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View Full Version : Pinpoint vs platform stance for serves


sandro
06-13-2005, 06:01 AM
I've played all my life with platform; decent serve, good flat first, so and so 2nd (a lot of time spent to improve that kick/topspin serve!).
Today I tried just for fun to serve using the pinpoint: whow! I'm not impressed at all by any change in the pace (actually, I can't serve a flat bomb with pinpoint stance), but the amount of spin I'm able to impart is much bigger, and so is the "heaviness" of the ball with better %. In addition (I can't explain why) it seems I'm forced to hit the 2nd serve with more pace and spin, and it's working.

Anyone did the same test? What do you think?

Noelle
06-13-2005, 06:46 AM
You may be transferring your weight forward a little bit more efficiently with the pinpoint. But hey, I haven't seen you serve, so this is just a guess on my part.

I think there were previous discussions about pinpoint vs. platform. Here are some of them.

Bringing your legs together, or leave it apart during serve...
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=50204

Going from platform to pinpoint
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=35001

Grimjack
06-13-2005, 06:50 AM
I found -- and I'm sure this is peculiar to me -- that when I served pinpoint (which was the first way I served, and just came naturally to me), I had to stand like a foot behind the baseline, or I'd footfault. Somehow, in the act of bringing the back foot up, it was physically or psychologically impossible for me to keep the front foot still.

Serving platform, this has never been an issue. Weird, huh?

But in general, I think I did serve stronger when I served pinpoint. Of course that might be more to do with the fact that I was practicing for hours every day back then, and my body was a hell of a lot younger. (Oh, and I was closer to the net, since I was foot-faulting all the time.)

1171
06-13-2005, 07:54 AM
If you ever seen Arthur Ashe serve, you will notice that is exactly how he did it. He stands a good foot behind service line. He goes pin-point by drawing right foot up. But by the time he pin-point, his feet are actually pretty close to the service line. If he start his serving from the service line, he would have foot-faulted every time.

So it is correct to stand a good distance behind when using pin-point stance.

TwistServe
06-13-2005, 07:59 AM
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. John Yandell posted somethign a while back which i don't fully remember so i won't quote him.. But he did say the "advanced" from of the platform stance is where your feet start close to gether but don't move.. Very similar to what Andy Roddick is doing.. This is the stance of my preference too!
Yandell has done lots of slow motion research on the pinpoint and platform launches and how they differ player by player. Justine has been said to move the most horizontal of all platform stances and Agassi had the most vertical distance.

The one fault with the pinpoint stance is that you risk foot faulting. In a regular match your opponent probably wont call you on it..

takeuchi
06-13-2005, 10:00 AM
But he did say the "advanced" from of the platform stance is where your feet start close to gether but don't move.. Very similar to what Andy Roddick is doing.. This is the stance of my preference too!
me too me too. i use this inbetween stance. i feel that my ability to move is slightly hindered in platform and my balance is slightly off in pinpoint. It feels kinda weird when you toss, but i got used to it.

sandro
06-21-2005, 06:06 AM
AUCH! after a week of pinpoint testings, my lower backs start to hurt (as my right knee does). I don't know, maybe it's just my body who leaarned and played so many times the platform.
One thing for sure: as I don't get money playing tennis (rather the opposite!), I won't risk injuries and will go back to platform stance.

TennsDog
06-21-2005, 12:49 PM
I used to use pinpoint as that came more naturally to me. However, once I really started working on the platform, I found it better in every way. It is smoother, easier, more power, and more spin. Every one of my platform serves was as good as my best pinpoint serves. I feel like I am hitting the ball harder in pinpoint (partly because it is so much more effort), but I don't think the actual velocity off of the racket is bigger. I think it depends on your specific style in each type of serve that defines what your outcomes will be. However, if you found a new way of serving that works much better for you, that's great. That is what this game is about: learning, changing, and improving to get the best results. Keep workin on it and maybe you will be able to challenge Ivo. ;)

Rickson
06-21-2005, 01:11 PM
More spin from using pinpoint? And you feel the spin came because you used a pinpoint instead of the platform? You're a very peculiar fellow.

troytennisbum
06-21-2005, 01:33 PM
I think it's really personal preference.
Pinpoint just feels a lot more natural then platform does for me.

eLterrible
06-21-2005, 01:51 PM
I've played all my life with platform; decent serve, good flat first, so and so 2nd (a lot of time spent to improve that kick/topspin serve!).
Today I tried just for fun to serve using the pinpoint: whow! I'm not impressed at all by any change in the pace (actually, I can't serve a flat bomb with pinpoint stance), but the amount of spin I'm able to impart is much bigger, and so is the "heaviness" of the ball with better %. In addition (I can't explain why) it seems I'm forced to hit the 2nd serve with more pace and spin, and it's working.

Anyone did the same test? What do you think?

I got a similar problem, except backwards, i get more kick from platform, but more power (so it seems) from pinpoint. Which should i use??? I'm thinking of using pinpoint for first serve and platform for second, but that would be WEIRD. Platform kinda hearts my elbow more because i extend the arm farther because i feel lower to the ground. HELP ME

USCfan
06-21-2005, 01:52 PM
I had the opposite experience... I got a little more power from a pinpoint serve. I agree with troy, it's a matter of personal preference.

POGO
06-21-2005, 02:08 PM
I learned to serve by keeping my foot back, but over the years I start to bring my back foot together with my front foot the moment I'm about to strike the ball. I find that bringing the back foot forward allows me to have better hip stretch, archers bow, and allows me to expload my torso into the ball for more power.

