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View Full Version : Swinging up on the ball on serve - question


Power Player
01-03-2012, 06:03 AM
I had some pronation issues on serve due to way too much baseball playing in which I threw sidearm (shortstop), then played lacrosse and shot with some of the same motion.

This resulted in an unstable wrist on serve and made injury a lot easier. In working past this, I have been retraining myself to use a loose arm and whip through the ball. I find that part easy to grasp, but getting it consistent was tough.

Anyway, I was working on hitting more of a kick serve..just hitting up on the ball and over it. What I started to notice was that this was allowing me to pronate through the ball properly and finish with the racquet butt end up pointed up. Once I got this part down, I started noticing that I was able to hit some rather big serves and was not just limited to kickers.

The adjustment I made was visualizing the racquet face facing my back on the racquet drop and leading with the blade. Instead of thinking of chopping the ball in half with the blade, I thought about attacking the ball with the leading edge basically being the 3 o clock area on the racquet face. It is tough to describe, but basically how you would hit a kick serve. I was wiping up the back and through the ball instead of just brushing it with spin.

My old motion consistent of my racquet coming at the ball with the edge leading, but the racquet was not laying across my back, but more straight behind me. This seemed to make it tough to control the swing up to contact and proper pronation.

Not sure if this makes sense, but basically the amount of spin and pace plus consistency from this motion seems to really encourage a healthy "snap through" the ball and results in some serious heat and action. Started wondering if this type of service is how many servers hit a flatter ball that still can drop into the box with a lot of pace and accuracy.

maggmaster
01-03-2012, 06:24 AM
That is how I hit my topspin serves, not flat though. For flat I use the same approach to the ball but release the wrist earlier and let it snap through the ball. I know you are supposed to hit up into the ball but I really try to get on top of it.

Power Player
01-03-2012, 07:24 AM
Exactly, that is what I am doing now for flats. It seems to allow really clean contact through the ball.

I believe the approach to the ball was wrong for me and was not resulting in a snapping easy motion. As a result I was trying to correct everything with my wrist and that caused injury.

maggmaster
01-03-2012, 07:37 AM
When my coach was correcting my serve, he had me serve a whole hopper from the service line. They had to go into the box with pace. It is harder than it sounds. When I moved back to the baseline I was really getting on top of the ball and my pace was much better. Every once in awhile when I am not getting the pop that I want, I go back to the service line. I am only 5' 8 and I don't think I am breaking 100 mph on my serve but still the increase is noticeable.

Power Player
01-03-2012, 07:50 AM
Yeah I am the same size and I am finding that getting a ton of rotation on your first serve is key to getting that heavy pace and dropping action the ball.

I had a few balls that bounced high and hard enough to have cracked 100, but the consistent pace comes with time.

Nice to see what I have been working on is actually proper technique. It is very hard to find coaching that can help me with the swing to contact aspect so I had to figure this out with practice.

HunterST
01-03-2012, 07:51 AM
Hmm a lot of times these "feel" epiphanies don't end up bringing lasting change.

maggmaster
01-03-2012, 08:08 AM
That is interesting, I have found that as long as I continue to practice the form and rework the drill sequence I can maintain the change.

Power Player
01-03-2012, 08:30 AM
Hmm a lot of times these "feel" epiphanies don't end up bringing lasting change.

It's not a feel epiphanie, it is a change in technique.

DavaiMarat
01-03-2012, 11:41 AM
I had some pronation issues on serve due to way too much baseball playing in which I threw sidearm (shortstop), then played lacrosse and shot with some of the same motion.

This resulted in an unstable wrist on serve and made injury a lot easier. In working past this, I have been retraining myself to use a loose arm and whip through the ball. I find that part easy to grasp, but getting it consistent was tough.

Anyway, I was working on hitting more of a kick serve..just hitting up on the ball and over it. What I started to notice was that this was allowing me to pronate through the ball properly and finish with the racquet butt end up pointed up. Once I got this part down, I started noticing that I was able to hit some rather big serves and was not just limited to kickers.

The adjustment I made was visualizing the racquet face facing my back on the racquet drop and leading with the blade. Instead of thinking of chopping the ball in half with the blade, I thought about attacking the ball with the leading edge basically being the 3 o clock area on the racquet face. It is tough to describe, but basically how you would hit a kick serve. I was wiping up the back and through the ball instead of just brushing it with spin.

My old motion consistent of my racquet coming at the ball with the edge leading, but the racquet was not laying across my back, but more straight behind me. This seemed to make it tough to control the swing up to contact and proper pronation.

Not sure if this makes sense, but basically the amount of spin and pace plus consistency from this motion seems to really encourage a healthy "snap through" the ball and results in some serious heat and action. Started wondering if this type of service is how many servers hit a flatter ball that still can drop into the box with a lot of pace and accuracy.

This would be much easier to visualize with a video power player.

