...the big winner.
Equally important is knowing what not to do against the "pusher." Don't rush!!! You need to be very patient when playing the "pusher," especially if you are not attempting to take the net. Big groundstrokers often self-destruct against "pushers" because they are impatient. This added to the fact that they have to provide the entire pace on their groundstrokes (the "pusher" after all does push rather than hit the ball). Be prepared to run when playing the "pusher." Don't be too eager to go for put aways. Wait until you have a clear opportunity to win the point before you go for the winner. Don't try to outpower the "pusher." Try to hit your groundstrokes at 3/4 pace. Don't push the ball, just try to hit the ball at less than maximum pace. Go for placement, not for power! I have found that the most important thing about hitting groundstrokes against the typical "pusher's" shot (no pace, backspin and/or sidespin, hit short or floated deep) is to prepare early but to actually delay your forward swing a fraction of a second. I discovered that this "delayed" groundstroke actually allows me to hit through the ball, and thus, to create pace. In fact, I keep one racquet in my back that is deliberately weighted heavier than the rest (using lead tape in the racquet's head). Whenever I play a pusher, I use this heavier stick. The weight of the racquet forces me to delay the forward motion of my groundstrokes. In addition, the added weight makes the racquet more powerful. Thus, my groundstrokes have more pace without my having to hit the ball hard. Try this heavier racquet really works!
Don't wait for the ball to come to you!!! Aggressively move to every ball! If you can, try to hit every ball on the rise. This action will minimize the effects of the "pusher's" spin. The "pusher" wants you to be lazy as you approach her/his paceless shots. To beat the pusher, you must move forward quickly. Frequently, I make a deliberate effort to stand 6 inches inside the baseline when playing the pusher. This enables me to get to short balls more easily, and forces me to take deeper balls on the rise.
Moving forward to the ball quickly, preparing early and delaying the forward motion of your racquet a fraction of a second are absolutely necessary, if you are going to play the "pusher" from the baseline
When serving to the "pusher," be certain to mix up the placement of your serves. Hit flat, slice and kick serves to all parts of both service boxes. The key is not to be predictable on your serve. The "pusher" is very adept at discerning any patterns in your play. Don't be risky about your serve placement; just don't fall into a predictable pattern.
Don't let the "pusher" dictate the pace of play. "Pushers" will frequently try to speed things up or slow things down. They may try to quick serve you or they may try to frustrate you by taking forever to actually serve the ball. "Pushers" know how to gauge the tempo of a match. If you are winning, they take their time. If you are losing or showing anger, they will try to get things moving more quickly. After all, their game is psychological warfare! Be aware of what pace works for you and, whenever possible, force the "pusher" to play at your speed!
Finally, don't ever let the "pusher" see you angry or frustrated. These actions actually encourage the "pusher." He/she lives to see you snap psychologically. Truly, this is a major reason that he/she plays the game! If you remain calm and seemingly confident regardless of the score, the "pusher" will frequently begin to lose confidence. Once this happens, those little dinks that were winning him/her points now bounce a little too high...allowing you to safely put them away.
The "pusher" need not be your most feared opponent! If you are patient, try to hit volleys, use the moonball and move quickly to every ball.
Written by, Ron Wait- USPTR