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View Full Version : Rip apart my serve please


IvanAndreevich
01-07-2009, 08:48 PM
Deuce court: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UR3HKFVw9dc&fmt=18
Ad court: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yjUpTyiPt78&fmt=18

Notes-
1) I am not going for a whole lot here (60-70%).
2) All 4 are in but I wasn't aiming for the lines here.
3) These are supposed to be second serves, but my percentage is often too low.
4) Main goal is to increase reliability.

What I think -
1) I foot faulted on some of these.
2) My left foot is too perpendicular to the baseline. It's unnecessary, now that I think about it.
3) I am not terribly excited about how I am preparing the racquet for the swing. It takes a bit too long and looks more indirect than it should be.

I am keeping these things in mind as I continue improving my serve. Any other suggestions?

Rickson
01-07-2009, 09:25 PM
Your left foot is parallel with the baseline when it should be at a 45 degree angle, you do the Safin shuffle, and you don't follow through all the way. Other than that, you have good racquet speed and power.

IvanAndreevich
01-07-2009, 09:59 PM
Your left foot is parallel with the baseline when it should be at a 45 degree angle, you do the Safin shuffle, and you don't follow through all the way. Other than that, you have good racquet speed and power.

I completely agree with the foot. I've actually changed that after this video was shot and I like it.

Yes, actually watching Safin is what made me do the small step forward. I tried it and I liked it - seems to work well for me. True, I am not doing the full step here. I think it's because I am not hitting these serves particularly hard, and hence not tossing as far forward as I otherwise would.

Rickson
01-07-2009, 10:04 PM
The Safin shuffle makes the pinpoint serve easier, but I try to avoid it at all cost as it leads to many foot faults. It's not easy just sliding up the back foot, but doing the heel thing with the left foot sort of helps in avoiding the shuffle. That heel thing Moya does all the time.

GeorgeLucas
01-07-2009, 10:13 PM
The first thing that struck me about your serve is that... you bounce balls like a girl...


Thankfully, things got much, much better after that. You already have a structured motion down, which is good - now for the smaller things: 1. Keep your shoulders pointed to the net, darnit. It's a common mistake but you're opening up your chest way too early. That's not good. This defeats pronation, effective weight transfer, isolates the arm and generally makes producing a strong kick serve difficult. 2. Wear your hat straight. Tee hee :)

ssjkyle31
01-07-2009, 10:33 PM
First nothing wrong with the bounce, just don't get distracted by your thought about "Maria.":)

IvanAndreevich
01-07-2009, 10:53 PM
The first thing that struck me about your serve is that... you bounce balls like a girl...


Thankfully, things got much, much better after that. You already have a structured motion down, which is good - now for the smaller things: 1. Keep your shoulders pointed to the net, darnit. It's a common mistake but you're opening up your chest way too early. That's not good. This defeats pronation, effective weight transfer, isolates the arm and generally makes producing a strong kick serve difficult. 2. Wear your hat straight. Tee hee :)
I guess I'll work on the bounce too :) My bouncing looks almost too "ridgid", I need to relax it a bit. I am probably bouncing it too high as well.

I don't understand what you mean about the shoulders - "pointed to the net"? I think I have good shoulder rotation going on here, so my shoulders become square to the net at the moment I am hitting the ball.

Don't get the wrong idea, I am wearing the hat sideways here because I had a bit of sunburn going on and I needed to cover my face from the sun. Normally I don't do that :lol: I don't even like wearing a hat for tennis.

First nothing wrong with the bounce, just don't get distracted by your thought about "Maria.":)
Ah now I know I _MUST_ change the bounce.

GeorgeLucas
01-07-2009, 11:14 PM
I guess I'll work on the bounce too :) My bouncing looks almost too "ridgid", I need to relax it a bit. I am probably bouncing it too high as well.

I don't understand what you mean about the shoulders - "pointed to the net"? I think I have good shoulder rotation going on here, so my shoulders become square to the net at the moment I am hitting the ball.

