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ZhengJieisagoddess
10-31-2009, 08:03 PM
My coach tells me that, when I hit the ball into the net on my serve, I am not keeping my eyes on the ball when I hit it, and I am dropping my head. if I see th eball hit th enet, I'm doing something wrong.
Yet I saw Venus double fault a few times by hitting the ball into the net in her match with Jelena today.
I refuse to believe that Venus's mechanics are not perfect. So what is going on here?

2ndServe
10-31-2009, 08:08 PM
cause her mechanics on the serve are terrible, she just happens to be 6'1 with ridiculously long arms so she somehow makes up for some poor mechanics. I would not look at any women's serve as something to emulate. Look at Sampras, Federer, Stich, Krajicek, Ivanisevic. Everytime I pull my head down it's always bad results.

ZhengJieisagoddess
10-31-2009, 08:13 PM
cause her mechanics on the serve are terrible, she just happens to be 6'1 with ridiculously long arms so she somehow makes up for some poor mechanics. I would not look at any women's serve as something to emulate. Look at Sampras, Federer, Stich, Krajicek, Ivanisevic. Everytime I pull my head down it's always bad results.

Thank you. I have to disagree with you about learning from women's tennis. I learn a lot more from them than I learn from men. For instance, the most courageous players I've seen are women....Caroline Wozniacki and Zheng Jie lead the list here.
But you are right: every time I lower my head, it's not good. Somehow I think you might be missing something about Venus's mechanics.

Falloutjr
10-31-2009, 08:32 PM
Thank you. I have to disagree with you about learning from women's tennis. I learn a lot more from them than I learn from men. For instance, the most courageous players I've seen are women....Caroline Wozniacki and Zheng Jie lead the list here.
But you are right: every time I lower my head, it's not good. Somehow I think you might be missing something about Venus's mechanics.

Wozzie is a pusher; far from courageous. Learn from Federer how to hit the forehand, Gasquet how to hit the backhand, Karlovic how to serve, and the Bryans on how to volley. The women's tour is so weak and mechanically unsound that to assume them suitable learning tools on the basis that they are pros is silly. Even pros have flaws, especially in the weakest era that we've ever had on both tours.

2ndServe
10-31-2009, 08:32 PM
mental aspect sure because lots of women players are of the grinder type they have to have the attitude that nothing gets past them and they fight to the end. Stroke wise I would not emulate the WTA, the exception being Henine.

teachestennis
10-31-2009, 08:37 PM
Thank you. I have to disagree with you about learning from women's tennis. I learn a lot more from them than I learn from men. For instance, the most courageous players I've seen are women....Caroline Wozniacki and Zheng Jie lead the list here.
But you are right: every time I lower my head, it's not good. Somehow I think you might be missing something about Venus's mechanics.

First, if you are coached by an MTM coach, (Modern Tennis Methodology) he should know that you want to be focusing on hitting the ball up and across to the right. Hitting the ball into the net is the greatest sin on the serve. I tell my players to hit the ball long or into the fence before the net. I often get them to hit good serves by telling them to try and hit the fence when I see them hitting into the net. You'd be surprised how well this works. Second, many MTM coaches teach to keep the left hand up as long as you can to keep your body coiled before it unloads upward into the ball. Oscar helped Robbie Seguso, who I can say was not a world class server when I played him fairly often practicing in college (I didn't make that very famous SIU-E college team with Farrow, Fernando, Flach, Seguso, and more) learn to serve better by having him go outside the fence and hit balls back into the court before the service line with topspin by standing about fifteen to twenty feet outside the fence and hit the balls back into the court. Works like a charm.

Venus sometimes does not find the ball well on her serve as she often gets a little too much motion. Venus is also one of the best athletes on tour if not the best in the WTA. I believe one of the reasons women often don't serve as well as men form wise is because the service motion is a lot like throwing a ball and women often don't have nearly developed triceps, a key muscle in the serve.

A few years ago Venus really had problems with her serve and Oscar Wegner sat with Richard Williams at Amelia Island and I remember Venus was not "finding" the ball well on her serve because she was going to the ball too fast with her racket before contact. Remember that in MTM, errors usually occur because you don't do one of the three "Fs" properly: find it, feel it, and finish it. On the serve, we focus on shaping the shot with your hand, hitting up and across it. We find the ball by going to it slowly and then accelerating up and to the right (pronation). One of the drills we teach is to toss the ball on count of one and don't hit it until five. Works very well. Try it and let me know if it works.

