View Full Version : Serve Video

11-16-2009, 04:56 PM
Hello, I have made video on my tennis serve. What I have been working on is landing onto the court balanced and not just onto the baseline. As you can see from the last serve in the video I land pretty good into the court. What I work on next time is a rythme so all serves the same.

critique please

Note: my left arm wasn't up as long as it should have been because I got got a H1N1 flu shot 40 mins before the video was made and my left arm was sore.


11-16-2009, 05:12 PM
Nope, most serves ur still on the baseline after contact. U should b landing 1/2-1 foot inside the baseline. And Im still only seeing the slice serve, make a longer vid w/some kick, flat, and topspin serves plz.

11-16-2009, 05:30 PM
holy crap you look soososososooo stiff.

11-16-2009, 05:35 PM
OK, some encouraging things here. Like to see a more relaxed, less herky jerky, forced approach on the serve. Relax a bit, get some rhythm, lighten up on your grip, keep your racquet hand much higher after the release (looks like its down around the waist) and so forth.

Some of these things are going to get better as you serve more and more balls. Relax and stay balanced throughout the stroke.

11-16-2009, 06:09 PM
1. Your rushing you toss and your swing. Take your time, the serve is the only shot where you never have to rush. Take advantage of it.
2. Extend your arm fully on the toss, look at pictures of Sampras, Federer, etc. their tossing are is always fully extended.
3. Your service motion starts below your shoulder and behind you. Does your shoulder hurt after serving? Typically your racquet goes above your shoulders at the same time your tossing, and the handle never goes below the shoulders during the service motion. This is difficult to explain but read articles online and watch videos on YouTube.

11-16-2009, 06:11 PM
^ Thanks for the advice guys. Yeah papa I wasn't sure where to put the racquet hand after I toss the ball, so I had it at waist level. What I noticed was after the vids were taken I tried to bring the racquet behind my head after I tosses and that seemed to work.

But like I said my shoulders were not aligned becasue of the sore left arm from the h1n1 shot.

I want to be able to serve like this guy, but I have alot of work to do.

Like the guy in the white. I want to be able to step forward just as I am about to serve like this guy, he has good rythme.

11-16-2009, 06:21 PM
your take back seems quite low and your contact point, may be the flu shot but im not sure but if it all goes in and you're comftable then i guess its alright but unorthodox

11-16-2009, 06:24 PM
^ Well yeah, but I still want to develop a better motion. Unlike mine where I am too stiff/robotic. I want a free flowing serve.
In the video those were just my slice serves though.

Friday I will make a video of all my serves and make it longer, I will try to calm down and slow down in it. Cody's serve is good because he steps into serve which I am going to try.

11-16-2009, 06:26 PM
Ok watched it a few times and getting sense for your motion. I'm looking right now at the last serve you hit in the video and have it paused somewhere in :27. The frame that I'm looking at right now has your body in what would normally be a trophy position and you look almost like a reverse C.

Toss arm has to be extending up more (I know you got a shot that day :) )
However, more alarming to me is the position of your right arm or racket arm at that trophy phase. The entire racket is lower than your head and your arm looks as if it was pressed up against your body (From shoulder to elbow). Then from elbow to hand your arm is pointing directly back to the fence. Anyone else see this?

I would suggest at looking at some trophy poses and phases of the swing (Perhaps fuzzyyellowballs.com) and try to emulate that prior to your swing or even just set up in the trophy phase to serve to get used to it. This cannot be good for your motion and I would assume be putting a lot of stress on that back shoulder.

11-16-2009, 06:27 PM
Noticed as well that after hitting play on the freeze frame I was on that your arm straightens out way early from the trophy position you were in and takes a long time to get to contact because the racket is so low in trophy that it almost has a softball pitching motion feel to it to me. Not good for that shoulder or arm imo :(

11-16-2009, 06:34 PM
^ Thankyou for the peice of information about my followthrough/trophy position.

I will look at some videos that show the correct Trophy Postion then try to copy that into my swing, then take a video.

What I have noticed since the first video I made is that I am more balanced when I land, compared to the first where I was moving far left. Now im trying to balance on my left foot after the drive.

