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sureshs
11-04-2009, 07:30 AM
Here is a simple tip I discovered myself: don't move your body forwards or backwards during the ball toss. Of course the striking hand will start moving. But don't move the upper body till the ball has left the hand, thinking it will give you momentum or something. James Blake is a good example of a guy who keeps a steady upper body during the serve. The ball toss is much more consistent if the body is still.

Second one I discovered by observing a teaching pro recently. His left foot is not at 45 degrees to the baseline or even pointing to the net post - it is almost parallel to the baseline. As he uncoils to strike the ball, the foot rotates till it is about 45 degrees to the baseline. I found that this gives freedom of movement to the foot allowing it to adjust to the upper body motion instead of being stuck there. Of course this is for those who bring the right foot forward, not for those who lift off the ground.

SystemicAnomaly
11-04-2009, 03:34 PM
I actually prefer to shift my weight, push my hip forward & bend my knees as I release the ball on the toss. Some players will shift the weight early but push the hip & bend the knees after the ball release. Still others will do all 3 actions well after the ball release.

I've also noticed that many elite servers don't necessarily start with a 45 degree orientation of the front foot. Some are nearly parallel to the baseline as you indicate.

Ken Honecker
11-05-2009, 01:00 AM
When I got back into the game this year I found myself standing more parallel. But then I also developed knee problems for the first time so I might have been over torquing to get around on the serve. As for movement during the serve I'll have to try and post some shots of my service motion if I get my home computer back up and running. I filmed myself his fall and was simply amazed at how much I sway for forward, back, and then forward again. The problem is that it is engrained muscle memory from 40 years ago.

SystemicAnomaly
11-05-2009, 07:34 AM
^ If your front foot doesn't leave the ground or you don't pivot it from the (near) parallel position, you will tend to put more stress on that front knee.

sureshs
11-15-2009, 08:27 AM
Here is another home-grown tip inspired by watching Isner. Before the serve, he bounces the ball on the ground with the edge of the frame. Probably just a habit. What I found is bouncing it, not exactly on edge, but with a slicing motion, creates immediate "memory" during the serve, where the motion is essentially on edge.

crash1929
11-15-2009, 11:55 AM
i think there is something to your point about not moving your upper body and lining up parallel. There have been periods where i have tried it.But it just doesn't feel natural or like an athletic position so i always end up not sticking to it.

Fedace
11-15-2009, 12:04 PM
Here is a simple tip I discovered myself: don't move your body forwards or backwards during the ball toss. Of course the striking hand will start moving. But don't move the upper body till the ball has left the hand, thinking it will give you momentum or something. James Blake is a good example of a guy who keeps a steady upper body during the serve. The ball toss is much more consistent if the body is still.

Second one I discovered by observing a teaching pro recently. His left foot is not at 45 degrees to the baseline or even pointing to the net post - it is almost parallel to the baseline. As he uncoils to strike the ball, the foot rotates till it is about 45 degrees to the baseline. I found that this gives freedom of movement to the foot allowing it to adjust to the upper body motion instead of being stuck there. Of course this is for those who bring the right foot forward, not for those who lift off the ground.

what if you can't jump and left foot gets stuck on the ground ? if so then would you twist your knee and mess it up ?

papa
11-15-2009, 01:11 PM
Balance is the key and not where the feet are pointing. We basically have three types of stances - pin-point, platform and cross-over. Some call them by different names and there certainly are variations of the three. There are no right or wrong positions as long as the balance is good. Some take a big step with the back foot, some take a small step, some take no step -- whatever works and your balanced throughout the serve. Balanced means that you could basically stop at any point without falling over.

We've talked about the ball release - or at least I have recently so you can look that up.

Use a hammer grip on the racquet using a fairly light touch. A good practice is talking an old racquet and going out into your back yard and just throwing it (no ball) as far as possible and then throwing it about the same length as a serve which should be a little shorter although I've been surprised that some can't even throw it that far.

Well anyway, there is quite a bit involved but make it fun and you'll see your serve improving.

sureshs
11-15-2009, 02:25 PM
what if you can't jump and left foot gets stuck on the ground ? if so then would you twist your knee and mess it up ?

