Sliding: A Good Idea?

For those of you who play on soft courts, do you slide into the shot like the pros? I don’t, because I never learned how; so is it too late to learn?

It seems like the major benefits of sliding are that you get to some balls you wouldn’t reach + it appears to be easier to then change direction and go back in the other direction for the next shot.

But the flip side would seem to be the potential for twisting an ankle.

So if you are a “senior” tennis player, should you try to learn how to slide… or better to accept your game where it is and not risk the injury?

Speaking of “seniors,” check out some of the great comments on Larry Turville’s survey about using the names “Masters” and “Grandmasters” in an earlier post. And also Larry’s later reply on the very interesting concept of “block seeding” in USTA tournaments. More to come on that topic later.

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5 thoughts on “Sliding: A Good Idea?

  1. sliding on clay happens when you run after a ball very hard. here’s an oxymoron
    senior/ running hard. in the old days, i slid often, especially pursuing a drop shot,
    and when chasing a ball side to side. i dont think as seniors we run that hard
    to have to slide (especially doubles). i know i think i slide about 1/4 of what i used to do. pathetic, i know, but am i right?
    Joe – I think you are one of the few who still do slide. george

  2. I think it is difficult to learn at an older age (from personal experience) I took up tennis as a teenager learning how to slide naturally on red clay. I was so good at it I could even do it on hard courts. I’m a rgiht hander so I slide on my right foot. Now because of fairly severe OA in my elbow I’ve been playing with my left hand more and more….can’t slide woth a sh.. with my left leg now mattewr how much I try. Maybe I need to become morbidly obese so my momentum will drag me..

    Just my 2 cents.

  3. I love to watch Joe slide! I love to watch him cover 95% of a doubles court! I hate it when his back rebels! (Joe, act your age!!!)

  4. I was told that the way to learn to slide is to just go out on the court and run and slide. No balls, no points, just concentrate on keeping your weight more in the middle of your body and you should be able to learn to slide without much problem. Of course JoeMac is correct in that one has to build up some speed in order to slide at all:). I watched the Camina-Borda from Spain beat Litwin, which is no small feat in itself, about 0 and 1, and he slid into every shot and I never saw anyone so perfectly balanced on every shot. Talk about making it look easy. Of course he’s won a few Worlds’s:).

  5. Other side of the coin….

    Grew up in europe on red clay and only known how to play sliding tennis
    Ive come to find out the hard way.

    No sliding on hard courts .

    Fred is right! When i was young we ran the courts and slid.
    No racquets no white balls 🙂


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