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View Full Version : Origmarm's serve, please help (Video included)


origmarm
03-30-2008, 11:42 AM
Was after some tips on my serve please guys.

I've added some videos of some easy pace serves below to show the motion. I'm still very out of shape (down over 40lbs though since accident) so obviously my movement needs work but I'm interested in comments on the motion please.

All help very welcome! Thanks!

Serve:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsD0XJ9kFYE

From Behind:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DQpkGbxtvyk

Side on:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFsEDTYNMBU

From Net Post:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0RyXp1OyEA

From other side of court:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt4t7WY6jSI

Rickson
03-30-2008, 11:51 AM
You definitely have the serve of an Englishman!

origmarm
03-30-2008, 12:00 PM
You definitely have the serve of an Englishman!

How's that mate? Upright and refined? :)

Essential Tennis
03-30-2008, 12:17 PM
I think overall you're doing a great job, your swing looks good. Is there something specific that you'd like to improve upon? Or were you just looking for general comments?

origmarm
03-30-2008, 12:21 PM
I think overall you're doing a great job, your swing looks good. Is there something specific that you'd like to improve upon? Or were you just looking for general comments?

Well it's more to take it to the next level really i.e. what could I improve on. Watching the videos myself I feel that it looks slightly paused before contact i.e. the motion is not completely smooth, more of a hit than a swing. That and I think I could pronate more and get more momentum off the ground. Would be interesting to take some full pace serving videos and see how they are different, if I lose any part of the motion

Essential Tennis
03-30-2008, 12:54 PM
^My initial thoughts about the stroke were the same. You obviously hit the ball well, but your tempo and rhythm don't seem to be giving you the best potential. Different players use different tempos to create power on the serve. Generally I recommend what I prefer myself when teaching somebody who needs help in this area. My take back, coil, and toss are slow and smooth. Once my body is fully loaded and the toss is up in the air I accelerate as fast as possible up at the ball. So the tempo is slow and relaxed, and then fast and accelerated.

Currently your tempo is "fast-slow-fast". Your take back and initial load is very quick, then you slow down that momentum as your racket drops down behind you, and then again you speed everything up as your accelerate towards the ball. The good news is, you're able to do it smoothly and you stay relaxed, and the path of the racket (the technique itself) is good, so you have a better than average serve. In my opinion, if you want to take it to the next level, you could be able to transfer more into the ball if you focused your efforts more closely towards only accelerating towards the ball. If you watch most pros serve they will do it in that way, loading and preparing their body slowly and smoothly, and then using that load to explode up towards the ball. You don't start your final acceleration towards the ball until your racket has already dropped down to the bottom of its path back behind you. (watching your first video) Ideally, you should be using that entire loop back behind you be build up racket speed towards the ball. The slowing down of your swing after your toss isn't giving you as much acceleration as you could have.

Does that make sense?

Also I agree with your comment about pronating more. Every serve you hit in the shown videos had a relatively small amount of slice on them. Were you trying to hit flat serves? If those were meant to be flat first serves, then you could also benefit from learning to further pronate in order to square your racket face to the ball, creating a flatter and faster hit.

Sorry if I rambled a bit, heh.

Rickson
03-30-2008, 12:57 PM
How's that mate? Upright and refined? :)

Girly like an Englishman.

j/k, mate.

origmarm
03-30-2008, 12:59 PM
^Unpredictable and unreliable like Henman's? :)

Rickson
03-30-2008, 01:06 PM
^Unpredictable and unreliable like Henman's? :)

In all seriousness, you're hitting somewhat of a sidearm serve. You might be tossing too far to your right. Try to get full extension at contact and make it less like a sidearm pitch.

origmarm
03-30-2008, 01:09 PM
Currently your tempo is "fast-slow-fast". Your take back and initial load is very quick, then you slow down that momentum as your racket drops down behind you, and then again you speed everything up as your accelerate towards the ball.

I think this is what I was seeing that I referred to as a "pause". I seem to have the toss up in the air and the racquet back and then really slow the motion. I see exactly what you mean here.

You don't start your final acceleration towards the ball until your racket has already dropped down to the bottom of its path back behind you. (watching your first video)

Ideally, you should be using that entire loop back behind you be build up racket speed towards the ball. The slowing down of your swing after your toss isn't giving you as much acceleration as you could have.

