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rfhjr
09-07-2004, 06:46 PM
I was writing to ask some questions regarding the service motion. I have viewed the Sonic Serve video and read posts about serving here but still had several questions if someone could help me with.

1. If I stretch my hip into the court right now I do not get as much knee bend as some of the players I see. Is it all right to flex the knees more after the front of the body is fully stretched or are the pro players so flexible that they can get a great amount of knee bend by just stretching the front part of the body.

2. In the set to launch position when I am coiled up. The racket tip is pointed up and then the forward motion starts from the ground up driving the racket around with the tip pointing towards the ground then the arm straightens to hit the ball. It feels to me when I do this that I am going in two directions at once legs and hips pulling forward while the racquet is going back and around. Is this pulling feeling the correct motion to have? The only problem I have with this pulling motion is my shoulders seem to open too early. Should I stick with this motion and just try and keep my shoulders closed longer?

3. My final question concerns weight distribution. I have read big servers push against the ground at a force up to 3 times their body weight. In viewing Andy Roddicks serve he seems to get more height off the ground using his legs than other players. To get this lift he seems to push off with both feet. Does this mean his weight distribution is not primarily on his left foot as with most servers or is he just pushing against the ground harder than the other players.

Any assistance would be appreciated, Thank you.

Bungalo Bill
09-08-2004, 11:14 AM
I was writing to ask some questions regarding the service motion. I have viewed the Sonic Serve video and read posts about serving here but still had several questions if someone could help me with.

1. If I stretch my hip into the court right now I do not get as much knee bend as some of the players I see. Is it all right to flex the knees more after the front of the body is fully stretched or are the pro players so flexible that they can get a great amount of knee bend by just stretching the front part of the body.

A. The knee bend from the hip stretch should be natural to your flexibility and confidence to maintain your balance. As you continue developing your serve, the knee bend will be part of the service motion and not a seperate event.

2. In the set to launch position when I am coiled up. The racket tip is pointed up and then the forward motion starts from the ground up driving the racket around with the tip pointing towards the ground then the arm straightens to hit the ball. It feels to me when I do this that I am going in two directions at once legs and hips pulling forward while the racquet is going back and around. Is this pulling feeling the correct motion to have? The only problem I have with this pulling motion is my shoulders seem to open too early. Should I stick with this motion and just try and keep my shoulders closed longer?

A. I dont know if you should stick with this motion. From my view point the serve is a natural transfer of energy to the ball. I dont worry about hip stretches, knee bending, or other technical things. I use the training aid I have often described to build a fluid arm movement and I use the rest of my body to coil and explode as much free flowing energy into the ball. If I feel a certain movement within the serve motion stiffens, I slow down and try to eliminate the hitch.

3. My final question concerns weight distribution. I have read big servers push against the ground at a force up to 3 times their body weight. In viewing Andy Roddicks serve he seems to get more height off the ground using his legs than other players. To get this lift he seems to push off with both feet. Does this mean his weight distribution is not primarily on his left foot as with most servers or is he just pushing against the ground harder than the other players.

A. I do push from the ground but it is more to prepare the coil, from there I use a pinpoint stance that brings my back foot into the arch of my front foot. By that time I am springing from my toes.

Any assistance would be appreciated, Thank you.

papa
09-08-2004, 07:20 PM
BB wrote:

"A. I do push from the ground but it is more to prepare the coil, from there I use a pinpoint stance that brings my back foot into the arch of my front foot. By that time I am springing from my toes."


Amazing how many variations there are when it comes to the back foot on the serve. You like the toe into the arch position which seems very popular. However, I've seen many who bring the back foot up along side the front foot to the service line - especially women. Although I have tried this, along with others, I feel a little awkward but I can't help but wonder why it becoming used so much. Do you feel that it generates more/less torque or is just a preference thing?

Bungalo Bill
09-09-2004, 09:52 AM
BB wrote:

"A. I do push from the ground but it is more to prepare the coil, from there I use a pinpoint stance that brings my back foot into the arch of my front foot. By that time I am springing from my toes."


Amazing how many variations there are when it comes to the back foot on the serve. You like the toe into the arch position which seems very popular. However, I've seen many who bring the back foot up along side the front foot to the service line - especially women. Although I have tried this, along with others, I feel a little awkward but I can't help but wonder why it becoming used so much. Do you feel that it generates more/less torque or is just a preference thing?

I think it is just a preference. I like the united feet to spring to the ball. It might have come from my volleyball days. You know the jump serve sort of thing. I really dont know, it is one of those things that feels good. But I can vary the stance I choose, it is not always a pinpoint stance.

If I want to hit the serve with power, I will usually go towards the pinpoint stance I described above. I think it is because it forces me to get my motion going otherwise I will tip over! I also feel a lift of my feet off the ground, sort of a weightless lift. That is when I usually am hitting the ball pretty hard.