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skyzoo
11-24-2009, 03:39 AM
So the other day the radar gun was brought out. I topped out at 114 mph once and 107, 108 a couple times. How can I get this serve in play 3-4 times a game? I usually slice or kick my first serve because of their effectivness but I wouldn't mind throwing a couple of bombs in per game. Any serve experts want to comment?

Jaewonnie
11-24-2009, 04:09 AM
woops misunderstood question....

10s talk
11-24-2009, 04:40 AM
pray.............................................. .......

Nellie
11-24-2009, 06:47 AM
Practice?

Just kidding - I think that if you need to hit an occasional hard, flat serve that you have trouble getting in the court, aim over the low point of the net so that you have more margin for error. You will, pretty much, be hitting down the middle of the service box, so don't do it too much, or the opponent will start teeing off once they get used to the timing. I find it particularly helpful when people start creeping up to take the kick serve on the raise.

Just remember to stay loose on that serve because if you start trying to muscle the ball (to rip the serve harder) your serve speed with significantly decrease. I find it particularly important to remember to keep your tossing arm up because I see too many people overly focused on driving forward, dropping the arm, and serving into the bottom of the net. Even a flat serve drops a lot so you need to hit up and over the net.

darthpwner
11-24-2009, 06:51 AM
Try to increase your spin rate on your "flat" serve to try to make it more consistent.

LeeD
11-24-2009, 08:04 AM
Practice 100 firstflat serves twice a day, 5 days a week. After 4 years of this, you will have a 50% first flat serve during an important point at a real match.
Most pros practice more first flats more often, and for twice the # of years. On most important points, they barely get 50% in.

WildVolley
11-24-2009, 08:11 AM
I'm going to disagree with LeeD's advice unless you have a bullet-proof shoulder.

The key thing is to stay healthy. Always warm-up before serving big and do rotator-cuff exercises a couple times a week. I've seen far too many players with shoulder injuries because they serve too often and try too hard.

fuzz nation
11-24-2009, 08:35 AM
That serve will plainly be less consistent than a spinner, even if you practice both of them a lot. My simple answer for more consistency on that heater is to throttle down to the 95-100 mph range if you really have to land it, but we also need to consider the game within the game.

If you insist on smoking lots those first serves into the donation box instead of the service box, most opponents will silently thank you for it and then do their darndest to rip a return off your second serve. I've always been a rather strong server myself, but I only want my opponent to know that I might crank on a first ball, so I only remind him/her (I sometimes play with ladies who played in college, etc.) on occasion. That means that I only need to really thump one maybe once every game or two just to keep them honest.

I actually had to change my approach to serving when a few of my pals told me how my spin serves with their unpredictable bounces were more consistent than my heaters and also tougher to return with much aggression. Once an opponent gets grooved on your flat serve, they can often put you in trouble with no more than a blocked return, but a funky spin serve that you can land with accuracy can really allow you to dictate the outset of your service points. They can actually force more mis-hits from the receiver, too. These are just my findings, but I think that it's worth keeping track of when you're playing points.

Remember that in a match, your opponent isn't toting a radar gun and he doesn't care what number you're posting on the heat-o-meter. He only cares if it lands and if he can return it. If your first serve faults are breaking the sound barrier... hey, they're still faults, right? Keep practicing and find a pace on that heater that's got enough consistency for it to be useful. Along with some spin serves, you'll have more variety to throw at 'em.

Azzurri
11-24-2009, 09:35 AM
So the other day the radar gun was brought out. I topped out at 114 mph once and 107, 108 a couple times. How can I get this serve in play 3-4 times a game? I usually slice or kick my first serve because of their effectivness but I wouldn't mind throwing a couple of bombs in per game. Any serve experts want to comment?

by any chance was the gun just "off" for that one serve? 107-109 is very good speed. work on your placement. trust me, 105-110 and placement kills your opponent.

BMC9670
11-24-2009, 09:55 AM
Serving is like pitching in baseball. The idea is to keep them guessing and off balance to produce a weak return. If a pitcher throws tons of fastballs, he's going to get hit.

I take chances throughout a match with hard, flat serves, but think of them as just that, taking a chance to keep the returner off balance.

To get it more consistent, I agree with Nellie - keep loose and don't drop the shoulders/head. Use a good wrist snap to help get the extra pop, not muscling the ball.

Azzurri
11-24-2009, 10:13 AM
Serving is like pitching in baseball. The idea is to keep them guessing and off balance to produce a weak return. If a pitcher throws tons of fastballs, he's going to get hit.

I take chances throughout a match with hard, flat serves, but think of them as just that, taking a chance to keep the returner off balance.

To get it more consistent, I agree with Nellie - keep loose and don't drop the shoulders/head. Use a good wrist snap to help get the extra pop, not muscling the ball.

good post...but is not a wrist snap..its the forearm pronating. :)

goran_ace
11-24-2009, 10:41 AM
If you want to use that 3-4 times a game (basically making it your primary serve) I would suggest working on your second serve. You can win with a 50% first serve percentage as long as (1) the serves that do go in result in an ace/service winner or set you up to put away the return, and (2) you have a reliable second serve that your opponent cannot attack. If those two things aren't happening then you have to carefully choose when to use that serve (30-0, 40-15, Ad In) to try to get a free point.

I would also suggest working on your strength and stamina in your legs. When the legs start to wear down the mph drop quickly and you will find it harder to find that serve when you most need it. A big serve in a tiebreak is a huge advantage.

Ripper014
11-24-2009, 11:05 AM
Depends on how you got to 114mph... I was manning a speed gun for a friend of mine at a tournament... and a lot of people just wanted to see how hard they could hit.

A friend of mine happened by... and was interested... so I said to him... hit it with good form. It is not about how fast you can propel a ball it is about how hard you can serve a ball into the court. He topped out at about 125mph, me about 115mph... but this was over 15 years ago.... he was using a PS 6.0 85 and I was using a 200g... my second serve was consistantly between 78 - 80mph.

Don't worry about the number (115mph) so much... just vary your spins, speed, placement and you will be effective. I have always tried to keep my first service percentage around 70%, meaning if I was hitting my flat serve well I would hit more of them... if not, I would take a little pace off my flat serve and hit more kickers and slice serves until my percentages went back up.

I guess my point is. don't worry about something you don't own... yet...

DavaiMarat
11-24-2009, 11:11 AM
So the other day the radar gun was brought out. I topped out at 114 mph once and 107, 108 a couple times. How can I get this serve in play 3-4 times a game? I usually slice or kick my first serve because of their effectivness but I wouldn't mind throwing a couple of bombs in per game. Any serve experts want to comment?

I do agree with most of the posters saying placement and spin is more important then flat KpH/MpH. However if you do insist on hitting a fast serve if nothing but for show, I will give you tidbits of advice.

The serve like all motions in tennis start from the feet and legs. If you watch how Roddick serves, while he is in the 'trophy position', look at his toes and feet. You'll see that his feet and legs look like they are pressing against the ground. This is key in gaining the spring and forward momentum necessary for a strong serve. (Think of it as you trying to push the ground down with your legs by applying pressure at the balls of your feet.) Notice how is legs are bent around 45 degree angle looking to push off the ground. This is where over 50% of your power if generated.