I once heard an interesting theory about why the Russian women don't serve well. Most people in the know about tennis instruction know the Russian Tennis Federation adopted Oscar's book as the basis of their current biomechancal emphasis on proper technique. I provide proof of this in my History of USA Tennis Instruction on moderntenniscoaches.com/forum in teh MTM library in the Spartak article. One foreign coach from Russia, when I told him I had seen a copy of Wegner's book translated into Russian (illegally of course, Oscar has a copy translated in Vietnamese also) once told me that he believed the women didn't know how to serve well from Russia because in Oscar's book, it mentions the serve is like throwing a baseball. Baseball is not even played in Russia, nor was softball, nor American football, so the players and coaches had not real feel for what Oscar was trying to say and thus the analogy used by Wegner had no real merit. I've always wondered if that theory really has any merit given the Russian women really do miss the mark most of the time.

topher.juan
10-31-2009, 09:17 PM
Always watch the ball when serving, only look forward before/after the serve. I watch it in the toss and in the trophy position wait for it to be in the right place to unload my power on it, I focus on what part of the face to hit it, think about what angle the racquet face should be, etc. You need to be focusing on the ball when serving, right until it leaves your strings. Pointing your chest at the ball will help you look at the ball if you're having trouble with that. Definitely think about hitting upward into the ball, that your 'throwing motion' is going up (search youtube 'serve doctor up the mountain'). This totally changed how I hit the serve and I rarely hit the net now. For an exercise, try tossing the ball and think about hitting it straight up above you with the side of your racquet, don't even think about hitting forward; if you do this right the ball will have a TON of spin and you'll see it pulled down into the court and kick/twist up, from here adjust how much forward pace you have on the ball; I don't know your level, but most beginners think you have to hit the ball forward on a serve, when the motion is quite different. I see people at the club double faulting into the net all the time, they toss and try to hit the ball with the racquet face moving directly towards the ball on a horizontal level (100% forward motion/mechanics... no upwards motion).. maybe that's what you're doing to some degree, you'll get lots in the net (and long) doing that.

ZhengJieisagoddess
10-31-2009, 09:42 PM
Things clicked a lot better when I told my coach that, when I threw a baseball, I would throw from a 1:30 or 2:00 position of release, not a 12:00 or 1:00. (The tennis model for throwing a baseball would be JIm Palmer.) He told me to throw my racquet like it was a football, and things went better. No wonder Maria Sharapova throws a football around before she plays.

ZhengJieisagoddess
10-31-2009, 09:44 PM
Always watch the ball when serving, only look forward before/after the serve. I watch it in the toss and in the trophy position wait for it to be in the right place to unload my power on it, I focus on what part of the face to hit it, think about what angle the racquet face should be, etc. You need to be focusing on the ball when serving, right until it leaves your strings. Pointing your chest at the ball will help you look at the ball if you're having trouble with that. Definitely think about hitting upward into the ball, that your 'throwing motion' is going up (search youtube 'serve doctor up the mountain'). This totally changed how I hit the serve and I rarely hit the net now. For an exercise, try tossing the ball and think about hitting it straight up above you with the side of your racquet, don't even think about hitting forward; if you do this right the ball will have a TON of spin and you'll see it pulled down into the court and kick/twist up, from here adjust how much forward pace you have on the ball; I don't know your level, but most beginners think you have to hit the ball forward on a serve, when the motion is quite different. I see people at the club double faulting into the net all the time, they toss and try to hit the ball with the racquet face moving directly towards the ball on a horizontal level (100% forward motion/mechanics... no upwards motion).. maybe that's what you're doing to some degree, you'll get lots in the net (and long) doing that.

Great advice!!! Thank you. Another thing is holding the racquet VERY -- and I mean VERY -- loosely. My coach has me holding it with just my thumb and ring finger now....If I hit UP at the ball, the racquet will do the rest of the work, provided I keep my head up.

ZhengJieisagoddess
10-31-2009, 09:46 PM
A few years ago Venus really had problems with her serve and Oscar Wegner sat with Richard Williams at Amelia Island and I remember Venus was not "finding" the ball well on her serve because she was going to the ball too fast with her racket before contact. Remember that in MTM, errors usually occur because you don't do one of the three "Fs" properly: find it, feel it, and finish it. On the serve, we focus on shaping the shot with your hand, hitting up and across it. We find the ball by going to it slowly and then accelerating up and to the right (pronation). One of the drills we teach is to toss the ball on count of one and don't hit it until five. Works very well. Try it and let me know if it works.

