Slice Backhand Study

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Bungalo Bill, Oct 22, 2009.

  1. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Following are my open notes on the slice backhand. You can comment if you want, however, keep in mind it is a study that I am also gathering more information on and understanding. Got to edit some of this stuff...

    EDIT: The study I am trying to do is simply isolated to the arm swing of the slice backhand and not the footwork, balance, movement, ball judgement, etc...These are also my notes on the swing. In other words, my take on it and what I see. Whether right or wrong, good or bad, it is just notes and not necessarily instruction unless of course you agree with what I am seeing and want to try it out in practice. I am also not discounting the importance of balance, timing, movement, footwork, etc...if you have read any of my posts in the past, you would know that footwork and movement are thee most important things in my book for stroke improvement.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2009
    #1
  2. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Several things noted about the slice backhand in order to practice and develop a good one:

    1. The slice backhand is swung from the shoulder.

    2. The arm makes an L shape and mainly stays like that throughout the swing motion.

    3. You must get a good shoulder turn on the slice or you will open your shoulders and hit inconsistently when uncoil. You must rotate the shoulders during racquet preparation to get the front shoulder under that chin. No exceptions here.

    4. You must have excellent balance and hit the slice off your front foot with knees bent.

    There are several swing types for the slice.

    1. The classic high to low and up towards the target swing. This is usually done with an "L" shaped arm.

    2. The Ken Roswall swing with racquet head almost resting on the back arm flat and as it comes forward you supinate the forearm area to turn the racquet head into the ball as you go out and forward toward the target.

    [​IMG]

    3. The slice that is seen a lot today with players extending their arm through contact and maintaining the "L" just before and into followthough after the arm extended. But the followthrough is going out to the side of the body with the racquet head not flying out dangling which a lot of recreational players miss or don't see. Also, in the followthrough there is still the "L" maintained.The swing flow is tracing a U shape that is nearly happening in front of the body plane. Watch how Federer accelerates the swing from the shoulder nearly driving the front shoulder through the ball over the front foot. The legs are used to add motion to his swing and for timing. Watch the hand pattern for U shape I mentioned.

    FIND PICTURES

    Edit: Between these two photos, this is where you hit the slice. The other stuff is preparation and followthrough. The slice is hit on the front foot, it is a feel shot not a "hard" shot. It is funner than heck to hit this shot when you got it down. The portion of the swing these two photos show is where your feel and touch on the ball are developed. It is in this quick and short part of the slice movement that you will gain the most. Let the followthrough happen and maintain that L as long as you can.

    No matter which you choose, hitting a slice off your front foot with a good shoulder turn is a must. I have players hit an abbreviated slice backhand by hitting slowly fed balls and stopping just after they make contact. Their weight needs to be loaded over their front foot and they must balance themselves over that front foot for 5 seconds.

    If you look at the greats in slices, they all have the following:

    1. They make contact over their front foot.

    2. They have excellent balance over their front foot.

    3. They have an excellent shoulder turn.

    4. They maintain an L shape in their arm to racquet head mostly throughout the swing.

    5. The hit through the ball.

    6. They are bent in their knees. Then do not bend over at the waist.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
    #2
  3. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    1. The "newer" style slice that you see used a lot today, does extend the arm through contact.

    2. The pro raises the arm with the arm slightly bent (as shown in the Federer pics above). Then as they go down in their swing, they extend the arm right before and through contact. Where a lot of recreational players mess up is they allow their wrist to break too much with it and they lose the "L" shape that Federer maintains deep into his followthrough.

    3. The slice backhand is a very disciplined stroke. It is not a stroke you just "do". There are things to it to hit a good one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
    #3
  4. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Looking at Federer's "current style" slice backhand.

    Purpose: I am studying this a bit because I do not hit slice backhand this way. So, I want to learn how to do it this way for whatever reason (bored, getting old and just want to show off, etc....).

    FIRST PICTURE REVIEW:
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Okay, so what I see here is we are looking at some photos slightly after the uncoiliing has begun. So, we can assume based on the shoulder position that the front shoulder was tighter to the chin at the end of the racquet preparation phase. So sequencially I see:

    1. Weight being transferred to the front foot before contact.

    2. Hitting arm is bent to allow for it to extend as the racquet hits the ball at contact.

    3. Verified my previous finding that the swing is definetly from the shoulder with that element of arm extension most likely to really spin the crap out of the ball for wicked slice. So he has the stability of the shoulder dominating the stroke as the major hinge in the stroke with a minor hinge (the elbow) used to accelerate the racquet head through the ball. This is very much the same thing the wrist release does in the forehand. Except we are spinning the ball faster rather than putting more power through the ball as the wrist release does in the forehand. Now, for those that understand air flow for topspun and underspun balls, you will understand that Federer is using physics to send the ball over a cushion of air towards his target.

    4. A lateral position is established and the back arm is beginning to exert itself to maintain that position.

    5. Head is in the proper position and the racquet face from this point of view looks near square.

    6. The other thing I see is Federer is establishing a different kind of swing motion. Much like the Windshield wiper motion goes from left to right, this swing is following a clock face going down clockwise (3 o'clock, 4 o'clock, 5 o'clock, 6 o'clock, and so on as you will see in the next frames.

    SECOND PICTURE REVIEW
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    And there it is. The racquet face and hand (always watch the hand pattern which is most important) is following a clock face in front of Federers body using a near perpendicular racquet face.

    In this picture:

    1. The wrist has slightly broken, however, it isn't allowing the racquet to dangle or get out of control. It will move the racquet back into the "L" shape position as the followthrough matures.

    2. Front foot hitting - check.

    3. Body is lateral maintaining classic form - check.

    4. Head is still, well after the ball is struck - check. Remember the ball is only on the strings for 4 milliseconds, so Federer has maintained his head position well into the stroke and well after he hit the ball. In other words, a long time.

    5. There is very little effort here from Federer. It is an effortless swing. Federer truly understands the art side of the slice backhand.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
    #4
  5. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    THIRD PICTURE FRAMES
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    Okay, this is where a lot of recreational players go wrong. Yes, in the followthrough. DO NOT MISINTERPRET THESE PICTURES. I supplied the animation above to help you to not do so and I will post it here as well.

    It is very important that you understand because the slice is a feel shot, losing control of the slice followthrough and your racquet only tells me you hit the slice like your topspin forehand - as hard as you can. This is actually a dumb thing to do.

    1. Look closely at Federer's followthrough discipline. Even though he broke the wrist for added acceleration through the ball, this disciplined stroke remains true to form in keeping the L shape at the end of the stroke.

    2. As the racquet extend out away from the body, because of the swing force and swing weight of the racquet, Federer hones it back in to the L shape with a beautiful finish showing the arm straight and the wrist cocked back forming the L that is usually maintained through the classic stroke.

    3. The finish of the stroke is lateral with back arm extended.

    4. He is well over his front foot with the ball long gone.

    5. The only shoulder that has opened up do to rotation is his front shoulder while his back shoulder is holding tightly (or anchored down) to the lateral position established throughout the stroke. You can learn a ton here. This position is a key.

    Here is the animation that shows discipline and purpose for each element (arm extension, wrist break, and then bringing it back to the L)

    [​IMG]

    The final thing I want you to keep in mind is this kind of slice is not necessarily an offensive slice. This is a neutral or defensive slice used to mix things up, change pace, change spin, etc...
     
    #5
  6. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,287
    Thanks, BB

    This is quite a lot to absorb.

    Is a certain stance important?

    As for shoulder turn, is it like that you turn to have your chin touch the shoulder while keeping the arm straight and racket in L shape?
     
    #6
  7. BravoRed691

    BravoRed691 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2006
    Messages:
    438
    I love to slice...i don't think i have a good one but i do think it's competent...threfore i thank you soo much for this post BB ... When will the pics be available?

    Question: whether we are to maintain a bent L-shape arm position throughout our stroke or to release the forearm thru contact and into the followthru, should we be trying to finish with our racket on the same side of the body, or letting the racket come across?

    I know the diff btw the two, i was just wondering which one should we be learning or teaching others to do? I've heard from certain people that the slices of today is more "floaty" than the slice of "yesterday" partly because we tend to come across our body too much...what are your thoughts of this?

    Br
     
    #7
  8. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Yes, it is and it needs to be edited and perhaps combined. The pictures sure would help this a lot but for some reason it takes to time for them to come through. I dont know why that is. When I right-click on the icon where the photo should be it says SHOW PICTURE, then if I wait it eventually loads.
     
    #8
  9. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Well that is what I would like to define further. I dont know if I would use the term floaty because that can mean different things to people and perhaps be misconceived.

    As far as finishing on the same side of the body, I assume you mean if you are right handed you finish on the right-hand side?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
    #9
  10. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    4,628
    How do you finish a slice shot without having the L shape? I mean, who would keep their racket pointed in such an awkward postion like the "I" shape?
     
    #10
  11. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    The L shape is referenced as a discipline. It is also mentioned because some people swing and perform the slice from the elbow vs. swinging from the shoulder. Therefore, when I mention maintain the L position. I referring to swinging from the shoulder and allowing the arm to work more like a lever or a unit. This should be maintained throughout the stroke.
     
    #11
  12. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    4,628
    Federer doesn't maintain it through the stroke, but then again, I ain't fed, nor am I BB. IMO, the slice bh isn't just about stroke mechanics. You're obviously overlooking footwork, contact point, and having the proper stance to initiate the drive. A perfect stroke means nothing when you're totally out of position to hit it.
     
    #12
  13. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    4,628
    Sorry, didn't mean to hijack.
     
    #13
  14. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,960
    I think the "'L' shape" comes from trying to keep the racket head above the wrist throughout the stroke, like in a volley.

    That's how I learned it (well, my current slice at least), and right now even though I don't maintain the same angle all the way it works very well for me.
     
    #14
  15. ttbrowne

    ttbrowne Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    May 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,622
    Good stuff, Bill. My slice is my strongest shot.
    I will disagree with you on one point, It can be an offensive shot in that if you hit it with a lot of pace (Fed does every once in a while) the ball does not come up but a couple of inches off the court. That is an offensive slice.
     
    #15
  16. Jay_The_Nomad

    Jay_The_Nomad Professional

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    Messages:
    971
    Well, its offensive only if you approach the net behind that slice.
     
    #16
  17. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    3,773
    I totally agree that a good slice is hit from the shoulder [[not elbow - typo], but I am curious regarding the role of the elbow. Between this shot:
    http://www.tenniscruz.com/images/roger/Roger1.jpg

    and this shot:
    http://www.tenniscruz.com/images/roger/Roger2.jpg

    there is an obvious arm extension/straightening of the elbow to accelerate the racquet. I am curious because the amount of elbow extension seems to vary by player and shot. Does maintaining the elbow bend allow for better control/touch? I would think, based on volleys, this would be true since the bending the elbow would place the racquet head closer to your body.


    Another thought I had in looking at this picture:
    http://www.tenniscruz.com/images/roger/Roger3.jpg

    is that the contact point is pretty far forward - likely as far forward is his BH drive. This seems different from the conventional thinking that the contact point for the slice would be closer to the body versus a drive BH.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
    #17
  18. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    5,448
    here's one of Henin who finishes fully extended and not L shaped.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-GzW401yri4

    obviously the slice can be varied to produce different shot types.
     
    #18
  19. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Messages:
    3,061
    Location:
    somewhere in calif
    Great posts...BB

    I primarily use L shape slice backhands on my 1HBH. .i.e. 1 & 3 on your swing type list.

    I am gonna try the second swing type (ken rosewall). I did not realize that he held the racquet face almost parallel to the ground and then suppinated. I often hit with underspin but keep the same racquet face angle prior to contact... i.e no suppination.
     
    #19
  20. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Messages:
    610
    Location:
    Sunny Va Beach
    I like this type of slice backhand:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHA2gfRSmro

    He really has it grooved. That said, there are different times to use different slices.
     
    #20
  21. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Geeez, man, I haven't even got that far yet and won't in this study. I am not even looking at the "perfect" stroke. I am simply reviewing three different swing paths and opening my notes. Not your notes, not the person down the streets notes, nor other peoples note.

    As I mentioned above, these are my open notes on swing paths, not the entire slice backhand. If you want to think that I wouldn't include or are ignorant to think that being in position is not important, you are sadly mistaken.

    I am simply giving out my notes on three different swing paths. Of course, I haven't included footwork and getting in position.

    Look, I really dont want to argue about this. If you can't appreciate my willingness to share my insights, ideas, notes, etc, for an area I chose to study, can you just move on? However, if you want to flame it up, jump to conclusions or twist my intent with my own notes, then let's get the moderator involved.

    Bottom-line, I am simply opening my notes, if you dont like what I write, don't read it.

    And regarding Fed? At times he does maintain the L in his slice backhand. However, I don't care about those because I am isolating the study to just the more current swing path version simply to disect it for learning purposes. In other words, I am using a model for study and note taking.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHPdlGW4vEE

    If you think you know more, then make your own post on the subject and give us your take on things. Why dont you take over and post your own notes. Would you like for me to criticize them?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
    #21
  22. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    haha, yes, and then right when you get to the serve line, make your shoes squeek to really get the hairs on the back of your opponents neck to rise.
     
    #22
  23. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    6,287
    #23
  24. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Messages:
    5,448
    #24
  25. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Actually the L is there at contact. It also comes back in the followthrough but cant see it in this video. The elements are still there, the stroke style is different which is being noted in slice #3. It is a variation. With stroke style #3, we are still seeing normal slice discipline but it adds somewhat of a hand release just before contact is made and into extension as noted above. The swing path somewhat follows a clock face which is a variation which is why I am simply reviwing them and taking notes on what I am seeing.


    "L" shape. It is all there.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHPdlGW4vEE
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
    #25
  26. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    I need to get back to my study and out of digression.
     
    #26
  27. MethodTennis

    MethodTennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Messages:
    3,614
    not seen any of your threads or posts in donkeys
     
    #27
  28. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    I dont know where you got that I think the slice shot is defensive only. I have argued that the slice can be hit both offensively and defensivly. I hit the slice shot defensively and offensively. Maybe you can point where I mentioned it was defensively only.
     
    #28
  29. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    4,628
    I think you need to chill out and read my post again.. you're getting too far ahead of yourself.
     
    #29
  30. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885

    What? In this shot Henin is in the L shape throughout the shot. Watch the wrist position.

    Are you looking for a perfect L in the shot and in every single slice shotever hit by man?

    You really need to reread post #4 because I feel you are taking things out of context and are simply looking for a fight.
     
    #30
  31. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Okay so two people here just want to start a fight and flame.

    Once again, these are my notes! Reread your own post for goodness sakes! Are you kidding me? You are digressing into footwork, and movement and you failed to read the purpose or get the purpose of the analysis. Who is getting ahead of who?

    If I say I am analyzing three SW"ING PATHS and you interject other things, who is moving ahead? You or I?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
    #31
  32. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Anyway, so I need to move on and just continue. Three swing paths are being analyzed and that is all is being analyzed. We are not analyzing footwork, movement, conditioning, keeping the head still, when to slice, defensive or offensive slices, or anything else.

    Swing paths, that is it.
     
    #32
  33. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    4,628
    I only added my insight to your posts, it was pretty simple to understand, right? You must be confused? How are you not getting ahead of yourself when you're accusing me of all types of behavior when I haven't done anything wrong?
     
    #33
  34. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,519
    The slice is a defensive shot from the baseline. Just because someone does not handle low slices well does not change that fact. One handers will slice more usually because of consistency problems, like steffi graf. Rarely you see guys like agassi and nadal slice their two hander if they can hit a powerful two hander. Why would they set themselves up to be punished if they don't have to? Still it is nice to have the slice in your arsenal, but it's not a offensive shot any way you look at hit from the baseline.
     
    #34
  35. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    How can I be confused about my own post? I posted my own notes. I stated the purpose of the post and set out the direction of the the threads.

    Then in comes you with movement and other stuff that is obvious but is not being discussed nor do I care to discuss it.

    There has been no accusations here. Nothing of the sort. However, this post is about swing paths and it is something you are confused about.

    Do you have notes to share? Do you want to teach me? By all means, take over.
     
    #35
  36. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    4,628
    BB, just because someone adds their opinion/more info to your insight, it doesn't mean they're flaming or wanting to fight with you. :oops::shock::( You're acting too defensive when there is no need to be. My insight ended with my second post in this thread. But it seems you keep trying to bring me back with your replies.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
    #36
  37. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Here is what started this:

    Originally Posted by AlpineCadet [​IMG]
    Federer doesn't maintain it through the stroke, but then again, I ain't fed, nor am I BB. IMO, the slice bh isn't just about stroke mechanics. You're obviously overlooking footwork, contact point, and having the proper stance to initiate the drive. A perfect stroke means nothing when you're totally out of position to hit it.

    Yes, it is obvious I am not looking at footwork and movement. This was stated above in the first few posts.

    I am defensive because I dont care for this post whatsoever.

    If you have something to say, add to the analysis. Or provide your own notes on the the swing path of the arm.
     
    #37
  38. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,960
    You don't ever need to hit a slice with pace, though it does add to how aggressive the shot it. And you definitely don't need to use pace to make the slice skid. The idea helps because you really have to hit through the ball to generate that pace (which will help you knife through the ball) but sometimes people will also try to overdo the spin while doing that (and maybe even with an open face too) and float a hard one long. But if you understand how to hit it, it's no problem.

    Bottom line, I feel that a slice is a CONTROL shot. What you do with it determines whether it's an offensive shot or not (floater or knifer).

    No; good players can hit offensive slices from most (if not all) positions and your response will generally be a weak one (or very conservative). This is why Federer is known to have one of the best (if not THE best) slice backhands on the tour. He plays it low, places it exactly where he wants it, and uses it to set up offensive situations.

    In 2007, Roger Federer played a VERY aggressive slice (in a somewhat defensive position) at a key moment (break point on Nadal's serve in the 5th set) to force a weak shot from Nadal and set up his winning forehand for the break! Nadal was lucky just to get the ball over the net, let alone get to it.

    o_O When did he ever say that? And a good slice is NOT hit from the elbow. That's how you get tennis elbow. A good slice is hit from the shoulder using the back muscles around that shoulder.

    I would much rather hit a slice with my wrist than with my elbow.

    I think people did that back when they used wood rackets and you didn't really have much room for error when putting spin on the ball.

    Yeah... Form of hitting a good slice backhand using a wood racket + graphite racket = insane spin + very little bounce.

    Well, that sort of confused me as well to start. A perfect L is possible, but most people don't do it. It's uncomfortable and requires some considerable wrist strength to keep that throughout the stroke with faster swing speeds.

    Like I said before, I feel this pattern of the L comes from the idea of keeping the racket head above the wrist on contact and trying to maintain that degree of bend as much as possible without losing comfort when hitting the shot.
     
    #38
  39. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Messages:
    3,773
    BB -I always think of the Laver BH as an unnatural shot and not repeatable. However, would you consider the stroke to be mostly a drive with a continental grip with a natural supination of the racquet to close the face .
     
    #39
  40. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,519
    I don't know why people think they can post 'instruction' on how to slice or anything really from posting videos or reading a book. You need hands on instruction that a teacher will see what you are doing wrong when you yourself will never see it. No matter how much you study, or post videos of super slo-mo shots.
     
    #40
  41. AlpineCadet

    AlpineCadet Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2006
    Messages:
    4,628
    How can you consider yourself a "teaching professional" when you get worked up over having to read something that rounds out your thread? I didn't insult you, nor did I take anything away from you. I just ADDED to the discussion by sharing my opinion on your post.


    FYI, keep in mind:
    :idea:

    :confused: :shock:
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
    #41
  42. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,519

    Well alpine when it comes to teaching you won't ever change the mind of a teacher. It's their way or the hiway. No inbetween. If you take lessons from a pro you don't argue with what they are teaching. You either have faith they know what they are talking about or you don't. I personally think the best way to get good at tennis is to listen to someone you trust and never debate. I like BB but think he gets WAY to technical when it comes to tennis strokes. It's actually much easier imo than what he makes it out to be. Strokes should come natural and as little thinking as possible. Everything will go haywire if you start overanalyzing every little thing a pro does and watching super slo-mo vids of pro's and try to duplicate every little nuance of a pro like federer.
     
    #42
  43. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Messages:
    610
    Location:
    Sunny Va Beach
    Almost any shot can be used both offensively and defensively in my opinion. If you know that your opponent doesn't handle low or side spin slices well, and you use it to set you up for a winner or an approach shot, you are using the shot offensively. The same thing with a moon ball, lob, etc...................

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fHA2gfRSmro
     
    #43
  44. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,960
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOFaMQXJA1c

    So that's NOT a shot used to set up a situation in Federer's favor? And it's NOT forcing errors? Okay then...

    NOBODY can handle a ball that's inches from the court well. YOU CAN'T GET UNDER IT TO PUT HEAVY SPIN ON IT!

    One handers don't slice because of consistency problems, it's cause of POWER problems. If you've ever tried BOTH a one hander and a two hander (and can hit them both proficiently), then you realize that the ability to consistently bomb flat shots harder than a two hander is difficult (unless on the run, in which case the one hander is better)

    You will frequently see players (even Nadal and Verdasco who have very nice backhands) slice the ball. It is a GREAT changeup.

    You only set yourself up to be punished if you hit a floater. If you knife the ball, they CAN'T attack it unless they're a VERY good player and you didn't knife it well enough.

    Using an insanely low ball is the same thing as using an insanely high ball. It's an aggressive shot. Unless you say Nadal's being defensive when he pounds those heavy forehands to Federer's backhand.

    Benefits of a good slice:
    -They CAN'T pound it because you give them no pace to feed off of
    -It's lower, so they have to hit UP and might not be able to put heavy topspin on it, which means they have to hit a more conservative shot due to lack of spin
    -It requires the opponent to move their feet more accurately
    -You can easily use it to manipulate your opponent's position and open up the court
    -The change in speed and bounce messes people up because they've become accustomed to dealing with high-bouncing topspin shots, flat bombs, or anything in between.

    You see very few people in general use a slice very often when they can rip on the ball. You will rarely see Blake use a slice when he can rip one. Now why is that? HE'S ONE DIMENSIONAL! He constantly whacks the ball and doesn't think. People WILL slice the ball even if they're not on defense as a changeup. People who do (Federer, Nadal, Verdasco, Sampras, Courier, EVEN AGASSI) become people who THINK on the court. In this age of banging tennis, people would rather bang the ball back and forth all day than THINK of how to work a point. This is why Federer dominated the tour so successfully for so long. He had ALL the tools, and was always thinking on how to use them to break open a point.

    I'm guessing you don't have a very good slice... I've torn people apart with nothing but a slice to such a degree they'd rather face my forehand, which is clearly my more powerful wing. People would rather deal with power than low slices the same way people would rather blast mid court sitters all day than hard balls from behind the baseline. A slice is SUBTLE aggression. Just cause it isn't hit at 80+ mph doesn't make it any less aggressive than a flat one up the middle (if you hit it well WITH A PLAN).
     
    #44
  45. 4sound

    4sound Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    530
    Location:
    Match Point
    Guys,
    Don't forget the role of the ball coming in hitting the slice.
    Slice is typically hit on low balls or on the rise balls.

    You can hit the slice for balls coming down from the ball arch, but you will typically get more float than knife on the ball.

    Fed does the float slice from the baseline on balls coming down to actually take pace off. There are a lot of guys that like pace coming for the timing of their strokes so this is a great change up. You don't see a lot of people do this shot because its harder to control the height.

    As far as the different swing paths; I think this has a lot more to do with the height of where the ball is received (high vs low balls).

    Robert Lansdorp talks about american vs european slice styles which is an interesting breakdown of the strokes.
     
    #45
  46. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,960
    A slice is more difficult to hit on a ball rising off the court just like every other shot in the book. But when given the option of hitting a rising shot over the shoulder with either a drive or a slice, the choice is easy. Comfort clearly dictates that a slice should be used.

    My best knifers come from the peak of just after. But I can still take it on the rise, but I prefer it closer to the peak because right off the bounce is pretty tough. Not impossible, but it's very tough.
     
    #46
  47. VaBeachTennis

    VaBeachTennis Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Messages:
    610
    Location:
    Sunny Va Beach
    That may be true for you and other people, but not true for others...................
    Because of the nature of the game (no coaching when playing) we tend to troubleshoot ourselves quite often. Look at various pro players after they miss a shot and they sometimes talk to themselves and demonstrate the proper swing path to themselves, etc. .
     
    #47
  48. Ultra2HolyGrail

    Ultra2HolyGrail Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    Messages:
    2,519

    I'm guessing you are not a power player. I never said the slice is not effective. Yes i do have a good slice but it all depends on the style you play. With two handers it's usually all power two handed shot's in a baseline match. They throw in a slice and usually regret it. It's like decideing to play 50% baseline and 50% serve and volley. Usually you need to commit to one gameplan to be great at it. For a power player, especially two handers, the slice is a defensive shot. I'm guessing you have a one hander.
     
    #48
  49. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    Geez, man, look at the thread again. Read the first post and then the next four posts. Am I looking at footwork? How about the "perfect" stroke? No, all I am doing is analyzing the arm movement.

    Also, I am not a tennis teaching professional hence the word former.

    Do you have notes to add to the swing paths or not?
     
    #49
  50. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2004
    Messages:
    11,885
    I guess everyone is putting words in people's mouths. Can you please show me where I am getting too technical? IF a player wants to learn what he needs to do to improve his technique, how can you help a person unless you understand the entire stroke in a technical way?
    Definition: tech·nique (t[​IMG]k-n[​IMG]k[​IMG])
    n. 1. The systematic procedure by which a complex or scientific task is accomplished.
    2. also tech·nic a. The way in which the fundamentals, as of an artistic work, are handled.
    b. Skill or command in handling such fundamentals. See Synonyms at art1.


    [French, technical, technique, from Greek tekhnikos, technical; see technical.]

    If you think I am technical, you should see some of my friends. I dont get into physics, or mathmatical explanations on ball spins, the formulas on angular momentum or anything else like that.

    However, I will learn how one hits a ball. I will learn the key areas and phases of the stroke. This is because when a player asks for help, I want to be able to see exactly what the problem is and provide an explanation of not only where the problem is but how to fix it.

    Please, you will save me a lot of time this weekend. I have two people that have requested my help. Now, I dont want to bog them down with needless technical jibberish from my advice, I want to sitback and read your advice.

    Edit: So, JackB1 and Cody asked for help. Can you please help them?
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2009
    #50

Share This Page