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aimr75
01-13-2010, 04:35 AM
Typically i find it difficult to execute the slice backhand, more so then my topspin backhand.. my usual bad slice shot is for it to pop up.. i took some video of it.. if you can comment on the technique and what i need to address that would be great

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_VE__eRmdo

roddickslammer
01-13-2010, 05:06 AM
I have been taught to hit through the ball, even though it is a slice. if you slice it, but in a straight downward motion, it will pop up. if you slice through and into the ball and finish out with your racquet extending out as if it where a volley, then it should penetrate the court more.

This video will exlplain what I mean. Federer floats his slices sometimes and slices through it to make the ball bounce really low sometimes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvY0qP4mCXg

smoothtennis
01-13-2010, 05:55 AM
You are slicing with the variation a lot of pro's use with the downward and sideways followthrough. However - they hit this type of slice to counter a very hard struck ball.

If you slice this way against slow balls as you are in this video - it isn't going to penetrate as well.

What you want is to develop a slice that has the forward drive component to it. Ivan Lendl described it this way and I praphrase - You go from high to low, but pretend you are hitting into a large bowl where you go down into the bowl, forward, the back up the other side of the bowl. ie, your followthrough will be high.

86golf
01-13-2010, 05:57 AM
Those looked decent to me. I think you needed to be about one step forward and take the ball a millisecond later. Some of those you were letting it drop and hitting too out in front.
When you watch yourself, what do you think?

brad1730
01-13-2010, 06:05 AM
I have been taught to hit through the ball, even though it is a slice. if you slice it, but in a straight downward motion, it will pop up. if you slice through and into the ball and finish out with your racquet extending out as if it where a volley, then it should penetrate the court more.

This video will exlplain what I mean. Federer floats his slices sometimes and slices through it to make the ball bounce really low sometimes:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvY0qP4mCXg

You may want to bend more from the knees. On some of the low balls, you are coming downward (as mentioned above) because you are bending from the waist.

I hope this is helpful.

smoothtennis
01-13-2010, 06:10 AM
Yes, these other guys picked up something key in addition to the swingpath I spoke about. You will tend to lean forward and slice, rather than bending your knees, and getting down to the ball staying balanced, and slice forward. I saw this on the first few shots mostly.

mntlblok
01-13-2010, 07:14 AM
Another way of looking at some of the advice, with which I basically agree, is considering the part of the ball that is being initially contacted.

For example, the three types of slices in the Federer video, to my way of thinking of slices, differ primarily in location of initial ball contact. When I want to "drive" or "knife" a slice, I think of contacting the ball slightly *above* the equator of the ball. When I want to "float" one deep, I'll shoot for a lower contact area - maybe at or slightly *below* the equator of the ball. For a dropper, I'll aim for even lower on the ball.

What I also find helpful for producing a more "driving" slice is to exaggerate my shoulder turn, which, among other things, allows me to keep the butt of the racket heading in the direction of the target longer, as opposed to towards the right fence. This more driving slice with the more "forward" swing will also be less likely to have the ball curve in the air to the left.

Where I guess I slightly disagree is about the "downwardness" of slice swings and its relationship to trajectory - even on slower paced balls. I'm convinced that even on slower balls that one can still drive those balls nicely with the same steep swing. Obviously, the angle of the racket face must be correct (though anything close to a continental grip can work), but a steeply downward stroke can still drive a slow paced ball if the backswing is large enough to generate enough racket head speed. Take a look at Federer's or Haas's or Henin's backswings on their driving slices. They're huge. Again, in my experience, the key with this type of swing is making sure that the initial contact of the strings with the ball is "high enough" on the ball's surface.