.

Thank you! I will.

ubermeyer
10-31-2009, 10:13 PM
I refuse to believe that Venus's mechanics are not perfect.

Well, they aren't. If they were totally perfect, she would ace every time.

Falloutjr
10-31-2009, 10:40 PM
Great advice!!! Thank you. Another thing is holding the racquet VERY -- and I mean VERY -- loosely. My coach has me holding it with just my thumb and ring finger now....If I hit UP at the ball, the racquet will do the rest of the work, provided I keep my head up.

Well when I serve I hold my racquet VERY tightly for power and I hold my racquet a little more loosely when I hit groundies for the loopiness and spin. If you try to hit a flat serve with a loose grip you'll hit the ball into the net, hit a very weak serve, or it'll go flying out of your hand; there simply isn't enough force acting on the ball to make it travel in the path with the velocity you want.

Cody
10-31-2009, 10:47 PM
Well when I serve I hold my racquet VERY tightly for power and I hold my racquet a little more loosely when I hit groundies for the loopiness and spin. If you try to hit a flat serve with a loose grip you'll hit the ball into the net, hit a very weak serve, or it'll go flying out of your hand; there simply isn't enough force acting on the ball to make it travel in the path with the velocity you want.

A loose grip is important for the serve, the more motion your arm retains, more racket head speed and it helps aid pronation.

2ndServe
10-31-2009, 10:50 PM
Well when I serve I hold my racquet VERY tightly for power and I hold my racquet a little more loosely when I hit groundies for the loopiness and spin. If you try to hit a flat serve with a loose grip you'll hit the ball into the net, hit a very weak serve, or it'll go flying out of your hand; there simply isn't enough force acting on the ball to make it travel in the path with the velocity you want.

you should change this if you want to develop an accurate, reliable, durable, faster, more action serve. Contrary to belief even what they call a flat serve on the men's pro tour has tons of spin. In order to get the most racket head speed, pronation and reliability during a long match you need to keep it as loose as possible. It needs to be flexible like a whip. If done right you could smoothly serve 500 balls and your arm would not be tired, your legs probably will be though.

Falloutjr
10-31-2009, 11:04 PM
you should change this if you want to develop an accurate, reliable, durable, faster, more action serve. Contrary to belief even what they call a flat serve on the men's pro tour has tons of spin. In order to get the most racket head speed, pronation and reliability during a long match you need to keep it as loose as possible. It needs to be flexible like a whip. If done right you could smoothly serve 500 balls and your arm would not be tired, your legs probably will be though.

My body still stays still and my arm and my wrist still have the whip crack motion, but when I'm trying to hit an outright ace, I tighten it up is all. As a d baseliner, I need to get cheap points with serve winners and aces, so I very regularly go for aces on my first serve because I moonball or hit very high topspins on a regular basis, so easy points aren't terribly easy to get. If I miss, I still have a nice 2nd serve which is actually better than most 1st serves in the city where I live. But those 120mph straight shooting bombs are what usually give me a big advantage because the free points puts more pressure on my opponents, and make them press and try to hit more winners, which is very complimentary to my game. And, considering I go all out with risky serves, the fact that my % usually hovers in the low-mid 40s is pretty good and makes a big difference as opposed to a serve that's easier to return.

Cody
10-31-2009, 11:09 PM
Your body staying still in a serve is not good.
Lots of power comes from your legs and core and your arm is just used to transfer this energy.

Having a loose arm and nice mechanics makes for a smooth efficient serve and nice result.

The key is too swing fast but not hard.

Cody

Falloutjr
10-31-2009, 11:14 PM
Your body staying still in a serve is not good.
Lots of power comes from your legs and core and your arm is just used to transfer this energy.

Having a loose arm and nice mechanics makes for a smooth efficient serve and nice result.

The key is too swing fast but not hard.

Cody

It's hard to explain. If you saw my serve, you would think I had a good serve, I'm just bad at explaining things lol.

Cody
10-31-2009, 11:20 PM
A video would be nice :)
Even if you don't upload the video watching your own serve is very beneficial.

I'm intrigued to see this 120 mph serve :)

xFullCourtTenniSx
10-31-2009, 11:20 PM
My coach tells me that, when I hit the ball into the net on my serve, I am not keeping my eyes on the ball when I hit it, and I am dropping my head. if I see th eball hit th enet, I'm doing something wrong.
Yet I saw Venus double fault a few times by hitting the ball into the net in her match with Jelena today.
I refuse to believe that Venus's mechanics are not perfect. So what is going on here?