I've had a few epiphanies of my own in recent years about my serve.
Yes, there's a very good Jim Mclennan video that describes the sensation you are describing. It's the throwing pronation of the forearm where your palm ends up facing away from you. This allows more for more action and power on the serve and is the natural way to finish. Most rec players believe a slice serve you are suppose to carve around the outside of the ball so they scoop around it, even a slice serve should have the same pronation as a kick but just hit a different part of the ball.

Another good tip power is letting Slam dunking the serve. What I mean by this is, do you remember seeing Pete in his classic overhead pose? His forearm and hand remained high when his wrist snapped down. This deceleration of the forearm and acceleration of the wrist allowed him to hit his GOAT serve. Try to keep the forearm as high as possible in the serve and let the wrist come through and just watch the results.

Power Player
01-03-2012, 11:54 AM
yep..exactly, and that is what this motion encourages. I was still sometimes doing the "carve outside of ball" thing which is similar to throwing sidearm, and I needed to fix it.

Basically if you drop your racquet back you want to swing up so the racquet face is coming across your back and then up behind then through the ball on contact. The finish is as you describe.

Before I was swinging up so the racquet blade was not behind my back but dropped directly behind my serving arm. It is basically like making a fist and turning your hand so the side (curled fingers and thumb) face you...hat was the angle of my wrist on my old racquet drop.

The new one would show you the back of my hand instead. And the path comes from behind my back more as well.

It just was one of those things I had to fix because when I properly snap my serve down and am hitting my spots, I am a very good server, and I had to recapture that feel.

Limpinhitter
01-03-2012, 11:59 AM
I had some pronation issues on serve due to way too much baseball playing in which I threw sidearm (shortstop), then played lacrosse and shot with some of the same motion.

This resulted in an unstable wrist on serve and made injury a lot easier. In working past this, I have been retraining myself to use a loose arm and whip through the ball. I find that part easy to grasp, but getting it consistent was tough.

Anyway, I was working on hitting more of a kick serve..just hitting up on the ball and over it. What I started to notice was that this was allowing me to pronate through the ball properly and finish with the racquet butt end up pointed up. Once I got this part down, I started noticing that I was able to hit some rather big serves and was not just limited to kickers.

The adjustment I made was visualizing the racquet face facing my back on the racquet drop and leading with the blade. Instead of thinking of chopping the ball in half with the blade, I thought about attacking the ball with the leading edge basically being the 3 o clock area on the racquet face. It is tough to describe, but basically how you would hit a kick serve. I was wiping up the back and through the ball instead of just brushing it with spin.

My old motion consistent of my racquet coming at the ball with the edge leading, but the racquet was not laying across my back, but more straight behind me. This seemed to make it tough to control the swing up to contact and proper pronation.

Not sure if this makes sense, but basically the amount of spin and pace plus consistency from this motion seems to really encourage a healthy "snap through" the ball and results in some serious heat and action. Started wondering if this type of service is how many servers hit a flatter ball that still can drop into the box with a lot of pace and accuracy.

It does make sense. If you want to maximize your pronation, you have to first suppinate the forearm which will tend to cause the hitting face of the racquet to face your back in the racquet drop rather than the trailing edge of the racquet to face your back. That is a lesson Dennis Van Der Meer taught in World Tennis Magazine probably 40 years ago.

user92626
01-03-2012, 03:02 PM
For me the swing path and where/how to hit the ball is the easy part. The hardest part always seems to be how to put in great power. This would take a certain body coordination and flexibility degree, and perform the motion really really fast/hard.

Power Player
01-03-2012, 03:12 PM
It does make sense. If you want to maximize your pronation, you have to first suppinate the forearm which will tend to cause the hitting face of the racquet to face your back in the racquet drop rather than the trailing edge of the racquet to face your back. That is a lesson Dennis Van Der Meer taught in World Tennis Magazine probably 40 years ago.

It's the little things like that that I needed to fix too. Makes it very tough until you figure it out..then you have to groove it. Serving is really an art form. I learn most things very quickly, but serving has always been tough because of years of playing multiple sports, developing a curveball in baseball and playing lacrosse.

But now when I do the proper racquet drop, I am snapping through the ball pain free and the free power is pretty surprising. I used to work a lot harder for that power because I was not loose and not swinging to contact properly.

HunterST
01-03-2012, 03:31 PM
I've got to disagree with the emphasis that is being put on minutia like supinating prior to pronating and finishing with your arm like Pete Sampras'. People who have trouble with the serve have much more fundamental problems. It sounds like the OP was not pronating on his kick serve, which is a fundamental, and he fixed it. That's a good change. Trying to implement more supination and sampras like motions is going to be harmful, in my opinion.

Power Player
01-03-2012, 06:12 PM
Man you are wrong. I have always pronated, but there are many easy ways to over pronate or not do the motion proprerly. My coach in juniors never taught me any of this stuff.

This is not really a small thing..it is a very big part of hitting a big serve with a lot of action and pace on the ball. It is not minutia.

