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hyogen
10-15-2007, 02:10 PM
If interested in seeing some other strokes/return of serve of the new and improved me:

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=161310
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=1828049#post1828049

edit again:
here are some even more recent vids: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=185469

for one thing I am at LEAST 35lbs overweight right now. My ideal weight was around 155-160 at most for 5'10.5". I'm not talking just about some health fat chart here--around 155 or so is when I can start having a 3-pack or the beginnings of a 6-pack. LOL...

After college I put on more than 50lbs of unhealthy weight...probably including loss of muscle mass.

since starting back tennis I've gained some muscle and have lost some fat -- a net loss of about 6 lbs so far...lol.

What do you think I can improve on my serve? This is my kinda slice/flat serve that I use for my 1st serve. My flat serve just doesn't seem to be as consistent as I'd like.

Youtube links below.

Haha, I'm wearing jeans...and tight shirt that used to fit me fine in college.... >_<
http://www.dochyo.com/serve%20sequence.JPG
And this second pic probably shows as high as I can jump right now... this was a different serve. both serves went in ;)
http://www.dochyo.com/serve%20sequence%202.JPG
http://www.dochyo.com/serve%20sequence%203.JPG

Youtube Links (NEWLY ADDED):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Vc_BhlnCQg - from the screen shots - please don't mind the silly last part
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo_JegFQyew&mode=user&search= 3 sloppier ones, the last being the best. (I may serve like this if I'm not focused)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_wKkU6tUSM - single good effort

Any feedback appreciated. I find that for example...if I toss too in front of me, the percentage of my serves drops b/c of decreased angle. I am trying to explode INTO the court as much as I can....but it doesn't look like it's that much.

Maybe I can bend my knees more and arch my back more?

How does the serve look? Thanks

ananda
10-15-2007, 06:28 PM
it looks like a 150 mph serve ! haha!

i wish i could serve like that. the knee bend/trophy is my target for this week.

shwetty[tennis]balls
10-15-2007, 09:24 PM
Practice, practice, practice. Try to increase racquet head speed while keeping the serve accurate. The reason flat serves aren't the most accurate is because- it's flat!. If you want to improve accuracy, try to hit the ball at its apex, while jumping a little higher, this will give you better net clearance and up to down angle. If this doesn't work, try to brush the ball more, as little as you can without brushing it too much (like a second serve might be), as to keep it mostly flat, but the slight brush across the ball will help the ball clear the net and curve right on or near the service line. Don't decrease your raquet head speed for this. Luck to you!

lkdog
10-15-2007, 09:30 PM
Couple things to experiment with:

Straighten your tossing arm at the top when you finish the toss.
This may assist in getting a bit more coil.
If you watch top servers they turn their back toward the receiver more which will increase your rotational power. This is something I am working on also.


Losing 35 lbs for someone who is 195 lbs and 5'10 1/2 is a lot.
That sounds like a guy trying to become a serious road cyclist.:D
I guess it depends upon your body type.
You may find your ideal weight is higher than 155 lbs if you add some upper body muscle.

Good luck.

hyogen
10-15-2007, 10:28 PM
yeah i have gained a lot of fat.

that is very good advice for me i think--thank you!
1. extend arm straight after the toss and don't bring it down or bend elbow. I do think I can get more coil + explosion like that.

2. i really never turn my back while i toss the ball (to my opponent)--so if i do that I think I can get more rotational power for sure

3. losing weight, and doing squats and stuff to increase my vertical jump will help me as well.

4. I'm kinda using a continental grip for my flat serve, but it feels a little awkward so it's not completely consistent every time.

I'll post a vid on youtube shortly.

Thanks for the compliment--i wish i could serve 150mph... I'm not sure how fast i'm serving though. some people have estimated about 90 or 100, but i doubt the 100...maybe for completely flat and perfect serves i can hit 100.

but at the same time I can't imagine a girl serving so much harder than me... like 100-120. So if I think of it that way, I think I could be serving about 100mph (flat)

hyogen
10-15-2007, 11:26 PM
it looks like a 150 mph serve ! haha!

i wish i could serve like that. the knee bend/trophy is my target for this week.

wow, someone else talked to me about the "trophy" thing in my other thread. he just explained what it was...I gotta work on this this week too!

sharpy
10-16-2007, 07:30 AM
^^ you're a 3.0-3.5 with that serve? I remember you posted backhands of yourself. That was good too. Your forehand must suck then!

hyogen
10-16-2007, 07:54 AM
actually not...the couple vids of my forehands (one was a return of serve and didn't look complete). I would say I have a much better forehand than backhand (reliability and shot making at least). Those videos are only 10 seconds long b/c my olympus camera is ********...(790SW...BUT it is waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, etc...hehe) so I don't worry about it getting hit by a ball when I have it propped up.

It's my backhand that I struggle with--timing and hitting higher balls, and stooping for lower ones. And also making a very good sweetspot contact with my backhand. The main problem is moving my feet fast enough and getting into perfect position. If I can do that, I can hit a decent backhand.

I'll post some vids of points including forehands soon. I would even rate myself higher than 3.0....but I'm trying to be conservative. I most likely can be beaten by a 3.5 ball pusher too...I'm almost positive that an experienced 4.0 player could beat me simply because of consistency/fitness. 4.5 player there would be no question he could beat me. so, there are several humps I need to get over to be 4.0+ I think.

As for my serves, that has improved tremendously. I'm not double faulting like I did in high school/college. I have a reliable kick 2nd serve and ace at least a few times in a singles set.

My returns have improved tremendously as well...but have trouble with backhand if they go out wide with a fast serve--unless I split second slice it and lob it back into the court I most likely can't get it back.

cncretecwbo
10-16-2007, 08:01 AM
hmm id say dont move your right foot too far ahead of your left foot, If you keep them closer it might help you get better rotation in your body. Also, i cant tell whether or not your are doing it from the pictures, but really relax your arms when you serve and put most of your effort into your legs and body rotation. Lastly make sure to get a good wrist snap in there at the end.

BeHappy
10-16-2007, 08:10 AM
you jump before you have started your service with your arm, that means you get no power from your legs, agassi used to have this problem too.Jump only when you have gottern into the trophy position, don't jump up ,jump forward.More long jump than high jump.

lkdog
10-16-2007, 11:11 AM
you jump before you have started your service with your arm, that means you get no power from your legs, agassi used to have this problem too.Jump only when you have gottern into the trophy position, don't jump up ,jump forward.More long jump than high jump.


This is an astute comment.
I think Hyogen is maybe trying to jump as an isolated part of the motion, rather than it being a result of the motion (if that makes any sense).
It should happen naturally due to force of rotation and slinging the forearm out, and the lean in-not by trying to jump into the serve.

tricky
10-16-2007, 12:57 PM
Yeah, that's what I'm seeing in the stroke too. That's something most coaches emphasize too -- what we see as them jumping into the ball is a product of their motion.

It looks like the racquet drop is occurring late. By the time the heels lift up, the racquet drop needs to already be almost there. It looks like what he's doing is

1) He lift from the knees.

2) THEN, he initiates the racquet drop with the hand to get a whiplash effect.

3) His hips seem pretty fixed through steps 1 and 2, and doesn't really open or rotate until the racquet drop is already happening.

Also,

4) When he's setting up his trophy position, he's using a straight takeback except from a very, very low position (i.e. below the shoulder.) Like he draws the bow, and then he points the bow up at the ball.

tricky
10-16-2007, 02:45 PM
Maybe I can bend my knees more and arch my back more?

It has to do with body sequencing. Goes something like this . . .

1) Before you take the racquet back and set up the trophy position, you turn your hips.

2) Once you've initiated this, then you take the racquet back while still turning the hips.

3) You'll notice that the more you turn your hips, the more your knees will bend.

Many people initially turn their hips toward the net, so they're pointing toward the net (a la Sampras), and then start the windup back. It's still key that the arm doesn't start moving into trophy position until after the hips are already turning.

When you initiate the racquet drop, you actually do this from the hips. This also causes your legs to unload and drive.

wow, someone else talked to me about the "trophy" thing in my other thread. he just explained what it was...I gotta work on this this week too!

The trophy is the breakfast of champion servers! :D It's really key to nail down the arm motion associated with the trophy position. And so you would initially work on hitting the ball with just the basic arm motion, without worrying about using the legs.

I kinda see it as a big C motion (or 75% of a full circle.) Here's roughly how it goes


1) To set up the trophy position, you trace the bottom half of the C with your hand.

2) Then, when you want to set up the racquet drop and upward stroke, you trace the top half of the C.

The key lesson is that, in order to trace the top half of a C or circle, you have to swing upwards. This will automatically create the racquet drop. It's tempting to manually create the racquet drop by manually dropping your hand below the shoulder. But by learning to trace this circular motion, you'll trust that the elbow will automatically pivot upwards. Also, you'll notice how your body turns in order to faciliate this. As you finish the motion, you'll notice that the pronation will occur naturally.

3) You'll notice that your racquet drop, though automatic, may not be that deep. To work on that, you can either work on arcing the back (by pushing your upper chest out), or you can use a visualization. For example, you can imagine a back fence near your body as you start with the top half of the C. This will give you the "whiplash" motion that you're looking for as well.

4) Once you got the gist of the above down, then you work on tightening the arm motion. You do this by tracing the circle with your elbow (instead of the hand), redoing steps 1-4. It's important to make sure you swing upwards with the elbow when you initiate the racquet drop.

5) You'll notice that when you get to step 4, you now have the arm motion similar to what most pros have.

6) THEN, you add in the rest of the body.

hyogen
10-16-2007, 03:13 PM
hmm, wow I am glad I posted those pictures. I'm sure once I post videos you'll all be able to give more feedback. Thanks for all of the tips! Until now I thought I had done all I could to improve my serve.

I would practice tossing the ball a ton...bending my knees more, etc...but now I have quite a lot to work on :)

tricky
10-16-2007, 03:26 PM
I would practice tossing the ball a ton...bending my knees more, etc...but now I have quite a lot to work on

One of the interesting points Tennismastery brings up is that the leg drive accounts for only something like 10-20% of the total service speed. It's not a lot. So, getting deeper knee bend, which does help, should not be the main focus on improving serve. More key is nailing down the arm motion, which involves learning the trophy position.

BeHappy
10-16-2007, 03:33 PM
10-20% is a lot, it's the difference between serving 120mph and 100mph.

BTW, HAS ANYONE ELSE NOTICED THIS GUY HAS SAMPRAS LIKE RACQUET DROP?IE, DOWN TO HIS ***.

tricky
10-16-2007, 03:41 PM
10-20% is a lot, it's the difference betweena 120mph serve and a 100mph.

Mmm, I think it was something like 10-20% between a serve with and without leg drive (i.e. serving with feet always on ground.) So, going with your example, that means a guy who can dial it at about 120mph can hit close to 100mph without his feet leaving the ground. I think that's amazing.

BTW, HAS ANYONE ELSE NOTICED THIS GUY HAS SAMPRAS LIKE RACQUET DROP?IE, DOWN TO HIS ***.

A good racquet drop, which he has, should be below the butt. Explains why he can hit 90mph right now, even without a proper trophy position. A great racquet drop should be between butt and knees, which is Joker/Sampras/Roddick level.

But it's less about pure shoulder flexibility, and more about the quality of the arm motion, grip choice, and how much abbreviation you're using (which frees up the shoulder to rotate more.) If you're taking back with just the shoulder, which few pros do (but Roddick does), your racquet drops even further.

Also key is the amount of arc you have in your back when the racquet drops, which is partially set up by how far you turn the shoulder in the takeback.

hyogen
10-16-2007, 03:45 PM
lol... Racquet drop and "trophy". All these new terms I'm learning from this forum. ;)

tricky
10-16-2007, 03:49 PM
Racquet drop and "trophy". All these new terms I'm learning from this forum

I wouldn't be surprised if you have a 110+ in you. Given the form is proper, racquet drop is a good way to predict how much power/racquet speed you got on that puppy.

BeHappy
10-16-2007, 04:00 PM
. .

hyogen
10-16-2007, 04:17 PM
wow, such compliments! >_<

for those of you wondering how i got to this point and wondering if you'll ever have this kind of racquet drop or form..........how much practice it will take, etc...

all throughout high school and college I had a very compact serve. I had okay form--it didn't look like a noob serve. However I was doing so many things not as well as I am now or could have been. Sometimes I could hit the ball pretty hard, rarely an ace...but mainly it was very inconsistent. Double faulting was probably the main reason I lost my games.

Like my toss was really really low...I was contacting the ball like a half second or less after the toss AND only about a foot and half above my head (was the contact point)... So to an untrained eye the serve looked pretty good--kinda like what a recreational player would see on TV...I hardly jumped at all too so it was a LOT of ARM use.

I remember getting tennis elbow and a kinda messed up/strained shoulder from serving the way that I did. I would have to get the shoulder really warmed up or else risk injuring it or feeling like a little uncomfortable pop in the shoulder.

Well, ever since I learned how to do a kick serve for my second serve and was confident about not double faulting, I started to go for more on my first serve. I practiced tossing the ball more so I could toss it higher and more consistently in the same place.

The great thing is now with these motions my arm doesn't get sore or injured and it doesn't take much to warm up my arm before my serves. This is great!

Thanks for all the input and advice. I've already benefited more than I thought I could have. :D

BeHappy
10-16-2007, 04:22 PM
A good racquet drop, which he has, should be below the butt. Explains why he can hit 90mph right now, even without a proper trophy position. A great racquet drop should be between butt and knees, which is Joker/Sampras/Roddick level.

ah, I see, like this you mean?


http://img64.imageshack.us/img64/6539/68049725gf7.jpg

I've got to say it looks pretty much identical as far as depth goes.

tricky
10-16-2007, 06:15 PM
I've got to say it looks pretty much identical as far as depth goes.

I would say Sampras's drop looks a touch deeper. Hyogen's shot is at a 3/4 angle, so it's a little misleading. That said, his racquet drop *is* very good. He's got pretty high power potential here, once he's got his form all set up.

But as Hyogen said, nailing down the proper arm motions sets everything else up. The farther you take back the shoulder, the lower the racquet drop will be and the higher the racquet speed.

BeHappy
10-16-2007, 06:22 PM
actually hyogens serve is at ground level, it's sampras's that's misleading.They both have racquet drops at mid thigh level.

BTW, you said he doesn't get into a trophy position, he actually does, he gets into what John Yandell describes as the new power position in the article on Roddick's serve.


PS:
You HAVE to intervene in this thread, this guy called EPH can pitch at 92mph left handed, has only been playing for a couple of months , right handed!!Says where would he find a coach to teach him lefty!!!Says he doesn't see any benefit to serving lefty!!!Tried serving lefty on my advice and said he served 'much much faster', but is going ack to righty because he doesn't see any advantage to serving lefty!!!

only in america.


http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=161956

sharpy
10-16-2007, 06:36 PM
Tricky,

is there a way to improve timing on the serve to make the racket drop deeper?

Like if i start my serve at the trophy position right off the bat, and just toss, drop and hit, my drop is deeper (federer-like deep!!!) than if I went through the entire motion in full. So I conclude that it's probably a timing issue of some sort.

tricky
10-16-2007, 06:36 PM
BTW, you said he doesn't get into a trophy position, he actually does, he gets into what John Yandell describes as the new power position in the article on Roddick's serve.

Yeah, he uses a straight takeback (which is actually the smile pattern, but upside down), and that is partially why Hyogen has a good racquet drop (straight takeback forces you to abbreviate the takeback to some degree, which improves racquet drop.) The problem here is that he's using a straight takeback below the shoulder, and so he's actually not loading the shoulder properly. He thinks of the position as an archer's bow, and he interprets the takeback as drawing that bow.

I don't know . . . I just think people should start out with the normal circular motion first, before trying out the straight takeback. It's just good to know what a "proper" trophy position looks and feels like.

this guy called EPH can pitch at 92mph left handed

Which means he's probably capable of a 130+ serve. Left handed. Yikes. :D

BeHappy
10-16-2007, 06:40 PM
Yeah, he uses a straight takeback (which is actually the smile pattern, but upside down), and that is partially why Hyogen has a good racquet drop (straight takeback forces you to abbreviate the takeback to some degree, which improves racquet drop.) The problem here is that he's using a straight takeback below the shoulder, and so he's actually not loading the shoulder properly. He thinks of the position as an archer's bow, and he interprets the takeback as drawing that bow.

