PDA

View Full Version : How often should i practice serves to see an major improvements?


BirdWalkR
10-18-2011, 03:25 PM
Right now i prob get out maybe 2 days a week and hit serves at about %30-%60 for around 1-2 hours. Is this enough for any major improvement? Mostly working on placement and technical things like swingpath, ball toss leg push etc.

fruitytennis1
10-18-2011, 03:50 PM
1-2hrs at 30-60% sounds like really inefficient practice. When I practice serves I practice diligently for like 15 minutes. Usually this would be before hitting with a friend.

LeeD
10-18-2011, 07:22 PM
Let's see....
Nowadaze, I practice my serves about once every two months.
1st thru 4th year of tennis, I'd practice my serves about 4 times a week, usually hitting over 75 combined serves, ALL AT FULL SWING SPEED! I never back off the swing, because if you practice at 100%, you can play at 100.
If you practice all your serves at 60%, how can you get any serves IN during play going for more vigor?

SStrikerR
10-18-2011, 07:53 PM
If you practice at 60%, then your best serve will be at 60% power. Explain to me how that will help your game. Anyway, I usually practice for 30-45 minutes at near full effort on most of them. The only difference is I experiment with grips, ball toss, etc etc. Figuring out little things one at a time has led to huge improvements the second I figure them out. For example, the other day I experimented with tossing the ball out a little further than I usually did, and I began to hit harder because it really forced me to move into the shot and explode into it. Just hitting the ball over softly won't give you any major improvements.

TheIrrefutableOne
10-18-2011, 07:58 PM
Right now i prob get out maybe 2 days a week and hit serves at about %30-%60 for around 1-2 hours. Is this enough for any major improvement? Mostly working on placement and technical things like swingpath, ball toss leg push etc.



if you continue that schedule you will have a good serve in 50 or 60 years

LeeD
10-18-2011, 08:37 PM
Post #5 is a true gem.

Spin Doctor
10-18-2011, 09:03 PM
So instead of just criticizing and mocking the OP maybe some other posters can constructively provide information on how many practice sessions/week for how much time is required to improve one's serve? Or perhaps distill this down to the number of serves/session is productive while avoiding injury.

Off topic, but I also am interested in people's views on serving with old flat balls. Is this bad for your serve or should you serve with newer-ish balls to mimic playing a real match? It seems like I can never reproduce the level of my serves in a match as I get in practice and I've wondered if its the change in balls.

LeeD
10-18-2011, 09:31 PM
You can hit any old ball if you know in your head that is a flat ball, a skin ball, a pressureless ball, whatever, so you don't expect to duplicate that serve using new balls.
Of course it's better to use new tournament balls. Can we afford it?

charliefedererer
10-19-2011, 08:30 AM
I think you will find almost everyone recommends hitting your practice serves at near full speed. You can take just a little off your maximum effort, but to improve your serve, overall timing of the entire kinetic chain is key. You have to build "muscle memory".

It is good to hear that you are concentrating on different parts of your serve like leg push off and ball toss, because at first, it is just too complicated and you do not have the time to be conscious of each of the elements of the serve.
My recommendation is to concentrate on each of the aspects of the serve in the order in which they occur. That is, start on a concentration of a perfect tossing motion that continues with your bringing your tossing arm up and up and up to straight overhead, while coiling and "forming a bow shape". If you can get into this aggressive trophy position in a controlled balanced way, you are then ready for the big leg push off and subsequent reversal of the coiling and reversal of the bow which are the big body movements that power your serve.
Subsequently you can work on a deeper racquet drop and reversing the bow into the direction you want the serve to go.

To learn pronation, you can do the following exercise apart from your serve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iONY6fcqZGg


Are you in great shape? Anyone who is serving a lot needs to be doing the thrower's ten to avoid shoulder injury, and to a somewhat lesser extent, elbow and wrist injuries: http://www.eteamz.com/palyvolleyball/files/throwerstenexercises.pdf
Getting your entire body in great shape will have you prepared to practice your serve with an explosive motion, and have the ability to do it over and over and over: http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/tennis-weight-training.html.


Having perfect form is key in preventing injury. You have got to get into a good trophy position with a slight lean to the left to protect your shoulder:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IxGCfXLOBt8/TZBCRZA-dAI/AAAAAAAAAN4/PWV1Jnv9How/s640/ss25.jpg
And you have to maintain that tilt during the initiation of your swing:
http://www.tennisone.com/newsletter/template/photos/1.8.10/Roddick.Federer.serve.1.jpg
The Serve Doctor explains why in this video:
Your serve technique doing more harm than good? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgdXawklcZk
And Jim McClennan explains why it is essential to have a vertical shoulder over shoulder angle motion:
Preventing Rotator Cuff Injury http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTRvxaBMh8s


As to how long and how frequently to practice your serve, that depends... on how fit you and your arm is. If you are getting too sore after practice you are doing it too much. The problem is that while warmed up, you usually feel like you could hit another 20 balls, but after you finish, the inflammation really kicks in hours later, and there is no way to stop this natural body reaction to stress.
So it is better to start off slow with your near full force serves and work up. For instance starting twice a week hitting 50 serves might be a place to start. If you feel fine, work up to 60, to 70 to 80 balls a session. That should be enough to see some progress. And if you still feel fine, work up to 3 sessions a week.

Good luck!

fuzz nation
10-19-2011, 08:52 AM
So instead of just criticizing and mocking the OP maybe some other posters can constructively provide information on how many practice sessions/week for how much time is required to improve one's serve? Or perhaps distill this down to the number of serves/session is productive while avoiding injury.


I believe I hear a voice of reason...

I'd only recommend against practicing serves with balls that are super-dead, just because they're going to probably pop off your racquet much less zip than a ball that still has some pressure. Those really dead balls could let you get away with landing bigger serves with less spin than you'd need when using "fresh pills" that are just out of the can.

OP, I believe that good maintenance of the serve is accomplished by hitting one or maybe two buckets of serves (65-70 balls per bucket) in a week, even if you're also competing on a semi-regular basis. If you're trying to improve that serve, you can put in some more time on the practice court, but be careful not to overdo it. Maybe four buckets in a week.

Just remember to be deliberate - don't just rattle them off in short order. A good serve is a ritual that's easy to repeat under different circumstances. Take your time to practice that ritual including your setup, aim, windup tempo, etc. Avoid just whacking lots of balls at the service box and with a focused effort, you can turn in some very productive practice in only 15-20 minutes.

ATP100
10-20-2011, 08:56 AM
What ever your goals, start slowly. (time wise)
And warm up completely.