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View Full Version : Video, your best advice for getting more spin and power on the serve


2ndServe
11-05-2009, 10:33 AM
My serve is actually a decent weapon but of course it could be better especially being a lefty. I don't however serve it 120mph which I think I could if I got more leg/knee bend and coil. I have been clocked as high as 114mph but that's really slow by today's standard. It's blurry as my it was taken with my phone but you can see the mechanics of it. I currently am playing with a head LM radical MP with 55lbs luxilon. I actually exert almost no energy right now and just let it flow really loosey goosey. Or it could actually exercises that I need, I'm lazy and don't lift but I may if I get back into it and can get another 5mph.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUkVrSd9tuc

LeeD
11-05-2009, 10:39 AM
Looking good....
I don't see much that you could really practically add to get much more out of your serve, short of growing 6" and sliding back a few years. We all have to face the reality of limits. Age catches up with whatever advancement in techniques.
Just practice placements, keep loose on the serves, maybe refine and mix your topspin with kick/twist serves, and you should do just fine.

2ndServe
11-05-2009, 10:43 AM
Hey LeeD you still surf? I don't see you at SurferMag forum anymore.

LeeD
11-05-2009, 10:47 AM
Only OBSF when it's offshore winds and sizing I can get out. I'm out of shape from a spring/summer/fall of windsurfing and work, so need wide period swells and some reward. BayBridge has been closed for a week, so traffic asnarl, but open now, alas the swell went to windchop and mushy.
I usually get a call from the guys at Wises, as I worked there for like 14 years and shaped a few hundred for them.
Reality is the age old problem of getting old, and realizing it.

mista-k
11-05-2009, 10:49 AM
bend your knees lower and rise up...better kickball

practice different ways of slicing the ball (follow through)

Im also a lefty
+arc your back more

LeeD
11-05-2009, 10:59 AM
But all dat stuff presupposes a server with a body that can actually DO all you mentioned. When you do everything the pros do to serve, you have little left for the rest of the game, especially if you're over 30 or so in age.
We can always add more lift, more spring, faster swing, more forward movement into the court, but there comes a time when the body can only do so much, and it starts to break down.
If OP was 17 years old, already a 5.0 player (a REAL OPEN player), then the advice of more effort would be standard.

mista-k
11-05-2009, 11:11 AM
But all dat stuff presupposes a server with a body that can actually DO all you mentioned. When you do everything the pros do to serve, you have little left for the rest of the game, especially if you're over 30 or so in age.
We can always add more lift, more spring, faster swing, more forward movement into the court, but there comes a time when the body can only do so much, and it starts to break down.
If OP was 17 years old, already a 5.0 player (a REAL OPEN player), then the advice of more effort would be standard.

lol...I just watched the video and didnt READ
my apologies.

then.....stop eating burgers and fries so you wont be lazy also stay off the potato chips

jazzyfunkybluesy
11-05-2009, 11:17 AM
Looking good....
I don't see much that you could really practically add to get much more out of your serve, short of growing 6" and sliding back a few years. We all have to face the reality of limits. Age catches up with whatever advancement in techniques.
Just practice placements, keep loose on the serves, maybe refine and mix your topspin with kick/twist serves, and you should do just fine.

Shoot I bet Sampras still serves 120 easy son.

Bungalo Bill
11-05-2009, 11:29 AM
My serve is actually a decent weapon but of course it could be better especially being a lefty. I don't however serve it 120mph which I think I could if I got more leg/knee bend and coil. I have been clocked as high as 114mph but that's really slow by today's standard. It's blurry as my it was taken with my phone but you can see the mechanics of it. I currently am playing with a head LM radical MP with 55lbs luxilon. I actually exert almost no energy right now and just let it flow really loosey goosey. Or it could actually exercises that I need, I'm lazy and don't lift but I may if I get back into it and can get another 5mph.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUkVrSd9tuc

Hi SecondServe,

If you want to get more pace and spin from your serve, it only makes sense it has to come from your motion and that starts with the legs. Using your legs properly will help a lot. Also, being as loose and flexible in the shoulder/arm/wrist area helps also. However, from your knee bend, you must generate more force and energy upward and get that arm to swing faster. Technique will also play a huge role as well. We have a lot of posts here on that.

GuyClinch
11-05-2009, 12:34 PM
Your a pretty advanced player, IMHO. Your going to need to do some fancy stuff..

I'd try this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixx-MCC7D88

But in all honesty against the people I play against I can serve with no legs at all and hit aces. So adding in leg drive like you need to isn't something I am that familiar with..