Hope this makes sense. I would encourage doubters to at least test my theory. You might be pleasantly surprised :-)

Kevin

mike53
01-13-2010, 07:59 AM
Typically i find it difficult to execute the slice backhand, more so then my topspin backhand.. my usual bad slice shot is for it to pop up.. i took some video of it.. if you can comment on the technique and what i need to address that would be great

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_VE__eRmdo

These look like fine defensive shots to me, especially if you can drop them in a one square foot area in either corner at will. Especially useful when the ball is a couple inches from the ground and falling, you can slide your racquet right under the ball and still get it up over the net. All that air time lets you get back into position But I think you are understandably looking for something else. Try letting your wrist suppinate a little more as you move through the contact zone so your racquet face is not so open at the point of contact.

smoothtennis
01-13-2010, 08:40 AM
Great input Kevin.

ttbrowne
01-13-2010, 08:51 AM
Great starting point.
1) Looks like you're hitting short. That means your racket is coming more down than out. You can get away with this swing if the ball has a lot of pace on it, it will use the pace to your advantage, but your being fed balls that are medium to slow pace. So for depth, hit out a little more.
2) Your front leg (right leg) needs to bend more. Especially on the low shots. Get on down there. You're bending over at the waist instead of bending your leg.
Good luck!

Zachol82
01-13-2010, 09:20 AM
Typically i find it difficult to execute the slice backhand, more so then my topspin backhand.. my usual bad slice shot is for it to pop up.. i took some video of it.. if you can comment on the technique and what i need to address that would be great

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_VE__eRmdo

Seems decent to me. What are you trying to work on? More depth, more power, or more spin on your sliced-backhand?

There are several different types of results you can get from a backhand, I need to know more specifically what you want to get out of it in order to help you out any further.

With that being said, if you think of any of your shots as an offensive shot, instead of defensive, the results are usually better, as in a more penetrating and harder to return shot.

smoothtennis
01-13-2010, 09:23 AM
Great starting point.
1) Looks like you're hitting short. That means your racket is coming more down than out. You can get away with this swing if the ball has a lot of pace on it, it will use the pace to your advantage, but your being fed balls that are medium to slow pace. So for depth, hit out a little more.
2) Your front leg (right leg) needs to bend more. Especially on the low shots. Get on down there. You're bending over at the waist instead of bending your leg.
Good luck!

To the OP - I gotta say, I have video of myself hitting slice, and I also have a bad habit of bending at the waist forward instead of bending the knees. I have worked on this in practice, and I have found a simply amazing difference in the drive on my slice when I bend my knees and get down the ball vs. bending over. I am just overweight and get lazy not wanting to put a lot of weight on my right leg :mrgreen:

LeeD
01-13-2010, 11:59 AM
Basically, you slice is just a chopping stroke, as said before. Kinda like the difference between a brushing topspin forehand and a flatTER topspin forehand. Your backhand is brushing the ball, like a slice serve.
Close the racketface, stroke thru the ball, don't chop the back of it.
A good hard slice should go as fast as a normal rally topspin ball, but with underspin. It clears the net by only a couple of feet and goes deep, penetrates, and skids.
It is NOT necessarily the kind of backspin ball that Fed, Nadal, Haas, and the top men's pros use.
It's more like a SteffiGraf type of backhand.

aimr75
01-13-2010, 02:19 PM
thanks for the replies.. the slice is one of those shots i feel the least comfortable hitting... funny thing is its one of the more enjoyable shots to hit when it feels as though its hits well

ive heard of and also tried the "hit through the ball" toward the target before and it makes sense to do it this way to drive the ball more.. for some reason its an odd swing path sensation for me, so the tendency is to do what i do in that clip which is to hit down and the follow through to fan out to the side.. finding a bit hard to break this swing pattern but will try to keep working on hitting through the ball

My aim is to be able to control the type of slice i want to hit where as currently its pot luck, at any point i could stuff it up by providing a floater when i dont want to

i didnt take into account the bending at the waist, so will work bending with the knees, along with the others suggestions too.. thanks

LeeD
01-13-2010, 02:25 PM
Switch your backhand grip more.... go to SW backhand grip.
That way, the ball goes flatter and lower, goes faster with less backspin.
Then you can moderate back to whereever you want.
The more radical the backhand grip, the more out in front you want to hit the ball.

aimr75
01-13-2010, 02:28 PM
^^ im a bit reluctant to switch grips as i may develop certain habits with it that might not be desirable when i switch back.. i am using the continental at the moment