This is correct, my motion is such that my two arms rise simultaneously and the toss is launched as my racquet is dipping. I reckon you are right here, watching the pros, they (mostly) raise one faster and launch the toss before the racquet arm is up and then dip and swing in one smooth motion. The two arms rise slightly out of sync to extend the swing length to the downward and through the ball portion of the motion. Makes perfect sense

Every serve you hit in the shown videos had a relatively small amount of slice on them. Were you trying to hit flat serves?

This is interesting. I was going for a mostly flat motion i.e. as I would serve a first serve but at about 70% power. I was actually going for a small amount of topspin so its interesting to see you say slice. I'm glad to see you agree with me about pronating more, I think that I'm "muscling" the ball a little also and that with a more relaxed arm it will happen to an extent on its own. I also think that the greater acceleration in the motion when I get rid of the "pause" above will help but I need to work on it for sure.

Thanks for all your help here, much appreciated

origmarm
03-30-2008, 01:10 PM
In all seriousness, you're hitting somewhat of a sidearm serve. You might be tossing too far to your right. Try to get full extension at contact and make it less like a sidearm pitch.

This ties in with what Essential was saying about hitting a little bit of slice, perhaps it comes automatically from where I'm tossing the ball i.e. out to the right. Thanks mate.

Rickson
03-30-2008, 01:11 PM
Your serve looks sort of like Kim Byung Hyun's pitch.

Kim's pitching form (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nltNJhW-W90&feature=related)

Noisy Ninja
03-30-2008, 01:29 PM
Doesn't look shabby at all.
I did notice the slight pause/hitch and it appears as if you are dropping that tossing arm too soon before going up after the ball.
That racquet's no 6.1 Classic but it seems to do a good job for you... :)

origmarm
03-30-2008, 01:40 PM
That racquet's no 6.1 Classic but it seems to do a good job for you... :)

Thanks mate, actually a Vantage specced real close, just a 63flex so it doesn't kill me like the 6.1 :)

I think the tossing arm dropping is all part of the same problem i.e fast, slow, fast i.e seems to fall during the slow phase

35ft6
03-30-2008, 01:40 PM
I feel like at the beginning, you need to keep your body more still. Keep your body more still during the toss, really extend the tossing arm out more, and maybe your toss is going too far off to the right.

Looks better in the side angle vid. What grip are you using?

Essential Tennis
03-30-2008, 01:54 PM
This is interesting. I was going for a mostly flat motion i.e. as I would serve a first serve but at about 70% power. I was actually going for a small amount of topspin so its interesting to see you say slice. I'm glad to see you agree with me about pronating more, I think that I'm "muscling" the ball a little also and that with a more relaxed arm it will happen to an extent on its own.

The path that your racket follows is definitely not a topspin serve. Your toss isn't so far to the right that I would call it "side arm" as stated above, but its not enough to the left (watching from behind) that you could really hit any top spin to speak of. What you're hitting is mostly flat, with some slice.

What you say about muscling the ball I agree with you on a great deal. Watch yourself hit your serve on the "from the side" and "from other side" videos. If you have the ability to with whatever video program you have, go frame by frame and watch closely immediately after you make contact. Your arm is decelerating right after contact, which is a highly strong indicator that you are in fact trying to muscle the ball, your arm and shoulder during that part of your swing (and possibly during contact) are tense and tight. If you went frame by frame after contact I'd be willing to wager that at some point there you would see several frames together where the racket doesn't even move much to speak of. You need to let that good relaxed swing you have before contact continue on past the ball. When you finish your swing (watch "from the other side") it looks like the tip of your racket is usually pointing either down towards the court, or off to your left. If you watch a professional serve, most of the time you'll see the tip of their racket pointing to the back curtain behind the server, indicating a long relaxed follow through that went all the way around the body.

quicken
03-30-2008, 02:02 PM
Good. I like it

origmarm
03-30-2008, 02:29 PM
I feel like at the beginning, you need to keep your body more still. Keep your body more still during the toss, really extend the tossing arm out more, and maybe your toss is going too far off to the right.

Looks better in the side angle vid. What grip are you using?

Thanks mate, seems to be consistent comments as to the toss. The grip is continental with a slight eastern to it but really nothing, i.e. mostly continental

origmarm
03-30-2008, 02:35 PM
The path that your racket follows is definitely not a topspin serve. Your toss isn't so far to the right that I would call it "side arm" as stated above, but its not enough to the left (watching from behind) that you could really hit any top spin to speak of. What you're hitting is mostly flat, with some slice.