I don't know . . . I just think people should start out with the normal circular motion first, before trying out the straight takeback. It's just good to know what a "proper" trophy position looks and feels like.



Which means he's probably capable of a 130+ serve. Left handed. Yikes. :D


yeah but he wants to learn how to play right handed because he doesn't think there's any benefit to serving lefty and because he says 'where am I going to get a coach to serve lefty?', he posted a thread asking for help on his righty serve because it's crap.

come on man, back me up on this and tell this guy to serve lefty, I just can't watch talent being squandered like this, it's so painful.

Everyone post on this thread and tell this guy to learn how to serve lefty!!!!!!!!!

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=161956

You'll have to scroll down a few posts though.

tricky
10-17-2007, 02:39 AM
is there a way to improve timing on the serve to make the racket drop deeper?

So here's a very long way to go about this . . .

Okay, so, first thing is, the following has nothing to do with Federer's serving mechanics, so all the stuff about Federer's body sequencing that was posted there and arm motion doesn't apply here. Clean slate.
Initially do all the following without the racquet. Using a sock with a tennis ball can help with this.



1) The first thing is to work on the circular motion or "C", tracing it with the hand and slowly. Trace almost all of the bottom half of the circle/C (like "80%") to set trophy position. Hold that position. Now, finish the rest of the bottom half of the C and then continue into the top half of it , going through through the racquet drop, upward swing and pronation.

But there's one key thing you want to get down: because you're completing the bottom half of the C, your hand will be going up as the racquet drop is initiated. Not down, but up.

Now, you may think -- well, then there's no way my racquet will drop then. But you will find that you get a deeper racquet drop this way, and that the whole motion feels more connected. And above all, even at slow speed, your arm kinda flies out of the drop. It's counterintuitive, so it's something you want to get down.

2) Second thing, is to then coordinate this with a hip turn (i.e. without any leg anything whatsoever.)

2a) Still working with a sock, start rotating your hip toward the "back fence"

2b) As you rotate, trace 80% of the bottom half of C with hand to set up trophy position. Hold that position.

2c) Do this a few times, so you can memorize that order: hip first, then arm.

2d) To initiate the racquet drop, now rotate the hips toward the net.

2e) As you rotate, just as you did in step one, finish the last 20% of the bottom half of the C and contonue into the top half. This is the tricky part (and why getting this motion in step 1 is SO important), because naturally you want to bring your hand down when the hip turns. But, just as in step one, your hand goes up when the hip turns. And here you'll also find that the arm flies out of the racquet drop even when motion is relaxed and slow.

2f) Do this a few times, so you can memorize that order: hip first, then arm. And, so, you will get down the idea that the hips goes first and basically sets everything else. The hips initiates the takeback. The hips initiate the racquet drop.

3) Now you add in the legs. At this point, leave out the arm motion. Just work on the hips and legs.

3a) Hips initiate the legs too. You start rotate the hips toward the net. Then you let your knees bend.

3b) Continue rotating the hips. Watch how the more you rotate your hips, the more your knees bend. In fact, you will find that even though, at some point, your hip won't turn much more, the act of turning them will make your knees bend further. Hold at the lowest, comfortable position.

3c) Do this a fwe times, you can memorize the order: hip first, then knees. You never at any point consciously think "okay, gotta bend my knees real low now." Instead, you let the turning of the hips take care of this for you.

3d) Now, rotate your hips toward the net to initiate the leg drive. Again, it's hips first, then legs.

3e) The key thing is that, again, you never think about "pushing off the legs" or "jumping." You just let the hips release the legs for you, just as it releases the arm for you.

4) You put all three elements together in this order: hips, then knees, then arms. In your takeback, you first turn the hips toward the back fence, shift the weight onto the balls of your feet, and then FINALLY you start tracing the 80% of the bottom half of the C. Hold that position.

4a) You may think the order is trivial, but this body sequencing (legs before arms) is crucial to set up the kinetic chain properly. The hips don't actually do very much for contributing the racquet speed. Instead, it's what sets up the timing of each stage of the serve and what initiates the kinetic chain.

5) Finally, you can work with a racquet and add in the rest of the serve elements.



Once you get the above down (which is, uhm, not easy), then the next step is to learn the arm motion by tracing the circle with the elbow (rather than the hand.) At this point, then you start seeing a "pro"/Sampras-style takeback, and get a deep racquet drop. Your overall motion will be more compact as well.

It's actually possible to take it one step further, by tracing the circle with the shoulder. But that's outside the scope of the thread. :D

Tennis_Monk
10-17-2007, 03:27 AM
No YOu cant improve your serve. Its impossible to improve on Perfection.

lkdog
10-17-2007, 08:04 AM
So here's a very long way to go about this . . .

Okay, so, first thing is, the following has nothing to do with Federer's serving mechanics, so all the stuff about Federer's body sequencing that was posted there and arm motion doesn't apply here. Clean slate.
Initially do all the following without the racquet. Using a sock with a tennis ball can help with this.



Once you get the above down (which is, uhm, not easy), then the next step is to learn the arm motion by tracing the circle with the elbow (rather than the hand.) At this point, then you start seeing a "pro"/Sampras-style takeback, and get a deep racquet drop. Your overall motion will be more compact as well.

It's actually possible to take it one step further, by tracing the circle with the shoulder. But that's outside the scope of the thread. :D



Tricky-

As always-thanks for your insights. You have a real passion for the game and helping others.
I have been redoing my serve from scratch and am making some progress through some insights and comments from your posts and also some very helpful comments from Dave Smith and his great book and website, and Will Hamilton and his excellent site.
It seems like I am working on a new element of the serve each week (grip, take back, drop, rotation, lean in, swing path). :)
Really it is lots of fun to see different outcomes at times and some better ball rotation and power as things fall into place a little more. Takes some time I have discovered to incorporate or experiment even when making small changes like how one sets their wrist on the take back.

Anyway-my question is (probably been asked before)-any chance you could have someone demonstrate your detailed learning steps above and post some pictures?


Thanks.

wihamilton
10-17-2007, 08:20 AM
hyogen,

just took a quick look at your pictures -- first impression is that you are not sideways to the net in your racket drop, e.g. when the racket is pointed straight down at the court, your shoulders should be parallel with the sideline(s).

hyogen
10-17-2007, 08:36 AM
ah, are you from Fuzzy Yellow Balls? I was up late last night watching your videos on the serve, backhand, and forehand.... I was late to work this morning too :-/

Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm gonna work on that today + trophy pose + some other stuff.

wihamilton
10-17-2007, 09:42 AM
Heh ya I am... sorry I made you late =p Hope those videos help -- let me know.

tricky
10-17-2007, 10:59 AM
BTW, does anybody think Will Hamilton look a little bit like Eli Manning? Just a little? Do you cut that meat? :D

Anyway-my question is (probably been asked before)-any chance you could have someone demonstrate your detailed learning steps above and post some pictures?Haha. I wish I did. Or at least I wish I could draw, that would make BeHappy, erm, happy. :D

But I think the clips at fuzzy are pretty much gold. And the clip about throwing the racquet upwards is really good at showing the "swinging up at the ball" aspect down.

stinkpaw
10-17-2007, 11:20 AM
I am in no way affiliated with the site, but I suggest you join hitechtennis dot com. Then go through their serve instructional analysis with videos and compare. For each step of the serve they give different focus points you can then look for in your pictures and compare. Great website and great way to improve.

Technical question: did you take your pics with a digital cam that snaps continuous still pictures or did you take frames from a video? What software did u use?

wihamilton
10-17-2007, 12:09 PM
Haha unfortunately (I'm a huge Redskins fan) that is not the first time I have gotten Eli Manning. Ed Norton also. I dunno. Hopefully Eli will go back to being Eli (guaranteed 2 picks a game) -- the NFC East is tough enough w/the (hated) Cowboys tearing things up.

BeHappy
10-17-2007, 12:15 PM
[color='white']. .[color]

tricky
10-17-2007, 12:18 PM
And for the famous Sampras serve there was a story behind it: Initially the starting stance was learned from Little, called the "chong", in which the heels face each other and the toes form an angle as wide as 90 degrees.I'm partial to the cheech stance, myself. *rim shot* ;) BeHappy, is this from a book or is there a link to this?

2)no kinetic chain, all arm/shoulder.(A one in a million shoulder, but still massive room for improvement, getting the legs involved worth up to 20mph)

No doubt. Seriously Hyogen, once you got the basic gist of the form shown on Fuzzy and give yourself a few months of practice, you're going to have a smooth, popping serve.

The key thing about kinetic chain is getting the correct body sequence down. If the arm goes before the hips and legs, then the hips and legs can't really transfer energy into the arms.

hyogen
10-17-2007, 12:26 PM
I'm definitely going to try and practice these things. Looking at the pictures of Pete though...I don't see that he has his feet at 90 degrees....

Looking forward to your next post BeHappy. You can be sure I'll have videos and these screenshots of the videos of my new and improving serve.

BeHappy
10-17-2007, 01:07 PM
. .

BeHappy
10-17-2007, 01:11 PM
. .

BeHappy
10-17-2007, 01:16 PM
What I'm going to do is this, I'm going to post the first one again and delete it from the 2nd page so that you can read all three together:


ok, Hyogen;

you have two seperate flaws in your service motion;

1) stance, (hip rotation- worth between 10-15mph)

2)no kinetic chain, all arm/shoulder.(A one in a million shoulder, but still massive room for improvement, getting the legs involved worth up to 20mph)


now this is your serve:

http://www.dochyo.com/serve%20sequence.JPG


and this is Sampras's serve:

http://news.tennis365.net/lesson/img/pro_gif/sampras_serve_03_0312.jpg


first I'm going to deal with your stance.

this is your stance:

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/8195/servestancesx1.png


and this is pete's

http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/3229/petestancebl6.png


the important thing here is not the angle at which he stands compared to yours, it's this:
http://216.194.87.192/personal.htm

Why does Pete has such a perfect game?

Pete Fischer, Pete's first coach, who was not a "proper" tennis coach nor a pro player (he was in fact a doctor: paediatrician), sent Pete along to various "experts" for training. For his winning forehand he was sent to the dean of tennis coaches, Robert Lansdrop. For his footwork, to Del Little. For his volley to Larry Easley who was the coach at Nevada University.

And for the famous Sampras serve there was a story behind it: Initially the starting stance was learned from Little, called the "chong", in which the heels face each other and the toes form an angle as wide as 90 degrees. "With that start you can get power by rotating and using your hips rather than your legs or even your shoulders.The trick is to translate your hips into the hit," said Fischer. " In some photos you can see Pete rotates so much that his belly button faces the back fence. The great advantage of the "chong" is that when you come forward through such a severe rotation you are launched right into the court."

It is that unique starting position that helped Pete develop one of the tour's most effective deliveries and transform himself from a baselining junior to a worldclass serve and volleyer with five Wimbledon titles to his credits.


the angle at which he stands is a natural by product of the 'chong' stance.

what you need to do is this:

1) stand with your left foot perpendicular to the baseline.(perpendicular means to be at a right angle to something, eg: a lamp post to the ground), now position your other foot comfortably parallel, (Parallel means the same angle as, eg these two l's are parallel to each other l l ) to the baseline.
That's the correct stance.

It will allow you to roate your torso into the shot by rotating your hips.

Another issue with your stance is that you use what is called a pin point stance.A pin point stance is when you drag your left foot up beside your right foot and stand it on it's toes before hitting the ball.

hyogen,

just took a quick look at your pictures -- first impression is that you are not sideways to the net in your racket drop, e.g. when the racket is pointed straight down at the court, your shoulders should be parallel with the sideline(s).

Yeah, the chong stance should fix that for you.


(to be continued in next post)

BeHappy
10-17-2007, 01:21 PM
a pin point stance, (which you use) looks like this;

http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/9016/pinpointad8.jpg

the whole point of the pin point stance is to allow you to run into the net as you serve.It has noe effect on your leg drive at all as you push off the front leg, whether you realise it or not.

Rod Laver used to use this stance.
Stefan Edberg and kraijeck also used it for a similar purpose and to similar effect.

At best it has no effect upon your hip rotation, at worst, and in your case I think this applies, it messes up your timing and destroys the kinetic chain.

what I want you to do is use the platform stance.I want you to completely ignore the back foot throughout the motion.It is relax it totally.If it is dragged forward passively and very slightly by the depth of your knee bend, (like Sampras), that's okay, that's not the same thing as a pin point stance.

refer to the Sampras pics to look at what I'm talking about.

You have another MASSIVE PROBLEM though, and hat is that you are jumping WAY to soon.

You aren't using your legs to power your arm at all.

What you are doing is this;

1) You toss the ball

2) You bend your knees and jump upwards almost immediately

3) Way, WAY after this you are getting into the racquet drop position.

4)while you are in the air you swing at the ball.


What Sampras is doing, and what you need to do is this.

Throw the ball up in the air and at the same time lean into your front foot as heavily as you possibly can.

the heel of your right foot should be up slightly ie your right foot should be on it's toes, ie, the ball of your foot.

You'll find this will take you far longer than sitting down which is what you are doing now, and which is completely ineffectual as it launches your weight into the wrong direction anyway.

Next what you need to do is to time it in such a way that you get your arm into the trophy position as at the same time as you reach your maximum knee bend.This should look like this:

http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/2016/samptrophylm3.png

whereas at the moment you're reaching your maximum knee bend position way before your arm reaches the trophy position, (pointing straight up towards the sky:

http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/3671/blahgx7.png

So the link in the 'kinetic chain' as it's known, is broken.Your legs and hips have no effect on your arm.the arm has to do all the work on it's own.

you need to link them up so that the maximum knee bend and the trophy position of the racquet coincide, like this:

http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/2016/samptrophylm3.png


the pic that is framed in red is where he has achieved the Trophy position, where his maximum knee bend coincides with his arm pointing straight up.



(continued in next post, can only post 4 images a post, grrrrrr)

tricky
10-17-2007, 01:21 PM
I'm definitely going to try and practice these things. Looking at the pictures of Pete though...I don't see that he has his feet at 90 degrees....

Sampras has a unique technique with his feet. It's a cool trick, but maybe best to stick with basics?

He initiates the Kinetic Chain by rotating his hips

Yeah, that's the key thing. It helps give you the rhythm that you're looking for.

BeHappy
10-17-2007, 01:25 PM
Linking Stance, Knee Bend and Trophy Position up

Now the pic that's framed in red I've already explained, the pic that's framed in yellow demonstrates something very important.

http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/1545/sampsequencend3.png
He initiates the Kinetic Chain by rotating his hips

again

He initiates the Kinetic Chain by rotating his hips

NOT by driving with his legs

Coaches always say leg drive shold be natural, should be passive, that it should be as a result of a good motion.

Well this is how to make that happen.

What your stance will do is allow you to do this.

Your stance allows for huge hip rotation, as your hips are rotated backwards so much.

What you need to do is when you are in this position, (maximum knee bend, racquet pointing towards the sky):

http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/2016/samptrophylm3.png

is to rotate your hips volently, everything will happen completely naturally from this point on, your legs will naturally release forwards, your arm will naturally drop down, and you will have an amazing serve that is somewhere between 30 and 35 mph faster than the one you have now.


The 'jump', is more like a single legged step into the court than a jump, what you're really doing is transferring your weight aggressively, and you shouldn't even try to do it, it'll happen all by itself if you rotate your hips properly.
it's worth noting that Sampras's foot barely leaves the ground:

(Green Frame)

http://img218.imageshack.us/img218/5527/sampsequence2mv3.png

hyogen
10-17-2007, 01:34 PM
I am in no way affiliated with the site, but I suggest you join hitechtennis dot com. Then go through their serve instructional analysis with videos and compare. For each step of the serve they give different focus points you can then look for in your pictures and compare. Great website and great way to improve.

Technical question: did you take your pics with a digital cam that snaps continuous still pictures or did you take frames from a video? What software did u use?

easy! I just took screenshots of my video playing in Windows Media Player. Used the print screen button...then 2 open windows of MS PAINTBRUSH! Pasted the screenshot, then cut and pasted the part I wanted for the sequence.

BeHappy
10-17-2007, 01:34 PM
Sampras has a unique technique with his feet. It's a cool trick, but maybe best to stick with basics?

why?

I mean you just set your feet differently and serve, and you get an extra 10-15 mph free.It's not like it adds ANY difficulty.