You refuse to believe that the technique of a female server is faulty?... Okay it's your belief...

If Venus' mechanics were perfect, why the "funky toss" (as Serena says)?

If you double fault, you should double fault long. 1/5 of your double faults at max should go into the net. The rest should be long.

cause her mechanics on the serve are terrible, she just happens to be 6'1 with ridiculously long arms so she somehow makes up for some poor mechanics. I would not look at any women's serve as something to emulate. Look at Sampras, Federer, Stich, Krajicek, Ivanisevic. Everytime I pull my head down it's always bad results.

Anytime anyone pulls their head down, it leads to bad results. Also, as for the female serve, at the US Open, the men served over 800 more games than the Women, yet only committed 15 more double faults in those 800+ games! Women can't serve! I know some good female players, and hitting 90 on a first serve is actually above average (for a mid to high level player)! Hitting in the 100s is gifted or tall (which can be considered a gift anyway)! The women's serve don't develop nearly as far as the men's serve, but their goundstrokes develop much closer to the rate that men do (though men still hit with far more spin). The result is that their groundstrokes are much bigger than their serves. So when they hit a first serve in, they might actually just be starting the point from a neutral position (like a man hitting a good second serve) unless they have one of the bigger serves in the sport, in which case they can actually start off a solid amount of first serve points in the driver's seat. Now when they hit a second serve, it's much weaker than their first serve, yet the first serve can only pull out a neutral return! So what's the second serve going to get? You're going to be on defense from the start here! So to compensate, they will red line more of their serves, causing more errors from going for too much cause they never developed a serve that can keep them in a neutral position in the point. They just never got that far with their serves. There are a few exceptions like maybe Kuznetsova, Serena Williams, and Maria Sharapova at her best. In high school, I knew some girls who had solid second serves (hit with spin, very consistent, and decent pace even if I felt it was very slow). They can get away with those serves and never have to come close to red lining it because their opponents aren't yet at the level where they have insanely massive WTA level groundstrokes and returns. So they can go on without double faulting, because their second serves are solid enough to keep them in a good position in the point at their level, so they're always in a comfort zone when hitting a second serve.

Thank you. I have to disagree with you about learning from women's tennis. I learn a lot more from them than I learn from men. For instance, the most courageous players I've seen are women....Caroline Wozniacki and Zheng Jie lead the list here.
But you are right: every time I lower my head, it's not good. Somehow I think you might be missing something about Venus's mechanics.

No... He's not missing anything about her mechanics...

The strokes you see on the WTA tour are more simplified than the men's strokes and are hit flatter. Aside from the consistency, they are far easier to emulate than the men because men use massive amounts of rotation all over their bodies when they hit a single ball (except maybe for a classic volley and slice).

Wozniacki is a counterpuncher (not a pusher), so she can't really be considered courageous unless you mean she never chokes and never cracks in her game because of her mental strength like Hewitt or Nadal.

I think anyone who comes to the net in the men's game is more courageous than all of the WTA players combined! (Especially if Nadal is on the other side of the net)

Wozzie is a pusher; far from courageous. Learn from Federer how to hit the forehand, Gasquet how to hit the backhand, Karlovic how to serve, and the Bryans on how to volley. The women's tour is so weak and mechanically unsound that to assume them suitable learning tools on the basis that they are pros is silly. Even pros have flaws, especially in the weakest era that we've ever had on both tours.

I'd look to Safin, Agassi, or Nalbandian for the backhand. One handed I'd have to agree about Gasquet, but Federer's and Haas have simpler motions, so I'd look more to Haas for the one hander division. For the serve, I'd say Roddick, Federer, or the Bryans. They all have incredible motions and DON'T have the unfair advantage of being 6'10". I'd put Sampras on the list if his motion wasn't the most impossible to emulate, seeing as he is the best and most gifted server of all times. For volleys, I'd say Becker, Edberg, the Bryan brothers (nice for them to have a natural alliteration isn't it?), and Sampras (for his excellent flat volley). The Bryan brothers really are solid from all parts of the court. You really can't go wrong emulating any part of their game except that I don't remember them hitting a slice (though I haven't seen them play in a while).

mental aspect sure because lots of women players are of the grinder type they have to have the attitude that nothing gets past them and they fight to the end. Stroke wise I would not emulate the WTA, the exception being Henine.