11-16-2009, 06:37 PM
Also to add: Rambler so I should be watching this "up the mountain video" which will also improve my trophy position?


11-16-2009, 06:48 PM
Love the Serve Doctor stuff. So I would say yes.

I've seen that vid and my recollection is he talks about "pitching upward". Even when pitching look at his throwing arm. Its basically an "L" in the "trophy position". Thats a more standard position where as you "L" looks more like a "J" down your back. Make sense?

11-16-2009, 07:13 PM
Not really. Lol.

11-16-2009, 07:27 PM
It takes a lot of practice and willpower to change your serve, i am lucky as i watched the fuzzy yellow balls pretty much when i started tennis.

Just focus on tossing high and take your time, never feel like you are forced to hit the ball.


11-17-2009, 04:58 AM
Look, your going in the right direction with this process. Take an old racquet out into a field and just start tossing the thing - you'll be amazed at how this might help with your stroke.

11-17-2009, 05:52 AM
Here are a couple of things I see:

Your "Trophy" position has your racket hand down by your hip. To compare and contrast, here is Federer in a trophy position:


At contact, your shoulders are level to the ground (kind of like a baseball pitcher). Your hitting arm shoulder should be higher at contact:


My thought process on that rotation is get my toss shoulder high, then rotate so that my racket shoulder "replaces" it by rotating around my body.

You also look like you're trying to hit the snot out of the ball, and your motion has the stiffness to prove it. You'd be amazed at how much power you can get from a relaxed body rotation through the ball, proper pronation at contact, and good contact with the ball (see that last picture).

Take 20 mph off that serve and work on your technique. When the light bulb turns on in your head, you can start to pick up the pace and see much higher speeds.

11-17-2009, 05:53 AM

11-17-2009, 09:16 AM
Thank you for that^

I was not sure on where to put the racquet when tossing it, so I had it complete opposite, I should have it up by shoulders and pointing up.

Thanks guys for the help, anyone else? :)

11-17-2009, 09:19 AM
This is just like swimming. I remember from few years ago, at first when you learn the strokes it would be hard to do and would take process on the steps. But once you have allthe steps perfected you keep getting better.

W Cats
11-17-2009, 11:56 AM
I don't get the sense that there is much of a weight shift from back foot to front foot during your takeback. It appears as if you rush so quickly from th ready positon to the deep knee bend that you start with your weight on your front foot and it stays that way through to the end of you stroke with maybe the occasional airtime. Try shifting your weight briefly to your backfoot and time it so that as the racquethead swings down and pass your back foot/leg you gradually shift weight to the backfoot in sync with the natural swing speed of the racquet head. As you get to the trophy position your weight will even out during the knee bend if you are in a pinpoint position with your feet.

This will add a little weight shift and flow to your service takeback.

11-17-2009, 12:35 PM
What foot is my front foot, and what foot is my back foot? What foot do I want to 'launch' up on. Explode into the ball with?

W Cats
11-17-2009, 01:53 PM
As a right handed server your left foot is the front foot. Since it looks as if you are developing a pinoint stance (where both feet are almost touching prior to extending from the knee bend) we'll use that for reference. At the ready position rock your weight to your right foot as you drop the racquet head, as you come up to the trophy position your weight is either even then or biased some toward the front foot and extend/explode up from both feet.

Hope this helps


11-17-2009, 02:17 PM
Things I would also highlight about the Roddick serve posted by W Cats:

1) His knee bend starts after he tosses the ball (helpful to react to where the ball is after the toss).

2) His shoulder rotation is very nice (left shoulder starts high, he rotates around his chest, and contacts the ball with his right shoulder high).

3) He has great pronation through the contact point.

I know his racket hand looks low in his trophy pose, but it's likely right around shoulder height. It's just that his shoulders are at a steep angle, so his hand ends up looking a little low.

11-17-2009, 03:22 PM
^ Thankyou for the help, I now see what I have to work on in terms of shifting my weight when tossing/in trophy position. I will work on having all my weight on my right foot during the whole serve untill I get to the trophy position where I will balance it equally on both feet, then jump off the grip of both feet. Is this correct?