Gaudio does this for example, although there are many many more.



Yeah, that's the key thing. It helps give you the rhythm that you're looking for.

far more than rythm, it' what gives you racquet head speed.

tricky
10-17-2007, 01:53 PM
is to rotate your hips volently, everything will happen completely naturally from this point on, your legs will naturally realese forwards,

I tend to see this as you rotate your hips into the ball. So, naturally, if your ball toss is more out in front or higher, your hips will follow as such.


I mean you just set your feet differently and serve, and you get an extra 10-15 mph free.It's not like it adds ANY difficulty..

Well, if you're talking about lifting the balls of your feet in order to orient, yeah that's fine and it helps with the hip rotation. And that's what's covered on the fuzzy site. If you mean, however, setting your feet parallel to each other with your hips "pre-rotated", which is what Sampras does in order to hit balls way out to the left and, that's an advanced technique. It's like setting up the trophy position by leading with the elbow; eventually you want to get there, but it's confusing if you have no concept of the circular motion necessary in a more classic serve.

far more than rythm, it' what gives you racquet head speed.

Nah, that's not completely true. What gives you most of the racquet head speed is how the shoulder is loaded, and then how you pronate into the ball. The most important part -- and one of the most difficult things to really get down -- is to nail down the racquet drop, so that the kinetic chain is not broken, and so that the body can still properly prestretch the shoulder rotators.

There's various ways to execute a racquet drop, but most ways disconnect the kinetic chain. That is why most coaches recommend mastering the arm motion prior to adding in all the body sequencing stuff. What they really want the trainee to figure out, is how to get the kinetic chain to connect correctly during the racquet drop. The problem is most coaches do not really understand how that works, except to emphasize a loose arm and a throwing motion.

When the kinetic chain is connected through the entire motion, the movement becomes rhythmic and relaxed. It means you have a clear eccentric/negative stage that properly mirrors the concentric/positive elements in the movement. That is what takes so many hours to master with a movement pattern as involved as the serve.

BeHappy
10-17-2007, 02:06 PM
Well, if you're talking about lifting the balls of your feet in order to orient, yeah that's fine and it helps with the hip rotation. And that's what's covered on the fuzzy site. If you mean, however, setting your feet parallel to each other with your hips "pre-rotated", which is what Sampras does in order to hit balls way out to the left and, that's an advanced technique.


It doesn't force you to hit the ball way out to the left, what it does do is force you to rotate your torso further and faster, which pulls your shoulder forward further and faster, which gives you an even lower racquet drop, and which also loads more energy into the ssc system which allows you to internally rotate your shoulder a lot faster.

I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion.


It's like setting up the trophy position by leading with the elbow; eventually you want to get there, but it's confusing if you have no concept of the circular motion necessary in a more classic serve.


I'm not being disingenuous here Tricky, I really and truly amn't, but I have no idea what you mean by leading with the elbow.


Nah, that's not completely true. What gives you most of the racquet head speed is how the shoulder is loaded, and then how you pronate into the ball. The most important part -- and one of the most difficult things to really get down -- is to nail down the racquet drop, so that the kinetic chain is not broken, and so that the body can still properly prestretch the shoulder rotators.

There's various ways to execute a racquet drop, but most ways disconnect the kinetic chain. That is why most coaches recommend mastering the arm motion prior to adding in all the body sequencing stuff. What they really want the trainee to figure out, is how to get the kinetic chain to connect correctly during the racquet drop. The problem is most coaches do not really understand how that works, except to emphasize a loose arm and a throwing motion.

When the kinetic chain is connected through the entire motion, the movement becomes rhythmic and relaxed. It means you have a clear eccentric/negative stage that properly mirrors the concentric/positive elements in the movement. That is what takes so many hours to master with a movement pattern as involved as the serve.

but it's the kinetic chain that which is responsible for loading the reflex action, which is what gives you more racquet head speed.Your post seems to agree with me on this point although your initial statement doesn't.

I'm confused.

hyogen
10-17-2007, 02:34 PM
Ok, wow..that's a lot of work you did BeHappy. I definitely owe you a video...If you saw it I think what you said here doesn't apply:

"whereas at the moment you're reaching your maximum knee bend position way before your arm reaches the trophy position, (pointing straight up towards the sky" is not what's actually happening.

I think when I reach my maximum knee bend I have already tossed up the ball high and am waiting for the right height of the ball. The thing is, I don't even have a trophy pose. I immediately start dropping my tossing arm, as many people have observed so far in this thread.

I will definitely post the video on youtube--if you must, you can see these three 15MB videos - one of them has an embarrasing running towards camera (girlfriend holding the camera) with a goofy expression...I'll get some better ones and post them on youtube for easy viewing. I don't think you answered my 90 degree chong position question. The Sampras pictures don't look like he has his feet at a 90 degree angle...

So here are the videos (15MB each!)
http://www.dochyo.com/PA140104.AVI
--the one from the screen captures from original post (and goofy end part)
http://www.dochyo.com/PA150109.AVI 3 sort of rushed serves--what I might do if I am tired or am not focused as much during the match. Interesting to see
http://www.dochyo.com/PA150111.AVI one good one that I think most of my serves are like. Shows my flaws, timing, non-rotation, how I'm jumping, etc.

tricky
10-17-2007, 03:31 PM
It doesn't force you to hit the ball way out to the left, what it does do is force you to rotate your torso further and faster, which pulls your shoulder forward further and faster, which gives you an even lower racquet drop, and which also loads more energy into the ssc system which allows you to internally rotate your shoulder a lot faster.

What Sampras's move does is reduce the amount of lateral movement necessary in order for the racquet to come over the top. This does two things. First, it means more racquet speed will go into pace and topspin, than sidespin. It also means that the movements related to pronation occur earlier in the service motion, which increases the racquet speed into the ball. The downside is that it sets your initial hip position at a unusual angle, which is maybe not what you want when you're reconstructing the serve.

I'm not being disingenuous here Tricky, I really and truly amn't, but I have no idea what you mean by leading with the elbow.

Basic arm motions involved with swing sports (esp. true in baseball nowadays) go through stages of abbreviation. First, the movement is traced or led by the hand, which is necessary to code into your muscle memory the basic shape and coordination of the movement. Then, in most arm related motions, there's usually one stage of abbreviation where then the movement is traced or led by the elbow, which is also associated with having a "loose" or "relaxed" grip. In some motions, there's one more stage of abbreviation, where now the movement is traced or led by the shoulder.

The rationale for these stages isn't really for the sake of having a tighter stroke; it's that it enables the shoulder to rotate more freely. That is why abbreviation steps naturally lead to lower racquet drops; without the impingement of guided/tracked elbow deviation movements, the shoulder muscles can properly stretch and contract with much less restriction, thereby releasing more energy.

but it's the kinetic chain that which is responsible for loading the reflex action, which is what gives you more racquet head speed.Your post seems to agree with me on this point although your initial statement doesn't.

Where I disagree is the implication that this leads to a direct casual effect for racquet speed. If the racquet drop is executed incorrectly, you can execute the hip rotation and leg drive perfectly, but little of it will load into the shoulder. That is the underlying argument for the "learn arm motion first, worry about leg drive later" stance. It's not so much that leg drive "only contributes" another 10-20mph from the serve -- it's that leg drive is only one part of the kinetic chain and has less influence over the racquet speed than the shape of the backswing/takeback, level of abbreviation, and above all, a well executed proper body sequence of the racquet drop. It's considered only after the arm motion is nailed down.

BeHappy
10-17-2007, 03:49 PM
Ok, wow..that's a lot of work you did BeHappy. I definitely owe you a video...If you saw it I think what you said here doesn't apply:

"whereas at the moment you're reaching your maximum knee bend position way before your arm reaches the trophy position, (pointing straight up towards the sky" is not what's actually happening.

I think when I reach my maximum knee bend I have already tossed up the ball high and am waiting for the right height of the ball. The thing is, I don't even have a trophy pose. I immediately start dropping my tossing arm, as many people have observed so far in this thread.


maybe you should try the other normal trophy position, if it has no effect on your racquet drop then keep using it.




I don't think you answered my 90 degree chong position question. The Sampras pictures don't look like he has his feet at a 90 degree angle...

.


I can only assume that's the camera angle, and his coach didn't say '90' degrees, he said up to 90 degrees, so maybe it's 75+, and it isn't his feet, it's only 1 foot, that's the right foot which is at 90 degrees to the baseline.

sharpy
10-17-2007, 03:50 PM
holy crap, behappy. great analysis.

BeHappy
10-17-2007, 04:00 PM
What Sampras's move does is reduce the amount of lateral movement necessary in order for the racquet to come over the top.

I'll have to look at a few videos to understand this.


It also means that the movements related to pronation occur earlier in the service motion, which increases the racquet speed into the ball.

if this reduces the time it takes for the racquet to get to the ball as you say it does, wouldn't movements related to pronation occur later?


The downside is that it sets your initial hip position at a unusual angle, which is maybe not what you want when you're reconstructing the serve.


why not, the more prerotated your hips are, the more potential rotational energy contained therein.



Basic arm motions involved with swing sports (esp. true in baseball nowadays) go through stages of abbreviation. First, the movement is traced or led by the hand, which is necessary to code into your muscle memory the basic shape and coordination of the movement. Then, in most arm related motions, there's usually one stage of abbreviation where then the movement is traced or led by the elbow, which is also associated with having a "loose" or "relaxed" grip. In some motions, there's one more stage of abbreviation, where now the movement is traced or led by the shoulder.


The rationale for these stages isn't really for the sake of having a tighter stroke; it's that it enables the shoulder to rotate more freely. That is why abbreviation steps naturally lead to lower racquet drops; without the impingement of guided/tracked elbow deviation movements, the shoulder muscles can properly stretch and contract with much less restriction, thereby releasing more energy.


This is new to me, doesn't John Yandell say that a completely non abbreviated takeback is optimal for the most relaxed shoulder possible?

This isn't an argument, I'm not saying you're wrong because I don't know anything about this.


Where I disagree is the implication that this leads to a direct casual effect for racquet speed. If the racquet drop is executed incorrectly, you can execute the hip rotation and leg drive perfectly, but little of it will load into the shoulder. That is the underlying argument for the "learn arm motion first, worry about leg drive later" stance. It's not so much that leg drive "only contributes" another 10-20mph from the serve -- it's that leg drive is only one part of the kinetic chain and has less influence over the racquet speed than the shape of the backswing/takeback, level of abbreviation, and above all, a well executed proper body sequence of the racquet drop. It's considered only after the arm motion is nailed down.

Ok, well let me just make certain we are in disagreement.

Do you disagree with this:

Assuming the depth of the racquet drop is the same in both instances, wouldn't a fully connected 'kinetic chain' cause the racquet to be rotated externally to the drop position faster, therebye storing more elastic energy, lessening strain on the shoulder and allowing for faster internal rotation adn a more powerful shot?
(as opposed to an instance where the racquet drop is done totally by the shoulder like Hyogen)

BeHappy
10-17-2007, 04:01 PM
holy crap, behappy. great analysis.

tx .

sharpy
10-17-2007, 04:35 PM
Tricky, Behappy if you don't mind please take a look at my serve.. feel free to point out any areas of concern..

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Hxb3lvWcXhc front
http://youtube.com/watch?v=IzcAOJ5f-io&mode=user&search= side view

If you guys need some specific frames just ask.

hyogen,
you may be able to learn some stuff from the serve. Like the problem you have with the actual stance/arm motion/etc.

tricky
10-17-2007, 04:50 PM
if this reduces the time it takes for the racquet to get to the ball as you say it does, wouldn't movements related to pronation occur later?

No, before pronation (or, rather, the movement loosely associated with the "pronation" of the serve), the body has to be almost squared up with the ball. Due to his hip positioning, he squares up a lot earlier, so the pronation starts earlier. That's why Sampras looks like he's violently hooking the ball in his finish.
Roddick pronates a lot too (and he has also a painful looking finish), but his comes from a different mechanism.

why not, the more prerotated your hips are, the more potential rotational energy contained therein.

Mmm . . . the problem is there's no element to release the hip rotation passively. So even if you apply a hard stretch, there's no ballistic twist to release that potential rotational energy. The hip largely defines the stages of the movements, influences the degree of stretch applied to the legs and arm, and works as an active trigger. Or to put it another way, it defines the line toward the ball and the length of that line. The longer you can drive into the ball, the more racquet speed you will accrue.

This is new to me, doesn't John Yandell say that a completely non abbreviated takeback is optimal for the most relaxed shoulder possible?

This isn't an argument, I'm not saying you're wrong because I don't know anything about this.

Ah, yeah, it's different meanings toward "abbreviated." When Yandell is speaking of abbreviated, he is referring to Roddick's straight takeback style. When I am speaking of abbreviated, I'm speaking in a more general term, because degrees of abbreviation occur through both FH and BH strokes too.

Yandell is right about Roddick's straight takeback, which is a really upside-down smile pattern. It simplifies the swing because you can racquet drop and draw from almost the same slot. But, in doing so, it somewhat impinges the shoulder rotation that's possible. So, for example, Roddick doesn't have the same left-right flexibility in his ball toss. Not without changing his body position and tipping off his stroke to a really good returner.

A lot of Roddick's power comes from not the straight takeback, but that he can abbreviate his backswing to primarily shoulder rotation and turn. The fact that the straight takeback is a less complicated (if not theoretically "ideal") motion probably makes it easier to do. Now, many of his peers who use similar movements -- Nadal and Gasquet -- do a straight takeback with the elbow. They don't have anything like his power, but they have similar issues (in particular, Nadal) with service flexibility.

ssuming the depth of the racquet drop is the same in both instances, wouldn't a fully connected 'kinetic chain' cause the racquet to be rotated externally to the drop position faster, therebye storing more elastic energy, lessening strain on the shoulder and allowing for faster internal rotation adn a more powerful shot?

Yes, you're correct. A properly connected kinetic chain largely reflects the mediation between the arm the hips. It's a bit catch-22. A properly connected kinetic chain will facilitate a passive stretch in the shoulder. But it's also true that a passively stretched shoulder will drop more than an shoulder that is "lowered" through an active or concentric contraction.

What happens is that if you manually execute the racquet drop by actively lowering the hand while the hip begins to open, you are no longer stretching your shoulder. So, essentially, the entire backswing/takeback you just made to set up the trophy position gets wasted. Now, usually you will notice for two things. 1) your racquet drop won't be as good as when you tried just the arm motion (Sharpy's situation.) 2) You will feel like there's no rhythm or continuity in your stroke, and thus you'll "arm" the motion to "correct" the stroke. As a result, for most people, the difficulty is in the arm motion.

Degree of racquet drop comes from three places. A) Relative freedom of shoulder rotation, which is tied into how the backswing was executed. B) Degree of bend in the back, which is influenced by shape of backswing and forward drive. C) Well connected transition from trophy position to racquet drop.

BTW, BeHappy, you did a really good job assessing Hyogen's work.

Tennis_Monk
10-17-2007, 06:26 PM
tx .

This is one of the best Analysis i have seen so far. Thanks a lot 'BeHappy'.
Even some paid sites dont get this deep.

I learnt a lot!

rfprse
10-17-2007, 09:09 PM
So here's a very long way to go about this . . .


How does the toss fit into this sequence? Does this sequence require the toss to be done before the start of backswing?

It seems that the traditional "racquet up together" toss/back swing starts/(almost completes) the back swing first then moves on to the hip rotation/leg bend. Does this make the chain broken? Or as long as the racquet drop is initiated by hip rotation, it's fine?

hyogen
10-17-2007, 10:54 PM
OK here are the 3 youtube links for the latest uploaded vids.

All just 10 seconds long.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Vc_BhlnCQg - from the screen shots - please don't mind the silly last part
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo_JegFQyew&mode=user&search= 3 sloppier ones, the last being the best. (I may serve like this if I'm not focused)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_wKkU6tUSM - single good effort

hyogen
10-17-2007, 10:59 PM
Tricky, Behappy if you don't mind please take a look at my serve.. feel free to point out any areas of concern..

http://youtube.com/watch?v=Hxb3lvWcXhc front
http://youtube.com/watch?v=IzcAOJ5f-io&mode=user&search= side view

If you guys need some specific frames just ask.

hyogen,
you may be able to learn some stuff from the serve. Like the problem you have with the actual stance/arm motion/etc.

