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mxmx
11-22-2012, 11:34 PM
It's been a while that I've been here...and I finally got the chance to take some footage of my serve as some may have suggested I do...

The balls were extremely flat and smooth, so much so that I struggled to even control the bounce - but it is footage nonetheless. I would really need to make plan to do this again with newer balls. Anyways...scary how much slower ball movement actually appears on camera. I guess the pro's really must strike the ball well :shock: Would like to hear any feedback guys :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv0D5q90XFQ&feature=youtu.be

Cheetah
11-23-2012, 02:03 AM
I can't remember the last time I saw anyone pick up a tennis ball w/ their hands.

mxmx
11-23-2012, 03:55 AM
I can't remember the last time I saw anyone pick up a tennis ball w/ their hands.

Hehe...come to think of it...it is rather funny. I did not have a basket so to speak :P I tried to keep the vid size as small as possible, and i guess i thought i'd save time

LeeD
11-23-2012, 09:55 AM
Not bad.
I'd take more time between each serve, since you HAVE the time, to concentrate on storing up the energy, and then hit the ball. Don't just go thru the motions when you serve.
Maybe more sideways.

Cheetah
11-23-2012, 01:57 PM
learn to pick up balls or be forever hopeless http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns_Ac-wtTic

psv255
11-23-2012, 02:29 PM
When Cheetah's advice is on picking up balls, you know you're doing something right :)

But in all seriousness, two things that stand out to me/you might want to try:

1. Turn your shoulders more when loading up to the trophy pose
2. If you crank it up, you may end up hitting yourself in the leg; f you're hitting a kick serve, follow through more to the right of your body, and if slice/flat, more to the left. Either way, you'll avoid your legs :wink:

That being said, I really like how fluid and easy it looks, and you seem to get a lot of power from it, not to mention that you seem to know where you want to place it. Very nice serve!

MindoverMatter
11-23-2012, 02:58 PM
The first thing that I noticed was your follow through

I'm not exactly sure what's going on, but your racquet seems to stop before it completes the arc that a follow through generally follows, and you slow the racquet down a lot here. You should have the mindset of keeping the racquet going and continuing through the swing, speeding through contact and not consciously slowing the racquet after you hit the ball

UCSF2012
11-24-2012, 08:18 AM
The racket should be to your side, on the left, when you're finished with the swing. Right now, it's in front of you. That means you have to consciously slow down the swing in order to not hit yourself

boramiNYC
11-25-2012, 10:12 PM
see if you can incorporate more hip and torso rotation. but this would be a big change esp the stance.

sansaephanh
11-26-2012, 12:06 AM
Man I can't even get that much pop from my form anymore. I'm all befuddled. Great pace/placement.

if you wanna keep your quick timing, go for this =P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0AXyjMVkKY

charliefedererer
11-26-2012, 07:48 AM
Pretty good use of your body and good arm (pronation) movement.

You have some good advice above already. But adding in the greater shoulder rotation will take a long time to get the timing down.

What I would recommend you working on first is the following:

1. Get a more agressive shoulder angle by getting your tossing arm up straighter.

http://i54.tinypic.com/35j9jxz.jpg

In pic 1, Pete has his shoulder angle so steep that his tossing shoulder is straight up, and his hitting shoulder is straight down.
[Note that over the hitting his sequence in pic 10, he will end up with his hitting shoulder straight up, and his tossing shoulder is straight down. That reversal takes his arm through a longer distance, giving more time to build up speed.]


2. Don't drop your tossing arm too soon - it looks like you are letting your tossing arm drift down too early.
If you let your tossing arm start to drift down to early, you will lose that steep shoulder angle I recommend above.

http://news.tennis365.net/lesson/img/pro_gif/sampras_serve_04_0402.jpg

Look how long Pete's tossing arm stays straight up in the above photos from pic 3- pic 9 while he is increasing his knee bend and forming more of a bow shape to get into his optimum trophy position to exlplode from.

3. Get a little more lean back of the upper body. See pics 3-9 above. As you have your tossing arm up and are then bending your knees and getting into more of a bow shape, bend back FROM THE KNEES WITH YOUR HEELS OFF THE COURT (not by arching your back) to get more of the lean back you see Pete gets by pic 9 in his trophy position.
[This will not only help your swing, but help prevent a shoulder injury from opening up the shoulder angle, with less impingement on the most superior of the rotator cuff tendons (supraspinatus).]


As you do this, you will notice you've got to change the angle of your racquet so it appears that you are not hitting with as straight an arm through racquet angle as you currently do.

But that means you will have a better pronation movement - with the increased power that a more powerful pronation will give you.
http://i39.tinypic.com/308kv0j.jpg

You can see this appearance of the racquet looking at more of an angle to the hand at ball impact in pic 19 above. But notice in the preceeding pics how the racquet/arm can be pronated through a greater distance for more power, plus the greater low to high motion for more spin.


4. "You've got to drop the left shoulder" - Jim McLennan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTRvxaBMh8s
In this video, Jim emphasizes that getting great shoulder over shoulder action is good for your shoulder - there is no pinching of the rotator cuff.

But this is also the way to fully utilize your upper body movement for maximal power and spin.

Look at that first sequence of the Sampras serve above. In pic 1 his tossing shoulder is straight up and his hitting shoulder is straight down.
His shoulder angle totally reverses in the next sequences, so that at ball strike (pic 7) his hitting shoulder is straight up and his tossing shoulder is straight down.





Again, I think you can incorporate all these tips fairly easily into your current already pretty good serve.



After incorporating these, I think you THEN can go on to incorporating the big shoulder turn that will get you even more power.

http://www.samprasfanz.com/gallery/2001/2001stuttgart/r107serve.jpg

But as you can see from the above sequence where Pete ends up with his back facing the court that this needs to start during the ball toss, and I think for most this harder to add in than the above, even though it should eventually be your goal.

mxmx
11-27-2012, 01:51 AM
Not bad.
I'd take more time between each serve, since you HAVE the time, to concentrate on storing up the energy, and then hit the ball. Don't just go thru the motions when you serve.
Maybe more sideways.

I was very rushed between the serves only for the sake of the video size. I normally take a bit longer, although i sometimes rush between first and second serves.

The more sideways part, is something i will be looking into, thank you :)

mxmx
11-27-2012, 01:58 AM
learn to pick up balls or be forever hopeless http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns_Ac-wtTic

I can pick up the ball in ALL the above ways or at least versions thereof, except "expert" way, which is impractical. I also pick up balls using just my foot (soccer method) But doing any of these, would slow me down in the video and make it longer :)

mxmx
11-27-2012, 02:26 AM
When Cheetah's advice is on picking up balls, you know you're doing something right :)

But in all seriousness, two things that stand out to me/you might want to try:

1. Turn your shoulders more when loading up to the trophy pose
2. If you crank it up, you may end up hitting yourself in the leg; f you're hitting a kick serve, follow through more to the right of your body, and if slice/flat, more to the left. Either way, you'll avoid your legs :wink:

That being said, I really like how fluid and easy it looks, and you seem to get a lot of power from it, not to mention that you seem to know where you want to place it. Very nice serve!

hehe :P

1. hmm...will need to look into this - thanks :)
2. I tried to serve first serves more here...My kick/2nd serve is generally "better" or more consistent than my first. My first serves is not as good as I want it to be. Not to make any excuses, but the racket I'm serving with, does not feel great at point of contact. Too much flex and too little power - lead helps, but will be serving with new rackets in a month or so and also hopefully newer balls.

Thanks for the compliments dude :)

mxmx
11-27-2012, 02:32 AM
The first thing that I noticed was your follow through

I'm not exactly sure what's going on, but your racquet seems to stop before it completes the arc that a follow through generally follows, and you slow the racquet down a lot here. You should have the mindset of keeping the racquet going and continuing through the swing, speeding through contact and not consciously slowing the racquet after you hit the ball

Do you mean at the end of the follow through? Not sure where you mean. All i can think of, is that the pronation is causing me to kind of not flow through enough at the end of the serve possibly. (could be that I'm sub-consciously trying to recover after the serve) - not sure what it is though....but i agree that a serve should rather have one movement than jerky segmented ones.

mxmx
11-27-2012, 02:34 AM
The racket should be to your side, on the left, when you're finished with the swing. Right now, it's in front of you. That means you have to consciously slow down the swing in order to not hit yourself

hmmm....it is hard for me to pronate AND end to the left. (i have actually a few years back hit myself on the shins twice in a row on exactly the same place lol - but this was before i even knew what pronation was)

mxmx
11-27-2012, 02:40 AM
see if you can incorporate more hip and torso rotation. but this would be a big change esp the stance.

