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View Full Version : Serve, some help perhaps?


Andre D
01-31-2012, 05:59 AM
Well Im looking for some help in my serve, If someone could help it would be appreciated

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4TEg61YnHM&feature=youtu.be

thanks In advance

BU-Tennis
01-31-2012, 06:19 AM
To me the toss seems to be the weakest part of your serve currently. It's hard to tell exactly which serve you are trying to hit since its a little difficult to see the ball, but it seems all of your tosses are pretty far over your head, so this is good for a kick serve but not so great for a slice and flat serve.

You also do not fall into the court too much, again not a problem for a kick serve, but a little problem for a flat and slice, and you spin a little and fall off to the side occasionally.

Knee bend is good, shoulder rotation is good, trophy position is strong. Your body position seems pretty straight at contact which suggests you are not engaging your core as strongly as you should and this could be you are not exploding strongly enough from your legs.

Andre D
01-31-2012, 07:01 AM
To me the toss seems to be the weakest part of your serve currently. It's hard to tell exactly which serve you are trying to hit since its a little difficult to see the ball, but it seems all of your tosses are pretty far over your head, so this is good for a kick serve but not so great for a slice and flat serve.

You also do not fall into the court too much, again not a problem for a kick serve, but a little problem for a flat and slice, and you spin a little and fall off to the side occasionally.

Knee bend is good, shoulder rotation is good, trophy position is strong. Your body position seems pretty straight at contact which suggests you are not engaging your core as strongly as you should and this could be you are not exploding strongly enough from your legs.

About the toss on flat and slice, I guess Ill try throwing the ball a little more to the side.
About the falling off, I guess Ill try to stay a little more balanced.
Now about the body position at contact Im a little bit cluless about what to do, ill see if it is the legs...

LeeD
01-31-2012, 07:44 AM
Bring your ball hopper closer to you, so we don't need to see you walking back and forth wandering aimlessly.
Serve is good, but maybe 70% effort?

Andre D
01-31-2012, 11:57 AM
I usually serve at a speed I can control the serve...so I donīt really go all out

Well today I tryed to do what you said, the serve was unconsistent on itīs speed, It either went faster than ever, or very slow, but i think it is a matter of timing.

If you could tell me where should i toss the ball exactly, with a picture or something it would be kinda easier...thanks in advance

btw: Iīve been told that I should stop in the trophy pose, then hit the ball, well i think i dont do that, should i?
One more thing, should my arm be at 90 degrees with the rest of the body in the trophy pose?

LeeD
01-31-2012, 02:27 PM
You have a low toss and quick motion, so no stopping at trophy and don't worry about your form. It's fine.
Swing faster, first as fast as you can, using full body turn and driving into the court. Back that off until you find a very fast serve that sometimes goes in. Practice, increase speed.
There is no reason you should not be hitting 125 first flat serves.

NJ1
01-31-2012, 02:46 PM
You have a low toss and quick motion, so no stopping at trophy and don't worry about your form. It's fine.
Swing faster, first as fast as you can, using full body turn and driving into the court. Back that off until you find a very fast serve that sometimes goes in. Practice, increase speed.
There is no reason you should not be hitting 125 first flat serves.

125?
10char

LeeD
01-31-2012, 02:52 PM
Yeah, why not 125.
Most good athletic tennis players I knew when I was trying could just hit that speed, and most of them hit with topspin. Talking 5'10" guys in their 20's, who trained and played tennis at least at the 5.0 level.
Nothing holding OP back, except he doesn't want to serve fast right now because he doesn't have the experience or the practice time.

NJ1
01-31-2012, 03:00 PM
Yeah, why not 125.
Most good athletic tennis players I knew when I was trying could just hit that speed, and most of them hit with topspin. Talking 5'10" guys in their 20's, who trained and played tennis at least at the 5.0 level.
Nothing holding OP back, except he doesn't want to serve fast right now because he doesn't have the experience or the practice time.

I'm a 5'11, 180, 29, 5.0 gym rat. I can't top 115mph or play with (m)any guys who can. In fact, I don't get out of the mid-high 90s during most matches as the consistency isn't there in the triple digits for me and I prefer to direct it well.

Now, obviously there are guys with a lot better serving technique and more practice than me but 125 and In seems like one helluva serve for an amateur player. Was just adding some perspective, not necessarily disagreeing with you.

LeeD
01-31-2012, 03:10 PM
Did you look at OP's serve motion?
Is yours anywhere NEAR as good?
I think not.
OP still needs to swing faster, rotate harder, move into the court stronger to get to that "125" range. That is a fair bit of work ahead of him.
Why don't you post vids of YOUR serve? You could have major fllaws, or you could just be choosing to be conservative and spin the ball in.
Spinning the ball in loses some MPH, how much depending on how much actual spin/speed ratio is applied.
Can you throw a ball farther than anyone?
Did you grow up throwing footballs to guys 3-5 years older than yourself?
Some people play middle linebacker for a reason.
Some play QB.
Some shag balls for the QB.
You cannot hit like DJ either, doesn't mean nobody can hit like DJ.

