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Falloutjr
10-18-2009, 06:58 AM
Yeah guys I'm trying to get as good as I can over the enxt couple months while I shop myself out to colleges and I was wondering if you could give me advice on how to hit a power topspin serve because I need to get my pct up I hit straight power serves now. They're quality serves but the pct is horrendous between me being relatively shots (6 feet tall) making the ball hit the tape 30% of the time, being straight, and having lots of backspin which makes the ball carry about 2-3 feet long 50% of the time. Thank you!

Falloutjr
10-18-2009, 06:59 AM
next*, short*

ayuname
10-18-2009, 07:49 AM
6 feet tall isn't short at all.

I can't tell you much but try to make your contact point higher. You're tall already so you shouldn't have to jump much.

Falloutjr
10-18-2009, 09:01 AM
Hitting the ball high is uncomfortable for me, though. I try it and it doesn't really seem to make my serve any better I'm working on tossing the ball more in front of me more. Plus hitting balls very far over my head is one weak point in my game. Like smashing, I have a very poor smash I have to wait for the ball to come back down to about 7-8 feet before I can smash it effectively. So that's something I'll have to work on I mean I still have 2 and a half years before I really get thrown into the fire (I'm a senior this year so I have my final season this spring and then I start college, but I'm gonna redshirt my freshman year) so I think I have time to develop a quality serve, overhead, and volley skills.

Bagumbawalla
10-18-2009, 09:09 AM
"Power Topspin serve" sounds to me like one of those terms- like deafening silence (whatever you call them) that are the combination of two opposites.

In a conventional topspin serve the idea is to get a high arc over the net- resulting in a high (awkward) bounce to the receiver. Much of the forward speed is converted to spin. This shot is useful as a second serve or in doubles where you have someone guarding the net.

More useful shots to replace your "straight" first serve would be a kick or a slice- which are easier to hit with power/speed and giving you some clearance above the net.

There are hundreds of threads, here, that explain these shots and lots of websites- also Youtube.

Falloutjr
10-18-2009, 09:12 AM
Well I can hit a very effective slice serve. It has a huge break in the air and it skids very low but I'm nervous about using it in college because it's slow its about 70mph. What I wanna do is hit a power serve with lots of topspin so I can still serve in the mid 90s-low 100s but still hit a high percentage on first serve and save my slice serve as a second serve.

Bagumbawalla
10-18-2009, 11:20 AM
As you pointout, if you hit a really "flat" first serve (unless you are really tall) then there is little margine for error- the only thing(s) bringing it down into the court is/are gravity, time, friction.

And, yes, normally, a (true) slice and kick serve have lots of spin that slows the pace of the ball, but you can (just as in a groundstroke) add more or less sidespin and more or less spin in the kick serve to add just enough arc to the ball for some margine of safety- that is what we shorter players do all the time.

So, in a "true" kick serve you might clear the net by a couple feet or so, by adding a bit less low to high follow-through you may reduce the clearance to inches instead of feet, but gain some control and consistancy.

Also, adding a more moderate amount of spin to the slice will slow it down a bit- but just enough to let gravity do its work and give you an inch more over the net.

It might, also, be obvious, but hitting your flat serve over the middle (lower) part of the net will give you a few more inches of leeway.

Also, I just remembered, the ball you hit has backspin. Backspin, just like slice in groundstroke will cause the ball to "float" rather than dip- the opposite of what you want/need. You may be tossing too far forward, letting the ball drop too much, or dropping your shoulder and "pulling" down on the ball. I suspect you will need to work on your toss and contact point so your racket travels somewhat "over" the ball to get the dip and arc you require.

A good instructor could solve your problem in, possibly, one session. If you are shopping for colleges, the small investment may be worth it.

By the way, what do you do for a second serve?

Falloutjr
10-18-2009, 12:04 PM
As you pointout, if you hit a really "flat" first serve (unless you are really tall) then there is little margine for error- the only thing(s) bringing it down into the court is/are gravity, time, friction.

And, yes, normally, a (true) slice and kick serve have lots of spin that slows the pace of the ball, but you can (just as in a groundstroke) add more or less sidespin and more or less spin in the kick serve to add just enough arc to the ball for some margine of safety- that is what we shorter players do all the time.

So, in a "true" kick serve you might clear the net by a couple feet or so, by adding a bit less low to high follow-through you may reduce the clearance to inches instead of feet, but gain some control and consistancy.

Also, adding a more moderate amount of spin to the slice will slow it down a bit- but just enough to let gravity do its work and give you an inch more over the net.

It might, also, be obvious, but hitting your flat serve over the middle (lower) part of the net will give you a few more inches of leeway.

Also, I just remembered, the ball you hit has backspin. Backspin, just like slice in groundstroke will cause the ball to "float" rather than dip- the opposite of what you want/need. You may be tossing too far forward, letting the ball drop too much, or dropping your shoulder and "pulling" down on the ball. I suspect you will need to work on your toss and contact point so your racket travels somewhat "over" the ball to get the dip and arc you require.

A good instructor could solve your problem in, possibly, one session. If you are shopping for colleges, the small investment may be worth it.

By the way, what do you do for a second serve?

My first serve is, of course, my power serve. I can hit it up over 110 on a regular basis but its very inconsistent (in the 20-30%). As for my second serve its a slice its a pretty slow serve its about 70-75 mph and since I'm a righty it breaks to the forehand side which I don't like but it has huge spin but i think a skilled returner would be able to attack it and get a few return winners or put me in bad position and get up to the net it spins so much I can hit my second serve and its a pretty good % but it bounces so short on a second bounce it lands in about the dead center of no man's land so I really wanna add consistency and depth to my serves. As for the school I'm most interested in, the coach was a D1 player and did some coaching with ATP and WTA players so I feel confident that my serves will improve ad well as my ability to volley. I don't volley a whole lot im generally a topspinner/defensive baseliner but I know I'll find a use for it so we'll see. I have a few workouts this week so I'll find out what's what haha.

Falloutjr
10-18-2009, 05:06 PM
Well I've been tinkering around at the park all day and I've managed to tinker my second serve so that it can be a viable first serve. I'm using a more extreme grip to create more spin but swinging more like a flat serve and still slicing it so it has sufficient spin but is about a 75% serve and still hits (from what I've seen with my naked eye) around 90 mph and I think that's pretty good so I'll work on solidifying it over the next few days :)

LeeD
10-19-2009, 09:53 AM
Compromise...
Use your flat serve grip.
Swing really fast, but toss the ball up over your head, slightly into the court, rather than towards your right side.
Pronate and TRY to hit it flat.
But you toss doesn't allow a flat serve, if you keep tossing more and more over your left side (you right handed).

charliefedererer
10-19-2009, 10:24 AM
You are right on the money trying to produce your "power topspin serve" as your first serve.

And the same service motion, but with the ball tossed almost directly overhead will give you a first rate second serve.

Watch these videos, trying to really understand the concepts, and you will be on your way:
http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/video-tennis-lessons/serve/advanced-serve-technique/leading-with-your-hip-when-serving/
http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/video-tennis-lessons/serve/advanced-serve-technique/how-the-arm-moves-from-the-racket-drop-to-contact/
http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/video-tennis-lessons/serve/advanced-serve-technique/trophy-pose-to-racket-drop-when-serving/
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&resnum=0&q=bollettieri%20The%20serve%20doctor%20serving%20u phill&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wv#q=bollettieri+serve+doctor&hl=en&emb=0
http://video.google.com/videosearch?hl=en&q=youtube&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=wv#q=youtube+serve+doctor&hl=en&emb=0

There is a lot of information in these videos, and some break down certain aspects, and others emphasize putting it all together.
But if you really understand the concepts in these videos, practice, watch them and practice some more you should see a dramatic change in your serve.

Sublime
10-19-2009, 10:57 AM
Take your current first serve and focus on directing your effort UP into the ball rather than OUT into the court.

What you're looking to do is trade about 10mph of serve speed for spin. Hopefully, sometime down the road, the confidence you gain will get you those mph back.

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-19-2009, 01:33 PM
Yeah guys I'm trying to get as good as I can over the enxt couple months while I shop myself out to colleges and I was wondering if you could give me advice on how to hit a power topspin serve because I need to get my pct up I hit straight power serves now. They're quality serves but the pct is horrendous between me being relatively shots (6 feet tall) making the ball hit the tape 30% of the time, being straight, and having lots of backspin which makes the ball carry about 2-3 feet long 50% of the time. Thank you!