I have a problem though...even though I want to do what you are speaking of...lead with the hip like a bow, land on the left leg and whatnot...i kind of have a bad left knee (overuse aside from tennis or possible injury). In this vid, my leg and hip movement is not what it normally is or what i would like it to be...

It sometimes feels like i really land quite hard on the left foot...and even in my groundstrokes my split step is sometimes too hard.
I am actually trying to learn a less demanding technique on the knee without having to only use my arm, and without losing power. Not sure if thats possible...but compromise is...so somewhere I will need to compromise.

mxmx
11-27-2012, 02:43 AM
Man I can't even get that much pop from my form anymore. I'm all befuddled. Great pace/placement.

if you wanna keep your quick timing, go for this =P

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0AXyjMVkKY

Is that your serve?
I like most of it, except for the quick toss up, almost hitting the serve on the rise lol. My opinion is, that with a different toss up, you will have even a more powerful serve.

EDIT: lol...i guess he's a famous player on the ATP *blush*

How do you judge pace on my serve? It looks really slow on my vid.

mxmx
11-27-2012, 02:51 AM
Pretty good use of your body and good arm (pronation) movement.

You have some good advice above already. But adding in the greater shoulder rotation will take a long time to get the timing down.

What I would recommend you working on first is the following:...

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But as you can see from the above sequence where Pete ends up with his back facing the court that this needs to start during the ball toss, and I think for most this harder to add in than the above, even though it should eventually be your goal.

Thank you for a very intensive and valuable post. It makes sense, especially the shoulder part and not dropping the left arm too quick. On the legs part, I may have trouble physically with my bad knee....any tips on protecting my legs better? With the use of my legs and stomach muscles, i have learnt to protect my back. But now it seems, i did not protect my legs enough.

The pronation pic you posted, is quite valuable for someone I am trying to teach how to serve. I would expect however, a more stretched out wrist? Am i wrong? Or is it possibly different how woman do it these days?

charliefedererer
11-28-2012, 11:22 AM
Thank you for a very intensive and valuable post. It makes sense, especially the shoulder part and not dropping the left arm too quick. On the legs part, I may have trouble physically with my bad knee....any tips on protecting my legs better? With the use of my legs and stomach muscles, i have learnt to protect my back. But now it seems, i did not protect my legs enough.

The pronation pic you posted, is quite valuable for someone I am trying to teach how to serve. I would expect however, a more stretched out wrist? Am i wrong? Or is it possibly different how woman do it these days?

The pronation pic is of a twist serve, so there is slightly less ulnar deviation at the wrist than a first serve.

Still, check out this video from Jim McLennan:
Racquet Angle on Serve http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1t6bLABbebc


I was surprised at how few pics I could find of male players taken from directly in front or behind at ball impact to show the angles at their wrist and elbow.
But here are two I found:

Murray serving:
http://www.procomparetennis.net/media/sequence_images/640/o98i1235660192.jpg

Ferrero serving
http://www.procomparetennis.net/media/sequence_images/640/uia61234568787.jpg




You say you have a "bad knee". Is there osteoarthritis or some type of tendon/ligament problem? If not, you may find you can have stronger legs - to help protect the knee joint - from doing squats and deadlifts, even if the weight lifted is quite modest.

boramiNYC
11-28-2012, 11:01 PM
I have a problem though...even though I want to do what you are speaking of...lead with the hip like a bow, land on the left leg and whatnot...i kind of have a bad left knee (overuse aside from tennis or possible injury). In this vid, my leg and hip movement is not what it normally is or what i would like it to be...

It sometimes feels like i really land quite hard on the left foot...and even in my groundstrokes my split step is sometimes too hard.
I am actually trying to learn a less demanding technique on the knee without having to only use my arm, and without losing power. Not sure if thats possible...but compromise is...so somewhere I will need to compromise.

no, actually in your video your jump is just about the same height as sampras in above photos. if your knees hurt currently serving, you don't really have to jump. keep your left foot on the ground and just kick back with your right leg for balance. It might give you more consistency actually. and the loss of power is not that much actually. if you try this your stance should be turned even more left. see how your left foot is pointing when landing. closer to there for your left foot.

mxmx
11-29-2012, 02:56 AM
The pronation pic is of a twist serve, so there is slightly less ulnar deviation at the wrist than a first serve.

Still, check out this video from Jim McLennan:
Racquet Angle on Serve http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1t6bLABbebc


I was surprised at how few pics I could find of male players taken from directly in front or behind at ball impact to show the angles at their wrist and elbow.
But here are two I found:

Murray serving:
http://www.procomparetennis.net/media/sequence_images/640/o98i1235660192.jpg

Ferrero serving
http://www.procomparetennis.net/media/sequence_images/640/uia61234568787.jpg




You say you have a "bad knee". Is there osteoarthritis or some type of tendon/ligament problem? If not, you may find you can have stronger legs - to help protect the knee joint - from doing squats and deadlifts, even if the weight lifted is quite modest.

Thanks for the video and great pics. I will try and post a vid of my second serve one day...but i never really thought or realised as much that a angled wrist works differently with different serves.

As for my knee...i would say its probably a little of everything you mentioned.
I once jumped and reached for a ball stuck in a fence, which made my knee more sensitive years back. But this may sound funny, but my car clutch combined with traffic, is placing too much strain on the knee. Combine it with this and that, and you sit with a overworked knee. I would not say i have weak legs in the sense that it needs muscle to protect it. But what is very strange is that my knee would very erratically "decide" for itsself it wants to be sore that day...not having done anything strange. My knee almost gets in a bad mood lol.

mxmx
11-29-2012, 02:58 AM
no, actually in your video your jump is just about the same height as sampras in above photos. if your knees hurt currently serving, you don't really have to jump. keep your left foot on the ground and just kick back with your right leg for balance. It might give you more consistency actually. and the loss of power is not that much actually. if you try this your stance should be turned even more left. see how your left foot is pointing when landing. closer to there for your left foot.

I'm not very tall though. But maybe i should give this a try on bad days.

charliefedererer
11-29-2012, 09:55 AM
Thanks for the video and great pics. I will try and post a vid of my second serve one day...but i never really thought or realised as much that a angled wrist works differently with different serves.

The above pictures of Sam Stosur's kick serve and the following have been posted here on Talk Tennis by Anatoly Anopin. You might want to read the original threads at:
Kick serve - How do you brush? http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=6978051
Seriously About Pronation and Kick Serve #1 http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=361610

The following photo sequence by Toly clearly shows that to get the rapid spin on a kick serve, the ulnar deviation has to be occuring very rapidly while the ball is being struck, and the ball is rolling along the surface of the raqcuet.
http://i47.tinypic.com/1t4ver.jpg

To get that most rapid phase of ulnar deviation to produce the maximum amount of spin, the racquet has to strike the ball lower than on a flat serve, with the "brushing up" on the ball occurring as a result of that fast ulnar deviation.

If you read the original thread Toly cogently points out that it is ulnar deviation that is responsible for almost all the spin, not the action of the arm swinging (although some might counter that the ulnar deviation is largely a passive result of the heavy racqhet being being thrown up).

So in pic one below, he points out the arm is moving forward, while it is the ulnar deviation that is doing the brushing in pic 2:

http://i46.tinypic.com/efhvlf.jpg




On the other hand, in a first serve the ball is struck more in front of you, and by that time the ulnar deviation has largely occurred, with any residual ulnar deviation slower than during a kick serve.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSfXVATIQmlqTgZ1GqknpeJwmmT6wdof rBHbW5cRrEECnE4tyK4

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQpxCOe2W7h4eTuK38rMTCN2yAAms2TD 8mE2PRgxTWw4HNsaAhmyh4WqMVQZA



As for my knee...i would say its probably a little of everything you mentioned.
I once jumped and reached for a ball stuck in a fence, which made my knee more sensitive years back. But this may sound funny, but my car clutch combined with traffic, is placing too much strain on the knee. Combine it with this and that, and you sit with a overworked knee. I would not say i have weak legs in the sense that it needs muscle to protect it. But what is very strange is that my knee would very erratically "decide" for itsself it wants to be sore that day...not having done anything strange. My knee almost gets in a bad mood lol.


You really should get checked out and see what the problem is what that knee.
It may mean a big difference in whether you need to take some time off, or whether there is some strengthening regimen that could help you come back with less problems.

A worry is that articular cartilage does not contain pain sensors, so it isn't until the overlying joint space itself becomes inflammed that pain occurs.
And jumping and landing on that left knee, which you also pump the clutch with, could become a bigger problem if you continue the way you are.

pvaudio
11-29-2012, 10:11 AM
CF, I know you're trying to help, but you really are making things so much more complicated and confusing than they need to be regarding the serving images. His serve is not that bad, and yes it could use some work, but showing four different players' serve sequences probably isn't the way to go about it when he's not going to become a pro.

