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MasturB
05-27-2007, 08:53 AM
On a second serve, how hard do you hit it in comparison to your first serve? Technically speaking, I'm referring to how much work and energy do you put into hitting your second serve as opposed to first.

A few months ago when I was playing in a match, I had struggled getting my second serve into the court. Then my opponent told me "why do you try to hit your 2nd serves so hard? You try to hit them as hard as your first". The ball placement on my 2nd serve is above my head, not into the court but I still give it the same energy and racket speed that I do my first serve.

I was always under the impression that you hit your 2nd serve as hard as your first serve and that since the 2nd serve generates more spin than the first due to ball placement... that the spin created from the 2nd serve is just the velocity taken away from the first serve and turned into spin.

What I'm asking is...

First serve would be:
95% Flat and speed, with 5% spin

2nd serve would be
80% speed, with 20% spin

Maybe not that extreme, but second serves are usually about 80% speed of a person's first serve. So i was thinking that the other 20% just converted to spin instead of velocity.

So yeah, I'm just wondering if you're supposed to intentionally hit slower on a 2nd serve (racket speed wise), than your first.

FiveO
05-27-2007, 09:00 AM
The most important thing is to maintain racquet head speed or even aim for higher racquet head speed on the second serve.

The ratio between pace and rpm is situational and personal and based upon the type and shape of the second serve you select.

There's no single right or best ratio for every player, surface and/or every opponent.

MasturB
05-27-2007, 09:02 AM
The most important thing is to maintain racquet head speed or even aim for higher racquet head speed on the second serve.

The ratio between pace and rpm is situational and personal and based upon the type and shape of the second serve you select.

There's no single right or best ratio for every player, surface and/or every opponent.

So correct me if I'm wrong then... but ball placement is actually what gives so much spin because of the angle you're hitting the ball at?

So by that logic, I should hit my 2nd serve with as much racquet head speed as my first serve, and because of where the ball is placed on the toss that the velocity from my first serve turns into hard spin?

Because that's what I've been doing forever on my second serves.

FiveO
05-27-2007, 09:10 AM
The resulting spin/pace ratio is product of the combination of toss placement, the path on which the racquet attacks the tossed ball and precise contact points.

Racquet Speed just as fast? Yes or even faster, just like a driven groundie where a near totally flat groundstroke may need to be hit with a racquet face moving at a slightly slower speed as opposed to a heavily topspinned shot in order to maintain similar depth and control.

MasturB
05-27-2007, 09:13 AM
The resulting spin/pace ratio is product of the combination of toss placement, the path on which the racquet attacks the tossed ball and precise contact points.

Racquet Speed just as fast? Yes or even faster, just like a driven groundie where a near totally flat groundstroke may need to be hit with a racquet face moving at a slightly lower speed as opposed to a heavily topspinned shot in order to maintain control.

Ok that's what I was wondering.

Because when I was playing with my friend he kept asking me why do I try to hit my 2nd serve as hard as my first serve (despite the ball placement being different). Turns out one reason my 2nd serve was disastrous is becaues I wasn't uncoiling my lower body, and using more arm.

FiveO
05-27-2007, 09:21 AM
Ok that's what I was wondering.

Because when I was playing with my friend he kept asking me why do I try to hit my 2nd serve as hard as my first serve (despite the ball placement being different). Turns out one reason my 2nd serve was disastrous is becaues I wasn't uncoiling my lower body, and using more arm.

Again hitting harder is not the goal, i.e. not as much forward ball velocity.

It also seems you swing thought may be misplaced. Maintaining racquet speed should force you to incorporate all body elements.

Toss placement is important to any serve, but the major differences in type, amount and direction of spin applied are more dictated by the path the racquet face approaches and moves through the ball and the pin-point location on the ball's surface that the racquet face makes contact with the ball.

MasturB
05-27-2007, 09:27 AM
Again hitting harder is not the goal, i.e. not as much forward ball velocity.

It also seems you swing thought may be misplaced. Maintaining racquet speed should force you to incorporate all body elements.

Toss placement is important to any serve, but the major differences in type, amount and direction of spin applied are more dictated by the path the racquet face approaches and moves through the ball and the pin-point location on the ball's surface that the racquet face makes contact with the ball.