LeeD
01-13-2010, 02:33 PM
Switching to SW or Eastern backhand gives you the pace, drive, and depth.
Do whatever you want to do, it's harder to hit conti driving backspins because the racketface naturally points upwards.
OTOH, me being old style and old, I can hit driving backhand slices with conti switched towards eastern FOREHAND side of grip. But only when I have time to set up.

edberg505
01-13-2010, 02:33 PM
^^ im a bit reluctant to switch grips as i may develop certain habits with it that might not be desirable when i switch back.. i am using the continental at the moment

There is nothing wrong with using a continental grip. I use one as well. I'd like to think I have a pretty good one. Like mostly everyone else said. The swing path of your slice is what you have to pay attention to the most. Practice going through the ball. It will be come habitual.

aimr75
01-13-2010, 02:38 PM
^ yeah i think id prefer to stick with the grip im currently using and work on other aspects like as you say, the swing path along with the other feedback mentioned

bhupaes
01-13-2010, 02:56 PM
You could try the method I use to see if it works for you... although I think your stroke looks like it will need only minor adjustments to work really well.

I use a high to low (but not too steep) swing, starting with the butt of the racquet pointing at the ball (you could say that I find the ball with the butt of the racquet). The racquet head should stay above the hand. Make contact at your side (closer to the front edge of your body), and feel/visualize the ball kinda sliding up your racquet head as it picks up spin. Follow through with your right hand finishing in front, and non-dominant hand pulling back (this tightens the muscles on your upper back). For low balls, in order to keep the racquet head above the hand during the forward swing, you will have to bend down (from the knees, of course). Works great for me - let me know how it goes for you.

aimr75
01-13-2010, 03:18 PM
^ hey thanks, will give this a try

35ft6
01-13-2010, 03:50 PM
You are slicing with the variation a lot of pro's use with the downward and sideways followthrough. However - they hit this type of slice to counter a very hard struck ball.

If you slice this way against slow balls as you are in this video - it isn't going to penetrate as well.

What you want is to develop a slice that has the forward drive component to it. Ivan Lendl described it this way and I praphrase - You go from high to low, but pretend you are hitting into a large bowl where you go down into the bowl, forward, the back up the other side of the bowl. ie, your followthrough will be high.Great advice from smoothtennis.

In general, a slice is a feel shot. When I'm hitting my slice very well, my swing and ball speed is identical on every shot. If I have my opponent on the room, maybe I take the ball earlier and hit the ball deeper, but my swing and ball speed is the same. Against good players, it's a neutral shot 95% of the time no matter how well it's struck, so you should never really try to hit it hard.

aimr75
01-13-2010, 04:25 PM
Great advice from smoothtennis.

In general, a slice is a feel shot. When I'm hitting my slice very well, my swing and ball speed is identical on every shot. If I have my opponent on the room, maybe I take the ball earlier and hit the ball deeper, but my swing and ball speed is the same. Against good players, it's a neutral shot 95% of the time no matter how well it's struck, so you should never really try to hit it hard.

thanks, i will try keep it tempered.. i am going to try change my swing path too to try and drive through the ball more rather then it being a weak slice

mntlblok
01-13-2010, 04:28 PM
Great input Kevin.

Very kind of you, Smooth. I'm used to getting nothing but rolling, glazed eyes when I start espousing my theories.:mrgreen:

Kevin

mntlblok
01-13-2010, 04:58 PM
You could try the method I use to see if it works for you... although I think your stroke looks like it will need only minor adjustments to work really well.

I use a high to low (but not too steep) swing, starting with the butt of the racquet pointing at the ball (you could say that I find the ball with the butt of the racquet). The racquet head should stay above the hand. Make contact at your side (closer to the front edge of your body), and feel/visualize the ball kinda sliding up your racquet head as it picks up spin. Follow through with your right hand finishing in front, and non-dominant hand pulling back (this tightens the muscles on your upper back). For low balls, in order to keep the racquet head above the hand during the forward swing, you will have to bend down (from the knees, of course). Works great for me - let me know how it goes for you.