Limpinhitter
01-31-2012, 03:25 PM
Well Im looking for some help in my serve, If someone could help it would be appreciated

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U4TEg61YnHM&feature=youtu.be

thanks In advance

I like your serve. Nice tempo and timing, you get a good shoulder turn and tilt and good knee bend without over bending. You could push your right hip to the target when the toss is in the air to add more upper body weight tranfer in to your shot.

Two things I would change are:

(1) You are choking up the handle and spreading your fingers too much. This inhibits racquet head speed. Move your hand down so that your pinky is on the very end of the butt cap, and bring your fingers a little closer together, closer to a hammer grip, and hold the racquet as loosely and relaxed as possible. This will free up racquet head speed.

(2) You are lining your feet up too perpendicular to the target, especially on the add side. This inhibits your upper body from rotating through the shot on your upward swing, especially on the add side. It's killing your serve on the add side. I recommend that your feet be in line with the left side of the service box on both sides. This will allow a big enough turn on your windup without inhibiting your turn back toward the target on your upward swing.

LeeD
01-31-2012, 03:31 PM
Good stuff, Limpin.....
I noticed, but didn't want to change a working motion that might not yet be ingrained.

pvaudio
01-31-2012, 05:27 PM
You have a low toss and quick motion, so no stopping at trophy and don't worry about your form. It's fine.
Swing faster, first as fast as you can, using full body turn and driving into the court. Back that off until you find a very fast serve that sometimes goes in. Practice, increase speed.
There is no reason you should not be hitting 125 first flat serves.You truly do love your hyperbole, don't you? There is no reason why anyone should not be hitting 125mph first flat serves if they work at it. After all, it's simply just biomechanics, yes? And to think that you accused me of jumping the gun in the other serve thread.

LeeD
01-31-2012, 05:31 PM
Still, you gotta admit, his motion is pretty darn smooth right now. He mentioned he doesn't go for ball speed, choosing consistency right now.
Extrapolate. More twist, more body movement into the court, longer lever, much faster swing. With that motion, it's possible.

rdis10093
01-31-2012, 07:25 PM
power to the left handers haha.

NJ1
01-31-2012, 07:46 PM
Did you look at OP's serve motion?
Is yours anywhere NEAR as good?
I think not.
OP still needs to swing faster, rotate harder, move into the court stronger to get to that "125" range. That is a fair bit of work ahead of him.
Why don't you post vids of YOUR serve? You could have major fllaws, or you could just be choosing to be conservative and spin the ball in.
Spinning the ball in loses some MPH, how much depending on how much actual spin/speed ratio is applied.
Can you throw a ball farther than anyone?
Did you grow up throwing footballs to guys 3-5 years older than yourself?
Some people play middle linebacker for a reason.
Some play QB.
Some shag balls for the QB.
You cannot hit like DJ either, doesn't mean nobody can hit like DJ.

Slow your roll please LeeD and learn some manners. I don't post videos of myself on public internet forums. I also don't claim to be able to serve better than this kid but you would know next to nothing about my serve other than I don't believe I've ever exceeded 115. My point was that hitting 125 is not easily achievable like you imply. It's also not key unless turning pro, which maybe he plans to but I certainly do not.

Maybe I should start telling people I can serve 140 and could've been the best if only I'd been under your tutelage as on the internet we're all heroes it seems....

AndreD- keep up the good work. Very nice serve you have there.

LeeD
01-31-2012, 07:53 PM
Problem here is that you are saying OP can't ever serve 125 because you couldn't. Then of course, the question.....what does YOUR serve look like.
You base you view on YOUR serve. I'm just asking, is your motion as good as OP's?
If it is, you have the POTENTIAL, just like OP, to serve fast with direction. Now if you go out and break your spine tomorrow, you will not reach that POTENTIAL.
But if you worked on your serve 3 days a week for say....4 years, had coaching, was a natural athlete, it's entirely possible YOU could hit a 125 mph serve... IF you had a motion as smooth as OP's.
It starts with smooth and ease, then you gradually increase the pace. I didn't mention anything close to Roddicks, Raonics, or Ivo's serves.

NJ1
01-31-2012, 08:18 PM
Problem here is that you are saying OP can't ever serve 125 because you couldn't. Then of course, the question.....what does YOUR serve look like.
You base you view on YOUR serve. I'm just asking, is your motion as good as OP's?
If it is, you have the POTENTIAL, just like OP, to serve fast with direction. Now if you go out and break your spine tomorrow, you will not reach that POTENTIAL.
But if you worked on your serve 3 days a week for say....4 years, had coaching, was a natural athlete, it's entirely possible YOU could hit a 125 mph serve... IF you had a motion as smooth as OP's.
It starts with smooth and ease, then you gradually increase the pace. I didn't mention anything close to Roddicks, Raonics, or Ivo's serves.

Fair enough, but no need for the caps. I have already compared unfavorably my motion to Andre's. I certainly never said he couldn't develop a good 125 mph serve I just said I didn't think it would be as easy as you implied. No biggie.

