How do you move on clay??? (video included)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by onehandbh, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,071
    Tried playing on a red clay court a few times. It seems really hard to move
    on the court. I feel like I'm trying to run on an ice skating rink with shoes on.

    Does wearing shoes made for clay courts make a difference?

    A short video of my feeble attempt... (I'm the one closer to the camera)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8GVpJT8s0BQ
     
    #1
  2. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2012
    Messages:
    1,294
    i didn't see any "attempts"... where are the splits?
     
    #2
  3. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Messages:
    19,660
    Location:
    Central Florida
    You won't learn how to move on clay overnight. It takes time.
     
    #3
  4. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,071
    True. I'm pretty lazy with splits overall and especially when just hitting around.
    Since I'm not playing very often, I think I'll just work on something each time I hit.
    Probably mostly footwork.
     
    #4
  5. Pet

    Pet Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    Messages:
    487
    How is play with a wood raquet?
     
    #5
  6. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,407
    makes a big difference. the right sole gives you much more traction on clay courts.
    do you prefer the pro staff or the autograph?
     
    #6
  7. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,998
    Helps to open your legs up more and when you're running for a shot you have to really shift your weight correctly to get a stable slide.
     
    #7
  8. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2011
    Messages:
    6,409
    beautiful hitting with Wood. I really like to see that. you manage to hit a heavy and modern ball with a Wood racket that is nice to see.

    do you always hit with that racket?
     
    #8
  9. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,407
    if you donĀ“t play on clay regularly i would be careful with the sliding to the ball. better to move more like on a hardcourt, less risky:)
     
    #9
  10. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,071
    Not bad. The sweet spot is a bit smaller and the racquet has less
    power so you have to adjust your swing a little bit.

    I much prefer the pro staff. Stiffer and better feel to me.
    The autograph feels like a wet noodle compared to the PS.

    I'll try this.

    Usually use a PS85 or k90, but also trying to switch
    to youtek prestige pro (having tough time finding right
    amount of weight to add to it and also best poly for it)
     
    #10
  11. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,998
    Also adding a really important part to the sliding comment, don't forget to point your leading foot towards the position you are going to slide towards. Don't slide with your leading foot pointing perpendicular to the baseline(if moving laterally) and roll your ankle like my friend did on his first time on the clay courts. :(
     
    #11
  12. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,071
    Ah! Would never have thought of that.
     
    #12
  13. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2011
    Messages:
    987
    Location:
    Huntington Beach, CA
    watch nadal. He usually runs sideways towards the ball then opens up and hits open. Also, he usually is running diagonally back to hit the ball

    nice groundies tho
     
    #13
  14. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    3,773
    For people used to hardcourts hit and then stop to recover/prepare for the next shot. For clay, you slide into the stroke and then recover after the slide. Try intentionally sliding into a few strokes (i.e., while your racquet is back and waiting to swing) to get the feeling of the motion.
     
    #14
  15. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,071
    I think I might be ready to get some clay court shoes...

    My worn out hardcourt shoes were deadly today... Slipped several times
    and fell twice. Both times I fell was on the explosive first step.
    Foot completely slipped and I bit the dirt.

    The last time I tried my dunlop volleys and it was infinitely better, but not
    sure if the canvas dunlop volleys will hold up over time.
     
    #15
  16. Costagirl

    Costagirl Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Messages:
    186
    Location:
    USA
    It is a totally different surface than hard courts that's for sure. And red is similar but even different than green clay. If you scored a red clay court...kudos to you! That's awesome. The right sole can make a great deal of difference. Adidas Baricade 7.0 and Ascis Gel Revolution 5 are both made specific for clay. Running or getting to a ball is not a sudden jerk reaction but a smooth glide into the shot. It can be challenging at first but what isn't to achieve a good game. You'll have a blast when you get used to the movement...the footwork...length of points...and having to really use your head to finish a point in your favor. But best of luck and enjoy.

    salud:)
     
    #16
  17. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2009
    Messages:
    2,858
    Location:
    At Large
    That's the biggest difference between hard court vs clay. You cannot make a hard stop/start on clay and that is why you learn to slide into shots. Shoes will not make a difference there.

    Clay shoes don't give you a deeper tread to grip the loose surface like a mud tire, clay shoes have a smaller tread so the clay doesn't get clogged in the tread (making your sole a smooth surface).
     