Now the next thing is torso, what I see often is the coil and shoulder rotation with the toss but if unravels too quickly before the ball is struck. Like someone said this is the importance of keeping the left shoulder up and right shoulder down and away from the hitting zone. Too often the shoulders uncoil before the arm and thus the kinetic chain is broken. You must hold the right shoulder back until racquet is travelling up from the backscratcher (or whatever back position you use) to the ball striking zone.

Lastly, you must keep the wrist loose, by doing this you will relax the arm and shoulder. This will be important for you generate acceleration from your shoulder. Remember a tennis ball is very light. It's not a baseball. It's necessary to get the racquet head to move quickly but not with a lot of inherent force. The more muscle you try to incorporate the tighter your arm will be and the slower your serve. Remember, loose arm, it's like wet spaghetti!

Considering, you probably already know how to serve so I won't bore you with the nuances like wrist snap and toss placement. Those you inherently can learn. However understanding where the power is generated is what you need to grasp. The loading of the legs and shoulders is what separates a pro's serve and a amateurs serve. The arm is simply an extension.

When you grasp this, you will hit serves that travel fast and heavy thru the air yet you will not feel like your shoulder and arm did the mainstay of the work. In fact in will feel very odd at 1st because it won't seem like you've hit it harder at all however listen to the sound of the impact off your racquet and off the back wall. That will be a tell-true indication.

Remember:
Legs - push the ground down with the balls of your feet.
Shoulders - Coil but do not open your shoulders until your racquet is traveling upwards.
Arm - Very loose. The body is doing the work.

I hope this helps.

Mike

LeeD
11-24-2009, 12:26 PM
WildVolley....
You are free to disagree with any of my posts, as you have as much a right to say anything as the next guy...
But to get a real ATP level first serve, placement within 12" of your target and deep, you HAVE to hit couple hun serves a day, 5 days a week. And I"m talking first flat serves. Difference is, in practice, you work on loosening up your stroke and mental lock, but still hit it as fast as a loose motion will allow.
You won't hurt yourself if you hit 110 flat with little effort.
You will hurt yourself if you insist on adding the final 10 with muscle and unharnessed energy.
You have to practice, in order to get a ATP serve. Blasting 50 a day just allows you to THINK you can get one in, someday, during a match, during an important point. You won't, not enough practice.

BMC9670
11-24-2009, 12:48 PM
good post...but is not a wrist snap..its the forearm pronating. :)

Yep, thanks for the clarification.

Ripper014
11-24-2009, 12:55 PM
WildVolley....
You are free to disagree with any of my posts, as you have as much a right to say anything as the next guy...
But to get a real ATP level first serve, placement within 12" of your target and deep, you HAVE to hit couple hun serves a day, 5 days a week. And I"m talking first flat serves. Difference is, in practice, you work on loosening up your stroke and mental lock, but still hit it as fast as a loose motion will allow.
You won't hurt yourself if you hit 110 flat with little effort.
You will hurt yourself if you insist on adding the final 10 with muscle and unharnessed energy.
You have to practice, in order to get a ATP serve. Blasting 50 a day just allows you to THINK you can get one in, someday, during a match, during an important point. You won't, not enough practice.



Ok then I will be that next guy...

Hitting hundreds of hard serves I do not believe increase your ability to get them in. What you need to do is to find that service rhythm you can replicate in a match situation. As your service motion smooths out... and you make better contact you will naturally hit the ball harder and more consistant.

When I warmup my service I am not even trying to get the ball in the court... I am just finding my rhythm and making good contact. Stephen Edberg was a prime example of this.. he could be a foot inside the service line when warming up.

But as your service motion gets better technically your serve will improve... so it is not doing it often as much as it is doing it right.

LeeD
11-24-2009, 01:06 PM
Certainly true if you don't have a correct service motion.
I had a correct service motion in 1975, so more practice makes better.
Less practice means the serves won't go in.
If you want Sampras's, Feds, DJ's, dePorto serves, you have to practice MORE OFTEN than they did. You're not as gifted, or as athletic. Nor I of course, so I practiced MORE.

Read my first post again !!! LOOSEN UP the motion and LOOSEN up the mental block!

CallOfBooty
11-24-2009, 01:37 PM
i always hit at least 500 serves a week. despite what everyone is saying, you mentally can not learn how to hit a serve without practicing it. you can watch as many videos as you want and study very intricate serving details, but if you don't hit some serves yourself you will never get the muscle memory.

when you are just practicing your serve, you should be aiming to practice with about 90% of your maximum serve speed. some people might disagree but this is my take on it: if you want to hit your fast first serve consistently, you have to actually hit it fast, not work on consistency. as long as you continue serving with a fluid motion then go ahead and fire away. just do not try to change your normal motion or muscle the ball in. if you get it in, great. try to repeat what you just did. if you didn't get it in, figure out why you didn't get it in, and change that for your next serve. say you have a maximum service speed of 120 mph. you want to hit 115 consistently, but you only practice serving at 100 to stay consistent. if your motion is already fluid and devoid of kinks, then why would you bother hitting at such a slow pace? serving at 115 mph would not only help you get your bombs in, but it would also help you to get your average 100 first serve in because you are practicing serving at a higher pace. if you can hit a 115 serve in even 40% of the time, chances are you can definitely hit in a 100 serve 60-70% of the time

trust me if you just keep practicing it and always working out the kinks in your serve you will improve. the first time i got my serve clocked, the highest i got was 84. my serve wasn't that great, but i started working on it and practiced every weekend. whenever i couldn't find a hitting partner, i would practice serves instead. after about half a year (indoor and summer season) i got my serve clocked at legg mason again. at that time i got 107 with an old racket, so i serve maybe 110 max. i don't know if my serve speed has increased, but i can definitely hit 90-95 mph first serves 60% of the time in my matches.

LeeD
11-24-2009, 01:57 PM
Excellent post, and I fully agree.

skyzoo
11-24-2009, 03:02 PM
I really don't want to give credit to just one person because all of thisread is really solid information.
Hopefully by the end of the winter I can get my % up big time using all of these tips except "10s talk" pray method. My toss is a bit low, how much would a higher toss help in the power and consistency department?

LeeD
11-24-2009, 03:35 PM
Low toss is best in theory. Less errors in toss location, and errors are less in actual distance. Timing is easier. Serve is harder for the opponent to read, especially indoors. Sun bothers you less. Wind bother's you less.
You just have to toss high enough to get your normal full extension on impact.
Some say to try to hit the ball at the zenith of your toss, if you can. I can, but only about one day in 3, so I toss higher mostly except when I need the ball to clear the net lower.

papa
11-24-2009, 03:35 PM
Well, there is a lot written here about "flat" serves and I'm not a big fan of them. I like spin used even on the first serve to provide control to some extent anyway.

cl76
11-24-2009, 03:41 PM
How do you make any shot consistent?

Now figure out what things contribute to getting the result you wanted. What did you do differently to produce the 114mph serve?