Hennin really is one of those one of a kind talents that hopefully change the game. I hope there are little girls growing up emulating her, learning to play high level tennis the way it's meant to be played.

Seles changed the game forever with her arrival to an all power slugfest. Hopefully Henin's can change it back to a game of variety, thought, and shot-making. She SHOULD. He dominated the tour as well as, if not better than, Seles did. I can only hope that such a career would influence aspiring juniors to play a smarter game like she did.

Oh, and I might not emulate Hennin's second serve. She's just as bad, if not worse than everyone else in numbers there. But it's because of her height. Aside from that though, when she gets them in, they're great serves! And her first serve is amazing considering her height as well!

Falloutjr
11-01-2009, 12:14 AM
A video would be nice :)
Even if you don't upload the video watching your own serve is very beneficial.

I'm intrigued to see this 120 mph serve :)

It's not always 120, usually in the mid 100's. But when I hit up near 120, it gives me that boost I need. Pusher power?

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-01-2009, 01:50 AM
It's not always 120, usually in the mid 100's. But when I hit up near 120, it gives me that boost I need. Pusher power?

A looser arm would help you get the pace up to the low to mid 110s while still keeping the percentages up...

Djokovicfan4life
11-01-2009, 07:38 AM
It's not always 120, usually in the mid 100's. But when I hit up near 120, it gives me that boost I need. Pusher power?

You're not hitting a 120 MPH serve by "tightening up". You just aren't.

Cindysphinx
11-01-2009, 08:21 AM
I have the same problem. I will hit serves into the net more often than missing wide or long.

This is infuriating. If you hit a serve into the net, that is a huge miss because your target was (usually) the opposite service line, so you missed by 21 feet! It is rare to miss a serve 21 feet long or wide, so hitting into the net means you are way off.

The fix for me is to keep my LH up longer than I think I should. This is easier to implement than keeping your head up, and if your arm is up your head will be up.

If I am still having trouble, then I will imitate Andy Roddick's LH. He tosses, and then he puts his LH palm skyward, kind of rotating his left wrist. The extra time it takes to do that is often enough to keep the LH up long enough. Plus it looks kind of cool. :)

Good luck, and I feel your pain!!

Nellie
11-01-2009, 04:15 PM
Every player on earth hits into the net sometime. That doesn't mean that you should not keep your head/right arm up and watch your toss location.

The WTA pro I like to watch is Stosur because of her full western grip and kick serve - all top notch technically.

ubermeyer
11-01-2009, 04:21 PM
This is infuriating. If you hit a serve into the net, that is a huge miss because your target was (usually) the opposite service line, so you missed by 21 feet! It is rare to miss a serve 21 feet long or wide, so hitting into the net means you are way off.

Eh, not really. A serve could be 1 inch low and hit the net, but if it had been 1 inch higher it would have landed in the box

jazzyfunkybluesy
11-01-2009, 04:36 PM
ZhengJieisagoddess, are you finishing by landing on your left foot with your right foot behind you? (for a right hander) This keeps your body up and prevents you from from falling forward or to the side.

ZhengJieisagoddess
11-01-2009, 04:36 PM
The fix for me is to keep my LH up longer than I think I should. This is easier to implement than keeping your head up, and if your arm is up your head will be up.
!!

Thinking about this problem, I realized the wisdom of this while watching Jelena Jankovic.
Contray to what many assert, I think that guys can learn an awful lot from women's tennis. For starters, they're a hell of a lot easier on the eyes...;) Helps me keep focused...

Falloutjr
11-01-2009, 04:37 PM
The correct answer to any tennis question is always "Add more topspin"

ubermeyer
11-01-2009, 04:38 PM
also, if pro mechanics were perfect, they'd never double fault

ZhengJieisagoddess
11-01-2009, 04:39 PM
ZhengJieisagoddess, are you finishing by landing on your left foot with your right foot behind you? (for a right hander) This keeps your body up and prevents you from from falling forward or to the side.

I am not worried too much about my feet right now ("Foot fault!!!") So I really am not sure how I'd answer your question. I know I am not falling backward, or to the side; and don't I want to be moving toward the net anyway? At least a teensy weensy bit?

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-01-2009, 05:20 PM
Thinking about this problem, I realized the wisdom of this while watching Jelena Jankovic.
Contray to what many assert, I think that guys can learn an awful lot from women's tennis. For starters, they're a hell of a lot easier on the eyes...;) Helps me keep focused...

Actually... I find most WTA players a danger to my eyesight, like a majority of tennis women in general (though our high school team was pretty lucky to have many beautiful girls in varsity; though not all of them had great form). :)

And if they WERE easy on the eyes, I think the natural instinct of most guys would be to focus on the girls instead of the tennis. So what have we learned at the end of the match? "Dude! The girl in the red is f***ing hot!" "Yeah? Well I think the girl in the black was 10x sexier!" "That's because black is slimming!" :O Lessons of the day: girl in red is f***ing hot, girl in black is sexy, black is slimming. I learned a lot! Haha. Yeah, this is rather sexist I admit, but it's guy nature. Talk to a bunch of horny high schoolers and college students, and you'll get the general idea...

When watching guys, we don't have this problem (except some people with racket fetishes), plus there's more variety in the rallies.

The correct answer to any tennis question is always "Add more topspin"

I'm spinning my shot into the bottom of the net, what should I do? "HIT MORE TOPSPIN BIZNITCH!" -Epic fail right there. :)

also, if pro mechanics were perfect, they'd never double fault

I think Sampras' serve was rather perfect. I'd like to consider every miss a mere lapse in judgement (especially on second serves since he always goes for winners and aces).

I am not worried too much about my feet right now ("Foot fault!!!") So I really am not sure how I'd answer your question. I know I am not falling backward, or to the side; and don't I want to be moving toward the net anyway? At least a teensy weensy bit?

You always want to land forward and in the direction you're serving. It doesn't matter if you want to come to the net or not, that's where you're supposed to land if you want to generate power.

Cindysphinx
11-01-2009, 05:42 PM
Thinking about this problem, I realized the wisdom of this while watching Jelena Jankovic.
Contray to what many assert, I think that guys can learn an awful lot from women's tennis. For starters, they're a hell of a lot easier on the eyes...;) Helps me keep focused...

:lowers voice:

Don't listen to the guys who say you shouldn't emulate a woman pro because she is a woman pro. The typical club player will never come close to the technique or execution of a single WTA player, including the TT males who claim nothing can be learned from women.

They may think they are emulating the Big Boys (Nadal, Fed, Roddick and the rest) and derive some pleasure from bashing female players, but they are just clumsy USTA players, for the most part.

If a player, male or female, has a shot you admire and you think you can learn something from it, go for it!

Cindysphinx
11-01-2009, 05:47 PM
Eh, not really. A serve could be 1 inch low and hit the net, but if it had been 1 inch higher it would have landed in the box

Yes, had it been an inch higher it would have been in.

But would it have been a good, penetrating serve that your opponent couldn't attack and that keeps them from attacking the net? Probably not. Not for me, anyway.

My geometry is far from perfect, but I think the priniciple is a good one: If you're hitting the net or just barely clearing it on your serve, that's probably not the kind of serve you want.

I was playing today, and of course I started the *^%$& match by serving into the net over and over. I remember our good buddy ZhengZieIsAGoddess, I started keeping that LH up, and I served OK for the rest of the match.

ubermeyer
11-01-2009, 05:57 PM
I think Sampras' serve was rather perfect. I'd like to consider every miss a mere lapse in judgement (especially on second serves since he always goes for winners and aces).

Well, whenever he misses, it's an obvious sign that his mechanics on that stroke were imperfect.

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-01-2009, 05:59 PM
Well, whenever he misses, it's an obvious sign that his mechanics on that stroke were imperfect.

Don't ruin my image of my idol! :twisted:

Let me delude myself on this! Ahahahaha. :)

charliefedererer
11-01-2009, 06:12 PM
Things clicked a lot better when I told my coach that, when I threw a baseball, I would throw from a 1:30 or 2:00 position of release, not a 12:00 or 1:00. (The tennis model for throwing a baseball would be JIm Palmer.) He told me to throw my racquet like it was a football, and things went better. No wonder Maria Sharapova throws a football around before she plays.

Because this advice to throw it like a football seemed to help, I thought you would appreciate this video from "The Serve Doctor" who advises to "serve up the mountain": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlPVdppfYGs&feature=related

This Oscar Wegner like advice concentrates on mimicking a body motion from another area you may be familiar with to get an intuitive feel of how to position your entire body and use better mechanics for your serve.

Serving up is like throwing a "long bomb" in football or throwing a ball to a friend who is in the second deck in the stands. It is not like pitching to a catcher.