Now, some of you have complimented me as having "one in a million shoulder"? Was I mistaken or do you really think I have that good of a shoulder for serving...or natural ability or whatever...
This guy (Sharpie) seems to have really good racquet drop as well. Is my shoulder really that special and deserves all this attention and feedback so I can improve it? I would really like to know -_-

Wouldn't you say that Sharpies serve seems significantly better than mine?

Maybe I have had all of you fooled by the screen shots...but when you saw the youtube videos on the previous thread, you're like....ohhh nevermind this guy sucks. -_-

tricky
10-18-2007, 12:11 AM
http://youtube.com/watch?v=Hxb3lvWcXhc front
http://youtube.com/watch?v=IzcAOJ5f-...e=user&search= side view


You got a nicely abbreviated motion Sharpie. Taking back with the shoulder?

1) Okay, right now, you're taking back with the arms, then having the hips follow. You want the hips to go first -- hips first for everything, really. When you're ready to initiate the racquet drop, start from the hips as well. You'll also get a deeper knee bend and better synchornization between the trophy position and that knee bend.

2) When you're setting up the trophy position, imagine doing about 80% of the complete motion (i.e. the half circle) you'd normally do to get the full trophy position. Hold that position. When you turn the hips to intiate the racquet drop, complete the final 20% of that motion and then go into the upward swing (or top half of circle/C.) This will help give you the automatic racquet drop you've been looking for.

It seems that the traditional "racquet up together" toss/back swing starts/(almost completes) the back swing first then moves on to the hip rotation/leg bend. Does this make the chain broken? Or as long as the racquet drop is initiated by hip rotation, it's fine?

Nah, the order has to be the same in windup and launch. I know a lot of people start the swing first and you do see some big servers (i.e. Becker), who go arm first, then body. But I think it's more common that the big servers are already well into their knee bend prior to their trophy position being fully set up. And this is the case because their hip rotation came before the arms. This was also true of Sampras. It looks like he's going arm first, but in his case, he separate the hand, he lowers the racquet, and then the takeback occurs. His true takeback doesn't occur until after the hips are already rotating. If he paused between the racquet and takeback (such as Goran) it would be more clear.

Goran's body sequence is really, really interesting. Instead of using hip rotation to mediate the weight transfer, he uses a very long stride. That works really well too.

Wouldn't you say that Sharpies serve seems significantly better than mine?

I really like Sharpy's service motion. I think he's on the cusp of a breakthru. :D

hyogen
10-18-2007, 03:20 PM
where are you behappy? can you look at the vids and answer the questions a couple posts above this? thanks!

tricky
10-18-2007, 06:08 PM
When you're setting up the trophy position, it looks like you start with a low straight takeback (with palm facing ground), and then you rotate around the wrist to bring the racquet up. If you're doing this, then you gotta remember that it's really the overall arm motion (esp. the shoulder lifting up ) that pivots the racquet up.

Looks like you're split stepping in your leg drive. That sequence is all wrong, because you're trying to intentionally jump in order to drive the serve.

BeHappy
10-19-2007, 05:45 AM
where are you behappy? can you look at the vids and answer the questions a couple posts above this? thanks!

I'm pretty sure I did already.

btw, your serve is very slow because your technique is bad, but with a loose shoulder like the one you have you have the capacity to serve very powerfully, but that will never happen unless you make it happen.

ps, how tall are you?

Geezer Guy
10-19-2007, 06:58 AM
Sorry if this has been mentioned before. I just found this thread, and have not read every entry.

In the second sequence it appears your head is looking away from the ball before the racquet makes contact. Keep you head up and your eyes on the ball until after contact.
It looks like you ARE doing that in the first sequence, for whatever that's worth.

BeHappy
10-22-2007, 05:25 PM
you have a good service motion sharpy,

it can be improved though

because,as noted by tricky, you take your racquet up before you start leaning on your front foot, you don't get as much knee bend, and therefore power as you could/should.

try overcompensating, try not taking your racquet up until you're halfway towards as much weight on your front foot as you can handle without toppling over.

you have a seriously good motion though

hyogen
10-22-2007, 09:26 PM
I'm pretty sure I did already.

btw, your serve is very slow because your technique is bad, but with a loose shoulder like the one you have you have the capacity to serve very powerfully, but that will never happen unless you make it happen.

ps, how tall are you?

so far i've been trying to work on the trophy (it's going ok...but it messes up my timing a bit)...and also I'm trying to hit a more flat serve for first serve.

Also I'm trying to look over my shoulder when i serve (point shoulder towards opponent) so I can twist more.

It's going ok--i'll post more videos later. I'm 5'10.5" or so...

ananda
10-22-2007, 10:24 PM
Technical question: did you take your pics with a digital cam that snaps continuous still pictures or did you take frames from a video? What software did u use?
You may also open the movie file in Quicktime and Export as a Movie Sequence. For a 8-10 second serve video, you will get about 40-50 jpgs.

sharpy
10-22-2007, 10:27 PM
You got a nicely abbreviated motion Sharpie. Taking back with the shoulder?

1) Okay, right now, you're taking back with the arms, then having the hips follow. You want the hips to go first -- hips first for everything, really. When you're ready to initiate the racquet drop, start from the hips as well. You'll also get a deeper knee bend and better synchornization between the trophy position and that knee bend.

2) When you're setting up the trophy position, imagine doing about 80% of the complete motion (i.e. the half circle) you'd normally do to get the full trophy position. Hold that position. When you turn the hips to intiate the racquet drop, complete the final 20% of that motion and then go into the upward swing (or top half of circle/C.) This will help give you the automatic racquet drop you've been looking for.





tricky,

When exactly should you think about turning the hips back on the serve? At the start of the motion, before the tossing arm goes up, or???

When you mean turn the hips first, do you mean do this before you move the arm at all on the service motion?

Also, how much should you turn them?

hyogen
10-23-2007, 02:14 PM
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=163183

I added some return of serve clips - forehand and backhand.

sharpy
10-24-2007, 10:08 PM
^^ tricky, where are you/?

hyogen
10-30-2007, 01:50 PM
damn...holding a trophy pose messes my entire serve/timing/toss :'(

I also have trouble giving cold shoulder...I think my serving starting position is too open and not closed enough (so i can't get that twisting motion-Coil)

ananda
10-30-2007, 10:30 PM
hyogen.
i have also been working on the trophy pose, and i found after a lot of shadow serving, and thinking I had got it, when i went to court, my toss was not in synch... i was hitting too early.

then i tried tossing first and then getting into trophy. and it was working fine.

so now i am shadow serving at home with a toss first, so the whole motion gets ingrained.

but at this stage, i feel it is essential to do some shadow serving on court, too, before actually serving.
otherwise, my mind goes onto the ball, and i forget the motion of knee bend etc and just go after the ball.


someone on one of these threads mentioned that it is important to first have the arm motion correct, before getting into the knee bend and jump.

FYB has one video just on racquet drop at the end of the serve videos.

Ross K
10-31-2007, 11:17 PM
hyogen,

Also I'm trying to look over my shoulder when i serve (point shoulder towards opponent) so I can twist more.

Please can you clearly explain this. I don't quite get what you mean, but it sounds interesting. Cheers.


tricky,

Goran's body sequence is really, really interesting. Instead of using hip rotation to mediate the weight transfer, he uses a very long stride. That works really well too.

Please can you clearly explain this. I don't quite get what you mean, but it sounds interesting. Cheers.

hyogen
11-01-2007, 12:16 AM
hyogen,



Please can you clearly explain this. I don't quite get what you mean, but it sounds interesting. Cheers.



so...sadfasfafdasfasfaf

hyogen
11-01-2007, 12:18 AM
hyogen,



Please can you clearly explain this. I don't quite get what you mean, but it sounds interesting. Cheers.



so basically turning my shoulders....looking over my shoulder at my opponent. My opponent sees the back of my shoulder...instead of seeing both shoulders and chest in a more open stance.

with this twisting motion of entire trunk of body and legs while opening up this closed shoulder position--i hear that's how you get your power from other ppl who have commented on this thread.

i'm just having trouble getting used to that and tossing, tophy posing, and timing and hitting right now.

Ross K
11-01-2007, 02:11 AM
so basically turning my shoulders....looking over my shoulder at my opponent. My opponent sees the back of my shoulder...instead of seeing both shoulders and chest in a more open stance.

with this twisting motion of entire trunk of body and legs while opening up this closed shoulder position--i hear that's how you get your power from other ppl who have commented on this thread.

i'm just having trouble getting used to that and tossing, tophy posing, and timing and hitting right now.

Isn't this the recomended position anyway (ie, a tad more sideways in your stance and a little less open is the norm?

Anyway, I know what you mean regarding the difficulty in coordinating the various components.... actually, the way you've described it ('twisting motion', etc), I wonder if it might aid fluidity and pace if you were to think of the motion as being like a corkscrew... no... an upwards spiralling motion that culminates in a sudden explosive forward throw... (or something?!

Seriously, it would be great to have some mental tip such as the above (only better of course) to help. I sometimes find that just one imaginative and insightful tip can dramatically speed up your learning process.

Where's tricky when you need him?!... If you do read this tricky, can you help?

tricky
11-02-2007, 01:51 PM
Seriously, it would be great to have some mental tip such as the above (only better of course) to help. I sometimes find that just one imaginative and insightful tip can dramatically speed up your learning process.

Where's tricky when you need him?!... If you do read this tricky, can you help?

It really helps to look at the whole thing as aiming up at the ball, or at the sky. Not just when you're coming out of the racquet drop but also when you're setting up the trophy position and turning the body.

Will has a great clip of this in his Fuzzy site, where he demonstrates the difference between throwing the racquet forward (incorrect) and throwing the racquet straight up in the air (correct.)

What you want to do is emulate this exercise. Instead of using a racquet, use a sock with a tennis ball in it.

First, initiating through the hips, practice a service motion by throwing the sock forward (without releasing the sock.) Observe how your stance is really open, your racquet drop is not automatic, and that your body is well facing the net before the arm comes around. That's kinda where most of us are when we're first learning the serve.

Now, again initiating through the hips, practice a service motion by aiming/throwing the sock toward the sky and just slightly forward. Observe how your stance closes, how far your hips tilts and turn away from the net, how your trophy position is set up, and how your racquet drop becomes more atuomatic. Notice that when you set up your racquet drop, your hips/shoulder are perpendicular with the net. Notice as your arm comes around, there's strong pronation action and there's strong leg drive upwards.

The above is what you want. You do that a few zillion times in front of a mirror to make sure your body orientation and sequence are all set. THEN you pick up a racquet and start hitting balls.

When exactly should you think about turning the hips back on the serve? At the start of the motion, before the tossing arm goes up, or???

Hips should start before the left hand releases the racquet.

Also, how much should you turn them?

All the way. When you stop, that should be the point where you hold the trophy and have reached your lowest position. The more hip turn, the more theoretically you load into your swing. So somebody like Sampras, who has a really strong hip turn (facilitated by his unique step pattern), is going to crank big on you.

Please can you clearly explain this. I don't quite get what you mean, but it sounds interesting.

Yeah, Goran's serve looks kinda like a volleyball serve without the jump. Most people turn the hips away from the net in order to load up, and then initiate through uncoiling. Instead of this, Goran uses a different sequence.

1) Goran has his feet very far apart and shifts all weight toward back foot. The toes of front foot are off ground.

2) To initiate serve, he shifts his weight forward and brings his front foot down.

3) Once he's started the shifting of weight, he starts setting up the trophy position, aiming toward the sky.

4) Because he's shifting his weight forward and his body is aiming up upwards, his back foot will come in.

5) He cranks his serve by pushing off the feet. In his case, there's almost no pause.

BeHappy
11-02-2007, 01:57 PM
[b]4) Because he's shifting his weight forward and his body is aiming up upwards, his back foot will come in.[b]

.

chicken and egg?

BTW, look at Mardy fish's serve, he uses SAmpras's exact motion combined with moving his feet like goran.

Ross K
11-02-2007, 02:07 PM
tricky,

Fantastic stuff. I'll carefully go through it later. Thanks as ever.

tricky
11-02-2007, 03:24 PM
Fantastic stuff. I'll carefully go through it later. Thanks as ever.

Yeah, it kinda puts everything together. First learn the basic arm motion to hit the ball forward. Then, you learn to twist and drop your body, so that you're aiming upwards at the ball, while keeping to roughly the same arm motion.

Visualizing it that way makes things much easier. You'll find that the leg drop and everything else comes together naturally, and then you can work on the details.

This also applies for Roddick's serve too.

1) First, practice throwing the sock forward with an American football style throwing motion. Don't worry about the funky feet or anything, just work on throwing overhand and throwing with primarily the shoulder.

2) THEN, practice aiming the sock toward the sky and throwing upwards. That's Roddick's motion, almost down to the funky foot step, right there.

Ross K
11-03-2007, 06:18 AM
tricky,

Everything you say makes sense and seems clear. I'll incorporate the sock/ball excersize starting Monday. I've already seen the vid in question you referred to regarding the upwards motion on serve (and not just forwards.) I've also recently actually begun doing one or two regular similar-type things for my serve, so it should fit in fine (although I still usually have a racket in hand as opposed to a sock!) Interestingly, I've become far more aware of and capable of harnessing (I think anyway) that core region of hips, lower trunk, and chest.

On a different though related matter, as I have an abbreviated (or certainly semi-abbreviated) service motion, is there a pro you'd recommend me look at whilst attempting to once and for all get my service to a proper level? I know all about Roddick of course, but for various reasons - (including the fact his mechanics are far more complex, idiosyncratic, and generally harder to put together successfully than people often give credit for) - I don't want to look at him really. I'm thinking Henin here definitely... Gasquet maybe... possibly Nadal... semi-abbreviated... pretty straightforward motion... a relatively simplified motion... and I must say, Henin appears very straightforward and simple to try and emulate...

Anyhow, basically, if you feel so inclined, I'd love it if you could just mention the key mechanics you see in Justine's motion (or whoever's), a little analysis and breakdown, you know what I mean. But if you can't be arsed... hey, absolutely no worries!

Cheers,

Ross

sharpy
11-03-2007, 09:23 PM
Ross,

I'm not tricky, but a good player to copy in my view is sampras or federer. I don't know how on earth i would hit the roddick serve...

It would be interesting to find out how henin hits her serve though, can't wait to hear tricky's explanations its as if this guy sees something nobody else does....

by the way, tricky you were right about the hip initiation on my serve.. still struggling with the timing of the transition between trophy and racket drop.

When you say 80% of the motion first, then unload hips, then should you purposely try to complete the other 20% by bringing the racket up with the elbow/shoulder?? I find this really strange and actually I think takes away from the passive drop.. no?

Ross K
11-04-2007, 11:32 AM
Ross,

I'm not tricky, but a good player to copy in my view is sampras or federer. I don't know how on earth i would hit the roddick serve...

I'm enquiring about the likes of Henin and Gasquet, and not the (impressive) likes of Sampras or Fed because, like the first two, I use a semi-abbreviated serve motion and don't want to change that. Plus the 2 I mention appear to have pretty straightforward motions (Henin's looks very simple)... BTW, I said I didn't want to emulate A-Rod.

tricky
11-05-2007, 01:09 PM
When you say 80% of the motion first, then unload hips, then should you purposely try to complete the other 20% by bringing the racket up with the elbow/shoulder?? I find this really strange and actually I think takes away from the passive drop.. no?

Yeah, it's hard to describe without pictures. The "throwing at the sky/up at ball" model is actually the same thing. Basically, this is the line of reasoning.

At first, you try a throwing motion as if you're throwing a ball in front of you. This isn't the correct service motion, obviously, but it's more or less the correct backswing and it helps you learn to sync the hips with taking the racquet back and the racquet drop. The backswing looks roughly like half of a "reverse C", and its axis is parallel with the ground. But, really, the axis of the C is parallel with your line of sight. Just as if you're drawing a bow or throwing a football or a fish line.

Then, you learn to "aim" upwards or for the sky. Now, the trick here is that this "C" backswing is no longer parallel with the ground. It is still parallel with your line of sight, but because your line of sight is now upwards, your backswing is now tilted in that direction.

The above sounds confusing, but if you kinda visualize how somebody aims when throwing a football or a baseball from center field, you'll notice that the basic arm takeback works this way. This is how people naturally throw.

That is the rationale for throwing a lot prior to practicing service motion. If I ask you to throw something upwards and really far away, you intuitive tilt your takeback, so that when you release from the hips, the arm drops and launches out.