LeeD
11-24-2009, 03:44 PM
Nothing better than missing the first flat the whole set and finally, with set point coming, you boom in 3 in a row to reverse the whole trend.
First flats pretty much useless below 110, even with decent placement, so placement is the key.
When I could hit it 125+, was great to see 5.5-7's back up 5' behind the baseline to receive first serves. Then I could top/slice it past the doubles alley...:shock:
Too bad serving is only about 15% of the playing equation.

travlerajm
11-24-2009, 03:48 PM
Too bad serving is only about 15% of the playing equation.
If you can serve like Karlovic, the % is quite a bit higher.

LeeD
11-24-2009, 03:54 PM
I'd think LESS.
Ivo has a great winning and forcing serve, so his % won is more, and he gets to serve LESS OFTEN.
OTOH, a AlbertoBarasetechi has to serve a million times to win his service game, and hit a million balls too. He gets to serve more often! :shock::shock:

skyzoo
11-24-2009, 04:08 PM
How do you make any shot consistent?

Now figure out what things contribute to getting the result you wanted. What did you do differently to produce the 114mph serve?
My guess was probably more of a knee bend and racquet acceleration. It felt muscled to be honest though

cl76
11-24-2009, 04:34 PM
My guess was probably more of a knee bend and racquet acceleration. It felt muscled to be honest though

Now that you have an idea what was different go out there and put it into practice. Feel the difference. If it is effective, keep practicing it so it becomes "normal", if not, try something else.

LeeD
11-24-2009, 06:22 PM
My fastest serves occur when my mental state allows my physical to swing maybe 80% speed, using the entire physical chain, relaxed, calm, and loose. Those were my fastest serves.
Pressure points, nervous nellie that I am, ainna gonna happen.
Just like throwing a football for distance, a baseball, a javelin, a frisbee, you have to relax and allow the kinetics to work for you.
POP is achieved with a calm mental state.

Fedace
11-24-2009, 06:24 PM
What level are you in USTA ?

papa
11-24-2009, 06:39 PM
Nothing better than missing the first flat the whole set and finally, with set point coming, you boom in 3 in a row to reverse the whole trend.
First flats pretty much useless below 110, even with decent placement, so placement is the key.
When I could hit it 125+, was great to see 5.5-7's back up 5' behind the baseline to receive first serves. Then I could top/slice it past the doubles alley...:shock:
Too bad serving is only about 15% of the playing equation.

Well, perspective might be a problem/issue here. I'm looking at this stuff with a doubles mentality whereas many probably are singles players. In doubles, we want to get the majority of first serves in even if we have to slack up a bit on pace. Primary reason is that we're basically in an offensive mode on the first serve but defensive on the second.

So many times, and at reasonably good level like 4.0, I see a doubles player try to just knock the cover off the ball on the first serve and it generally catches the net or flies way past the service line. Its then followed up with some weak duck that just floats over the net to the delight of the receiving team. If your partner does this, you know/realize quickly that the court just isn't big enough to find a safe hiding spot - your going to get pelted and you wish you had worn a helmet?

skyzoo
11-24-2009, 08:17 PM
What level are you in USTA ?
I'm not really sure. what would a 110+ serve put me at on the usta scale?

USERNAME
11-24-2009, 08:23 PM
Make sure the toss is very consistent, makes a huge difference if the toss is out of place even just a little. Form also has to b good, if the way u hit the serve and follow through changes (unless ur changing the type of serve) then u will neve b consistent.

USERNAME
11-24-2009, 08:26 PM
I'm not really sure. what would a 110+ serve put me at on the usta scale?

Between a 2.5 and a 7.0 lol... On the real though ur vids made me think u were around a 4.0-5.0.

papa
11-25-2009, 07:27 AM
I'm not really sure. what would a 110+ serve put me at on the usta scale?

About average for the men, maybe a spec low, and high on the female side although women are really picking up the pace now. Not at all unusual to see women in the high teens, twenties and reaching upward. If you checked, you might even find women that can serve in the one-thirties.

LeeD
11-25-2009, 07:59 AM
Venus and Serena, the biggest serving tennis playing women, still serve like girls, which they are, thankfully. Their motions are askewed if you compare it to the better men's motions.
Big hoops don't lend to first flat serves with speed. Try it.
The women pros nowadaze constantly practice with 5.5 and better men to RETURN the first flat and spinny serves.
The women's pros back in 1978 practice with mens players to return the first flats.

fruitytennis1
11-25-2009, 08:08 AM
Your putting way too much emphasis on speed.

LeeD
11-25-2009, 08:12 AM
No emphasis at all!
The first flat serve accounts for maybe 7% of your total tennis game.
So why throw that away?
We talk about forehands all day, about high backhands foreever, and about grips like we never watched TV tennis.
We talk about eyeglasses and rules, how to move from ready position to how to splitstep.
Why not spend a few minutes on first serves?

skyzoo
11-25-2009, 09:20 AM
No emphasis at all!
The first flat serve accounts for maybe 7% of your total tennis game.
So why throw that away?
We talk about forehands all day, about high backhands foreever, and about grips like we never watched TV tennis.
We talk about eyeglasses and rules, how to move from ready position to how to splitstep.
Why not spend a few minutes on first serves?
thank you. I think it will really be a great shot to have in the bag during a close match.

Ripper014
11-25-2009, 10:54 AM
There has been a lot of talk on this subject so I am going to through my 2 cents in for what you think it is worth.

1. Try and develope your technique... hit the ball with effortless power... as you develope your service motion you can slowly ramp up your power... but think effortless

2. Your ball toss... low is a relative term... low means at the apex of where you need your toss. Not everyone can do this... but the theory is that the ball at its peak will stay there longer than while in motion, hence it should be easier to hit. So you want to toss the ball only as high as you need to hit it.

3. Hitting flat serves to close out a match when you have not been able get a flat serve in all match... is not something I would do... play the percentages... you still need to hit the occasional flat serve so your opponent respects that you will do it, but you cannot give up your first serve that recklessly so that they can attack your second serve, especially on key points (IMHO). You can be just as effective with spin and placement (ask Edberg/McEnroe), as noted you still need to hit your flat serve but you don't need to rely on it exclusively to win.

4. Venus and Serena... both of who use 104 inch rackets (I consider them fairly large hoops sizes), with bad service form hit their serves in the high 120's and are among the hardest servers in the current womens game.

But if you are asking for my opinion... I would say work on technique... balance... good contact... and think effortless power. As you feel the rhythm of your serve you can slowly ramp up the speed... till you max out. But stay smooth and think effortless....

fuzz nation
11-25-2009, 11:19 AM
Something to keep in mind for practice when you're looking for the right ball toss. If you think your toss is too low, remember that it only needs to be high enough to let you hit your serve at a comfortable extension over the top. I think that the toss should realistically be just slightly above your contact point.