I never was not pronating on a kick serve. I actually was doing that properly, and attached that swing path concept to my flatter first serve which i was overpronating on. That is what this about. Sampras is a very good example to use because he hit extremely huge flat serves that were still loaded with a lot of topspin.

Limpinhitter
01-03-2012, 07:53 PM
I've got to disagree with the emphasis that is being put on minutia like supinating prior to pronating and finishing with your arm like Pete Sampras'. People who have trouble with the serve have much more fundamental problems. It sounds like the OP was not pronating on his kick serve, which is a fundamental, and he fixed it. That's a good change. Trying to implement more supination and sampras like motions is going to be harmful, in my opinion.

But, it's not minutia, and the topic is PP's serve, not generic people who have trouble with their serve. PP made a discovery that is working for him and he's sharing it with the rest of us. I don't see how you can disagree with that.

HunterST
01-03-2012, 09:42 PM
Man you are wrong. I have always pronated, but there are many easy ways to over pronate or not do the motion proprerly. My coach in juniors never taught me any of this stuff.

This is not really a small thing..it is a very big part of hitting a big serve with a lot of action and pace on the ball. It is not minutia.

I never was not pronating on a kick serve. I actually was doing that properly, and attached that swing path concept to my flatter first serve which i was overpronating on. That is what this about. Sampras is a very good example to use because he hit extremely huge flat serves that were still loaded with a lot of topspin.

I guess I'd need a video to understand what you're talking about. You said you used to carve around the ball which, to me, meant not pronating.

But, it's not minutia, and the topic is PP's serve, not generic people who have trouble with their serve. PP made a discovery that is working for him and he's sharing it with the rest of us. I don't see how you can disagree with that.

Well people are giving him advice without seeing his serve, so it can't be too specific to him. I just think anytime we start trying consciously to do something like supinate prior to pronating we're setting ourselves up for trouble. And the sampras thing is minutia because the vast majority of elite servers do not end in that position. That means it is not fundamental to a strong serve. People need to focus on the elements that are crucial to a strong serve, not the specific characteristics of one great server.

Power Player
01-03-2012, 09:46 PM
The point is not to consciously pronate, it is just grooving in a proper swingpath for a high powered, heavy serve.

Limpinhitter
01-04-2012, 08:42 AM
I guess I'd need a video to understand what you're talking about. You said you used to carve around the ball which, to me, meant not pronating.



Well people are giving him advice without seeing his serve, so it can't be too specific to him. I just think anytime we start trying consciously to do something like supinate prior to pronating we're setting ourselves up for trouble. And the sampras thing is minutia because the vast majority of elite servers do not end in that position. That means it is not fundamental to a strong serve. People need to focus on the elements that are crucial to a strong serve, not the specific characteristics of one great server.

I don't agree with you. Two of the best servers in the history of tennis, Sampras and Gonzales, employed extreme pronation and had their butt cap facing the ball after contact. Here's a video with a good view of Gonzales' serve beginning at about :25 seconds. If you stop it at just the right moment (it may take a few tries), you'll see the severe pronation and wrist release Gonzales used on his serve. It is really quite remarkable. Perhaps someone knows how to capture a video still of this position and post it here. In fact, I would recommend that you take the time to stop the video at several points and study Gonzales' serve to see what made it so great.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2rydnvswts

PS: I don't know if this will work, but, here is the video starting in the position I'm talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=l2rydnvswts#t=26s

PPS: It didn't work. Sorry.

HunterST
01-04-2012, 09:24 AM
I don't agree with you. Two of the best servers in the history of tennis, Sampras and Gonzales, employed extreme pronation and had their butt cap facing the ball after contact. Here's a video with a good view of Gonzales' serve beginning at about :25 seconds. If you stop it at just the right moment (it may take a few tries), you'll see the severe pronation and wrist release Gonzales used on his serve. It is really quite remarkable. Perhaps someone knows how to capture a video still of this position and post it here. In fact, I would recommend that you take the time to stop the video at several points and study Gonzales' serve to see what made it so great.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2rydnvswts

PS: I don't know if this will work, but, here is the video starting in the position I'm talking about: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=l2rydnvswts#t=26s

PPS: It didn't work. Sorry.

Well their serves are obviously great and would serve as a good model. However, you have to consider that there are a ton of pros who don't have that motion and STILL have world class serves. My point is, amateur players need to focus on the the things that EVERY pro does and not get caught up trying to copy the differences.

Power Player
01-04-2012, 09:33 AM
Ill be honest hunter, I don't really care what you think I need to focus on. I have been playing a long time and know the aspects of my game I need to fix. I still do not think you really understand what I have been saying either, so this back and forth is basically clutter.

Anyone else who is having similar issues may find this thread to be a help to them.

HunterST
01-04-2012, 10:46 AM
Ill be honest hunter, I don't really care what you think I need to focus on. I have been playing a long time and know the aspects of my game I need to fix. I still do not think you really understand what I have been saying either, so this back and forth is basically clutter.

