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View Full Version : Video hitting some serves - critique wanted


JackB1
12-14-2012, 03:49 PM
ad side serves
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIGX4touWHc

deuce side
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTjmVNQzqpI

I can see how I a falling to the left instead of straight into the court.
that one thing I am working on.

I know my from isn't the greatest, but I can usually hold serve about 75% of the time and only double fault about 2, 3 times a match. Any suggestions on what I can improve would be great. Thanks.

TheCheese
12-14-2012, 03:51 PM
I didn't know Sam Querrey posted on TT.

The biggest thing that stands out for me is that you don't get a very deep racket drop. Your arm seems kind of stiff.

5263
12-14-2012, 03:53 PM
Really has the waiter position going.

JackB1
12-14-2012, 04:11 PM
I didn't know Sam Querrey posted on TT.

The biggest thing that stands out for me is that you don't get a very deep racket drop. Your arm seems kind of stiff.

yes I see that. I will try and get a little more up and down motion next time and let the racquet drop some before going up at the ball. Great point, thanks!

LeeD
12-14-2012, 04:12 PM
Waiter, feet pinned together, weak serves for such a strong swing......something looks really wrong.
Don't get me wrong, the swing is NOT strong. It's strong only in context to how weak the ball moves.

TheCheese
12-14-2012, 04:18 PM
One thing about your toss that nobody has mentioned.

You really throw the toss up there by abruptly accelerating your tossing arm. Try accelerating your arm more gradually and imagine placing the ball up there, it should help with your toss consistency.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kGWdoNobnCM

See how Roger is much more gradual in the way he accelerates his tossing arm?

canuckfan
12-14-2012, 04:39 PM
Good consistency, decent pace, some variety as well. Improvements in technique can definitely be made. Deeper racket drop, more left hip lean into the court. For a kick serve, more of an up and out motion would help generate a better kick. As one poster mentioned, try to remove the "waiter position" -- it robs you of fluidity and power. Just before the racket drop the tip of the racket should be pointed almost straight up (ie. close to 12 o'clock if there was a giant clock standing up on the baseline facing you). Not bad though, don't be discouraged by negative comments, you have positive baseline to start from.

JackB1
12-14-2012, 05:17 PM
Waiter, feet pinned together, weak serves for such a strong swing......something looks really wrong.
Don't get me wrong, the swing is NOT strong. It's strong only in context to how weak the ball moves.

OK so what do I do?

JackB1
12-14-2012, 05:25 PM
Good consistency, decent pace, some variety as well. Improvements in technique can definitely be made. Deeper racket drop, more left hip lean into the court. For a kick serve, more of an up and out motion would help generate a better kick. As one poster mentioned, try to remove the "waiter position" -- it robs you of fluidity and power. Just before the racket drop the tip of the racket should be pointed almost straight up (ie. close to 12 o'clock if there was a giant clock standing up on the baseline facing you). Not bad though, don't be discouraged by negative comments, you have positive baseline to start from.

looks like this "waiter position" should be the 1st thing I work on.
so how do I fix that?

guitarplayer
12-14-2012, 05:26 PM
You are accurate! Which is most important. Now you can work on getting more racquet speed. Loosen up, be a little more flexible, a bit bigger backswing. You are close.

JackB1
12-14-2012, 06:19 PM
found a great article to help me with my issue

http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/step12_4.html

seems like the key is to keep the racquet moving on it's edge for as long as possible.

zapvor
12-16-2012, 07:29 PM
thats a nice court! yea so you are kinda trying to copy roddick, but very badly. dont bring your racket back straight up, let it drop down in a loop and then come up. watch federer. also, you take a big pause/hitch before you swing, and when you swing you are really just slapping at the ball. all arm. you gotta make it one fluid motion. start slow. you are muscling the ball right now and its counterproductive

zapvor
12-16-2012, 07:33 PM
also: your grip is real flat right now. i know you are going for flat serves in the video, but try shifting more extreme to get more spin. pace can always come later

JackB1
12-16-2012, 07:45 PM
thats a nice court! yea so you are kinda trying to copy roddick, but very badly. dont bring your racket back straight up, let it drop down in a loop and then come up. watch federer. also, you take a big pause/hitch before you swing, and when you swing you are really just slapping at the ball. all arm. you gotta make it one fluid motion. start slow. you are muscling the ball right now and its counterproductive

I am not trying to copy Roddick at all...not sure where that came from?