The big problem that a lot of players have (I spot the pros doing this, too) is putting their toss up in the air before they're good 'n set up to use their best smooth and comfortable motion. If you feel like you're rushing to get your racquet to the ball for your serve, you might not be completely loaded up and ready to swing before you toss the ball. That will make you rush the motion to catch up to the ball and that's when your serve's potential gets diminished. I do some teaching and coaching and I'm convinced that this timing issue with the toss is a very common gremlin for servers.

Take some practice motions without hitting a ball to get the feel for your smoothest tempo, then reproduce that same tempo when you're hitting practice serves. Aside from your toss needing to be high enough for a good mechanical swing, it ought to come late enough that your smooth tempo remains intact.

Ripper014
11-25-2009, 11:25 AM
Something to keep in mind for practice when you're looking for the right ball toss. If you think your toss is too low, remember that it only needs to be high enough to let you hit your serve at a comfortable extension over the top. I think that the toss should realistically be just slightly above your contact point.

The big problem that a lot of players have (I spot the pros doing this, too) is putting their toss up in the air before they're good 'n set up to use their best smooth and comfortable motion. If you feel like you're rushing to get your racquet to the ball for your serve, you might not be completely loaded up and ready to swing before you toss the ball. That will make you rush the motion to catch up to the ball and that's when your serve's potential gets diminished. I do some teaching and coaching and I'm convinced that this timing issue with the toss is a very common gremlin for servers.

Take some practice motions without hitting a ball to get the feel for your smoothest tempo, then reproduce that same tempo when you're hitting practice serves. Aside from your toss needing to be high enough for a good mechanical swing, it ought to come late enough that your smooth tempo remains intact.


Good point... I was going to mention something about this... you may need to delay your toss in your service motion so everything aligns were you need it. Loading up... (as it were) may take longer than getting your toss in place.

CallOfBooty
11-25-2009, 04:08 PM
there is no such thing as too much emphasis on pace. you just need to hit serves as fast as you possibly can, but when you play a match start at like 75% first serve speed. if you can get that in 80% of the time, use 85% of your serve speed. if that's when you drop to 60-70% serve speed, stick with it. throw in the occasional 60% speed to mix it up, or a nice second serve or slice out wide. you have to mix it up, but most of the time on the first serve, you WILL be hitting the first serve flat and with as much pace as possible while maintaining at least a 60% serve percentage.

LeeD
11-25-2009, 04:13 PM
I think 60% is pretty unrealistic to achieve during a close match.
Me, if'n I get 30% real first serves in, I'll hold even a full level above mine.
I can't get 60% in during practice!
Sorta depends where you aim, don't it?

CallOfBooty
11-25-2009, 05:03 PM
i think it's easier to get it in down the line. its pretty low there compared to the wide serve and it doesn't go out that much if you control it

LeeD
11-25-2009, 05:05 PM
For me, almost....
Up the middle is low net, but short court.
Out wide firsts, you throw it over your head some to get better angle with such a high net but LONGER court. About the same for this 5'11" lefty.

skyzoo
11-27-2009, 08:36 AM
For me, almost....
Up the middle is low net, but short court.
Out wide firsts, you throw it over your head some to get better angle with such a high net but LONGER court. About the same for this 5'11" lefty.
You lose a great deal of power going out wide though. Maybe that's just me

LeeD
11-27-2009, 08:41 AM
Wide serves don't need to be as quick moving to the target, because they travel FARTHER, and the opponent also has to move FARTHER to get to it, then they have to move FARTHER to cover their court after your shot.
Up the middle, low net and short court, returner at the center, doesn't have as far to move, so the serve CAN be faster, but often is not.
Remember, most people get aced with 110 mph serves with good placement. We try to get our serves FASTER so we have reserve and choices in the bank.
And 145mph serves up the middle every time aces no one.

skyzoo
11-27-2009, 08:49 AM
Wide serves don't need to be as quick moving to the target, because they travel FARTHER, and the opponent also has to move FARTHER to get to it, then they have to move FARTHER to cover their court after your shot.
Up the middle, low net and short court, returner at the center, doesn't have as far to move, so the serve CAN be faster, but often is not.
Remember, most people get aced with 110 mph serves with good placement. We try to get our serves FASTER so we have reserve and choices in the bank.
And 145mph serves up the middle every time aces no one.
Your right on point with that actually. A 90 mph slice out wide is lethal if you mix in a few bombs down the T.

LeeD
11-27-2009, 08:56 AM
To expound, which nobody wants to hear....
In theory, when serving out wide fast and flat, you change your flat serve into a deadball or knuckleball serve (going barely more EBH grip), where you hit it fast and flat, but the above effect gives it more dip (and less speed), so it clears the higher net and still drops short of the intersecting lines, for more angle.
When you serve up the T, you CAN employ this serve, but you lose out on a couple MPH's, which might be vital since most returners are expecting a fast hard one up the middle.
The slightly speed difference is super important IF the returner can get their racket's on the ball.
I"m 5'11", and can actually hit 105+ first flats about 3' inside the service line, right on the singles sideline, making the returner have to get both feet past the doubles alley to hit the ball.
Of course, when I"m serving that well, I get to play horribly the next 5 times......:shock:

skyzoo
11-27-2009, 09:10 AM
To expound, which nobody wants to hear....
In theory, when serving out wide fast and flat, you change your flat serve into a deadball or knuckleball serve (going barely more EBH grip), where you hit it fast and flat, but the above effect gives it more dip (and less speed), so it clears the higher net and still drops short of the intersecting lines, for more angle.
When you serve up the T, you CAN employ this serve, but you lose out on a couple MPH's, which might be vital since most returners are expecting a fast hard one up the middle.
The slightly speed difference is super important IF the returner can get their racket's on the ball.
I"m 5'11", and can actually hit 105+ first flats about 3' inside the service line, right on the singles sideline, making the returner have to get both feet past the doubles alley to hit the ball.
Of course, when I"m serving that well, I get to play horribly the next 5 times......:shock:
Great advice, I feel the same way about serving well one day and failing to do so the next week. Do you coach any? I'm feeling a PTR vibe from you

LeeD
11-27-2009, 09:16 AM
As all the real coaches have informed me, I"m the worst person ever to take advice from.
I have no credentials, no formal teaching experience, have trouble with technical explanations, refer all technques with pro level players in mind, and expect all players to play 5 days a week, 3 hours a day to be able to incorporate my advice.
And I still can't get a 2.5 player to solidly improve.....mainly because I"m not interested.

fuzz nation
11-27-2009, 09:51 AM
there is no such thing as too much emphasis on pace. you just need to hit serves as fast as you possibly can, but when you play a match start at like 75% first serve speed. if you can get that in 80% of the time, use 85% of your serve speed. if that's when you drop to 60-70% serve speed, stick with it. throw in the occasional 60% speed to mix it up, or a nice second serve or slice out wide. you have to mix it up, but most of the time on the first serve, you WILL be hitting the first serve flat and with as much pace as possible while maintaining at least a 60% serve percentage.

I agree that if a server is landing 80% of their first balls, maybe there's room to hit a little harder, but I've been pleasantly surprised by the approach of a high school coach near me that has a decade of state titles (and counting!) to his credit. He preaches to all his guys that they need to use a reliable spin serve for their first ball, not a heater. The thing is, they make plenty of trouble for their opponents with these spinners and kickers. They just don't rack up as many aces as a big ripper might.

