Originally Posted by Bergboy123
Federer, Djokovic, Nadal, all the top pros slide even on hardcourts WHEN they are going way wide to return an angled shot.
I got into the habit of sliding on hardcourts back in high school too, but it became a huge disadvantage; I began sliding when I had no reason to, sliding on easier shots, etc. especially when my shoes got worn down.
I had to consciously think about NOT sliding for a long time to break the habit. Now I'm back to just sliding on the wide shots
That said, it's all about explosive movement. People start the first step with explosive movement, but in order to slide successfully you also need to kinda lunge into the last shot as well. Obviously you can't slide if you're merely walking, thus the needed force and speed.
The least traction possible also helps sliding, as has been mentioned. This (for me at least) means only one shoe on the ground, and ideally not the entire shoe. When I slide to my forehand, most of my weight is on my toes. For my backhand it's more on the outside of my foot, since my foot is perpendicular to the baseline (backwards, extreme reach to hit a slice or something..)
I would NOT recommend trying/doing this with new shoes. I learned the hard way that new shoes don't slide well, leading to injuries and hurt ankles. Break them in, wear them down a little bit, then go for it CAREFULLY.
And just for clarification, someone above said that sliding means you weren't in position to hit the shot. That's not necessarily true. Sliding is a last second burst to stretch even farther than you normally could. While sliding COULD mean you're being lazy or whatever, for many if not most people that slide correctly, it means that you are going for shots that you would normally have missed.
thanks for the detailed comments. good too hear other views.
I don't know if i can agree with you on pros sliding on hardcourts; i agree that some do (novak, monfils, sometimes nadal), but i don't think it is good form of movement when you don't have millions on the line (even then). I don't see Federer, arguably one of the best movers, sliding a lot on hardcourts. Nadal has some bad clay court sliding habits (bad in the sense that they are not ideal for hardcourts) and has injured his knee and other parts of his legs due to the stress he puts on them, imo.
are you referring to slipping after hitting a far shot? you can see federer do this at around 6:50 in these highlights (US Open): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qquMhoY5smI
It seems to me that this isn't what you're talking about.
i don't think this is intentional or a technique as you can see him hit this exact same shot several times in these highlights without the slip. it's like shanking the ball on a groundstroke with the shot still going in the court, something that the pros do sometimes, but not what they want or would like to do. I'd rather slide than roll my ankle if forced to in a particular situation, but i don't think that sliding is an example of good movement on hardcourts.
this is just my opinion. i would really like to hear what any coaches or players would have to say on this.
Coaches, how should we decelerate/slow-down when hitting a shot out wide after running to get to it on hardcourts?