Don't get the wrong idea, I am wearing the hat sideways here because I had a bit of sunburn going on and I needed to cover my face from the sun. Normally I don't do that :lol: I don't even like wearing a hat for tennis.


Ah now I know I _MUST_ change the bounce.

I will clarify: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWC1hcKBh4g&feature=related

look at 0:07 as Federer contacts the ball. His shoulders are near perpendicular to the baseline - the shoulder points towards the net. Pause your video at 0:18. Your chest has opened completely and is now near parallel to the baseline.


This tic is leeching power and spin from your serve for reasons I stated in my previous post.

IvanAndreevich
01-07-2009, 11:23 PM
I will clarify: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWC1hcKBh4g&feature=related

look at 0:07 as Federer contacts the ball. His shoulders are near perpendicular to the baseline - the shoulder points towards the net. Pause your video at 0:18. Your chest has opened completely and is now near parallel to the baseline.


This tic is leeching power and spin from your serve for reasons I stated in my previous post.

Great point, I think I understand now. What you are suggesting is to open up the shoulders exactly in the direction I am serving. I, on the other hand, seem to be opening them up slightly beyond that point.

I am not trying to do that on purpose. However, I do want to follow through there after I contact the ball - I have a habit of always hitting across the body, and I have no plans of changing that (for volleyball as well). I'll have to experiment with that next time I get work on the serve, perhaps tomorrow.

tennis_balla
01-08-2009, 12:07 AM
Where in Vancouver is that? I used to live there, and who's your 6.0 friend just out of curiosity?

ssjkyle31
01-08-2009, 07:17 AM
Ah now I know I _MUST_ change the bounce.

Don't change your bounce, if it helps you setup a consistent routine for a perfect serve than use it. I don't think your LOSING opponent will say anything about a girlie bounce. :)

LeeD
01-08-2009, 09:24 AM
Surprisingly, I won't actually criticise your serve!
But, as usual, I'll say some things that might not make you happy.
You say those are second serves. NOPE !! A true second serve is swung faster than any first serve, is going thru the air about 20% SLOWER than a first serve, and goes in 48 out of 50 tries.
So move your grip more towards Continental....and a bit more, so you can get consistent spin.
For guys aiming towards Men's 4.0's, the second serve is swung as fast as you can. Topped for sure, can be sliced, can be barely twisted, but swung as fast as you can swing a racket.
For the first serve, you back off your fastest swing by maybe 20%, or until you can get half in during a match.
In your defense, you have not played more than what amounts to 2 years of solid tennis. Play more, your serve will evolve, simplify, compact, and get stronger.

Djokovicfan4life
01-08-2009, 09:31 AM
Your left foot is parallel with the baseline when it should be at a 45 degree angle, you do the Safin shuffle, and you don't follow through all the way. Other than that, you have good racquet speed and power.

I don't think that the foot thing is necessarily a bad thing for all players. McEnroe wasn't too shabby with his foot parallel to the baseline. From what I've heard this guy was no slouch either: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DpptgXq5j4&feature=related

IvanAndreevich
01-08-2009, 09:41 AM
I don't think that the foot thing is necessarily a bad thing for all players. McEnroe wasn't too shabby with his foot parallel to the baseline. From what I've heard this guy was no slouch either: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DpptgXq5j4&feature=related

Right, but they don't do the small step-up like I do. With the step it's totally pointless, I think. I love the Sampras serve motion, but I don't think I could keep it consistent if I go for such a big swing...

Surprisingly, I won't actually criticise your serve!
But, as usual, I'll say some things that might not make you happy.
You say those are second serves. NOPE !! A true second serve is swung faster than any first serve, is going thru the air about 20% SLOWER than a first serve, and goes in 48 out of 50 tries.
So move your grip more towards Continental....and a bit more, so you can get consistent spin.
For guys aiming towards Men's 4.0's, the second serve is swung as fast as you can. Topped for sure, can be sliced, can be barely twisted, but swung as fast as you can swing a racket.
For the first serve, you back off your fastest swing by maybe 20%, or until you can get half in during a match.
In your defense, you have not played more than what amounts to 2 years of solid tennis. Play more, your serve will evolve, simplify, compact, and get stronger.
What, are you saying I can't use a flat second serve with less power but good accuracy? :lol: I understand your point. It's just something that's not in my arsenal yet. Great suggestion, thanks.