LeeD
11-29-2012, 11:20 AM
Bad left knee.... no problem.
Stand much more back to target.
Pivot off your bad left leg and LAND on your good right leg.
BrianGottfried served like this, as did a few other guys, maybe Becker.
The pivot affect gives you twist power, so you don't need to jump as high, or not jump at all.
I find, at 63 now, I can serve full speed flat serves without jumping, around 100mph, because by not jumping, I can serve with more precision.
Don't jump. Instead, pivot and twist into your serves.

mxmx
12-03-2012, 06:53 AM
You really should get checked out and see what the problem is what that knee.
It may mean a big difference in whether you need to take some time off, or whether there is some strengthening regimen that could help you come back with less problems.

A worry is that articular cartilage does not contain pain sensors, so it isn't until the overlying joint space itself becomes inflammed that pain occurs.
And jumping and landing on that left knee, which you also pump the clutch with, could become a bigger problem if you continue the way you are.

Hmmm....to be honest, i think traffic is the worst thing for my knee...the clutch stepping is too hard and regular. I am fine with groundstrokes. So this weekend, i specifically tried to serve less with my left leg....almost standing at times and a longer warmup. Earlier you guys advised me to lift my left shoulder more, and strangely enough, I had huge serves, almost faster than normal, even without my healthy knee.

Not to self diagnose or anything:
But the pain seems to be on the actual patella, or patella tendon....middle of knee. Not sure if its bone or tendon though (although it feels more like bone than tendon at times), but feels more on outer layers than the insides....
http://www.ismoc.net/images/knee_rev.jpg

mxmx
12-03-2012, 06:56 AM
CF, I know you're trying to help, but you really are making things so much more complicated and confusing than they need to be regarding the serving images. His serve is not that bad, and yes it could use some work, but showing four different players' serve sequences probably isn't the way to go about it when he's not going to become a pro.

I take some parts, and reject other parts...still interesting though.
Not planning to make drastic changes on my serves for now (my double backhand is priority)...but its good to know some technical things, even though i won't necc apply all of it.

mxmx
12-03-2012, 07:00 AM
Bad left knee.... no problem.
Stand much more back to target.
Pivot off your bad left leg and LAND on your good right leg.
BrianGottfried served like this, as did a few other guys, maybe Becker.
The pivot affect gives you twist power, so you don't need to jump as high, or not jump at all.
I find, at 63 now, I can serve full speed flat serves without jumping, around 100mph, because by not jumping, I can serve with more precision.
Don't jump. Instead, pivot and twist into your serves.

My plan is to do what you speak, except not jump and land with the right knee. I plan to basically focus less on jumping with just the left leg. I think my forward motion put too much strain on the left leg, causing it to do most of the work when jumping (hard to see on the vid, but thinking back, i think it does most of the jump work). I need to either focus to jump with both legs to distribute the work, or jump less. Backward to forward rocking/momentum should naturally make me land on left foot, instead of trying to jump left and land left.

The *more* shoulder lift thing PSV and Charliefederer mentioned, definitely seems to have been an awesome tip - i had to toss the ball higher and had less disguise, but my power increased with less effort.

watungga
12-03-2012, 10:48 AM
The jump is more of an instinct as the game progressed into hot-lava level.

You should do it unintentionally with hundreds of balls whose primary goal is precision.

charliefedererer
12-03-2012, 10:59 AM
My plan is to do what you speak, except not jump and land with the right knee. I plan to basically focus less on jumping with just the left leg. I think my forward motion put too much strain on the left leg, causing it to do most of the work when jumping (hard to see on the vid, but thinking back, i think it does most of the jump work). I need to either focus to jump with both legs to distribute the work, or jump less. Backward to forward rocking/momentum should naturally make me land on left foot, instead of trying to jump left and land left.

The *more* shoulder lift thing PSV and Charliefederer mentioned, definitely seems to have been an awesome tip - i had to toss the ball higher and had less disguise, but my power increased with less effort.

Pushing off with both legs is exactly what you optimally should be doing. (I'm just a bit worried with that knee though.)

With a deeper knee bend, and the with your tossing shoulder pointed straight up, it will seem that the ball is a lot further away than it used to be with your old motion as you look up at it.

But as you launch yourself up at the ball, you will really feel what Pat Dougherty, the Bollettieri Camp "Serve Doc" describes in hitting "up the mountain".
"Up the Mountain" excerpt form Serve Doctor presents: M.P.H. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlPVdppfYGs

And you will need to learn to land in different way - on that left leg.
Leg Kick on Tennis Serve http://blip.tv/fuzzy-yellow-balls/leg-kick-on-tennis-serve-1190196
If your back (right) leg is kicking straight back, it means you are getting your weight moving into the court - if it is going to the side, you are not getting your weight moving first up and into the court.



But ...

You mentioned that your knee is already bothering you.


So if all this pushing off and jumping and landing is making you worse, you can still have an effective serve using your body, without a really big leg push off.

"The Serve Doctor" has hints on how to hit this serve, still using your body to hit up the mountain:
Serve Doctor's Simplified Spring-loaded Serve Technique Serve http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixx-MCC7D88



When/if the knee is better, may be a better time to work on that big leg push off and left leg landing with the right leg kick back.

mxmx
12-05-2012, 05:45 AM
The jump is more of an instinct as the game progressed into hot-lava level.

You should do it unintentionally with hundreds of balls whose primary goal is precision.

With my serve, this is normally the case. Sometimes, with my knee, its a different story.

mxmx
12-05-2012, 06:03 AM
Pushing off with both legs is exactly what you optimally should be doing. (I'm just a bit worried with that knee though.)

With a deeper knee bend, and the with your tossing shoulder pointed straight up, it will seem that the ball is a lot further away than it used to be with your old motion as you look up at it.
Yes i agree...i do however toss the ball higher in this instance, else my timing is off. A higher ball toss seems to give me better timing and power...flow motion...but what i really dislike, is that disguise harder to do with it and some opponents read these serves better. I suppose it wont matter if the serve is good enough though.

And you will need to learn to land in different way - on that left leg.
Leg Kick on Tennis Serve http://blip.tv/fuzzy-yellow-balls/leg-kick-on-tennis-serve-1190196
If your back (right) leg is kicking straight back, it means you are getting your weight moving into the court - if it is going to the side, you are not getting your weight moving first up and into the court.
I think i need to arguably land closer to the baseline, and not as deep. Except maybe when i want to serve and volley.


But ...
You mentioned that your knee is already bothering you.
What I don't understand about this knee, is that it comes and goes. To me that says something external is happening - like clutch or weather?

So if all this pushing off and jumping and landing is making you worse, you can still have an effective serve using your body, without a really big leg push off.
Im not sure that its making it worse per say...it is however uncomfortable doing it.

When/if the knee is better, may be a better time to work on that big leg push off and left leg landing with the right leg kick back.
Yes...for now, i will need to use a much less demanding serve and do as you say. It worked the past weekend....so it can only improve. When the knee is better, i can maybe use more legs, but who knows, by that time maybe it wont even be needed. The ball toss and shoulder thing really feels like a solution so far.
Thankfully i don't have much knee problems on the groundstrokes that i know of.

ps. That up the mountain serve "pitching concept" vid is quite good thanks. I learned something similar once from a coach, but totally forgot this concept and it is a good reminder.

The simpler version with the girl serving, makes a lot of sense...but seems like a drastic serve to learn...it would mean me moving from a platform serve, to a pinpoint serve.

LeeD
12-05-2012, 11:09 AM
The archer's bow is to help you angle your swing upwards, helping you jump upwards and into the court, adding swing speed to your racket.
Like a cartwheel, if you increase it's moment of action, you can increase it's axxis of rotation.

mxmx
01-23-2013, 05:52 AM
The archer's bow is to help you angle your swing upwards, helping you jump upwards and into the court, adding swing speed to your racket.
Like a cartwheel, if you increase it's moment of action, you can increase it's axxis of rotation.

Well...the shoulder thing is definitely working for me so far (so thanks guys)....I am also considering to have my back foot slightly further angled, but not sure if thats a good idea. I just cant get my head around the pronation thing without "almost hitting myself" - it makes sense that I should eventually end with my racket around my body, which I don't.

ps. New rackets also helping my serve - will try and update the vid sometime using them instead.

MarinaHighTennis
01-23-2013, 11:22 AM
Are you wearing supras?

mxmx
01-23-2013, 11:35 PM
Are you wearing supras?