    #17
  18. kopfan

    kopfan Rookie

    Joined:
    May 6, 2009
    Messages:
    223
    Get into your form early and slide into the position. The main approach is your anticipation to where you gonna position yourself for the shot. Have fun sliding on the clay.
     
    #18
  19. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    9,187
    If I can slide on hard courts, does that mean no one can hit a winner on me? :)

    I wish I can play on a clay court.
     
    #19
  20. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    19,928
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    I think a lot of people are. I can tell you that when I finally fixed this, it made a huge difference. You won't be able to get around clay or even hard court optimally until you make yourself utilize proper footwork every time, even casually. It takes some discipline and focus but its worth it.
     
    #20
  21. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2005
    Messages:
    9,187
    Agreed with this, if my feet aren't doing their job, it doesn't matter what I do with my upperbody and arms.
     
    #21
  22. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    It doesn't look feeble to me. You hit pretty darned well I think. Smooth and relaxed. What exactly is the problem? Is it that you're constantly conscious of possibly slipping (so that you feel like you're sort of moving/hitting more tentatively than you would on a hard court)? If so, I think the more you play on clay, the less that will be a problem. You'll adjust, get looser, and increasingly be able to move and hit out with more confidence.

    That's a Wilson Kramer wood racquet you're using? Cool. I have a Wilson Jimmy Connors Capri and a Wilson Tony Trabert Stylist that I hit with now and then.

    I gave your video a thumbs up and subscribed to your channel.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
    #22
  23. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,071
    Makes sense. Usually I am hitting and then sliding.

    I am definitely used to more sudden changes in direction. It was out of
    the split step that I was slipping and falling. There was a light rain so
    I think the clay made my shoes really slippery.


    Thx! In the video I am using a Wilson Jack Kramer Prostaff.

    I think the hardest part is feeling like I can't plant my foot and push
    hard. As others have pointed out, I probably need to keep my
    feet moving and not make sudden movements.
     
    #23
  24. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,335
    Location:
    On the courts; hard & clay ...
    in the video you're not really moving at all
     
    #24
  25. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    not in my experience. i was sliding the first time i played on clay. any tennis shoe works
     
    #25
  26. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    and also i didnt see any real attempts.......
     
    #26
  27. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Great racquet. I'm going to get one, and also some Davis racquets that I used to use (and break) a lot. Probably some others as well ... Borg's Donnays come to mind.

    Don't worry. You'll naturally adjust and learn the best way to move on clay. For me it came pretty easily and pretty quickly. However, it wasn't red clay, but the synthetic Har-Tru. I've never played on real clay.

    And of course a little rain on any surface can be a problem.
     
    #27
  28. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,335
    Location:
    On the courts; hard & clay ...
    OP,

    if you want to slide on red clay, you have to get your body weight low, bend at the knees. BUT, you have to be moving first, which you are not.

    red clay is awesome.
     
    #28
  29. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    your posts are usually right on, but with this one i am going to say its not essential. for me i think the best thing to do is to get momentum going. i am not sure exactly whats happening when i do it but i am fairly sure my leg is locked, knees not bent until i get to the ball. maybe i should post a video.
     
    #29
  30. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,071
    No attempts in the video I posted. Just cross court hitting b/c my phone
    camera doesn't have a super wide angle. I'll try to record another video later
    this weekend. There was some light rain during the last time I played so I
    didn't try recording.
     
    #30
  31. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    that red clay looks plain awesome! wish i was playing on it.
     
    #31
  32. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2005
    Messages:
    3,071
    I can see why people with bad knees/joints like clay.
    Although (knock on wood) I don't have any knee or joint pain or issues,
    it seems really low impact compared to hard courts. Kind of like comparing
    indoor hardwood basketball to outdoor concrete basketball. Never had any
    joint pain from either, but falling on concrete sure hurts a lot more!
     
    #32
  33. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,335
    Location:
    On the courts; hard & clay ...
    no comparison between red clay and hardcourts in terms of comfort.

    clay courts are buttery on the knees.
     
    #33
  34. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2006
    Messages:
    9,132
    Location:
    tennis courts
    i like playing on clay just so i can slide. i am such a kid:)
     
    #34

Share This Page