Is my body rotated enough during the serve? I think Im pretty flat towards the baseline which is a nono. My rotating I get the energy right?

11-17-2009, 07:38 PM
Need some help on the above questions. :) ^

11-18-2009, 04:52 AM
Need some help on the above questions. :) ^

ok, don't keep your weight on one foot, you can shift your weight somewhat without getting out of balance. Shifting it all to one foot is not a good idea and probably not really what you meant. One of the problems with having the weight on the front foot is that you'll have a tendency to lift the rear foot during the serve - you don't want that - I see this frequently and its not that easy to correct. Balance, balance and balance.

W Cats
11-18-2009, 07:00 AM
Body rotation during a serve happens on several axis. On the vertical axis, looking at the video prior to your H1N1 shot you're fine. Left shoulder is significantly above right shoulder during trophy position (I believe someone already gave you suggestions for right hand position). And through the stroke those shoulders change relative positions in a deliberate manner.

On the horizontal axis your chest rotation timing seems OK and matches the stance. Some people will expose more of their back at trophy position towards the opposite service box, McEnroe, Sampras, Federer, but they also generally have a different stances (platform) than you.

11-18-2009, 01:11 PM
^ Thankyou, anyone else notice anything to add?

11-18-2009, 07:25 PM
you are using to much of a forehand grip slide your hand over so that when you hold the racket in from of you all you should see is the frame, not string. It will allow you to get more whip and pronation with your wrist and more spin. Do that and most of what other people are saying and your serve should improve a lot.

11-19-2009, 01:47 PM
This looks like the drunken boxer service motion...

W Cats
11-19-2009, 02:19 PM
Drunken Boxer _ that cracks me up.:):)

11-19-2009, 02:34 PM
This looks like the drunken boxer service motion...

A to co jest?

11-20-2009, 09:59 AM
A to co jest?


I'm just saying that's the first thing I thought of when I saw you lean that far back...

It looks like you're going to fall over backwards...then WHAM! You drill the serve in...kinda cool actually.

11-20-2009, 11:28 AM
Ok lol. . .

11-21-2009, 03:27 PM
something on the serious side: don't worry about going into the court too much. unless you plan to serve and volley, you should only be landing about 6 inches to a foot past the baseline. if you land to far in and you have a very strong serve, a good returner can put it back deep and you will be in trouble for the shot after that. here are some photos you can look at andy roddick. he has the most explosive serve in tennis, yet he only lands a few inches past the baseline after the execution of his serve.

also, you can incorporate more angles into your serve if you go more upwards into the ball than forwards into the court. if you go upwards, you will propel yourself and add a few inches to your serve. this will make your serve have more angles to travel. when your serve is hit from higher up, it will hit into the court at a more downward angle and kick up more without accounting for topspin. a few inches may not seem like a lot, but it really is. i am 5' 9" which is a decent height and i can hit good serves, but if i were 6 feet, there would definitely be difference in my serve

if you are falling 2 feet into the court, thats okay and i wouldn't advise you to change it unless you really want to, but what i am trying to say is don't try to propel yourself so much into the court because it really isnt necessary

11-21-2009, 04:59 PM
........... don't try to propel yourself so much into the court because it really is necessary

I would assume you meant "isn't" necessary.

11-21-2009, 06:32 PM
yeah i fixed it, thanks for catching that

11-23-2009, 07:27 PM
Thanks call thats what I was thinking. But yeah your height makes a big difference. I am only 5'6.5 and can serve pretty hard, I have a friend whos 6'2 and my serves are harder than his, but yeah im only 15 and not done growing. dad is 6'2 mom is 5'4 so i might get 5'11 or 6. my dad was 5'5 at my age fyi.

thanks for the help guys. Today was practicing my slice/kick serves worked out pretty well.

H. Ju
11-25-2009, 12:13 PM
Hi, I think your ball toss is too low, I mean way to low. If the ball toss is not high enough, of course you have to rush your serve motion , no time to get into the trophy position. First thing to practice for improving serve is enough high ball toss with consistancy!