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View Full Version : My serve video, please comment


witit
12-17-2009, 08:19 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhXdFdE02Ec

Just got a chance to shoot the video yesterday. They're all 1st serves.

I have no idea how fast they are. Feel free to take a guess.

I am looking for more bite/speed. Any comment is appreciated.

T1000
12-17-2009, 08:57 AM
Looks good, especially down the T. I would add some more knee bend, that will increase the power easily. The toss seemed a little low to me but I might be wrong, I prefer a higher toss on my serves. I also have some footwork that helps me shift my weight easier, allowing for more power. I don't know if that will help you at all but its worth a try for a couple of serves. The serve out wide looks like it needs some work. It's a tough shot, for me at least. I tend to slice mine if I go wide since I have trouble going flat out wide. It's a nice serve, keep up the good work!

cncretecwbo
12-17-2009, 09:01 AM
explode UP, reach UP and snap down with your wrist. You seem to be falling into the court

witit
12-17-2009, 10:04 AM
Here's another view from the side,

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u9zibVu8p8

Thanks for the comments. Yup, I've been trying to add the leg drive and explode up more. I feel like my contact point is still low so I'm not sure if I should toss higher. I tried higher toss before but the timing is different and I had to re-sync to make the whole motion smooth again.

Any other tips to add more power?

CallOfBooty
12-17-2009, 11:00 AM
I'm going to make a list of things that I notice as I go through the video:

1. Not enough knee bend. You kind of drop your knees a little bit, but you really want to load a lot more force so that you can explode up.
2. The toss and contact point. When you say first serve, I assume you mean a flat first serve for singles. If you are referring to a flat serve, you should toss the ball more to the right so you can hit the ball with a flatter trajectory.

There were really only two things I could catch. Your serve looks pretty good. I would estimate its speed around 85-90 but its consistent. I think your toss is a little low but manageable. I noticed that your right arm was a little bent at contact. Your toss has to be high enough so that your arm can extend to its maximum length so that it has more angles to hit to and higher consistency.

Jaewonnie
12-17-2009, 11:06 AM
Firstly, you're not swinging at your fastest. Secondly, a bit more pronation could help. And lastly, what you really need is more hip action.

Kostas
12-17-2009, 11:07 AM
How many of those serves did you get in? It looked like a low %...

Ripper014
12-17-2009, 11:10 AM
Your serve is fine... falling into the court is ok... it means you have your weight transferring forward... a good thing.

The short toss is a also a good thing, and you are one of the small percentage of people that can do it comfortably so use it. It allows the returner less time to pick up your serve.

I noticed that you toss your serve a little further left than I would teach someone, but I would only teach that to someone starting the game. If you can hit all your serves with one service toss then you are ahead of the game, the returner will not be able to sit on a serve by identifying your service toss.

I don't see any major flaws with your service motion, is there something you are not happy with..?

USERNAME
12-17-2009, 12:29 PM
Your left foot has a tendency to move before you make contact, to eliminate that get a deeper knee bend. The deeper knee bend will also make you more explosive and get you more power. Also try to get the racquet head to the inside of your wrist as soon as you bring it up, this will give you more spin, control, and a better wrist snap.

H. Ju
12-17-2009, 12:30 PM
High toss. I think your mechanics are good.
Because your toss is too low 1) your knee does not bend enough, 2) you rush your swing (you should have a more time to hold the trophy position)

marsh
12-17-2009, 12:54 PM
Your left foot has a tendency to move before you make contact, to eliminate that get a deeper knee bend. The deeper knee bend will also make you more explosive and get you more power. Also try to get the racquet head to the inside of your wrist as soon as you bring it up, this will give you more spin, control, and a better wrist snap.

What do you mean by "try to get the racquet head to the inside of your wrist"?

witit
12-17-2009, 01:04 PM
Thanks guys. Sounds like I need to work more on the legs (deeper knee bend, explode up more) and straighter hitting arm. Anything more on the upper body?

Firstly, you're not swinging at your fastest. Secondly, a bit more pronation could help. And lastly, what you really need is more hip action.

I'll keep that in mind. The videos were shot after almost a hundred serves so I was a little tired. Can you explain more on the hip action?

Your serve is fine... falling into the court is ok... it means you have your weight transferring forward... a good thing.

The short toss is a also a good thing, and you are one of the small percentage of people that can do it comfortably so use it. It allows the returner less time to pick up your serve.

I noticed that you toss your serve a little further left than I would teach someone, but I would only teach that to someone starting the game. If you can hit all your serves with one service toss then you are ahead of the game, the returner will not be able to sit on a serve by identifying your service toss.

I don't see any major flaws with your service motion, is there something you are not happy with..?

I taught myself to play tennis and back then I did not even know to use different toss for different serve. But I guess now it's a good thing and want to keep it that way.

