Pro Tips – The Backhand Slice

As an instructor at Carmel Valley Tennis, Donald “Don” Gomsi assists players at all levels. Don Gomsi focuses on helping beginning and intermediate players to develop good technique and advanced players to work on their game strategy.

The backhand slice can help a player in a number of ways, including as a way to slow the ball down or as preparation for an approach shot. The technique creates backspin as the strings make contact underneath the ball, but it requires careful attention to mechanics. A proper backhand slice should have a subtle high-to-low path, which the player achieves through upper-body rotation and by turning the shoulder.

A well-executed backhand slice also involves bending the knees, which allows the player to swing through the ball. This helps the slice to take on a length and smoothness that, when combined with acceleration, puts power behind the ball. Power requires control to be effective, however, so a player employing the backhand slice should attempt to scoop under the outside edge of the ball as he or she sends it on its way.


United States Tennis Association’s Grants and Funding

Deeply involved in the California tennis community, Donald Gomsi is the head tennis instructor at Carmel Valley Tennis as well as the executive director for the United States Professional Tennis Association’s (USPTA) San Diego division. Donald Gomsi also maintains membership with the United States Tennis Association (USTA).

To support the growth of the tennis community, USTA offers a number of grant and funding opportunities, including diversity-based grants and a facilities-funding program. USTA honors the achievements of the first African-American Grand Slam champion with the Althea Gibson Leadership Award, which recognizes one male player and one female player who are exceptional at leading others on the court and in other ventures. To be eligible for this grant, players must train and compete all year.

USTA also maintains its Public Facility Assistance Program to facilitate the ability of tennis organizations to substantially expand the influence of tennis in their communities. An extremely competitive program, USTA conducts a detailed evaluation of an organization’s program components, financial history, and previous successes.