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TimothyO
01-11-2012, 06:37 PM
During your service motion when do you "pull the trigger" and begin your acceleration to contact? I've seen this described as a "pause" too.

Watching various pros and high level rec players it appears folks do it at different points, some pre-trophy pose, some post-, and others at the trophy pose.

Are there advantages and disadvantages to pausing/pulling the trigger at different points?

I've tried different points but the only one that feels natural to me is after smoothly moving through the trophy pose and, with left arm extended, racquet arm dropped back, and eye lined up on the ball, do I unleash and explode up at the ball (to the degree my damaged knees can explode up!). I guess that might be noob friendly but even some pros seem to flow past the trophy pose before pausing and pulling the trigger (eg Stosur). Other pros seem to blast through the trophy pose, pulling the trigger early in their motion.

I never completely stop moving but I feel like I hit my best serves by flowing through the trophy pose and sort of lining up the racquet head on the ball as it floats above my head and visualizing an arc from the racuet head, to the ball, to a path over the net and into the service box.

thug the bunny
01-11-2012, 06:56 PM
TO, great question for me, as I have been experimenting with this. I have noticed that I pause at trophy, but then (when I'm not serving well), I start to 'sneak' the racket into its drop and forward/up swing, so that by the time I'm ready to 'explode', I'm already half-way there, which robs power and control. So, I started watching pros, and I noticed that many of them kind of pause when they first pull the stick back either at waist level or lower, and then accelerate up to trophy, through the loop, and up in one smooth motion.

I tried that but could not get the hang of the very subtle timing involved, probably because there is so much motion involved. So, I went back to pausing at trophy, but really enforcing the pause WITHOUT SNEAKING, and when I have the discipline to do so, the results have been very satisfying. I am getting more and more used to the anti-sneak, and it should only be matter of time until it is ingrained.

After that, I might re-visit the pause at the pull-back.

TimothyO
01-11-2012, 07:08 PM
I'm laying here this evening watching matches from this past year on ESPN 3 and there truly is a lot of variety on this point.

When I tried pausing/exploding at The Pose I felt rushed and far less accurate. But when I pull the trigger from a nearly full racuqet drop I feel like I'm lined up on the ball and ready to crush it accurately and consistently.

However, I wonder if doing it earlier allows one to develop more momentum. I'm finally hitting both flat and kick serves consistently and with accuracy. Now I'm trying to build pace. The most important pace factor seems to be staying really loose and doing a full shoulder turn/cartwheel from a position with shoulders well tilted.

Maybe it takes more experience and confidence to pull the trigger prior to the pose?

thug the bunny
01-11-2012, 07:42 PM
When I tried pausing/exploding at The Pose I felt rushed

Yes. That's why I would 'sneak' when the confidence meter was low.

And yes when you start the acceleration at the drop you have less distance to travel and less motion, leading to more confidence and accuracy, but less oomph. The pros don't have confidence issues and their serves are grooved, so many choose to pause and start their acceleration before The Pose. As with a golf swing, generally the farther back you start the acceleration, the greater the momentum and speed at contact, but you have to have impeccable rythm and timing for a long acceleration. You can't rush, lunge, or twitch from that far back.

Maybe it takes more experience and confidence to pull the trigger prior to the pose?

I think you're dead center on that. That's why after I can discipline myself to pull the trigger and accelerate smoothly from The Pose, I'm going to try accelerating from the pull-back again. Gotta take baby steps!

SystemicAnomaly
01-11-2012, 10:13 PM
While there may be a perceived hesitation or pause in the motion of elite servers, there is no actual pause, at least for most servers. Steffi Graf, with her very high toss, is one of the few that come to mind who had an actual pause -- her pause came at the trophy position. Maria Sharapova, who also has a very high toss, does not appear to have an actual pause in her motion. I do not see any pause in Sam Stosur's serve motion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uz1SdKCl2Q


The following images, showing the racket tip speed of a Pete Sampras' serve is from the following web page: http://wings.avkids.com/Tennis/Project/serve-01.html

http://wings.avkids.com/Tennis/Images/Sampras-Serve-new-lg.jpghttp://wings.avkids.com/Tennis/Images/Set_2060.jpg

The 2nd image above reveals a lot about racket head speed during the motion of a full service motion. An explanation of this graphic and images of other pro servers can be found at the following page:

http://wings.avkids.com/Tennis/Project/serve-02.html
.

rufusbgood
01-11-2012, 11:15 PM
While there may be a perceived hesitation or pause in the motion of elite servers, there is no actual pause, at least for most servers. Steffi Graf, with her very high toss, is one of the few that come to mind who had an actual pause -- her pause came at the trophy position. Maria Sharapova, who also has a very high toss, does not appear to have an actual pause in her motion. I do not see any pause in Sam Stosur's serve motion:



How bout this guy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nOQfqSJEKw&feature=endscreen&NR=1)?

j00dypoo
01-12-2012, 12:48 AM
Yeah, nice find systemic. I was going to say that there really isn't a pause.

It's really just slowing down as you get ready to change your momentum from rocking backward to forward. Basically, in the trophy pose you're transitioning and getting ready to explode into the court.

Limpinhitter
01-12-2012, 03:05 AM
How bout this guy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nOQfqSJEKw&feature=endscreen&NR=1)?

Idiosyncracy. Almost identical to Alex Olmedo's serve.

Chyeaah
01-12-2012, 03:07 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=91IxRV4RDt8

Roddick has a slight pause.

TimothyO
01-12-2012, 04:48 AM
That's why I was hesitant about using the word pause. Some do, some don't.

It's probably more accurate to describe the moment as a potential change in serve motion speed ranging from no change followed by immediate acceleration to contact to a near pause followed by acceleration to contact. It's as if the player is slowly storing up physical energy to strike while preparing mentally too. At some point, which varies by player, he or she unleashes that stored power guided by the mental prep.

zapvor
01-12-2012, 11:01 PM
While there may be a perceived hesitation or pause in the motion of elite servers, there is no actual pause, at least for most servers. Steffi Graf, with her very high toss, is one of the few that come to mind who had an actual pause -- her pause came at the trophy position. Maria Sharapova, who also has a very high toss, does not appear to have an actual pause in her motion. I do not see any pause in Sam Stosur's serve motion:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4uz1SdKCl2Q


The fo
The 2nd image above reveals a lot about racket head speed during the motion of a full service motion. An explanation of this graphic and images of other pro servers can be found at the following page:

http://wings.avkids.com/Tennis/Project/serve-02.html
.
i agree with this. some people do a pause, but for the most part the best serves is one loopy motion

DeShaun
01-12-2012, 11:28 PM
I start accelerating before the trophy pose. If I'm thinking about posing, something went terribly wrong.

zapvor
01-12-2012, 11:31 PM
^ agree with this. the thinking about stuff part that is