1) If I ask you to imagine a target well in front of you, you will have a longer arm takeback and you will show your back more.

2) If I ask you to imagine a target well above you, your knees will drop lower and you will arc your back more.

You will have no problem initiating a passive drop through the hips. And if you lift your left arm as a balance, your right arm will naturally set up into a trophy position.

The trophy position is a natural product of the arm takeback when it matches your line of sight, and when the takeback is synced with your ball toss. This comes without thinking. When you don't have a "natural" trophy position, then it's likely that something in your takeback is off. Usually it means that your takeback isn't tilted toward your line of sight, which is often the case because people see the trophy position setup as parallel with the ground, while they're trying to hit a target that is well above them.

I'm enquiring about the likes of Henin and Gasquet, and not the (impressive) likes of Sampras or Fed because, like the first two,

I like the overall look of Federer and Gasquet -- the simplified style, which is shown by Fuzzy's site -- but what goes on with their legs and hips is different than the majority.

Henin's model is interesting, because I think she, with an almost straight arm, leads the takeback with the shoulder rather than with the elbow. Very few people do this -- neither Federer nor Sampras do this, for example. She uses a traditional, C-style "circular" motion, but the C/circle is led with the shoulder, and so it looks almost like a "diagonal" takeback. I think Sharpy's learned to do something similar. Roddick uses a shoulder-drive motion, but his backswing is the upside-down smile pattern or "football"/overhand style. Again, because it is so abbreviated from the shoulder motion, it looks straight.

There's big upside to this style (deeper racquet drop, great racquet speed, more pronation) -- and I feel it's why Henin can crank out serves with such a small frame (like I always say with Henin -- if she were 5"" she'd dominate the tour) -- but it is more difficult to master. And usually you'd go through a progression. First, you learn to takeback with the hand, which gives you a very large swing. Then you learn to takeback leading and pivoting with the elbow, which gives you what most pros do. Finally, you can abbreviate it one more step by leading/pivoting with the shoulder.

If you want to try a Henin style straight-out, first start with a straight arm (though elbow not locked out), then swing in cartwheels with that straight arm around the shoulder. This gives you the feel that you want.

Then again with a sock or a ball, practice throwing from the shoulder with an almost straight arm. First throw forward. Then, practice aiming really, really high and throw upwards. Finally, add in the left arm as if tossing the ball. Observe how the takeback is diagonal, and how the hip initiates the racquet drop.

Ideally, you want to also feel it in the upper pecs. If it's really clicking for you, you should feel a pull in the upper pecs when you initiate from the hips.

Ross K
11-05-2007, 01:49 PM
Great tricky. I do need to reread your Henin analysis just to make I'm properly understanding you - but thank you. I think I'll also take some more looks at some of the Henin serve vids to see if I can find some appropriate correlations with your breakdown of how you see it.

Oh and BTW, have tried those 'sock excersizes'/throwing it up skywards, as recommended previously, and to good effect I think. I feel I'm experiencing a far greater sense of expansion and contraction around that core area; a pronounced and clearly discernible pull or stretch right across my back; and the sense of my backswing being way more circular and dynamic. Today at practice my topspin serve really was firing (unusually for me.) Yep... I'll definitely be continuing with this!

Thanks again for your input.

Ross

tricky
11-05-2007, 03:50 PM
Oh and BTW, have tried those 'sock excersizes'/throwing it up skywards, as recommended previously, and to good effect I think.

Yeah, if you do a search in Tennis Tips for "sock", you'll find various people recommending it. I used to just throw balls, but this worked out better for me.

One of the nice things about this exercise is that you learn to adjust your body by changing your line of sight. If you visualize that the target is very high and far away, then naturally you'll bend your knees to explode upwards into the target. And this make sure that the rest of your body follows suit as one unit.

Ross K
11-05-2007, 10:32 PM
... Henin's model is interesting, because I think she, with an almost straight arm, leads the takeback with the shoulder rather than with the elbow... She uses a traditional, C-style "circular" motion, but the C/circle is led with the shoulder, and so it looks almost like a "diagonal" takeback... And usually you'd go through a progression. First, you learn to takeback with the hand, which gives you a very large swing. Then you learn to takeback leading and pivoting with the elbow, which gives you what most pros do. Finally, you can abbreviate it one more step by leading/pivoting with the shoulder.... If you want to try a Henin style straight-out, first start with a straight arm (though elbow not locked out), then swing in cartwheels with that straight arm around the shoulder. This gives you the feel that you want.

Right. I think I follow you on the Henin motion, and I'm also curious enough to want to try it to see how I fare with it.

Just as importantly though, I've never learnt before of the 'progression' you mention. I find this extremely interesting and wish I'd been made aware of those distinctions before. (I guess I've been leading with my hand all this time even though I've been abbreviating the motion for a long, long time...?... hmmm... is this correct form therefore?...)

Anyway, hopefully the vid posted here will open properly, and if there's anything else you or anyone else feels is noteworthy about it please post our observations.

And BTW, anything else on takeback with hand/pivot from elbow/pivot from shoulder I'd be keen to hear it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vkb2_3nFVU

tricky
11-07-2007, 01:03 PM
Just as importantly though, I've never learnt before of the 'progression' you mention. I find this extremely interesting and wish I'd been made aware of those distinctions before. (I guess I've been leading with my hand all this time even though I've been abbreviating the motion for a long, long time...?... hmmm... is this correct form therefore?...)

It's kind of something that most people learn on their own, as they repeat the same motion again and again. When you're first learning the FH, BH, serve, etc., you lead with the hand because you're trying to understand how the whole motion works. Usually the backswing or loop is big, and you do a lot of "arming" of the ball. Which is fine, because you're learning the stroke. But, if you probably notice, when you're "arming" the ball (i.e. leading by hand), you get tennis elbow and you have issues with cadence and rhythm (i.e. inefficient kinetic chain.) That's when you work on progressions or "abbreviating" the stroke.

It's not about having a more compact stroke, per se. Each progression enables your kinetic chain to load more energy into your shoulder and forearm rotation. And that's what is key to generating racquet speed and spin. It just happens to lead to a more compact stroke, valuable in its own right.
Roddick's motion is misunderstood in that people look at the overhand motion and conclude that's why it is "abbreviated." Most people don't realize that Roddick is also taking back the racquet with primarily his shoulder, which is what makes it so compact and gives him incredible "in/out" rotational speed. Moreover, while this it is more easily done in Roddick's overhand style, this can be applied to a traditional service motion, which is similar to what Henin does.

And BTW, anything else on takeback with hand/pivot from elbow/pivot from shoulder I'd be keen to hear it.

Here's one way to try a "shoulder-centric" takeback. It helps to have already practiced circular throwing motions before trying this.

First, with that sock, concentrate on a "forward" throwing motion.

1) For the takeback, you want to move your right shoulder as far away from the left shoulder as possible.

1A) First, initiate takeback with the hips.

1B) Then, start pulling your right shoulder away from the left shoulder, make sure your right shoulder is always under your left.

1C) You want to feel the stretch in your upper pectoral.

1D) As you takeback, start lifting your left shoulder to simulate a ball toss. Again, as you takeback, make sure the right shoulder remains below the left.

1E) Practice this takeback a few times until you can consistently feel that stretch in your upper right pec in your takeback. And remember to always begin with the hips.

2) To initiate the racquet drop and swing, put your right shoulder "over and on top" of the left shoulder.

2A) I got the above visualization from a Bruce Elliot article; it helps to produce the correct/full shoulder rotation for the serve.

2B) You know you're doing this correctly if your whole body is now leaning
over to your left. Also, you should get good pronation too.

2C) Once you're comfortable with this, then imagine swinging out a slot as you put your right shoulder over and on top of the left shoulder. This gives you optimal pronation and increases the looseness/whippiness of the motion. You can also visualize a fence near your back as you swing out of the racquet drop. The narrower the slot or the closer the fence, the more racquet speed you'll see.

Once you've practice the above for awhile with a sock, then start aiming for the sky. Now, if you do this correctly, you'll notice that your arm motion starts to resemble a lot like Henin, rather than Federer or Sampras. Also, you'll notice that the combination of the takeback and your line of sight will help you naturally control your knees. You don't even have to think about it.

When you're comfortable with all that, then pick up a racquet and have fun! :D

hyogen
11-08-2007, 09:12 AM
sigh......this really sucks.

I can't serve any more. Don't have the pop for my first serve anymore, nor the spin for my 2nd topspin serves. Man, they were so reliable for me before!

I could serve really well with the TT warrior (but i think it gave me tennis elbow so I got rid of it)...

tried out the Pure Drives and could serve really well...

Even the FXP prestige team i was serving pretty well (not as well as the TT warriors)....but I got rid of that too b/c I didn't like the FXP that much...

Now I've been playing with really flexy frames like the MG radical, radical pro, prestige classic MP, i.prestige Mid, Radical Tour OS..........

And GAH, I CAN'T GET MY SERVE BACK. I can get some topspin on my second serve, but not nearly as much confidence or kick....

Makes me want to go back to a Warrior or another stiff racquet again D:

Ross K
11-08-2007, 12:38 PM
Cheers tricky. I can see I'll be practising your shoulder-centric takeback routine (complete with sock and ball!) in the next few days... and for those who may mock, I can only say that if your serve just isn't doing the job, you might just want to grab hold of a large sock, stick a tenis ball down it, facing flush repeatedly throw the sock from behind your shoulder forwards, and then do the same thing but throw that sock upwards... Regularly doing the latter (with accompanying knee bend) has given me a far better understanding of what the desired takeback should really feel like. I'd also add that, although it's early days, I'm pretty sure my serve feels more powerful and fluid.

BTW, I haven't personally been previously exclusively leading with my hand as such. It's more a case of being unconscious of the precise mechanics of how one puts more shoulder in it, or utilises the elbow pivot, or whatever. (Basically, I suspect I've been employing poor technique and flitting in and out of all 3 modes.) But, as someone, admittedly a 'self-teacher', who has NEVER come across these precise terms in a good few years of intensive tennis book and especially internet study (TTW, other tennis sites, the internet at large, etc) to now hear it actually articulated thus really seems to be very effective indeed.

BTW2, tricky, if you don't mind, could you please clarify this statement re Henin takeback: She uses a traditional, C-style "circular" motion, but the C/circle is led with the shoulder, and so it looks almost like a "diagonal" takeback.... I'm with you all the way until 'So it looks almost like a 'diagonal' takeback?'

Many thanks,

Ross

tricky
11-08-2007, 01:52 PM
... I'm with you all the way until 'So it looks almost like a 'diagonal' takeback?'Henin's takeback kinda looks like she takes the racquet from the waist to the trophy position in a straight line. "Shoulder-centric" takebacks tend to look straight, but she is still observing a circular motion around the shoulder. Also you'll notice that the upper arm often moves behind the body in the takeback; this also helps your body tilt upwards and your legs to drop. The overall look is different than what you see in most instruction.

Elbow-centric takebacks kinda look like you first elbow the person behind you, and then you kinda "back slap the sky" to set up the trophy position. But, again, this is kind of an illusion too. It's still a circular motion, though the circle is traced around the elbow. When done this way, it resembes the clips (Sampras especially) you see of most people as well as the examples at fuzzy.

Hand-centric takebacks (i.e. arming the serve) often looks like they're doing "extra stuff" to get the racquet drop. Also, it often looks like they're exerting effort as they initiate the racquet drop. This is where most of us start out.

If you want to experiment a bit, this kinda helps:

In all backswings, you want to move right shoulder away from left shoulder, and keep it under the left. To initiate racquet drop, you take the right shoulder over and on top of left shoulder.

1) Elbow-centric backswing: You use the elbow to pull the right shoulder away from the left shoulder. You'll concentrate on the movement of the upper arm, as it makes a circular motion through the stroke.

2 ) Shoulder-centric backswing: You use the right shoulder to pull on the right upper pec, which will move it far away from and below the left shoulder. You concentrate on the right shoulder making a circular motion around the right upper pec.

sharpy
11-08-2007, 03:20 PM
2) When you're setting up the trophy position, imagine doing about 80% of the complete motion (i.e. the half circle) you'd normally do to get the full trophy position. Hold that position. When you turn the hips to intiate the racquet drop, complete the final 20% of that motion and then go into the upward swing (or top half of circle/C.) This will help give you the automatic racquet drop you've been looking for.



Tricky,

It sounds here like your saying to complete 80% of the windup first, then unload the hips, and finally last minute you conciously do the other 20% and this will somehow also get you an automatic drop...
Am i getting you right here?

I've been trying the above but i've also found that my racket drop isnt as deep as it could be yet and it feels like im arming the serve a bit this way

tricky
11-08-2007, 03:44 PM
I've been trying the above but i've also found that my racket drop isnt as deep as it could be yet and it feels like im arming the serve a bit this wayYeah, it was meant to model what a circular backswing is like when you're trying to swing up (because you're swinging upwards instead of forwards, the axis of the backswing is not parallel with the ground.)Which is, erm, hard to convey on the net.

But I realize that it's much easier to split it up into two steps. First, get the basic arm motion down, swinging forward, so that you're used to the basic body sequence and the racquet drop. And then work on how the arm motion tilts with the body, so that then you're swinging upward. Your arm motion will resemble the "80/20."

The "shoulder over shoulder" works really, really well. That really surprised me. It more succinctly describes how the external rotation works, and it helps to make the racquet drop more automatic.

What happens is that, when you try to put "shoulder over shoulder", this automatically causes you to initiate from the hips. When you initiate the takeback with the hips, visualizing "shoulder over shoulder" tells your hips it needs to turn over the left side of your body, so that the right shoulder can come over. That causes the hips to go first, and then the shoulder to follow, and it happens almost in unison. Regardless of where the ball is, your arm motion remains pretty smooth and automatic.

That's the thing about serves. It's much easier to convey what's going on with forehands and backhands, but talking about the serve is a bit like learning how to make a tie. So I apologize for the mixups! :D

sharpy
11-08-2007, 05:46 PM
Yeah, it was meant to model what a circular backswing is like when you're trying to swing up (because you're swinging upwards instead of forwards, the axis of the backswing is not parallel with the ground.)Which is, erm, hard to convey on the net.

But I realize that it's much easier to split it up into two steps. First, get the basic arm motion down, swinging forward, so that you're used to the basic body sequence and the racquet drop. And then work on how the arm motion tilts with the body, so that then you're swinging upward. Your arm motion will resemble the "80/20."

The "shoulder over shoulder" works really, really well. That really surprised me. It more succinctly describes how the external rotation works, and it helps to make the racquet drop more automatic.

What happens is that, when you try to put "shoulder over shoulder", this automatically causes you to initiate from the hips. When you initiate the takeback with the hips, visualizing "shoulder over shoulder" tells your hips it needs to turn over the left side of your body, so that the right shoulder can come over. That causes the hips to go first, and then the shoulder to follow, and it happens almost in unison. Regardless of where the ball is, your arm motion remains pretty smooth and automatic.

That's the thing about serves. It's much easier to convey what's going on with forehands and backhands, but talking about the serve is a bit like learning how to make a tie. So I apologize for the mixups! :D


yeah. definately. you must have stated over 50 visualizations over this thread about getting the racket drop. also with your feel-based terminology combined with lack of pictures theres 100000's of possibilities of messing something up in the stroke....:-)

so what's the key visualization now?

initiate windup with hips, then think of doing shoulder over shoulder to initiate the racket drop?

tricky
11-08-2007, 05:52 PM
also with your feel-based terminology combined with lack of pictures theres 100000's of possibilities of messing something up in the stroke....Exactly. There is The Way, but if I explain The Way, it is not The Way. Never reveal the Wu Tang. :D

initiate windup with hips, then think of doing shoulder over shoulder to initiate the racket drop?Yup.

1) Windup: Start with Hips.
2) Arm takeback: Shoulder away from shoulder. (Make sure back shoulder stays below front shoulder.)
3) Body takeback: Aim for sky.
4) Racquet drop: Shoulder over shoulder.

hyogen
11-09-2007, 10:52 AM
sigh......this really sucks.

I can't serve any more. Don't have the pop for my first serve anymore, nor the spin for my 2nd topspin serves. Man, they were so reliable for me before!

I could serve really well with the TT warrior (but i think it gave me tennis elbow so I got rid of it)...

tried out the Pure Drives and could serve really well...