Anyone else who is having similar issues may find this thread to be a help to them.

Okay, but, shockingly, this forum is not all about you. I didn't make my post for you, I made it for the people you mentioned who are having trouble with their serve and read this thread. When struggling servers read this and and start trying to add idiosyncrasies like supination or the Sampras finish, they're going to be much worse off.

You're right. I'm still unclear on what you're describing, but it doesn't matter because I'm talking about serve improvement strategies in general, not your specific case.

Limpinhitter
01-04-2012, 11:20 AM
Well their serves are obviously great and would serve as a good model. However, you have to consider that there are a ton of pros who don't have that motion and STILL have world class serves. My point is, amateur players need to focus on the the things that EVERY pro does and not get caught up trying to copy the differences.

I still don't agree. IMO, everyone who seeks to be the best player they can be should seek to develop the most effective technique they can. For example, I would prefer to emulate Sampras' serve and have something less, than emulate Federer's serve and have something less. Fed has a great serve, but, not as great as Sampras'. Why would I seek to emulate the lesser serve? That doesn't make sense.

Limpinhitter
01-04-2012, 11:23 AM
Ill be honest hunter, I don't really care what you think I need to focus on. I have been playing a long time and know the aspects of my game I need to fix. I still do not think you really understand what I have been saying either, so this back and forth is basically clutter.

Anyone else who is having similar issues may find this thread to be a help to them.

It seems that Hunter is imputing his personal goals, based on self imposed limitations, to you.

Power Player
01-04-2012, 11:45 AM
When struggling servers read this and and start trying to add idiosyncrasies like supination or the Sampras finish, they're going to be much worse off.

You're right. I'm still unclear on what you're describing, but it doesn't matter because I'm talking about serve improvement strategies in general, not your specific case.

I don't even know why you jumped in this thread. To say someone will be "much worse off" from my advice is ridiculous. So yes, this thread is mine, and it is about me actually.

It actually does matter that you have some point of reference of what I am talking about before discarding my advice.

If you want to talk about serve improvements, go make your own thread. Don't hop into mine, start criticizing the info and then admit you don't even know what I'm talking about. You are not the Tennis Tips Mod, no one needs you to clarify to them if info is going to be good or bad. You have a lot of nerve for a guy who has no idea what the thread is even about.

bad_call
01-04-2012, 12:30 PM
It seems that Hunter is imputing his personal goals, based on self imposed limitations, to you.

quite possibly correct...

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=345211

HunterST
01-04-2012, 12:36 PM
It seems that Hunter is imputing his personal goals, based on self imposed limitations, to you.

Wow, I thought you would be able to discuss technique and instruction without resorting to personal attacks. Guess I was wrong.

I don't even know why you jumped in this thread. To say someone will be "much worse off" from my advice is ridiculous. So yes, this thread is mine, and it is about me actually.

It actually does matter that you have some point of reference of what I am talking about before discarding my advice.

If you want to talk about serve improvements, go make your own thread. Don't hop into mine, start criticizing the info and then admit you don't even know what I'm talking about. You are not the Tennis Tips Mod, no one needs you to clarify to them if info is going to be good or bad. You have a lot of nerve for a guy who has no idea what the thread is even about.

It's perfectly within my right to question any idea on any thread, no matter who started it. That's the whole point of this board. To discuss tips and instruction. I don't think it's a good idea to focus on small issues that are not common to all great servers. I did it respectfully, and I'm allowed to do so. You're the one taking this to a more personal level.

HunterST
01-04-2012, 12:38 PM
quite possibly correct...

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=345211

Do you have some weird obsession? that's like the third time you've followed me around and posted that link. I'll wager my serve is on par with yours or PP or LH. That thread is from quite a while ago and I've improved significantly. I have a couple of videos I'll be happy to upload if any of you would like to compare.

Power Player
01-04-2012, 12:52 PM
Your serve is as good as BC's? Where do we place our bets right now? LOL.

I'd love to see this guy play, he sure seems to want to run the place. You came into the thread, failed all over it, and now are challenging us to play a match? Bring it!!!

Power Player
01-04-2012, 12:55 PM
quite possibly correct...

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=345211

funny to read that thread, and then read this one..lol. seems like the advice I posted actually could help the poor guy out...too bad he took down his vid...sounded bad though.

HunterST
01-04-2012, 12:57 PM
Your serve is as good as BC's? Where do we place our bets right now? LOL.

I'd love to see this guy play, he sure seems to want to run the place. You came into the thread, failed all over it, and now are challenging us to play a match? Bring it!!!

You need to calm down. I never made a personal attack on you or "failed all over" the thread. You ask any qualified coach if players should focus on supination in the backswing and a Sampras finish and they'll tell you no. The only time I offered to show a video was when people started saying "he doesn't agree cuz he sucks!!"

