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Sovereignty
02-06-2009, 07:23 PM
Hey guys, I was wondering if I can get some constructive criticism on my serve? This is a short clip of my practicing earlier tonight, and they are all flat serves. I feel more than confident on my kick/slice serves. However, my flat serves can use a little tweaking, thanks guys.

http://vimeo.com/3115045

Mada
02-06-2009, 07:30 PM
I'm sleepy so I couldn't focus well, but I don't believe any of your serves went in. Other than that your motion looks pretty good, watch your back foot though, it got close to crossing the line a few times and did on 1 of your serves.

Edit: Sloppy typing.

Sovereignty
02-06-2009, 07:32 PM
Ya, the first and last serves from the view from right behind me were out by a couple of inches. I know the third and fourth though were in. Im more worried about form, transferring of weight, ball toss, etc. Thanks though!

sukivan
02-06-2009, 08:08 PM
dont have a lot of time here, but...
its clear from the video that you are intentionally snapping your wrist. focus more on full extension (upwards) and less on getting power from your forearm. overall though, not a horrible motion.

Joe Average
02-06-2009, 08:41 PM
The toss seems a bit off to me. If you let the ball drop, it would probably hit the baseline, if not a just behind it. With a flat serve, you want a toss that will drop inside the baseline ... anywhere from six inches to a foot and a half. As it stands, the toss seems to be crowding you a little, and you seem to be pushing the ball rather than driving through it. Otherwise I like your motion.

Djokovicfan4life
02-06-2009, 08:52 PM
I'm sleepy so I couldn't focus well, but I don't believe any of your serves went in.

Exactly. Remember that he's looking for advice on "technique" here. Let me ask you this, if you had to choose between: sucking for a little while developing a technique that you'll use for the rest of your life and starting "lost to a pusher" threads for the rest of your life, which would you choose?

There is too much focus on the short term result in tennis. Just some advice, mind you: learn to focus on the big picture.

Couple things I noticed on your serve:

1. Major hitch in the tossing motion that is killing your rhythm and timing. Use this as a reference point, with the arms rising and falling together as a unit. Make sure that the tossing arm is parellel to the baseline before your initial movement up and into the court.

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

2. No real weight transfer into your serve. This is why sukivan gave you that comment about the intentional wrist snap. You're essentially forcing yourself to when nothing else is contributing to your power. Study this video and practice it once you think you understand the concept. Look to the big man for an example of the importance of relaxation and weight transfer in the serve.

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

3. You seem to leave your tossing arm up long enough, yet the way you choose to do it is way off in the sense that it's facing toward the right slightly. Look to extend it straight up towards the sky. This will help you with the above concept of leading with the hip.

http://z.about.com/d/tennis/1/5/N/E/05.jpg

tennisdad65
02-06-2009, 08:59 PM
Flat? unless I am drunk (btw... I've had a few cups of wine so far) that looks like a pretty good topspin-flat hybrid serve to me... :)
1) The toss is at the baseline
2) The toss is directly over your head at 12
3) your swing path is about 30 degrees from the ball path. i.e. not flat..

halalula1234
02-07-2009, 02:31 AM
Delicious .!

LeeD
02-07-2009, 07:45 AM
Tighten up!
You're too loosy goosey flailing and moving in all directions.
A flat first serve has very little margin for error. With all your looseness, you have several areas of your technique that can change from serve to serve.
Your basic service motion is excellent for your level. The only way to achieve a more practiced, more consistent, and more exact motion is by hitting thousands of serves every MONTH. After like 2 years, it comes together somehow.
Even the top pros only get in 65% of their first serves in tournaments. They are always striving for better pace, placement, and deception, so it's a long, endless road to hoe.
Watch some vids of 20 pro mens tennis player serves. Notice there are 15 different motions, and most actually work!

Sovereignty
02-07-2009, 07:46 AM
So from what I have read, through the ball more into the court, and use more of my arm motion other than just focusing on my forearm? Just a heads up, when I play singles/doubles I use a lot of slice/kick serves. They dont go as fast, obviously, but they are the serves that I am the most comfortable with right now. And on the serves being out, I was doing the video for the 100+ mph club, so I guess I wasn't focusing on getting them in to much :)

LeeD
02-07-2009, 07:49 AM
Yeah, toss about 18" into the court.
Flat serves CAN be tossed over the head, but usually off to the right for righthanders.
Every first serve contest I went to (3), they only count the serves IN the service box, and give you less than 7 total, so you gotta get them in to count.

Djokovicfan4life
02-07-2009, 07:50 AM
Tighten up!


No. The reason his ball tossing motion, take-back, etc. are off is because he hasn't developed the proper technique as of now. No pro "tightens up" on their serve. NONE.

What they HAVE done is develop a repeatable swing path that is natural to them because they've practiced it, on and off the court. This enables them to stay loose and still maintain the same technique every time; through the power of motor engrams.

LeeD
02-07-2009, 07:52 AM
No, not tighten up as in tense the muscles!
Tighten up as in replicate a consistent, exactly the same motion.
OP looks like he's made of jello, everything moving in all directions.
A server is completely relaxed, but his motion is tight, replicable, exact.
His muscles should be relaxed.

Sovereignty
02-07-2009, 07:53 AM
No. The reason his ball tossing motion, take-back, etc. are off is because he hasn't developed the proper technique as of now. No pro "tightens up" on their serve. NONE.


Yep, I still have a while to get my flat serve where it needs to be. Great advice from your previous post Djokovicfan.

sonicboi21
02-07-2009, 07:54 AM
your preparation is horrible.
you're not fully extending enough.. noneof those serves were actualy flat. most of them had some slice or topspin.
you're not snapping your wrist enough.
you jus plain suck

Djokovicfan4life
02-07-2009, 07:57 AM
Yep, I still have a while to get my flat serve where it needs to be. Great advice from your previous post Djokovicfan.

Remember, Karlovic is a GREAT example of flawless service technique. Of course, Djokovic is excellent as well, but Karlovic DOES serve 140 MPH, so..................

LeeD
02-07-2009, 07:58 AM
Oh C'mon, let's be fair....
Most tennis players, to develop a somewhat reliable and usable FIRST FLAT serve, take over 3 years of practice before it can RELIABLY used in a tournament match.
OP is just starting hitting the first one flat. He'll get it, and probably much sooner than his third year.

Djokovicfan4life
02-07-2009, 08:04 AM
your preparation is horrible.
you're not fully extending enough.. noneof those serves were actualy flat. most of them had some slice or topspin.
you're not snapping your wrist enough.
you jus plain suck
Do not feed. Phazers on stun.

*Important*

Sovereignty
02-07-2009, 08:31 AM
Ya, when I go out and hit today I will work more on snapping my wrist when making contact and a ball toss that is located more in the court.

Djokovicfan4life
02-07-2009, 08:35 AM
Ya, when I go out and hit today I will work more on snapping my wrist when making contact and a ball toss that is located more in the court.

Care to elaborate on what you mean by wrist snap? Send me an email if you prefer. Located under my user name, of course.

Sovereignty
02-07-2009, 08:46 AM
What I mean is when I make contact I am putting a downward motion on the ball, but not to add spin.

Djokovicfan4life
02-07-2009, 08:50 AM
Oh C'mon, let's be fair....
Most tennis players, to develop a somewhat reliable and usable FIRST FLAT serve, take over 3 years of practice before it can RELIABLY used in a tournament match.
OP is just starting hitting the first one flat. He'll get it, and probably much sooner than his third year.
False. Consider this: 300 repetitions to create muscle memory, 21 days to develop a habit, etc. 50 reps/day for 6 days = muscle memory. Prove me wrong, I encourage it.

You can also ask Heath Waters yourself if you so choose. http://virtualtennisacademy.com

LeeD
02-07-2009, 10:08 AM
You are wrong.
Proof ?
Anyone dumb enough to make such a blanket statement is wrong on some other things in life too.
Wrong.
Everyone learns differently. Everyone's muscle memory is different.
Blanket statements are wrong as often as they're right.

zapvor
02-07-2009, 04:34 PM
the motion looks pretty good to me actually. you look very relaxed, not tightening up. and you wait for the ball, no rushing. i dont see any blaring mistakes at all. good enough for now.

Ambivalent
02-07-2009, 11:22 PM
Those serves aren't flat.