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View Full Version : Tip on Slice Serve Grip


Gogg
01-06-2009, 05:45 PM
I've been working on slice for a while, but I was never able to get a notable spin on the ball before. My coach suggested making my grip more backhand like. I did so, but my grip feels really unusual and uncomfortable. However, when I successfully hit a ball, the spin on it was much more noticeable than before, but the grip I used was unusual and uncomfortable. I was wondering if anyone else here had a similar grip problem or any suggestions on getting good side spin on the ball.

Thanks,
Gogg

AlphaCDjkr
01-06-2009, 06:35 PM
I've been working on slice for a while, but I was never able to get a notable spin on the ball before. My coach suggested making my grip more backhand like. I did so, but my grip feels really unusual and uncomfortable. However, when I successfully hit a ball, the spin on it was much more noticeable than before, but the grip I used was unusual and uncomfortable. I was wondering if anyone else here had a similar grip problem or any suggestions on getting good side spin on the ball.

Thanks,
Gogg

Well, here's how I like doing mine, has good angle and spin.

I use the eastern backhand grip.
I toss the ball both in front and to my right, so to hit the ball I have to reach out in front of me, and my arm is already nearly extended. Instead of hitting the back of the ball, I hit a little more on the right side of the ball; my contact and followthrough puts sidespin and a little backspin; it curves completely out of the court and doesn't really bounce much.

LeeD
01-06-2009, 06:42 PM
Don't go eastern backhand.
DO moderate it slightly towards continental.
The reason? Talking slice here only.
Your opponent will pick up on your grip if he's any good, and know where, how fast, and how high your serve is coming.
You should hit all slices and all 3 topspins as fast as you can swing a tennis racket. Since you're chopping the side of the ball, spin created will arc the ball, and spin will mute any speed off the ball.
Anyone can swing faster with a slice or topspin stroke.
Everyone cannot swing as fast with a flat stroke.
And for kicker swings, depends on your mechanics, strengths, size, and racket (weight and aerodynamics.).

Nanshiki
01-06-2009, 06:54 PM
If you can't do every serve with a continental, you're probably doing something wrong.

RestockingTues
01-06-2009, 06:54 PM
Well, here's how I like doing mine, has good angle and spin.

I use the eastern backhand grip.
I toss the ball both in front and to my right, so to hit the ball I have to reach out in front of me, and my arm is already nearly extended. Instead of hitting the back of the ball, I hit a little more on the right side of the ball; my contact and followthrough puts sidespin and a little backspin; it curves completely out of the court and doesn't really bounce much.
It curves COMPLETELY out of court. It's called the X-acto knife serve :)

Don't worry about the grip feeling weird, you're just not used to it yet.

LeeD
01-06-2009, 07:10 PM
Yes, you can hit every serve you own with a continental.
But talking first flat only, your percentage will improve easily 20% if you grip continental with a slight twist towards eastern backhand.
That is a 20% improvement of consistency by changing your grip 5 degrees!
And you can still hit every other serve without changing grips!
Gee, free consistency for an expense of maybe 1-3 mph, do you think it's worth it?
Since I'm only 5'11", much closer to 35% improvement in first serve percentage because I'm short and don't have a good angle to hit flat first serves.

Gogg
01-06-2009, 07:28 PM
Thanks for the advice everyone, I use an eastern backhand grip, and according Alpha and Restocking, I should be fine. I don't use a continental grip because I want more to put more spin on the ball. I haven't been playing a long time so changing my grip would be the easiest way to increase spin for me.

wihamilton
01-06-2009, 07:48 PM
I've been working on slice for a while, but I was never able to get a notable spin on the ball before. My coach suggested making my grip more backhand like. I did so, but my grip feels really unusual and uncomfortable. However, when I successfully hit a ball, the spin on it was much more noticeable than before, but the grip I used was unusual and uncomfortable. I was wondering if anyone else here had a similar grip problem or any suggestions on getting good side spin on the ball.

Thanks,
Gogg

Hi Gogg. Keep in mind that the direction your strings move across the tennis ball @ contact heavily influences the type / amount of spin you create. It sounds like, all other things being equal (particularly the direction you are swinging), the eastern backhand grip caused your strings to move across the ball more -- generating more spin -- than with a continental grip. Perhaps, if you find the grip uncomfortable, you can adjust your swing path w/the continental grip to reproduce the direction your strings moved across the ball @ contact when using the eastern grip. Hopefully, that makes things more comfortable and keeps your RPMs up.

