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View Full Version : Critique my serve, please.


samster
11-08-2009, 03:02 PM
It was a nice day out and I worked on my serve a little. Constructive criticisms welcome. Thank you for your time. (I am still waiting for sureshs to post an instructional video so I can learn how to properly serve. :))

AD court:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCDmam7TSlI

Deuce court:

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

From the side:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyIPuqAkRZ8

NickH87
11-08-2009, 03:20 PM
Not bad, almost like my serve...one thing I do a bit more is the knee bend. I like to "coil" it a bit more so I can explode into the serve.

fruitytennis1
11-08-2009, 03:25 PM
Bend your front knee more if you can, mabey lean in more too.
Also try moving your grip to the left more.(Second part is more of prefrence then anything else)

nfor304
11-08-2009, 03:27 PM
You dont get your left arm high enough and its preventing you getting a full extension. It may be due to your fairly low ball toss, you seem to be rushing your serve a bit because of your toss

AAAA
11-08-2009, 03:42 PM
It doesn't look like you're hitting the ball with a high enough contact point. As a result your body and arm isn't fully extended vertically at ball contact point. You should be really stretching up for the ball to improve power and angles.

When you get it right it should feel like you're hanging from just your right hand, feel the stretch down the RH-side of your body, vice versa for LH players.

Also it looks like your balance is causing you to fall backwards a bit on some of the serves. This can cause inconsistency.

Stronger leg extension - really get the power flowing up through the legs, body and arm.

Side view video - you hit two serves. On the first you didn't extend upward AND forward into the court whereas on the second you did move forward. Did you know that was happening? Extending upwards and forwards into the court will help to generate power as your body weight transfers into the serve. It might help you to fully extend as well because you need to reach up and forward. Of course the ball toss needs to be high enough aswell.

Edit: A coaching tip is head up when serving. This helps to prevent the body collapsing down too soon on the serve and thus not being fully extended at ball contact point. I can't see from the video if you are looking down before you hit the serve. You shouldn't if I remember the coaching correctly.

samster
11-08-2009, 03:51 PM
Very good points, fellow TTWers. Thanks, all! I definitely realize that

*My toss was low today.
*Knee bend could be more.
*I Need to lean forward and extend up.
*Toss is key...bad toss will likely lead to be a bad serve.

teppeiahn1
11-08-2009, 05:54 PM
Very good points, fellow TTWers. Thanks, all! I definitely realize that

*My toss was low today.
*Knee bend could be more.
*I Need to lean forward and extend up.
*Toss is key...bad toss will likely lead to be a bad serve.


Low toss.
forget the knee bend for now. all that stuff just screws up people in the beggining. add the leggs later and work on ur left arm more higher. work on sooth swing with good pronation.

remember just with good toss and smooth full extention arm with good pronation can serve alot harder then what ur serving with all the junk in your motion.

too much info can screw people up sometimes, start with basics and work your way up.

samster
11-08-2009, 06:42 PM
Not bad, almost like my serve...one thing I do a bit more is the knee bend. I like to "coil" it a bit more so I can explode into the serve.

Really? That's cool. Have you posted your service video somewhere?

samster
11-08-2009, 06:46 PM
Nick, I found some of your videos. You do have more kneebend than the samster. However, you are younger and in better shape. :)

samster
11-08-2009, 06:53 PM
How much more knee bend do I need?

http://i35.tinypic.com/2q1uybt.jpg

2ndServe
11-08-2009, 07:34 PM
I only saw a few but only saw slice serves, I hope on the ad side you can throw a good kicker once in awhile to make the slice down the T even more useful. I'd practice maybe a little more acceleration to try and get the ball to bounce one time and hit the back fence. More topspin is also good for 2nd serves and days when your slice is off.

LeeD
11-09-2009, 07:50 AM
Lazy lazy lazy = a weak serve.
Reach up. Use some energy. Keep your head up. Swing like you want to force a weak return, not start a rally, which you do right now.