Having coached a bit myself, there's no arguing with this wisdom, all titles aside. Lots of kids will get out there and waste first serves for most of the afternoon when playing their matches - hey, adults do it too. right? It's as much of a chronic deficiency in their games as that rock star swing for a low percentage winner when their patience runs out during a longer point. It feels great to hit an unreturnable first serve and against tougher opponents, it's a fact of life that you need to make some trouble for them however you can. But I think that the big heater is overrated.

I'll put my money on the high school player that's landing 80-85% of his or her first serves (well, the girls' game is a bit of a different animal) compared with another who is only landing 50-60%. That higher percentage simply means that this server is starting more points with the initiative, even if the returner isn't getting blown away. As a player it's your job to win the point, but as the server, it's your job to start the point.

LeeD
11-27-2009, 10:06 AM
Ah, the pushers creed in print!
And that's why there are NO American's who have the game to make the top 30 in the next few years. Pushers with tiny serves, that's what we need!
I say.... Strike first, and that could mean 125+ mph first flats. If it goes in 30%, so be it! You strike fear into the opponent's hearts. And with practice, it might go faster AND get in more often. If you never practice....
And you learn to hit a second serve kicking up around nose heights!
When you pull out your gun, be prepared to shoot to kill!
:shock::twisted::shock:

Ripper014
11-27-2009, 10:43 AM
Ah, the pushers creed in print!
And that's why there are NO American's who have the game to make the top 30 in the next few years. Pushers with tiny serves, that's what we need!
I say.... Strike first, and that could mean 125+ mph first flats. If it goes in 30%, so be it! You strike fear into the opponent's hearts. And with practice, it might go faster AND get in more often. If you never practice....
And you learn to hit a second serve kicking up around nose heights!
When you pull out your gun, be prepared to shoot to kill!
:shock::twisted::shock:



This is the mindset that is costing people matches... you do not need to fire off a flat first serve everytime. This is the mindset of people that believe you need to actually have more nuclear than the next guy... and that using them is a good deterrent. We had enough weapons to blow up the world 7 times over... but at what time do we have enough..??? Let alone the fallout would kill us all anyway...

Back to tennis... if you could fire your 125 mile an hour serve at me on every first serve and I guarantee you... after a few games I will have it timed, and I will start returning it on a regular basis. Not every time... but I will start getting them back... and that 30% is going to be more like 15%.

I have always used that 80% rule when hitting my first serve... my mindset is to keep my opponent off balance so they cannot get comfortable... on my first serve. I will still hit my first serve... which is only about 110 these days... but looks a lot faster because they only see it every 3 or 4 serves mixed in with a kicker... a slice and twist serve.... out wide... into the body and up the middle. McEnroe... was one of the best at this... moving the ball around the service box with speed and spin. As long as there is a threat that you can hit the big flat ball that is usually enough to but them in a defensive state of mind. Once you offer them a regular look at a second serve they are going to use it as a first strike weapon against you.

When I know I am going to see a second serve I start thinking about how I am going to attack it and take the fight to my opponent. When facing a first serve... I am just trying to make a good return.

Being a power merchant alone might win you some early games... but better players will figure you out pretty quickly.

First strike is important if you are an aggressive player (I am)... but I can do it with a combination of a well placed serve and follow-up volleys or off a weak return, I do not need or expect that I can hit a high percentage of service winners.

I don't know anyone in the pros that would be happy with a 30% first serve percentage... so why should we be.

And to be clear I don't know anyone that would consider me a pusher....

LeeD
11-27-2009, 11:15 AM
Oh don't give me any of that reasonable compromise crap !! :twisted:
Of course, tennis IS a compromise, hopefully one in our favors.
As for the "getting used to".... that is countered by the "THREAT".
Sure, I don't get my first serve IN more than say...30%. Means you don't have a look at my serve to begin with, but you also have to keep it in mind everytime I first serve. Kinda ACE in the hole, to come up whenever it decides to come up. I KNOW I'm going to get about 30% in, you have to respect it, and if I start out the first 3 service games below that, believe it, it'll start to go in.
And when I start the first game with 3 aces, I EXPECT to miss it for the next 4 games.

J011yroger
11-27-2009, 11:17 AM
I don't know if anyone doing anything 30% of the time would strike fear into me.

I would think you would need to be doing something 51% of the time to worry me in the least.

J

LeeD
11-27-2009, 11:20 AM
I'm glad all your matches, you are playing well and serving well.
I don't think about my good matches, I think about the ones I lost when I should have done better.
51% first serves just means it's 75% of your possible speed with no placement.
30% first serves for me means 95% of my possible speed, but with placement within 6" of the lines.
You may beat the pants of me, but I like my style of tennis better.

Ripper014
11-27-2009, 11:23 AM
Oh don't give me any of that reasonable compromise crap !! :twisted:
Of course, tennis IS a compromise, hopefully one in our favors.
As for the "getting used to".... that is countered by the "THREAT".
Sure, I don't get my first serve IN more than say...30%. Means you don't have a look at my serve to begin with, but you also have to keep it in mind everytime I first serve. Kinda ACE in the hole, to come up whenever it decides to come up. I KNOW I'm going to get about 30% in, you have to respect it, and if I start out the first 3 service games below that, believe it, it'll start to go in.
And when I start the first game with 3 aces, I EXPECT to miss it for the next 4 games.


To be honest I have no idea what you are trying to say here. But if all you do is hit flat serves at a 30% on your first serve. I will stand inside the baseline and take my chances returning your serve off the rise. At 30% I am not going to worry too much... because trust me I am coming after your second serve which I am going to see 70% of the time.

Ripper014
11-27-2009, 11:27 AM
I'm glad all your matches, you are playing well and serving well.
I don't think about my good matches, I think about the ones I lost when I should have done better.
51% first serves just means it's 75% of your possible speed with no placement.
30% first serves for me means 95% of my possible speed, but with placement within 6" of the lines.
You may beat the pants of me, but I like my style of tennis better.


I know this is not directed at me... but I will hit my first serve between 80 - 95% of my possible speed a foot of where I am aiming and usually it is off a line... with various speeds and spins and placement, this includes my ground strokes and volleys.

And though winning is not the most important thing to me at this time in my life... I like my style of playing (attacking all court game)... and winning doesn't hurt.

LeeD
11-27-2009, 11:46 AM
Directed at Ripper, then you must be 5.5 level minimum, if you can get 95% speed serves in at least 60% of the time.
If I could do that, I'd be easy 6.0 level. Me getting broken just kills my game. I can break, but against equal players, I get broken.

Ripper014
11-27-2009, 12:13 PM
Directed at Ripper, then you must be 5.5 level minimum, if you can get 95% speed serves in at least 60% of the time.
If I could do that, I'd be easy 6.0 level. Me getting broken just kills my game. I can break, but against equal players, I get broken.