Will Hamilton takes a more analytical, less intuitive approach in this video, even though he is basically pushing the same idea: http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/video-tennis-lessons/serve/advanced-serve-technique/leading-with-your-hip-when-serving/
The point he is trying to emphasize is that you need to have a trophy position with a deep knee bend, your body in a bow shape, and a steep upward angle to from your back to your front shoulder. (By pushing your front hip out, you can maintain your balance so you can achieve this aggressive trophy position.)

The end result using whichever teaching method appeals to you is that hitting up on the ball should result in both fewer serves into the net AND fewer serves hit long. That's because the greater topspin produced with this type of body positioning to use the whole kinetic chain will allow a greater margin of error in your serves.

charliefedererer
11-01-2009, 06:20 PM
Double post. Sorry.

callen3615
11-01-2009, 06:31 PM
I'm intrigued to see this 120 mph serve :)

Me too. Make a vid.

ubermeyer
11-01-2009, 06:43 PM
But would it have been a good, penetrating serve that your opponent couldn't attack and that keeps them from attacking the net? Probably not. Not for me, anyway.

Actually, I hit mostly flat 1st serves so the path is more horizontal and one inch can be the difference from a penetrating serve and the net.

Cindysphinx
11-01-2009, 07:04 PM
Fair enough. I tend not to hit flat serves. I miss too much. My serves these days tend to be slices or topspin slice. Hitting one inch over the net for me will land well inside the service box, and that's is asking for trouble.

ZhengJieisagoddess
11-01-2009, 07:22 PM
:lowers voice:

Don't listen to the guys who say you shouldn't emulate a woman pro because she is a woman pro. The typical club player will never come close to the technique or execution of a single WTA player, including the TT males who claim nothing can be learned from women.

They may think they are emulating the Big Boys (Nadal, Fed, Roddick and the rest) and derive some pleasure from bashing female players, but they are just clumsy USTA players, for the most part.

If a player, male or female, has a shot you admire and you think you can learn something from it, go for it!

Oh, I have no problem with this at all.
The only pro who uses my racquet is a woman.
My therapist is a woman.
My internist is a woman. (Ever have a male doc do a prostate exam on you? NOt funny!!! Women have smaller hands...lol)
So's my dermatologist (and if the guys could see her, they'd wish they had a reason to go to her, too!)
My dentist is a woman.
I work mostly with women.
If the guys want to dish dirt on the ladies, OK; let them fantasize about serving like Djokovic, if they want. I'll be happy with watching, and learning, from some of the most courageous athletes there are.

Rob_C
11-01-2009, 07:38 PM
My coach tells me that, when I hit the ball into the net on my serve, I am not keeping my eyes on the ball when I hit it, and I am dropping my head. if I see th eball hit th enet, I'm doing something wrong.
Yet I saw Venus double fault a few times by hitting the ball into the net in her match with Jelena today.
I refuse to believe that Venus's mechanics are not perfect. So what is going on here?

If u want a good WTA serve to emulate, look at Serena, not Venus. Venus does a lot of things wrong on the serve.

Too much wristiness during the take back, alot of WTA players have that habit, and most importantly, she jerks her head down and to the left before contact.

Or you could just look at Federer, or Roddick, or the majority of the ATP players.

Falloutjr
11-01-2009, 08:16 PM
Actually, I hit mostly flat 1st serves so the path is more horizontal and one inch can be the difference from a penetrating serve and the net.

Exactly. Mine don't have the loopy curve to it they are straight shots (which would probably explain why half my serves hit the tip of the net lol) A few inches is usually the difference between an ace and a second serve.

Cody
11-01-2009, 08:20 PM
You're not hitting a 120 MPH serve by "tightening up". You just aren't.

What people don't realize is that serving 120 mph calls for excellent technique
The guy said he tightens up when going for big serves with i find a little odd.

Goran always said he used to hit his biggest serves when he was relaxed and not trying hard.

Falloutjr
11-02-2009, 09:33 PM
I tighten up the grip of my hand on the racquet to keep my form from breaking down during the serve and causing a fault, but keep my wrist loose to keep the racquet head speed.

As for my body, I lean into my serve and hit the ball about a foot inside the court and a few feet over my head, and swing, resulting in a very straight trajectory. It literally takes the form of a straight line I've become quite comfortable with this because I'm not comfortable hitting hard serves with more topspin; it feels awkward. And I can hit it pretty consistently; I don't miss long very often. If I miss, it's because it hits the tape about 3 or 4 inches too low or because it clips the tape and doesn't land in the service box, so I don't see a ton of reason to change it, ya know?

