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View Full Version : How to measure serve speed?


a529612
09-23-2004, 12:34 PM
Is there any affordable and portable device you can buy to give you a rough idea on how fast your serve is, so you can make appropriate adjustment to your technique?

vin
09-23-2004, 12:45 PM
There is a popular and cheap speed gun that I think a lot of people use. I can't remember the name of it but I'm sure someone will post it. Speed Check maybe? If you do a search on radar I bet you'll find it.

An even cheaper way is to ask the tennis clubs around you if they have one. At least one in my area does.

I wish I didn't care as much as I do about serve speed, but it is nice to be able to quantify your progress. I've gone from 85 in January to 100 in July and I'd bet money that I'm hitting over 110 now. :) It makes me feel good about all the research and hard work.

a529612
09-23-2004, 01:22 PM
Would you recommend a handheld speed gun or the Spedchek?

http://www.astroproducts.net/speedchek.htm

vin
09-23-2004, 02:17 PM
I've heard of people mounting the speedcheck to the net or a chair. If you get the hand held gun, you'll obviously need another person to hold it. They'll also have to sit behind the net and hold up the gun. You might have a hard time finding someone who wants to do this if you have a fast serve.

AJP
09-23-2004, 07:43 PM
One indicator that I use when serving without the speed check is the bounce of the ball to the back fence. If the serve is just reaching the back fence in one bounce, but the ball has peaked and is decending & hitting the fence low - it's probably at least high 80s to low 90s. If it's reaching the back fence on it's way up it's probably in the 100s.

Rickson
09-23-2004, 07:59 PM
One indicator that I use when serving without the speed check is the bounce of the ball to the back fence. If the serve is just reaching the back fence in one bounce, but the ball has peaked and is decending & hitting the fence low - it's probably at least high 80s to low 90s. If it's reaching the back fence on it's way up it's probably in the 100s.
The funny thing about the fence is, some people serve fast and don't reach the fence in one bounce. Kuznetsova hit a few hard serves in the uso finals and didn't reach the wall in 1 bounce. Agassi also serves in the low 100s and also fails to reach the wall at times. Myskina on the other hand, who is known for her weak serves, hits the wall pretty easily, but I seriously doubt her serves are faster than Kuznetsova's. The fence or wall is unfortunately not an accurate measure for serve speed at all, bragging rights maybe, but not speed.

ucd_ace
09-23-2004, 10:28 PM
If you know someone who has had a lot of experience with tennis... ex. club pro... ask them. They've seen thousands of serves and have surely come across the speed of serves. I think most probably have something but they don't really care to take it out because it doesn't teach you anything about the game... it's obviously an ego thing (and I'm not above it lol).

vin
09-24-2004, 05:55 AM
The back fence is not a reliable indicator because the distance between it and the baseline varies from court to court. Did you ever notice that it seems like theres some courts that you just don't serve well at on a regular basis? It's likely that you're serving fine and the fence is further back making it look like your serves are weaker.

andreh
09-24-2004, 11:50 AM
I agree with Rickson. Trying to measure serve speed by the bounce against the fence is just ridiculous. I find it slightly amusing that this discussing keeps popping up on regular intervals.

I can hit the fence 6 feet up with a moderatly fast kicker on a clay court, but a much faster flat serve on an indoor carpet won't reach the wall at all in one bounce. See the point?