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NotAtTheNet
01-22-2009, 10:18 AM
Hey Guys, I had a question about my serve. It's always been a work in progress, but usually I'm able to get decent pace, and recently about average After making contact I tend to follow through to the right side of my body (I'm right handed).

http://mtbucket.com/followthru.jpg

Shouldn't I be following through to my left side (across my body)? I'm watching myself on video and basically after the wrist snap, it just looks like my arm drops straight down.

Heres a video (you might want to fast forward to the 2:50 mark for the flat serves bc the beginning of the video is my poor attempts at kick and slice serves)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7FLRRfwY3c

Is my follow through technique something I should really focus on fixing? Been making a conscious effort to drop my right elbow more for more power in the trophy position and adding some more knee bend. Let me know if adjusting my follow through should be another.

I get decent power I think(I can pull a few aces against the 3.5-4.0's, I've been playing against) and my %'s have been much better with practice (hovering around 50-60% on 1st serves).

i've been working pretty hard the past year to become a decent player. all helpful information would be greatly appreciated. thank you in advance.

lawlaw
01-22-2009, 10:33 AM
In all honesty, you look VERY tense when you are serving and you are not allowing your follow-thru to finish its natural path.

The key to the serve (as it is in ANY sport) is relaxing your muscles. Look at the top sprinters, their facial muscles are completely relaxed when they are running sub-10 second 100 metres. If the face tightens, the rest of the body will follow and contracted muscles do not give you anywhere near the same range of movement and power.

Here is a clip of me warming up some serves with my coach. My body is ALWAYS relaxed on the serve. I push up towards the ball, I really go after, don't drop my ball toss arm until the racquet is coming through and leave the arm finish its natural swing. If any muscle group tightens, the rest will follow and the serve will be ineffective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9ZIzgC363Y

*Forgive the cursing, the sweat was going in my eyes on the throw up :D

LeeD
01-22-2009, 10:44 AM
NATN....
You follow thru on the hitting side because you are hitting a kick serve, brushing upwards with the racket. And for a twist, you always try to follow thru on the hitting side (can't tell by your vid).
For your flat, top, and slice serves, do as LawMan does and follow thru to the opposite side.
For all you other youngsters trying to get the serve motion...... Look at LawLaws's motion, but more important, try to track his rackethead during his swings.
THAT IS HOW FAST TO SWING A TENNIS RACKET ON A SERVE !!!!!!!!

lawlaw
01-22-2009, 11:07 AM
To add, to keep the arm fast get yourself a heavy-duty elastic cord and stay away from heavy weights. I have the advantage having a very flexible upper body but training the muscles and tendons to cope with moving at that speed over and over again is advised.

For one of the most fluid motions, see Stich.

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

LeeD
01-22-2009, 11:35 AM
Not saying Stich is not a great player, he is...
But I never copied Stich's serve until now that I'm a couple weeks shy of 60.
I'm more athletic, waaaaaaay less good, and need a motion that suits my style of hitting, rather than the mechanical motion of Stich's.
I used to consider Kraijeck's (spelling) serve, but at under 6', maybe better to consider someone closer to my size and build.
Them two monsters are 6'4"+ and 6'5"+.
I hated Hewitt's motion, too much movement for not much gain.
I hated Connors and McEnroes...too little ball speed
I couldn't keep up with Tanners...he's too big and strong.
Liked PeterKorda's, but he's like 6'3" or taller.
So I just serve poorly all by my own motion, never having it grooved or settled, and everyone who can't return my serve giving me suggestions to improve my motion for power and consistency.
Of course, I listen to no one, and have the same wild serve as ever. Thank you.

NotAtTheNet
01-22-2009, 11:57 AM
In all honesty, you look VERY tense when you are serving and you are not allowing your follow-thru to finish its natural path.

The key to the serve (as it is in ANY sport) is relaxing your muscles. Look at the top sprinters, their facial muscles are completely relaxed when they are running sub-10 second 100 metres. If the face tightens, the rest of the body will follow and contracted muscles do not give you anywhere near the same range of movement and power.

Here is a clip of me warming up some serves with my coach. My body is ALWAYS relaxed on the serve. I push up towards the ball, I really go after, don't drop my ball toss arm until the racquet is coming through and leave the arm finish its natural swing. If any muscle group tightens, the rest will follow and the serve will be ineffective.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9ZIzgC363Y

*Forgive the cursing, the sweat was going in my eyes on the throw up :D

Wow Law, I would love to be able to serve like that. you have some incredible technique. I guess I am pretty tensed up, but I guess that's bound to happen when you're really focusing on a hundred different things to keep in mind on a motion like the serve. I'll try loosening up a bit more and let it flow. My serve has been a very very problematic portion for my game for a long time, only recently have I been able to not allow it to hinder my game. but i'm always trying to improve so i'll take the recommendations to the court with me.

NATN....
You follow thru on the hitting side because you are hitting a kick serve, brushing upwards with the racket. And for a twist, you always try to follow thru on the hitting side (can't tell by your vid).
For your flat, top, and slice serves, do as LawMan does and follow thru to the opposite side.
For all you other youngsters trying to get the serve motion...... Look at LawLaws's motion, but more important, try to track his rackethead during his swings.
THAT IS HOW FAST TO SWING A TENNIS RACKET ON A SERVE !!!!!!!!

Thanks LeeD. the few group classes i took for tennis as a kid, i must of been consistently absent on the serve days, bc all i ever learned from my teacher was fh and bh. I'll try following thru to my opposite side. It'll take some getting used to but I should have proper form.

lawlaw
01-22-2009, 12:19 PM
Think of everything BEFORE you step up to the baseline. You don't think about the mechanics of walking when you walk down the street do you? The serve should be the same. It is the ONLY moment on the tennis court when you have complete control.

The serve can be as simple or as complicated as you mentally allow it to be.

NotAtTheNet
01-22-2009, 04:52 PM
Think of everything BEFORE you step up to the baseline. You don't think about the mechanics of walking when you walk down the street do you? The serve should be the same. It is the ONLY moment on the tennis court when you have complete control.

The serve can be as simple or as complicated as you mentally allow it to be.

Damn Law, saw some of your vids on youtube, sick sick sick. I'll be looking for your name on the draws of the grand slams soon enough... Thanks for the advice, I don't think I can give up on the weights, but I'll definitely try alternating some bands work into my routine and maybe some dynamic stretching to limber me up.

lawlaw
01-22-2009, 05:16 PM
The ship for playing slams has sailed for me I'm afraid. Although any true athlete will tell you they can always compete regardless, playing as a full-time pro requires more time and mental energy than I have to spare. Unfortunately. I will play some events this year and if it goes well grab enough points to keep my face in the mix and play high level tennis.

Look into the elastics, that a skipping rope and some good sprint and footwork drills will get you and keep you lethal on court.

Mansewerz
01-22-2009, 05:25 PM
I believe spin and kick serves should be followed through to the right side, flatter and I think slices should be followed through across the body to the left.

LeeD
01-22-2009, 05:26 PM
Glad you can embrace time and reality.
You've got great strokes, movement, and attitude.
Hope the best for you and your following endeavors.

TNEU91
01-22-2009, 05:27 PM
The ship for playing slams has sailed for me I'm afraid. Although any true athlete will tell you they can always compete regardless, playing as a full-time pro requires more time and mental energy than I have to spare. Unfortunately. I will play some events this year and if it goes well grab enough points to keep my face in the mix and play high level tennis.

Look into the elastics, that a skipping rope and some good sprint and footwork drills will get you and keep you lethal on court.

Your a monster nuff said. Hopefully you stick around these forums to give some advice from time to time.

lawlaw
01-22-2009, 05:46 PM
Cheers guys. I will give advice on whatever I can and join in with the discussions as I am sitting in front of a screen the majority of the day.

I have a little project I am working on which is another reason I stopped touring. If everything goes well, it will allow me to compete as and when I please AND, more importantly for me, help out some guys in various contries that are not in financial position to train/compete.

There are very few (if any) sports that take you to so many places around the world and let you experience so many different situations with so many different people. You cannot learn what you learn on tour at home. The amount of mental and physical effort spent before you walk on to a tournament court in another country is incredible when you think about the various things required.

Going through all of this and most importantly learning from it is why I firmly believe that playing on tour is one of the best things you could ever do in life.

Enough rambling, I will actually begin to practice again today. I am not currently located in a country with motivated, willing athletes so it is a little tough to get people out on court. Getting out on court for an hour for a hit when you are conditioned for at least hours of hard work is too depressing to contemplate.

I will try to post some videos of some points, training and strokes this week. Bloopers and all, I am sure there will be quite a few this week. The local stringer will be happy I'm back to practicing ;)

lawlaw
01-22-2009, 05:47 PM
..ignore the spelling. It's 11am here and I've been up all night. Also trying to sneak the odd post in to get to 50!

LeeD
01-22-2009, 05:49 PM
Ditto post 11....

lawlaw
01-22-2009, 08:13 PM
I posted this elsewhere but this might help with your serve.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h1Ndiwmbno