That sounds *exactly* like what I feel/visualize for my backhand slices. I don't think I would want to see bhupaes across the net, chipping and charging against my second serve as I come in behind it in doubles. :)

Also, I went back and watched the Youtube segment again. Take a look at the second to last shot that you hit. Hopefully you have a means of watching that one in slow motion. See if you can figure out all the ways that *that* one differs from the others - then memorize and practice them. :)

One thing I noticed was that, (I think) because the feed was "wider", you had to hit the ball with your shoulders turned more - almost with yer back to the net. I think there might be something to be taken from that. . . "Maybe" it's that, with yer shoulders turned more, the butt of the racket ends up spending more time going "forward" rather than across.

I sensed also that you may have caught that one a bit further back in your stance than many of the others - maybe not a bad thing. To me, that makes it easier to keep my hand ahead of the racket head leading into the stroke, and making it less likely that I'll swipe across it.

You also may have been rushed a bit and been forced to swing a little faster - also not a bad thing, in my opinion - assuming the racket face angle and swing path match up. Again, I would add that catching the ball (or at least "feeling" like it) slightly above the its equator is key for me. Feeling as though you carve under it afterward may or may not be something that you need to feel. I'd be interested in knowing whether bhupaes feels that or not.

As others have pointed out, a flatter swing with a less "open" racket face, will also yield a flatter, more penetrating shot. Ken Rosewall could pull that off. I can't. In my hands, the steeper swing path with the spinnier ball (and nastier bounce) is much more predictable. And, on balls with the right pace, depth, and height, I think one can learn to pretty regularly strike them as you did on that penultimate shot in the video.

Kevin

aimr75
01-13-2010, 05:22 PM
^ i like the visuals you are providing and the feedback, thanks for the input

aimr75
01-13-2010, 05:31 PM
Try letting your wrist suppinate a little more as you move through the contact zone so your racquet face is not so open at the point of contact.

i think at times i tend to have this issue too.. racquet face being a bit too open, but its been a little better lately

bhupaes
01-13-2010, 05:34 PM
That sounds *exactly* like what I feel/visualize for my backhand slices. I don't think I would want to see bhupaes across the net, chipping and charging against my second serve as I come in behind it in doubles. :)

It does work quite well on second serves... :)


Also, I went back and watched the Youtube segment again. Take a look at the second to last shot that you hit. Hopefully you have a means of watching that one in slow motion. See if you can figure out all the ways that *that* one differs from the others - then memorize and practice them. :)

One thing I noticed was that, (I think) because the feed was "wider", you had to hit the ball with your shoulders turned more - almost with yer back to the net. I think there might be something to be taken from that. . . "Maybe" it's that, with yer shoulders turned more, the butt of the racket ends up spending more time going "forward" rather than across.

I sensed also that you may have caught that one a bit further back in your stance than many of the others - maybe not a bad thing. To me, that makes it easier to keep my hand ahead of the racket head leading into the stroke, and making it less likely that I'll swipe across it.

Very good points, mntlblok. Contacting the ball on the side does force a good shoulder turn.


You also may have been rushed a bit and been forced to swing a little faster - also not a bad thing, in my opinion - assuming the racket face angle and swing path match up. Again, I would add that catching the ball (or at least "feeling" like it) slightly above the its equator is key for me. Feeling as though you carve under it afterward may or may not be something that you need to feel. I'd be interested in knowing whether bhupaes feels that or not.

I didn't want to make it too complicated, so I didn't get into this... but I do fixate on different points on the ball, depending on how I want it to go... slightly above the equator would be for a higher ball that I want to "knife" down. Floaters and sidespins would have different (visualized) contact points relative to the equator.


As others have pointed out, a flatter swing with a less "open" racket face, will also yield a flatter, more penetrating shot. Ken Rosewall could pull that off. I can't. In my hands, the steeper swing path with the spinnier ball (and nastier bounce) is much more predictable. And, on balls with the right pace, depth, and height, I think one can learn to pretty regularly strike them as you did on that penultimate shot in the video.