Power Player
01-04-2012, 01:02 PM
You need to calm down. I never made a personal attack on you or "failed all over" the thread. You ask any qualified coach if players should focus on supination in the backswing and a Sampras finish and they'll tell you no. The only time I offered to show a video was when people started saying "he doesn't agree cuz he sucks!!"


Actually you need to top telling people what to do. That is what got you here in the first place. This whole thread is loaded with you telling people how to post or what to do.

I actually had an ex WTA pro coach me on a slice serve and focused a lot on correcting overpronation..so you are wrong that a "qualified coach" will not focus on specifics.

Have you ever had a coach before?

bad_call
01-04-2012, 01:06 PM
Do you have some weird obsession? that's like the third time you've followed me around and posted that link. I'll wager my serve is on par with yours or PP or LH. That thread is from quite a while ago and I've improved significantly. I have a couple of videos I'll be happy to upload if any of you would like to compare.

nothing personal...just reality check. :) feel free to post your improved serve. might look better than mine.

HunterST
01-04-2012, 01:11 PM
Actually you need to top telling people what to do. That is what got you here in the first place. This whole thread is loaded with you telling people how to post or what to do.

I actually had an ex WTA pro coach me on a slice serve and focused a lot on correcting overpronation..so you are wrong that a "qualified coach" will not focus on specifics.

Have you ever had a coach before?

Go back and read the thread. All I said was that I disagreed that player should focus on copying every detail of a particular server. I didn't tell anyone what to do or try to belittle anyone. I just expressed my opinion. It seemed that you thought I was saying your advice was bad or that it would never work which wasn't the case.

I assumed you made the thread as advice for people having difficulty with the serve. You weren't, from what I saw, asking for help, so I wasn't trying to help you. I'm sure you don't need my help. However, if the serve WAS for people needing help, I wanted to include my opinion that people often focus on small details when there are still larger problems at work. I really didn't think you guys would take such offense.

Now, I did try to discourage people from making disrespectful comments towards me, and I don't regret that.

Power Player
01-04-2012, 01:15 PM
No I made this thread to discuss small details I am working on with people who understand them. You jumped in without clearly grasping what I am talking about and decided to tell people not to focus on "minutia".

I was mainly looking for insight and opinion from experienced players and coaches. IE : not yourself. Nothing personal, but I am not in this area of the forum looking for HunterST posts.

HunterST
01-04-2012, 01:16 PM
nothing personal...just reality check. :) feel free to post your improved serve. might look better than mine.

I'll make another thread with the two videos (just one serve per vid with slow-mo). I'm a little hesitant because it seems like some may view it hypercritically out of anger. I have no idea how my serve would look compared to yours, but I'm confident it's better than you guys are imagining.

Power Player
01-04-2012, 01:20 PM
Bc is a very solid 4.5 player. A lot of us TTers get together and hit when we can. Your nemesis Dozu came down and hit with us as well.

HunterST
01-04-2012, 01:21 PM
No I made this thread to discuss small details I am working on with people who understand them. You jumped in without clearly grasping what I am talking about and decided to tell people not to focus on "minutia".

I was mainly looking for insight and opinion from experienced players and coaches. IE : not yourself. Nothing personal, but I am not in this area of the forum looking for HunterST posts.

Alright, I can kind of understand your frustration then. You were looking for feedback from good coaches on your discovery and then I turned the conversation to something else.

Again, I viewed it as you guys posting advice for other players and just imagined people without good technique trying to think about supinating on their backswing. I wasn't trying to be a jerk or derail the thing.

I did assist with lessons for 5-10 year olds if that impresses you.

HunterST
01-04-2012, 01:22 PM
Bc is a very solid 4.5 player. A lot of us TTers get together and hit when we can. Your nemesis Dozu came down and hit with us as well.

So that's why you have all turned against me.

bad_call
01-04-2012, 01:25 PM
I'll make another thread with the two videos (just one serve per vid with slow-mo). I'm a little hesitant because it seems like some may view it hypercritically out of anger. I have no idea how my serve would look compared to yours, but I'm confident it's better than you guys are imagining.

not imagining anything about how your serve looks today. players improve and that's icing on the cake. i look so different in vids than how i think (not 30 yrs old anymore). so for me it's about putting the ball where i'll receive the least pain. :) (from the opponent)

bad_call
01-04-2012, 01:27 PM
So that's why you have all turned against me.

not me...you can buy me an IPA beer if it makes you feel better. :)

bhupaes
01-04-2012, 01:44 PM
I believe I supinate the same way at the racquet drop as PP has described, especially for topspin/kick serves - with the racquet face parallel to my back. Something about this wrist position seems to take better advantage of upper rotation for spin production by directing the racquet head upwards. For a flat or slice serve, with the racquet edge facing the back (at least, that's how it feels to me), upper arm rotation contributes more towards moving the racquet head in the forward direction. I use both methods for serving... depending on the day, one or the other works better. :)

goeblack
01-04-2012, 02:30 PM
I had to read quite a bit of useless stuff to get here BUT!!!!!!
The OP has helped me very, very much.

