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pokefan
04-13-2008, 01:45 PM
I am having trouble catching my first (flat) serve late. My racket face is still point upwards too much causing the ball to fly long. I think my racket head speed is fine as I can get decent velocity. Do you have any pointers?

I am not sure if this is related or not, but I would assume it must be. After serving, the area just above my shoulder (into my bicep) is sore.

Thanks for any help.

Rafael_Nadal_6257
04-13-2008, 02:00 PM
Throw the ball farther into the court so as to avoid a 'waiter's-tray position'. Post a video...

pokefan
04-13-2008, 04:54 PM
Here is a video. I was getting the serve in more than normal on the day the video was taken, but my arm soreness was definitely a problem. Any other pointers you can provide on the serve would also be appreciated.


http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=8492150406724881276&hl=en

toughshot
04-13-2008, 05:07 PM
looks like your meeting the ball late so you cant snap your wrist completely through, and you have to muscle it to get it to stay in the court, thats why ur arm hurts

so, place your toss more out in front and to your right so you can snap your wrist through

thats my 2 cents

tingwc
04-13-2008, 05:28 PM
I don't know if this makes any sense, but when you bring your racket up for the toss, try to make more of an "L" with your elbow and snap the elbow forward. I think you're losing a bit of time by keeping your racquet that far down and maybe you'll catch the ball a little earlier. the form actually looks pretty solid, i would just try the whole elbow thing and perhaps trying to bend the knees just slightly more.

just my 2 cents, which could be worthless to others...

Djokovicfan4life
04-13-2008, 05:30 PM
You need to coil your shoulders a little farther back during your preparation, you're opening up too early.

pokefan
04-13-2008, 06:42 PM
I don't know if this makes any sense, but when you bring your racket up for the toss, try to make more of an "L" with your elbow and snap the elbow forward. I think you're losing a bit of time by keeping your racquet that far down and maybe you'll catch the ball a little earlier. the form actually looks pretty solid, i would just try the whole elbow thing and perhaps trying to bend the knees just slightly more.

just my 2 cents, which could be worthless to others...

I have been working on getting the "L" in the trophy pose. Can you explain a little more what you mean by "snap the elbow forward"? Do you mean from the racket drop?

Rafael_Nadal_6257
04-13-2008, 06:51 PM
looks like your meeting the ball late so you cant snap your wrist completely through, and you have to muscle it to get it to stay in the court, thats why ur arm hurts

so, place your toss more out in front and to your right so you can snap your wrist through

thats my 2 cents

Ignore the snapping wrist part...thats how you can get your arm to hurt even more :p. Your serve actually looks pretty good, its only your third serve, which looks like you might have caught it a bit late. Wait for BB or someone else to make a better analysis...

pokefan
04-14-2008, 03:27 PM
so, place your toss more out in front and to your right so you can snap your wrist through

thats my 2 cents

How far right (approximately) should it be? I have been told to toss further right before and I thought I had made the adjustment. Maybe I have regressed.


Ignore the snapping wrist part...thats how you can get your arm to hurt even more :p.

I have been purposely trying to snap the wrist in an effort to get the racket through, which sounds like it could explain at least some of the pain. Thanks for the input.

tingwc
04-14-2008, 03:54 PM
Purposely snapping the wrist is not the correct way to get around it. The way I envision the serve is actually with the elbow as the lever. If you hold your directly sideways and use the elbow to make an "L" so that your forearm and racquet point up, then coming around the ball actually comes from snapping the elbow, not the wrist. Obviously, the wrist is part of it but I feel this is more of an unconscious thing that happens due to simple physics. If you just go to youtube and closely look at almost anybody's serves I think you'll see what I mean.

Tennisman912
04-14-2008, 06:42 PM
pokefan,
Although it is hard to draw many conclusions from so few samples, here goes: The first thing I noticed before reading more of the posts is that you are opening your shoulders too soon and losing a lot of power. Doing this turns your serve into too much of an arm swing. Really try to explode into the ball. Try to get more shoulder turn. Your shoulders look to me like that are only 90 degrees to the net when coiled. That is not enough shoulder turn in my humble opinion. You want more of your back facing the net when coiled.
Also use your legs more. You have very little knee bend which is a contributor to my above mentioned problems. Your toss is also moving around some but I would need to see more serves before drawing any conclusions there.
Overall you motion is decent. With a few refinements you can add a lot of zip. Good luck to you.

TM

fuzz nation
04-15-2008, 05:51 AM
Good call by tennisman on yer rotation - free energy if you can turn away on windup and turn back through as you hit the ball.

Your motion looks darn good, amigo!

One thing that your description made me think of was confirmed a bit more by your video. Look at where your racquet is at the moment that you toss the ball - behind you down near your waist, right? You still need to take it to its release point up behind your head, but the ball has already been tossed and the countdown to blastoff is almost up! Your racquet still has a long way to go.

I do some teaching and this little gremlin sneaks into almost everyone's motion, but if you put some light on it, you should see a pretty quick fix. Just take a few loose, easy motions without hitting a ball and get a feel for that smooth release through the hitting zone. All that you should need to reproduce that when you do serve a ball is a slightly later toss - get your windup farther along so that you don't have to rush in any way to catch up with the ball. If you feel some fatique or soreness down the road in that motion, just slow it down so that your windup is completely set to comfortably hit that big serve.

5263
04-15-2008, 06:17 AM
Man, thats really a pretty nice Serve!

Also some really sharp suggestions.

Djokovic was right on the money with more shoulder turn and that you open a little too quickly. By doing this you lose your ability to hit up and over the ball to get an element of topspin. This is not topspin like a kicker, but just getting the spin above the neutral point, which will keep it from sitting up like it is doing now.

I do this by holding my tossing arm up longer. I try to see how long I can keep it up there with a good shoulder turn away from the court, but not so long that I feel rushed to get to the ball. Try to go at the ball with a little more of a cartwheel motion over the top, but don't change anything much, cause your serve is really, really close other than a few minor tweaks!

Also the suggestion of tossing further into the court was good, but only a couple of inches, as again it is all really close to just right. NO big changes!

:)

5263
04-15-2008, 06:19 AM
when you are solid with that last post and ready to add some monster pop, the next step for you is to get better racket drop and some delay in extending your elbow and forearm towards the ball.

go get em!

pokefan
04-15-2008, 03:38 PM
Thanks for everyone's input. I will work on making the fixes.

Thanks again.