I tend to have a pause in the motion if I use higher toss and I feel I lose power that way. Shorter toss is also easier for me to time.

I just want to eliminate any kinks that I have in the motion and improve wherever I can. I used to lose many matches because of double faults. My serve has improved since and I want to keep working on it to make it the main weapon. It feels good when you hit an ace, no? I'll be happy if I am able to hit over 100mph. So any advice would be appreciated.

Your left foot has a tendency to move before you make contact, to eliminate that get a deeper knee bend. The deeper knee bend will also make you more explosive and get you more power. Also try to get the racquet head to the inside of your wrist as soon as you bring it up, this will give you more spin, control, and a better wrist snap.

Yup, I noticed the left foot too. I saw the pros lift their heels when loading up and I tried to do the same. It helps exploding up but it did not feel stable. That's probably why I moved the left foot to maintain balance. Perhaps I need to work on a better stance as well.

Can you elaborate more on getting the racquet head to the inside of the wrist? I'm not sure I understand it.

zapvor
12-17-2009, 02:36 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DhXdFdE02Ec

Just got a chance to shoot the video yesterday. They're all 1st serves.

I have no idea how fast they are. Feel free to take a guess.

I am looking for more bite/speed. Any comment is appreciated.

love how its still kind of wet and dark and nasty out and its just you out there alone serving. dedication baby. the only thing i notice off the bat is your grip is a tad too eastern, causing you to slap at the ball a bit. other than that nothing glaring. pretty good.

USERNAME
12-17-2009, 03:17 PM
Yup, I noticed the left foot too. I saw the pros lift their heels when loading up and I tried to do the same. It helps exploding up but it did not feel stable. That's probably why I moved the left foot to maintain balance. Perhaps I need to work on a better stance as well.

Can you elaborate more on getting the racquet head to the inside of the wrist? I'm not sure I understand it.

Going up on the balls of your feet is fine its just that moving your feet can throw you off. The reason the front (left) foot is moving is because the majority of your weight is on your back (right) foot. Going into a deeper knee bend will put more weight on the front foot which will eliminate the movement and allow for more explosiveness. As for the racquet head to the inside of the wrist, thats hard to explain without pics... Ill try my best, what you want is for the head to drop in behind your wrist so you can basically tap the back of your head with JUST the string bed (no frame.) Look at pro pics, many do this. Very small change but a huge pay off, trust me.

LeeD
12-17-2009, 03:52 PM
You are obviously a good athlete.
Call o B called it pretty straight up.
I'd only add you should reach up your left hand and arc into the archer's bow position to give you extra snap on the serves.

witit
12-17-2009, 03:55 PM
love how its still kind of wet and dark and nasty out and its just you out there alone serving. dedication baby. the only thing i notice off the bat is your grip is a tad too eastern, causing you to slap at the ball a bit. other than that nothing glaring. pretty good.

Thanks, it'd been raining for almost a week here. I was itching to go out and hit some balls.

I use continental. A friend here also said the same thing, too eastern. I'll try to see if moving more western will help.

Going up on the balls of your feet is fine its just that moving your feet can throw you off. The reason the front (left) foot is moving is because the majority of your weight is on your back (right) foot. Going into a deeper knee bend will put more weight on the front foot which will eliminate the movement and allow for more explosiveness. As for the racquet head to the inside of the wrist, thats hard to explain without pics... Ill try my best, what you want is for the head to drop in behind your wrist so you can basically tap the back of your head with JUST the string bed (no frame.) Look at pro pics, many do this. Very small change but a huge pay off, trust me.

I'll work on the knee bend. Still not quite clear about the racquet head though. Did you mean just before the racquet fully drop (the back-scratch)? I cannot picture at what point the string bed can tap the back of my head. Do you have any picture to show this?

witit
12-17-2009, 03:58 PM
One more question. Should I move my right foot more to the left and a little more back? Would that add more coil and body rotation and more power?

SuperDuy
12-17-2009, 04:02 PM
Try working on putting your right foot forward when you serve. You also want to fall right.

witit
12-17-2009, 04:05 PM
You are obviously a good athlete.
Call o B called it pretty straight up.
I'd only add you should reach up your left hand and arc into the archer's bow position to give you extra snap on the serves.

I'll try to add that in. It will bring the hip out forward also, right? I read somewhere that said this also helps.

LafayetteHitter
12-17-2009, 04:21 PM
I would like to add this. Watch your video and carefully watch the follow through at the end of your motion. The first half of your serve looks great imo but I think you could benefit from really bringing the racquet through at the end. It almost as though you are slowing down the racquet just after contact and you could probably get a little more action by accelerating through the ball. Nice motion though.

skyzoo
12-17-2009, 04:35 PM
like 24 mph tops

athiker
12-17-2009, 05:23 PM
I'm not an expert but I read a lot and watch a lot of video trying to improve my own game. To state the obvious, if you want more speed then you have to get the racquet head moving faster.