Kevin

Hey, it sounds like we could have loads of fun slicing and dicing each other to death! :)

Nellie
01-13-2010, 06:46 PM
to me, the key of a slice backhand is the follow-through. The more you finish down, to shorter the slice will land (straight down is more of a drop shot. If you hit down and through the ball and then finish up and out (a smile-shaped stroke) you will have more drive on the ball. Obviously, when you follow through, you have already hit the ball so you are not influencing the ball after the fact. Instead, you are altering the swing path prior to contact.

Just experiment with some follow-throughs and you will feel the difference.

I also recommend thinking of hitting on outside of theball. When you hit on the inside, bottom of the ball, the ball tends to float weakly.

With your continental grip, really stay closed in you stance (shoulders in line with the path of the ball) - when you open the stance and hit across the body, your shot will float weakly.

aimr75
01-13-2010, 06:52 PM
^ do you think concentrating on keeping the shoulders/body more side on would alleviate my swing path issue, in a way the body preventing the path going across?

5263
01-13-2010, 07:51 PM
^ do you think concentrating on keeping the shoulders/body more side on would alleviate my swing path issue, in a way the body preventing the path going across?

IMO the across the body change of direction is the best part of your slice. If you make this across movement right before contact, it helps to present the strings properly to the ball while adding effortless acceleration to the shot.
This across presentation is also very helpful in controlling ball height accurately, so you can now hit more aggressively without excess float. It is the key to hitting aggressive slices with great control.

aimr75
01-13-2010, 08:17 PM
IMO the across the body change of direction is the best part of your slice. If you make this across movement right before contact, it helps to present the strings properly to the ball while adding effortless acceleration to the shot.
This across presentation is also very helpful in controlling ball height accurately, so you can now hit more aggressively without excess float. It is the key to hitting aggressive slices with great control.

thats interesting since it counters what others have mentioned.. dont you think though that it would mean i would be hitting less through the ball, hence less penetrating?

5263
01-13-2010, 08:30 PM
thats interesting since it counters what others have mentioned.. dont you think though that it would mean i would be hitting less through the ball, hence less penetrating?
That does seem sort of logical, but the fact of the situation is that you are not trying to get max power into the shot, but a blend of power and control.
The more control you have, the more power you can then apply effectively.
Coming across the ball gives you access to more power than you need, while giving you the precise control you must have to employ the available power.

5263
01-13-2010, 08:38 PM
It should be stroked much a bhupaes describes with the butt cap leading like on all the strokes, and with the change of direction just prior to contact as with the other strokes as well. I often refer to it as a "unified stroke theory", since it is a commonality of all the stokes (I don't consider a block return a stroke, but just a block).

mntlblok
01-13-2010, 09:48 PM
Hey, it sounds like we could have loads of fun slicing and dicing each other to death! :)

Well, now that you mention it. . . :mrgreen: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mentalblock/sets/72157623006415375/

bhupaes
01-13-2010, 11:31 PM
^^^ Holy backspin... I have ways to go to catch up with you guys! :)

Mountain Ghost
01-14-2010, 12:04 AM
You’re lining up too close to the ball, hitting too far in front and swinging too much across your body, mostly because of the positioning and the timing, but also because your shoulders come down just before contact due to bending at the waist. Stay farther away from the line of the approaching ball, wait, and push your hips forward so they’re under the shoulders. On the wide balls where you’re actually positioned beautifully, your elbow is coming too far back on the backswing.

But the main thing I see that creates an inconsistent stroke is that after your racquet is up and back, you don’t hold the position steady and the racquet face changes (flattens out / opens up) at the beginning of the forward swing.

MG

aimr75
01-14-2010, 04:10 AM
MG, thanks for the feedback.. technique wise i find it to be a pretty difficult stroke.. interesting points there that im going to look into

5263
01-14-2010, 04:35 AM
MG, thanks for the feedback.. technique wise i find it to be a pretty difficult stroke.. interesting points there that im going to look into

Again, I don't won't to say anyone is wrong, as there are lots of ways to hit, but I love being tight to the ball when able and on the Bh I feel the racket should be very flat to start the stroke, then become slightly more vert on the change of direction across the body.

