View Full Version : Trouble adding more pace to Serve - Bungalo, Mr. Khan??

03-10-2004, 10:05 AM
I've had a fair amount of success in going for S&V in the last few months. in the quest to the next level, I've been trying, as of late, to add more power and more kick to my serve. I do get some nice kickers with good pace, but still not on a fairly regular basis. I suppose what's going wrong is that I am keeping my center of gravity behind me for too long. I imagine this could be corrected with a stronger and faster "ab crunch" movement, which would move my center of gravity forward and closer to the hitting point. Is this a correct perception?
Or, maybe, is the "crunch" in itslef, regardless of the center of gravity issue, a fundamental part of a powerful serve?

Bungalo Bill
03-10-2004, 11:09 AM
Without seeing your motion this could be true. When people try to serve harder an area of muscles tend to tighten up. Most of the time this is in the shoulder/neck area. This limits free movement and transfer of energy.

Even at high velocity, you body needs to remain relaxed as much as possible, especially the shoulders and arm.

Everything in the kenetic chain of a serve is designed to feed the next part with more energy. There are diminishing returns on every area. Flexibility and the ability to transfer this into energy is what contributes to a great serve.

03-10-2004, 12:25 PM
ya know, there is one thing ive really noticed with people when trying to figure out why they dont have that pace on their kick serve, they end up brushing the ball way too much and forget to keep rotating the shoulders into the ball. hell, i was doing that last night for cryin out loud. my suggestion is start out with several flat serves, and slowly begin to adjust into the brushing motion while keeping the motion into the court. it's amazing what little drills like that can do to remedy something like that.

03-11-2004, 03:54 AM
Another question: during the "back scratch" phase of the takeback on the serve, should the wrist SUPINATE? (Interesting how we become aware of smaller details as our game evolves).

03-11-2004, 06:43 AM
Another question: during the "back scratch" phase of the takeback on the serve, should the wrist SUPINATE? (Interesting how we become aware of smaller details as our game evolves).

If I understand this correctly you are talking about the waiters
wrist. Like when the water carries plate .
If this is what you meant, I strongly advise against that.
My feeling is that when you do supinate, your racquet usually does
not drop low enough, does not accelerate enough into the
ball, and sometimes a slap shot is generated.

Higgins had a serve like this, and I always thought that this was
one of the reasons for her poor serve.

My son had this problem for a while. Finally, I told him to make
sure that racquet head gets higher than his own head, before
the so called "backscratch" position.

Regards, Predrag

03-11-2004, 08:09 AM
Make sure you get a good knee bend and really bend back your upper body as you rotate and throw your racquet up and into the ball with a free swing, that helps me.

03-11-2004, 08:58 AM
Higgins had a serve like this, and I always thought that this was
one of the reasons for her poor serve

So that's why Magnum and Robin Masters always beat Higgins (i thought it was "he", but after Renee Richards, who knows!!) so bad :wink:
Just kidding!! Thanks for the advice. I think that what also happens with the waiters wrist is that you do not "load" the forearm muscles, thus having to drag the wrist.

Bungalo Bill
03-11-2004, 09:14 AM
Try to have a "on the phone" wrist at the time you would have a "waiter wrist" which I strongly advise against. With a palm up motion, it tells me a lot of how much rotation and extension is coming from the shoulders/hips, etc.

When you begin the arm motion your palm should be down or at the very least facing your side. Then as your arm begins to go up your palm should come to a point where it is facing your ear. This is my "on the phone" wrist. This helps with the "so called back scratch position" (which I have studies on that indicate that this is not quite what really happens). Once your palm is facing your ear, your arm will have no choice but to pronate to hit the ball. This is why I believe this should happen naturally.

You canhsee this with the pros. They bend their wrist downward (especially Roddick) before they toss the ball. This puts the palm and wrist in a good position and helps avoid that palm up effect. A lot fo beginners and women have trouble with this. Not down playing women. But Serving has a throwing motion to it. Most women that I see have never leanred proper mechanics in the throwing motion. Although all efforts are upward, the mechanics of the shoulders and arms are near the same.

Mahboob Khan
03-11-2004, 09:37 AM
Excellent advice! I would only add that you should do full range of medicine ball throws before and after your practice sessions (3 or 4 kg).

-- Overhead throws

-- Over the shoulder throws backwards (both sides)

-- 1-handed throws (hitting arm)

Plus sit ups, push ups, kangaroo jumps, and lunges, etc., to develop your abdominals and oblique muscles.

Technical and physical improvements will add pace to your serve!

03-12-2004, 05:09 AM
Thanks all for the advice. "On the phone" is a great way to remember ths wrist position. Quite what I do. I think sometimes, in the quest for improvement, we also end up discovering what DOES NOT work.