Archive for the ‘Backhand’ Category
Well, I slept on this, but I just couldn’t let it go. Yesterday I did a posting about Renata Marcinkowska and her cool tennis DVD. I spent a lot of time on her slider serve, but the other really cool shot she taught was the inside out slice backhand.
The reason I like this shot is that it almost falls into the “junk” category because it has such severe spin. The only reason it’s not total junk is that the spin is predictable, but if you want to know what I think about that, refer to the Billy Jack quote from yesterday:)
The inside out slice backhand puts a killer sidespin on the ball. When it hits the court it takes a sharp bounce to the left from your point of view and to the right from your opponent’s point of view . . . running them off the court if you are approaching down the line with the shot. . . and we love running people off the court, don’t we? The ball jumps so sharply you can almost get it to jump 90 degrees to the direction of travel . . . and that’s a darn sharp angle.
This stroke uses a severe grip. . . at least Renata uses a severe semi western forehand grip. You don’t have to be so severe when just starting out. You could simply use a eastern forehand or continental grip.
The two main keys I picked up from the DVD were that you let the ball drop low as you’re approaching and you keep your shoulders almost parallel to the net as opposed to sideways to the net for a regular slice approach.
Another thing I noticed is that Renata wasn’t hitting terribly hard. You’ll probably be able to pick this shot up quickly with a little practice because it still works without swinging wildly hard with a thin slice on the ball like is necessary for some junk type shots.
Take a look at yesterday’s post for the title of her CD and pick it up from Champion Productions.
Here’s a quick way to find your one handed backhand grip. Of course you will have to adjust the grip to suit.
The idea is to put your racket under your opposite armpit. Then simply grab the grip of the racket with your hitting hand (see pic below)
I took two Nick Bollettieri clinics when they came to the Virginia Beach area. One of the clincs was packed and, fortunately for me, one wasn’t. At the sparsely attended clinic I got to spend extra time with one of the instructors, Miguel Rosa who helped me out on lots of things which I’ll cover in future posts. One of the best things he pointed out to me had to do with my one handed backhand.
My one-handed backhand has always been powerful and pretty reliable. I’d prepare with a high racket on the backswing and loop below the ball to really whack it.
Although Miguel was very polite in all his dealings with me, he was no nonsene when he pointed out to me that I was burning tons of energy on my backswing and also that I wasn’t coordinated enough to reliably duplicate the loop on the backswing. Also, he pointed out that I was too slow to use such a long backswing as the quality of opponents and pace of the ball increased.
He told me to simply take the racket straight back and low. This saved all the energy and time to make that big loop and the backswing was so short that I could duplicate it over and over without fail. It also allowed me to be more than ready for fast paced balls that I would have been pretty shaky on with the old backswing.
Try it out. I think you’ll like it.