Offensive backhand slice instruction

I play a OHBH and I grew up doing incorrect backhand strokes that resulted in weird slice that was was more sidespin than underspin.

I've greatly improved my backhand now and hit a proper topspin OHBH. However I'm struggling to add a good aggressive slice backhand to my repetoire which I feel would be super beneficial being a OHBHer.

I'm doing well at staying sideways but can't seem to visualize the swing path and motion of high to low. For some reason I'm struggling at how to hit the stroke without just chopping down on it.

Anyone have a favorite instruction video but even more so, a useful way to think about it and way to practice against a wall?

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

Chadalina

Hall of Fame
I play a OHBH and I grew up doing incorrect backhand strokes that resulted in weird slice that was was more sidespin than underspin.

I've greatly improved my backhand now and hit a proper topspin OHBH. However I'm struggling to add a good aggressive slice backhand to my repetoire which I feel would be super beneficial being a OHBHer.

I'm doing well at staying sideways but can't seem to visualize the swing path and motion of high to low. For some reason I'm struggling at how to hit the stroke without just chopping down on it.

Anyone have a favorite instruction video but even more so, a useful way to think about it and way to practice against a wall?

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
Flat shot, slice follow through. Open the face at the end, not the middle.

The harder you hit it, the more on top of the ball you strike.
 

Chadalina

Hall of Fame
I cringe at how many "pros" teach people to chop at the ball. Learn to hit it flat and add the slice, not the other way around.
The proper slice shouldnt have that much backspin, you dont want it slow down upon bounce. Want that fast low slide, its not a drop shot.

Alot of pro's probably cant hit it right. They go by theory. When i took lessons i always wanted a teacher who can hit what they teach.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I find ball speed much less important than low net clearance, lots of back/side spin, good depth and placement.
But by itself still needs options.
 
Open your face at the end. Flat would stay square and topspin would finish face down.
Part my difficulty might be because I'm using somewhere between an eastern and extreme eastern backhand. I'll probably focus more on getting my grip to be eastern/continental so I can follow through with a more open face

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
I'm struggling to add a good aggressive slice backhand to my repetoire which I feel would be super beneficial being a OHBHer....Anyone have a favorite instruction video but even more so, a useful way to think about it and way to practice against a wall?
Main checkpoints for aggressive "modern" slice backhand are:
1.) Conti grip (or very close to it)
2.) Racket prep behind head (this maximizes length of swingpath).
3.) Racket path from high (prep) to low (contact).
4.) Weight transfer onto front foot (this makes the shot more aggressive/powerful).
5.) Follow-through across the body (non-hitting arm stays behind the body for counter-balance).

You can see these checkpoints in almost any pro with a great slice (google images Fed, Dimitrov, Stevie Johnson, Gasquet, Andy Murray, Wawrinka, Ash Barty, etc. and look at racket prep and follow through photos)

You can practice and work on the basic stroke with self-feeds. If you record yourself you can see if you're hitting the checkpoints:

 

MajesticMoose

Hall of Fame
You need to cut and drive through the ball in a lateral more horizontal stroke. Never think of a slice as a chop.

Always think cut through the ball and drive laterally. You don't want that ball to float. You want a flat trajectory over the net as much as possible.
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
I play a OHBH and I grew up doing incorrect backhand strokes that resulted in weird slice that was was more sidespin than underspin.

I've greatly improved my backhand now and hit a proper topspin OHBH. However I'm struggling to add a good aggressive slice backhand to my repetoire which I feel would be super beneficial being a OHBHer.

I'm doing well at staying sideways but can't seem to visualize the swing path and motion of high to low. For some reason I'm struggling at how to hit the stroke without just chopping down on it.

Anyone have a favorite instruction video but even more so, a useful way to think about it and way to practice against a wall?

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
Imagine how you'd throw a frisbee.
 

Slicerman

Semi-Pro
Imo, there's a lot of ways in which you can hit a slice. I have a pretty decent slice technique, but I don't swing or hit every slice the same way. Sometimes you have adjust your swing/follow-through depending on the incoming ball and where you want to direct the shot. Also I think there's nothing wrong with "chopping down" on it, because some occasions might call for it. For example if you're receiving a heavy pace cross-court ball and you want to slice to redirect it down the line. If you drive it too much in this situation you might lose control or lose depth, so to apply enough force on an incoming ball to counteract its direction it's sometimes better to swipe down on the ball hard. It's really a balancing act when it comes to using slice, not every ball can be hit aggressively or offensively. Sometimes I feel like its the opposite of topspin strokes, the more aggressively you hit a slice the higher the risk. I think the way you design your slice should depend on your overall game style. A more neutral/defense slice might be better for a pure baseliner, whereas an aggressive slice might be better for an attacking player. Either way if you know the stroke and all of its intricacies then you can pretty do anything you want with it.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
I find ball speed much less important than low net clearance, lots of back/side spin, good depth and placement.
But by itself still needs options.
How you achieve good depth with low net clearance? It’s either speed or big spin.
 

tonylg

Semi-Pro
Just about the nicest feeling in tennis is knifing a slice backhand. I don't know why it feels like it's on the strings for so long, but it does.

Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
 

sredna42

Hall of Fame
That’s a topspin drive image, not slice.
Nope. Worked great for grooving the feel of the slice for me, great for feeling the contact zone or working zone, and for how you want to shape it. Its one of the training aids my coach uses.
 

Fairhit

Semi-Pro
@BBender716 you can look the correct execution on line, you can follow the tips they gave you in here, they are solid, I just going to tell you how I got the feeling of slice right because you don't hit a single type of slice, it all depends on the ball you are getting and what you want to do with it.

When I started didn't know how to slice and the pro didn't want to teach me how to do it so one day when I was going to hit against the wall I bump into a friend and told him i wanted to slice but couldn't get the feeling, he just told me to start a volley and progress according the shot I wanted, this tip changed everything, I started with volleys and from there I started to get the feeling of the slice, then I started to hit against the wall increasing the distance, this is a great way to just feel the shot and from there to gradually get the shot right. Just start with a volley movement.
 

ubercat

Semi-Pro
Biggest slice problem I have is not doing the melon scoop and finishing high enough and then netting the ball. Basically if it's a high ball the finish is low. But if it's a low ball the finish is high. It's the mid-level ones often net - it still needs the melon scoop finish.

Totally agree with Iowa guys first three checkpoints. Not sure about the finish across the body. I finish more on the side. But he's probably right he's a better player than me. Maybe I'm not getting enough rotation into the shot.
 
Great tips everyone here! I'm definitely going to focus on the finish because right now I think I have a good stroke but my follow through is by throwing my elbow out and slacking the wrist down (from my dad's technique as a racquetball player ugh).

I think I need to keep my wrist angled and experiment with grip and getting the right feel on the string bed on the follow through

Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
I think I need to keep my wrist angled and experiment with grip and getting the right feel on the string bed on the follow through
You absolutely need to keep arm-racquet angle into follow-through as your basic form. I currently have 2 models of follow-through: either tightening up and almost stopping into contact, or swinging accross leading with hand all the way, not releasing the racquet head like you do for drives.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Note that Rosewall and some of the old-school 1HBH players had a different slice technique, which was also effective. So, there definitely are different ways to hit an agressive slice.

But most professional slices in 2019 incorporate the checkpoints that I described in post #11.

Best of luck!
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
How you achieve good depth with low net clearance? It’s either speed or big spin.
Then you don't understand how to slice!
Watch some pro tennis. Even some girls have low net clearance DEEP landing slices.
 

mcs1970

Hall of Fame
Note that Rosewall and some of the old-school 1HBH players had a different slice technique, which was also effective. So, there definitely are different ways to hit an agressive slice.

But most professional slices in 2019 incorporate the checkpoints that I described in post #11.

Best of luck!
Yes. My favorite to watch is Brian Gottfried. Very easy to go down the line and cross court the way he does it. I also slice exclusively on the bh side and his technique is what I try to emulate.

 

user92626

Legend
Did Nadal figure out his low bh slice's effectiveness during the last few games of the 5th set? I didn't catch the first part and I am wondering if he used it?

It won him a bunch of games when he needed, and i was curious why the Russian guy couldn't deal with Nadal's slice well. When they got together to shake hands, it was obvious since the Russian was freakishly tall.

Another interesting thing was when Medvedev was on the screen alone, he looked like a skinny, small frail kid. Made me wonder where he got all the energy to bash the ball so hard. But he's actually a giant and I guess pass a certain point it's fairly easy for pros to bash the ball hard.
 

ubercat

Semi-Pro
Weird actually demos the swing slowly with way too open RF. But then teachers it correctly later in the vid it's a bit too quick for me I can't really see his racket part but it looks like a decent slice.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Did Nadal figure out his low bh slice's effectiveness during the last few games of the 5th set? I didn't catch the first part and I am wondering if he used it?
Nadal - that is the most I have ever seen him use his slice BH. He often throws it in once in a while to break up a long rally, but against Meddy he was using it over and over...
 

user92626

Legend
Nadal - that is the most I have ever seen him use his slice BH. He often throws it in once in a while to break up a long rally, but against Meddy he was using it over and over...
It was interesting huh? Nadal was down 0-40 and he started to slice his BH and actually broke Med that game.

That was classic, kinda amateurish level of the Russian to get killed by it!
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Not amateurish, Med was on his last legs and didn't want to quicken his end by using effort he needed to save.
 
Top