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View Full Version : Can someone figure out the speed of my serve?

Failed
01-09-2009, 01:03 AM

I Just need a rough estimate. I am going to post another serving video next month so I can compare this serve to the newer one. And to the one who gave me the more your right foot behind your left foot by few inches to get more body turn, is this what yout meant?

Ambivalent
01-09-2009, 02:06 AM
Anywhere between 60 to 80 mph, imo. dont take my word on that.

halalula1234
01-09-2009, 04:21 AM
like 75-95ish?

dr325i
01-09-2009, 04:31 AM
Anywhere between 60 to 80 mph, imo. dont take my word on that.

WOW, 60?
Definitely closer to 80-90-ish...

winks
01-09-2009, 05:11 AM
Assuming the back wall is at least a "standard" distance from the baseline (~21'), judging from where it hit it I'd say you have a pretty strong serve there.

Given that I wouldn't be too concerned with speed. If I had to say at least 80 mph. Maybe 90's. That just a guess though!

jrod
01-09-2009, 05:27 AM
You can compute a decent estimate if you know the frame rate of your camera (the faster the frame rate, the more accurate the estimate) and the distance travelled by the ball (from strike to impact in the service box).

Check out this reference(courtesy of Mike Cottrill): http://donthireddy.us/tennis/speed.html

and also this thread for some more discussion on measuring serve speed (posts 28 & 29):

Failed
01-09-2009, 08:06 AM
If my camera fps is 30 then my initial serve speed is ~112mph there and Did the frame rate thingy and double checked. Still gonna make sure the frame rate is really 30.

First frame (http://img407.imageshack.us/my.php?image=firstframejq1.jpg)
Second frame (http://img91.imageshack.us/my.php?image=secondframebs9.jpg)

Difference between frames: 13

Distance traveled in air: 60.5(didn't serve straight from the middle and the ball doesn't go straight to the T so 60.5 sounds reasonable)

This gives me these numbers

Initial Speed 112.44 mph
Final Speed 81.3 mph
Avg Speed until bounce 95.19 mph

I can upload the not so compressed video if someone wants.

Thanks for the link JRod!

jrod
01-09-2009, 09:04 AM
If my camera fps is 30 then my initial serve speed is ~112mph there and Did the frame rate thingy and double checked. Still gonna make sure the frame rate is really 30.

First frame (http://img407.imageshack.us/my.php?image=firstframejq1.jpg)
Second frame (http://img91.imageshack.us/my.php?image=secondframebs9.jpg)

Difference between frames: 13

Distance traveled in air: 60.5(didn't serve straight from the middle and the ball doesn't go straight to the T so 60.5 sounds reasonable)

This gives me these numbers

Initial Speed 112.44 mph
Final Speed 81.3 mph
Avg Speed until bounce 95.19 mph

I can upload the not so compressed video if someone wants.

Thanks for the link JRod!

no problem...when I saw these numbers I was kind of astounded so I went back and looked at your serve again. It really doesn't look like it's hit that fast to me. I'm not sure if it's the camera angle (makes the far end of the court seem further away) or what...

Few questions:

1. How tall are you?

2. How far away is the backdrop curtain from the baseline?

3. Where did the serve hit?

Failed
01-09-2009, 09:15 AM
1. How tall are you?

Little over 6ft/183.5cm

2. How far away is the backdrop curtain from the baseline?

Around ~<>6 meters I guess, gonna get the exact lenght tomorrow when I go play again.

3. Where did the serve hit?

around 2 inch left to the T.

01-09-2009, 09:34 AM
I would say 90-100 mph. Seems as fast or faster than the average WTA serves I have seen on TV (excluding the big gals like serena, venus, maria, lindsey)

drakulie
01-09-2009, 09:38 AM
Nice serve. I would put in the 100 range.

Failed
01-09-2009, 09:40 AM
Sorry :oops: I didn't see that the compresser had default of 27fps in video so I did the math again and this time it gave me more "belivable" answers. The site asked for the cameras FPS though, which is 30 so inserted that but that compresser might affect the results, I assume. :( The 112 sounded too good to be true. Anyway so here are the new values.

Initial Speed 105.24mph
Final Speed 76.09mph
Avg Speed until bounce 89.1mph

Would this be good enough of an evidence to get me into the +100mph club ;P

01-09-2009, 09:44 AM
^^ I officially put that serve at 99.9 mph :)

work on it for a couple of months more and then post another video for entry to the 100 mph club :)

drakulie
01-09-2009, 09:45 AM
If my camera fps is 30 then my initial serve speed is ~112mph there and Did the frame rate thingy and double checked. Still gonna make sure the frame rate is really 30.

First frame (http://img407.imageshack.us/my.php?image=firstframejq1.jpg)
Second frame (http://img91.imageshack.us/my.php?image=secondframebs9.jpg)

Difference between frames: 13

Distance traveled in air: 60.5(didn't serve straight from the middle and the ball doesn't go straight to the T so 60.5 sounds reasonable)

This gives me these numbers

Initial Speed 112.44 mph
Final Speed 81.3 mph
Avg Speed until bounce 95.19 mph

I can upload the not so compressed video if someone wants.

Thanks for the link JRod!

couple problems with this. From the photo you provided and video, you don't know where exactly (which frame) you made contact with the ball, because the ball and your frame are out of the recording area. Secondly, did your toss go into the court, or do yuo toss directly over the baseline??? If your toss goes into the court, then the distance traveled would be less.

The formula provided by Mike/Maverick is very good and reliable. however, there is typically "pilot error". In other words, calculating the correct distance, and makinig sure the number of frames that go by from contact to landing are correct. In your case, you won't be able to know, becuase the contact point is not recorded (visible).

jrod
01-09-2009, 09:47 AM
Sorry :D I didn't see the compresser had default of 27fps in video so I did the math again and this time it gave me more "belivable" answers. The site asked for the cameras FPS though, which is 30 so inserted that but that compresser might change something, I guess. >_< The 112 sounded too good to be true. Anyway so here are the new values.

Initial Speed 105.24mph
Final Speed 76.09mph
Avg Speed until bounce 89.1mph

:C Could this get me to the 100mph+ club?

I'd buy this assessment. With the 6 meter's behind the baseline and the ball height where it struck are pretty telling here. The camera perspective makes it very hard to judge the speed from viewing the video.

oh, I don't know what the requirements for this club are so I can't comment on that.

Failed
01-09-2009, 09:50 AM
couple problems with this. From the photo you provided and video, you don't know where exactly (which frame) you made contact with the ball, because the ball and your frame are out of the recording area. Secondly, did your toss go into the court, or do yuo toss directly over the baseline??? If your toss goes into the court, then the distance traveled would be less.

The formula provided by Mike/Maverick is very good and reliable. however, there is typically "pilot error". In other words, calculating the correct distance, and makinig sure the number of frames that go by from contact to landing are correct. In your case, you won't be able to know, becuase the contact point is not recorded (visible).

Actually the toss in front and the the height of the contact point undo each other.The fact that the serve is hit from a height of 8 or 9 feet increases the distance by 0.5 ft. But typically serves are struck a little inside the baseline, so you have to reduce by that distance. If your serve lands about a foot inside the service line, you have to estimate and subtract that distance as well. quote from the site.

This is how far my toss goes into the court... just realized I have to toss more in front :D

drakulie
01-09-2009, 09:54 AM
^^^still, you don't know when contact was made, so it is impossible to calculate, and don't know how high the contact point is.

jrod
01-09-2009, 10:00 AM
^^^still, you don't know when contact was made, so it is impossible to calculate, and don't know how high the contact point is.

Drak- The height we can reasonably estimate along with the contact point assuming the information given about his height is correct. These two variables typically cancel, but don't tend to strongly impact the result (+/- 6 inches variation).

The more important variable is where the ball lands as you've already pointed out (depth and relative displacement from centerline in opposing court). You are correct in stating that you need to estimate the time at which the ball makes contact with the court from the video and this is difficult to determine.

Failed
01-09-2009, 10:00 AM
^^^still, you don't know when contact was made, so it is impossible to calculate, and don't know how high the contact point is.