I too had a long career as a baseball pitcher. As the years went by I found I had two different curve balls that were more affective when thrown a little more sidearm. Then, so as not to telegraph my fast ball I began to throw it with the same sidearm motion. I lost some speed but at least it was the same motion.

I went and hit serves today, after carefully reading the description from the OP. Yes it was a huge breakthrough for me. A more overhand racket path with natural pronation. I especially benefited from the part about hitting with the blade while hitting down and through. There was almost no effort and the ball were sticking in the back fence higher than ever.

So, I had a bit of a quirk in my serve that I may never have discovered except for this thread.

Thank you for the most beneficial tip I have ever received anywhere anytime!!!!!!!!!!!!

Power Player
01-04-2012, 02:43 PM
Glad I could help, thats awesome!

goeblack
01-04-2012, 04:13 PM
Look folks, this tip is worthy of reading. I do not know Power Player. I have no reason to rave about this tip except that is has proven dramatically beneficial for me.

So, I can not get this off my mind. Scared to death it will slip away like many other things I have tried along the way. So, I go out and revert back to my old swing path. On purpose, just to see what is really going on here. The amazing thing I found is that the old motion requires a vastly more amount of energy. But the old motion has no power compared to this.

The bottom line for me is that I find I was pronating way to early. For me, because I must have had a distorted vision of what I am really doing. In my effort to pronate for power, I was half way pronated before I needed to be.

So, not everyone may being doing this but I would venture to guess there are quite a few that are. If anyone finds they are trying harder and harder for power with no real results, go back to the beginning of this thread and pay close attention.

Limpinhitter
01-04-2012, 04:51 PM
Wow, I thought you would be able to discuss technique and instruction without resorting to personal attacks. Guess I was wrong. . . .

What personal attack? It was a polite way of saying that you are hijacking PP's thread.

Limpinhitter
01-04-2012, 04:55 PM
Bc is a very solid 4.5 player. A lot of us TTers get together and hit when we can. Your nemesis Dozu came down and hit with us as well.

Dozu came to Orlando? That's a long way for a hit.

Limpinhitter
01-04-2012, 04:56 PM
So that's why you have all turned against me.

Just because Hunter is paranoid doesn't mean we're NOT out to get him.

Limpinhitter
01-04-2012, 05:00 PM
I had to read quite a bit of useless stuff to get here BUT!!!!!!
The OP has helped me very, very much.

I too had a long career as a baseball pitcher. As the years went by I found I had two different curve balls that were more affective when thrown a little more sidearm. Then, so as not to telegraph my fast ball I began to throw it with the same sidearm motion. I lost some speed but at least it was the same motion.

I went and hit serves today, after carefully reading the description from the OP. Yes it was a huge breakthrough for me. A more overhand racket path with natural pronation. I especially benefited from the part about hitting with the blade while hitting down and through. There was almost no effort and the ball were sticking in the back fence higher than ever.

So, I had a bit of a quirk in my serve that I may never have discovered except for this thread.

Thank you for the most beneficial tip I have ever received anywhere anytime!!!!!!!!!!!!

In that case, perhaps some monetary remuneration is in order! ;)

Power Player
01-05-2012, 07:35 AM
Dozu came to Orlando? That's a long way for a hit.

Yeah he came to Orlando a year ago. I believe he was on vacation. Very consistent player. We all just hit around, nothing too intense.

goeblack, it sounds like we had the same issue. I believe it stems from baseball possibly..but I was told I was overpronating by a pro before, and I could not fix it. So this has helped me a lot. And yes, far less effort now..it is a very loose motion and you just snap through to finish.

goeblack
01-05-2012, 06:57 PM
Went to the courts this morning and locked this new swing path in. Wow I was in hog heaven. I just could not wait until my 2:00 showed up to get a hold of this.

I took my practice serves,( mostly as a nice effort to let him get a look. I hate it when a guy says "these are good" right from the get go.) Well I fired the first serve off and missed by a couple of inches out wide.(I am a lefty by the way.)
Then of course, I am thinking, I hope I do not start with a double fault. Then with this grand new motion, I fired one down the T. Wow, that ball started high and dropped just long, but it hit the fence farther up than any serve I have ever hit. Even so, I getting a little concerned. This kid is really good and I do not want him to break me straight away.
So, now the trouble starts. In an effort to be a little on the safe side, I without knowing, try to execute this grand new serve without giving it 100%. Now I find myself trying to hit with the blade, but reverting back to the side arm motion.

Long story short, I said "oh hell no, I am locking this jewel in no matter what. Yes I had more than my average double faults, but I was not coming off this serve no matter what.
All ended well and I left very optimistic. I won quite a few free points on my serve when I thought about the SWING PATH which leaves pronation just plain a requirement.