But I agree with your other comments. I am going to try and rebuild my serve so its one continuous motion. Letting it drop down and loop around behind me. I have been watching many instructional videos the past few days and will begin working on it. I already fixed the "palm up/waiter" issue. Now I gotta work on the rest. That's why I took the video...to work on this stuff :-)

JackB1
12-16-2012, 07:47 PM
also: your grip is real flat right now. i know you are going for flat serves in the video, but try shifting more extreme to get more spin. pace can always come later

what do you mean by "flat"? My serve grip is continental. And my serves were not flat...if you watch the ball in the video, it bounces to the left...not straight like a flat serve does. I am slicing the ball.

NLBwell
12-16-2012, 08:28 PM
Get a hatchet and chop a log in half.

MikeHitsHard93
12-16-2012, 08:30 PM
Serve needs to be more fluid. I believe that it's best never to stop the little forward motion. Before you toss the ball, you point your back toe. Put your body weight actually on that foot and then push off onto your front foot as you're tossing the ball. Right before you hit, all your momentum will be going slightly forward and you should have both feet together, pushing off both toes and rotating. Your stroke and placement are good. Just work on using your whole body into the shot.

zapvor
12-16-2012, 08:53 PM
I am not trying to copy Roddick at all...not sure where that came from?

But I agree with your other comments. I am going to try and rebuild my serve so its one continuous motion. Letting it drop down and loop around behind me. I have been watching many instructional videos the past few days and will begin working on it. I already fixed the "palm up/waiter" issue. Now I gotta work on the rest. That's why I took the video...to work on this stuff :-)

what do you mean by "flat"? My serve grip is continental. And my serves were not flat...if you watch the ball in the video, it bounces to the left...not straight like a flat serve does. I am slicing the ball.
first off kudos for posting. it shows you are dedicated to improving. so many on here keep talking and never post a video.

ok so you are not copying roddick intentionally, but if you go youtube roddick serve you may get what i am saying. the way you bring your racket hand back, the feet together, the left arm straight up, the more muscling motion.

anyways, yea it looks like you are committed so it will come. it took me over 3yrs to get my serve (search here to see mine) and today i am still tweaking it constantly.

your grip is continental, but not like really. and it does curve with slice but thats more the swing not your grip. i can hit slice with a extreme eastern bh grip. i suggested that, to force you to hit with more spin, taking power from you so you focus on mechanics and not 'the result'.

keep practicing and dont worry about results. it will come.

NLBwell
12-16-2012, 10:11 PM
You are pushing the racket.

To get the feeling of how to pull the racket around get a hatchet and chop a log in half.

Focus on pulling the head of the hatchet through - chest, upper arm, elbow, wrist, head of hatchet.
One log should be enough to get the feeling.

charliefedererer
12-17-2012, 08:45 AM
looks like this "waiter position" should be the 1st thing I work on.
so how do I fix that?

Hopefully you will find the following video helpful:
McCraw Serve Fundamentals http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuIgTyh4aDs

Coach McCraw has some nice shots from the back showing correct path of the arm/hand/racquet in bringing the racquet to a full racquet drop.

He emphasizes taking the racqeut back and up in an "outside to inside" path.

By bringing the racquet back away from the body ("outside"), it is easier for it to end up on the right side of your body, or "inside".

[Conversely if you bring your racquet up very close to your body, there is a tendency to end up with your hand/racquet more in the middle of your back, or "outside". This would tend to give you racquet drop into the middle of your back - it subsequently is very difficult to pronate if you brought your racquet up from the middle of your back.]


(Later on when you swing upward out of your racquet drop you will want to pronate.
Many don't realize that the racquet/arm at full racquet drop has to be well to the right to set up pronation in the actual swing phase - they mistakenly have the racquet drop in the middle of their back in a "backscratch" position.)

http://i39.tinypic.com/308kv0j.jpg

In the above sequence you can see how Sam Stosur's racquet drop is well to the right of her body in pic 1. Notice how the arm is straightened in pics 1-10 keeping the arm well to the right side - this sets up the ability to swing the racquet from right to left to contact in pics 11-19.) )


Once you have the proper racquet drop well to the right of your body, you can then practice this pronation movement as a separate exercise, as demonstrated in this video:
McCraw explaining a serve pronation exercise http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iONY6fcqZGg






While the above can be worked on as separate shadowing/hitting exercises that can then be incorporated into your serve, you also need to work on how you get your serve started - your "toss into your trophy position move".
[If you don't get off to a proper start, the toss seems rushed, and it is struggle to maintain balance - rather you should smoothly be in balance throughout the toss into the trophy position.]