No...they are not my usual tennis shoes. They are nike skateboard sneakers with velcro straps :P

LeeD
01-24-2013, 11:03 AM
Some coaches have been advocating the application of a ready position at the end of the service motion, since modern tennis allows the returner to get the ball back much faster than the old daze.
You end your motion in a relaxed, non ready position with arm dangling by your sides and feet together.
Swing faster.

mikeler
01-24-2013, 11:26 AM
I'd like to see a little more body turn. I'm not saying start out like Johnny Mac with your back to your opponent but just a little more body turn might gain you a few MPHs.

LeeD
01-24-2013, 11:29 AM
Post #4.
It's not your stance with your feet, it's your body and shoulder alignment that takes away potential trunk power twisting into the serves.

Trippisthebest
01-24-2013, 10:16 PM
I was surprised at how few pics I could find of male players taken from directly in front or behind at ball impact




I love how you say this "How few pics i could find DIRECTLY in front of male pro players." I highly doubt a photographer is going to take pics from directly in front of a pro player!

mxmx
01-25-2013, 04:35 AM
Some coaches have been advocating the application of a ready position at the end of the service motion, since modern tennis allows the returner to get the ball back much faster than the old daze.
You end your motion in a relaxed, non ready position with arm dangling by your sides and feet together.
Swing faster.

I think in match situation i recover to a better ready position.
Funny....It is only with the slice out wide that my racket goes around my body a little more.

mikereller: I'd like to see a little more body turn. I'm not saying start out like Johnny Mac with your back to your opponent but just a little more body turn might gain you a few MPHs.
and
Leed:
Post #4.
It's not your stance with your feet, it's your body and shoulder alignment that takes away potential trunk power twisting into the serves.
Well...for one thing, the more extreme stance didn't do it for me...so that won't work. I will need to work more on the shoulders as you say.

As for eventually ending around my body without hitting myself, I will have to work that out. Maybe I have to pronate less for this to be possible.
(there is a lot of momentum on my pronation which throws the racket out sideways away from the body, instead of around it)

mikeler
01-25-2013, 05:50 AM
I think in match situation i recover to a better ready position.
Funny....It is only with the slice out wide that my racket goes around my body a little more.


and

Well...for one thing, the more extreme stance didn't do it for me...so that won't work. I will need to work more on the shoulders as you say.

As for eventually ending around my body without hitting myself, I will have to work that out. Maybe I have to pronate less for this to be possible.
(there is a lot of momentum on my pronation which throws the racket out sideways away from the body, instead of around it)


You can try keeping your stance the same but turning your body a little more so that you uncoil into the serve.

LeeD
01-25-2013, 02:21 PM
Exactly what I mentioned.
Keep your feet stance, turn your shoulders closed a little more.
Currently, you are almost twisting forwards to FACE your target, so you don't get the rotation into the swing.

NLBwell
01-25-2013, 10:01 PM
For a good video on body rotation on the serve:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLf_MJXzBVg

As far as using your legs serving, a big jump isn't necessary. Here is a vid of me serving - both my legs are pretty weak from injury.
http://youtu.be/3fgCvFjxVLM
If you can find a good video of Michael Stich's serve, it is pretty similar in the small knee bend. The back leg comes through with the hip rotation. An old-school style.
There's some McEnroe-ish serves just past 5:00. Maybe give that a try, at least for getting some practice getting some hip rotation. Lots of good video with his serve on youtube.

mxmx
01-28-2013, 02:49 AM
For a good video on body rotation on the serve:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLf_MJXzBVg

As far as using your legs serving, a big jump isn't necessary. Here is a vid of me serving - both my legs are pretty weak from injury.
http://youtu.be/3fgCvFjxVLM
If you can find a good video of Michael Stich's serve, it is pretty similar in the small knee bend. The back leg comes through with the hip rotation. An old-school style.
There's some McEnroe-ish serves just past 5:00. Maybe give that a try, at least for getting some practice getting some hip rotation. Lots of good video with his serve on youtube.

I generally like your serve. You seem like a tough player. You probably beat many younger kids?

As for jump on the serve. When you're tall, jump is less needed.

NLBwell
01-28-2013, 12:06 PM
Yes, jumping does have advantages on the serve in terms of the angles you get into the court. I'm not necessarily against it except that it can make the serve motion inconsistent and ends up being a net negative. In terms of ball speed, however, its contribution is small. Think of how long it would take you to hop to the other side of the court with that motion.
No question that Brian Battistone's jump helps his serve. It is really impressive to see in person.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQYOW1DlydU

mxmx
01-30-2013, 03:58 AM
***deleted***

mxmx
02-04-2014, 02:39 AM
**Feedback more than a year since the upload**

My serve has changed since I uploaded this video...I am surprised how much some of the tips here by members helped me to improve. The toss-up is so so important imo...
I also serve better with the BLX Surge...

After watching some AO this year, I just realised how much faster the pro's serve (even the women). Is there a way to work out ones speed by comparing similar videos? Or any guesses what the speed of my serve could be? My guess is that the fastest one is probably around 100mph if I'm lucky? (I serve faster now especially with new balls and a stiffer racket - need to create a new video of what my serve is like a year later)

Chas Tennis
02-04-2014, 05:55 AM
1) You need a camera that videos at 30 or 60 fps. DSLR's with 60 fps and fast shutter speeds in video mode are ideal. Smartphone cameras probably have 30 fps in good lighting but in lower lighting many slow down the frame rate. ?? You have to verify the frame rate of smartphone cameras (see the end).

2) Estimate the trajectory of the ball and place the camera to view from the side, squarely perpendicular to the ball's trajectory. (Small angular errors from perpendicular when placing the camera or between serves decrease slightly the indicated ball speed.)

3) Measure the ball travel distance between two frames.

100 MPH is 1760 inches/sec

1760 "/sec / 30 fps = 58.6 "

If a ball travels 59" for a 30 fps camera the speed is 100 MPH. If a ball travels 29.3 inches between frames for a 60 fps camera the speed is 100 MPH.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Distance = Velocity X time

D = V X t

t = 1/30 sec or 1/60 sec and you measure D between 2 frames (or more) your video.

V = D x 30 at 30 fps

V = D x 60 at 60 fps
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Do in bright sunlight so that the camera's automatic exposure control will select a fast shutter speed and the ball will have less motion blur. It's OK if the ball is blurred, just estimate position of the blur center or leading edge, etc.

For wide angle lenses the magnification will vary across the frame. For calibration, video a scale of known length held in the direction of the ball's trajectory. In a pinch your racket will do for a calibration scale. Walk it across along the direction of the ball's trajectory. To minimize magnification variation across the frame it is probably best to use a wide angle setting for small motion blur and have the camera some distance from the trajectory, so that you only use the middle 25% of the frame to make your two measurements - two ball locations, one on a frame and the other on the next frame. Place a piece of paper on the camera or computer screen and mark the ball locations for each frame. Best if the camera is held stationary.

Smartphone Frame Rate Verification. For smartphone cameras first assume the frame rate is 30 fps, it most likely is 30 fps and accurate. Measure some serves. Later, verify the frame rate - toss or bounce the ball and video the peak of the bounce when the ball stops and starts to drop. Video also a scale or your racket length. Using a calculation for gravity I can tell you if the camera was 30 fps, 60 fps or at an off speed such as 24 fps.

DON'T use a smartphone indoors for this measurement unless your verify the frame rate in that lighting.

Chas Tennis
02-04-2014, 06:05 AM
**Feedback more than a year since the upload**

My serve has changed since I uploaded this video...I am surprised how much some of the tips here by members helped me to improve. The toss-up is so so important imo...
.................................................. .........

What determines the speed of the serve is the final racket head acceleration to impact. This occurs over the last 25 or 30 milliseconds before impact in a high level serve. Your video camera, if 30 fps, takes one frame every 33 milliseconds. It is not capable of showing the motion of the most important part of your serve.

Besides the low frame rate, the motion blur in your video is so large that the racket cannot be seen at impact. The side view is also important and the racket will have even more motion blur from the side. Direct sunlight would improve the motion blur to some degree. Your camera is useless, and maybe misleading, for the fastest, most important part of the serve.

I posted a very low cost camera with 240 fps and a fast shutter speed for videoing the serve. It can show the fastest details of the serve leading to impact.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=484212&highlight=black+friday+sale+camera

mxmx
02-05-2014, 06:27 AM
hi Chas

Thank you for a lot of details on this. Where did you learn this?
Have you applied this to your serve?

Chas Tennis
02-05-2014, 08:17 AM
I have posted a lot on internal shoulder rotation and the serve. Elliott and others published the importance of ISR for the serve in the 1990s. Earlier research by Badminton researchers in the 1970s & 1980s also stated it for tennis but it was not widely recognized until Elliott's work. At least, that is my understanding.