Where in Vancouver is that? I used to live there, and who's your 6.0 friend just out of curiosity?
His name is Igor, and now that I think about it, he's probably a 5.5 and a bit out of practice. The place in the video is Cancun, Mexico.

smoothtennis
01-08-2009, 09:58 AM
I will clarify: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWC1hcKBh4g&feature=related

look at 0:07 as Federer contacts the ball. His shoulders are near perpendicular to the baseline - the shoulder points towards the net. Pause your video at 0:18. Your chest has opened completely and is now near parallel to the baseline.


This tic is leeching power and spin from your serve for reasons I stated in my previous post.

I dunno George - I did a freeze frame at :18, and with the racket dropping into the backscratch - his shoulders were still perpendicular to the baseline/net. I think the speed is creating this illusion you are seeing?

Rickson
01-08-2009, 10:11 AM
Federer's left foot is at a 45 degree angle.

Federer serve (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WWC1hcKBh4g&feature=related)

Djokovicfan4life
01-08-2009, 11:01 AM
Like I said, some players prefer that angle, and some prefer their foot to be parallel to the baseline. It's not a one size fits all kind of thing.

Here's Drakulie's serve, I don't think you'd argue that he's got a fine serve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElLwtuSCWgA

IvanAndreevich
01-08-2009, 11:30 AM
That serve in the video, I don't like it. He makes contact with the ball far too much to the right and hence cannot get any power from the body (he's not hitting across). It's almost an arm only serve. Just my opinion.

badmice2
01-08-2009, 11:50 AM
re: footing - a thing that help that my coach use to tell me - point the toes of your front foot (left foot for righty) towards the right next post (reverse for lefty). However, how you set your feet shouldnt be a concern as long as you're comfortable.

One thing i did noticed is the amount of air you're getting when you strike the ball; when your ball goes out, is it out by a lot? Reason i ask is that you might be reaching for the ball a little too much. Is great that you have the extension, but perhaps hitting it at a lower strike point rather than jumping/reaching for it.

Djokovicfan4life
01-08-2009, 11:59 AM
That serve in the video, I don't like it. He makes contact with the ball far too much to the right and hence cannot get any power from the body (he's not hitting across). It's almost an arm only serve. Just my opinion.

Drak has clocked his serve at 108 MPH and that's with the radar gun placed at the net, which takes off some speed. I highly doubt he can serve in the 115 range using only arm.

You may think that it is an arm only serve because he does not come way off the court like you do. What he does do well is that he times his knee bend so that his legs start to straighten out at the same time he begins his forward swing towards the ball. Don't make the mistake of thinking that how high you get off the ground determines the amount of leg drive in the serve. Would you say that this guy is serving these bombs with only arm?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDG1XPeNqQk&feature=related

Your serve actually uses a lot more arm than Drak's, believe it or not. The timing of your knee bend is off a little bit because your legs straighten out too quickly, which makes you lose most of the extra speed that you could be generating if you timed it better.

IvanAndreevich
01-08-2009, 01:22 PM
re: footing - a thing that help that my coach use to tell me - point the toes of your front foot (left foot for righty) towards the right next post (reverse for lefty). However, how you set your feet shouldnt be a concern as long as you're comfortable.

One thing i did noticed is the amount of air you're getting when you strike the ball; when your ball goes out, is it out by a lot? Reason i ask is that you might be reaching for the ball a little too much. Is great that you have the extension, but perhaps hitting it at a lower strike point rather than jumping/reaching for it.
Pointing the foot to the pole would result in around 45 degree angle, which I think would be best for me. I'll try and see how it goes.