1) It's hard to tell from the video but try to stay somewhat relaxed in your arm and shoulders, think quick/fast not strong...almost a fling or throw of the racquet through the ball. It's similar to martial arts, tense does not equal speed. Also in most martial arts you do not hit something, you visualize hitting through something...same thing with the ball.

2) Move your grip a finger or so towards the end of the racquet. Some even let their pinkly go over the butt of the racquet. It will loosen things up. See Roddick pic in link below. I think you are choked up the handle a bit too far which makes for a stiffer motion.

3) Your toss does look more like a kick serve toss, you may want to play around with that. You may be able to generate more power with a toss that isn't so far over your head.

4) Agree with the legs thing, one can pretty much always get a bit more power from them. Moving into the court is fine...again see Roddick motion in link below.

4a) Also notice how Roddick and Sharapova thrust their chests up and out in the link as they bend their knees. They really coil for the explosion into/through the ball.

5) When you bring the racquet around to the "trophy pose" the edge of the head should be facing more upward IMO. Think of it as a blade slicing up through the air. (again see Roddick motion and still pic in link). You seem to have your racquet face already open on your upswing. This may make a big difference for you.

6) Of course now that you have the blade slicing up you will be forced to pronate your wrist and forarm into the ball strike. This will improve your wrist action. Watch how the pros follow through on their 1st serves. The continental grip gives you a bit of angle, you do not have to follow through with a slicing motion. Pronate that wrist out and pay attention to the turn of the forearm in the Roddick motion, the striking face of the racquet is actually turned away from his body in part of the follow through. It only turns into his body as he brings the racquet across the front of his body...on the down swing it actually rotates out. This took a long time for me to really "get". I kept seeing it but just didn't "get" it. It's part of good pronation and snap I think.

Good luck...and again I don't want to come across sounding like I think I know what I'm talking about personally...this is all regurgitated stuff that has helped me. I'm no expert, I've just gone through a lot of video and text trying to get more speed on my serve. Let us know what if anything works for you.

athiker
12-17-2009, 05:25 PM
I guess it would help if I posted the link! :oops:

http://www.aroundhawaii.com/lifestyle/health_and_fitness/2006-04_how_to_improve_your_tennis_serve_speed.html

Ripper014
12-17-2009, 05:33 PM
It feels good when you hit an ace, no? I'll be happy if I am able to hit over 100mph. So any advice would be appreciated.

Hitting a 100 mph serve is not a big deal... and you could already be doing that. If you want your serve to be more effective... work on recognizing your opponents weaknesses. Work on spin, speed and placement, having a short toss that is located in only one place will already help you with deception. You don't need to hit a lot of aces to be effective. You just want to win points... either by service winners or weak returns you can clean up.

LeeD
12-17-2009, 05:33 PM
Nice vid and comments, but....
Not fair to compare a 6' giraffe to a 6'1" Bengal tiger.
Dementiava is barely able to walk, much less play tennis. Give her credit she can climb stairs, tie her shoelaces, and not trip everytime she goes walking.
Roddick is almost built like a NFL safety, a real fast, strong, lean green mean machine.
Of course, I like the giraffe better....

USERNAME
12-18-2009, 11:18 AM
I'll work on the knee bend. Still not quite clear about the racquet head though. Did you mean just before the racquet fully drop (the back-scratch)? I cannot picture at what point the string bed can tap the back of my head. Do you have any picture to show this?

Yes, thats what I mean. Sorry I dont have any pics... I wish I could explain it better.

witit
12-18-2009, 01:41 PM
I would like to add this. Watch your video and carefully watch the follow through at the end of your motion. The first half of your serve looks great imo but I think you could benefit from really bringing the racquet through at the end. It almost as though you are slowing down the racquet just after contact and you could probably get a little more action by accelerating through the ball. Nice motion though.

Thanks. I was focusing on the legs part and forgot about the follow through. Another thing to keep in mind.

I'm not an expert but I read a lot and watch a lot of video trying to improve my own game. To state the obvious, if you want more speed then you have to get the racquet head moving faster.

1) It's hard to tell from the video but try to stay somewhat relaxed in your arm and shoulders, think quick/fast not strong...almost a fling or throw of the racquet through the ball. It's similar to martial arts, tense does not equal speed. Also in most martial arts you do not hit something, you visualize hitting through something...same thing with the ball.

2) Move your grip a finger or so towards the end of the racquet. Some even let their pinkly go over the butt of the racquet. It will loosen things up. See Roddick pic in link below. I think you are choked up the handle a bit too far which makes for a stiffer motion.