It is for people who don't jump but just bring the right foot forward, like in the old days.

sureshs
11-15-2009, 02:29 PM
i think there is something to your point about not moving your upper body and lining up parallel. There have been periods where i have tried it.But it just doesn't feel natural or like an athletic position so i always end up not sticking to it.

I taught the not-moving-upper-body-during-toss to a 60+ guy couple of weeks ago, and now his serve is much more predictable. Previously, his toss would be all over the place and he had learnt to adjust to it by contorting his body. Over time, he developed shoulder and elbow pain. With this new approach, he has lost a little speed but is much more accurate and balanced.

mishimayu
11-15-2009, 02:40 PM
Here is another home-grown tip inspired by watching Isner. Before the serve, he bounces the ball on the ground with the edge of the frame. Probably just a habit. What I found is bouncing it, not exactly on edge, but with a slicing motion, creates immediate "memory" during the serve, where the motion is essentially on edge.

this is interesting.. will try it out to get my serves like his. lol.

sureshs
11-15-2009, 03:23 PM
this is interesting.. will try it out to get my serves like his. lol.

Are you 6 9?

Fedace
11-15-2009, 03:42 PM
It is for people who don't jump but just bring the right foot forward, like in the old days.

Closed stance would make you fall flat on the side of your head?

ManuGinobili
11-16-2009, 01:39 AM
Having your front foot parallel to the baseline helps players who doesn't know how to/forget to coil their core (so that your vision is parallel to the baseline)... Since naturally you have to twist the body to be able to face the other court.
Can these 2 methods be looked at in the same light as the open stance and closed stance for a forehand? Like with the foot at 45 degrees, the body has more natural "twisting room" to uncoil to (like the open stance)... Hence the injury thing said above - forcing your foot to turn 90 degrees with the body while it's still stuck on the ground = no good - gotta jump!
I like the 45 degree foot method better because when you twist your ab, it becomes an elastic motion, just like how dropping the racket below your head then pull it up is better than starting with it already below the head. You get more energy produced from the muscles that way (though it might just be in my head). An easy to see example of this is Djokovic's ridiculous coiling:
http://www.tennis.com/yourgame/instructionarticles/serve/serve.aspx?id=177738 (box number 2)

With that said, Monfils has a parallel stance and served more aces than Djokovic last night :P ( I know, it's the height and the wingspan and the afro that is super static and channels electricity into his body, just a joke, chill... did I mention Monfils's thin so his body's got more aerodynamicity?)

sureshs
11-16-2009, 07:20 AM
Having your front foot parallel to the baseline helps players who doesn't know how to/forget to coil their core (so that your vision is parallel to the baseline)

There is an issue there. If the ball is tossed parallel to the front foot and out in front, how can the vision be parallel to the baseline, unless you are not looking at the ball? The ball needs to be tossed closer to the body, even above the chest.

Fedace
11-16-2009, 04:34 PM
Having your front foot parallel to the baseline helps players who doesn't know how to/forget to coil their core (so that your vision is parallel to the baseline)... Since naturally you have to twist the body to be able to face the other court.
Can these 2 methods be looked at in the same light as the open stance and closed stance for a forehand? Like with the foot at 45 degrees, the body has more natural "twisting room" to uncoil to (like the open stance)... Hence the injury thing said above - forcing your foot to turn 90 degrees with the body while it's still stuck on the ground = no good - gotta jump!
I like the 45 degree foot method better because when you twist your ab, it becomes an elastic motion, just like how dropping the racket below your head then pull it up is better than starting with it already below the head. You get more energy produced from the muscles that way (though it might just be in my head). An easy to see example of this is Djokovic's ridiculous coiling:
http://www.tennis.com/yourgame/instructionarticles/serve/serve.aspx?id=177738 (box number 2)

With that said, Monfils has a parallel stance and served more aces than Djokovic last night :P ( I know, it's the height and the wingspan and the afro that is super static and channels electricity into his body, just a joke, chill... did I mention Monfils's thin so his body's got more aerodynamicity?)

how are you going to uncoil or Twist without getting in the Air ???:confused: