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View Full Version : some flat and kick serves


BirdWalkR
09-26-2011, 05:31 PM
first serve/flat
http://s999.photobucket.com/albums/af114/BirdWalk-R/?action=view&current=1stServe.mp4
2nd serve/kick
http://s999.photobucket.com/albums/af114/BirdWalk-R/?action=view&current=2ndServe.mp4

how do they look?

AceServer
09-26-2011, 05:40 PM
The motion looks a bit robotic, relax. Also, carry your momentum throughout the serve. I am in no position to critique, but I'm just pointing out the obvious.

zapvor
09-26-2011, 06:07 PM
lol tell him aceserver

ok so you got pretty good racket head speed but the motion is not the best. especially your right arm it starts too low and you end up doing more a slapping down then a brushing up. for the kicker your toss is to the left but your motion isnt changed much. i would swing more right and up. also you can adjust grip to get more kick

BirdWalkR
09-26-2011, 06:23 PM
The motion looks a bit robotic, relax. Also, carry your momentum throughout the serve. I am in no position to critique, but I'm just pointing out the obvious.
I've noticed that too it sounds easy but its hard for me to jump into the court very well maybe due to my stiff form?
lol tell him aceserver

ok so you got pretty good racket head speed but the motion is not the best. especially your right arm it starts too low and you end up doing more a slapping down then a brushing up. for the kicker your toss is to the left but your motion isnt changed much. i would swing more right and up. also you can adjust grip to get more kick

Isn't a flat serve more hitting downward onto it anyway though?i maybe wrong and where should my right arm be? it did look a little too low but i dont know where to put it normally

BobFL
09-26-2011, 06:29 PM
I used to have exactly the same syndrome in my serve motion. I call/ed it: serving from the edge of abyss. Basically, do not try to stay behind the base line after you hit the ball. Just let it go, your natural body momentum, and jump into the court...

Btw, great videos! Static camera, great angle...perfect.

BirdWalkR
09-26-2011, 06:32 PM
I used to have exactly the same syndrome in my serve motion. I call/ed it: serving from the edge of abyss. Basically, do not try to stay behind the base line after you hit the ball. Just let it go, your natural body momentum, and jump into the court...

Btw, great videos! Static camera, great angle...perfect.

thanks! i actually spent a good bit of time trying to find the right angle :P

TennisCJC
09-26-2011, 06:33 PM
I admire your bravery for post a video.

Suggestions on kick serve:

1. hitting elbow is a bit low in trophy pose. Try getting elbow back away from body. Elbow will still be slightly below hitting shoulder but I was able to stop the video and yours is low and tight to body. Also, getting elbow up may help you keep palm down to close racket face. Your racket face is open a bit as you lift it. But, it did appear to be closed when you go into loop and up toward contact.
2. You are pulling body and racket to your left causing more slice than topspin. Try following thru at 45 degree angle up and across toward right side fence. For slice, I have read instruction articles to follow thru toward net post when serving to duece court. For kick, I follow-thru more toward fence say where near service line points to side fence.
3. See if you can work on extending up and thru rather than to falling to left. Try to have legs, chest and arm all going up thru contact rather than to L.

Go to fuzzyyellowballs.com pro strokes library and watch Federer and feeze his slow-mo serve at trophy pose. You can just about draw a straight line from elbow to elbow when his toss arm points up and his racket arm elbow is down but back and away from body. Sampras was the same. It is fairly common for all great servers.

fruitytennis1
09-26-2011, 06:49 PM
I admire your bravery for post a video.

Suggestions on kick serve:

1. hitting elbow is a bit low in trophy pose. Try getting elbow back away from body. Elbow will still be slightly below hitting shoulder but I was able to stop the video and yours is low and tight to body. Also, getting elbow up may help you keep palm down to close racket face. Your racket face is open a bit as you lift it. But, it did appear to be closed when you go into loop and up toward contact.
2. You are pulling body and racket to your left causing more slice than topspin. Try following thru at 45 degree angle up and across toward right side fence. For slice, I have read instruction articles to follow thru toward net post when serving to duece court. For kick, I follow-thru more toward fence say where near service line points to side fence.
3. See if you can work on extending up and thru rather than to falling to left. Try to have legs, chest and arm all going up thru contact rather than to L.

Go to fuzzyyellowballs.com pro strokes library and watch Federer and feeze his slow-mo serve at trophy pose. You can just about draw a straight line from elbow to elbow when his toss arm points up and his racket arm elbow is down but back and away from body. Sampras was the same. It is fairly common for all great servers.

Listen to this... disregard everything else

Say Chi Sin Lo
09-26-2011, 07:07 PM
Huh? What kick? All I see is slice.

10sLifer
09-26-2011, 09:16 PM
Your very tight. Most intuitive-thinkers(big picture, fine motor skilled) people are. I would build a relaxing breath and arms hanging into your serve routine. Other than that don't start accelerating your racquet with your arm so low. hat cause the elbow to travel much more up than forward. The body can tilt up but you dont want to hit up. So you need your bicep to be at a 90 degree angle with your body when you accelerate. Parts of the swing are grip, swing and body. Grip looks good, body looks good, swing needs work with above tips.

mightyrick
09-26-2011, 09:49 PM
That kick serve is somewhat of a dud. You need to get more under that ball. The toss looks fine to me. It is right on top of your head, but you really need to be looking up at the ball and then striking it somewhat on the underside.

Also, on the second serve it looks to me like you are supinating and not pronating. As if you are carving the ball on the outside. Supination on a kick serve is going to kill all your good spin and turn it into a bad slice floater... which is what you ended up with.

ATP100
09-27-2011, 02:09 AM
Keep practicing, also, practice serving down the center T.

zapvor
09-27-2011, 03:56 AM
yea basically when you swing at the ball your motion is more of a slapping it kind. its kind of hard to explain. instead of allowing your natural motion take its course you kind of force yourself to hit the ball the way you think its better in your mind so after contact you kind of come down on it. it should be more or an arc not a up-down motion

spaceman_spiff
09-27-2011, 05:02 AM
I suggest you find an old, beat up racket and practice throwing it over the fence. Failing that, take your current racket and practice throwing it over the fence but without actually releasing it.

After that, try tossing a ball up in the air before throwing your racket over the fence. Then, compare that upward, throwing motion to your current scrunched, falling, downward motion.

Chenx15
09-27-2011, 07:50 AM
as long as it goes in and there is enough movement, tough to return and no injury in your motion then it's good enough

spaceman_spiff
09-27-2011, 08:08 AM
as long as it goes in and there is enough movement, tough to return and no injury in your motion then it's good enough

That's the thing we're all too polite to say: his serves are not good enough.

The first serve goes to the same spot every time, and that spot is right in the strike zone of a right-handed forehand. The second serve goes a bit more to the backhand side, but not by much and without much action to it.

Both serves are easy to reach and easy to read. Even with a decent amount of pace on them, a good returner will eat them up all day long.

BirdWalkR
09-27-2011, 12:31 PM
I admire your bravery for post a video.

Suggestions on kick serve:

1. hitting elbow is a bit low in trophy pose. Try getting elbow back away from body. Elbow will still be slightly below hitting shoulder but I was able to stop the video and yours is low and tight to body. Also, getting elbow up may help you keep palm down to close racket face. Your racket face is open a bit as you lift it. But, it did appear to be closed when you go into loop and up toward contact.
2. You are pulling body and racket to your left causing more slice than topspin. Try following thru at 45 degree angle up and across toward right side fence. For slice, I have read instruction articles to follow thru toward net post when serving to duece court. For kick, I follow-thru more toward fence say where near service line points to side fence.
3. See if you can work on extending up and thru rather than to falling to left. Try to have legs, chest and arm all going up thru contact rather than to L.

Go to fuzzyyellowballs.com pro strokes library and watch Federer and feeze his slow-mo serve at trophy pose. You can just about draw a straight line from elbow to elbow when his toss arm points up and his racket arm elbow is down but back and away from body. Sampras was the same. It is fairly common for all great servers.

Thanks for the input i def see where mine is messed up now hopefully i can work on it soon

That's the thing we're all too polite to say: his serves are not good enough.

The first serve goes to the same spot every time, and that spot is right in the strike zone of a right-handed forehand. The second serve goes a bit more to the backhand side, but not by much and without much action to it.

Both serves are easy to reach and easy to read. Even with a decent amount of pace on them, a good returner will eat them up all day long.

Thanks for the unpoliteness i need someone to tell me wether my serves suck or not :P lol an how would i put more action onto the ball? i've always struggled with trying to get the ball to kick i always seem to get unintentional slice

mightyrick
09-27-2011, 01:00 PM
an how would i put more action onto the ball? i've always struggled with trying to get the ball to kick i always seem to get unintentional slice

When I was learning the kick serve, I tried every method including the "kneeling" or "sitting" on the baseline drill. I tried the FYB progressions. Nothing worked for me.

But finally... I discovered a drill from Brent Abel. All you do is stand on the baseline in serving position. Then, toss the ball over your head and try to hit the ball as high as possible over the net but still keep the ball inside the target service box.

This kind of a drill will force you to hit up on the ball because hitting up is the only way to produce a high arcing trajectory.

After a month of doing this drill, I started using it in matches. My kick serve was very slow at first, but it was still tough for people to crush because it would bounce about 8 or 9 feet in the air. These days, I probably get about a bounce of 6 feet in the air with more pace then I used to.

fruitytennis1
09-27-2011, 01:14 PM
That's the thing we're all too polite to say: his serves are not good enough.

The first serve goes to the same spot every time, and that spot is right in the strike zone of a right-handed forehand. The second serve goes a bit more to the backhand side, but not by much and without much action to it.

Both serves are easy to reach and easy to read. Even with a decent amount of pace on them, a good returner will eat them up all day long.

I would bet his serve is better than a number of people "trying" to critique him right now--not necessarily pointing you out SS

LeeD
09-27-2011, 01:31 PM
To simplify the learning process, it's better to target the left side of the service box (rightie server) for sliced serves, and the RIGHT side of the service box for twist aka kick serves. This gives you the basic tactics strategy of moving your opponent off the court to return your serves.
As you get better, you learn to vary the placement of each of your different serves.
Some very good players hit their flat serves slightly towards hitting side, and use slice to hit the left corner (once again, rightie serving). They twist to get the returner out wider.

TheMagicianOfPrecision
09-27-2011, 01:34 PM
Im sorry, i forgot to look at the serves because my eyes got stuck on that hideous excuse of a tenniscourt...my god, did a nuclear bomb explode there a week ago?:shock:

BirdWalkR
09-27-2011, 02:35 PM
To simplify the learning process, it's better to target the left side of the service box (rightie server) for sliced serves, and the RIGHT side of the service box for twist aka kick serves. This gives you the basic tactics strategy of moving your opponent off the court to return your serves.
As you get better, you learn to vary the placement of each of your different serves.
Some very good players hit their flat serves slightly towards hitting side, and use slice to hit the left corner (once again, rightie serving). They twist to get the returner out wider.
Nice tactics ill def have to try it always looking to imrpove my game

Im sorry, i forgot to look at the serves because my eyes got stuck on that hideous excuse of a tenniscourt...my god, did a nuclear bomb explode there a week ago?:shock:

There def not in good shape haha but its the only court within 10 mins of my house so its not bad for just hitting around or serves occasionally :P

BirdWalkR
09-27-2011, 02:56 PM
I would bet his serve is better than a number of people "trying" to critique him right now--not necessarily pointing you out SS
thanks for the compliment! haha my serve is actually fairly effective when im trying to hit my spots despite my ugly motion i can keep my first serve percentage around 75-80% on average i think but hopefuly revamping it adds more pace

TheMagicianOfPrecision
09-27-2011, 03:41 PM
Nice tactics ill def have to try it always looking to imrpove my game



There def not in good shape haha but its the only court within 10 mins of my house so its not bad for just hitting around or serves occasionally :P

I see, just kidding anyway- any courts that are for free are good courts :)
Keep it up man, and practice practice practice! Good luck

papa
09-27-2011, 04:47 PM
I'm not that concerned about the court - some of us are fortunate enough to have pretty nice facilities, doesn't matter at this point.

The motion has some very positive parts and the simple fact that your working at it is proof that you want to learn. I'd suggest a couple of things like keeping the racquet much higher - have both arms go up together rather than having one go up and the other down
- get the forward hip leaning/pointing toward the box your serving into - really exaggerate it
- loosen your grip
- keep the entire motion nice and fluid
- keep your head up and watch the racquet hit the ball

Just keep working on it - looking good

spaceman_spiff
09-28-2011, 01:04 AM
I would bet his serve is better than a number of people "trying" to critique him right now--not necessarily pointing you out SS

I was just trying to respond to the poster who implied it was good enough. Plenty of others have posted good stuff about hitting up through the ball on the kicker and so on.

I thought it would be worth adding what I see as a big problem: the lack of placement. Against a good returner, a serve with no placement is ineffective no matter how fast it is (within reason). On the other hand, a well placed serve can be extremely effective even if it's not particularly fast or spinny.

The Bird man's serve seems to go to the same place every time, and that place is right in the strike zone of the returner. Because of that, he'll struggle to hold when he comes up against a good returner. But, if he improves his placement and starts getting his serves farther wide or more down the middle, he could really win a lot more easy points even without any further improvements.

BirdWalkR
09-28-2011, 01:19 PM
I'm not that concerned about the court - some of us are fortunate enough to have pretty nice facilities, doesn't matter at this point.

The motion has some very positive parts and the simple fact that your working at it is proof that you want to learn. I'd suggest a couple of things like keeping the racquet much higher - have both arms go up together rather than having one go up and the other down
- get the forward hip leaning/pointing toward the box your serving into - really exaggerate it
- loosen your grip
- keep the entire motion nice and fluid
- keep your head up and watch the racquet hit the ball

Just keep working on it - looking good
thanks for the tips! fluidity is probably the biggest thing now. i've heard that your supposed to keep equal weight on both feet while serving so how would i do that if im leading with my hips into the court? Maybe i just cant do it rgiht

I was just trying to respond to the poster who implied it was good enough. Plenty of others have posted good stuff about hitting up through the ball on the kicker and so on.

I thought it would be worth adding what I see as a big problem: the lack of placement. Against a good returner, a serve with no placement is ineffective no matter how fast it is (within reason). On the other hand, a well placed serve can be extremely effective even if it's not particularly fast or spinny.

The Bird man's serve seems to go to the same place every time, and that place is right in the strike zone of the returner. Because of that, he'll struggle to hold when he comes up against a good returner. But, if he improves his placement and starts getting his serves farther wide or more down the middle, he could really win a lot more easy points even without any further improvements.

Should i be more worried about placement rather than the spin or power right now? an my coach always told me to hit the 2nd serve right in the middle. should i ever try to place a 2nd serve? or only first serves?

LeeD
09-28-2011, 01:27 PM
2nd serve placement...
Seems to me, if you want to possibly win, you need 2nd serve placement to a returner's weaker hitting or less consistent side by the time you play middling 3.0 tennis. For sure, you need it for strong 3.5, as most of those guys have bigger forehands than their backhands.
By the time you start to play 4.5's, you should be able to direct the second serve with either of the 3 bounces to each side AND at the returner. If you don't, or can't, then you'd have the long roe to hoe by playing defensive retriever tennis, pushing, or running for every ball, instead of progressing to a higher level using shots, power and placement.
5.5 and up, you need all the placements, and the mind game comes into play...sometimes serving to a returner's STRONG side to get him off his set pattern, sometimes serving to returner's strong side to set up the court for your next shot, but mostly serving into a spot where the returner doesn't consistently hurt you with his return.
I like to split the service court into 5 sections, avoiding the 2n and 4th, as those serves come into the returner's sweetspot.

TheMagicianOfPrecision
09-28-2011, 03:17 PM
2nd serve placement...
Seems to me, if you want to possibly win, you need 2nd serve placement to a returner's weaker hitting or less consistent side by the time you play middling 3.0 tennis. For sure, you need it for strong 3.5, as most of those guys have bigger forehands than their backhands.
By the time you start to play 4.5's, you should be able to direct the second serve with either of the 3 bounces to each side AND at the returner. If you don't, or can't, then you'd have the long roe to hoe by playing defensive retriever tennis, pushing, or running for every ball, instead of progressing to a higher level using shots, power and placement.
5.5 and up, you need all the placements, and the mind game comes into play...sometimes serving to a returner's STRONG side to get him off his set pattern, sometimes serving to returner's strong side to set up the court for your next shot, but mostly serving into a spot where the returner doesn't consistently hurt you with his return.
I like to split the service court into 5 sections, avoiding the 2n and 4th, as those serves come into the returner's sweetspot.

Great advice, i do that with the kids at my club all the time, they get 10 serves, the box is divided into 4 pieces giving 1,2,3 and 4 points/serve depending on where they place their serve, very popular.

fruitytennis1
09-28-2011, 03:48 PM
I was just trying to respond to the poster who implied it was good enough. Plenty of others have posted good stuff about hitting up through the ball on the kicker and so on.

I thought it would be worth adding what I see as a big problem: the lack of placement. Against a good returner, a serve with no placement is ineffective no matter how fast it is (within reason). On the other hand, a well placed serve can be extremely effective even if it's not particularly fast or spinny.

The Bird man's serve seems to go to the same place every time, and that place is right in the strike zone of the returner. Because of that, he'll struggle to hold when he comes up against a good returner. But, if he improves his placement and starts getting his serves farther wide or more down the middle, he could really win a lot more easy points even without any further improvements.

To me it seemed that the pace+placement is good enough so that even if you know the serve is going to that location..your still being pulled off court

papa
09-28-2011, 05:15 PM
thanks for the tips! fluidity is probably the biggest thing now. i've heard that your supposed to keep equal weight on both feet while serving so how would i do that if im leading with my hips into the court? Maybe i just cant do it rgiht


Well, you want to remain balanced throughout the service motion but that doesn't mean that you remain perfectly upright. When we lean with the hip and keep our tossing arm up, we lower the hitting shoulder. The hitting shoulder then comes up and over the front shoulder as the racquet strikes the ball.

Don't get discouraged, hang in there - it will work, just takes practice but you'll get it.

willshot
09-28-2011, 08:04 PM
is that grass/weed growing on the courts? lol.

nice video btw. serve seems pretty fast.

spaceman_spiff
09-29-2011, 12:33 AM
Should i be more worried about placement rather than the spin or power right now? an my coach always told me to hit the 2nd serve right in the middle. should i ever try to place a 2nd serve? or only first serves?

Like LeeD said, on 2nd serves you need to be able to at least get them to your opponent's weaker side; not necessarily painting the lines, but significantly far enough so that he can't run around them.

On first serve, I think you're getting enough pace and spin to set up easy points if your placement were better. I would suggest focusing on your placement and technique (which in itself will improve your power and spin) for now. Once you have those two aspects sorted, you can work on getting adding more pace and spin.

spaceman_spiff
09-29-2011, 12:48 AM
To me it seemed that the pace+placement is good enough so that even if you know the serve is going to that location..your still being pulled off court

We must be looking at different videos. Every serve I saw was within one normal-sized step of where most people stand on returns; nothing that would make someone stretch. Even the widest serve in the videos could be reached pretty easily and was going right through the strike zone of a rightie forehand. If I had hit that serve, I would expect a pretty strong return to come back my way, leaving me with a lot of work to do to win the point.

BirdWalkR
10-01-2011, 07:42 AM
2nd serve placement...
Seems to me, if you want to possibly win, you need 2nd serve placement to a returner's weaker hitting or less consistent side by the time you play middling 3.0 tennis. For sure, you need it for strong 3.5, as most of those guys have bigger forehands than their backhands.
By the time you start to play 4.5's, you should be able to direct the second serve with either of the 3 bounces to each side AND at the returner. If you don't, or can't, then you'd have the long roe to hoe by playing defensive retriever tennis, pushing, or running for every ball, instead of progressing to a higher level using shots, power and placement.
5.5 and up, you need all the placements, and the mind game comes into play...sometimes serving to a returner's STRONG side to get him off his set pattern, sometimes serving to returner's strong side to set up the court for your next shot, but mostly serving into a spot where the returner doesn't consistently hurt you with his return.
I like to split the service court into 5 sections, avoiding the 2n and 4th, as those serves come into the returner's sweetspot.

Thanks for the explanation i feel like now i know what i have to do to get better. placement THAN power is my goal now lol

is that grass/weed growing on the courts? lol.

nice video btw. serve seems pretty fast.
yepp pretty crappy courts :P thanks! i think they look a lil faster on video

Like LeeD said, on 2nd serves you need to be able to at least get them to your opponent's weaker side; not necessarily painting the lines, but significantly far enough so that he can't run around them.

On first serve, I think you're getting enough pace and spin to set up easy points if your placement were better. I would suggest focusing on your placement and technique (which in itself will improve your power and spin) for now. Once you have those two aspects sorted, you can work on getting adding more pace and spin.

That sounds like a good idea. any reccomendations for servers to model? i always hear sampras or fed but i'd like to view someone who serves in a style similar to mine or at least pinpoint stance lol would isner be a bad guy to model the serve after?

spaceman_spiff
10-03-2011, 01:27 AM
That sounds like a good idea. any reccomendations for servers to model? i always hear sampras or fed but i'd like to view someone who serves in a style similar to mine or at least pinpoint stance lol would isner be a bad guy to model the serve after?

I think Ljubicic might be a good model for you. He does a similar quick serve with a low(ish) toss and almost no pause before swinging from a pinpoint stance. But, he still gets good drive from the legs to get up into the ball.

Plus, his big, bright racket makes it easy to see how he swings up across the ball on his second serve.