Search above "Find Posts": camera behind Chas Tennis

I verified what I learned with these videos most of which deal with the serve
https://vimeo.com/user6237669/videos/all/page:1/sort:date

You can do stop action single frame on Vimeo with

hold SHIFT KEY & use RIGHT or LEFT ARROW KEYS

I've posted details of Federer's motion

Search: milliseconds Chas Tennis

I wanted to see my ISR so I took a before video in 2011 -
https://vimeo.com/21512296

Watch the black tape on my arm just above the shoulder move. That is internal shoulder rotation, really puny ISR. Compare it to the high level serves by looking at the sudden axial arm rotation best seen by at the elbow bones. You can compare ISR for the high level serves to some lower level serves.

You are probably doing ISR to some degree. ?

LeeD
02-05-2014, 10:30 AM
I think most everyone would agree your serves in the first video was over 100.
It would be interesting to see your improvments, or evolution, from there.
100 would be pretty fast for a 4.0 level player, as used as a first flat serve, usually less than 40% in match play, but closer to 65% in practice.
As for the shoulder turn thing.... some guys use it, other's don't. Tall guys don't need it, as they get power from long arms.

boramiNYC
02-05-2014, 03:01 PM
I think most everyone would agree your serves in the first video was over 100.
It would be interesting to see your improvments, or evolution, from there.
100 would be pretty fast for a 4.0 level player, as used as a first flat serve, usually less than 40% in match play, but closer to 65% in practice.
As for the shoulder turn thing.... some guys use it, other's don't. Tall guys don't need it, as they get power from long arms.

That serve looks around 80 or 90 to me.

LeeD
02-05-2014, 03:05 PM
You should consider recaliberating.
His first serve mishit.
He took it easy his second.
This third serve is more indicative of his flat serve ceiling.
Then he goes on to hit slice serves out wide, which are always hit lots slower than flat serves up the T.
And if you ask OP, he would tell you he can swing faster, if he chooses.

RoddickAce
02-05-2014, 03:21 PM
The foundation of your serve reminds me of this serve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPzcq5GS9x8

Which is a really really good serve.

The foundation is there, your arm is very loose/relaxed, pronation is great, racquet drop is deep, etc.

As others have mentioned, you could try to open up a bit more, and also remember to keep the intensity up through until after the followthrough.

Another thing to note is that, except for kick serves, your racquet should normally followthrough to the left side of your body. Right now, you are trading quite a bit of pace for spin, because you are not putting your weight behind the ball in the path it is going.

Edit: Didn't notice that the thread was from a while back...

Chas Tennis
02-05-2014, 05:34 PM
The foundation of your serve reminds me of this serve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPzcq5GS9x8

Which is a really really good serve.

The foundation is there, your arm is very loose/relaxed, pronation is great, racquet drop is deep, etc.

.................................................. ...............

In the video he says to get your arm "fully extended". In the past, I have interpreted such comments to mean reach as high as possible with the arm and racket. In any case, to avoid misunderstanding this point needs some clarification that is usually missing in serve instructional videos that are not high speed video.

If a frame of the the above video is examined at impact, this is what it shows -

http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv3%3A%3A%3Enu %3D92%3B5%3E359%3E257%3EWSNRCG%3D3735399995348nu0m rj

This is far from at the top of a reach because of the following 4 angles:

1) the arm is not vertical as seen from behind, slightly to the right.
2) the arm has an angle away from the camera that does not show from behind.
3) there is an angle between the forearm and racket as clearly shown. This angle is critical for a serve based on internal shoulder rotation.
4) there is another angle between the wrist and racket that does not show from the camera view behind the server.

For a thread with details on these angles see
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=489960

The serve on the video does look like a great serve especially considering the height that the ball hits on the backstop.

Lukhas
02-05-2014, 05:42 PM
^The arm itself is straight, hence fully extended. His elbow isn't bent. I think it doesn't need interpretation, it really is exactly what is written on the tin.

Chas Tennis
02-05-2014, 05:57 PM
^The arm itself is straight, hence fully extended. His elbow isn't bent. I think it doesn't need interpretation, it really is exactly what is written on the tin.

By the literal definition of arm "fully extended", you are correct.

Do you think that his instruction could be misinterpreted by a considerable number of tennis players?

Do you think that, given the speed of the serve, all instructional videos should show the motion in high speed video or single frames for clarity?

Lukhas
02-05-2014, 06:32 PM
A lot I don't think so. But when I see instructional videos, there are often many comments asking for diverse precisions; even on things that are very clear. Nothing beats a live coach; the most popular online coaches often try to answer comments and such. So I think that if someone has a question, s/he has to ask it. No such things as stupid questions, only stupid answers.

Now on the use of high-speed videos in general, I think that used well (searching common threads between players) it's a formidable resource. Whenever I want to see something precise, I often go to Essential Tennis' channel which is filled with slow-motion videos of pros strokes.
However, not everybody is made the same: some are more feel oriented and few guidelines often helps; others needs very precise instruction to even visualise the technique they're trying to achieve. That's why I believe nothing beats a real coach (granted that he's good); and even in online tennis instruction there isn't a one size fits all method.

So if I believe that instruction should come with slow-mo footage, well yes and no. Some need it, others don't. And I don't see myself enforcing it on those who don't need it. Instead, I would try to search for instruction that fits me more.

I hope you don't believe I'm trying to avoid the question; but that's really tough for me to speak for others.

mxmx
02-06-2014, 06:41 AM
I have posted a lot on internal shoulder rotation and the serve. Elliott and others published the importance of ISR for the serve in the 1990s. Earlier research by Badminton researchers in the 1970s & 1980s also stated it for tennis but it was not widely recognized until Elliott's work. At least, that is my understanding.

Search above "Find Posts": camera behind Chas Tennis

I verified what I learned with these videos most of which deal with the serve
https://vimeo.com/user6237669/videos/all/page:1/sort:date

You can do stop action single frame on Vimeo with

hold SHIFT KEY & use RIGHT or LEFT ARROW KEYS

I've posted details of Federer's motion

Search: milliseconds Chas Tennis

I wanted to see my ISR so I took a before video in 2011 -
https://vimeo.com/21512296

Watch the black tape on my arm just above the shoulder move. That is internal shoulder rotation, really puny ISR. Compare it to the high level serves by looking at the sudden axial arm rotation best seen by at the elbow bones. You can compare ISR for the high level serves to some lower level serves.

You are probably doing ISR to some degree. ?

Impressive...

When you ask if I use ISR (internal shoulder rotation) I would say yes. I know I do this when I pitch a ball...probably to a lesser extent when I serve. But it would be hard not to use ISR when one uses pronation, "whiplash effect" and a relaxed shoulder.

mxmx
02-06-2014, 06:42 AM
I think most everyone would agree your serves in the first video was over 100.
It would be interesting to see your improvments, or evolution, from there.
100 would be pretty fast for a 4.0 level player, as used as a first flat serve, usually less than 40% in match play, but closer to 65% in practice.
As for the shoulder turn thing.... some guys use it, other's don't. Tall guys don't need it, as they get power from long arms.

I don't know why, but normally my flat serves are faster in a match then when practicing. Maybe it has to do with focus (and new balls that go hand in hand with new matches)
My own guess would be that my serves on the vid are below 100mph, but above 100mph with new balls.

Just out of interest...I would consider my second serve to be better than my first (my 2nd serve is not included in the video). I probably have a 90% in ratio with my second serve and only around 40% for my first depending on the day...Sometimes in matches I discard the flat serve and go for a more powerful kick serve (especially in doubles).

Not that this is a big deal or anything: But in the current video with the old balls, the balls skid through on the bounce and dip before it hits the fence (between 500mm - 1m).
With new balls, I see less "dippage" after the bounce and the balls hit the fence above 1m. Does this have to do with the bounce or the speed or both? I know that this height also increased when i switched rackets...the exo tour for me, is terrible at first serves (too flexy) and excellent for 2nd serves...After I got the stiffer Blx surge (2011) I certainly have a better crisp feel when I contact the ball - with lead, even better.

mxmx
02-06-2014, 06:50 AM
The foundation of your serve reminds me of this serve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPzcq5GS9x8

Which is a really really good serve.

The foundation is there, your arm is very loose/relaxed, pronation is great, racquet drop is deep, etc.

As others have mentioned, you could try to open up a bit more, and also remember to keep the intensity up through until after the followthrough.

Another thing to note is that, except for kick serves, your racquet should normally followthrough to the left side of your body. Right now, you are trading quite a bit of pace for spin, because you are not putting your weight behind the ball in the path it is going.

Edit: Didn't notice that the thread was from a while back...

