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View Full Version : Need some tips on my serve...please take a look


norcal
08-24-2004, 08:47 AM
Reading this MB I decided to film some of my strokes. An eye opener to say the least. Looking at my serve two things struck me right off: My racket is sooo late in getting to the ready or 'trophy' position (when compared to other clips I've seen on here). Is this something that has a negative effect? Also my toss isn't far enough in the court.

I would appreciate any comments and 'fixes' on these aspects as well as any others you knowlegeable people notice about my serve that can be improved. Thanks.

BTW, this clip was taken with a digital still camera so the quality is not the best but if you go frame by frame it give you a pretty accurate view of my serve motion.

http://www.cramikskim.com/colin/DSCN3701.MOV

drakulie
08-24-2004, 10:08 AM
The one thing I noticed immediately is that you're "racquet speed" is more pronounced after the contact, rather than before. In other words, after the ball has left the racquet face is when you are getting most of your racquet speed. You need to focus on utilizing that speed right before impact to get more pace. Looking at your motion it seems that if you toss the ball a little more into the court (as you stated) it will immediately alleviate this problem.

You could also try coiling your body more, so that your back is almost facing the net.

Good video. Good luck!

jun
08-24-2004, 10:13 AM
It looks loike you have a pretty simple motion. The motion doesn't really have any huge glitch from what I see.

If I were you I would try to get a little more knee bend (just a tad more) and go up for the ball a little more. Try to tuck your left arm in a bit more.

Good motion in general

andreh
08-24-2004, 11:45 AM
I don't see anything wrong. What type of serve are you hitting? If you're hitting a topspin serve or a twist serve the toss is where you'd want it.

Your racquet arm is lagging slightly when you toss but that's not necessarily a problem. You seem to have a high toss (which is not wrong) so it might be good that does. It's how you time the ball. (a fellow named Edberg had a similar lag, but much more pronounced than you. It works. See discussion about Edberg I had with Bungalo Bill on this boards a few days ago).

Also, there are several posts these few days on the serve with several good replies. Do a search for replies by Bungalo Bill. It had pictures and animations and everything. Really great stuff!

Bungalo Bill
08-24-2004, 12:43 PM
The one thing I noticed immediately is that you're "racquet speed" is more pronounced after the contact, rather than before. In other words, after the ball has left the racquet face is when you are getting most of your racquet speed. You need to focus on utilizing that speed right before impact to get more pace. Looking at your motion it seems that if you toss the ball a little more into the court (as you stated) it will immediately alleviate this problem.

You could also try coiling your body more, so that your back is almost facing the net.

Good video. Good luck!

Ohhh, I like this analysis.

I especially liked when you said "you're "racquet speed" is more pronounced after the contact, rather than before."

Sounds like a player after my own heart. I will look later to see if what you saw is true though but I think just from the fact that you brought this up is real good!

vin
08-24-2004, 01:02 PM
Looking at my serve two things struck me right off: My racket is sooo late in getting to the ready or 'trophy' position (when compared to other clips I've seen on here). Is this something that has a negative effect?

nocal,

You can try initiating your take back and drop the racquet towards the ground before you toss. Take a look at Sampras' serve, I think he does this. I do it as well. I think that you're better of if you can get as much movement as possible done before the toss. Otherwise you will need to rush your motion, shorten it, or have a higher toss.

It looks like you have a really smooth motion, so I would guess that you're not rushing you're motion, but instead have a really high toss. Maybe doing some of your take back prior to the toss will enable you to toss lower.

If it turns out that your racquet is still accelerating after contact as drakulie suggested, Bollettieri's Sonic Serve video addresses this. They refer to it as the power arc and suggest swinging more upward to give the racquet additional travel time to get to full speed before contact. You can determine where the maximum racquet speed in your swing is by swinging without a ball and listening to where and when the whoosh sound occurs.

Your motion looks nice - smooth and effortless.

drakulie
08-24-2004, 05:34 PM
Bungalo Bill, thanks!

nyu
08-24-2004, 07:27 PM
You're dropping your shoulder and looing down when you make contact. Instead of thinking of hitting down on the serve, think of hitting up and into the serve, using your body's momentum, as opposed to dropping.Also, think of tossing theball a tad bit higher and making contact higher as well. Those are just some things you might try out, other than that, your stroke seems pretty smooth.

copycat
08-25-2004, 03:51 AM
Does everyone play in America with their shirt off?? :P

Camilio Pascual
08-25-2004, 06:51 AM
1. There is not much pronation of your arm. If you are getting good movement on the ball, it doesn't matter, otherwise I would take a look at that.
2. You are pulling your head down too early.
3. You come within a millisecond of footfaulting, but your shoe is clearly not down on the court yet at ball contact, great timing.

From what I've seen, a little more pronation and keeping your head up a little longer would improve an already decent looking service motion.

kevhen
08-25-2004, 07:37 AM
Looks like a nice serve to me. Not very powerful, but smooth and it looks consistent. If you want more power, I think you will need to toss more out in front and go get the ball. You don't look very tall so a consistent serve probably suits your game more than a power serve.

goober
08-25-2004, 08:17 AM
Does everyone play in America with their shirt off?? :P

Well no, the women don't...

unfortuntately :lol:

norcal
08-26-2004, 02:25 PM
Thank you all so much for your input. It is really hard to look at yourself and make so many subtle observations. The comments regarding post serve racket head speed are especially intriguing. I will print out your comments and try and incorporate them...and post a 'after' vid maybe in a month or two and see if there is any difference. I will also go through previous BB posts on the serve as mentioned above.

Sooo, more racket head speed before contact, bend knees more, toss further in front, more pronation and shoulder turn, keep my head up longer, speed up racket take back....ok I think I got it!

And goober, not all Americans play with their shirt off, only the public court rats who play in 95 degree heat while the smart people are inside, play without shirts!

Ryoma
08-26-2004, 08:22 PM
I am also working on my serve. I used an abbreviated service motion and a pro staff tour 90 stick (alu rough @60lb). Here are some of the keys I picked up during my quest:

1. aim your serve! (nobody seems to mention this :lol:)
2. your hip should "slide" into the court.
3. close the shoulder before initiating the motion.
4. shoulder, hip should rotate out at the same time
5. shoulder rotation should lead elbow motion
6. this is the most important key i found is: hit the ball as if you are trying to nail it into the service box.

My advice is find your way to serve since everybody is a bit different. In the forum, some people take one reference and say other people should do this and do that. I mean it's like you use Roddick's serve as reference to judge Pete Sampras's service motion :shock:

http://vlt.tennisonline.net/nuke1/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=52

nyu
09-07-2004, 09:16 PM
And by public court rats, you mean those of us who are willing to get down and dirty when we train? Playing without a shirt is common amongst most of the juniors I know, as well as most of the college guys. Of course we only do this during practice, we gotta look nice and elitist with our pretty little polo shirt when we compete ;).