Tossing and getting into your trophy position must be combined - you should not be tossing - then getting into a trophy position.

And the place to start is using the forward bend into the court to start to build momentum that you can use to get the toss started. (Right now after you step forward, you totally stop before tossing.)

http://www.mftenniscoaching.co.uk/Motion%20Expert/federer.jpg

Notice Fed bends forward (pic 1) , and that as he bends his upper body back (pic 2), that automatically gets the arm starting to move up, starting the tossing motion.
He brings his tossing arm straight up in pics 3-4. Having that arm straight up in pic 4 - the trophy position insures he has a very steep shoulder angle - his left shoulder is straight up, and his right shoulder is straight down.
Notice in his trophy position he is in the shape of a bow - that bow is even more accentuated in pic 5.

So getting off to a proper start in a serve is key to having a relaxed balance serve.
Check out the following three videos on how to get that toss into the trophy position:
Tennis Serve Tossing Motion Tempo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeZp90h-Ar8&feature=relmfu
Federer Murray Haas & more ball toss common threads http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIF-UaRUd6k&feature=related
Tennis Serve Toss - How to Hold the Ball http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8kynEzufNE&feature=related
(It is much more comfortable to toss the ball in this way, rather than trying to contort the tossing arm to maintain the hand under the ball as you bring it higher before ball release.)




You noticed yourself that you are falling off to the right.

This is a symptom that you don't cartwheel your shoulders through a vertical plane - instead you are just swinging them from left to right as you uncoil.

But note that the correct shoulder movement is to "drop the left shoulder" so that at contact your tossing shoulder is straight down.

"Dropping the left shoulder" means you are powerfully throwing your body sideways into the court in a "cartwheel" motion.

The forward momentum will end up with you going into the court, landing on your left leg, with your right leg kicking out behind you. (pic11).

"Dropping the left shoulder" corrects the falling off to the right, because now the dominant force is forward with much more power into your shot from that shoulder over shoulder movement.

To top it all off, dropping the left shoulder is protective of your rotator cuff muscles, and can help prevent a shoulder overuse injury as you are doing all that serve practice!

Preventing Rotator Cuff Injury http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTRvxaBMh8s




The above is a lot to work on.

While getting a full racquet drop is something you want to achieve, how you get to it smoothly and balanced then can set you up for a better swing with more pronation and a better carthwheel for increased power.

All of it should blend together eventually, even though I hope I've given you some tips on how to work on things individually.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!

TimothyO
12-17-2012, 09:00 AM
You've got a case of happy feet. I count at least 2-3 steps in each serve.

The first is the large one from platform to pinpoint. Since you have such a large pause at that point any momentum from that movement is lost.

Then you have an additional 1-2 tiny mini-step/hops with your leading foot. The intensity and height varies from remaining in contact with the ground and barely lifting to actually lifting off the ground...the first occurs most frequently and the second on occasion. The first occurs during take back and the second during up swing. Again, their timing and duration adds nothing to your momentum and result in an unstable hitting platform.

How did I notice this? Well, in the last 12 months I've had THREE different teaching pros say the same thing to me. And they were right!!!!

After the third guy told me this in the fall I decided to take this seriously.

I now serve consistently with more power and FAR more accuracy than I did previously. My left knee and right ankle are too damaged to perform a full leg push up and into the ball. I've done it, it works great, but after several sessions it hurts my knee.

I think we have these little happy feet hitches to give us some slack on core turn. I have a friend with a similar problem but even more extreme. She has this huge wind up and then...STOPS! Full stop. Frozen. And the proceeds to whack the ball really hard and inaccurately.

These happy feet can cause problems later in the stroke, so before worrying about anything else get your footwork stable and smooth. I can suggest that with confidence because my feet weren't just happy, they were ecstatic! :D

Watch the videos closely and you'll see these tiny little steps and stops and how they effect your swing by creating hitches in your balance.

JackB1
12-17-2012, 10:12 AM
^^^

thanks CharlieF....great stuff! Really appreciate it.

