View Full Version : Help with my serve, please.

07-12-2009, 11:13 AM
I am a self taught player, that has been really getting into tennis the past 2 years. I saw people helping each other out here for videos so I though I would seek help on my serve first. I can't get any lessons where I live...actually I can't find many people to play against that are decent :(.

Here are some shots of me serving, it is the weakest part of my game since I have only recently been able to start serving in the past year, constant shoulder issues and I have only practiced it a few times. My power is a little bit less on these since going through another shoulder issue, and not serving a flat bomb; Looks like they go so slow in the video.

So help and criticize please.

Video 1
Video 2 - sideways...can't get it to rotate?!

07-12-2009, 11:56 AM
You need some knee bends for sure. You also seem to rush through your serves, too. Slow down a little bit.

Don't see why you had to put the second video in there when it doesn't look much different than the first. Don't bother posting if you can't rotate it.

07-12-2009, 12:02 PM

I do think I am using all arms and abs, and not bending and rotating as I should. Any tips to work on knee bending?

In hindsight I had no idea I was going that fast through them, the power of a mirror I guess. Will take more time.

I had no idea if the second video would show something different, only reason it is there.

07-12-2009, 01:03 PM
I saw you had a couple of posts on another serve thread by Blank. In that thread, LeeD has some excellent advice about slowing down, and even stopping momentarily after the preparation and before the serve motion. I think if you follow this advice and consciously think about making sure to do the knee bend as soon as you start the toss, and jump into the ball after the knee bend, it'll help a lot.

For a guy who's self taught, I think your serve is starting out in the right direction and is not bad.

07-12-2009, 03:10 PM
Thank you for the help and words. I will look at what LeeD says. When my serve is consistent, it gets me a lot of points against players who don't handle pace well.

Thanks :)

07-12-2009, 03:38 PM
Yes, I notice the pace on your serve just from muscling your arm. The knee bend should give it even more pace.

07-12-2009, 04:03 PM
yeah and probably the shoulder pain I get with it as well :-\ I have noticed in the past little while I seem to be using more of my arm and less of the rest of my body. I had gotten away from that before I broke my foot, but it has been creeping back in.

I am going to the States soon and am gonna get some lessons from someone for issues like this...and the others I have. :)

Really love how people post here for tips, great avenue for help and guidance.

thanks again

07-12-2009, 07:10 PM
I am a movement educator and analyst by trade,and I can see some problems with the lack of integration of your arm/shoulder with the rest of your body. I am guessing that your shoulder blade and all the muscles around it are not very mobile at all. Start thinking of a shoulder as the entire upper quarter of your torso. I would gladly talk to you privately about some exercises and things you can do,but start with any movement practice that gets you moving your shoulder blades. Stand upright and practice small and SLOW shoulder circles that involve the whole torso. Slow will allow you the time to sense what is happening and begin to get better control of the area. Dont force it, learn it. There are plenty of things you could do but they are not easy to explain by typing. Email me if you like jonaron29@gmail.com

07-12-2009, 07:56 PM
By the way, don't know if you already know about fuzzyyellowballs.com or not. But since you said you can't get lessons where you live, this website is a good source for people who want to learn but can't get live coaching.

07-12-2009, 09:13 PM
you have some major issues on your serve which stems from a lack of rotation of your torso. You are contacting the ball with your arm behind the the ball with your elbow trailing. You need to learn to lead with the elbow in more of a throwing motion. You have a very short follow thru which would also be straining the shoulder by slowing the racquet down over a shorter swing, if you extended further through contact you would have a longer swing and more room to slow the racquet down with less impingement on the shoulder

07-12-2009, 09:22 PM
You need to hit the ball when it is higher. Don't let it fall so much. I agree with everyone else on the knee bend too.

07-13-2009, 08:04 AM
Thanks for the replies.

jonaron - interesting you say that, I have dislocated my shoulder 8-10 times and one of the reasons is because of my range of motion. My chest pulls my shoulders forward so much a large motion backwards with my arms starts a subluxing. My range of motion has improved though. Coincidently I have started the old exercise of shoulder circles!! Thank you for the offer, I will probably send an email.

Solat - thanks, I think I see what you mean, more of a throwing motion. For the follow through, do I want the racquet to come more to my side? On video 1, the second serve I do at 5 sec I think I have more of a follow through, is that what you are talking about?

brado- Yeah, I think if I bend my knees more and come up into the ball that would help. ? I also thought that the faster the ball drops the more downward inertia the ball would have.

07-13-2009, 08:14 AM
ptr guy here, heard "self taught" and was ready to wince. Good motion though. You need to jump up into the ball not just forward though. You need to change to a backhand grip. You need to let the racquet drop behind your head. Use a less powerful racquet for your level, it will save your forearm. Watch Aggasi serve, the way he exagerrates the knee bend, would be good for you in many ways.

07-13-2009, 08:29 AM
What is ptr?

What does change to a backhand grip mean exactly?

when you say powerful do you mean, get a lighter racquet?

I will look up Agassi's serve.

Thank you :)

07-13-2009, 04:38 PM
I did some serving today and worked on bending my knee....what a difference! I still need to get use to it, but a very big improvement, and takes way less arm power.

I just need to get my grips correct for the type of serves I am going to do.

07-13-2009, 06:37 PM
3 things I have to offer after seeing the video and reading the post

1. Slooooooooooooooooooow down. Seriously, you're whipping through that motion so fast I didn't even realize you hit the ball until I heard it. Slow it down, set up where you want to hit it, then slowly unwind and attack the ball. You're wasting a lot of energy by just rushing through the stroke. Get your legs into it, and you'll have a monster on your hands. Also, I highly recommend hiring a coach. Nothing helps more than another set of eyes on a person who knows what they're talking about.

2. Don't worry about changing your grips as you shouldn't need to. Continental grip is the only grip you need to be using. I can understand shifting slightly towards an eastern backhand grip as it will give you a bit more spin, but all serves really should be hit with the continental.

3. Practice your ball toss. That thing goes up high, then you hit it when it's well on its way down. Work on placing the ball in the air to hit it, not tossing it up and hitting it while it's in the air. It works, and allows you to be more consistent. I'm working on this myself.

07-14-2009, 06:32 AM

I made a big effort yesterday to bend my knees, twist more and slowed down, any more changes then that and it was overload. All helped a tremendous amount, I noticed, I need to throw the ball higher with the knee bend and twist, else I am too hurried. I hope to get some video up over the weekend, because I think it is much improved...in some area. Obviously still needs a lot of work, and help from you guys. As good as it was, I double faulted the most I have in a long time, but it I think that will be easily gone after a few matches. I also had more Aces then I usually average, so the good and the bad.

When I fly into the States next week, West Palm beach FLA, I am going to do my best to get a coach/lessons.

07-15-2009, 08:32 AM
I messed with my grip today, and noticed, for my second serve, if I go more eastern bh then I have a loopy second serve that seems to go "in" pretty easily. It seems to add a top spin effect, a little bit.

07-15-2009, 04:28 PM
Interesting about your experiment with the eastern backhand on second serve. I might try it myself to see how it works for me. I'm glad to hear that the suggestions help.

07-15-2009, 04:46 PM
I shift half a bevel towards eastern backhand for my second serves all the time. Gives you a bit more kick off the ground.

07-15-2009, 05:18 PM
Coincidently, I was reading in Tennis mag, and they showed Djokovic's serve and said how he was going towards an eastern bh for his kicker.