Andre D
02-01-2012, 06:56 AM
So, this is what i retained

Tell me if Im doing well or not

First Ill try start tossing a little to my left on flat serve

Then Ill change the grip to a hammer grip

Then Ill try aligning my right foot to the left side of the serve court

Then Ill start swinging as hard as i can, trying to step into the court ofc

NJ1
02-01-2012, 07:48 AM
Sounds right but I'll leave the serve tips to the serve gurus, especially since the serve looks very nice.

One that must be added from seeing another of your videos is do not ignore your groundstrokes. No point getting a 6.0 serve if your rally game remains 4.0. Good luck and keep us updated how things progress. :)

LeeD
02-01-2012, 08:12 AM
Grip is fine if you feel comfortable being able to hold on with a loose grip.
Lower on the handle gives you more potential for rackethead speed because it lengthens your lever. Every pro holds the bottom of the handle, or beyond.
As far as "swinging as fast as you can". You gotta use some brains here. For most people, that phrase means you kill your arm after 10 serves. Don't do that. Back off so you can still hit say....30 serves in a row full speed. That is your maximum swing speed.
Right now, you are no where near your maximum swing speed. As you say.
So increase your swingspeed incrementally until you find you lose control, then practice there, not faster. As you get better, you learn to control this new faster swing, so it becomes second nature. There will be a limit of course, the limit being what your genetics give you, along with diligent practice.

pvaudio
02-01-2012, 08:22 AM
So, this is what i retained

Tell me if Im doing well or not

First Ill try start tossing a little to my left on flat serve

Then Ill change the grip to a hammer grip

Then Ill try aligning my right foot to the left side of the serve court

Then Ill start swinging as hard as i can, trying to step into the court ofcToo much, too much, too much. Simply change the location of the toss: left more, and out in front more. If you do anything else, I would get your feet a bit further apart (parallel to the net). This will help you get your hip into the court more naturally. Here's why I think that:
http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/6789/andret.jpg

This is near textbook form. Problem is, you are unable to fully load your body because your base isn't wide enough. Swinging faster isn't necessary; you'll only make yourself tight. As far as I can see, you already have the proper grip, so don't change that. I'd simply get the toss in front and left more, and get your rear (left) foot closer to the right wall.

LeeD
02-01-2012, 08:27 AM
AndyRoddick might argue with you.
For sure, we would like to see your suggestions, but Roddick uses a somewhat narrow stance, and slightly on the open side, but he serves OK.
Swing faster? OP already stated he swings controlled and measured. He needs to swing faster, use more legs, more body, more forward movement also. Those things are part of "swinging faster".

pvaudio
02-01-2012, 08:32 AM
Actually, I just now realized something very important. Before you do anything, could you take a video with you serving from the ad court? Since you're a lefty, this would be equivalent to the deuce court for a righty. The reason I ask is because the perspective is skewed when serving from the deuce for a lefty as it is the ad for a righty. Why is that? Given where the ball toss is now, if you simply cut and pasted yourself 4 feet to the left and serve to the ad court, there is no doubt you're hitting a slice serve. That exact same position yields a different serve on the ad court. This is because you, like myself, employ greater than a 90 degree shoulder turn which many rec. players do not. That means that you naturally rotate more given any side of the court. More on the ad for you, less on the deuce. Vice versa for a righty. Serve from the ad court, and then I think things will be clearer.

LeeD
02-01-2012, 08:36 AM
And don't forget Goran, another with a OK serve. Very open stance.

pvaudio
02-01-2012, 08:37 AM
AndyRoddick might argue with you.
For sure, we would like to see your suggestions, but Roddick uses a somewhat narrow stance, and slightly on the open side, but he serves OK.
Swing faster? OP already stated he swings controlled and measured. He needs to swing faster, use more legs, more body, more forward movement also. Those things are part of "swinging faster".
You do love your arguments. :)

Andy Roddick has the most unique service motion in the world. It's neither platform nor pinpoint, he has (at least had) the most back arch of any server out there, and actually brings his tossing arm over his head. Trying to emulate his motion is like trying to emulate Nadal's forehand. It was developed by him to work for him; not a textbook stroke that can be adapted to anyone. So yes, he would argue because what he's doing is in no way similar to Andre.

He simply mentioned swing faster. When someone says swing faster, they usually mean that: swing the arm faster. I told him not to do that for exactly the same reasons you listed: it will come naturally. I don't know why you like arguing with me so much when I end up agreeing with what you're saying 95% of the time.

pvaudio
02-01-2012, 08:39 AM
And don't forget Goran, another with a OK serve. Very open stance.Ivanisevic did not use a platform stance. Are you seriously arguing just to keep yourself occupied?

LeeD
02-01-2012, 08:41 AM
Yes, and who said Goran used platform?

pvaudio
02-01-2012, 08:43 AM
OP, this is what I'm referring to regarding your feet. You serve with a platform stance, but the base needs to be wider like the following gentlemen do:

http://www.dreamstime.com/tim-henman-serve-thumb4236382.jpg

http://blog.daniellevoirin.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Federer_9035_blogcopyright1.jpg