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View Full Version : Taking my serve to the next level...


Bilbo
07-14-2009, 07:18 AM
Well, i kno wat u guys who r reading this r thinking when i say i want to serve with more pace... "well dont we all". However, ive been serving 150 balls a day for the past week and a half. I understand that in just a week there's no way that my service speed will increase that dramatically. However, ive already gotten a lot more consistent by employing this training tactic.

So, my real question is, will my serve naturally gain pace the more i hit it... or is there something else i need to do in concordance with hitting the 150 serves a day?

LeeD
07-14-2009, 07:28 AM
You need the "something else"...
That can be good instruction, video view, or a bud watching and critiqueing you who knows what a good serve looks like.
Maybe try watching the serves of many of the top pros. Those vids are readily availible. Try to come close to emulating one who's about your physical size and strength. Don't copy Karlovic if you're 5'7" tall. Don't copy Hewitt if you're 6'5" tall.
Emulate, not copy. You are an individual, and as such, need to employ some of your own techniques. But you need a correct basis to start with, and what can be better than looking at vids of top pros YOUR size and build, then work on their service motion, maybe adding your own spices ......
Post vid. Or look at your vid.

tennisdad65
07-14-2009, 07:31 AM
1) Do not injure yourself serving. achilles, knees, back, shoulder, elbow, wrist.. most common injuries being the back and shoulder.
2) If you are putting more effort into the serve to get the speed up, you are doing it wrong.
3) Make sure to get both pace and spin. 120 mph with very low rpm will probably get you a 20-25% first serve percentage.
4) Practice your motion in the garage / back yard
5) It will take you 2-3 years to develop decent 5.0 level serves. (Flat-slice , twist, topspin, topspin-slice).
6) What type of serves you should learn/hit depends on your height.. how tall are you?

Bilbo
07-14-2009, 08:59 AM
thx guys. ive already taken the "emulate the pros" thing into consideration, and ive put it into play. im 16 years old, 5'8" tall and weigh 132 pounds. I found this great thing online where ivan ljubicic's serve is broken down step by step. And, as such, ive based my motion off of goran ivanisevic's (ljubicic's serice motion is also based on goran's). Here's the link to the website i used. Alright guys, lets keep the suggestions and responses coming. Thx again!

http://www.tennisone.com/club/lessons/jm/ljubicic/toss.php

tennisdad65
07-14-2009, 09:47 AM
5-8 at 16 yrs. you could grow to 5-10, maybe if you are lucky.. 6-0?
I would not copy goran or ljubicic's serves. They are both 6-4+ ?

Look at:
Federer (6-1) if you want to go the twist route
Nadal (6-1) if you want to go the topspin route
Ferrer (5-10) ..if you want to go pinpoint..
Rochus at 5-5 to 5-6 probably has the best serve in the game .. inch for inch.. :)

BU-Tennis
07-14-2009, 09:54 AM
2) If you are putting more effort into the serve to get the speed up, you are doing it wrong.


What?! I mean, sure, we all have heard and understand that proper form is more important than muscling the ball. But I can hit a serve with proper form and the ball only go 60 mph. Just ask the pros if they put more effort in or not. You can see this during warm up. They use proper form, and I would say this is as proper as it gets, however they aren't swinging as fast as they would in the actual match. It was either becker or bjorg that would start serving a match slower but slowly crank the speed up over the first game until they were into match mode.

So while proper form is needed, you also have to understand that to hit harder you have to engage your muscles more and swing faster. But be careful to not arm the ball, but that you are increasing the right parts of the motion in the correct proportions.

LeeD
07-14-2009, 10:47 AM
I'd listen to TennisDad's advice.... forget Lubs and all the big tall guys.
You are not tall, will prolly never be tall, so choose to emulate guys your own size for technique, placement, strategy, and style.
I like Hewitt's. But all the other's mentioned are excellent examples of how a 5'10" player serves, strategizes, places, and thinks during his serves.

Bilbo
07-14-2009, 11:27 AM
first of all, id like to say thank u to everyone who have shared their opinions with me. They are all much appreciated...

The website that i previously posted breaks down ljubicic's, tanner's (who was 5'11") and ivanisevic's service motions. What do they all have in common? They all use low tosses, in other words: they a) toss into their swing (instead of swing at their toss like most players) and they b) release the ball when their arm is at the height of the toss (trophy pose). The motion may vary but all three of the great servers that i previously mentioned have these two key points in common. If ud like to visit the website, ill post it again below:

http://www.tennisone.com/club/lessons/jm/ljubicic/toss.php

burosky
07-14-2009, 01:52 PM
So, my real question is, will my serve naturally gain pace the more i hit it... or is there something else i need to do in concordance with hitting the 150 serves a day?

You probably have heard the adage "Practice makes Perfect" that's why you are hitting that many serves a day. This adage only works if you are practicing the right techniques and mechanics. Otherwise, you are just reinforcing bad habits.

witit
07-14-2009, 04:19 PM
Videotape yourself then compare to the pro's. You'll see and learn a lot. And yeah, practice hard with wrong technique doesn't really help. I learned it the hard way. I used to go out and serve 200-300 balls a day as well. Not until I started videotaping myself and saw that so many things were wrong.

The pace will come once you get the motion and technique right. Took me 2 years to get it "about" right. I will start with a correct grip, correct & consistent toss first. Then being loose, racquet drop, pronation, follow through then add leg drive and so on.

A challenge is also can you serve like when you practice during a real match. Took me a long while to overcome the pressure when every point counts.

witit
07-14-2009, 04:26 PM
Read, watch, memorize and try to copy this,

http://tennis.com/yourgame/instructionarticles/visuals/visuals.aspx?id=109012

The best serve in tennis IMHO.