Its funny, because even with how "bad" my serve looks...its still better than about 75% of the guys I play against at 3.5-4.0 level. I actually can hold serve more times than not. But its good to know there's lot of room for improvement :-)

JackB1
12-17-2012, 10:16 AM
Timothy, great observations indeed. I gotta get a more stable base with my feet and get my serve off to a better start. Thanks! Lots to work on :-)

Nellie
12-17-2012, 10:55 AM
Things I see -

Easy things to change:

1) There is some motion that some wasted/extraneous - like a step back followed up with a step forward into the original position during the toss. These are not necessarily bad to the end result - more that you are adding a lot of complexity that does not help and, at worst, may throw off your timing. Try practicing with your feet set with a wider base before the toss.

2) Toss is too far back - try moving the toss forward

3) Try start with your shoulder turn more so that you get more shoulder rotation during the serve. The toss will feel weird because you will be tossing way to your left. Now, you are pretty much chest forward toward the ball throughout the motion. This means you get no energy from the big muscles in your torso - all your power is coming from the small arm/shoulder muscles.

4) I like your right arm position, relative to your body, because you are keeping your shoulder in a safe distance from your head. However, because your back is straight, that means your arm is out to your side at contact - losing height and net clearance. Try reaching up as high as possible with your racquet, while bending your head slightly sideways to keep that good arm position.

5). Sometimes your left arm/head drop early, leading to an awkward motion - keep that left arm up as long as possible.

Harder things to change:

6) I don't see any weight shift forward and into the ball - i.e., a rock to the back leg, with the weight moving forwarding during the serve so that your body weight is moving into the ball.

7) (Related to 3 and 6) You are basically muscling the ball now, rather than relying on your kinetic chain. You would get a harder serve by relaxing you arm/shoulder muscles until the instant before contact. Let your arm go long for the ride provided by your body motion until right before contact and then engage those muscles

zapvor
12-17-2012, 12:12 PM
^^^

thanks CharlieF....great stuff! Really appreciate it.

Its funny, because even with how "bad" my serve looks...its still better than about 75% of the guys I play against at 3.5-4.0 level. I actually can hold serve more times than not. But its good to know there's lot of room for improvement :-)

interesting. where do you play? the guys here with that kind of serve would get crushed easy.

zapvor
12-17-2012, 12:15 PM
Hopefully you will find the following video helpful:
McC

Coach McCraw has some nice shots from the back showing correct path of the arm/hand/racquet in bringing the racquet to a full racquet drop.

He emphasizes taking the racqeut back and up in an "outside to inside" path.

By bringing the racquet back away from the body ("outside"), it is easier for it to end up on the right side of your body, or "inside".

[Conversely if you bring your racquet up very close to your body, there is a tendency to end up with your hand/racquet more in the middle of your back, or "outside". This would tend to give you racquet drop into the middle of your back - it subsequently is very difficult to pronate if you brought your racquet up from the middle of your back.]


(Later on when you swing upward out of your racquet drop you will want to pronate.
Many don't realize that the racquet/arm at full racquet drop has to be well to the right to set up pronation in the actual swing phase - they mistakenly have the racquet drop in the middle of their back in a "backscratch" position.)


In the above sequence you can see how Sam Stosur's racquet drop is well to the right of her body in pic 1. Notice how the arm is straightened in pics 1-10 keeping the arm well to the right side - this sets up the ability to swing the racquet from right to left to contact in pics 11-19.) )


Once you have the proper racquet drop well to the right of your body, you can then practice this pronation movement as a separate exercise, as demonstrated in this video:
McCraw explaining a serve pronation exercise http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iONY6fcqZGg






While the above can be worked on as separate shadowing/hitting exercises that can then be incorporated into your serve, you also need to work on how you get your serve started - your "toss into your trophy position move".
[If you don't get off to a proper start, the toss seems rushed, and it is struggle to maintain balance - rather you should smoothly be in balance throughout the toss into the trophy position.]

Tossing and getting into your trophy position must be combined - you should not be tossing - then getting into a trophy position.

And the place to start is using the forward bend into the court to start to build momentum that you can use to get the toss started. (Right now after you step forward, you totally stop before tossing.)


Notice Fed bends forward (pic 1) , and that as he bends his upper body back (pic 2), that automatically gets the arm starting to move up, starting the tossing motion.
He brings his tossing arm straight up in pics 3-4. Having that arm straight up in pic 4 - the trophy position insures he has a very steep shoulder angle - his left shoulder is straight up, and his right shoulder is straight down.
Notice in his trophy position he is in the shape of a bow - that bow is even more accentuated in pic 5.