Very interesting. It seems that the consistent comment is that the toss is too far to the right also.

What you say about muscling the ball I agree with you on a great deal. Watch yourself hit your serve on the "from the side" and "from other side" videos. If you have the ability to with whatever video program you have, go frame by frame and watch closely immediately after you make contact. Your arm is decelerating right after contact, which is a highly strong indicator that you are in fact trying to muscle the ball, your arm and shoulder during that part of your swing (and possibly during contact) are tense and tight. If you went frame by frame after contact I'd be willing to wager that at some point there you would see several frames together where the racket doesn't even move much to speak of. You need to let that good relaxed swing you have before contact continue on past the ball. When you finish your swing (watch "from the other side") it looks like the tip of your racket is usually pointing either down towards the court, or off to your left. If you watch a professional serve, most of the time you'll see the tip of their racket pointing to the back curtain behind the server, indicating a long relaxed follow through that went all the way around the body.

I see what you mean for sure. I think the "muscling" and the quick slow quick motion could be related, I'm almost setting myself up to hit, pausing for the ball to be in the right spot and then hitting. My feeling is that the mental thing here might be to simply go for the fast (rather than powerful) swing and that this combined with not dipping the racquet too early and extending the "swing" to that portion of the stroke is key. Again thanks for the comments

origmarm
03-30-2008, 02:35 PM
Good. I like it

Thanks mate

Edit: Happy 1000 posts to me!!

TheShaun
03-30-2008, 02:42 PM
Hey! You don't look like Gordon Gecko. You've been lying to all of us :p

origmarm
03-30-2008, 02:57 PM
Hey! You don't look like Gordon Gecko. You've been lying to all of us :p

I haven't got my suit on is all :)

LuckyR
03-30-2008, 05:33 PM
Since you asked: to my eye, your motion doesn't look "tight", that is, there seems to be a bit of extraneous motion. In addition your toss seems a bit high. Not scary high like you often see, but a bit higher than optimal. If you report that you don't have problems with consistancy of your toss, I wouldn't put much stead into this comment.

As to the motion itself, it is correct. I assume you are going through the trouble of soliciting these comments because you don't like something about your results. What don't you like?

FedererISBetter
03-30-2008, 06:26 PM
I see the takeback and maybe core condition to be a drawback from the potential... anybody else agree? The serve looks consistant and under control... hmm.. : / I dont do pinpoint serve... lol.

[K]aotic
03-30-2008, 07:06 PM
i see your bending your knees, but i don't see you actually exploding up into the ball. Instead of jumping, you can explode for more power. At first its going to feel weird, but you get used to it and your serve will get more power.

Solat
03-30-2008, 11:14 PM
i think you would get better purchase with a change in your racquet drop from just behind your head to more away from the body, this will provide a better platform to release the "throw" of the serve

i also think you may transfer your weight a little too early but that might just be how you keep rhythm so may not be worth tinkering with

origmarm
03-31-2008, 12:14 AM
Since you asked: to my eye, your motion doesn't look "tight", that is, there seems to be a bit of extraneous motion. In addition your toss seems a bit high. Not scary high like you often see, but a bit higher than optimal. If you report that you don't have problems with consistancy of your toss, I wouldn't put much stead into this comment.

Not quite sure what you're getting at re the tightness, I recently switched racquet so I'm struggling a little with the new weight/balance, maybe that has something to do with it. It's strange you should mention this though, perhaps I spread too much on the takeback or something?

Re the toss, I feel its a little high but it is consistent, my feeling is that it will correct itself with the smoothing out of the motion that earlier posters are talking about.

As to the motion itself, it is correct. I assume you are going through the trouble of soliciting these comments because you don't like something about your results. What don't you like?

It's not so much that I feel I have a big problem, its more that I feel I could do more with it, I just feel like I don't have that free flowing power that I have on my forehand when I hit the ball clean. It's also just that you can always improve things, it's the only shot you get to hit on your terms from a starting position so it's completely yours to control, as such it's an easy win to always be working on it.

Thanks for your comments mate. It all helps :)

origmarm
03-31-2008, 12:16 AM
I see the takeback and maybe core condition to be a drawback from the potential

Sorry I'm not sure I quite follow? By core condition do you just mean that I need to be in better shape? If so I agree with you :)

origmarm
03-31-2008, 12:17 AM
aotic;2206364']i see your bending your knees, but i don't see you actually exploding up into the ball. Instead of jumping, you can explode for more power. At first its going to feel weird, but you get used to it and your serve will get more power.