Wow...the dude in that vid has a lot of power on his serve...certainly much faster than my serve.
Thanks for the compliment on my serve:)

As for the weight transfer, I have improved that. I do however not feel that I have accomplished the follow through to be around my body on the left. I have to some extent managed to lessen the exaggeration of the follow through to the right...but probably not as far left as it should be :(

LeeD
02-06-2014, 09:37 AM
Video example of serving, the guy is swinging faster than OP and hitting flat serves.

mxmx
02-07-2014, 04:00 AM
You should consider recaliberating.
His first serve mishit.
He took it easy his second.
This third serve is more indicative of his flat serve ceiling.
Then he goes on to hit slice serves out wide, which are always hit lots slower than flat serves up the T.
And if you ask OP, he would tell you he can swing faster, if he chooses.

I can probably swing faster, but that may result in slower serves at times. Swinging faster but timing it badly or just using the arm makes serving a lot of effort. Timing, ball toss, new balls and more recently, more leg bend, seems to be the biggest influence on my serve speed. Aside from the grip, I consider the ball toss almost the most important aspect of the serve...

LeeD
02-07-2014, 10:19 AM
So, with your thinking, your serves are limited to 80-90, as a previous poster stated.
My estimate of your service speed is based solely on your third serve, your good form, your slow demonstrated swing speed, and the POTENTIAL of you swinging faster to hit faster. Also, I'd think you could flatten out the ball just a bit more.
But if you believe you are swinging your maximum controlled speed for serving, then 80-90 is correct, and I stand corrected.

mxmx
03-05-2014, 04:03 AM
I eventually got round to getting more videos online...

day 1 (EDITED)
http://youtu.be/wMVkczgYLic (not that it matters but serve 3 went through the fence)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAC3IaUqopc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5fDJGtaoH8 (no sound)

day 2
http://youtu.be/7SC2DoBD05c
http://youtu.be/gfOBZhKL57I
http://youtu.be/5G57wxJXQ8c

Most of the lower tossed balls, are second serves...

Nickzor
03-05-2014, 04:40 AM
Looks great, great service motion, great pace, looks nice, i like watching it, good pace, I'm trying to serve more like the way you do, I'm getting close-ish to the motion, whenever i just practice my motion without hitting a ball it looks almost just like yours, but when there's a ball involved it just goes all over the place, i just gotta slow mine down a bit, its a little jumpy and rushed, maybe I'll just toss the ball up 10 feet to make me serve slower :)

it can be seen here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBA2p57cd88

mxmx
03-05-2014, 05:27 AM
Looks great, great service motion, great pace, looks nice, i like watching it, good pace, I'm trying to serve more like the way you do, I'm getting close-ish to the motion, whenever i just practice my motion without hitting a ball it looks almost just like yours, but when there's a ball involved it just goes all over the place, i just gotta slow mine down a bit, its a little jumpy and rushed, maybe I'll just toss the ball up 10 feet to make me serve slower :)

it can be seen here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBA2p57cd88

Our videos does not have the best of quality to see the ball :(
I wonder of youtube downsamples files?

As for your motion...i like the beginning of the serve...your stance basically.
I think if you toss the ball higher you will significantly improve your serve. Secondly, try to have your weight transfer forward. On some of your serves you are falling sideways which tells me two things...you are off balance...and your toss up may be wrong.

Chas Tennis
03-05-2014, 05:31 AM
I eventually got round to getting more videos online...

day 1 (I could not get this darn video to rotate and save right)
http://youtu.be/pxlenflz1mI

day 2
http://youtu.be/7SC2DoBD05c
http://youtu.be/gfOBZhKL57I
http://youtu.be/5G57wxJXQ8c

Most of the lower tossed balls, are second serves...

Looks like a nice motion.

I don't know if this was discussed but I just noticed that you always finish with your arm on the right side of your body. This looks like a very natural part of your motion. I don't know why you finish on the right side, what part of your motion tends to make that happen.

I believe that almost all RH servers finish on their left side. Except that sometimes when serving kick serves a considerable percentage of servers finish on their right side. See Stosur.

http://images2.snapfish.com/232323232%7Ffp83232%3Euqcshlukaxroqdfv%3B773%3Dot% 3E83%3A6%3D44%3A%3D348%3DXROQDF%3E282%3A9%3B%3B345 257ot1lsi

Hard to find issues with this single 30 fps frame.

How does your serve look from the side? From the side how does your arm - shoulder - body line up compared to the pro servers.

I don't know what variety there is but I believe that this orientation is common for high level serves. Needs more research to see how much variation there is. Camera angle may always matter in how a 3D object or motion appears in the 2D video.
https://secure-b.vimeocdn.com/ts/462/021/462021214_640.jpg

https://secure-b.vimeocdn.com/ts/462/776/462776596_640.jpg

https://secure-b.vimeocdn.com/ts/434/069/434069804_640.jpg

Compare to club players from the side view. https://vimeo.com/user6237669/videos

Wear a plain T shirt or sleeveless shirt to get a better video of your shoulder-trunk orientation. Video in direct sunlight.

Motion blur will be a problem. From the side view - in contrast to the behind view - everything is rapidly moving up or down or across the frame. That causes motion blur and will require high speed video with a fast shutter speed. From behind slower cameras produce very useful images.

It is important to see
1) frame before impact
2) impact frame with ball on strings
3) frame after impact
in order to determine the string path on the ball.

There have been some recent threads on ball contact, especially on the kick serve. Are all your serves hitting up a little like a kick serve and that's why you finish arm to the right?

Nickzor
03-05-2014, 05:51 AM
Our videos does not have the best of quality to see the ball :(
I wonder of youtube downsamples files?

As for your motion...i like the beginning of the serve...your stance basically.
I think if you toss the ball higher you will significantly improve your serve. Secondly, try to have your weight transfer forward. On some of your serves you are falling sideways which tells me two things...you are off balance...and your toss up may be wrong.

Oh my video actually has a 1080p option, the ball is clear-ish on that option, but yeh i could see the ball okay on your vids, Im using a go pro 2 strapped up against the fence to film mine, yeh i know what you mean about falling to the side and needing a higher ball toss, I'll get out there and practice again soon , not til the weekend unfortunately though as i have school all week

Chas Tennis
03-05-2014, 07:16 AM
Our videos does not have the best of quality to see the ball :(
I wonder of youtube downsamples files?
...................

Not that sure of this stuff, double check -

Both Vimeo and Youtube compress the video files to reduce the storage requirements. Your camera also compresses video just after sensing it to reduce the size of the video file.

One way that compression is achieved is to record a reference frame and then the next X frames are stored as the difference between the reference frame and a later frame. The compression technique the select another reference frame and repeats. For example, a compression technique may select a frame and then record the next, for example, 20 frames as the difference between each pixel's value and the corresponding pixel value of the reference frame.

The compression can greatly reduce the size of the video file.

It works best if the camera is fixed, on a tripod, and only a few things in the scene move. Compression is less effective for hand held cameras that are panning.

Some video files may work better than others, AVI, MOV etc.

If the video of a smartphone was rotated that might cause degradation.

I noticed some false waving in pine trees and also the fence in one of your video.

I don't understand frame rate issues for smartphones very well but if the light is low indoors I've read that some smartphones may slow down frame rates. If that occurs YT might be reconverting to 30 fps from 24 fps, ???

To view on smartphone take video holding horizontal or vertical whichever looks best. To post a video on YT or Vimeo hold the phone horizontal. You get the same size image displayed on the computer screen, no black side bars, and it may make it easier for YT or Vimeo to process your video.

mxmx
03-11-2014, 04:25 AM
Looks like a nice motion.

I don't know if this was discussed but I just noticed that you always finish with your arm on the right side of your body. This looks like a very natural part of your motion. I don't know why you finish on the right side, what part of your motion tends to make that happen.

I believe that almost all RH servers finish on their left side. Except that sometimes when serving kick serves a considerable percentage of servers finish on their right side. See Stosur.

....

How does your serve look from the side? From the side how does your arm - shoulder - body line up compared to the pro servers.

I don't know what variety there is but I believe that this orientation is common for high level serves. Needs more research to see how much variation there is. Camera angle may always matter in how a 3D object or motion appears in the 2D video.

....

It is important to see
1) frame before impact
2) impact frame with ball on strings
3) frame after impact
in order to determine the string path on the ball.

There have been some recent threads on ball contact, especially on the kick serve. Are all your serves hitting up a little like a kick serve and that's why you finish arm to the right?

Yes...some members has spotted my racket ending on the opposite side of my body. I think there is a lot of wrist snap in my action, which combined with the pronation, has a lot of momentum which causes the racket to end up on the "wrong" side. Years back I hit my shins while serving...was quite painful and it may have contributed in me trying to prevent that from happening again.

