Yes, like having a game plan.
My student got it. He got the reason for training not just push hands but push hands game.
To me pushing around is pretty mindless. All we do is end up shoving each other to what end? Worse of all shoving is not going to stop a resisting attacker.
To train push hands meaningfully we need training objectives and game plans for achieving them. So for example when my student thought it was logical to pull his arm back when it was entangled I said it was wrong for two simple reasons :-
a) A technique done slower for the sake of practice seems easy to counter. However, an entangling attack which was the technique under discussion can be faster than thought. In fact, when I did it at a faster speed his arm got entangled and he couldn’t pull it away
b) To not pull away seemed like a dangerous thing to do. However, to the contrary pulling away is dangerous because all it will do is to open up his face to attack
The moral of the lesson here is that his push hands was based on disparate thoughts of logic of what constitute good practice of push hands. However, my play of push hands is constructed on a platform of intuitive game theory which is turn is based on my study of combat systems over a long period of years.
He had to retrain the illogical logic of not running away so as to entice an attack to fall into emptiness before shutting the door and implementing the counterattack.