2ndServe
11-08-2009, 07:23 PM
Only OBSF when it's offshore winds and sizing I can get out. I'm out of shape from a spring/summer/fall of windsurfing and work, so need wide period swells and some reward. BayBridge has been closed for a week, so traffic asnarl, but open now, alas the swell went to windchop and mushy.
I usually get a call from the guys at Wises, as I worked there for like 14 years and shaped a few hundred for them.
Reality is the age old problem of getting old, and realizing it.

I hope you surfed today. Wow even in socal where most of the swell was blocked we saw some decent size. Must've been some huge 20ft+ waves up there.

LeeD
11-09-2009, 07:54 AM
I didn't surf, instead played tennis and taught boat sailing. Swell up here is in the 12-15 range short period, and nobody gets out at OBSF.
As for Sampras, he used to hit 135 at times, losing some MPH with age.
As for adding more leg drive.... always good, but unless you play 6 days a week and your learning curve is still improving, you can't do it. You only get more tired, injured, and out of sorts.
OP has a great motion and serve. Unless he plans on quickly making the pro tour, he might have missed the boat.

KenC
11-09-2009, 08:29 AM
Serve looks fine to me, and anything over 100mph is nothing to be ashamed of in intermediate circles. If your serve is already giving your usual opponents some difficulty, I would suggest practicing for more extreme angles on the first serve as well as more consistency on the first serve. Those may have a bigger impact on your game than an extra 10mph.

LeeD
11-09-2009, 09:26 AM
Only thing I'd consider, which doesn't take much practice or extra excertion, is maybe taking the elbow farther back on the backswing, giving you more forward motion and momentum, leading to a longer strike zone and longer motion. It could rob you of consistency, as a pitcher's motion is very different than a catcher's motion.
In a world of pure ball speed vs control, the longer motion usually leads to more ballspeed, at the expense of some control.

Kevo
11-10-2009, 12:40 PM
I'd like to see some more angles. You might be able to add a few mph relatively easy with more pronation and a slight change in approach angle and timing. It's pretty hard to tell from that angle and the choppy video though.

The other thing, is depending on how you're measuring the mph, you may be at 120mph already if you were on an ATP court. Those guns are set up to read the speed very early off the racquet where the speed is higher.

LeeD
11-10-2009, 01:06 PM
I wouldn't think OP's serve would match up very positive against ATP top 300's. Kinda hard to match up against guys who've been playing 5 days a week with coaching and trainers for over 10 years.
I had what had to be the top 5 fastest serves in GoldenGatePark SF thru the late '70's. At least 20 pros exceeded my best service speeds, but more than that, they could do it during a match, when tired, when bored, and whenever.
OP has an excellent serve and motion, but maybe up to 5.0 levels only. As he said his speed, it would match up about correct with my experience.

papa
11-10-2009, 05:15 PM
Serve is ok - actually more than ok, its pretty good. I'd slow it down quite a bit and go for a little bit more balance. After I got these things in order (maybe you were speeding things up for the "show"), I'd like to see more snap at the top (that should get a few folks fired up) and work on the mechanics.

Actually, its not that easy to evaluate a serve from a tiny clip - those that think they can are certainly better than me.

To me the toss (hate that term and always have because a "toss", to me, means a "little throw" - which it isn't) is one of the first things that MUST be mastered. Keep the little finger out of the process, the hand turned in a normal position (generally about 45 degrees), the ball not traveling faster after the release than before, the ball going in the exact same direction before and after release and so on. Three finger hold, in my opinion is better than using four but either is fine.

2ndServe
11-10-2009, 05:43 PM
actually that's my slower than normal motion and against former college player and futures players my serve is really effective the first few sets (it's probably the lefty spin). After the first few sets they definitely get a groove on it better, some don't solve it but the better ones the speed does not bother them.

Mostly my 2nd serve which used to be pretty decent is now getting punished by the best players. Could be it got worse but IMO the players footwook, mindset and forehands have gotten bigger and better. So my serve, especially my 2nd needs to get better.

papa
11-11-2009, 04:57 AM
actually that's my slower than normal motion and against former college player and futures players my serve is really effective the first few sets (it's probably the lefty spin). After the first few sets they definitely get a groove on it better, some don't solve it but the better ones the speed does not bother them.

Mostly my 2nd serve which used to be pretty decent is now getting punished by the best players. Could be it got worse but IMO the players footwook, mindset and forehands have gotten bigger and better. So my serve, especially my 2nd needs to get better.

Hey, whatever works. I find that players who have a "quick" motion have a tendency to miss a lot and when they start missing it really starts to fly - maybe you can control the process better than most.

