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Rickson
09-15-2004, 07:57 PM
I see most of my tennis buddies hitting flat footed on their serves and I tell them to get on the balls of their feet, but they just can't seem to do it. Is getting on the balls of the feet absolutely necessary for an effective serve or have there been pros who got away with flat footed serves? I always get on the balls of my feet, but my buddies seem helpless so can they work the serve without changing their foot form?

mistapooh
09-15-2004, 08:35 PM
you need your feet to act as a sort of springs, so you can jump up into the ball.

skuludo
09-15-2004, 08:55 PM
If they can stand on their tip toes then they definitly can do it.
Tell them that.
However you can serve flat footed, but don't expect efficient use of the lower body.

Rickson
09-15-2004, 09:01 PM
you need your feet to act as a sort of springs, so you can jump up into the ball.
I do it to get more back bend, but the jump helps too.

Camilio Pascual
09-16-2004, 03:52 AM
Rickson, are you old or are your friends? A lot of us do this because it used to be illegal to leave the ground until after ball contact on the serve. It is so ingrained, I have sometimes forgotten and gone through the rest of a match without leaving the ground. You'll find people in their late 40's and up who started playing at a young age remember this.
Get ready for a ramble. What's really funny is during all those discussions on reducing the server advantage from Finlandia with the pretty tri-court picture, they don't want to hear about doing the simplest thing, bring back an old rule and forbid leaving the ground. Or all those discussions where racquets are blamed for the increase, I believe they are for some, but being able to propel your body through a shot and hit at a greater height has got to have a huge effect.

Rickson
09-16-2004, 04:58 AM
I told you already, I go to the balls of my feet and I jump on the serve. My friends range in age from early 20s to mid 30s. None of them are old school tennis players who used to sport wooden racquets so your theory might be a little off there.

Camilio Pascual
09-16-2004, 05:06 AM
My friends range in age from early 20s to mid 30s. None of them are old school tennis players who used to sport wooden racquets so your theory might be a little off there.

That is perplexing why they don't leave the ground. Have any of them been coached? Maybe you could show them how.

Rickson
09-16-2004, 05:32 AM
That is perplexing why they don't leave the ground. Have any of them been coached? Maybe you could show them how.
I've tried, but they're set in their ways. Out of all these guys(around 10), only 1 tries hard to make changes, but he routinely faults on his serves from emphasizing power instead of form(he used to play baseball). He has a lot of arm power, but his lower body is not being used efficiently. The rest of the guys are a lost cause. I'm just trying to see if I could help them without having them leave their feet or use a real back bend.

Camilio Pascual
09-16-2004, 06:46 AM
Be interesting to see what the pro coaches would advise to people who won't leave their feet. I guess I'd emphasize hitting up on the ball (especially since the contact point will be lower) with good pronation to give good spin and to keep their arm-wrist-grip kinetic chain loose and flexible to give good power as with a whip. It seems an advantage of not leaving the ground and standing flat footed would be that the toss and contact point should be much more predictable and constant. Sort of a "if you have lemons make lemonade approach." Good luck.

papa
09-16-2004, 04:37 PM
Well, a lot of older guys haven't left the ground in decades and when you consider their condition, its probably a good thing -- I can get away with saying this stuff because I've been around the block a few times too.

However, some (actually many) can still get off the ground and are able to still pound the ball with good consistency and pace.

Most "flat footers" that I've seen have little knee bend (if any), little turn and basically swat the ball for lack of a better term. I remember one guy who would actually get dizzy from just looking up serving the ball - after the serve he'd stagger around for a few steps as everything came back together for him.

Keep in mind that this damn sport is a life long activety so you're going to be chasing that yellow ball around well into your nineties if your lucky - and we're all going to be there some earlier than others but we all make the journey.

As for foot faults (a very sore subject for me) some consider the base line as nothing more than a starting point and when they serve sometimes both feet are well inside.

I've tried to help many with basic serving techniques - the more fit someone is the better the chance of having success. Actually, the way that seems to work best (for me) is have them watch you serve several times rather than to immediately start out correcting their attempts - regardless of age.