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New Teaching Method: Slice Backhand Ball Flights

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  • doctorhl
    replied
    Originally posted by jthb1021 View Post
    For my bh slice and base continental grip I’d say I have the heel pad at 1.75 as the lynchpin of my connection to the racquet with this part of my hand. But I can definitely feel the point of bevel 2 is touching and contributing to the wonderful callous in that area on my hand in the heel pad.
    The index knuckle I feel connected to the 2.5 primarily but a total feel for all of that space between 2 and 3 and can and need to access slight adjustments based on my choices. I think this is what creates that adaptability that was discussed earlier for volleys and half volleys. For example on a FH half volley in doubles right off the bounce that ball already wants to go up so subtly I and many others here close the racquet face a little bit and I believe that’s done by using a 2.75 index knuckle in then moment. Or floater FH volleys that last thing we want is that ball to go up. But then to play the squash shot on a wide low ball I probably go to the purest of pure continental grips with a solid 1,2. The squash shot as I’m writing this is the only one where I would say I feel a shift in my connection to the heel pad. I personally feel my heel pad is in the 1.75 range and make the subtle adjustments with the index knuckle but all somewhere in the bevel 2 and 3 which is like an amazing frontier of limitless racquet face angles to make your shot choices come to fruition.
    I feel if you’re too rigid with your continental you’ll have some shots you don’t like. Mastery is not rigid using the same grip every time in my opinion. I believe this is why one handers typically have better slices and volleys these days. One handers are usually less rigid in this area with the one size fits all approach. My two cents
    Excellent observations! Minor grip adjustments just prior to ball contact, even on groundstrokes requires soft hands. More importantly, awareness of racket face direction associated with grip adjustments is key. I think some very young kids are exposed to this by allowing them to have some unstructured time with free play of mini-tennis and/or playing other racket sports. We all have witnessed those who are master drillers at a young age, but develop no creativity to carve out different styles of play. I suppose the danger is whether a young player can control the limits of creativity.

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  • jthb1021
    replied
    For my bh slice and base continental grip I’d say I have the heel pad at 1.75 as the lynchpin of my connection to the racquet with this part of my hand. But I can definitely feel the point of bevel 2 is touching and contributing to the wonderful callous in that area on my hand in the heel pad.
    The index knuckle I feel connected to the 2.5 primarily but a total feel for all of that space between 2 and 3 and can and need to access slight adjustments based on my choices. I think this is what creates that adaptability that was discussed earlier for volleys and half volleys. For example on a FH half volley in doubles right off the bounce that ball already wants to go up so subtly I and many others here close the racquet face a little bit and I believe that’s done by using a 2.75 index knuckle in then moment. Or floater FH volleys that last thing we want is that ball to go up. But then to play the squash shot on a wide low ball I probably go to the purest of pure continental grips with a solid 1,2. The squash shot as I’m writing this is the only one where I would say I feel a shift in my connection to the heel pad. I personally feel my heel pad is in the 1.75 range and make the subtle adjustments with the index knuckle but all somewhere in the bevel 2 and 3 which is like an amazing frontier of limitless racquet face angles to make your shot choices come to fruition.
    I feel if you’re too rigid with your continental you’ll have some shots you don’t like. Mastery is not rigid using the same grip every time in my opinion. I believe this is why one handers typically have better slices and volleys these days. One handers are usually less rigid in this area with the one size fits all approach. My two cents

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  • johnyandell
    replied
    I should have said the heel pad has to be at least slightly on the top, bevel 1.

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  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by don_budge View Post

    John...would you say that is pretty much continental? To the edge of bevel 3 being the weaker version. Depending upon where I put the heel of my hand on the butt of the racquet...I can still get my thumb up the backside of the racquet when my index knuckle is on bevel 2. I think this is fascinating stuff.

    I believe when I am playing slice or underspin backhand my grip varies as well. As you state..."anywhere from". Maybe we should start referring to this as the underspin backhand because the range of spin and racquet head passing through the path of the ball ranges from driving the ball, chopping the ball, not to mention drop-shooting and lobbing. Throw in the volley and half volley. All variation of underspin.

    To play the "underspin", you must be able to master all of the above to make this part of your game most effective. To maximise potential tactical possibilities. Tactically speaking, the underspin backhand is a defensive shot although not in the purest sense. Ken Rosewall basically drove the ball at times with a "modicum" of underspin. His ball would lie down or "shoot" through the surface depending upon his desired effect. The antithesis of the Donald Budge backhand with a modicum of overspin. This business of varying the grip for this shot opens up a wide spectrum of possibilities. From extreme underspin to chopping...which are two different methods. Extreme underspin being a shot hit with the face of the racquet wide open meeting the bottom of the ball. Chopping is hitting across the back of the ball at an angle greater than 45 degrees. It appears to me that the modern "slice" backhand is actually a chopping motion and one that is much more effective with modern equipment than you could ever of hoped for with the old standard wood racquet.

    doctorhl exemplifies this with his comment of adjusting for high balls. What would you do for an extremely low ball that you barely reach running forwards? The opposite? Open up the face of the racquet to slide it under.

    I think that this is an art form. One that has been lost through the engineering. But once again...it is Roger Federer "The Living Proof" who still has all of the shots in the bag. A high tennis IQ. Compared to the rest of the pack...a genius. But truthfully...this sort of stuff was standard issue in the "Classic Era" of tennis. The Nastases and McEnroes being classic examples of what used to be.
    The heel pad is just as important.

    Most people refer to index knuckles and leave the heel pad out of the conversation. The heel pad is the same for all us whereas as everyone's hands and fingers differ in size.

    I have my heel pad on bevel 1 and my index knuckle on bevel 2, which I feel is the best way to do it in terms of hitting through the ball. Move the heel pad over towards an eastern backhand and it can inhibit the followthrough a little in my view.