2ndServe
11-09-2009, 09:03 AM
bending at the waist is a very bad habit, look at venus and sharapova, dementieva etc. all bend at the waist. If they weren't 6 feet+ their serves would be more of a liability.

LeeD
11-09-2009, 09:11 AM
Actually, bending at the waist is not terribly harmful, and can actually add some torso snap into the serve equation. Either side twisting or stomach muscle reflexing, it's something some smaller players use to add some pace to their serves. See McEnroe and Connors, Nastase and Kriek bend at the inital ball bounce.
Some stiffer players choose not to bend at the waist, for more control. But that's possibly a choice of the bigger stronger players who have the ballpace to begin with...
Personally, I serve more accurately with no bend. But I choose to bend at the beginning of the motion to get maybe 10% more ball speed and swing speed.

samster
11-09-2009, 01:05 PM
Lazy lazy lazy = a weak serve.
Reach up. Use some energy. Keep your head up. Swing like you want to force a weak return, not start a rally, which you do right now.

Thanks for your feedback. I agree that I need to keep head up more and extend more fully. Regarding applying more energy; unfortunately when I try to hit harder, my consistency dips significantly.

onehandbh
11-09-2009, 01:22 PM
Thanks for your feedback. I agree that I need to keep head up more and extend more fully. Regarding applying more energy; unfortunately when I try to hit harder, my consistency dips significantly.

Relax your upper body. Explode from the legs. Hit up.

Geezer Guy
11-09-2009, 01:25 PM
Pretty good serves. One thing I noticed is that sometimes you seem to fall to the left after you strike the ball. Not every time, but maybe about half the time. Could be your toss - hard to tell.

WildVolley
11-09-2009, 02:12 PM
You don't seem to have a very effective kinetic chain. I don't think bending your knees has anything to do with it.

What I see is you are actually one of the rare cases of holding your tossing hand up too long. It seems to be hindering your shoulder-over-shoulder motion and slowing down the racket speed at contact. If you watch carefully, you'll see that there is actually a point at which your racket arm is almost fully extended to hit the ball and your left hand is still above your rear shoulder!:shock:

I like that you point your off hand up, but it needs to drop and reach forward to allow the proper aggressive shoulder movement.

LeeD
11-09-2009, 02:42 PM
"more energy" does NOT necessarily mean swing faster from your arms. It can mean using more kinetics, ankles thru knees thru thighs, hips, torso, shoulder, elbow thru wrists and hands.
Basically, your serve saves you energy. It is very efficient. But it's slow and lazy also.
Add the energy in the leg drive upwards, the torso twist, the stomach crunch, and some increased swing speed.

Djokovicfan4life
11-09-2009, 03:02 PM
The biggest thing I notice is that you sort of fall into the court without really going up into your serve. I don't think you need more knee bend, you just need to change how you use your legs. You're not really getting anything out of your knee bend by falling into the court. It's more of a formality really at this point.

Matt

samster
11-09-2009, 07:31 PM
I appreciate everyone's input here.

Practice makes perfect and I think more time is warranted on the tennis court for more training.

Nellie
11-10-2009, 06:10 AM
The biggest thing I notice is that you sort of fall into the court without really going up into your serve. I don't think you need more knee bend, you just need to change how you use your legs. You're not really getting anything out of your knee bend by falling into the court. It's more of a formality really at this point.

Matt

I really noticed this in the first serve from the side view (second one was better). Maybe your toss was low, but you can clearly see in this first serve that your shoulders do not rise - instead your racquet goes back and you swing with only arms. You feet/legs/torso/shoulders don't move at all.

Try really to toss high and forward and delaying the shoulder rotation. With the knee bend, you are striving to push your weight forward and up while your racquet and arm are continuing to moving down and back, for a fraction of second. This movement stretches the ligaments, so that you get better explosion. Also you can time it better so that the arm/torso/shoulders all extend/rotate right at contact to build forces. If you do it right, you will feel funny, like you are swinging way out to the side of the ball, until the arm pronation and shoulder rotation move the racquet back to the ball at the last second.

samster
11-10-2009, 09:06 AM
Nellie,

You are correct. The toss on that 1st serve from the side was very low.

samster
11-11-2009, 05:25 PM
Pretty good serves. One thing I noticed is that sometimes you seem to fall to the left after you strike the ball. Not every time, but maybe about half the time. Could be your toss - hard to tell.