LeeD
03-11-2014, 12:28 PM
I think we consider you at least a 4.5 player.
So, the question is, is your flat first serve nearly as fast as your peer's flat first serves? I think not. There seems like a lack of loading on your service motion, like you are just going thru the motions trying to be smooth and consistent. There is no point of explosion. You never seem to wind, unwind, and explode into the ball.
But I still think, with your serve exactly as is, you can hit 105 on your best flat first serves, if you care to take the change during a point that counts.
That puts you in BallinBob's, TopspinShot's, and my range.
I know, you'll quote my service vid. To explain, I didn't post it, it was done in early May after I'd been on court 3 times that whole 4 months of that year.

Topspin Shot
03-11-2014, 12:33 PM
I think we consider you at least a 4.5 player.
So, the question is, is your flat first serve nearly as fast as your peer's flat first serves? I think not. There seems like a lack of loading on your service motion, like you are just going thru the motions trying to be smooth and consistent. There is no point of explosion. You never seem to wind, unwind, and explode into the ball.
But I still think, with your serve exactly as is, you can hit 105 on your best flat first serves, if you care to take the change during a point that counts.
That puts you in BallinBob's, TopspinShot's, and my range.
I know, you'll quote my service vid. To explain, I didn't post it, it was done in early May after I'd been on court 3 times that whole 4 months of that year.

Don't make me post links to your serve, Bob's serve, and my serve and let the community decide who has the weakest serve.

LeeD
03-11-2014, 12:47 PM
Did we go thru this?
YOU posted your serve.
BallinBob posted his serves, the BEST you can find of you serving.
Alex411 posted my serves, after 6 weeks of rain, and no tennis, of course.
Some guys who played me, like Shroud, says my serve is in the one teens, and that my second serve bounces OVER his head when he's standing atop the baseline to return it.
When RobFL (nationally ranked 4.5) played doubles with me, this local 3.5, and PapaMango, I was on the winning end of all 3 sets, easily 3's, regardless of partner. He says, "that LeeD can play his doubs"..... and he's a NATIONALLY ranked 4.5.

Topspin Shot
03-11-2014, 12:51 PM
Did we go thru this?
YOU posted your serve.
BallinBob posted his serves, the BEST you can find of you serving.
Alex411 posted my serves, after 6 weeks of rain, and no tennis, of course.
Some guys who played me, like Shroud, says my serve is in the one teens, and that my second serve bounces OVER his head when he's standing atop the baseline to return it.
When RobFL (nationally ranked 4.5) played doubles with me, this local 3.5, and PapaMango, I was on the winning end of all 3 sets, easily 3's, regardless of partner. He says, "that LeeD can play his doubs"..... and he's a NATIONALLY ranked 4.5.

How come Shroud never actually backs up your claims? It's funny; you say Shroud says you do this and that, but Shroud stays away from these threads. Anyway:

LeeD: http://vimeo.com/21713707
Ballinbob: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkpQJkPMXnw
Topspin Shot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0IJfe3nsFs

LeeD
03-11-2014, 12:59 PM
Thanks for posting, Fintft would appreciate it.
You guys serve at altitude and warm temps.
My serves were at sea level (ok, 75' above), and 60 degrees.
YOU posted your best serving vids.
My vid was just the only one.
As for Shroud, it's not his place to support any of my claims, but if he wants, he can chime in. He DID say I serve into the mid teens and that my second serve bounces over his head...and he's close to 6' tall.

President
03-11-2014, 01:06 PM
How come Shroud never actually backs up your claims? It's funny; you say Shroud says you do this and that, but Shroud stays away from these threads. Anyway:

LeeD: http://vimeo.com/21713707
Ballinbob: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dkpQJkPMXnw
Topspin Shot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z0IJfe3nsFs

I'm sure that Lee's serve in the video are slower than both of yours (he has said he hadn't played for a very long time, like 5 or 6 weeks, at the time of that video), but the camera angle makes it much harder to determine his serve speed. He is on the far side of the court, of course his serve will look slower than your cameras which are right behind you...:-|

Fintft
03-11-2014, 01:34 PM
Thanks for posting, Fintft would appreciate it.
You guys serve at altitude and warm temps.
My serves were at sea level (ok, 75' above), and 60 degrees.
YOU posted your best serving vids.
My vid was just the only one.
As for Shroud, it's not his place to support any of my claims, but if he wants, he can chime in. He DID say I serve into the mid teens and that my second serve bounces over his head...and he's close to 6' tall.

Another puzzling thing (in general, not on your serve, especially since I haven't seen it) is that while, for example, I had more power a couple of years ago, maybe the technique wasn't there? Hence less consistency or "not a serve to work with" in the words of my head coach at the club....

LeeD
03-11-2014, 01:37 PM
Heck, 7 years ago, I could actually RUN. I've been hobbling around the courts since 2007, with a couple of torn detached tendons in the top of my left foot.
And just last week, I couldn't brush my teeth or shave with my left arm. Had to support the wrist with my right wrist to get that high up my face.

Fintft
03-11-2014, 01:41 PM
Heck, 7 years ago, I could actually RUN. I've been hobbling around the courts since 2007, with a couple of torn detached tendons in the top of my left foot.
And just last week, I couldn't brush my teeth or shave with my left arm. Had to support the wrist with my right wrist to get that high up my face.

Yeah, but while aging could be a factor (and btw, apparently I run/move better now then say a couple of years ago), I suspect that the lack of technique (or the yo-yo changes on the serve) was the important factor.

Fintft
03-12-2014, 07:47 PM
Yes...some members has spotted my racket ending on the opposite side of my body. I think there is a lot of wrist snap in my action, which combined with the pronation, has a lot of momentum which causes the racket to end up on the "wrong" side. Years back I hit my shins while serving...was quite painful and it may have contributed in me trying to prevent that from happening again.

I'm no expert, but could it also be that your left shoulder is not low enough (after the cartwheel motion happens)?

Nice serve irregardless of the follow through!

Fintft
03-12-2014, 07:48 PM
Don't make me post links to your serve, Bob's serve, and my serve and let the community decide who has the weakest serve.

Man I watched your serve motion yesterday a bit and I'm in awe (among all three)!

I have a friend at the club with a similar motion (serve being his best shot), better than me and when he's on, he's on.
I love the fluid, deep knee bend you have!

Topspin Shot
03-12-2014, 07:54 PM
Man I watched your serve motion yesterday a bit and I'm in awe (among all three)!

I have a friend at the club with a similar motion (serve being his best shot), better than me and when he's on, he's on.
I love the fluid, deep knee bend you have!

:) Thanks for the compliment. My serve isn't really that much of a weapon though; it's more a point starter that hopefully gets me a look at a centered return. I just put it up there because LeeD was going around posting that I have a weak serve.

Fintft
03-12-2014, 08:05 PM
:) Thanks for the compliment. My serve isn't really that much of a weapon though; it's more a point starter that hopefully gets me a look at a centered return. I just put it up there because LeeD was going around posting that I have a weak serve.

Again, I'm no expert but your serve looks good for at least 4.0- 4.5 level, am I right? What did people here tell you?
(For the love of me, I don't see how anyone can call your serve week- not to mention the great technique).

And based on your response, your groundies are even better!

LeeD
03-12-2014, 11:02 PM
Well for sure, TopspinShot's posted serve is better than my posted serve, no argument there. As is BallinBob's. I just said they were in the ballpark, like BBob at 110, TShot at 105, mine at 100.
BUT, consider this. I"m 65 years old. I can't run so I can't jump either. I've suffered FOUR broken collarbones. My rotator cuffs are so screwed that 2 weeks ago, I couldn't shave or brush my teeth with my left hand.
Now consider this. All that, and I"m barely slower than those two youngsters.
AND, my serve is a huge forcing weapon at 4-5.0 levels of play, but I"m lefty and have more experience than the youngsters.
While they hope to play 4.5's, I"ve played A/Open, 2 Q's, and have never lost to a former No.1 NorCal 4.0 who's younger than me by 8 years.

Sir Shankalot
03-13-2014, 01:23 AM
I'm sure that Lee's serve in the video are slower than both of yours (he has said he hadn't played for a very long time, like 5 or 6 weeks, at the time of that video), but the camera angle makes it much harder to determine his serve speed. He is on the far side of the court, of course his serve will look slower than your cameras which are right behind you...:-|

The first in serve (out wide, hits the camera stand):

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7300/13122008303_508aabdb0d.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ed-blagden/13122008303/)

mxmx
03-13-2014, 03:14 AM
I think we consider you at least a 4.5 player.
So, the question is, is your flat first serve nearly as fast as your peer's flat first serves? I think not. There seems like a lack of loading on your service motion, like you are just going thru the motions trying to be smooth and consistent. There is no point of explosion. You never seem to wind, unwind, and explode into the ball.
When i compare my serve to other servers my age, it depends on their level, which is hard to measure, generally my serve is better than most of my opponents...it is the first shot after that or the one therafter that often severely lacks. At my club there was at least one player with the same power and more than my serve...but their placement and consistency was far behind.
I struggle having patience. I don't know what level player I am. All I know is that my general technique and shot ability on a singles level is quite good, but mentally I am not that experienced against people who do well in tournaments. I have definitely held my own against some of those guys, but on crucial points lose the point. If i can improve my "tenacity" I should do better.
In doubles my second serve is a real problem for most players...but I would say my first volley or shot is not consistently good enough.