LeeD
01-07-2009, 09:49 AM
Gogg.
Do not hit with eastern backhand on your serves !!
First of all, you have to change grips to hit flat, hard, first serves. Your opponent spots this if he is living and breathing.
Second, it spins TOO much, not allowing your second serve to go much over 65mph.
Third, it is NOT a supported swing, relying too much on your wrist, and contact is inconsistent at best.
Consider.... let's say you want to throw in a topspin FIRST serve, one that maybe goes 15mph slower than your first flat. You CANNOT hit this serve with eastern backhand !!!
I've gone too long and hard at this service grip thing. If you guys don't want to understand what I write, I'll let you practice hard, and still hit 4.0 serves.

Gogg
01-07-2009, 02:11 PM
I play ambidextrously, so I do a bunch of weird things with my racket. I twirl my racket to change grips, switch hands, or just for the heck of it, so it doesn't look a lot different. Second, they wouldn't know what kind of serve I'm hitting, it could any sort of spin serve. Third, I'd rather hit an X-acto knife serve than one built with speed.

Tim Tennis
01-07-2009, 04:07 PM
If you can't do every serve with a continental, you're probably doing something wrong.

I agree with that. Some have mentioned the EB which a lot of players use but I would say that the Continental grip is the predominate grip and I think for most players it is a lot easier to use.

Grogg, what you can use either hand, cool, I have always thought it would be great to be able to do that.

Best regards to everyone.

Ed
Tennis Geometrics

http://www.tennisgeometrics.com

AlphaCDjkr
01-07-2009, 08:21 PM
It curves COMPLETELY out of court. It's called the X-acto knife serve :)

Don't worry about the grip feeling weird, you're just not used to it yet.

:-|

Now I must correct myself. It bounces in and then curves completely out of the court. Here's a rough drawing. Done in paint :D

http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/6539/image016te7.jpg (http://imageshack.us)

I stand where the black square is. Red circle= contact point. Blue circle= first bounce. The serve itself is rather slow, but its pretty effective against my friends (revolving around 3.0-4.0 level)

Gogg
01-07-2009, 09:27 PM
When I used continental on my slice serves it didn't generate a lot of spin, thus I'm changing to a EB grip.

@AlphaCDjkr: I kind of figured it was like that because the ball normally curves sharpest after the bounce. Also, why is your point of contact so far away?

AlphaCDjkr
01-07-2009, 10:07 PM
When I used continental on my slice serves it didn't generate a lot of spin, thus I'm changing to a EB grip.

@AlphaCDjkr: I kind of figured it was like that because the ball normally curves sharpest after the bounce. Also, why is your point of contact so far away?

I have no idea. It just came out one day like that on accident, and I really liked the result, so I hit it like that a lot more. Really, the spin is NOT intense on this, but its the idea that my contact point is actually out in front of me that I have to reach INTO the court and hit the right side of the ball, is why I like it. Since the contact point of the ball occurs when my arm is almost already fully extended, the only source of spin generation comes from my wrist. I find that by reaching out to use my serve, the flight path is already directed left more than a regular slice serve is. The spin merely accentuates the curve, rather than creates the angle.

Er, yeah. haha.

LeeD
01-08-2009, 09:56 AM
Gogg..
I suggest you not go all the way to eastern backhand. Just go between continental and eastern backhand. That way, you hit all serves still with one grip.
For more spin, you should be swinging all your second serves as fast as you can swing the racket. That is faster than you can swing for a first serve. Try to swing soooo fast the ball becomes OVAL in shape, and your opponent can actually hear it whoosing thru the air.
Alpha....
I used to practice once a month with a B player who had that serve. Extreme sidespin with a little top, it poked along at maybe 40 mph, but the ball was oval with spin and audible. Most B players hated to practice with him, so I got the nod. He was 6'5" tall, had a easy motion 120 mph first serve, and liked to dink around driving people crazy.
I soon learned to watch his toss and swing. I could catch the tip before he struck the ball, and would step in inside the baseline and hit a hard two handed crosscourt return. After a few points like that, he'd try more normal first serves.
Guys like ArtLarsen and the A players would slice that wide shortball early into a short angle alley return, then go up the line when he anticipated that return.
He was definetely one of the puzzles to solve those years, but most solid B's could find an effective return for that serve. I think he was ranked NorCal top 10 in the B's those years. Jim something or another, really long Norwegian name.

Gogg
01-08-2009, 02:15 PM
Yeah I intend to use use a grip in between continental and eastern leaning on eastern more though. I found similar results when I was playing around with a jump serve that generated all sorts of spins, but I wasn't able to replicate that multiple times sadly...

AlphaCDjkr
01-08-2009, 08:59 PM
...

Alpha....
I used to practice once a month with a B player who had that serve. Extreme sidespin with a little top, it poked along at maybe 40 mph, but the ball was oval with spin and audible. Most B players hated to practice with him, so I got the nod. He was 6'5" tall, had a easy motion 120 mph first serve, and liked to dink around driving people crazy.
I soon learned to watch his toss and swing. I could catch the tip before he struck the ball, and would step in inside the baseline and hit a hard two handed crosscourt return. After a few points like that, he'd try more normal first serves.
Guys like ArtLarsen and the A players would slice that wide shortball early into a short angle alley return, then go up the line when he anticipated that return.
He was definetely one of the puzzles to solve those years, but most solid B's could find an effective return for that serve. I think he was ranked NorCal top 10 in the B's those years. Jim something or another, really long Norwegian name.

I see. By the way, and I kind of feel stupid for asking this, but maybe not. Whats an A and B player?:confused:
Wait, does A mean approach and B mean baseline, or something like that? Or maybe I'm just being more stupid ..

RestockingTues
01-08-2009, 09:04 PM
I see. By the way, and I kind of feel stupid for asking this, but maybe not. Whats an A and B player?:confused:
Wait, does A mean approach and B mean baseline, or something like that? Or maybe I'm just being more stupid ..
In badminton an A player is either playing the equivalent of Futures tournaments, or is a full-time pro, while a B player is someone VERY GOOD.

Maybe it's a system similar to our NTPR?

RestockingTues
01-08-2009, 09:06 PM
When I used continental on my slice serves it didn't generate a lot of spin, thus I'm changing to a EB grip.

@AlphaCDjkr: I kind of figured it was like that because the ball normally curves sharpest after the bounce. Also, why is your point of contact so far away?
Actually he has a good contact point; for all of your serves you want to lean in as far as you can, while still being able to explode with your legs into the ball. The ball toss to the right just means he's hitting a flat bomb or a slice.

Btw Alpha, that serve you drew up paint is begging for a volley to the open court :)

AlphaCDjkr
01-08-2009, 09:16 PM
In badminton an A player is either playing the equivalent of Futures tournaments, or is a full-time pro, while a B player is someone VERY GOOD.

Maybe it's a system similar to our NTPR?

Ohhh. I see. Whoops.

Actually he has a good contact point; for all of your serves you want to lean in as far as you can, while still being able to explode with your legs into the ball. The ball toss to the right just means he's hitting a flat bomb or a slice.

Btw Alpha, that serve you drew up paint is begging for a volley to the open court :)

I know, especially since the actual speed of the serve isn't fast at all. The only useful factor is the angle it'll generate. But remember, I'm just on a HS Varsity team, and unfortunately my league is in one of the lowest divisions of the area (which sucks.) Really, the opponents I play are not that good, and most of my teammates are not very capable of decent intermediate level tennis. This serve is capable of screwing up almost ALL of my teammates except for this one guy named Matt, [who is our teams best player], who will do just as you said, volley into the open court.

Thing is, I'm not very worried about the open court volley, because I am mainly a doubles player. My partner at net can cover most of the left court, and I am always expecting that open court volley, so I usually pounce on that too. Best thing I've ever accomplished is when one of my other teammates (who is very spin-happy, loves experimenting with spin [like me!]), barely returned the serve with a sidespin buggy whip shot, and the final angle of the return was almost parallel to the length of the net. I caught up to the ball right as it was between the net posts of our court and the one to its right, and I hit the ball through the poles and got a winner at the upper right corner of the court (from my perspective.)

I think I'm starting to hijack the thread, so I'm going to shut up now. :oops: