How to slide on hard court?

TTMR

Hall of Fame
Like most people, I've lost some speed with age and general wear and tear on the body over the years. For the last few months, I've been trying to copy Djokovic's technique for sliding on hard courts to make up for my declining wheels and concomitant court coverage.

But I just can't do it. Every time I try to slide I either just stop cold, or trip, occasionally rolling my ankle. What's the secret? Special shoes with no tread on them?
 

stefmeister

Rookie
do not try to practice this. I tore my acl trying to do this.

it should come naturally. What I mean is, if you are going fast enough, you will slide. When that happens, keep your bodyweight low and focus on maintaining a balanced form.
Also, it helps if you roll one end of your foot so that it slides on the side so you can balance.

but just don't practice it, I severely recommend against it especially due to colder weather
 

MyFearHand

Rookie
As mentioned above this isn't something you need to practice and I don't even know how you'd do that. You just run fast and as you're stopping you just press your foot towards the direction you're going and you'll end up sliding.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
CAVEAT: I would think that sliding on HD could possibly be very risky for many players. Perhaps it requires the supreme flexibility or other anatomical anomalies of a Djokovic or a Monfils. I've gotta wonder what kind of G forces HC sliding might put on the feet, ankles, knees and other parts of the legs. Will the practice of sliding on HC eventually result in added aches & pains as these players age -- as they reach 40 or 50?

Other than certain anatomical requirements, HC sliding is likely easier with some shoes much more than others. It also appears to require a somewhat different technique for sliding on HC than on clay.



 

Fintft

Legend
I'm not even sure that it helps you. For sure doesn't help one of my older partners who tries to slide on clay, instead of running and split stepping to start with. I have a feeling that he relies too much on it, like a clutch.
 

TTMR

Hall of Fame
I'm thinking of trying to play instead with Converse All-Stars on hard court, since the shoes have very little tread. Feel I could slide naturally that way.
 

socallefty

Hall of Fame
If you are a young guy, I guess you could try to learn this skill. If you are over 30, you might be better off doing quickness and agility drills to try to increase your on-court speed. I see some really slow guys trying to slide on clay and they would be better off if they just worked on quicker footwork and movement. The risk of injury increases as you get older if you try to slide on hard courts as you definitely have less flexibility than in your youth.
 
Like most people, I've lost some speed with age and general wear and tear on the body over the years. For the last few months, I've been trying to copy Djokovic's technique for sliding on hard courts to make up for my declining wheels and concomitant court coverage.

But I just can't do it. Every time I try to slide I either just stop cold, or trip, occasionally rolling my ankle. What's the secret? Special shoes with no tread on them?

If you're aging and the body is deteriorating, the last thing I'd suggest is sliding on hard court. Just my $0.02. I hope you have good health coverage.

Note that if you're going to copy Djokovic's technique, you might also want to copy his flexibility.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru

If you're aging and the body is deteriorating, the last thing I'd suggest is sliding on hard court. Just my $0.02. I hope you have good health coverage.

Note that if you're going to copy Djokovic's technique, you might also want to copy his flexibility.
Exactly.

Did you overlook post #5. Same video.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@WildVolley
I'm thinking of trying to play instead with Converse All-Stars on hard court, since the shoes have very little tread. Feel I could slide naturally that way.
Not so sure that would work or would be the best thing for your body. Lack of tread might make it easier to slide. But the lack of tread means lack of grip / traction = slower initial step. And possibly other steps as well, esp when sprinting. Any advantage that you get with sliding will be offset (or more than offset) by slower movement / recovery.

Hard to say exactly what the lack of tread might have on the tendency to roll (your ankles). The width of the shoes, the nature of the shoe support, and nature of your movement are other factors in this.

Different court types require different types of shoes. They will have different materials and different patterns on the out-sole. They can also can have different types of support in the midsole and upper shoe. Check out what the following article has to say about traction. It also discusses lateral support, different patterns for the out-sole, etc.


Did you see, in post #5, the specific design characteristics for HC sliding shoes?
 

WildVolley

Legend
@WildVolley

Not so sure that would work or would be the best thing for your body. Lack of tread might make it easier to slide. But the lack of tread means lack of grip / traction = slower initial step. And possibly other steps as well, esp when sprinting. Any advantage that you get with sliding will be offset (or more than offset) by slower movement / recovery.

Hard to say exactly what the lack of tread might have on the tendency to roll (your ankles). The width of the shoes, the nature of the shoe support, and nature of your movement are other factors in this. ...
I agree with you that All-Stars are probably not optimal tennis shoes, as the lack of traction probably means slower starting and stopping. And I believe they are heavier than the minimal structure suggests.

However, since TTMR wants to slide, it might be a good shoe for that practice. My feet are too wide for the All-Stars, but the time I tried them on they seemed to have a fairly flat overall structure and low stack height. I think both those things might help limit the chance of ankle rolls while sliding.
 

lim

Semi-Pro
But I just can't do it. Every time I try to slide I either just stop cold, or trip, occasionally rolling my ankle. What's the secret? Special shoes with no tread on them?
1st thing you want is an explosive first step. If you are doing it properly you won’t need to take many steps to start sliding. For example, even If I was planted in the middle of the service box trying to anticipate a volley I would be able to take 1-2 steps to slide out wide to cover a shot going down the alley.

2nd thing, you need a strong core/ knees which includes balance/agility/flexibility. I haven’t experienced pain/soreness from sliding a lot after matchplay but if you are weak in this area I would put extra emphasis on squats/lunges/ pistol squats and other stretches because you will be on the stretch if you are sliding.

3rd, if you are tripping you have too much of your weight on your front foot. Also you may be more naturally comfortable sliding - left foot in front/ right foot in front. I would double check.

4th, you can slide in ANY shoe- heck I’ve done it in airmaxes/vans/converse all stars but I wouldnt reccomend it. I would highly recommend Gel Res 8s or Novak’s shoe if you want to slide badly. By far the easiest and most controlled shoe ive slid in and I have burned through many pairs of barricades/courtballistecs/vapor tour9/9.5s. You don’t even need to drag your foot with ASICS

If you have more question ask away-
 
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Bagumbawalla

Hall of Fame
Though, basically, I don't see much point to sliding on a hard court-here is one way to simplify
the process.
First, take an insanely expensive new pair of tennis shoes and slather the bottoms with bathroom tile caulk until they are nice and smooth and resemble bowling shoes.
Let them "set" for about four days.
Before attempting to slide on the court, practice first wearing socks and sliding on the kitchen linoleum. Keep
Your weight balanced evenly between the two feet much like Tom Cruise- you know the movie.
Good luck.
 

SinneGOAT

Hall of Fame
I'm thinking of trying to play instead with Converse All-Stars on hard court, since the shoes have very little tread. Feel I could slide naturally that way.
They will kill your knees. Try to get a pair of asics, just any pair will be good as they all have good traction that is almost a perfect blend of grip and give. How I slide is when I’m moving at a speed that is very fast I plant my outer foot and bend my other foot like this, keeping myself low and my momentum to the side:

This helps me be stable. Don’t try and do it every shot, it can be dangerous. I use it mainly for sliding out of shots, like being pulled wide and planting or sliding into a shot but that is rare. Another shoe would be the Nike cage 3 as it has a slicker traction, feel free to ask questions.
 

Slicerman

Semi-Pro
Don't force yourself to slide. If you actually need to slide then it will happen automatically. On some occasions I do end up sliding on hard court but I don't do it consciously. I find it sometimes happens to me when I need to recover from doing a fast running forehand. IMO, if you don't run fast enough then you don't actually need to slide. Sliding doesn't make you faster, rather you might need to slide because you are going fast.
 

lim

Semi-Pro
Though, basically, I don't see much point to sliding on a hard court-here is one way to
The point of sliding is that you have an opportunity to regain court position to play another shot. Keep in mind if you were sliding to begin with you probably played a defensive chip so the likelihood of you winning from that point is low and you would be anticipating another shot. If you had to take 3-5 steps to decelerate your only option is to hit an outright winner or lob bc now you would have left 95% of the court open to your opponent
 
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