I kind of see what you mean but not really. Is it the timing of the jump/release of the knees?

origmarm
03-31-2008, 12:19 AM
i think you would get better purchase with a change in your racquet drop from just behind your head to more away from the body, this will provide a better platform to release the "throw" of the serve

When you say more away, you mean more to the right or further back?

i also think you may transfer your weight a little too early but that might just be how you keep rhythm so may not be worth tinkering with

Interesting, perhaps this is what the other poster was talking about also with the "explosion" through the ball

montx
03-31-2008, 02:05 AM
My suggestion is if it ain't broke don't fix it.

I think you have one awesome gift, the accelleration of your racquet to the contact point and through it and that does this;

It gives you a clean and nice powerserve.

Its up to you what you do, but i think if you keep hitting like that, you can taunt a few people. :D

chess9
03-31-2008, 08:12 AM
^Unpredictable and unreliable like Henman's? :)

Henman was #4 just 4 years ago!!! He still has a very very good serve.

Your fitness level keeps you from a very effective upward thrust, but your weight helps your horizontal thrust. :)

You are obviously making tons of money in the markets.... :)

-Robert

origmarm
03-31-2008, 08:26 AM
Henman was #4 just 4 years ago!!! He still has a very very good serve.

Your fitness level keeps you from a very effective upward thrust, but your weight helps your horizontal thrust. :)

You are obviously making tons of money in the markets.... :)

-Robert

Yeah its just that British trait of making fun of other Brits' sporting efforts

I'm not sure what my horizontal thrust has to do with my tennis but I can assure you its very effective :)

Mate I'm a credit broker, I'm not doing so well at the moment :(. Bizarrely it's inversely correlated, the less we have coming in, the more I have to take people to lunch!

origmarm
03-31-2008, 08:26 AM
Are you still getting over to UK at some point btw?

chess9
03-31-2008, 09:54 AM
Are you still getting over to UK at some point btw?

I'm going to have to stay put for a bit as my brother had a heart attack in Colombia. :( He's never taken care of himself. We are polar opposites. Anyway, I'm at his house helping him with his menagerie of cats and dogs and trying to get his diet sorted. Potato chip bags are his idea of good food.... BLECH!!

Credit markets!!??? Good grief man, shall we send CARE packages? ;) Maybe you can get preggers and get a council house? Certainly your Socialist government has a bail out package for you. We bailed out Bear Stearns and this country is supposedly the bastion of free enterprise. Fire off a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequor, or some such minister and get your share of the spoils mate!

Yes, I've always loved Henman because he is a bit like me. Appears aloof at times, but is really a shy, sparrow of a fellow.... :) People abroad seem to forget that England is a tiny country...filled with large egos. :)

-Robert

origmarm
04-01-2008, 12:48 AM
I'm going to have to stay put for a bit as my brother had a heart attack in Colombia. :( He's never taken care of himself. We are polar opposites. Anyway, I'm at his house helping him with his menagerie of cats and dogs and trying to get his diet sorted. Potato chip bags are his idea of good food.... BLECH!!

Mate I'm sorry to hear that, I hope he's feeling ok. My dad had a valve replacement op recently and that looked bad enough. My sympathies

Credit markets!!??? Good grief man, shall we send CARE packages? ;) Maybe you can get preggers and get a council house?

It is indeed starting to get pretty rough, we had to let 7 people go the other day (firm is now 22). I'd better learn to string a racquet properly, I hear you can do that for money. Wish I could get myself a house that way, the mortgage is painful! House prices are falling here but still ridiculous. I live in an OK area of town (middle range), the 2 bed apartment next door (1000sqft) went for about 350,000GBP the other day. Still I can't complain, I'm hardly breadline.

We bailed out Bear Stearns and this country is supposedly the bastion of free enterprise

Well I don't know if I would call it a bail out per se but yeah they did ok considering. JPM got a good deal there, even second time round.

Yes, I've always loved Henman because he is a bit like me. Appears aloof at times, but is really a shy, sparrow of a fellow.... :) People abroad seem to forget that England is a tiny country...filled with large egos. :)

Indeed. I've always liked him also, used to play tennis with his older brother actually for a short while (though he was much older), he's a bit different though, now has a communications company I think, lost touch ages ago. He just never quite broke away from his own shadow if you know what I mean