I just took the frame between the frames where the racket was still moving towards the ball and when the ball had barely left the racket. So the error could be 0.2 frames max to either direction, which means 2 mph more or less into the serve. The serve was in when I served it and landed on the center line. I can tell that by browsing the video in frame by frame mode.

drakulie
01-09-2009, 10:07 AM
Drak- The height we can reasonably estimate along with the contact point assuming the information given about his height is correct. These two variables typically cancel, but don't tend to strongly impact the result (+/- 6 inches variation).

The more important variable is where the ball lands as you've already pointed out (depth and relative displacement from centerline in opposing court). You are correct in stating that you need to estimate the time at which the ball makes contact with the court from the video and this is difficult to determine.

I understand what you are saying, and you bring up valid points, however, determining "WHICH FRAME" contact with the racquet is made, is just as important as determining which frame contact with the ground is made. This could be a swing of up to +/- 10 mph if not more.

"Guessing" is just that >>>> a "guess" (on both parts contact with frame and ground).

Like I said, it is impossible to determine the mph using the formula with this video. it could be 80 mph , it could be 100+ mph.

Still, a very good serve, and in my original post said in the 100 range.

drakulie
01-09-2009, 10:09 AM
I just took the frame between the frames where the racket was still moving towards the ball and when the ball had barely left the racket. So the error could be 0.2 frames max to either direction, which means 2 mph more or less into the serve.

Sorry, but this is a "wild guess" on your part. It could actually be 2 "whole" frames for all you know. A lot of time goes by from the time the racquet disappears in this video and then re-appears. which I would guess at more than ".2 frames".

jrod
01-09-2009, 10:11 AM
I understand what you are saying, and you bring up valid points, however, determining "WHICH FRAME" contact with the racquet is made, is just as important as determining which frame contact with the ground is made. This could be a swing of up to +/- 10 mph if not more.
...

Agree based on the video evidence provided. The contact time is ambiguous as well. It's definitely not possible to say with any certainty this serve exceeded the 100 mph mark.

Djokovicfan4life
01-09-2009, 10:41 AM
Haha, someone said his serve was 60-80 MPH! Looks like some people still haven't figured out the devilish tricks of the video camera. :)

That serve is definitely around the 100 MPH range.

Failed
01-09-2009, 10:50 AM
Well, it is bigger than 101.1mph because if we do the math with 14 frames the racket hasn't even hit the ball at at the first frame so it is at least 101mph

dennis10is
01-09-2009, 11:16 AM

I Just need a rough estimate. I am going to post another serving video next month so I can compare this serve to the newer one. And to the one who gave me the more your right foot behind your left foot by few inches to get more body turn, is this what yout meant?

That was a nice, easy motion, the ball had plenty of pop after the bounce. The placement was perfect.

So, if you can do this reliably during a match, in pressure situation, it doesn't matter how fast.

01-09-2009, 12:40 PM
It has to be 90+. The ball hit close to the mid point on the back wall. If that was a flat serve, it takes some heat to get it up there.

Noaler
01-09-2009, 01:45 PM
Dang, if that serve is around 80 mph then mine is around 100+ which surprises me.

Ballinbob
01-09-2009, 01:45 PM
hey guys, dont mean to be a thread hijacker here, but how fast do you think my serve is going (skip to 1:05 and see the serve at 1:10 in vid)? Once I saw this thread I figured I might as well post here instead of making a new one. And Failed, I'm going to guess around 95mph, but that's just a guess. and if you don't want my vid in here then i'll be glad to take it down. I just thought this would save thread space.

edit-failed you positioned your feet correctly and I can see the extra body rotation. I had the exact same problem and mike told me the same thing he told you. You've got it though. It helps doesn't it? Added alot of speed to my serve

wishsong
01-09-2009, 01:46 PM
Mid 80's? I have yet to reach that serve since I'm not so good >_> But since I love the slice serve, I guess that lowers the speed somewhat.

Noaler
01-09-2009, 01:50 PM
hey guys, dont mean to be a thread hijacker here, but how fast do you think my serve is going (skip to 1:05 and see the serve at 1:10 in vid)? Once I saw this thread I figured I might as well post here instead of making a new one. And Failed, I'm going to guess around 95mph, but that's just a guess. and if you don't want my vid in here then i'll be glad to take it down. I just thought this would save thread space.

around 100+ mph?

