slice backhand help

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by clintontiger, Jun 18, 2010.

  1. clintontiger

    clintontiger New User

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    I have searched the forums but with no good results. I'm having problems with my slice backhand going long, floating and just generally long. My swing starts with my racquet face pretty much fully open with knuckles towards the sky and i swing down and through the ball and then back up, like a bow. Obviously it isn't happening like this all the time or they wouldn't be floating and going long. Question is on contact and hitting through the ball is the face closed or slightly open before you start to swing back up (finishing the arch). It is hard to tell on the you tube slow motion videos that I have watched. I also try and lean foward when slicing and swing my nonhitting arm back for balance. Any thoughts or suggestions.

    Thanks,
    Chris
     
    #1
  2. KenC

    KenC Professional

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    It could be that you are hitting the shot a little too late. I find I hit floaters if I don't hit the ball well out in front of me. The racquet face at impact is just slightly open. I also don't like to hit high soft slice shots and like a lot of pace behind them, so I stopped using a continental grip and started using the eastern backhand grip. This forces me to hit more through the ball and impart less backspin than normal.
     
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  3. escii_35

    escii_35 Rookie

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    1. A good slice backhand takes just as much energy as a drive.
    2. Don't flail the wrist. (my biggest issue)
     
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  4. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    racquet face goes open to closed (on contact) to open.
    try this try hitting your slice as a "drive" instead of a "slice" get the feeling of hitting a little flatter. the ball wont float as mush and still bite. try it . let me know what happens
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If it always goes long, aim LOWER TO THE NET, switch grip to EBH, or close the racketface with forward leaning body posture.
    Any of the 3, or all of them, will have you hitting hard slices into the ground before you know it. Then modify it back up to just over the net...:shock:
     
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  6. jigar

    jigar Professional

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    I don't remember but I found a link on forum in last couple of months where there is a lot of video instructions on slice.
     
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  7. GetBetterer

    GetBetterer Hall of Fame

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    Could you upload a video? Perhaps even a video of the full court so we can see the exact problem.

    Maybe you're giving it too much push. Some of the energy needs to give it underspin, the rest of it needs to give it the push to make it across the court where you want it.

    Try a slightly faster, top to bottom swing for the underspin. Start behind the head, and go straight across your body (in front of your thigh area) as you swing down. But don't do it TOO fast otherwise you will develop Tennis Elbow a lot faster.
     
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  8. rice&tennis

    rice&tennis Rookie

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    maybe your doing too much "forward" motion on the swing, try to use more of a left to right (if your right handed) on the swing, and use your body to do the forward motion. if that makes sense :/

    anyway here's a nice vid; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=II7Wo0y6fC8
     
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  9. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    A slice bh can sometimes float if your contact point is too far out in front where the racquet face opens up and slides under the ball too much. Get deliberately onto your front foot before your swing, but look to make contact maybe no farther ahead of you than your front knee. Although you hit the ball earlier in your swing, make a complete follow through to help the racquet accelerate through the ball - the hand leads the racquet.
     
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  10. clintontiger

    clintontiger New User

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    Thanks everyone for the responses, I will try to get a video posted on Monday evening.

    Chris
     
    #10
  11. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Good post.
    Just like on the topspin, the crossing action helps to control ball height on the shot. As you bring the racket face to the ball, it should move from very open to Less open. At contact, the racket should be pulled down and across, opposed to out to the target.
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    If you slice with conti or conti with efh flavor, take it LATER than any other backhand to keep the ball low with penetration.
    Easier to switch to ebh or ebh with SW flavor, so the ball goes low and hard with underspin.
    TURN SHOULDERS CLOSED !!
     
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  13. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Close them shoulders, indeed.

    Just for clarification, I think Lee and I are saying the same thing - take the ball later or farther back so that the contact point isn't too far out in front of you. I was referring to contact happening earlier in the forward swing with a slice bh compared with let's say a one-handed topspin stroke where there's ideally more forward swing before contact occurs at a point farther out in front of the hitter.

    If you hold your racquet with a slice bh grip and watch the face while you slowly move it through the path you'd use to hit a slice, you ought to see the face open up as the racquet moves out in front of you - later in the forward portion of the stroke.
     
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  14. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

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    Good thread and vid...I never realized how bad my bh slice technique was!

    I was taught the "bow" thing as well like the OP. Thinking now, I think the bow technique is more of a bh volley technique?...to get a bit more pace and depth from a shortened backswing?

    The pros in this video don't seem to do that at all with the bh slice groundstroke. Initially I would think they wouldn't get much power not following through with the "bow" out toward the target, but I also see their backswing is much greater and higher than mine.

    Of course they are also typically getting pace from the incoming ball, but watching the vid, with the bigger backswing, they still have quite a distance of forward motion in their swing to generate pace.

    The different contact point vs 1hbh topspin is also interesting. I'm excited to try this stuff out.
     
    #14
  15. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    The tough part about the slice is how to hit shoulder high balls. I think anything waist high or lower is a pretty natural swing for both slice and drive BHs. Anyone have any tips for how to handle high balls with the slice?
     
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  16. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Slicing a higher ball requires more of an angular hit than a drive straight through the ball. I'm a righty, so I'll slice a higher ball with a swing path that's more out to the left of my target than through the ball in the direction of where I want to send it. Something to experiment with.
     
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  17. rice&tennis

    rice&tennis Rookie

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    i think for higher balls, its better to run around to your forehand and just hit it as hard as you can : D
     
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  18. rice&tennis

    rice&tennis Rookie

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    i think these are some of of the more important aspects of the bh slice.
     
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  19. Mr_Shiver

    Mr_Shiver Semi-Pro

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    Good practice is to start hitting backhand volleys with a partner at the net. Gradually both of you should move back until you are at the baseline. For higher ones i go east of a cont grip.
     
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  20. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    Not doubting your extensive experience but...im sure that #1 is wrong.
     
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  21. Mr_Shiver

    Mr_Shiver Semi-Pro

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    i'm sure the guy who posted it would appreciate it if you elaborated on your criticism.
     
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  22. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    Im just kinda lazy. Ill defer the elaboration to LeeD cause he can probably explain it better.
     
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  23. GetBetterer

    GetBetterer Hall of Fame

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    How is that any way to defend your point...having someone else do it for you? -_-
     
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  24. Slazenger07

    Slazenger07 Banned

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    I dont understand why he should feel the need to elaborate, obviously the slice backhand is not as physically taxing of a shot (doesnt require as much energy) as the backhand drive, anybody that plays tennis at a decent standard should know that.
     
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  25. spacediver

    spacediver Hall of Fame

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    I wouldn't be surprised that you'd need more energy for a slice backhand than a drive in many cases. It's certainly true that if you want to achieve the same ball speed that a slice backhand would require a much faster racquet head speed.
     
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  26. Slazenger07

    Slazenger07 Banned

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    How could you need more energy for a slice? It requires less racquet head speed and less energy overall, that not to say it doesnt require plenty of energy because it does, but the amount needed will not be more than you would need to hit a drive.
     
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  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Energy needed....
    Old farts all slice.
    Very few topspin heavy.
    End of story.
     
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  28. spacediver

    spacediver Hall of Fame

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    First of all, not all drives are equal and not all slices are equal. For simplicity's sake, let's assume we have one slice and one drive, and in each case we want the ball to travel the same speed.

    In the drive case, there isn't isn't as much disparity between the direction that the racquet head is traveling relative to the direction that the ball travels, compared to the case of the slice.

    In the slice, you need a faster speed to impart the same velocity on the ball because a lot of the energy is being used to spin the ball rather than impart linear momentum.

    It's the same reason you need super fast racquet head speed in a spin serve compared to a flat serve, all else being equal.
     
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  29. escii_35

    escii_35 Rookie

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    or

    If you want to slice like steff don't be lazy. Lean into it and work that ball. No falling away limp wrist-ed flailing junk.

    I hit my best slices clay because I can euro-slide into the shot forcing a nice lean in.
     
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  30. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    Yea, except your not trying to achieve the same speed with the slice...(unless of course your aiming for the fence)
     
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  31. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    Again a slice is rarely hit at the same pace of a normal drive.
     