35ft6
01-14-2010, 10:19 AM
to me, the key of a slice backhand is the follow-through. The more you finish down, to shorter the slice will land (straight down is more of a drop shot. If you hit down and through the ball and then finish up and out (a smile-shaped stroke) you will have more drive on the ball. Obviously, when you follow through, you have already hit the ball so you are not influencing the ball after the fact. Instead, you are altering the swing path prior to contact.This is true. On most of my slice shots my swing creates a big bowl shape, carving down and through the ball, and my follow through ends "high." This is the ideal way to hit it. Swinging the racket across the body with the follow through ending with the racket pointing at the ground, I do that only sometimes if somebody really crushes the ball and I'm trying to take pace off the shot.

This is a pretty good example of an "ideal" slice backhand (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVedzdKdpz8), and I say ideal because sometimes you'll have to improvise. In the video, besides the high follow through, also important to note is the "V" his racket and forearm makes to stabilize the grip/racket, and how straight his arm becomes.

Another great video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEz_53eWmy0). In this one, notice how his left arm goes backwards, mirroring his right arm. This gives you extra stick on the shot and, also, keeps your swing path in better alignment. If the left arm doesn't get involved like that, people seem to have the tendency to swing across their body and jerk their body open.

Make the shot as mechanical as possible. The V of the racket and arm, the straight arm, the bowl swing path, and the left arm moving back, for 90% of my slice backhands, the motion is identical no matter the height or speed of the incoming ball. I snap my wrist through really high backhands (like head level and above), and bunt at super low ones I barely get to, but most of my backhands are like the ones in the first video.

And again, don't worry about power. What makes a slice backhand tough to handle will be trajectory, depth, and precision. And for me, consistency. Once guys realize I'm not going to miss it, a lot of them freak out and try to avoid cross court backhand rallies at all costs. I've seen people do this even at the pro level, most recently Fernando Vincente against Michael Russell. When I go for a winner on my slice, instead of power, I really zero in on hitting the ball a bit earlier and more precisely, but same swing speed.

fuzz nation
01-14-2010, 11:25 AM
thats interesting since it counters what others have mentioned.. dont you think though that it would mean i would be hitting less through the ball, hence less penetrating?

I think it would be wise for you to concentrate on the essentials before you worry about that slice across your body. That's more of a variation on the fundamental stroke that you want to learn first. Once you have the basic pieces figured out, that across the body style can certainly be rather useful.

Square one: Stick with the continental grip for now. You're well on your way to a decent slice and this grip you're using looks to be working fine. I recommend an upturned wrist throughout - the position it's in when you're gunning the throttle on a motorcycle.

That idea of getting sideways is a good one. The slice is a much different backhand from either a one or a two handed topspin bh stroke where you want to make contact more out in front of your body. Ideally, your contact on a slice bh will be more back "beside" you and it will happen earlier in the stroke, but you still want to accelerate the racquet through the ball to a full finish to hit it well. Make that contact farther back where your racquet face is naturally more vertical and that's where you'll be able to better drive the slice through the court.

The second stroke you hit in that video is a good look at a shot where you let the racquet get way out in front of you at contact. With the racquet that far out there, the face is quite open and the racquet can only slide under the ball. Look to make contact farther back, perhaps no farther forward than your right knee. If you try some slow motion practice slices, you can see how the racquet face alters through the progression of the stroke.

Weight transfer: Look at shot #5 in your video and you can see how your weight moves forward though the shot. That's a big plus. You want your weight to be transfered onto your right foot before the swing, not just on time with it like you might do with a topspin forehand or 2hbh. If you stay balanced over your feet and just arm the racquet out to the ball, you'll duplicate a lot more like example #2. Lean through the slice like you're bumping open a heavy door with your shoulder. Although the last stroke in your series is sort of across your body, you lean forward well through that one, too.

Swing path: Already noted the trouble with your contact point on shot #2, but that one may have the best swing path of the bunch. See how your racquet goes through the gentle curve of a smile and finishes with the tip pointed in the general direction of your target? Good stuff! Compare that to some of the other ones and you'll see the racquet head really drop. It's too steep when the tip is pointing down at the court at the bottom of the arc.