So getting off to a proper start in a serve is key to having a relaxed balance serve.
Check out the following three videos on how to get that toss into the trophy position:
Tennis Serve Tossing Motion Tempo [uUd6k&feature=related[/url]
Tennis Serve Toss - How to Hold the Ball http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8kynEzufNE&feature=related
(It is much more comfortable to toss the ball in this way, rather than trying to contort the tossing arm to maintain the hand under the ball as you bring it higher before ball release.)

...................
To top it all off, dropping the left shoulder is protective of your rotator cuff muscles, and can help prevent a shoulder overuse injury as you are doing all that serve practice!

Preventing Rotator Cuff Injury http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTRvxaBMh8s



ope I've given you some tips on how to work on things individually.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!

this post is nice and all, but on a forum its not going to work. you are overloading info at the person, hes not going to absorb it properly even if he reads it. most likely he wont even. its better to keep it concise and give him 1 or 2 essential elements to think about.

just picture a pro standing next to his student and reading your entire post aloud to the student. how do you think teh student will react? exactly.

JohnB
12-17-2012, 02:10 PM
ad side serves
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIGX4touWHc

deuce side
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTjmVNQzqpI

I can see how I a falling to the left instead of straight into the court.
that one thing I am working on.

I know my from isn't the greatest, but I can usually hold serve about 75% of the time and only double fault about 2, 3 times a match. Any suggestions on what I can improve would be great. Thanks.

Jack,

Having watched your backhand issue also, I think I see a lack of stability in your feet on your backhand as well as on your service. It's like you're playing on mud (a figure of speech). I see that you try your utmost best to get the kinetic chain started, but it Seems to me that you can't push off enough to get the motion started. If you can get your feet stable/strong enough, so that the leg muscles can apply force without pushing the feet out of balance, I think you will improve a lot.

3fees
12-17-2012, 02:22 PM
Try serving with an eastern fh grip for flat serves, as too stance platform-feet spread apart comfortably and stationary, on the finish the right foot is straight up and down, no weight on it at all, weight is fwd on left foot.

JackB1
12-17-2012, 02:28 PM
interesting. where do you play? the guys here with that kind of serve would get crushed easy.

How would you know that unless you were on the receiving end of my serve?
Sure it looks not so great, but the result still is pretty good. I get pretty good pace on my serve and can place it to body, wide or T. Nobody is teeing off on my serve, I promise you. I play in Atlanta 3.5 & 4.0 singles and A8 level doubles. Atlanta has more tennis players per square mile than almost anywhere, so the competition level is very good.

Don't be fooled by a few practice serves on video....it's better than it "appears".
You are more than welcome to look me up next time in Atlanta and see how you
can "crush my serve" :-). Where are you located anyway?

JackB1
12-17-2012, 02:35 PM
Jack,

Having watched your backhand issue also, I think I see a lack of stability in your feet on your backhand as well as on your service. It's like you're playing on mud (a figure of speech). I see that you try your utmost best to get the kinetic chain started, but it Seems to me that you can't push off enough to get the motion started. If you can get your feet stable/strong enough, so that the leg muscles can apply force without pushing the feet out of balance, I think you will improve a lot.

look....I'm 53 years old and doing the best I can :-)
if there are some things that are easy enough to change, I will try and change them. But most people here are a little unrealistic about what I can do given my age and lack of flexibility and practice time.

I agree with you that balance and lack of leg usage is one of my overall issues. I am working on that all the time and wish I could just press a button that says "engage core" :-). For some reason I feel more comfortable straight up and down and really have to make a point of bending and using my lower half more.

TimothyO
12-17-2012, 04:14 PM
interesting. where do you play? the guys here with that kind of serve would get crushed easy.

Jack's serve is easily 3.5/4.0 in Atlanta. In fact, he looks more consistent than a lot of guys I've seen.

One fellow I know who plays 4.0 Ultimate Tennis here in Atlanta has a serve that's weaker than Jack's and yet he often goes undefeated and wins his division. The reason? Consistency. He gets the serve in. Scott's serve looks terrible. His first serve is a fast and inaccurate waiter serve. His second is a dink waiter serve. NO proper form at all. And yet he wins. At least Jack has a semblance of good form.

Just because a serve might look slow doesn't make it easy to hit winners off of, especially at 3.5/4.0. Male players at this level imagine they're Djoker blasting returns...and if the serve never rises above net level odds are they're going to hit long or in the net. At 3.5/4.0 scooping low serves below net level and generating enough top spin to drive a winner in bounds ain't easy to do consistently.

Also, at low-mid level, placement is more imprtant than power since power at these levels is the enemy of consistency. But by learning how to place your serve you have a chance at providing opportunities for your opponent to cough up UEs.

Yes, there are 3.5/4.0 players who can serve really hard, I hit with two of them over the weekend to practice my return of serve. But the ones who can do that consistently are very rare.

TimothyO
12-17-2012, 04:18 PM
look....I'm 53 years old and doing the best I can :-)
if there are some things that are easy enough to change, I will try and change them. But most people here are a little unrealistic about what I can do given my age and lack of flexibility and practice time.

I agree with you that balance and lack of leg usage is one of my overall issues. I am working on that all the time and wish I could just press a button that says "engage core" :-). For some reason I feel more comfortable straight up and down and really have to make a point of bending and using my lower half more.

This is my gripe about a lot of tennis instructional videos (and many teaching pros for that matter).

Read any tennis book or watch most instruction videos on the web and the advice assumes you're 14 years old with well greased joints.

They're just not realistic for 80% of rec players who have day jobs and are middle aged (I'm 46 and have lots of battle damage from sports).

zapvor
12-17-2012, 04:24 PM
How would you know that unless you were on the receiving end of my serve?
Sure it looks not so great, but the result still is pretty good. I get pretty good pace on my serve and can place it to body, wide or T. Nobody is teeing off on my serve, I promise you. I play in Atlanta 3.5 & 4.0 singles and A8 level doubles. Atlanta has more tennis players per square mile than almost anywhere, so the competition level is very good.

Don't be fooled by a few practice serves on video....it's better than it "appears".
You are more than welcome to look me up next time in Atlanta and see how you
can "crush my serve" :-). Where are you located anyway?

interesting. i was projecting obviously. so defensive haha. by the way i didnt say i would crush you. i said guys here like that would get crushed. i know atl has a huge tennis population. i am in the TWMAC we are the biggest chapter by far. if you ever come up lets hit.

better yet since you are calling yourself out lets see those serves down the T body and wide.

zapvor
12-17-2012, 04:26 PM
Jack's serve is easily 3.5/4.0 in Atlanta. In fact, he looks more consistent than a lot of guys I've seen.

One fellow I know who plays 4.0 Ultimate Tennis here in Atlanta has a serve that's weaker than Jack's and yet he often goes undefeated and wins his division. The reason? Consistency. He gets the serve in. Scott's serve looks terrible. His first serve is a fast and inaccurate waiter serve. His second is a dink waiter serve. NO proper form at all. And yet he wins. At least Jack has a semblance of good form.

Just because a serve might look slow doesn't make it easy to hit winners off of, especially at 3.5/4.0. Male players at this level imagine they're Djoker blasting returns...and if the serve never rises above net level odds are they're going to hit long or in the net. At 3.5/4.0 scooping low serves below net level and generating enough top spin to drive a winner in bounds ain't easy to do consistently.

Also, at low-mid level, placement is more imprtant than power since power at these levels is the enemy of consistency. But by learning how to place your serve you have a chance at providing opportunities for your opponent to cough up UEs.

Yes, there are 3.5/4.0 players who can serve really hard, I hit with two of them over the weekend to practice my return of serve. But the ones who can do that consistently are very rare.
you make good points. i guess i am lucky in that 95% of players i play with are much better so for me that level isnt impressive.

JackB1
12-17-2012, 05:15 PM
interesting. i was projecting obviously. so defensive haha. by the way i didnt say i would crush you. i said guys here like that would get crushed. i know atl has a huge tennis population. i am in the TWMAC we are the biggest chapter by far. if you ever come up lets hit.

better yet since you are calling yourself out lets see those serves down the T body and wide.

where is the TWMAC?

JackB1
12-17-2012, 05:16 PM
interesting. i was projecting obviously. so defensive haha. by the way i didnt say i would crush you. i said guys here like that would get crushed. i know atl has a huge tennis population. i am in the TWMAC we are the biggest chapter by far. if you ever come up lets hit.

better yet since you are calling yourself out lets see those serves down the T body and wide.

when I get a chance I will show you, but for now I've got bigger fish to fry.

luvforty
12-17-2012, 05:17 PM
that serve sure won't be crushed at 4.0 ... but they look like your first serves... what about the 2nd serve?... that is typically the weak area at this level... and with the waiter position going, it's tough to hit effective 2nd serves.