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  32. Mr_Shiver

    Mr_Shiver Semi-Pro

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    How helpful is a comment that says you are wrong but doesn't explain why or how to correct the error? You say it is obvious that a slice requires less energy. To you and me and anyone who knows how to correctly perform a slice this is obvious. What about someone who doesn't know how to perform a slice? If he is consistently exerting too much force isn't it safe to say that he is unaware of his mistake? Isn't it then safe to say that offering an explanation as to what he should do differently would be of great help? In addition i don't know what level the poster is at. I've seen plenty of newbies try to hack a slice like they were in a slasher flic.
     
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  33. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    True but a slice drive can be an effective shot. It has that 3/4 speed which can really mix up things.

    There was a time when "older" players just used slice but things have changed dramatically in the last few years. Although slice can be used nicely in today's game, your not going to win if that's all you can hit - doesn't matter what the age is unless your playing at fairly low levels.
     
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  34. spacediver

    spacediver Hall of Fame

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    right, so then the question becomes: does the average slice have a larger or smaller energy expenditure, or require more or less racquet head speed, compared to the average drive.

    I'm not experienced enough to have an answer for this.

    I just wanted to illustrate that, counter to some intuitions, strokes that have a large brushing component require a tonne of racquet head speed to effect the same pace as strokes that have a small brushing component.
     
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  35. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Much less energy required but that isn't the whole story.
     
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  36. Wilander Fan

    Wilander Fan Hall of Fame

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    I think its because of footspeed more than energy. Slice gives you more time since you can hit it very late. You need to hit the topspin much earlier so you need to get there faster.

    Personally, I think the slice does properly does take more energy since its a big sweeping stroke. You have to really generate alot of racket speed or the ball is going to float. For recreational tennis, its really a tough shot since you need to get a hang of the feel for the spin but it plays havoc on guys with big topspin forehands (almost everyone now) because that variable spin on the bounce throws off their big swing and makes them cut it down.
     
    #36
  37. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    lots of energy is needed if you really want the ball to slice down as Steffi. A full shoulder turn to the max: hitting shoulder under chin is a must. but it will float and sail out if you slide under the ball.
    to keep it not to do so, aim at 7:00 o'clock or 8:00 o'clock.
    a combination of side spin and under spin will get the job done. keep the arm fixed ( no opening when slide down) will get the timing easier.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2010
    #37
  38. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    My thoughts on the bh slice, which I've been using since my formative years when I played with wood racquets on grass courts.

    The actual swing of the racquet doesn't seem to require any extra energy and I think that this is mostly due to the fact that the slice doesn't alter the spin on the ball after it bounces up off the court. It's more of a redirection without requiring a lot of the angular contact and bite on the ball that you see in a topspin drive. The topspin stroke redirects the ball and also reverses its spin.

    Executing a proper bh slice requires at least as much energy in terms of deliberate footwork and perhaps even more than a topspin 2hbh. The slice demands both a set up and weight transfer before the stroke when done correctly, while a topspin two-hander can be quickly executed by planting the feet and rotating the shoulders to bring the racquet around.

    But what the heck, it takes energy to hit either shot, right?

    The pace of a slice bh is usually not as hot as a topspin bh and this is a good thing for a couple of reasons. The slice is often a defensive stroke and if it flies less quickly to the far end of the court, it gives the hitter time to get back in the point - no great mystery. The other thing is that the backspin makes the ball float along on a flatter trajectory. Hit it too hard and it's gonna eventually carry right over the baseline, since it doesn't inherently turn over like a topspin ball.
     
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  39. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    To those who are saying bh slice takes more energy than a drive(talking about the stroke itself) do you actually play tennis?
     
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  40. Mr_Shiver

    Mr_Shiver Semi-Pro

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    I don't care how much energy bla bla bla... I just love the feeling of hitting a slice that streams just above the net and then skids on the court like a rock skipping on water. I love it when someone sets up and plants too early on a sidespin slice and it bounces right into them or away from them. I enjoy a good slice just as much as a well angled volley and almost as much as a scorching DLT winner. Ok, enough beer induced rambling.
     
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  41. fruitytennis1

    fruitytennis1 Professional

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    I will actually agree with your beer induced rambling
     
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  42. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Yup, this is my problem -- contact point too far in front. I have to remember to get closer to the ball. No reaching allowed.
     
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  43. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    its not that you have to get closer you have to let the ball come to you. contact about even with front shouloder.
     
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