Ballinbob
01-09-2009, 03:42 PM
around 100+ mph?

Lol that would be sweet if it was. I think failed and I both have close serves so maybe somewhere in the 90s. I know its hard to tell with the vid and all though, so thanks for your guess

Noaler
01-09-2009, 03:55 PM
urs seemed a bit faster

Ballinbob
01-09-2009, 04:01 PM
I don't know to be honest. I'll just see what the others say

mikeler
01-09-2009, 04:05 PM
Failed, I think your serve is close to 100 MPH. I'd still like to see some more body turn into it. Bob, your serve is looking fantastic in that video. I'm guessing you are just under 110 MPH.

As for the foot placement, I was watching Lleyton Hewitt the other night and I think he is the best example of how to use your body to get the most power out of your serve. Keep in mind, at this point in the picture he has already slid his back foot up closer to his front foot.

He gets a great body turn which is of course helped by his foot placement. Also check out the knee bend. The head is already up and the extension of the toss arm all allows him to unleash his entire body into the ball. Notice how his back is almost to the return player much like Johnny Mac.

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0c1g47ld4W0L9/340x.jpg

LeeD
01-09-2009, 04:11 PM
BB, you know I said you have a good motion.
But you still seem to be swinging maybe only 60% of your possible swing speed.
Maybe it's good enough, but we're talking IMPROVING, not being happy with your serve as is.
When to hit the ball harder? If your normal first serve goes in, IN PRACTICE, more than 40%, you should UP the speed of your swing.
For matches, 60% is good, anything less is not good.
But for practice, you gotta practice what you CAN'T do, so seems to me, you should swing the rackethead faster.
Disregard if you want, I'm not getting any better, YOU are.

RoddickAce
01-09-2009, 04:18 PM
Sorry, but this is a "wild guess" on your part. It could actually be 2 "whole" frames for all you know. A lot of time goes by from the time the racquet disappears in this video and then re-appears. which I would guess at more than ".2 frames".

I had some troubles with my serve calculations too. I took a relatively slow second serve of mine, and I tried getting the #frames and calculating on the serve speed calculations site. It showed as 103.95 mph or something. Knowing that it was impossible, I took a first serve of mine and it ended up being the same thing (also impossible). So, some of those calculations aren't very reliable.

here are some of my old my serves: http://www.vimeo.com/2378765
I remember some poster telling me it was around high 70's to mid 80's. So from my video, I would estimate that your serve was around 100 mph? (I'm referring to failed btw)

Ballinbob
01-09-2009, 04:30 PM
So is it safe to say mine is 100mph+ or around there at least then? And failed take mike's advice, it really helped my serve.

And leed i'm working hard everyday, and im trying my best. Not sure what else I can do besides that. My next serve vid will be better for sure. I'm swinging as fast as I can believe it or not, maybe I just need to get stroner

01-09-2009, 04:32 PM
Lol that would be sweet if it was. I think failed and I both have close serves so maybe somewhere in the 90s. I know its hard to tell with the vid and all though, so thanks for your guess

Regardless of what people are saying, I think there is no way your serve is over 100mph. No offense, it is better than mine, but I'd say it probably maxes out mid 90s. Several of the your better serves near the end only went in because of the messed up white tapes, otherwise it would have been a let or white-tape fault. Still a very nice serve though; once again, probably high 80s to mid 90s.

Edit: Watched it again and payed closer attention to time between bounce and hitting the fence. I'd say it was actually closer to 90-100 range, I still don't believe it is over 100; but seeing as you are only 15, you almost certainly have the potential to have a great serve.

Ballinbob
01-09-2009, 04:42 PM
okay, thanks for your thoughts. No offense taken lol, not sure why I would. Just wanted some guesses/estimates. So you would say Failed and I are about the same speed?

edit-just watch the 2 serves that start at 1:08. The 2 serves after that time are my best in that whole vid

01-09-2009, 04:44 PM
okay, thanks for your thoughts. No offense taken lol, not sure why I would. Just wanted some guesses/estimates. So you would say Failed and I are about the same speed?

edit-just watch the 2 serves that start at 1:08. The 2 serves after that time are my best in that whole vid

Haha I just wanted to make sure you didn't think I didn't dissed your serve. I would say failed is a bit faster, but he only showed one serve, and you showed alot and seemed fairly consistent. It may be his is slightly faster but not as consistent.

Noaler
01-09-2009, 04:49 PM
Haha I just wanted to make sure you didn't think I didn't dissed your serve. I would say failed is a bit faster, but he only showed one serve, and you showed alot and seemed fairly consistent. It may be his is slightly faster but not as consistent.

i was thinking the opposite hehe

Ballinbob
01-09-2009, 04:50 PM
alright, I guess that's fair. This isn't really a contest to see which is faster, its more of a curiosity thing (just wanted to make clear to everyone). I thought I was around the same speed so I thought I'd post.

Any more opinions on this?

edit-noaler, to be honest I was thinking the opposite as well:)

Noaler
01-09-2009, 04:53 PM
I'm trying to angle the serve into the corner now since I just improved my accuracy for first serve. Plus, about 3/4's the players I play now can return my first serve almost every time. Or getting the serve down the T

01-09-2009, 04:59 PM
I am not disagreeing. I am just saying by him only showing one serve we cannot know how consistent he is.

Ballinbob
01-09-2009, 05:01 PM
I'm pretty sure he's more consistent. Heres an older vid, but shows consistency. What makes you think he serves faster though? Where the ball lands on fence/sound or is that just what you think?

mikeler
01-09-2009, 05:21 PM
I am judging Bob by the end of his videos. The beginning is too dark. I'd like to see more serves from Failed over on the returners side. That is an easier way to judge speed for me. I've played guys that serve over 130 MPH, so I think I can judge within plus or minus 10 MPH. If it is really that important, then get a radar gun.

In any case, I suggest that you both focus more on placement. Serve speed is only good if you hit it at the right spot. Federer almost always has more aces than Roddick when they play even though he cannot serve as fast.

Ballinbob
01-09-2009, 06:12 PM
nah mike its not really that important, but out of curiosity I wanted to know. I think both of us were just curious and its nothing more than that. Your right though, serve placement is key to having a good serve. Fed shows you dont need speed to have a good serve. I can place slower spin serves better than my flat one, and in fact those serves may be more effective then my hard flat. Well I have a range at least now which is all I wanted, so thanks guys. Once the weather warms up here i'll be posting more vids, but until then.

Noaler
01-09-2009, 06:16 PM
Rly?? I personally think that my first serve is easily to place than my spin serve.

Ballinbob
01-09-2009, 06:20 PM
I find spin serves easier to place because the spin carries them the direction I want. I feel that the spin helps with placement. Like when serving out wide, if you slice the spin takes the ball in that direction so that's less work for you.

See what I mean

Noaler
01-09-2009, 06:32 PM
true dat, actually, i don't think i ever tried placement for 2nd serve

BetterTen
01-09-2009, 07:44 PM
yeh, sure, if spin is well done and "controlled", it is hard (impossible for me!) to return.

BetterTen
01-09-2009, 07:51 PM
some making it sound like "serve speed" is all that you need be a good tennis player. is it?? How important is the speed/power of the serve in the overall scheme of things?

BetterTen
01-09-2009, 07:53 PM
_same post, with small corrections, sorry!_
Some are making it sound like "serve speed" is all that you need to be a good tennis player. Is this true?? How important is the speed/power of the serve in the overall scheme of the game?

Failed
01-09-2009, 11:54 PM
_same post, with small corrections, sorry!_
Some are making it sound like "serve speed" is all that you need to be a good tennis player. Is this true?? How important is the speed/power of the serve in the overall scheme of the game?

Well... the serve is really the most important shot in tennis aside with the return. These are usually the least practised shots as well. The more powerful the serve, the better. Of course placement is a vital importance as well but without the sufficent power you won't really be able to do anything even with a well placed serve.

Rickson
01-10-2009, 12:04 AM
It looks about 60.

mikeler
01-10-2009, 04:08 AM
I also find it easier to place my slice or kick serves versus my flat serve.