JackB1
12-17-2012, 05:21 PM
you make good points. i guess i am lucky in that 95% of players i play with are much better so for me that level isnt impressive.

Until you see me play an entire match, you really are in no position to judge my level. There is SO much more to winning a match then blasting hard serves. The purpose of the thread was to get help for my serve (and for others who may have similar issues. Not to compare the level of tennis of my part of the country to yours.

JackB1
12-17-2012, 05:23 PM
that serve sure won't be crushed at 4.0 ... but they look like your first serves... what about the 2nd serve?... that is typically the weak area at this level... and with the waiter position going, it's tough to hit effective 2nd serves.

those weren't my first or second serves....maybe something in between.. Again....not the point here.

zapvor
12-17-2012, 05:35 PM
where is the TWMAC?

when I get a chance I will show you, but for now I've got bigger fish to fry.

Until you see me play an entire match, you really are in no position to judge my level. There is SO much more to winning a match then blasting hard serves. The purpose of the thread was to get help for my serve (and for others who may have similar issues. Not to compare the level of tennis of my part of the country to yours.

mid atlantic. dc/md/va

yea thats fine you got bigger fish i understand.

again i am judging based on what i see. of course its not a complete picture. and i didnt say the serve wins the match. i merely said those serves are not good enough against most of the players i see here. you were the one that brought up geography first going on about "oh i play in ATL we are most densely populated for tennis and your A8 league and etc etc"

its kind of funny on one hand you post video and seem receptive to criticism but then you are so sure you are at a certain level....

JackB1
12-17-2012, 06:59 PM
mid atlantic. dc/md/va

yea thats fine you got bigger fish i understand.

again i am judging based on what i see. of course its not a complete picture. and i didnt say the serve wins the match. i merely said those serves are not good enough against most of the players i see here. you were the one that brought up geography first going on about "oh i play in ATL we are most densely populated for tennis and your A8 league and etc etc"

its kind of funny on one hand you post video and seem receptive to criticism but then you are so sure you are at a certain level....

I play in organized leagues where you must win at a certain rate or you get dropped down a level, so yes I am sure of my level.

Yes I asked for criticism of my serve. You offered some useful comments about that....lets stick with that, thanks.

zapvor
12-17-2012, 07:01 PM
cool. you seem to really enjoy tennis so thats all it matters

Power Player
12-17-2012, 07:16 PM
One thing is when you get a ton of tips it is just too much to take in and you can overthink.

So the one tip that will really help is to hit your trophy pose and make sure that your palm is "waving" at the sidefence while you are tossing. When you swing to contact it will be a karate chop at the ball, and when you finish, the palm will be upside down and against the sidefence again.

Just work on that and dont worry about anything else yet. That has really helped me at least.

NickC
12-17-2012, 07:57 PM
I haven't read the whole thread but your knees are doing a funky movement pre-toss. You coil them a tad then let up on it and bend them again while you toss the ball.

Get rid of that.

JackB1
12-17-2012, 08:03 PM
One thing is when you get a ton of tips it is just too much to take in and you can overthink.

So the one tip that will really help is to hit your trophy pose and make sure that your palm is "waving" at the sidefence while you are tossing. When you swing to contact it will be a karate chop at the ball, and when you finish, the palm will be upside down and against the sidefence again.

Just work on that and dont worry about anything else yet. That has really helped me at least.

funny thing is that was the first and easiest thing to fix. I just concentrated on leading with the edge and then finishing with the palm facing the right fence. Now I am working on my stance and feet and and letting the racquet loop around behind me. I am pretty much reconstructing my entire serve. Everything feels weird now but I just gotta get in the reps.

Graphiteking
12-17-2012, 08:33 PM
Nice vid JackB1!! Your headed in the right direction. My advice would be to start on the simple things. Don't overload yourself. Trust me, if you do you'll get overwhelmed and discouraged. 1st- try looking up YouTube vids about the backscratch position. You can get more zip on the ball. 2nd- bend your knees. Power and consistency occurs when you get the legs involved. Start on those two things and I guarantee you will see a difference..

luvforty
12-17-2012, 08:53 PM
Really has the waiter position going.

good eyes... going through the video in slow motion, it was quite obvious that the back scratch position was never hit.