Power Player
01-05-2012, 07:23 PM
Yep it is all about getting the right swingpath for sure..worked on it more tonight and really enjoy the movement you can get on the ball..

Btw i saw your question on big hitter and tb and while the price and quality is right on bh, the tour bite is the best poly i have used in my wilson.

goeblack
01-06-2012, 07:59 PM
I can not express what this tip has done for me. Maybe I had a quirk identical to PP. Then again maybe this tip is just plain golden for many who have the time to really study what this guy is saying. I have tried everything, I mean everything to get a little extra on my serve.(not that bad to begin with but) this is the bomb tip for me.

No pain. No extra effort. Only problem is trying not to giggle when I see my opponent reaction as the ball flies by.

user92626
01-06-2012, 08:44 PM
goeblack and PP,

What's the tip again? I kinda get lost in the sea of texts. Or maybe you can elaborate a bit more. :)

5263
01-06-2012, 09:46 PM
Well their serves are obviously great and would serve as a good model. However, you have to consider that there are a ton of pros who don't have that motion and STILL have world class serves. My point is, amateur players need to focus on the the things that EVERY pro does and not get caught up trying to copy the differences.

I love your main point here about focusing on things every pro server does, but don't agree there are world class servers who don't have that motion. All the great servers hit with that technique to a greater or lesser extent. I think you are just not getting what PPlayer is trying to describe and how Lhitter's suggestions plays into it.

They are making excellent points that go into all excellent service motions.
Not sure what PowerPlayer was doing before though, lol.

HunterST
01-07-2012, 09:34 AM
I love your main point here about focusing on things every pro server does, but don't agree there are world class servers who don't have that motion. All the great servers hit with that technique to a greater or lesser extent. I think you are just not getting what PPlayer is trying to describe and how Lhitter's suggestions plays into it.

They are making excellent points that go into all excellent service motions.
Not sure what PowerPlayer was doing before though, lol.

Yeah, there's probably a lot of miscommunication going on. To me, it just looked like a lot of people were saying that a key to the serve is finishing with the arm high like Pete Sampras does. That in itself can't be a fundamental because many, in fact most, high level servers don't finish like that. Maybe they were talking about something else, though. There should be ample video evidence if it is a key to a big serve.

DeShaun
01-07-2012, 03:23 PM
I had some pronation issues on serve due to way too much baseball playing in which I threw sidearm (shortstop), then played lacrosse and shot with some of the same motion.

This resulted in an unstable wrist on serve and made injury a lot easier. In working past this, I have been retraining myself to use a loose arm and whip through the ball. I find that part easy to grasp, but getting it consistent was tough.

Anyway, I was working on hitting more of a kick serve..just hitting up on the ball and over it. What I started to notice was that this was allowing me to pronate through the ball properly and finish with the racquet butt end up pointed up. Once I got this part down, I started noticing that I was able to hit some rather big serves and was not just limited to kickers.

The adjustment I made was visualizing the racquet face facing my back on the racquet drop and leading with the blade. Instead of thinking of chopping the ball in half with the blade, I thought about attacking the ball with the leading edge basically being the 3 o clock area on the racquet face. It is tough to describe, but basically how you would hit a kick serve. I was wiping up the back and through the ball instead of just brushing it with spin.

My old motion consistent of my racquet coming at the ball with the edge leading, but the racquet was not laying across my back, but more straight behind me. This seemed to make it tough to control the swing up to contact and proper pronation.

Not sure if this makes sense, but basically the amount of spin and pace plus consistency from this motion seems to really encourage a healthy "snap through" the ball and results in some serious heat and action. Started wondering if this type of service is how many servers hit a flatter ball that still can drop into the box with a lot of pace and accuracy.

The snap encouraged by the motion you describe may be due to the ball rolling down into hitting the lower half of the oval which forces the top half over-and-towards the net, snapping of your wrist for you.

goeblack
01-07-2012, 03:25 PM
Since I have been so engulfed with this thread perhaps, I could provide some observations.

HunterST, I think your point is well taken for the majority of people trying to improve their serve. Great advice, not to go off on some extreme motion that will likely get them off track.

But I do not think that Power Player had that in mind at all.
I think his point, which has proven extremely beneficial to me, is that if someone who has played this game for a while can discover that they have a quirk in their serve. Something that, for whatever reason, has stuck in their brain and caused them to think they are doing something they are not.

Of course, I guess a video would solve that problem rather quickly but, that is something that is not available to me today. So perhaps a person discovers that they are not doing a certain thing like they thought they were. So in order to correct this they go, to what is in their brain, is overkill. Then this in fact puts them where they should have been all along.

Power Player
01-07-2012, 03:44 PM
Yeah, there's probably a lot of miscommunication going on. To me, it just looked like a lot of people were saying that a key to the serve is finishing with the arm high like Pete Sampras does. That in itself can't be a fundamental because many, in fact most, high level servers don't finish like that. Maybe they were talking about something else, though. There should be ample video evidence if it is a key to a big serve.