ZhengJieisagoddess
11-02-2009, 09:49 PM
I tighten up the grip of my hand on the racquet to keep my form from breaking down during the serve ?

It already has.

Cody
11-03-2009, 12:38 AM
I remember reading somewhere that on your serve, your grip should be a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Basically just enough to stop it from flying out of your hand.

This does several things:

-Promotes faster racket speed which equals more ball speed
-More results for less effort
-Hopefully encourages pronation.

Cody

ZhengJieisagoddess
11-03-2009, 05:21 AM
I remember reading somewhere that on your serve, your grip should be a 2 on a scale of 1 to 10.

Basically just enough to stop it from flying out of your hand.

This does several things:

-Promotes faster racket speed which equals more ball speed
-More results for less effort
-Hopefully encourages pronation.

Cody

Maybe even a one; but who's quibbling? There are many machanics involved in this shot -- more than I had ever imagined. But I had never imagined, until I was taught, that the grip is so loose on the serve.
There are, in fact, some counterintuitive things about serving: loose grip, hitting up on the ball, keep looking up (and not follow the flight of the ball), etc. It's about unlearning bad habits...

SlapChop
11-03-2009, 06:56 AM
I have tendencies to hit the ball into the net if I do not hit the ball high enough on the toss. If I let it drop too much I will hit into the net. That is really the only time I hit into the net, most of the time if I fault it is because I hit long.

ZhengJieisagoddess
11-03-2009, 06:59 AM
I have tendencies to hit the ball into the net if I do not hit the ball high enough on the toss. If I let it drop too much I will hit into the net. That is really the only time I hit into the net, most of the time if I fault it is because I hit long.

I might be very mistaken about this, but I do not think that the height of the toss is really that much of a factor in whether we hit into the net or not.

SlapChop
11-03-2009, 07:05 AM
it's not the height of the toss, it is the height at which I make contact. If I make contact with the ball at a lower height that my normal contact point I tend to hit the net.

Slazenger07
11-03-2009, 07:36 AM
Thank you. I have to disagree with you about learning from women's tennis. I learn a lot more from them than I learn from men. For instance, the most courageous players I've seen are women....Caroline Wozniacki and Zheng Jie lead the list here.
But you are right: every time I lower my head, it's not good. Somehow I think you might be missing something about Venus's mechanics.

The MOST courageous player is Rafael Nadal. That's undisputable, and yea Venus's mechanics arent very good but she gets away with it.

thebuffman
11-03-2009, 03:54 PM
I tighten up the grip of my hand on the racquet to keep my form from breaking down during the serve and causing a fault, but keep my wrist loose to keep the racquet head speed.

As for my body, I lean into my serve and hit the ball about a foot inside the court and a few feet over my head, and swing, resulting in a very straight trajectory. It literally takes the form of a straight line I've become quite comfortable with this because I'm not comfortable hitting hard serves with more topspin; it feels awkward. And I can hit it pretty consistently; I don't miss long very often. If I miss, it's because it hits the tape about 3 or 4 inches too low or because it clips the tape and doesn't land in the service box, so I don't see a ton of reason to change it, ya know?
fallout i must humbly admit to this as well. quite normally my service is with a loose grip until i went from 57# to 62# tension on my radical pro with fxp strung throughout. now i don't nearly get the pop i was accustomed to.

so to compensate i started holding the racquet tighter against conventional wisdom. amazingly i was getting power back on my serve. i never use to grip the handle like this before. i can't boast 120mph on my serve but i do okay against club players.

here (http://vimeo.com/4897228)is a video of me serving. today i am 30lbs lighter than what is seen in my videos (about 5 months ago). here (http://vimeo.com/5041794)is a video of my progression to a better service motion although it is at half the pace of the first video since i am practicing on correcting my form.

all in all though i will be cutting out the fxp and going back go 57-58# tension. i don't like to work as hard to get power and like for it to come more natural.

GuyClinch
11-05-2009, 04:53 AM
The serve doctor video seems tempting..haha. My serve is already pretty good because I am so tall but it could be even better.

I think those drills that Brad Gilbert recommends are useful for this problem as well. He purposely hits balls long trying to peg the back fence with serves. And then he also practices serving from a kneeling position.. Both of those drills will help you avoid hitting into the net. The real problem is who has a court to practice such drills?! <g>

The only serve warmup I get is "First Ball In" haha. I take ruthless advantage of that rule though.

Anyway I'd much rather miss long then into the net - with both groundstrokes and serves..