Even the FXP prestige team i was serving pretty well (not as well as the TT warriors)....but I got rid of that too b/c I didn't like the FXP that much...

Now I've been playing with really flexy frames like the MG radical, radical pro, prestige classic MP, i.prestige Mid, Radical Tour OS..........

And GAH, I CAN'T GET MY SERVE BACK. I can get some topspin on my second serve, but not nearly as much confidence or kick....

Makes me want to go back to a Warrior or another stiff racquet again D:

lol no one pays attention to me in my own thread anymore! D:

Well anyways, I'm almost back to my original serving consistency and speed. Had to go back to a stiff racquet--the puredrive cortex plus....lol

Ross K
11-10-2007, 01:31 PM
Q's for tricky

Okay. It was a nightmare on serve today. Played with a new frame for the first time (obviously not ideal.) But really I think it's because I'd begun trying to make changes vis a vis recent posts ^... (I really wanted to get that Henin motion down pat and firing!)... Big mistake! Now I realise why I've left my serve well enough alone for the last few years!... Wo... once you start tinkering with takebacks and the like - uh-oh! Here comes trouble!... (I know - I've only got myself to blame!)... The truth of the matter is my previously consistant, reliable and low-powered serve is probably prefferable to the horror-show I was performing, free of charge, to the hushed players stood upon the adjoining courts!

Anyway... sock and ball time... that excersize of yours... in light of what I've just said (and my obvious need to get back to basics), would you a) still advise the simple throwing the sock skywards drill?... And if so, wouldn't it then be just a case of then replicating the motion with a frame?

Then b). If I still really wanted to try out that Henin motion regardless (although TBH, I still don't quite understand what's happening with the takeback arm and how to co-ordinate it with everything else. It's been a little confusing for me... like the straightarm, windmill motion you advised practicing?... I totally get the shoulder-led feeling doing this, but when in the real motion you have to drop your racquet down the back, that circular, windmill, straightarmer is obviously bent?... There's also this thing about the takeback being diagonal, or in a straight line... what does this mean?! :confused: ... How is the racquet being taken back exactly? To which exact position? How is she straightarming it? How is she giving it more shoulder? Etc...) Forgive me but this is frustrating because I intuit that it's a key image - possibly the key image to the Henin serve as far as I'm concerned - and I'm not quite picturing this properly... Sorry tricky, I'm not worthy!... I do wish I understood you a bit more on this one though...

Care to give it one last try?!;)

Ross K
11-10-2007, 11:35 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGJOiBOQZwo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vkb2_3nFVU

Okay. Here's how I might describe the JH takeback.

She takes back to a relatively high point quite straight up and behind - (hence, with the tossing arm straight up also, it sometimes appears she creates a very pronounced V shape ) - and then, after the racquet drop, fires upwards and forwards from the shoulder. The result is a slightly upright, linear, straightforward, and - in her case - crisp looking, fired-from-the-shoulder motion.

Tricky, everybody, please feel free to add any comments. (And BTW, it's the finer detail about precisely how that takeback arm is brought back that's been my problem.)

Cheers all (and I promise I'll be exiting this thread very shortly there-after!)

Ross K
11-11-2007, 12:17 AM
Just came across this older post, courtesy of In D Zone:

Justine changed her toss - lower ball toss (both arms moving together - same time as you throw back your racquet; your other arm toss the ball) , it shorten up her racquet backwing but helped her increased racquet speed. It lessen any additional movement or pauses (wait for the ball to drop from a high toss

Very very interesting indeed... NOW THIS WE HAVEN'T HEARD!... Do others also think she also takes back with r. hand and tosses ball with l. hand together at the same time? That could kind of fit in with my description (above) of the pronounced V shape her arms make etc?... Hmmm... could be a crucial aspect here?... if true, it sort of changes everything...

Ghosting
11-11-2007, 10:01 AM
http://www.hi-techtennis.com/video_sample/index.php?movie=fed_serve.swf&size=normal

You can see how Federer's right shoulder goes over and up left shoulder and his racket drops down. His wrist is loose like holding a sock with a ball in. It looks so simply.:)

vince916
11-11-2007, 10:09 AM
You just started tennis after college so your around your mid to late 20s and you already have tennis elbow?

hyogen
11-11-2007, 10:27 AM
who are you talking about? I started when I was about 11 or 12yrs old...

i'm 25 now and have been battling tennis elbow since I was like 17 or 18.

for the past 3 months almost now I have pretty much been tennis elbow free by using really flexy frames (less than 62ra stiffness)

Ghosting
11-11-2007, 10:50 AM
My tennis hero Tim Henman says that tennis elbow is due to bad serve technique and I agree with him.

sharpy
11-11-2007, 01:29 PM
My tennis hero Tim Henman says that tennis elbow is due to bad serve technique and I agree with him.

I don't need a tennis hero to tell me that. Any decent player knows that. But it seems that the racket manufacturers are doing a good job making people think otherwise. Take the stiff frame that gave you tennis elbow, with that stiff string, and have roger federer play tennis with it. No tennis elbow.. What a surprise!

Ross K
11-11-2007, 03:42 PM
tricky, everyone,

Sorry if I was a bit unreasonable or unappreciative with last night's post. In my defence I'll say it's definitely not always easy to follow intense and technical debates on, in this case, serve motion mechanics. (And I'll be honest - I often have to read your posts a number of times before I hopefully grasp the meaning.) Plus there's nothing quite like a serve that's packed up and died on you during a match to p*** you off to the max!

But just to recap. I actually feel the day has yielded 2 important things...

1. In D Zone's comment on JH moving both hands/arms together suddenly seems somewhat crucial to me (and BTW, following my own ball toss, my takeback hand pauses a bit, it sort of lags behind and loiters around there!) Anyway, practising this today via shadow work - (the l. hand's toss action working simultaneous with the r. hand's straightarmed high takeback motion - result: V shape before racquet drop) - I think the things you've been saying are beginning to tie up. Also, having checked out some serve vids, I think a few other females have serve motions that are fundamentally the same as this... Sharapova certainly... Mauresmo too... (Is this a female thing here?)...

If you want to try a Henin style straight-out, first start with a straight arm (though elbow not locked out), then swing in cartwheels with that straight arm around the shoulder. This gives you the feel that you want....Then again with a sock or a ball, practice throwing from the shoulder with an almost straight arm. First throw forward. Then, practice aiming really, really high and throw upwards. Finally, add in the left arm as if tossing the ball. Observe how the takeback is diagonal, and how the hip initiates the racquet drop....Ideally, you want to also feel it in the upper pecs.

I must say your words about throwing from the shoulder with an almost straight arm still perplex me (unless it is linked to your windmill exersize - but of course in a real serve you break the shape, you bend your arm to enable racquet drop...?!) This just doesn't make sense to me. But...

2. Unless I'm mistaken, the diagonal takeback you refer to could be said to be simply due to the fact JH takes back with a pretty straight arm?... am I getting this right now?

Anyhow, as I say, I think it's come together a bit more today... hands move together... r. hand is held very straight in takeback and ends up high and quite back before racquet drop (you're arms make V shape)... and (somehow... not quite sure how) you give it some shoulder on contact... voilla!...

Please feel free to pass comment (or not as the case may very well be!)

Ross

tricky
11-12-2007, 02:04 PM
Anyway... sock and ball time... that excersize of yours... in light of what I've just said (and my obvious need to get back to basics), would you a) still advise the simple throwing the sock skywards drill?... And if so, wouldn't it then be just a case of then replicating the motion with a frame?

The argument against going straight to frame is that people tend to go back into old habits about setting up the ball toss, trophy position, racquet drop, etc. But, yeah, you can just work with the frame too. That's fine.

It's been a little confusing for me... like the straightarm, windmill motion you advised practicing?...

That's just something so that you get a feel for the shoulder. But it's not the actual motion itself.

Shoulder-driven takebacks look simple, but they're more difficult to master because most people are not used to leading/rotating/pivoting around their shoulder. It makes more sense if you go through the progression, but again most people are used to taking it back with the elbow. Which again, won't make it look like Henin's serve. That is again why

I totally get the shoulder-led feeling doing this, but when in the real motion you have to drop your racquet down the back, that circular, windmill, straightarmer is obviously bent?... There's also this thing about the takeback being diagonal, or in a straight line... what does this mean?!

Yeah, the windmill was just to loosen up the shoulder. Once you're comfortable, then you work on setting up the trophy position by leading with the shoulder. Which is, again, not as easy as it looks. You can look at how Henin does it, and follow along.

It's still a circular motion (i.e. a kind of C) -- your shoulder does not naturally move in any kind of straight line -- but to the eye, it'll look pretty straight. You can also visualize it as taking the back shoulder farther away from the front shoulder, feeling a stretch in the upper pec. Feeling the stretch in the upper pec lets you know you're really leading with the shoulder.

Do others also think she also takes back with r. hand and tosses ball with l. hand together at the same time? That could kind of fit in with my description (above) of the pronounced V shape her arms make etc?... Hmmm... could be a crucial aspect here?... if true, it sort of changes everything...

Yeah, this is actually how most people (or at least the peoplearound me) are initially taught to serve. It gotten back into vogue due to Federer, and that's what sites like Fuzzy promote as well. It's simpler to time because it becomes more of one motion. You windup with the hips, and as you go back, both arms go up. As you said, it looks like you're forming a V -- you get better weight balance in your motion, and your trophy position is well ready before the ball reaches its height.

I must say your words about throwing from the shoulder with an almost straight arm still perplex me (unless it is linked to your windmill exersize - but of course in a real serve you break the shape, you bend your arm to enable racquet drop...?!) This just doesn't make sense to me. But...

I was describing the takeback itself. Her trophy position is a little odd in that the arm is not as bent as with most other servers. But, that again, is a sign that she's pivoting around the shoulder, rather than the elbow to set up the trophy position.

2. Unless I'm mistaken, the diagonal takeback you refer to could be said to be simply due to the fact JH takes back with a pretty straight arm?... am I getting this right now?

Yeah, that's more or less what is happening. Again, it may be helpful just imaging yourself stretching your upper pec as you take the racquet back. That will help you get the "feel" down for what a shoulder-driven takeback should be. Also, work on taking the shoulder slightly behind your right hip as you take it back.

tricky
11-12-2007, 02:06 PM
Anyway... sock and ball time... that excersize of yours... in light of what I've just said (and my obvious need to get back to basics), would you a) still advise the simple throwing the sock skywards drill?... And if so, wouldn't it then be just a case of then replicating the motion with a frame?

The argument against going straight to frame is that people tend to go back into old habits about setting up the ball toss, trophy position, racquet drop, etc. But, yeah, you can just work with the frame too. That's fine.

It's been a little confusing for me... like the straightarm, windmill motion you advised practicing?...

That's just something so that you get a feel for the shoulder. But it's not the actual motion itself.

Shoulder-driven takebacks look simple, but they're more difficult to master because most people are not used to leading/rotating/pivoting around their shoulder. It makes more sense if you go through the progression, but again most people are used to taking it back with the elbow. Which again, won't make it look like Henin's serve. That is again why

I totally get the shoulder-led feeling doing this, but when in the real motion you have to drop your racquet down the back, that circular, windmill, straightarmer is obviously bent?... There's also this thing about the takeback being diagonal, or in a straight line... what does this mean?!

Yeah, the windmill was just to loosen up the shoulder. Once you're comfortable, then you work on setting up the trophy position by leading with the shoulder. Which is, again, not as easy as it looks. You can look at how Henin does it, and follow along.

It's still a circular motion (i.e. a kind of C) -- your shoulder does not naturally move in any kind of straight line -- but to the eye, it'll look pretty straight. You can also visualize it as taking the back shoulder farther away from the front shoulder, feeling a stretch in the upper pec. Feeling the stretch in the upper pec lets you know you're really leading with the shoulder.

Do others also think she also takes back with r. hand and tosses ball with l. hand together at the same time? That could kind of fit in with my description (above) of the pronounced V shape her arms make etc?... Hmmm... could be a crucial aspect here?... if true, it sort of changes everything...

Yeah, this is actually how most people (or at least the peoplearound me) are initially taught to serve. It gotten back into vogue due to Federer, and that's what sites like Fuzzy promote as well. It's simpler to time because it becomes more of one motion. You windup with the hips, and as you go back, both arms go up. As you said, it looks like you're forming a V -- you get better weight balance in your motion, and your trophy position is well ready before the ball reaches its height.

I must say your words about throwing from the shoulder with an almost straight arm still perplex me (unless it is linked to your windmill exersize - but of course in a real serve you break the shape, you bend your arm to enable racquet drop...?!) This just doesn't make sense to me. But...

I was describing the takeback itself. Her trophy position is a little odd in that the arm is not as bent as with most other servers. But, that again, is a sign that she's pivoting around the shoulder, rather than the elbow to set up the trophy position.

2. Unless I'm mistaken, the diagonal takeback you refer to could be said to be simply due to the fact JH takes back with a pretty straight arm?... am I getting this right now?

Yeah, that's more or less what is happening. Again, it may be helpful just imaging yourself stretching your upper pec as you take the racquet back. That will help you get the "feel" down for what a shoulder-driven takeback should be. Also, work on taking the shoulder slightly behind your right hip as you take it back.

It's, again, a more difficult motion to dial in. Roddick uses a smile-pattern takeback, which is a simpler motion, and it enables him to more easily take the racquet back with just the shoulder. To do it with the full circular motion, as you are trying right now, takes some work and extra visualization.

HappyChappy
11-12-2007, 03:09 PM
tricky:

by ''lead with the shoulder'', do you mean: 'rotate about the shoulder'?

hyogen
11-12-2007, 03:20 PM
Lol...is that you BeHappy? I have been wondering and posting in a couple forums why in the world were you banned?! D:

tricky
11-12-2007, 03:20 PM
Nice to see you back Happy. ;)

by ''lead with the shoulder'', do you mean: 'rotate about the shoulder'?Yup. Rotate around the shoulder is probably a better way to put it too. :)

I have been wondering and posting in a couple forums why in the world were you banned?!

I think it's part of the board software to periodically ban the poor guy. :D

sharpy
11-12-2007, 06:05 PM
jesus im really wondering why in the world gorilla, the dolphin, behappy keeps getting banned. what are you doing to get yourself banned? cursing out the mods in private pm? :D

Ross K
11-12-2007, 10:24 PM
tricky,

That ^ is such an awesome post!

Somehow you've managed to steer a clear path through my sometimes half-realised or slightly confused take on your instruction vis a vis the Henin serve motion, and clearly explained several aspects that I wasn't quite 100 per cent with... and I was quite convinced you'd exited this thread for good? As I said before... "I'm not worthy!"


Yesterday's experiment.

Now, just to say, following my decision that I HAVE to change my relatively reliable, varied but WEAK serve, and following Saturday's unhappy experiences during a match (I suffered 'The Death of a 1000 Serves!'), yesterday I undertook some intensive serve work and experimentation whereby over the course of long day I attempted to familiarize myself with some different serve motions to see which might suit me a little more. So, keeping in mind that these were my self-taught, less than perfect interpretations of how I think these serves are accomplished, here are the different motions/styles attempted:

1. Henin shoulder-centric semi-abbreviated style
2. Traditional palm facing ground on takeback style
3. A-Rod fully abbreviated shoulder-yank style (!)
4. Nadal semi-abbreviated style

Of the 4, it was the Henin motion and the Nadal motion that I seemed most suited to or got the most from. And of those 2, I think the Nadal style is the winner just for providing me with the beginnings of a real 'whipping', dynamic motion where I could really see some of the desired fundamentals occuring somewhat (great hip movement, a real twisting torso, an explosive drive through contact, etc.)

So tricky, others, having thoroughly looked at the Henin motion, it is now the Nadal style I'd like to focus on in terms of basic mechanics and analysis (and btw, isn't Gasquet's also quite alike?) Anyway, minus his precise little movements with both feet (and doesn't he do a small back-foot drag too?), I feel I've kind of got his motion down, but would appreciate hearing some more informed opinions so as to be sure.

Many thanks,

Ross

Ross K
11-12-2007, 10:26 PM
Nadal serve vid:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK479hCJCsg

tricky
11-12-2007, 11:11 PM
I think Nadal and Gasquet have a similar style serve. It's not especially powerful, but it (like Federer) is hard to read.

So, first, the arm motion.

Like Roddick, it's a "overhand" or upside down smile pattern motion. However, unlike Roddick, it's led with the elbow. So, first the arm motion -->

The setup of arm motion:

1) Start out with an Eastern BH grip. It's easier to learn this if you have a grip between continental and Eastern BH.

2) With both hands, hold about chest level. Have your right arm be almost straight.

Arm Takeback:

3) Trace a slight curve or "sunrise" with the elbow. As you're doing this, pull your back shoulder away from the front shoulder. Again make sure the back shoulder is under the front shoulder.

4) If you're doing this correctly, then you'll notice that you'll feel like you're going to fall backwards. If you're not getting this sensation, check your grip and use a stronger Eastern BH grip.

5) Fire away in a forward motion. Keep practicing this until you feel comfortable.

Sit and Lift:

6) As before, set up your arms. Learn slightly forward.

7) To initiate the takeback, start leaning backwards onto your butt and sit.

8) As you continue the sitting motion, initiate the arm takeback, aim for the sky and toss the ball.

9) When you've set up your trophy position, you'll be in a semi-squat position.

10) To initiate the forward motion, explode upwards from your semi-squat. That is, lift upwards.

Continue swinging. Once you've reasonably comfortable with this motion, then start moving grip toward a continental. Find the grip most comfortable with you.

Ghosting
11-13-2007, 12:50 AM
I think the biggest mistake to hit a kick serve is just thinking about not get body forward. But if you see players with great kick, their body (chest) goes forward incredibly. Keeping left shoulder sideways to the net but taking the right shoulder up and really over left shoulder.

http://www.hi-techtennis.com/serve/seesaw_example.php

HEAD/PRINCE RULE
11-13-2007, 07:08 PM
wat is the trophy thing on serves???? ty

Ross K
11-13-2007, 09:11 PM
tricky,

Cheers v/much for the clear & concise Nadal serve breakdown - it helps so much!

Ross K
11-14-2007, 12:41 PM
Was checking out the link (below) earlier to try and really study the Gasquet and Nadal motion. However, moving through all the vids, I was struck by how so many players seem to have such a similar semi-abbreviated motion - Nadal, Gasquet, A-Rod, Mauresmo, Henin and Ginepri - to name but six. (Okay, A-Rod's is a full abbreviated motion, but you know what I mean?) Anyway...

Now, quite which particular one I should be examining, or which motion I most resemble (or, more accurately, would like to resemble) is another, slightly unclear matter of course. What I think might help generally though is a few tips to help end a persistant problem of mine... basically, I still feel I'm putting too much arm into the contact, as opposed to firing more from the shoulder, or pivoting and firing from the elbow... and BTW, I have noted some of tricky's correctives for this and tried to apply them, but I'm still sometimes getting the distinct impression - (like when you feel you've slapped the ball rather than driven right through it) - that the elbow and/or shoulder needs to get in on the act more.

Anyone got anything to help get that, it would be great to hear it.

Cheers,

Ross

BTW2, Here's that link:http://www.playerdevelopment.usta.com/home/default.sps Hopefully it will open. If you're not familiar with it, you should definiitely look through it as the vids and fh, bh and serve analyses are good quality.

tricky
11-14-2007, 07:29 PM
Yeah, I've been reviewing Brian Gordon's articles on service mechanics to kinda get down the body specifics of what is actually happening. Maybe work out a bunch of checklists for each aspect of serve.

Was checking out the link (below) earlier to try and really study the Gasquet and Nadal motion. However, moving through all the vids, I was struck by how so many players seem to have such a similar semi-abbreviated motion - Nadal, Gasquet, A-Rod, Mauresmo, Henin and Ginepri - to name but six. (Okay, A-Rod's is a full abbreviated motion, but you know what I mean?) Anyway...[QUOTE]

As I see it, there's really two basic motions for the takeback. But, each service motion then has 4 diferent variants, and so you have a total of 8 different takeback styles. So, yeah, a lot of things can wrong. ;)

[QUOTE]I still feel I'm putting too much arm into the contact, as opposed to firing more from the shoulder, or pivoting and firing from the elbow..

Yeah, triggering an automatic racquet drop is the hardest part of the serve. Really, once you get that down, then everything else is just practice, working on ball toss and improving the windup. See if this works out for you (this is for a Henin-style abbreviated motion.)

1) First, hold a racquet with a continental-ish grip, holding it with just the 2nd, 4th, and 5th fingers. Also, make sure that your thumb is roughly in line or parallel with your forearm. You should see no crease on the left side of your wrist.

2) With the racquet facing down and parallel with the ground, start practicing windmill motions with the racquet in a counterclockwise direction. You want to feel and locate that stretch in your upper right pec.

At this point, you should have a pretty good "feel" for how your shoulder leads the takeback.

3a) Now, with the racquet face parallel with the ground, practice taking the racquet back. Try to move your back shoulder away from the front as much as you can, while keeping your back shoulder below the front. You will find that much of this motion is across the body, with a slight curve or "bump."

3b) Don't worry about the trophy position for now, or raising your front arm to simulate a ball toss. Just work on stretching the right shoulder as much as you can. At the end of your takeback, the racquet will still be facing mostly the ground, and your upper arm will still be almost parallel with ground. Also your upper arm will be well across your right hip and pointing between the back fence and left side fence. In other words, your arm is well behind your back.

4) Now, try the above by first initiating with the hips. Before you let the left hand release the racquet, start winding the hips backwards.

5a) Finally, execute a forward swing by bringing the back shoulder around and toward the front shoulder. Aim for the top-right of your front shoulder.

5b) You'll notice that the hitting arm is at a very low angle, in a kind of 3/4 or diagonal angle. That's what you want for now. Now, even though your hitting arm is not in the trophy position and is in fact in a very low position, you should still get an automatic racquet drop and forward swing as your hips release. It should feel like your right upper arm is being taken for a ride and is launched/"thrown" over your body as you turn the body.

5c) This is a more exaggerated motion than in a typical serve, but it really nails down the muscle memory of the body triggering the racquet drop (rather than you "arming" it.) Try this a few times until this feels automatic.

At this point, you have about half of the takeback down. Really, the key with the above is that you really feel like you're loading power into the shoulder, and that the racquet drop and upward swing just clicks as one loose, continuous motion.

6) Now, in your takeback, incorporate the ball toss motion. Lift your front/left arm from the left shoulder as you take the right arm. Remember to take the back shoulder away from the front shoulder, making sure that the back shoulder remains under the front shoulder.

7) You will notice that, during your takeback, your hitting arm automatically pivots upwards to set up a trophy position. The key is that the lifting of the left arm/shoulder enables your takeback with the right shoulder to continue. Your right shoulder continues to move away from your back and towards the left side fence, but now it's curving upwards as well. As you set the trophy, your right shoulder still remains below your left shoulder. You should feel a great stretch in your right shoulder.

8) Execute a forward swing by bringing the back shoulder over and aiming for the top-right part of your front shoulder. Because of the trophy position, the angle of the hitting arm is more "overhand" and like what you'd expect from a normal serve.

9) Practice swinging out of a slot. This gives more pronation and better racquet drop. This is a handy tip I read from Gordon's article: Try lengthening or stretching your spine as you initiate the forward swing.

At this point, you should have a tighter racquet drop and upward swing. Key thing is to match the takeback with the upward swing, as if it's one unit and that you feel like you're loading a lot of power. You want to feel a good stretch in the upper pec and shoulder as you take the racquet back and set up the trophy. Then you want to make sure a lot of that is released into your forward swing. You may need to experiment with different takeback and swing angles until you feel both right.

10) Winding up with the hips, take back everything and aim for the sky. Put weight on front part of feet. The higher you aim your angle (toward you're square with the sky), the more your knees you will drop (and you may notice your back foot automatically comes in.) To initiate, aim again for the top-right part of your front shoulder and swing. But, initially, be very modest and work on kicking off the racquet drop smoothly.

Ross K
11-14-2007, 10:08 PM
tricky,

Cheers v/much. Have actually just been going through that ^. I obviously need to do a whole lot more, but it's great to isolate and patiently work on these componants like this then link them through.

My only query: (this is for a Henin-style abbreviated motion.) From how the whole piece reads to me, don't you mean it's actually for the Nadal/Gasquet motion? Henin of course goes both arms raised together overhead into the strong V position, whereas Gasquet/Nadal's overhand takeback (initiated incidentally with that characteristic twist of the wrist/racquet face so it appears flat and plate-like) is far less a vertical takeback per se (the top half of a circle shape or an upside down smile pattern)... or have I got it wrong?

tricky
11-14-2007, 11:04 PM
From how the whole piece reads to me, don't you mean it's actually for the Nadal/Gasquet motion? Henin of course goes both arms raised together overhead into the strong V position, whereas Gasquet/Nadal's overhand takeback (initiated incidentally with that characteristic twist of the wrist/racquet face so it appears flat and plate-like) is far less a vertical takeback per se (the top half of a circle shape or an upside down smile pattern)... or have I got it wrong?

Yeah, the key thing is the windmill motion in step 2. This motion basically is to kinda get a feel for what "external rotation" is. The idea is that the closer you're able to track your takeback, racquet drop, and upward swing along how your shoulder rotates externally, then the more natural and more powerful the motion will be. However, this is difficult to nail down because the shoulder rotates in two planes. And so practicing this motion separately helps you isolate this before integrating this into a takeback.

It's just a way to kinda get the "feel" down before you start practicing the takeback.

If you practice a counterclockwise movement with your shoulder-pec, you're getting the feel down for a Henin-style delivery. That is, the traditional circular style but pivoting/rotating around the shoulder.

If you practice a clockwise movement with your shoulder-pec or shoulder-elbow, you're getting the feel down for a Roddick (shoulder-pec) or Nadal/Gasquet-style (shoulder-elbow) delivery. That is, the upside down smile pattern. Obviously, the takeback is only a portion of this. If you want to do a more "correct" version, then trace just the top half of the windmill (clockwise), and then go back to the starting point.

In both situations, you want to practice the motion with the racquet face toward the ground. This helps you concentrate on rotating around the shoulder and feeling that stretch. You'll notice that the windmill motion tends to go inward (toward left side fence) as you complete first half of windmill/stretch the shoulder, and then "outward" (away from left side fence) as you complete the 2nd half of the circle.

Do this a few times and then your brain commits it to muscle memory.

Ross K
11-15-2007, 11:30 AM
tricky,

Okay. I getcha now. ;)

BTW, spent some more time earlier today on the court working on the Nadal/Gasquet serve and the Henin serve. For some reason, this time I semed to find a little extra solidity and oomph with the Henin motion and not the Nadal version (a reversal of a few days ago.) This surprises me a bit as the Nadal/Gasquet is pretty similar to my usual serve, whereas the Henin arms move together upwards into a V shape-motion is new to me, and feels altogether less dynamic with its simple upright and linear motion... hmmm... could it be a case of simple equals better in this instance? Anyway, I'll keep alternating and experimenting for a little longer (whilst trying out a lot of the info you've provided) before settling on one motion.

adlis
11-15-2007, 12:51 PM
Yeah, the key thing is the windmill motion in step 2. This motion basically is to kinda get a feel for what "external rotation" is. The idea is that the closer you're able to track your takeback, racquet drop, and upward swing along how your shoulder rotates externally, then the more natural and more powerful the motion will be. However, this is difficult to nail down because the shoulder rotates in two planes. And so practicing this motion separately helps you isolate this before integrating this into a takeback.

It's just a way to kinda get the "feel" down before you start practicing the takeback.

If you practice a counterclockwise movement with your shoulder-pec, you're getting the feel down for a Henin-style delivery. That is, the traditional circular style but pivoting/rotating around the shoulder.

If you practice a clockwise movement with your shoulder-pec or shoulder-elbow, you're getting the feel down for a Roddick (shoulder-pec) or Nadal/Gasquet-style (shoulder-elbow) delivery. That is, the upside down smile pattern. Obviously, the takeback is only a portion of this. If you want to do a more "correct" version, then trace just the top half of the windmill (clockwise), and then go back to the starting point.

In both situations, you want to practice the motion with the racquet face toward the ground. This helps you concentrate on rotating around the shoulder and feeling that stretch. You'll notice that the windmill motion tends to go inward (toward left side fence) as you complete first half of windmill/stretch the shoulder, and then "outward" (away from left side fence) as you complete the 2nd half of the circle.

Do this a few times and then your brain commits it to muscle memory.

here is a great example of the stretch

http://i11.tinypic.com/6uq7i2t.jpg

shwetty[tennis]balls
11-15-2007, 12:55 PM
How about not serving with jeans on!

hyogen
11-15-2007, 01:37 PM
here is a great example of the stretch

http://i11.tinypic.com/6uq7i2t.jpg

man his feet are right next to each other!!!!!

HappyChappy
11-15-2007, 03:30 PM
tricky

I am beginning to think that the:

'depth of racquet drop indicates potential racquet head speed'

is just plain wrong

what do you think?

The bigger the backswing the greater the power?

sharpy
11-15-2007, 03:53 PM
deeper the drop the more potential power as there's more room for racket head acceleration...

HappyChappy
11-15-2007, 05:14 PM
deeper the drop the more potential power as there's more room for racket head acceleration...

that statement assumes it take ages to build up racquet head speed, which is not necessarily the case:

In the following examples of some of the biggest servers of all time, most of them: flip, rusedski, KRAIJECK,lubijic, have completely normal racquet drops to your average joe, (about down to your ***)

Sampras and roddick have racquet drops down to their knees, but then again, so do gasquet and dementieva!

And don't forget our good friend hyogen

Can't say for cerain about the others, but rusedski's serve has been clinically proven to have the same average mph and spin,(rotations), per minute as Sampras's.This means he's actually producing the same amount of racquet head speed, which means his ARM is moving the racquet through space as quickly, which means his height has nothing to do with this.

great servers:

http://i15.tinypic.com/6owvp8i.jpg

http://i4.tinypic.com/6lsml9s.jpg

http://i6.tinypic.com/6nrjwbp.jpg

http://i18.tinypic.com/81ghb3r.jpg

continued..

HappyChappy
11-15-2007, 05:14 PM
great servers continued:

http://i6.tinypic.com/6phel4y.jpg

some not so great servers:

http://i17.tinypic.com/6pyyl34.jpg

http://i9.tinypic.com/7wia009.jpg

(hyogen)

http://i5.tinypic.com/7xuylfk.jpg




I see no correlation between serve,(racquet head) speed and racquet drop here.

Can any of you honestly say you do?

sharpy
11-15-2007, 05:56 PM
lol hyogens racket drop is under 'not so great servers'

1337Kira
11-15-2007, 08:14 PM
What exactly is this "trophy position"? Some of the posts say its when you point straight up, but I'm a bit confused to this, could someone explain it to me?

sharpy
11-15-2007, 09:19 PM
happy.. with those angles the drop looks the same for every player can't tell the difference!

ananda
11-15-2007, 09:33 PM
1. A question about KNEE BEND. Is a deep knee-bend critical to a good serve. I have been noticing Fed has a very light knee bend, otoh Davydenko has a very deep bend but perhaps less effective serve.

2. Adlis, who is the person in the pic in Post #125. is it a well-known pro?

3. A question about RACQUET DROP. at the point of/after trophy pose, if one consciously thinks of getting the elbow up, (i have been trying this out shadow serving), does this result in a good rack drop and resultant throw of the racket upwards and forwards. Another thing i was trying was keeping the grip loose, trying with only 3 fingers, and this seemed to help in rack drop too.

Ross K
11-15-2007, 09:47 PM
Q for all:

Because I've been experimenting recently with both the Nadal/Gasquet serve motion and the Henin motion, I was just wondering who everyone else might have studied and copied to some degree.

Ross K
11-15-2007, 10:09 PM
Just found this interesting serve lesson:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEAh6mI3_OA

Hope it opens okay.

Ross K
11-15-2007, 10:28 PM
^^^

BTW, the coach is called *Dan Brown and the vid compares some of the serve mechanics of a regular Joe with Thomas Johanson and Rafa Nadal. Maybe ppl are familiar with this instruction series already but it's new to me and seems impressive... BTW2, hey tricky, when are you gonna put out some vids!?... I'd absolutely tune in to those for sure!