Kana Himezaki
06-21-2005, 02:32 PM
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. John Yandell posted somethign a while back which i don't fully remember so i won't quote him.. But he did say the "advanced" from of the platform stance is where your feet start close to gether but don't move.. Very similar to what Andy Roddick is doing.. This is the stance of my preference too!
Yandell has done lots of slow motion research on the pinpoint and platform launches and how they differ player by player. Justine has been said to move the most horizontal of all platform stances and Agassi had the most vertical distance.

The one fault with the pinpoint stance is that you risk foot faulting. In a regular match your opponent probably wont call you on it..



Roddick's stance is definitely not platform. It's unique though. Not an "advanced" version, but more like a completely new development. :D

In his, both feet are kept right next to each other, with the back foot's toes behind the ankle of the front foot. Parallel and right next to each other. They bend together, and whatever else is self explanatory.

This motion helps use BOTH feet in the knee bend/leg drive. The normal platform and pinpoint stances do NOT do this. It looks like some pinpoint players do, but their back foot leaves the ground first and does not help much at all if anything.

However, it limits the amount of shoulder rotation. Roddick still can get pretty good rotation, but it's impossible to get as much. But the next time you see Roddick, look at the air he gets compared to other servers. It's definitely noticeable.

TwistServe
06-21-2005, 02:47 PM
Roddick's stance is definitely not platform. It's unique though. Not an "advanced" version, but more like a completely new development. :D

In his, both feet are kept right next to each other, with the back foot's toes behind the ankle of the front foot. Parallel and right next to each other. They bend together, and whatever else is self explanatory.

This motion helps use BOTH feet in the knee bend/leg drive. The normal platform and pinpoint stances do NOT do this. It looks like some pinpoint players do, but their back foot leaves the ground first and does not help much at all if anything.

However, it limits the amount of shoulder rotation. Roddick still can get pretty good rotation, but it's impossible to get as much. But the next time you see Roddick, look at the air he gets compared to other servers. It's definitely noticeable.

1.) The attribute of a platform stance is that the legs do not move. (stationary)
2.) The attribute of a pinpoint stance is that the legs are open and then move in together. (sliding)
3.) It doesn't matter how the legs are placed and how far or close they are, or if one is in front of the other, before or after the weight shift. Only #1 and #2 define the stance.
4.) Who really cares what its called. We use a name to describe an action. I'm perfectly satisified with "Advanced platform" as oppose to making up some name that no one understands.

However, under these definitions, Roddick's stance seems to lean towards platform.. And John Yandell agrees and defines the difference as stationary vs sliding.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=389624&postcount=19


Great topic. Quite complex! My opinion is that the platform has it by a mile. The pinpoint is at best NOT a negative factor.

First glad to see Bruce Elliott's work from Tennisplayer quoted. Ironic though, because the study mentioned is probably the one point where I disagree most with him. Bruce took platform servers and pinpoint servers, measured their thrust up and forward, and then had them all change stances...I'm sure his results were quantitatively accurate, but I question the assumption that you could actually make a fair comparison having players try a completely different technique and compare it to their normal thing.

For fun we looked at the stances of about 25 men and women pros on high speed video. We could find no corelation whatsover between stance and who went more upward and who went more forward. The guy that seemed to go highest up was Agassi--platform. The guy who went furthest forward was Phillippoussis--pinpoint. The player who went the furthest forward of all was, amazingly, Justine Henin-Hardenne--platform!

You can point to both stances in the history of the game of course, but for technique, consistency, aesthetic appeal--and results--look at McEnroe, Sampras, and Federer. I'll take them.

Yeah I know: Becker, Ivanisevic, Krajicek.

OK then how about Roddick and Taylor Dent? Both of them changed from extreme pinpoints to platforms--and I'll argue in an article coming up that Roddick's serve is actually an advanced new form of the platform.

And how about the women? Another note of complexity--most of them use pinpoints, but why? A sex related thing, or coincidence, or poor coaching theory--all the women do it therefore all women should do it.... Now I had the chance to work with a top women's college player who in my view and that of several observers made a huge obvious jump in pace going to the platform--but a year later when I caught one of her matches, guess what? Back to the pinpoint.

In reality though there is no such one thing as a single pinpoint and even the platforms vary. The pinpoint is more or less extreme depending on where the back foot ends up. If it slides all the way around (as one gentleman above is advocating) I think it's very clear in our high speed footage that the shoulders end up too open at contact. Most of the great servers--including Roddick--are surprisingly closed at contact.

I think stationary versus sliding is a better way to look at it. My own opinion based on my experience on the court is that the knee bend and the explosion are both obviously better with the platform. I had some very interesting times with my friend Jeff Salzenstein, (former Stanford player who has been flirting with the top 100 and had some good wins over higher players). He decided he wanted to make this change and is convinced the platform is far superior. He didn't just take my word for it--Salzy is the kind of guy who has to prove it to himself (the best kind.)

You can go more upward or more forward with a platform--that really depends on the toss not the stance! I also think with the platform you can more or less just "lock and load." I think this is at least one contributing reason to how Pete came up with so many ridiculously great serves at big moments.

PS: someone asked me to mention when the Federer Forehand articles were up on Tennisplayer. They are.

Kana Himezaki
06-21-2005, 04:26 PM
I know. It DOES lean towards platform. I'm just outlining what the stance helps him do.

sandro
06-22-2005, 12:42 AM
More spin from using pinpoint? And you feel the spin came because you used a pinpoint instead of the platform? You're a very peculiar fellow.

maybe I am.

sandro
06-22-2005, 12:49 AM
...
You can go more upward or more forward with a platform--that really depends on the toss not the stance! I also think with the platform you can more or less just "lock and load." I think this is at least one contributing reason to how Pete came up with so many ridiculously great serves at big moments.

Great reading! THANKS Twist!!!

TwistServe
06-22-2005, 12:04 PM
I know. It DOES lean towards platform. I'm just outlining what the stance helps him do.

That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet