Slice backhand approach shot

HuusHould

Professional
I find I can slice well from the back of the court, but as soon as I know I'm going to have to move to the net after the shot it can go awry. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to run through that shot without compromising the quality of the stroke. Also thoughts on when you should take your hand off the throat. I find when you have to move in fast to close to the net you're better off leaving the hand off the throat (as the Stanimal does at 7:44 in the below youtube clip), I find taking the hand off too early or too late can mess up the stroke. Just wondering what peoples thoughts are!?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FctjwItbiY4
 
I find I can slice well from the back of the court, but as soon as I know I'm going to have to move to the net after the shot it can go awry. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to run through that shot without compromising the quality of the stroke. Also thoughts on when you should take your hand off the throat. I find when you have to move in fast to close to the net you're better off leaving the hand off the throat (as the Stanimal does at 7:44 in the below youtube clip), I find taking the hand off too early or too late can mess up the stroke. Just wondering what peoples thoughts are!?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FctjwItbiY4
Why does it go awry? Is it because you're nervous about coming to the net and rush the shot? if so, your primary problem is not the stroke but your mental approach. First and foremost, you need to practice being calm when you hit the shot.

While running through the shot certainly can be helpful in getting closer to the net, it's a more advanced technique. I'd suggest not worrying about that until you've solidified the "non-running through" version first.

I don't think I vary the off-hand on the throat based on how close to the net I am or how quickly I want to move in. I use the off-hand to balance the racquet and I want balance no matter what scenario I'm in [unless it's a desperation stab/lunge].
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I find slice on the run a bit easier mostly because with slice you can and should hit less in front and running through makes that easier to do
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I find slice on the run a bit easier mostly because with slice you can and should hit less in front and running through makes that easier to do
 

HuusHould

Professional
Why does it go awry? Is it because you're nervous about coming to the net and rush the shot? if so, your primary problem is not the stroke but your mental approach. First and foremost, you need to practice being calm when you hit the shot.

While running through the shot certainly can be helpful in getting closer to the net, it's a more advanced technique. I'd suggest not worrying about that until you've solidified the "non-running through" version first.

I don't think I vary the off-hand on the throat based on how close to the net I am or how quickly I want to move in. I use the off-hand to balance the racquet and I want balance no matter what scenario I'm in [unless it's a desperation stab/lunge].
Yeah often it's fear about what's to ensue, I mean these days if you come in behind a mediocre passing shot, not even at a world beating level you're toast! I think you're right you have to progress via mastering the set feet version to the running through one. I think it's more orthodox to balance the racquet with your non dominant hand for as long as possible, but I find sometimes this seems to help and sometimes it seems to hinder.

Is this what you're looking for?

Yes, that's very much the the sort of thing I'm after. I think I need to refine this technique as I used similar which would result in a good approach shot and fairly good positioning at the net, but I found myself too slow to get into a neutral ready position after, I would get caught side on too late and be susceptible to being passed past my forehand. the way he demonstrate in the video, this wouldn't seem to be a problem if done correctly.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Yeah often it's fear about what's to ensue, I mean these days if you come in behind a mediocre passing shot, not even at a world beating level you're toast! I think you're right you have to progress via mastering the set feet version to the running through one. I think it's more orthodox to balance the racquet with your non dominant hand for as long as possible, but I find sometimes this seems to help and sometimes it seems to hinder.



Yes, that's very much the the sort of thing I'm after. I think I need to refine this technique as I used similar which would result in a good approach shot and fairly good positioning at the net, but I found myself too slow to get into a neutral ready position after, I would get caught side on too late and be susceptible to being passed past my forehand. the way he demonstrate in the video, this wouldn't seem to be a problem if done correctly.
Yikes. It sounds like you are beat before you even get to the net.

Just a rec hack but it seems to me that the best approach shots have some sidespin. Its not a normal slice exactly. If you hit a normal slice its ok but think about it. If you are going dtl and put some side spin, that makes the ball jump towards the doubles alley which makes it much tougher to hit a solid passing shot.
 

Dan R

Semi-Pro
Not sure what the specific issue is, but in general keep in mind that a slice is usually hit with a descending blow and then the spin causes the ball to rise before it drops. So, if you are hitting a slice from way back in the court you usually hit down through the ball but it has a lot of time for the spin to cause the ball to rise up over the net. As you get closer to the net you need to open the face more than you might think because the ball has less time to rise and clear the net.
 

snvplayer

Hall of Fame
I find I can slice well from the back of the court, but as soon as I know I'm going to have to move to the net after the shot it can go awry. I was wondering if anyone has any ideas on how to run through that shot without compromising the quality of the stroke. Also thoughts on when you should take your hand off the throat. I find when you have to move in fast to close to the net you're better off leaving the hand off the throat (as the Stanimal does at 7:44 in the below youtube clip), I find taking the hand off too early or too late can mess up the stroke. Just wondering what peoples thoughts are!?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FctjwItbiY4
Kind of hard to say without a video or specifics. Non-dominant hand does play important role in keeping the racket stable and balance. It should come off as you begin the forward swing - two hands /arms should separate. Stan keeps his left hand on until he swings forward.

