View Full Version : How much elbow bend on Serve???

10-23-2007, 01:48 PM
I have been working on my serve latley. I was wondering when I take the raquet back do I bend completley or rather let my elbow contract completley before I start to accelerate, this has a bouncing effect. Or is it best to start the upward motion before I contract completley. I hope I have described this clearly. Thanks for any imput

10-23-2007, 01:56 PM
generally when i serve
when i flat serve
i don't let my elbow contract as much
but when i kick serve
i let it drop all the way
so i guess it matters what you want the ball to do off the bounce

10-23-2007, 02:03 PM
so you contract on 2nd serves to get a little more behind the ball to impart more spin

10-23-2007, 04:56 PM
shouldn't think of it as elbow bend, think of it as racquet drop. you think of it as elbow bend and you're more likely to try and muscle the shot.. probably causing considerable damage to your elbow. if you think of it as racquet drop, you should be able to visualize the serve in a more fluid motion, like a whip. and although many people will disagree with this terminology, let the racquet drop to the point where the head of the racquet is almost scratching your back. a lot of video/images you might study online tends to show that the racquet is dropped almost parallel to the body (http://www.aroundhawaii.com/assets/articles/2006/04/328/images/200604_htiytsspeed008.gif), but i'll let you search for some more slow mos and screen caps and come to your own conclusion as to what exactly is going on.

after that, though, pull the racquet up and through the ball. if you pull too much through the ball without enough racquet drop, you'll create a flat serve. if you let the racquet drop a bit and pull up and through you'll create a variable amount of sidespin/topspin depending on the angle at which you pull (thinking of it as a clock, pulling towards 1 and 2 o'clock creates spin with the least strain on the shoulder). word of advice, even pros use a LOT of topspin on their first serves. sure they aren't kick serves, but the extra topspin allows them to hit the ball even harder and expect a good percentage of balls to land in as long as their technique is correct. also, keeping the motion the same means you don't have to make too many adjustments from a first serve motion to a second serve, thus increasing consistency: maybe a little more racquet drop and more emphasis on the brushing motion, while everything else is the same.

if you need a good visual aid of this, i can extract some videos of nadal and fed warming up their serve and you'll see how fluid it is and how much they let the racquet drop before pulling it up and through the ball. it'll probably last only a few days on youtube but i can post it if you like.