I'll try this next time. I used to practice serving with just three fingers before.

3) Your toss does look more like a kick serve toss, you may want to play around with that. You may be able to generate more power with a toss that isn't so far over your head.

Agree with the toss. It's well over to the left. I saw Sampras and Federer use similar toss and tried to copy them and got comfortable hitting from that spot. I'll try if tossing more to the right would help.

4) Agree with the legs thing, one can pretty much always get a bit more power from them. Moving into the court is fine...again see Roddick motion in link below.

Yup, from all comments, I need to work on the legs part. I tend to move my left foot. I need a more stable, wider stance and get deeper knee bend.

4a) Also notice how Roddick and Sharapova thrust their chests up and out in the link as they bend their knees. They really coil for the explosion into/through the ball.

5) When you bring the racquet around to the "trophy pose" the edge of the head should be facing more upward IMO. Think of it as a blade slicing up through the air. (again see Roddick motion and still pic in link). You seem to have your racquet face already open on your upswing. This may make a big difference for you.

I see what you mean. I thought I already bring the racquet up from the side. Probably I started the pronation too early and open up the racquet too soon.

6) Of course now that you have the blade slicing up you will be forced to pronate your wrist and forarm into the ball strike. This will improve your wrist action. Watch how the pros follow through on their 1st serves. The continental grip gives you a bit of angle, you do not have to follow through with a slicing motion. Pronate that wrist out and pay attention to the turn of the forearm in the Roddick motion, the striking face of the racquet is actually turned away from his body in part of the follow through. It only turns into his body as he brings the racquet across the front of his body...on the down swing it actually rotates out. This took a long time for me to really "get". I kept seeing it but just didn't "get" it. It's part of good pronation and snap I think.

Right. Looking back on my video, I need to work on having better pronation. My hitting arm is not straight as well.

Good luck...and again I don't want to come across sounding like I think I know what I'm talking about personally...this is all regurgitated stuff that has helped me. I'm no expert, I've just gone through a lot of video and text trying to get more speed on my serve. Let us know what if anything works for you.

Thanks for the link and spending time on the post. I teach myself tennis and learn by reading and watching a lot of videos as well. It's fun to work on the serve for me. One stroke and yet so many things to work on.

Hitting a 100 mph serve is not a big deal... and you could already be doing that. If you want your serve to be more effective... work on recognizing your opponents weaknesses. Work on spin, speed and placement, having a short toss that is located in only one place will already help you with deception. You don't need to hit a lot of aces to be effective. You just want to win points... either by service winners or weak returns you can clean up.

Totally agree with you here. I'm working on reading my opponent. It's just that sometimes you think you hit a pretty good serve and see it got blocked and came back as a moon ball. It makes you think if I can just have a little more pop on the serve, it would just blow pass the guy. I would rather have it returned back with some pace.

Solat
12-18-2009, 04:33 PM
Nice vid and comments, but....
Not fair to compare a 6' giraffe to a 6'1" Bengal tiger.
Dementiava is barely able to walk, much less play tennis. Give her credit she can climb stairs, tie her shoelaces, and not trip everytime she goes walking.
Roddick is almost built like a NFL safety, a real fast, strong, lean green mean machine.
Of course, I like the giraffe better....

one of your best posts yet Lee

athiker
12-19-2009, 05:54 PM
witit...here is a nice slo-mo video from Brent Abel showing the blade thing (racket edge leading) and last second pronation by another 6" 1" Bengal tiger Pete Sampras. :) I like watching that lady giraffe mentioned by LeeD as well, everything except her serve of course!

athiker
12-19-2009, 05:55 PM
Rats, I keep forgetting to add links. Is there no Edit feature in this forum, or am I just blind and don't see it?

Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DpptgXq5j4&feature=PlayList&p=449CB89CC472D35F&index=53

NLBwell
12-20-2009, 09:19 PM
You don't sink back as your body starts moving forward. If you stop the side view just as your left arm is coming down and you are starting to move your right arm up and forward, (try 0:29) your head is in front of your hip and trunk. You aren't loading/stretching your core muscles to get the catapult or bow effect. Your knees are actually bent quite a bit, so don't try to bend more (it may happen naturally), or you will just be jumping around losing energy.
Also your grip needs to be more Continental (opposite of Western) for more wrist snap. It is pretty close to eastern right now.
You likely will have to change your timing on the toss, because your arm will come through a little later with your upper body farther back.

NLBwell
12-20-2009, 09:28 PM
Re: my post above, check out this video at the start (0:03) and notice how Pete's upper body and head are far behind his hips and trunk.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DWylYK6lqRs&feature=PlayList&p=418D415FD1161FE2&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=60

Also see Pete at 1:17 and at 1:57 for Rusedski