One of the key is not to lift up too soon, so keeping your head still and down throughout the shot is important.
 
Yikes. It sounds like you are beat before you even get to the net.

Just a rec hack but it seems to me that the best approach shots have some sidespin. Its not a normal slice exactly. If you hit a normal slice its ok but think about it. If you are going dtl and put some side spin, that makes the ball jump towards the doubles alley which makes it much tougher to hit a solid passing shot.
Yeah but if his problem is just getting the shot in reliably, adding another complication will likely make things worse.

I do agree that adding sidespin does make the passing shot more difficult. I just don't think it's appropriate for @HuusHould at this stage of his learning.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Yeah but if his problem is just getting the shot in reliably, adding another complication will likely make things worse.

I do agree that adding sidespin does make the passing shot more difficult. I just don't think it's appropriate for @HuusHould at this stage of his learning.
You are probably right but since i have no vid to judge i am giving him the benefit of the doubt especially because he says he can slice well from the back court. Seems like its the running part and my thought was that some sidespin might help give a better trajectory for a shorter court while making a pass tougher.
 

HuusHould

Professional
You are probably right but since i have no vid to judge i am giving him the benefit of the doubt especially because he says he can slice well from the back court. Seems like its the running part and my thought was that some sidespin might help give a better trajectory for a shorter court while making a pass tougher.
You're right, the problem is the movement through the shot, from the baseline I fade inside out and come around the ball to swing it to the backhand, heavy slice neutralise no problem. Decent players can have issues with the fundamentals! On a good day I even get the approaches knifing through with penetration, it's just inconsistent and on a bad day I pop it up too much too often and I feel I could move through the shot more effectively and get closer to the net. But as @S&V-not_dead_yet mentioned a big part of it is the mental approach, I just need to be calmer hitting it. The outswing you mentioned works well in certain situations if executed well and it can give you a bit more margin as you can aim further inside the sideline and still move them out of court, it can give them more angle to work with (and allow them to hit back toward the court) if they get there in time, but if you move through the shot effectively (which is a skill I'm hoping to acquire) you can cut down/smother the cross court angle. Craig O'Shannessy advocates aiming the approach to the centre of the backhand court as then the pass must be hit toward the doubles alley and then to go in it has to cross the net a reasonable distance inside the singles sideline, if their shot can keep moving toward the court after it's behind you then that's an advantage for the passer, similar to them swinging the pass back into court aka Pistol Pete with his forehand on the run.
 
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MathGeek

Hall of Fame
My approach shots are not good enough to commit to going to the net before the hit. I decide on a "likely approach shot" and then make the final decision to approach the net after the hit when I'm sure I have a deep ball where I want it and didn't give the opponent something they can easily pass or lob me with. But a slice backhand is my NORMAL backhand. If I get my footwork right it can be pretty good placement wise, but it has never had much pace. It works better as an approach shot to the opponent's deuce court, because it is moving away from them and they often misjudge it. At my level (3.0ish) the more an opponent has to move to chase down a ball, the less likely they are to hit a decent passing shot or lob. And the closer I can hit the approach to the corner, the more aggressive I can be in positioning at the net.
 

HuusHould

Professional
My approach shots are not good enough to commit to going to the net before the hit. I decide on a "likely approach shot" and then make the final decision to approach the net after the hit when I'm sure I have a deep ball where I want it and didn't give the opponent something they can easily pass or lob me with.
This is what I would like to do less often, the goal is to be able to say "right, I'm coming in behind this!" and stick the approach shot 9 times out of 10, I mean 10 would be even better! Another situation I delay is when I hit a very deep approach and I'm watching to see if they're going to call it out, I should be able to watch and move forward at the same time though.
 

MathGeek

Hall of Fame
This is what I would like to do less often, the goal is to be able to say "right, I'm coming in behind this!" and stick the approach shot 9 times out of 10, I mean 10 would be even better! Another situation I delay is when I hit a very deep approach and I'm watching to see if they're going to call it out, I should be able to watch and move forward at the same time though.
I can see the merits in that, depending on the pace of the game. But the other advantage in waiting is that the opponent takes his eyes off of me to track down my approach shot and may not realize I'm coming in until he rechecks my position right before his hit. Cutting down their time to plan their response can be important against some opponents.

If one is waiting anyway until their opponent takes his eyes off you, then one can delay the decision.
 
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