    I heard Don Budge didn't wrap his thumb round the grip on his backhand but instead kept his thumb more straight along the back of the grip. How true that is I have no idea. I was told this many years ago by an old coach whose idol was Don Budge.

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  • doctorhl
    replied
    Originally posted by J011yroger View Post
    In my experience, one handers tend to slice with grips of continental or leaning towards Eastern BH because it's closer to their normal backhand grip and they often use slice to handle higher balls and serve returns, while two handers use grips of continental or leaning towards Eastern FH because they return serve and handle high balls with two hands using the slice to dig out low balls or wide ones. As the grip shifts towards EFH the racquet face opens allowing you to get under low skiddy balls better, and on the stretch a grip towards EFH points the racquet face back towards the center of the court more requiring less wrist flexion.

    Same on volleys, reaching wide to the BH you shift the grip towards FH and reaching wide to the FH you shift the grip towards BH.

    J
    I suspect that these pro tournament video clips of “ bounce back to net” Backhand volleys were done with a grip shift from continental to semi western fh grip prior to contact as JO11yroger describes. I have used semi western fh grip to dig up a low sliced ball when pulled deep and wide and had to “slice Lob” on the Backhand when I had no other shot. Correspondingly, used full BH grip to slice dig up and “ slice lob” on a Forehand. This extreme, last minute grip change also comes into play at net when contacting low bouncing balls or volleys and trying to angle crosscourt. An argument could be made for juniors to learn how to manipulate a variety of grips on occasion for groundstrokes and volleys if used at the right time. Those last minute grip changes are often completed at the last second on a stretch, which requires one hand shifting with soft hands (one of the few positive transfers I gained from badminton tournaments ). If anyone has zoomed in footage of last minute grip changes, please post. I’m sure JY knows where some grip change footage might be located in the archives. For those of you who saw McEnroe up close, wasn’t he a master of grip changes???

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=7DGQVido4XM


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  • J011yroger
    replied
    In my experience, one handers tend to slice with grips of continental or leaning towards Eastern BH because it's closer to their normal backhand grip and they often use slice to handle higher balls and serve returns, while two handers use grips of continental or leaning towards Eastern FH because they return serve and handle high balls with two hands using the slice to dig out low balls or wide ones. As the grip shifts towards EFH the racquet face opens allowing you to get under low skiddy balls better, and on the stretch a grip towards EFH points the racquet face back towards the center of the court more requiring less wrist flexion.

    Same on volleys, reaching wide to the BH you shift the grip towards FH and reaching wide to the FH you shift the grip towards BH.

    J

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  • don_budge
    replied
    Thank you...stotty.

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  • don_budge
    replied
    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    The slice grip can be anywhere from index knuckle on bevel 2 to the edge of bevel 3.
    John...would you say that is pretty much continental? To the edge of bevel 3 being the weaker version. Depending upon where I put the heel of my hand on the butt of the racquet...I can still get my thumb up the backside of the racquet when my index knuckle is on bevel 2. I think this is fascinating stuff.

    I believe when I am playing slice or underspin backhand my grip varies as well. As you state..."anywhere from". Maybe we should start referring to this as the underspin backhand because the range of spin and racquet head passing through the path of the ball ranges from driving the ball, chopping the ball, not to mention drop-shooting and lobbing. Throw in the volley and half volley. All variation of underspin.

    To play the "underspin", you must be able to master all of the above to make this part of your game most effective. To maximise potential tactical possibilities. Tactically speaking, the underspin backhand is a defensive shot although not in the purest sense. Ken Rosewall basically drove the ball at times with a "modicum" of underspin. His ball would lie down or "shoot" through the surface depending upon his desired effect. The antithesis of the Donald Budge backhand with a modicum of overspin. This business of varying the grip for this shot opens up a wide spectrum of possibilities. From extreme underspin to chopping...which are two different methods. Extreme underspin being a shot hit with the face of the racquet wide open meeting the bottom of the ball. Chopping is hitting across the back of the ball at an angle greater than 45 degrees. It appears to me that the modern "slice" backhand is actually a chopping motion and one that is much more effective with modern equipment than you could ever of hoped for with the old standard wood racquet.

    doctorhl exemplifies this with his comment of adjusting for high balls. What would you do for an extremely low ball that you barely reach running forwards? The opposite? Open up the face of the racquet to slide it under.

    I think that this is an art form. One that has been lost through the engineering. But once again...it is Roger Federer "The Living Proof" who still has all of the shots in the bag. A high tennis IQ. Compared to the rest of the pack...a genius. But truthfully...this sort of stuff was standard issue in the "Classic Era" of tennis. The Nastases and McEnroes being classic examples of what used to be.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    grips.jpg

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  • stotty
    replied
    Novak steps it up and it was a quick one in the end...dull game.

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  • stotty
    replied
    https://www.tennisplayer.net/members...ons_part1.html

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  • stroke
    replied
    JY is certainly the expert here, but to me, Fed uses a 1/2 type continental, where the heel of his hand is pretty much on bevel 1(the top of the grip) and his index knuckle is on bevel 2. I think Novak and Nadal are more of a 2/2.5 or so, to me an eastern leaning continental/soft continental. I much prefer Fed's grip. I think all the players that have the very best slice backhands use the Fed type continental grip.
    Last edited by stroke; 02-18-2021, 02:38 AM.

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  • don_budge
    replied
    Can someone direct me to the bevel grip system explanation?

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  • doctorhl
    replied
    DB: I use a a edge of bevel 3 grip to close the racket face a little when contacting a high bouncing ball.

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  • johnyandell
    replied
    The slice grip can be anywhere from index knuckle on bevel 2 to the edge of bevel 3.

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