The other nice thing with #2 is that your wrist stays more firm and the "L" formed between your forearm and the racquet holds up through to your finish. This is essential geometry for a good slice. You can spot the breakdown in a couple others where your wrist breaks and the tip of your frame is pointing off to the right in the follow through.

You've got some of the basic components that you need in there. Just keep working on one essential at a time until you put them all together. It looks to me like you're getting close.

cork_screw
01-14-2010, 11:47 AM
I think it's hard to do it from reading 3 pages of random forum members giving you different directions. You should just go out to a backwall at a high school or something, get a dead ball and just repeat different strokes and experiment. Nobody knows how to do anything, but the best way of learning is practicing and in this case just practice by yourself against a wall. And experiment so you know what's working for you and not what someone else might be telling you. This is how I learned and I had no instruction and now the slice is second nature to me.

charliefedererer
01-14-2010, 12:10 PM
I think it's hard to do it from reading 3 pages of random forum members giving you different directions. You should just go out to a backwall at a high school or something, get a dead ball and just repeat different strokes and experiment. Nobody knows how to do anything, but the best way of learning is practicing and in this case just practice by yourself against a wall. And experiment so you know what's working for you and not what someone else might be telling you. This is how I learned and I had no instruction and now the slice is second nature to me.

There is more than an element of good advice here. While the poster has certainly gotten a lot of good advice, it will only be the practice he does that takes that theoretical knowledge and actually converts it into a better slice. (But of course if he had been getting bad advice, going out and practicing the wrong thing would just reinforce flawed technique.)

W Cats
01-14-2010, 01:29 PM
Several comments here about using the butt of the racquet to point at the incomming ball or to find the ball. I differ slightly in that I tend to focus on my elbow instead. I find that it helps me to get into the triple 90 preparation phase. You could look at it as the trophy pose of the slice backhand.

athiker
01-14-2010, 02:33 PM
I agree with a couple of comments above.

1) I would say you need to hit the ball in your "strike zone", on most you are too far back and letting the ball drop too low before contact. That forces you to lift the ball instead of drive through the ball.

2) Shoulder turn, look at your shoulder turn in the two you hit the best and compare to the others.

I think your first shot and the shot at 23-24 seconds were 2 of your best. I would compare those to your others in strike zone and shoulder turn. The one at 23-24 secs was your best in IMHO, very nice. The difference between that one and your first was on that one you stepped diagonally into the ball. On the first you stepped sideways to the ball so didn't have the same driving pace on the hit. The first looped over the net higher and slower, but was still pretty good and seemed to die on contact with the court. My 2c.

aimr75
01-14-2010, 02:47 PM
thanks all for the additional comments..

to the poster that mentioned just going out on the back wall and figuring it out.. id prefer to have certain things to focus on technique wise rather then just hitting away.. i have more closely examined my forehand, topspin backhand etc over my slice backhand, so i need to give it the same attention as far as getting a better understanding of the correct technique.. (my other strokes tho still need lots of work too) :)

aimr75
01-15-2010, 03:38 PM
But the main thing I see that creates an inconsistent stroke is that after your racquet is up and back, you don’t hold the position steady and the racquet face changes (flattens out / opens up) at the beginning of the forward swing.

MG

on this point here, ive noticed some people tend to do this, but not sure if this flattening out at the beginning of the stroke is an issue, see here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFThz9QDYGo

5263
01-15-2010, 08:09 PM
on this point here, ive noticed some people tend to do this, but not sure if this flattening out at the beginning of the stroke is an issue, see here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFThz9QDYGo

I agree to open up more at the beginning on the backhand slice is very normal and natural.

I think it is pretty clear in this vid how it is very open; then is turned towards closed as the hand changes direction to more across the body, just as i suggested in the earlier post.
The ball is also pretty close into the body too.
The Fh slice is slightly diff though.

DownTheLine
01-15-2010, 09:49 PM
Your chopping at the ball to much. You know how umpires in baseball call safe? Make that motion when your doing your slice backhand remember to bend your knees on it. I wasn't doing that for awhile and your knee will take the abuse.