Thanks, Geezer Guy. My toss tend to be more behind my head...I seem to have suboptimal control of my left arm. :)

Geezer Guy
11-12-2009, 03:38 PM
Thanks, Geezer Guy. My toss tend to be more behind my head...I seem to have suboptimal control of my left arm. :)

OR, maybe you just have maxoptimal control of your right arm!

W Cats
11-12-2009, 04:23 PM
The way your body falls to the left causing you all sorts of kinetic issues in the 1st/side view is fairly similar to whats happening in the 1st/duce. Folks have given you feedback on the height of your toss. Without seeing th entire travel of the ball as it relates to a given serve and the timing of your movements it's hard for me to agree 100% that it's a function of height. What I can see is that the toss on 1st/duce court is too far to the left and that triggers all of the body movement and timming issues mentioned above and previously.
And since the body movements between your 1st/duce and 1st/side are similar, I'm thinking 1st/side toss is too far to the left as well.

Jaewonnie
11-12-2009, 04:55 PM
I dunno but if you want power (i just discovered this today), try to use ur torso muscles like a bow being flung. Might sound weird but I got my serve up to 100 mph today (estimation but when dust and felt explode off the ball at bounce, I'm pretty sure its fast). I'll post a video of my serve as soon as I can cuz i need some help too. My normal serves are 85 mph-ish.

You might need to adjust you toss a bit with this technique.

Tina
12-31-2009, 01:27 PM
It was a nice day out and I worked on my serve a little. Constructive criticisms welcome. Thank you for your time. (I am still waiting for sureshs to post an instructional video so I can learn how to properly serve. :))

AD court:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCDmam7TSlI

Deuce court:

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

From the side:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyIPuqAkRZ8


Nice Videos and Nice Serve, Samster.

For the sake of my curiosity, have you been staying/living in a city of Saint Louis in Missouri? Thank you.

-Tina

Blake0
12-31-2009, 08:55 PM
It was a nice day out and I worked on my serve a little. Constructive criticisms welcome. Thank you for your time. (I am still waiting for sureshs to post an instructional video so I can learn how to properly serve. :))

AD court:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCDmam7TSlI

Deuce court:

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

From the side:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyIPuqAkRZ8


(Serving from ad side)
Your momentum is being transferred to the side. You're not getting any/much power into your serve. Notice how when you land you tend to go to the left, especially on the last serve. Focus on jumping forward into the ball, so you land more toward the center and aren't being thrown off to the side. This will help get you more mph, and get ready for the next ball faster.

Your serve has a 1-2-3 motion. Once you start your backswing you sort of pause with your racket faced back to the fence, then you pause again at trophy position, then you swing. You loose some power there too. Focus on more of a 1-2 or 1 continious motion. If you go for a 1-2 motion, you go all the way to trophy position, then you swing, make sure you don't pause with the racket face back to the fence, it drains your power out and you'll have to muscle it.

Your serve has a bit of a lag too it. When you start off your swing, your toss arm and racket arm start up at the same time, but when your racket pauses at the facing the back fence part, your ball is already in the air, then you stop again at trophy position before you swing. This is causing timing issues, and normally having a lag isn't bad, but in your case it's delaying the timing and depriving you of your mph.Let your racket go up and toss arm go up at the same time, and make sure you pause only at your trophy position before you swing.

Here are a couple videos to help.
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=xstf#p/u/28/PmhdnZzC8GQ
http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=xstf#p/u/23/yBBO1YAWuiw

I didn't really watch the duece side, but on the side view of your serve, another thing i noticed is that you sometimes don't get full arm extension on the serve, i think one of the 2 videos help with that.