WOW! You're 6 FEET TALL AND YOU SAY YOUR SHORT?! I SHOULD SMACK YOUR HEAD IN WITH YOUR RACKET! :evil:

I'm 5'10"! How do you think I feel?! Some posters on this board are even shorter! Do you realize how tall 6 feet is?! ><

All you do is hit a kicker off a first serve toss. In addition to that, you hit through the ball way more than you should on a regular kick serve. Basically a flat serve with some spin on it, like a topspin drive. The name itself should give you an idea on how to do it... :?

And a first serve shouldn't have underspin on it. If it does, you know your form is off...

And you're a counter puncher?! You really make poor use of your body, you know that? You make me want to cry cause I haven't grown since 7th grade! :cry: People like you always get the good stuff and don't even know how to use it... Sadly I can't do what we did in elementary school and rip you off in a trade... Not possible to trade bodies as far as I know. :[

chess9
10-19-2009, 03:31 PM
Except at the highest levels of tennis, a man 5'6"-6' can play great tennis and even have a very good serve. I can't tell you how many short guys I've lost to! I've been aced by plenty of them too. We have a guy at our club who is only about 5'8" tall and he smacks the snot out of his serve. He only leaps about a foot too.

By the way, almost all the really old tennis players who are still good, tend to be short and very thin. Lots of Hispanic guys are built like that and since older people play on clay a lot and the Hispanics grew up on clay a lot of them play very fine tennis. I got schooled by a guy from Argentina two weeks ago! :) He's about 5'5" tall.

-Robert

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-19-2009, 04:13 PM
Except at the highest levels of tennis, a man 5'6"-6' can play great tennis and even have a very good serve. I can't tell you how many short guys I've lost to! I've been aced by plenty of them too. We have a guy at our club who is only about 5'8" tall and he smacks the snot out of his serve. He only leaps about a foot too.

By the way, almost all the really old tennis players who are still good, tend to be short and very thin. Lots of Hispanic guys are built like that and since older people play on clay a lot and the Hispanics grew up on clay a lot of them play very fine tennis. I got schooled by a guy from Argentina two weeks ago! :) He's about 5'5" tall.

-Robert

Andre Agassi - 5'11"
Jurgen Melzer - 6'
Lleyton Hewitt - 5'11"
Rod Laver - 5'8"
Jimmy Connors - 5'10"
Bjorn Bord - 5'11"
John McEnroe - 5'11"
Ken Rosewall - 5'9"

That's just off the top of my head. They aren't all big servers, but they're damn good players and some did/do have REALLY good serves (Melzer and Laver).

Falloutjr
10-20-2009, 03:18 AM
Yeah defensive baseline and spins just come naturally to me so I stick with it (sorry to offend some of you more vertically challenged people out there) but I'm hitting slice serve pretty effectively now (up around 100, 80-85%) so I'll work on topspin serves, but I think I'll stick with this one for a while till I have them down pat.

LeeD
10-20-2009, 09:15 AM
:):)
If you really can slice serve 100mph, then your flat serve must fall around 145..
Now if you TOPSPIN serve at 100, more likely, then your flat first is around 125.
Slice serves can't go as fast because there's no top component, so your ball HAS to be slow to allow gravity to affect the arc.
More likely, a true HARD sliced serve pokes in around 80 mph at MOST. Adding topspin component can allow you to increase the ball speed, as it adds ARC to get the ball into the court.

Falloutjr
10-20-2009, 04:47 PM
Well I feel like I'm slicing the ball I can hit flat serves with a really sucky percentage, but when I slice it it hits flatter and I get it in like 70% of the time now and still hit in the mid 90's? It's very odd. Maybe I'm just a tennis anomaly. But I toss the ball up a little to my right if I wanna go down the line or serve out wide and right up in front of me and I barely make contact with the ball I use an eastern grip and i swing fully through the right of the ball and just chop at it and it seems to be working, surprisingly! I still hit hard but I get nice consistency and spin and if I'm able to hit to all three parts of the service box, I won't complain. Tennis is one of those sports that sometimes you're just better when you don't know what you're doing and just doing it.

Falloutjr
10-20-2009, 04:49 PM
In flatter, I mean my "slice" serve doesn't have as much backspin as when I hit my "flat" serves so I don't really know how to explain it. I might get a camera and just show you guys what I'm talking about.

pondus
10-20-2009, 05:56 PM
Google "The Serve Doctor" and "MPH Video". Buy it, and get ready to spend 2 years, not 2 months to learn this stuff.