You must have repeatedly came across the fact that slice serve is the most useful serve shot that a player can use to keep his opponent under control. Slice serve keeps your opponent in a guessing situation throughout the shot. A simple game can bring you under a lot of pressure if you do not defend yourself with some unbeatable techniques. Slicing can be your rescue in one such pressure game.
This drill is the finest drill and will work wondrously to bring slice in your serve. It will not be a cakewalk to transition to the slicing technique, it is hard work that will get you through in mastering the slice serve. You can call this drill as “Skipping the rocks drill”. It will really give you the feel of slice in a serve.
Before all else, start to have a control on your continental grip, yes, in slice serve the kind of grip needed is the continental grip. Then open up the racquet’s face upward and start taking the ball on the racquet (just like how you catch your omelette on the frying pan). Then introduce a sideward chopping motion to the exercise of bouncing the ball on the racquet, it will give spin to the ball. That will be a great practice because more or less you are learning to slice the ball.
Remember, when as a child you used to skip the rocks on water? It was pretty much every child’s favourite pastime around the water bodies. Apart from the sweet memories, what you need to recall is, how you kept your arm really down low and how you flicked your wrist hard to make the rock skip up and down on the water. That is what we require in this drill.
Do not worry about getting the ball at the right place in the very first few attempts of yours. Forget about a proper shot, at the beginning, we will work on the feel. Keep your racquet low and start hitting in the motion exactly like skipping the rocks. For those who do not know how to skip the rocks, hold your racquet with its face open upwards, and start hitting the ball in a cutting action(as if you are slicing the ball in air), use real power here.
Start taking your elbow and racquet higher and higher gradually. Do not rush at this step, otherwise you might lose the focus and feel of slicing in the technique. In a continuous drill action, starting from positioning your racquet low,start reaching a higher position, still slicing the ball with great power.
Next, just put your racquet up high besides your head and practice “skipping the rocks” motion and work on cutting the ball. You can do 5 sets of 10 shots of this drill. Through this whole drill you are developing the muscle memory. Once you get the feel and the muscle memory you must ascend to the next drill of mastering the slice serve.
So, now you must be having an idea of how slice serve is not just about hitting the ball. It requires feel, slicing technique, learning the concept of how the racquet’s edge is coming at the ball, mindset and uniform motion. At the onset, just practice this drill and sink in the feel of slicing, in the later drill we will learn about the control needed in a slice serve shot. This drill will be the finest one in your weaponry bag and will make you win some great points. Keep learning and good luck.