* Er, I have a feeling it's not the same Dan Brown who wrote The Davinci Code. ;)

HappyChappy
11-15-2007, 10:36 PM
happy.. with those angles the drop looks the same for every player can't tell the difference!

racquet drop can be down to:

1)waist

2)***- kraijeck

3)thigh-dementieva

4)knee-sampras

that's how you measure it

ananda
11-15-2007, 10:44 PM
Q for all:

Because I've been experimenting recently with both the Nadal/Gasquet serve motion and the Henin motion, I was just wondering who everyone else might have studied and copied to some degree.
you should look at the fuzzyyellowballs.com site.

i tried out copying the sampras style since it seemed somehow closest to what i was doing. i got it quite well except for one thing. The knee bend in his first serve is quite "tricky". He seems to sit into the court, backwards.
Then i got this while shadow serving but was unable to get it on court.
However, i am unhappy since i am not getting pace on the serve with this style.

In my last session, i spent some 15 mins, trying out other styles. One, the simpler, pinpoint stance much like (say Ferrer) most do. Got a few good slice serves in. Then i tried just focussing on keeping right shoulder low and aiming for sky (like Tricky had mentioned), and i got 2 fast serves in, but netted the others.

At this point i think rather than copy one serve, i need to figure out what works for me, through some trial and error, and keep it simple.

BrianGordon
11-16-2007, 04:48 AM
Good discussion folks - several interesting points raised - my take:

Like nearly any individual component of the serve, one would be hard pressed to show correlation to contact racquet speed, over a variety of different servers, because so many other factors are combined in the process.

It is a little bit like saying my 64 VW bug and my Ferrari both have four wheels but that does not correlate to the speed they can clock. It disregards the engine.

Seems to me the serve is no different. More important than the depth of the drop is the conditions of the body and racquet at that instant, and the muscular engine that will take the racquet to contact.

That said, for a given engine, the longer the distance over which it can exert its drive (deeper drop), the faster it will ultimately drive the machine.

For the sake of discussion I would suggest that the only way to assess the correlation of drop depth to contact racquet speed (and therefore its importance) would be to remove the confounding variables (the engine).

Of course, this is impossible, but if Pete Sampras could hit two serves keeping all else constant, but in one he uses full racquet drop, and in the other he uses 3/4 of the drop, which serve would show the highest contact racquet speed?

HappyChappy
11-16-2007, 05:35 AM
The important question is this, how long does it take the arm to reach terminal velocity?

If this can be achieved almost instantaneously then the depth of the racquet drop is irrelevant, if this takes time to build up to, then racquet drop is crucial.

You would imagine there would be an initial inertia to be overcome before any real speed could be built up, (this is why a continous motion is better than a halting one).

This question could be answered fairly definitively with some quantative measurements of racquet head speed at various stages between the racquet drop and impact.If for example, maximum speed is achieved instantaneously and continues at this pace for until impact, you could say that racquet drop depth is irrelevant, if the racquet head speed was shown to be gradually accelerating right up to impact you could say assume the opposite to be true.

HappyChappy
11-16-2007, 05:42 AM
perhaps the speed of the progress of the hand should be measured as there is always gradual acceleration of the racquet head due to the role of the wrist.

BrianGordon
11-16-2007, 06:02 AM
The solid line is the racquet head speed of nine NCAA DI servers combined - disregard the dots as they are the predicted racquet head speed based on the speed of the various joint rotations - the speed is measured using 3-D data acquisition.

Don't get me wrong - I like your thinking - in fact, I think if you go a level deeper and consider the motions that create the drop it will add a lot to your analysis - starts to get more into the "engine".



http://www.3dpowertennis.com/rvel.jpg

Mike Cottrill
11-16-2007, 06:18 AM
The solid line is the racquet head speed of nine NCAA DI servers combined - disregard the dots as they are the predicted racquet head speed based on the speed of the various joint rotations - the speed is measured using 3-D data acquisition.

Don't get me wrong - I like your thinking - in fact, I think if you go a level deeper and consider the motions that create the drop it will add a lot to your analysis - starts to get more into the "engine".






Hi Brian,
Could you please explain the significance of the time scale (X axis)? Time to impact from server to server varies; for example Todd Martin virus Jim Courier. One is slow and smooth and another is fast and jerky.

On a side note, have you used your technology to identify stresses and ways to reduce stress and injuries in the mechanics without losing performance and efficiency?
Thanks
Mike

BrianGordon
11-16-2007, 06:33 AM
The time scale is absolute in seconds - individual trials were split into discrete segments and the time scales normalized, then reconstructed to create homogenous averages - 10.0 is arbitrarily assigned to contact to avoid those nasty negative numbers. Individual plots do vary but all that I've measured are roughly upwardly curvilinear like the composite shown. Some have irregularities which can be traced to mechanical errors.

I always try to identify mechanical errors that I believe will cause injury - some are obvious but most are very difficult to quantify - so my first line of defense is targeted physical training.

Mike Cottrill
11-16-2007, 06:44 AM
Thanks,
The normalized time to 10s makes since now.

From what I understand Todd Martin changed his take back because of injury and to prevent further injury. If this is correct, I wonder how he came to the conclusion the new take back he is using actually is reducing the stress. Did he have someone like you do an analysis or just experiment and “think” he found something safer for is shoulder. Your thoughts?
Here is link to his new take back in high speed film.
http://www.hi-techtennis.com/serve/martin_serve_open.php (http://www.hi-techtennis.com/serve/martin_serve_open.php)
Thanks

BrianGordon
11-16-2007, 06:59 AM
Logically, I've never been able to come up with a reason why the take back would alter injury dynamics - I believe Henin did the same - one possible reason is the speed at which the arm enters the back swing loop may cause excessive shoulder external rotation stress later in the back swing (but I doubt it) - I've heard most make the change based on experimentation and not quantifiable analysis - one research study looked at the loading dynamics at the shoulder and elbow based on take back style - they found no significant difference in stress levels at either joint based on take back - the extent of the leg drive did, however, play a much bigger role in this stress.

Mike Cottrill
11-16-2007, 07:07 AM
Great stuff,
Wow, that is interesting that leg drive effected shoulder/elbow stress. I figured that affected the back or at least more. Great stuff.

Ghosting
11-16-2007, 07:43 AM
great swiss army knife
http://image63.webshots.com/63/8/74/6/409787406GRQvmX_ph.jpg

Ross K
11-16-2007, 10:06 PM
tricky,

http://i171.photobucket.com/albums/u291/RRohan/roddick-serve-06.jpg

Last night I reread your older posts on what I think you called 'the Roddick retrofit forehand serve'. Just wondered if you still stand by that theory, or have you changed your views a little?... BTW, I only ask because during yesterday's serve session I found a lot of success 'doing a Roddick' (ie, fully abbreviating the motion.) No issues of arming the ball here!... very solid shoulder explosion through contact... exactly the kind of results I've been looking for... definitely the best power I've been able to create all week with these experiments... yeeees... and the motion seems so simple?

tricky
11-16-2007, 10:45 PM
Ross K --

Last night I reread your older posts on what I think you called 'the Roddick retrofit forehand serve'. Just wondered if you still stand by that theory, or have you changed your views a little?...

Yeah, my understanding is much more complete now (I had to do a lot of reading to better understand what was going on.) His footwork now makes a lot of sense within the context of his takeback. Wanna give it another shot? :D

This surprises me a bit as the Nadal/Gasquet is pretty similar to my usual serve, whereas the Henin arms move together upwards into a V shape-motion is new to me, and feels altogether less dynamic with its simple upright and linear motion... hmmm... could it be a case of simple equals better in this instance?

Really could be a number of things. There's something like 8 different variations of the takeback that is possible. :D

Below is how I have the takebacks worked out from what I see. There's 3 different qualifications, which makes up 8 different possible "non-style" takebacks.

Body Sequence: Linear vs. Rotational (Coil)

1) First thing to check is how you hold the racquet. Is the thumb parallel with the forearm, or is the pinkie parallel (or is there a crease on the left side of your thumb) with the forearm? This will dictate what is the optimal "body sequence" for the stroke. The former is linear (or push); the latter is rotational (or pull.)

2) If it's linear (like Sampras), then you initiate the windup/takeback by turning the hips. As the hips turn, the legs will drop. You will drive forward and upwards into the court. Drive toward target.

3) If it's rotational (like McEnroe), then you initiate the windup/takeback by sitting or lowering your center of gravity. As you get lower, the hips will twist. You will uncoil into the court. Sit and Lift.

4) Because of how the racquet is often held (relative to the thumb), people with continental-ish grips tend to have a linear body style, whereas people with Eastern BH-ish grips to have a rotational style. However, this in itself is not a hard-and-fast rule. People with a rotational style tend to show more back to opponent and have an easier time dropping lower. People with a linear style fly into the court a bit more, and have a snappy or whippy delivery.

6) Sampras, Henin and Roddick used linear styles. Federer, Nadal and Gasquet use rotational styles.

Arm motion: Circular/C vs. Overhand/Upside Down Smile Pattern

1) In a traditional takeback, you take your racquet back in a counterclockwise direction, and your complete swing moves in a kind of loop. Although depending on abbreviation, it may all look very straight.

2) In a smile pattern takeback, you take your racquet back in a clockwise direction. It's a more "overhand" delivery, similar to throwing a football. You make the takeback, and then you retrace that takeback as your forward swing.

3) Theoretically, traditional takeback enables the shoulder more room to rotate. Given everything else is the same, this should lead to more power. However, it's more difficult to execute because the shoulder (and thus the hitting arm) rotates in two planes (up/down and in/out.) A smile pattern takeback is easier to execute, because it sort of limits your shoulder rotation (constricts the in/out motion) into only one plane (up/down) This issue becomes more pronounced if you use a tighter or more abbreviated takeback (that's the next issue.) But, there's less potential for power, and it somewhat limits what you can do with the same ball toss.

4) Circular/C styles (because the shoulder rotates more freely in/out) tends to cause more hip rotation. So, you'll show more back with this style. Ball toss tends to be lower with the upside/down smile pattern.

5) Sampras, Henin, and Federer use circular/C takeback. Nadal, Roddick, and Gasquet use upside down smile pattern takeback.

Abbreviation: Shoulder vs. Elbow

1) The arm portion of the takeback is designed to load the shoulder, so that it can rotate ballistically out of the racquet drop. In laymen's speak, you're trying to move the back shoulder away from the front shoulder

2) Generally, the farther away the back shoulder is away from the front shoulder, the more "action" is potentially loaded into your serve. It's not so much the size of the backswing, per se, but the degree the shoulder rotates in your serve. This is also true with all proper groundstrokes.

3) The commonality with all takebacks is that, in the takeback (and establish the trophy) the back shoulder stays below the front shoulder, and that -- for a rightie -- , the shoulder/arm goes across the right side of your body and starts to point toward the left side fence. The former enables your shoulder more room to rotate; the latter helps to make sure you're setting up the shoulder to rotate externally. Finally, the racquet tends to be facing the ground until the racquet climbs into the trophy; this is again to faciliate more external rotation.

3) The traditional style is an "elbow-driven" takeback. This is where the takeback is led by the upper arm, where the elbow joint "traces" around either the C motion or the smile pattern. You can pick this up in other people's serves when as they set up the trophy position -- be it the C motion or from the smile pattern -- the elbow bends very significantly. In the circle style, the arm takeback usually like there's two separate stages, where the 2nd stage the arm pivots around the elbow. In the smile pattern style, the arm takeback looks like the player's drawing an arrow.

4) To get the feeling of a elbow-driven takeback, first work on windmill movements (with the racquet face always facing ground) where the upper arm is moving. If you do this, be careful as you'll probably feel some stress in the rotator cuff. If you had been doing windmill movements tracing with the hand, you've probably noticed that elbow-driven windmill seems tighter or smaller. The takeback tends to seem more abbreviated than what a beginning service motion might look like.

5) The more modern style, popularized by Roddick (and a big part of his freaky racquet speed), is a "shoulder-driven" takeback. This is where the takeback is where the right chest traces either the C motion or the smile pattern. Usually, these takebacks look like almost straight lines, and the elbow bend tends to keep most of its angle as the trophy position is set. Moreover, the motion itself -- practiced either in a the C or overhand style -- looks very abbreviated and in one stage. The paradox is that the back shoulder is moved much farther way from the front shoulder style, even though the movement seems less.

7) The shoulder-driven swing is roughly the equivalent of the windshield wiper FH. It enables the person to load as much as is safe into the shoulder, increasing both the total amount of shoulder rotation and the ballistic response of the shoulder out of the shoulder drop, and it increases the amount of arm movement loosely associated with the "pronation" of the serve. Both the overall racquet drop and the upper arm angle at racquet drop is lower than in the traditional style. Given the same degree of hip rotation and leg drop in the takeback, the shoulder-driven takeback (as with all true abbreviated motions in tennis) creates a deeper takeback, which is manifest by greater hip bend during the upward swing. It looks like less is happening, but more power is being loaded.

8) To get the feeling of a shoulder-driven takeback, work on windmill movement with the right chest . Feel the stretch in the right pec, and make sure the arm in the takeback moves across the right side of your body and toward the left side fence.

9) The shoulder-driven takeback is more difficult because there's a more pronounced horizontal/lateral component (as the shoulder is allowed to rotate more freely) in the upward swing. You really have to come "across" in order to hit the ball, and it's more difficult to aim. As a result, those who use shoulder-driven takebacks usually use the simplified arm motion of the upside smile pattern, which limits the lateral movement of the shoulder (and also limits the full power potential of this motion.) It's a compromise in terms of potential power, but it seems the shoulder-driven takeback more than compensates.

10) Ball tosses tend to match the takeback as well. That is, if you take back with the elbow, you toss with the upper arm. If you take back with the shoulder, you toss back with the front chest.

11) Elbow-driven takebacks include Sampras, Nadal, and Gasquet. Shoulder-driven takebacks include Roddick and Henin. It's possible that Henin is the only high profile player on either tour who does the shoulder-driven takeback with a full C motion.

Summary Examples

Sampras: Linear / C-motion / Elbow
Federer: Rotational / C-motion / Elbow
Roddick: Linear / Smile pattern/ Shoulder
Gasquet and Nadal: Rotational / Smile Pattern / Elbow
Henin: Linear / C-motion / Shoulder

tricky
11-16-2007, 11:37 PM
'depth of racquet drop indicates potential racquet head speed'

is just plain wrong

what do you think?

Yeah, I see where you're going with this. So, let's say we break down the racquet drop into

1) Arc in the back
2) Bend in the waist
3) Angle of forearm relative to the shoulder (i.e. the plane perpendicular to the person's line of sight)

1) Arc in the back/spin

This is a reflection of the degree of your arm takeback. This helps to suggest how much shoulder and overall rotation you'll have for your your stroke, or how much time your body will have to accelerate.

One of the things many people don't know is to stretch the shoulder as soon as you start the takeback. If you do the synchronized ball toss/takeback thing, then you have to start stretching the shoulder as soon as the hand separate.

2) Bend in the waist.

This is a reflection of the degree of your body's takeback. (For most people, this is a reflection of how much they've wound up their hips and how low they got to the ground.) This helps to suggest how much "drive" (or initial velocity) you're loading into your shoulder initially.

This is one of Sampras's secrets for his racquet drop. His step pattern enables him to wind his body so much, so that his back is well showing to the net. That in turn facilitates a very deep bend in the waist, thus the lower racquet drop, and it gives him the "snap" when he initiates the racquet drop.

3) Angle of forearm

This is the only variable actually related to your shoulder flexibility, and it's very, very influenced by whether you choose to lead with the elbow or the shoulder. This variable helps to suggest the ballistic potential and amount of acceleration for the stroke. Meaning, the lower your forearm is relative to the shoulder suggests how quickly your rotational velocity picks up. Roddick has less shoulder rotation than the more classical peers, but his acceleration more than makes up for it.

Ross K
11-17-2007, 01:38 AM
Vis a vis the Roddick serve, or the 'retrofit modern fh serve', or whatever you call it (tricky?)... just to remind ourselves what all this technical boffin talk is all about...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muKDqiVer0k&NR=1

Kind of takes your breath away really, no?

hyogen
04-05-2008, 01:13 AM
far view of my serve: this is recent and with a PT280
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pU9zaZaA3w

rear view serve:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWm9J4B_tr4

angle serve:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLz8XdQpssI

adlis
06-18-2008, 02:05 PM
far view of my serve: this is recent and with a PT280
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_pU9zaZaA3w

rear view serve:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZWm9J4B_tr4

angle serve:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLz8XdQpssI

good serve! what position is the lead?