I don't think I ever said that I get 95% speed serves in at least 60% of the time... if you note I said I like to keep my first service level at 80% using a mix of serves... between 80-95% of max speed with various speeds, spins and placements.

And yes I consider my game at a 5.0 level... most of the people I used to play with (who played 5.5 and up) considered my game better. Their words not mine... "you do not know how good you are". I know I would have been a better player if I was willing to practice... the only shot I do not hit well is an american twist serve... I can use power to open up a court and I am just as comfortable opening up a court with angle touch and finesse. Someone said to me one time... after hitting with me for the first time... "everyone here hits the ball hard... but you seem to be able to do it with crazy angles". My biggest problem is I like to go for the most difficult shot... my shot selection process probably hurts my tennis more than anything. If all I could do was hit shots deep cross court and down the line I would probably be a much more effective player.

Like you age is catching up to me (50)... and being that I am only coming back to the game this summer after 15 years... I am not as sharp or as consistant as I was, being that my foot speed was a big part of my game doesn't help. Right now I am probably playing at about 4.5 level... I was invited to play at a mens night on the weekend... which included 3 of the top 4 players on their ladder... and I could have been argued the best player there.

Getting off topic... anyway... breaking serve is part of the game. And someone that only gets 30% of there first serves in has just increased my ability to break them significantly.

LeeD
11-27-2009, 03:00 PM
Cool, we should hit sometime.
Most 4.5+ players would say my second serve is much tougher than my first flats. FF's go for aces, so they don't get touched when they go in.
I'm lefty, can twist out wide of the doubles alley on duece court about 6' high at the baseline. Mix that with a top/slice second that lands within 8" of the center line, I make the player move on duece courts. Into the body only against superior players.

USERNAME
11-27-2009, 09:39 PM
I'm glad all your matches, you are playing well and serving well.
I don't think about my good matches, I think about the ones I lost when I should have done better.
51% first serves just means it's 75% of your possible speed with no placement.
30% first serves for me means 95% of my possible speed, but with placement within 6" of the lines.
You may beat the pants of me, but I like my style of tennis better.

30% 1st serves in is horrid. During tournys I shoot for 60% 1st serves in and I always go for at least 80% of my power on the 1st depending on the serve I go for. If Im having an off serving day I may take off a little zip or add more spin but no matter what a HIGH 1st serve % is key!

J011yroger
11-27-2009, 09:55 PM
How the hell are you guys keeping track of % in a match?

Just hit the damned thing. If you suck at something, stop doing it in the match, and put it on your list of stuff to practice that week.

J

USERNAME
11-27-2009, 10:15 PM
How the hell are you guys keeping track of % in a match?

Just hit the damned thing. If you suck at something, stop doing it in the match, and put it on your list of stuff to practice that week.

J

Coach watches most of my matches and keeps track of certain things. I can usually estimate what my % was as well, depending on how easy (or hard) it was for me to hold.

J011yroger
11-28-2009, 06:08 AM
Coach watches most of my matches and keeps track of certain things. I can usually estimate what my % was as well, depending on how easy (or hard) it was for me to hold.

Ok, if your coach keeps track of it, then you have an excuse :)

J

papa
11-28-2009, 06:40 AM
Yeah, this percentage thing gets a little out of hand - might be good for TV coverage because it gives them something to talk about and they "actually have" the figures. Most coachs that I know anyway, will chart matches, and it does give them a good idea what's going on.

However, percentages just seemingly plucked out of the air, might/do give people the wrong information. I think we often need a point of reference for these figures if they apply to others. When I hear someone say "only get 30% of my first serves in", I'm glad they aren't my partner but then again it might be a singles vs doubles mentalality (however its spelled). As I've told people before I think I just might be the worst speller whoever maticulated the hallowed halls of Harvard.

J011yroger
11-28-2009, 06:57 AM
I don't know if you spelled matriculated wrong on purpose or not lol.

J

LeeD
11-28-2009, 08:01 AM
30% is singles only, but I back it up with an excellent second serve close to 5.0 levels, and I'm usually playing lower level singles.
Remember, I"m the guy who vents for faster second serve swings, placements wide both sides and twists up higher than chin heights, body jammers, I'm lefty, and swing as fast as I possibly can on second serves.
My groundies might be 3.5 levels, but not my serves.

Ripper014
11-28-2009, 09:43 AM
How the hell are you guys keeping track of % in a match?

Just hit the damned thing. If you suck at something, stop doing it in the match, and put it on your list of stuff to practice that week.

J


It is really not that difficult... I don't have an exact percentage of how I am serving overall but I have a pretty good idea... based on a rotating set of the last 4 points... if I know I have to serve more than 1 second serve my percentage just dropped below 75%.

papa
11-28-2009, 12:19 PM
I don't know if you spelled matriculated wrong on purpose or not lol.

J

Actually, I didn't - saw it when you responded but not when I wrote it. Thanks

J011yroger
11-28-2009, 12:51 PM
Actually, I didn't - saw it when you responded but not when I wrote it. Thanks

Too funny, I can't spell my way out of a wet paper sack either, but fortunately for me, I have an excellent vocabulary, and can usually think of a different word that means the same thing, that I can spell.

J

USERNAME
11-28-2009, 01:43 PM
30% is singles only, but I back it up with an excellent second serve close to 5.0 levels, and I'm usually playing lower level singles.
Remember, I"m the guy who vents for faster second serve swings, placements wide both sides and twists up higher than chin heights, body jammers, I'm lefty, and swing as fast as I possibly can on second serves.
My groundies might be 3.5 levels, but not my serves.

Serving below 50% is never good, while it is still possible to win, its much easier to dominate points mentally when you get the 1st serve in.

LeeD
11-28-2009, 02:35 PM
Sounds like you read that straight from a book!
Me, from experience in more sports than any 3 people can do combined, I find it's better to stretch a bit and then pull back. I hate pushing, I hate long points, and since I CAN hit winners from most anywhere's on the court, I try to.
Defensive tennis just bores me.

USERNAME
11-28-2009, 02:47 PM
Sounds like you read that straight from a book!
Me, from experience in more sports than any 3 people can do combined, I find it's better to stretch a bit and then pull back. I hate pushing, I hate long points, and since I CAN hit winners from most anywhere's on the court, I try to.
Defensive tennis just bores me.

Then hit offensively! Im guessing that ur saying u hit hard because u like to even if it doesnt go in, try taking pace off and hitting sharper angles. Still an offensive shot and can b pretty consistent. And I get most of my info from coaches. As for sports Iv played a ton as well.

LeeD
11-28-2009, 04:20 PM
You're 18, be real.... :):)
Do you know ANY lefties who only hit hard, and don't hit angles to pull you off the court? Lefties is all about angles and sidelines, short and deep, some top, some slice, some heavy top, to VARY the game.

papa
11-28-2009, 04:35 PM
Too funny, I can't spell my way out of a wet paper sack either, but fortunately for me, I have an excellent vocabulary, and can usually think of a different word that means the same thing, that I can spell.