No that was never the point. Is all about the swing path, which others seemed to get.

Another tip. I use a abbreviated serve since i had a pretty bad wrist injury and it has helped me out a ton. Before i toss the ball, i have my racquet prepped basically.

Well the way i prep my racquet means a lot to getting the timing right. So what i did today was focus on that. I basically focused on my serving arm starting high and elbow bent 90 degrees so the racquet was already behind my head and simply just dropped down on the toss and swung up to contact.

This results in huge flat serves that require very little effort. From the ball bounce i am guessing some serves cleared the magical 100 mph mark, and i have not totally dialed in my kneed bend or toss placement.

I had a huge serve as a junior and it was all technically wrong, but i could still serve massively. When you are a kid, your body does not care, but once you hit around 25 or so, it starts to get angry. So this has been a complete service rebuild, which is very difficult to do when you are used to hitting bombs and bullying people with a huge first serve.

I never have once thought about finishing like sampras...lol. But i am finishing properly now and that is very important to protecting my wrist. So it all goes hand in hand.

The biggest issue for me serving was the timing of the racquet drop and toss..that is what finally got to my wrist and injured it. This regrooving of the swingpath and racquet prep has enabled me to serve properly and play pain free.

Fay
01-10-2012, 11:00 PM
I had some pronation issues on serve due to way too much baseball playing in which I threw sidearm (shortstop), then played lacrosse and shot with some of the same motion.

This resulted in an unstable wrist on serve and made injury a lot easier. In working past this, I have been retraining myself to use a loose arm and whip through the ball. I find that part easy to grasp, but getting it consistent was tough.

Anyway, I was working on hitting more of a kick serve..just hitting up on the ball and over it. What I started to notice was that this was allowing me to pronate through the ball properly and finish with the racquet butt end up pointed up. Once I got this part down, I started noticing that I was able to hit some rather big serves and was not just limited to kickers.

The adjustment I made was visualizing the racquet face facing my back on the racquet drop and leading with the blade. Instead of thinking of chopping the ball in half with the blade, I thought about attacking the ball with the leading edge basically being the 3 o clock area on the racquet face. It is tough to describe, but basically how you would hit a kick serve. I was wiping up the back and through the ball instead of just brushing it with spin.

My old motion consistent of my racquet coming at the ball with the edge leading, but the racquet was not laying across my back, but more straight behind me. This seemed to make it tough to control the swing up to contact and proper pronation.

Not sure if this makes sense, but basically the amount of spin and pace plus consistency from this motion seems to really encourage a healthy "snap through" the ball and results in some serious heat and action. Started wondering if this type of service is how many servers hit a flatter ball that still can drop into the box with a lot of pace and accuracy.


I thought I was the only person who started playing tennis to try to get rid of a side arm motion ... I too played ball when I was younger (recreationally) on short stop and threw side arm. when I started playing tennis men said to me "see, women never learn to throw a ball when they are girls ..." I tried to explain I played but they just laughed.

so of course I was determined to fix my serve and after years and baskets of balls and a lot of video-taping I stumbled upon the swing path thing ....and am very glad to see some validation here online.

The added details about the racquet edge are helpful. thanks all for posting the technical stuff here! I had to wade thru so many arguments to get the good stuff, but it was worth it.

Power Player
01-11-2012, 06:20 AM
Sorry about the derail there. I am glad you liked the info. It has helped me a lot.

Between the swing path, and the proper timing on the racquet drop, I can now serve without damaging my wrist.

HunterST
01-11-2012, 04:26 PM
No that was never the point. Is all about the swing path, which others seemed to get.

Another tip. I use a abbreviated serve since i had a pretty bad wrist injury and it has helped me out a ton. Before i toss the ball, i have my racquet prepped basically.

Well the way i prep my racquet means a lot to getting the timing right. So what i did today was focus on that. I basically focused on my serving arm starting high and elbow bent 90 degrees so the racquet was already behind my head and simply just dropped down on the toss and swung up to contact.

This results in huge flat serves that require very little effort. From the ball bounce i am guessing some serves cleared the magical 100 mph mark, and i have not totally dialed in my kneed bend or toss placement.

I had a huge serve as a junior and it was all technically wrong, but i could still serve massively. When you are a kid, your body does not care, but once you hit around 25 or so, it starts to get angry. So this has been a complete service rebuild, which is very difficult to do when you are used to hitting bombs and bullying people with a huge first serve.

I never have once thought about finishing like sampras...lol. But i am finishing properly now and that is very important to protecting my wrist. So it all goes hand in hand.

The biggest issue for me serving was the timing of the racquet drop and toss..that is what finally got to my wrist and injured it. This regrooving of the swingpath and racquet prep has enabled me to serve properly and play pain free.

Can you point to a video that shows what you're referring to? I have some ideas of what you're talking about, but it's tough to be sure when I'm just going off of a textual description.