LeeD
11-11-2009, 07:45 AM
Unfortunately, only way to improve the 2nd serve is an hour and a half of practice each day, split into 2 sessions, 4 days a week, using 200 tennisballs, targets at both corners and center deep, also targets 5' inside the service line at the sidelines, and TAKING YOUR TIME between each serve.
I don't have the time, do you?

samster
11-11-2009, 07:59 AM
If I quit my job...

LeeD
11-11-2009, 08:40 AM
job... ?????
Geez, when you're 62 years old and retired, what are you going to think about? The chances you had to get good at some sport, or that you kept a job thru your years?
Obviously, it takes all sorts to run this world, and we are all different. Me, I'd rather like my lifepath so far. Never a real job, except taxi driving to finance a budding motocross career, I gave it my best shot at surfing, roadracing, motocross, tennis, and windsurfing, going 5 days a week in each of those sports for at least 4 years each. I never can say... " if only I gave it a chance...".

sureshs
11-11-2009, 09:24 AM
Another server whose front foot is parallel to the baseline. Interesting.

2ndServe
11-11-2009, 01:58 PM
Another server whose front foot is parallel to the baseline. Interesting.

it starts out point towards the net but I've slowly realized if I turn my foot I get more body turn. It's also why I turn and toss the ball so I get more body turn.

2ndServe
11-11-2009, 02:02 PM
I didn't surf, instead played tennis and taught boat sailing. Swell up here is in the 12-15 range short period, and nobody gets out at OBSF.
As for Sampras, he used to hit 135 at times, losing some MPH with age.
As for adding more leg drive.... always good, but unless you play 6 days a week and your learning curve is still improving, you can't do it. You only get more tired, injured, and out of sorts.
OP has a great motion and serve. Unless he plans on quickly making the pro tour, he might have missed the boat.

Yeah I've tried adding more leg drive. Just gets me tired by the 2nd set, also it throws off my timing which right now is really effortless. Probably something little I need to adjust. Lower roscoe tanner type toss right now really works for me.

Bungalo Bill
11-11-2009, 02:24 PM
Yeah I've tried adding more leg drive. Just gets me tired by the 2nd set, also it throws off my timing which right now is really effortless. Probably something little I need to adjust. Lower roscoe tanner type toss right now really works for me.

Of course it is more tiring. However, you need to practice it and learn how to use it effciently. You have to have more leg drive and motion in your coiling and uncoiling to get a relaxed arm and shoulder to move faster. If your strength deminishes than get going on strength training.

jazzyfunkybluesy
11-12-2009, 04:35 PM
Use your legs to develop a whole body and arm whip.

2ndServe
11-12-2009, 04:50 PM
can someone give me a 2nd opinion. I've never been called for a foot fault and I'm in the air (yes I know I've got credit card hops) when I cross the line. But some guy commented that I'm foot faulting. I think he's blind

LeeD
11-13-2009, 11:44 AM
No footfault on 3 serves. You're allowed to cross over the line if you're in the air. See the jump serve video.
I can't see you adding any more leg drive, like I can't see ME adding more leg drive at 60 and all the leg injuries.
Simply saying a person can always get better is simply NOT TRUE. Limits in physical, time, injuries, age, do you want a rest of life?, dat stuff.
2nd Serve has an excellent service motion right on up to 5.0. But I don't think he's gonna get better than 5.0, due to work, time, physical restraints, age and injury.
We gotta accept our limitations, otherwise a 70 year old would aspire to make the Pro tour starting tennis AT 70 !!

2ndServe
11-13-2009, 01:48 PM
hehe thx. But I don't look like I'm 70 do I? I've still got some improving left in me. Check back in a few months I'll have a better vid. If not I'll buy you a beer next time I'm surfing up north.

LeeD
11-14-2009, 07:33 AM
Dude, you look like a 30 year old in good shape! You CAN get better at tennis, but at the expense of 6 days a week, 4 hours a day, a trainer, a coach, and all the quality opponents around your area at your disposal. Doesn't leave much time or physical energy for surfing or things you like to do.
You can get to 5.5 for sure, and enter Open Q's, but maybe never win any to make the first round of the main draw.
That's where I stopped tennis. After two Q's going 3 and 4 rounds, losing to #1 at Pepperdine one year and losing to some 18 year old Kiwidude the next, I figured my window of opportunity had left my vicinity.
Sorta like when I quit contest surfing after making 4A in '71. Took a whole season to go from 1A to winning a 3A, a I figured they were never going to hold enough contests in real waves as opposed to SoCal anklebiters.