I didn't mean harder in terms of ball velocity, I mean harder as in my shoulder rotation, arm and racket speed.

And yeah, since that experience I'ev learned to use all of my body on a 2nd serve.

Solat
05-27-2007, 06:56 PM
same speed serve for both, just change the amount of spin, 2nd serves are usually weak if you don't rip at them

Bagumbawalla
05-27-2007, 07:21 PM
There are four main factors at play in the serve.

Racket speed

Spin imparted to the ball

Skill

Gravity.

Gravity differs, somewhat from the poles to the equator, but not so much that I would suggest packing up and moving.

So, let's look at the other three factors.

The longer it takes for the ball to cross the net, the more time gravity has to pull the ball down into the court.

At the simplest level, adding spin to the ball takes forward momentum away from the ball and slows it down giving it time to fall into the court. A slice serve does just that. As an added bonus the ball bounces awkwardly and makes it harder to hit.

If you add some kind of topspin to the served ball (as in a "kick" serve), the interaction of ball/air/spin causes the ball do drive down into the court, the more spin (up to a point) the more downward motion. The bonus is a ball that bounces high and leaps awkwardly as well.

A professional player hits the ball almost equally hard for the first and second serve. Why is the second serve slower. It's because some forward momentum/force is lost in the creation of spin in order to force the ball down into the court for a larger safety factor.

Should YOU hit the ball with the same force for the first and second serve?

A lot of what you choose to do will depend on your skill. Let's assume it is low or you would not be asking this question.

If you are just starting out I would suggest you hit slower AND start practicing spins. As your game improves, you can gradually add pace to your serve. Your skills and your confidence will develop at the same pace.

Good luck,

B

Bodacious DVT
05-27-2007, 07:23 PM
ive always heard not to lower racket head speed, but to put more spin and net clearance on it.

LarougeNY
05-27-2007, 07:33 PM
Yeah, I used to have a huge difference in how much energy I put in between 1st and 2nd serves. Lately I've been working on keeping the same swing speed with more spin and clearence on my second serve, and the good part is (after practicing and making it somewhat consistent) nobody I play can really attack my second serve too much. Now I just have to get consistency up, especially when placing serves out wide.

fuzz nation
05-27-2007, 08:04 PM
That's got to be the best attitute you could want as far as your second serve goes. Lots of players make the fatal mistake of just arming their 2nd ball after a doomed attempt at an ultra low percentage 1st serve. You need that same energy and leg drive to generate a higher percentage shot with spin minus a little pace for the 2nd serve.

AngeloDS
05-27-2007, 08:33 PM
My first and second serve are identical in motion. The only difference is when I release, which is only a half second earlier. I don't use much effort since I'm pretty limber when I serve.

arnz
05-27-2007, 08:41 PM
I feel like I swing harder on a second serve most of the time, but all that energy is on an upward motion. Whereas a fast flat first serve I need to just time correctly because I am hitting the back of the ball full on.

But for me, the most important thing about a second serve is get it in, no matter how. If you have to swing slower, so be it. I hate double faults. Most people at that level wont be able to attack it anyway with any consistency

Undrayon
05-28-2007, 09:06 AM
I'm a high school player and I have a pretty solid 100 (115 when I bust it) mph serve. I don't put any less energy into my second serve. As many people have said, you are simply using the energy in a different way.

Definitely practice your second serve. To be honest, alot of the kids I play can easily get my serve back with a simple block if they get to it. Obviously, they can't every time...but it's annoying to just rip a serve and your opponent doesn't even have to swing.

My point is this, don't ever underestimate a spin serve. Against many opponents, I use the same serve for my first and second serve. True, I change between slice, topspin, and kick (mostly the last two) but I have found that a well placed spin serve can be vicious. Also, I catch the ball at the top of the toss and sweep over the ball with as much spin as I can (hitting the ball up as high as you can is very important)...so even though the ball doesn't go as fast as my flat serve, I hardly ever miss. I literally swing as hard as I can at the ball but because of the spin I'm amazed if I double fault more than once a set. Flat is fun and makes you feel godly, but kicking a topspin serve over the guys head or acing him with a well angled kick serve from the add side is just as satisfying. (plus the guy doesn't know what to do with his feet if you keep changing the spin on the serve)