J

Well, the world need engineers also. Actually, its not that I take pleasure in not be able to spell well, its just something that comes naturally. I never could spell but always managed to be placed in the higher levels of English where literature was the main concern - I liked that but nobody apparently noticed that my spelling was absolutely terrible. You know the funny thing is that if I see misspelling, I generally can catch them - newspapers, signs, and the like.

Fedace
11-28-2009, 04:44 PM
So the other day the radar gun was brought out. I topped out at 114 mph once and 107, 108 a couple times. How can I get this serve in play 3-4 times a game? I usually slice or kick my first serve because of their effectivness but I wouldn't mind throwing a couple of bombs in per game. Any serve experts want to comment?

I think your answer is to switch to Babolat Pure drive Plus GT... i was serving around 100 MPH consistantly today...... I haven't done that in 15 years...:)

skyzoo
11-28-2009, 09:36 PM
I think your answer is to switch to Babolat Pure drive Plus GT... i was serving around 100 MPH consistantly today...... I haven't done that in 15 years...:)
I was actually thinking about it. I love serving with the pure drives and maybe I'll make the switch by june, but until than I'll be demoing a lot so I can find the perfect racquet before I go and play in college. Thanks though

NLBwell
11-29-2009, 12:54 AM
In answer to the original question (this is closer to LeeD's ideas) you have to practice hitting hard serves. To do this, you need to use your entire body and keep very loose. You can't hit hard serves for very long muscling the ball. Someone said they hit 500 practice serves a week. At my peak, I would hit 500 a DAY. This, along with a loose arm and body, is what it takes to really get an excellent hard serve. Start slowly and get the feeling of using your whole body and not forcing the racket, then gradually up the pace until you are really crushing the ball, again, not forcing the racket around. Keep practicing and practicing.

USERNAME
11-29-2009, 02:25 AM
You're 18, be real.... :):)
Do you know ANY lefties who only hit hard, and don't hit angles to pull you off the court? Lefties is all about angles and sidelines, short and deep, some top, some slice, some heavy top, to VARY the game.

I actually do know a lefty who hits pretty hard, he uses angles sometimes (like all players do fyi) but is a power hitter overall. Not all players are the same incase u didnt know.

USERNAME
11-29-2009, 02:31 AM
In answer to the original question (this is closer to LeeD's ideas) you have to practice hitting hard serves. To do this, you need to use your entire body and keep very loose. You can't hit hard serves for very long muscling the ball. Someone said they hit 500 practice serves a week. At my peak, I would hit 500 a DAY. This, along with a loose arm and body, is what it takes to really get an excellent hard serve. Start slowly and get the feeling of using your whole body and not forcing the racket, then gradually up the pace until you are really crushing the ball, again, not forcing the racket around. Keep practicing and practicing.

U are saying 500 serves in general right? I would never tell someone to go out and hit 500 serves a day, each one being a first serve as if they were in a match. That is a quick way to damage ur shoulder even with good technique. Now if ur saying 500 serves as in "practice" serves where they hit a comfy (not 110mph heater) serve and make sure the arm is loose and technique is solid, then I agree 100%.
Just to add the tip to switch to a PD is just plain stupid. I can hit 110+ with my old prince, my new youtek rads, and those PDs just the same.

J011yroger
11-29-2009, 04:59 AM
I actually do know a lefty who hits pretty hard, he uses angles sometimes (like all players do fyi) but is a power hitter overall. Not all players are the same incase u didnt know.

My buddy is a lefty, and really good player, and he plays straight up like a righty. It is such a waste.

I have another friend who is the prototypical lefty shotmaker, and he uses his leftyness for all it is worth.

They are fun matches always, but the first guy is just like playing another righty.

J

J011yroger
11-29-2009, 05:01 AM
As far as lefties who hit hard, Henri Leconte springs to mind.

J

J011yroger
11-29-2009, 05:10 AM
In answer to the original question (this is closer to LeeD's ideas) you have to practice hitting hard serves. To do this, you need to use your entire body and keep very loose. You can't hit hard serves for very long muscling the ball. Someone said they hit 500 practice serves a week. At my peak, I would hit 500 a DAY. This, along with a loose arm and body, is what it takes to really get an excellent hard serve. Start slowly and get the feeling of using your whole body and not forcing the racket, then gradually up the pace until you are really crushing the ball, again, not forcing the racket around. Keep practicing and practicing.

Agree with above points, but 500/day seems excessive. Especially since you hit 50 or so in a match.

Especially if your shoulder isn't used to serving and you are trying something new instead of location.

I would say 150 every other day. Enough to groove, or make headway, and then a day off to let your shoulder recover.

As you play more you will learn to listen to your body, I know when I served too much the day before, and when I am good to go.

J

skyzoo
11-29-2009, 06:53 AM
In answer to the original question (this is closer to LeeD's ideas) you have to practice hitting hard serves. To do this, you need to use your entire body and keep very loose. You can't hit hard serves for very long muscling the ball. Someone said they hit 500 practice serves a week. At my peak, I would hit 500 a DAY. This, along with a loose arm and body, is what it takes to really get an excellent hard serve. Start slowly and get the feeling of using your whole body and not forcing the racket, then gradually up the pace until you are really crushing the ball, again, not forcing the racket around. Keep practicing and practicing.
Honestly I do agree with you that repitition helps but I also have somewhat of a problem with that. I have a deformation in my shoulders where my right shoulder is quite a bit lower than my left. This causes the muscles to lay substantially different on both shoulders. I could hit maybe 250 hard, flat serves in a row if I am loaded up on Naproxen. The pain isn't a huge problem but it's there. I've seen many a orthopedist and no damage is being done so technically I could go out and hit 500 a day but the next day will be tennis free with a lot of ice.

LeeD
11-29-2009, 08:19 AM
Flat serves, I think I was closer to 50 per sesh, twice a day, twice a week!
I believe the racket matters little, maybe 3-5 mph, the strings easily a couple, and the player the rest of the 92%.
I can serve what FEELS big with a BabPureD, but most players say my Mfil 200 is about the same. Feel is completely different between the two, but speed on serves not so much.
Now if I used my backup doubles TTPrince110's, first serve speed does go down appreciably, but spin on seconds don't.

Ripper014
11-29-2009, 02:51 PM
Like most things in life I don't believe numbers make you better... it is about quality. That is why I think it is more important to work on technique, I think you can get just as much out of practice at 85% as you do at 100% and you can do it without risking injury. Just remember when you reach for a little more to stay smooth and loose.

NLBwell
12-02-2009, 12:16 PM
U are saying 500 serves in general right? I would never tell someone to go out and hit 500 serves a day, each one being a first serve as if they were in a match. That is a quick way to damage ur shoulder even with good technique. Now if ur saying 500 serves as in "practice" serves where they hit a comfy (not 110mph heater) serve and make sure the arm is loose and technique is solid, then I agree 100%.
Just to add the tip to switch to a PD is just plain stupid. I can hit 110+ with my old prince, my new youtek rads, and those PDs just the same.