Mountain Ghost
01-16-2010, 10:26 AM
on this point here, ive noticed some people tend to do this, but not sure if this flattening out at the beginning of the stroke is an issue, see here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFThz9QDYGo

There are huge differences between the slice backhand styles of Djokovic and Federer. Ask yourself these questions . . . Which one do you think you’re actually trying to emulate? Which one do you think you’re actually capable of emulating? Which one do you think is more versatile? Do you think you can just order up the components ala carte?

You’re only about 60-100 bucks shy of a good slice backhand, but you’d have to pay attention and actually trust for at least one entire hour! Good luck.

MG

5263
01-16-2010, 10:48 AM
There are huge differences between the slice backhand styles of Djokovic and Federer.

Could you share those huge differences? I'm thinking the fundamentals of their Bh slices are very similar.
thanks

Mountain Ghost
01-16-2010, 11:06 AM
Could you share those huge differences? I'm thinking the fundamentals of their Bh slices are very similar.
thanks

- Djokovic has different racquet-face angles throughout his slice backhand . . . Federer does not.
- Djokovic straightens his arm completely before his forward stroke begins . . . Federer does not.
- Djokovic reserves the stroke for balls within a quite limited strike zone . . . Federer does not.

MG

aimr75
01-16-2010, 01:48 PM
There are huge differences between the slice backhand styles of Djokovic and Federer. Ask yourself these questions . . . Which one do you think you’re actually trying to emulate? Which one do you think you’re actually capable of emulating? Which one do you think is more versatile? Do you think you can just order up the components ala carte?

You’re only about 60-100 bucks shy of a good slice backhand, but you’d have to pay attention and actually trust for at least one entire hour! Good luck.

MG

yeah i have noticed the differences between his slice and federers.. i put that youtube clip of djok up because i was asking whether the path change in the forward swing is not correct, or possibly not the best thing to do even though he does it

that path change used to be worse for me.. and my slice was also worse at the time, so i dont disagree with you in that minimising/eliminating that should help me even more

ttbrowne
01-16-2010, 01:55 PM
Great starting point.
1) Looks like you're hitting short. That means your racket is coming more down than out. You can get away with this swing if the ball has a lot of pace on it, it will use the pace to your advantage, but your being fed balls that are medium to slow pace. So for depth, hit out a little more.
2) Your front leg (right leg) needs to bend more. Especially on the low shots. Get on down there. You're bending over at the waist instead of bending your leg.
Good luck!

Forgot this very important...

Left arm: This arm should be coming backwards during your swing. This could be contributing to your short shots. Your arm going back will make you more stable.
Now good luck!

5263
01-16-2010, 05:04 PM
- Djokovic has different racquet-face angles throughout his slice backhand . . . Federer does not.
- Djokovic straightens his arm completely before his forward stroke begins . . . Federer does not.
- Djokovic reserves the stroke for balls within a quite limited strike zone . . . Federer does not.

MG

While I can't agree these are clear differences, I can see where DJ straightens his arm earlier than Fed
and that DJ's racket face changes are more pronounced than Fed's,
But they still both have the face quite open with bent arms at the start of the stroke and have mostly straightened the arm and adjusted the racket face more closed as they start across the body right before contact.
The 3rd one on the list above is more shot selection than technique.
While I can see the point you are making, IMO these are more variations on the same basic commonalities than clear differences.

5263
01-16-2010, 05:14 PM
Forgot this very important...

Left arm: This arm should be coming backwards during your swing. This could be contributing to your short shots. Your arm going back will make you more stable.
Now good luck!

IMO this is a very good point above, combined with leading and leaning into the shot more with that hitting shoulder to drive the ball more. In the vid you start to lean in, then sort of fade back (to try to work the ball some I think, which would account for not getting enough on it) and don't use the left arm at all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvY0qP4mCXg&feature=related

see how Fed leans in with that hitting shoulder thru the shot.
Your slice is more like Kolschriber's in this vid where he starts to, then leans or pulls back during the stroke.
(IMO you should ignore the commentary with this vid for the most part)