As for the explosion part: Well spotted. For a long time I have been muscling the ball on the serve so I tried to time better - which helped. But there is definitely room for some "explosion" and more "muscling" since my technique has improved. My serve tends to improve explosively as the end of the tennis day draws near. I think I take a VERY long time to loosen up.


But I still think, with your serve exactly as is, you can hit 105 on your best flat first serves, if you care to take the change during a point that counts.
That puts you in BallinBob's, TopspinShot's, and my range.
I know, you'll quote my service vid. To explain, I didn't post it, it was done in early May after I'd been on court 3 times that whole 4 months of that year.

I could see BallinBob's serve as well as TopspinShots' serve...but not yours. Flash keeps blocking from your website on my browser. Youtube worked fine...
It was nice seeing some other serves...and they seem to be more in less the same speed as my videos.
What are you basing your "guestimate" on all the above serve speeds?
My general guideline is based on Agassi's serve from the same angle when he served around 101mph...but I guess I could be WAY off...

SFrazeur
03-14-2014, 02:44 PM
Just an aside mxmx, but whenever I see your user name I keep thinking it's meow mix.

LeeD
03-14-2014, 02:56 PM
SirShanks says my serve is around 86 mph.
I"m not sure too many sub 90 serves can hit 30+ inch high at the backwall when the serve is hit out wide, where it lands well wide of the doubles alley.
Up the middle hash, yes, it's possible.
Anyways, of the 30 or so 4.0's I play, I have the fastest serve.
Of the handful of 4.5's I play with, my serve is equal to any serve from the 6'2" and taller guys, even the big boyz, the 220 lbs 6'4" guys.
Talking pure speed, and the need for the returner to stand 3' back from the baseline, to just slice/block back the serve. Most better players stand back farther than 4' to return my first flat serves, if they are going in.

mxmx
03-19-2014, 03:01 AM
Leed: I think we consider you at least a 4.5 player.
So, the question is, is your flat first serve nearly as fast as your peer's flat first serves? I think not. There seems like a lack of loading on your service motion, like you are just going thru the motions trying to be smooth and consistent. There is no point of explosion. You never seem to wind, unwind, and explode into the ball.

This comment bugged me ^.
So a couple of days ago I tried to be more explosive on the serve (- strange that the idea never occurred to me). So when I tried to be more explosive, some of the serves I definitely had more pace. Technique wise I tried to bend my legs even more as well as put more actual effort....So in the points some opponents even commented that they were fast. There was one serve that kept on rising all the way to the fence and went straight through without hesitation.
So I just wanted to say thank you for spotting the element of explosion/effort. This idea alone may have added 10mph to my serve.

I always thought pure fast serves *only* comes through timing and being smooth. But I am now changing my stance that one *has* to sometimes put in some effort or muscle. I suppose its about finding the right balance of muscling and timing and not just one or the other?

Leed: SirShanks says my serve is around 86 mph.
I"m not sure too many sub 90 serves can hit 30+ inch high at the backwall when the serve is hit out wide, where it lands well wide of the doubles alley.
Up the middle hash, yes, it's possible.
Anyways, of the 30 or so 4.0's I play, I have the fastest serve.
Of the handful of 4.5's I play with, my serve is equal to any serve from the 6'2" and taller guys, even the big boyz, the 220 lbs 6'4" guys.
Talking pure speed, and the need for the returner to stand 3' back from the baseline, to just slice/block back the serve. Most better players stand back farther than 4' to return my first flat serves, if they are going in.

But that's guessing your serve. When you estimated my serve speed, did you base it on anything such as your own serve speed or anything else?


SFrazeur: Just an aside mxmx, but whenever I see your user name I keep thinking it's meow mix.
Hehe...well...there is a band called mxpx :P

arche3
03-19-2014, 06:46 AM
SirShanks says my serve is around 86 mph.
I"m not sure too many sub 90 serves can hit 30+ inch high at the backwall when the serve is hit out wide, where it lands well wide of the doubles alley.
Up the middle hash, yes, it's possible.
Anyways, of the 30 or so 4.0's I play, I have the fastest serve.
Of the handful of 4.5's I play with, my serve is equal to any serve from the 6'2" and taller guys, even the big boyz, the 220 lbs 6'4" guys.
Talking pure speed, and the need for the returner to stand 3' back from the baseline, to just slice/block back the serve. Most better players stand back farther than 4' to return my first flat serves, if they are going in.

Lee your serve sucks balls just deal with it. In the video your service motion is flawed. You don't need to jump to serve. You have an ok rec serve that you made into this fairy tale of 130mph flats and 100mph twists in your youth. Not possible with your serve mechanics. And you are not serving average 100+ now. Stop making excuses why your serve looks bad on video. It looks bad because it is bad.
BalinBob and TSShot while both serves has some issues are light years ahead of yours. Not because of youth but because they have better fundamental motions.
I know a 65 year old teaching pro that still serves 100 easily. Consistently. He doesn't even look like he swings hard.
Your bragging how far people take your serves back from the baseline. What you don't say is the returners are usually 12 year old girls. And fat rec old men.

psv255
03-19-2014, 07:44 AM
This comment bugged me ^.

I always thought pure fast serves *only* comes through timing and being smooth. But I am now changing my stance that one *has* to sometimes put in some effort or muscle. I suppose its about finding the right balance of muscling and timing and not just one or the other?


The serve uses muscles even if you are smooth, it just uses them in a very specific way -- not the same way you hammer a nail but more the way you throw a ball or the leg/torso action when you're swimming butterfly. You quickly tense consequent parts of the body to amplify a whiplike movement of the last element.

A main anchor point that gets missed a lot on the serve is the core/abs - try actively tightening your core just before you hit the ball. Or alternatively, try swinging more explosively but try to keep the core stable. You'll feel like your racket gets pulled down faster, but if your timing is good you will hit the ball before the racket gets pulled down, so the ball will still go where you want it to, just faster

mxmx
03-24-2014, 07:10 AM
The serve uses muscles even if you are smooth, it just uses them in a very specific way -- not the same way you hammer a nail but more the way you throw a ball or the leg/torso action when you're swimming butterfly. You quickly tense consequent parts of the body to amplify a whiplike movement of the last element.

A main anchor point that gets missed a lot on the serve is the core/abs - try actively tightening your core just before you hit the ball. Or alternatively, try swinging more explosively but try to keep the core stable. You'll feel like your racket gets pulled down faster, but if your timing is good you will hit the ball before the racket gets pulled down, so the ball will still go where you want it to, just faster

I actively have been doing this ^ ever since my back had problems. Using the core more has thankfully and significantly protected my back over the years.
I also do the whiplike thing you've mentioned, which I've learnt through many years of pitching balls.

In recent times with my current technique as it has hopefully progressed, I have noted that the following has the biggest influence on extra power for me (I have excluded obvious steps that go hand in hand in the serve such as fluidity, contact point, pronation and so forth):

- higher toss up
- bigger leg bend
- more actual effort - something Leed made me more aware of.
(Btw. Whether Leed can serve or not is insignificant to me as wisdom or coaching is not solely dependent on always being able to do these things yourself)

Out of interest...could anyone note any differences in technique between my first "OP video" and the more recent ones?
OLD:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yv0D5q90XFQ&feature=youtu.be

RECENT:
day 1 (EDITED)
http://youtu.be/wMVkczgYLic (not that it matters but serve 3 went through the fence)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAC3IaUqopc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5fDJGtaoH8 (no sound)

day 2
http://youtu.be/7SC2DoBD05c
http://youtu.be/gfOBZhKL57I
http://youtu.be/5G57wxJXQ8c

LeeD
03-24-2014, 02:28 PM
A servers DOES have to put out full effort, swing hard, rear back, drive up and forwards, to hit his faster serves.
But too much effort actually slows down the fastest serves, because it starts to muscle the ball, and not allow the HEAD of the racket to come thru past the hand, to hit the ball.
Serving hard takes a bit out of you, if you swing full speed every time, so your groundies might be off on the first hit, or you're out of position to pummel a ball that IS returned.
Nothing ventured, nothing gained.