Yes, 500 serves in general. Warm-up and various first and second serves. Not 500 as hard as you can hit.

skyzoo
12-13-2009, 07:11 PM
So weird update, I topped out with a 117 mph tonight and had some consistency around the 110 range plus or minus 3-4 mph. It's weird because I swim in the winter and have time for only 2 practice sessions a weekend. Your thoughts....

equinox
12-13-2009, 11:48 PM
Unless you're the scud, no one should serve 500 balls a session.
Even the pros i've watched would barely make it to 50 in practice.
With good oncourt coaching communication the player shouldn't need anymore serves.

At the pro level flat t bombs arn't very effective, they get read quickly and comeback.

Imho there's little point in making less than 5/10 120mph+ serves. When miss you'll be under extra pressure and this causes even more misses. Better off dropping the pace to focus on percentages and mixing the serves up.

What are trying to do with a low % bomb? winning the point outright isn't a % play..

The serve is about placement and forcing your op to return fom a position of your choosing and then dictating the point.

USERNAME
12-14-2009, 01:05 AM
Unless you're the scud, no one should serve 500 balls a session.
Even the pros i've watched would barely make it to 50 in practice.
With good oncourt coaching communication the player shouldn't need anymore serves.

At the pro level flat t bombs arn't very effective, they get read quickly and comeback.

Imho there's little point in making less than 5/10 120mph+ serves. When miss you'll be under extra pressure and this causes even more misses. Better off dropping the pace to focus on percentages and mixing the serves up.

What are trying to do with a low % bomb? winning the point outright isn't a % play..

The serve is about placement and forcing your op to return fom a position of your choosing and then dictating the point.

500 per day is EASY if you take care of your body. I made the point already that all 500 are not 1st serves, maybe 1/4 are 1st, 1/4 are 2nd, and 1/2 are warm-up/grooving serves. If you take the time to properly stretch out, you shouldnt do any damage to the shoulder area. As for using the flat serve or faster serves in general in a match, they are much more useful then you are giving credit... It aint easy to get a ball going 115-120mph back over and be offensive. The best a GOOD player will do (most of the time) is neutralize the serve and put it up the middle, from there you can take that ball and begin to build a point off of it. Also the flat serve up the T is one of my most consistent serves, if I need a free point thats usually what I hit.

GuyClinch
12-14-2009, 04:59 AM
500 is way to much - and won't help IMHO. Do baseball pitchers throw 500 pitches each day? its very similiar..

Its not practice that makes perfect - it's perfect practice. That's why your best off with a coach and video analysis as they can correct your biomechanical mistakes. Otherwise your just cementing bad habits.

This is why of course you see people that play ALL THE TIME - and they still have the same crappy flawed 3.5 game. There are local "tennis bums" as people call them who play hours each day and still aren't very good. Not that these people mind as they play for fun. But the truth is practicing any stroke without proper technique won't get you anywhere. This is of course true in most sports..

Pete

Ripper014
12-14-2009, 10:59 AM
500 is way to much - and won't help IMHO. Do baseball pitchers throw 500 pitches each day? its very similiar..

Its not practice that makes perfect - it's perfect practice. That's why your best off with a coach and video analysis as they can correct your biomechanical mistakes. Otherwise your just cementing bad habits.

This is why of course you see people that play ALL THE TIME - and they still have the same crappy flawed 3.5 game. There are local "tennis bums" as people call them who play hours each day and still aren't very good. Not that these people mind as they play for fun. But the truth is practicing any stroke without proper technique won't get you anywhere. This is of course true in most sports..

Pete


I agree... but practicing poor technique can still be benifical to those not willing to improve their strokes. They can maximize what they do... but it is difficult to improve dramatically without good mechanics, they will plateau and further improvement is not likely (ie. people that have been playing the same level for the last 10 years).

USERNAME
12-14-2009, 02:30 PM
500 is way to much - and won't help IMHO. Do baseball pitchers throw 500 pitches each day? its very similiar..

Its not practice that makes perfect - it's perfect practice. That's why your best off with a coach and video analysis as they can correct your biomechanical mistakes. Otherwise your just cementing bad habits.

This is why of course you see people that play ALL THE TIME - and they still have the same crappy flawed 3.5 game. There are local "tennis bums" as people call them who play hours each day and still aren't very good. Not that these people mind as they play for fun. But the truth is practicing any stroke without proper technique won't get you anywhere. This is of course true in most sports..

Pete

If you warm up and stretch out right, 500 is easy (as long as you dont blast every serve.)

fruitytennis1
12-14-2009, 04:42 PM
500 serves isnt good for your arm. Id say whats worth more worthwhile is finding the ideal toss location for that"big serve" and working mabey at the most 100 serves on that.

leeroy85
12-14-2009, 08:16 PM
Stay loose and relaxed. Write down every little detail of when you hitting at that speed. Go back to it when your serve is off.

zapvor
12-15-2009, 08:21 AM
care to post a video?

USERNAME
12-15-2009, 02:41 PM
care to post a video?

Of 500 serves? Why? Long video with no real point other then to show its possible.

yemenmocha
12-15-2009, 05:03 PM
This thread is hilarious.

Do you guys notice how fast the Williams sisters & others serve regularly?

Unless you're really short, weak, or have poor form... then if you're an adult male you should be up there with those ladies.

LeeD
12-15-2009, 05:07 PM
????
William's, either one, can serve high 120's. Venus is like 6'2" and Serena at 5'11 or so is a monster human being, able to kick my and your butts anytime.

yemenmocha
12-15-2009, 05:17 PM
????
William's, either one, can serve high 120's. Venus is like 6'2" and Serena at 5'11 or so is a monster human being, able to kick my and your butts anytime.

Overall game yes, but any male 4.5 with proper technique (within a reasonable tolerance of imperfections) can hit 120's.

You guys may be using errant "clocking" devices. It's not that hard to hit 120.

LeeD
12-15-2009, 05:20 PM
er.....
Are you saying it's easy to hit 120+ first serves into the court?
If so, maybe you're at 5.5 right now and we don't know it.
Me, possibly 30 years ago I could hit those, but more likely, right now, closer to 105 and going slower.
And I have the biggest first serve of anyone at our tennis courts, mostly inhabited by old farts and aging fartletts.

USERNAME
12-15-2009, 06:10 PM
er.....
Are you saying it's easy to hit 120+ first serves into the court?
If so, maybe you're at 5.5 right now and we don't know it.
Me, possibly 30 years ago I could hit those, but more likely, right now, closer to 105 and going slower.
And I have the biggest first serve of anyone at our tennis courts, mostly inhabited by old farts and aging fartletts.

LOL at the last part and I agree that its not easy to crack 120+.

yemenmocha
12-15-2009, 06:43 PM
Even little guys like Davydenko hit 120's.

skyzoo
12-15-2009, 06:45 PM
care to post a video?
You don't believe me? Maybe if I can scoop some indoor time, right now I play twice a week and I'd rather wait til the spring when I'll be hitting 6-7 times a week and hopefully i'll have cracked 120 by than.

LeeD
12-15-2009, 06:59 PM
Yemen...
Even little guys like MichaelChang, at a real 5'7", can crack 125mph.
But can you? DavD and Chang are trained PROFESSIONAL tennis players. YOU ARE NOT!