I am not jumping for it, but I am a jumpy guy by the nature of being a volleyball player :) I find that hitting the ball higher gives me better consistency, since I am currently hitting it very flat. When I error, my serve ends up in the net, and rarely ever goes out very much. It's usually out 5-20 cm in those cases. I don't think I've ever served a non-mishit beyond the baseline.

IvanAndreevich
01-08-2009, 01:36 PM
Drak has clocked his serve at 108 MPH and that's with the radar gun placed at the net, which takes off some speed. I highly doubt he can serve in the 115 range using only arm.

You may think that it is an arm only serve because he does not come way off the court like you do. What he does do well is that he times his knee bend so that his legs start to straighten out at the same time he begins his forward swing towards the ball. Don't make the mistake of thinking that how high you get off the ground determines the amount of leg drive in the serve. Would you say that this guy is serving these bombs with only arm?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VDG1XPeNqQk&feature=related

Your serve actually uses a lot more arm than Drak's, believe it or not. The timing of your knee bend is off a little bit because your legs straighten out too quickly, which makes you lose most of the extra speed that you could be generating if you timed it better.

Krajicek doesn't toss the ball outside his body and has beautiful follow through. These are my main complaints about the video you provided before.

Sure, you can serve 100 mph with just arm + legs. Shoulder is what he is not using at all IMO by not following through properly.

Look at his racquet follow through. He's hitting a serve out wide and his racquet DOES NOT follow in the direction of the serve. Furthermore, as part of the follow through, the racquet face opens (9 seconds in) towards the right instead of in the direction he's serving. You know what happens to people who do this? NO POWER. Indeed, that particular serve looks well less than 100 mph to me.

I'll keep in mind the fact that I need to time the leg straightening correctly for maximum efficiency.

My main purpose is not to criticize others but rather improve myself. Let the guy work on his serve in his thread, and let me work on mine here :)

Djokovicfan4life
01-08-2009, 01:45 PM
The camera is playing tricks on you. Things look much slower on video than in real life. I suppose you'll probably think that this is a slow serve as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDNhhzaj3wc

I was actually using Stich's serve (not Krajicek's) as an example of someone who most people would say had poor leg drive, yet in reality used his legs very well.

IvanAndreevich
01-08-2009, 02:10 PM
The camera is playing tricks on you. Things look much slower on video than in real life. I suppose you'll probably think that this is a slow serve as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDNhhzaj3wc

I was actually using Stich's serve (not Krajicek's) as an example of someone who most people would say had poor leg drive, yet in reality used his legs very well.

His serve down the T is much better (and I bet a lot higher on the MPH scale). See, his racquet face points in the direction he's serving. Follow through - he stops the shoulder and the racquet from following through freely. This takes power away, but is much much better than the outwide serve, since at least it's in the right direction. Compare the follow through with Sampras.

drakulie has OK leg drive - I am not complaining. It's his shoulder and follow through I don't like.

BullDogTennis
01-08-2009, 07:10 PM
seriosly, quit trying to be a wigger and fix your hat.

you bounce to much, your not getting your racquet in a "trophy" position...the 90, or 45 angle thing doesnt matter i dont think, its all about just getting your hips turned, to fire into the ball.

this serve does not have enough spin to be a consistant second serve.

when people come in saying there only going 65-70% means they're trying to make themselves feel better, because they think they serve alot harder than what it looks on video.

IvanAndreevich
01-08-2009, 07:21 PM
seriosly, quit trying to be a wigger and fix your hat.

you bounce to much, your not getting your racquet in a "trophy" position...the 90, or 45 angle thing doesnt matter i dont think, its all about just getting your hips turned, to fire into the ball.

this serve does not have enough spin to be a consistant second serve.

when people come in saying there only going 65-70% means they're trying to make themselves feel better, because they think they serve alot harder than what it looks on video.

I explained the hat (sunburn on my face).

I feel well enough already, thanks. I can hit the ball very hard but percentage goes down if I do. I'll post a 100% swing speed video at some point later.

halalula1234
01-08-2009, 08:19 PM
some legs movement wernt necessary