JohnB
12-18-2012, 01:33 AM
look....I'm 53 years old and doing the best I can :-)
if there are some things that are easy enough to change, I will try and change them. But most people here are a little unrealistic about what I can do given my age and lack of flexibility and practice time.

I agree with you that balance and lack of leg usage is one of my overall issues. I am working on that all the time and wish I could just press a button that says "engage core" :-). For some reason I feel more comfortable straight up and down and really have to make a point of bending and using my lower half more.

Let me explain a bit further. From what I have seen, especially with your backhand, your pretty flexible and it appears that you can't find enough support when pushing off. I have relatively high arches and tend to walk on the outsides of my feet. If I have shoes on which pushes me slightly inward while walking, I have noticed that I can move a lot better on court. Maybe in your case (obviously I don't know your foottype) it could be a matter of finding the right shoe(type).
In running shoes there's a lot of info on pronation and the sort of shoe that suits. In tennis however, it seems to be a matter of trail and error.

samarai
12-18-2012, 08:31 AM
Serve looks pretty good for your level. I mean at the 3.5-4 level, if you can get it in with decent pace, you'll win 75% of your points. Ive seen worse at the 4.0 level and yet their consistent ground game usually bails them out. Some people on here offer advice to address some of the hitches which will improve your serve but you are playing recreationally and not for the US OPen. BTW did I mention you have a good looking serve for your level.

JackB1
12-18-2012, 09:39 AM
good eyes... going through the video in slow motion, it was quite obvious that the back scratch position was never hit.

How can I also look at my videos in slow-mo? That would be very helpful.

JackB1
12-18-2012, 09:48 AM
Serve looks pretty good for your level. I mean at the 3.5-4 level, if you can get it in with decent pace, you'll win 75% of your points. Ive seen worse at the 4.0 level and yet their consistent ground game usually bails them out. Some people on here offer advice to address some of the hitches which will improve your serve but you are playing recreationally and not for the US OPen. BTW did I mention you have a good looking serve for your level.

Thanks for the compliments, but I do want to improve my serve. Yes it's "sufficient" for my level, but I don't want to stay at my level :-)

luvforty
12-18-2012, 09:55 AM
How can I also look at my videos in slow-mo? That would be very helpful.

just pause the youtube video, and press the right arrow

JackB1
12-18-2012, 12:15 PM
just pause the youtube video, and press the right arrow

so you are just quickly hitting play/pause/play/pause ??
that's not really slowmo

luvforty
12-18-2012, 12:17 PM
so you are just quickly hitting play/pause/play/pause ??
that's not really slowmo

no, every time you tap the right arrow (on your keyboard !), it advances a few frames

Power Player
12-18-2012, 12:22 PM
Alternatively, the windows media editor will slow mo your video as well.

toly
12-18-2012, 05:07 PM
ad side serves
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIGX4touWHc

deuce side
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTjmVNQzqpI

I can see how I a falling to the left instead of straight into the court.
that one thing I am working on.

I know my from isn't the greatest, but I can usually hold serve about 75% of the time and only double fault about 2, 3 times a match. Any suggestions on what I can improve would be great. Thanks.

Definition: The Target Plane is the plane that includes the tennis ball at contact and the imaginary target inside of the deuce or ad tennis court. This plane should be parallel to the perpendicular to the racquet string bed during the impact. The Target Plane basically determines the boll velocity direction. We shouldn’t change amount of the arm pronation, because it is almost impossible to control, in order to change boll’s direction. It’s much easier to alter direction of the Target Plane. Always keep the range of the arm pronation around 90°.

Let’s analyze Stosur and your arm actions before contact.

http://i47.tinypic.com/sglqht.jpg

In pic.1 Stosur longitude axis of the racquet is parallel to Target Plane. In pic.3 longitude axis is perpendicular to the Target plane. She rotates her racquet by using internal shoulder rotation (ISR) around 90°.

In pic.4 longitude axis of your racquet is already perpendicular to Target Plane. Thus you cannot use, before contact, internal shoulder rotation at all. That’s why you apply ISR after contact, but that doesn’t make any sense. With this technique you never are going to get powerful and consistent serve. :confused:

5263
12-18-2012, 05:17 PM
good eyes... going through the video in slow motion, it was quite obvious that the back scratch position was never hit.

thanks,
I felt that was the place to start, since can't do some of the other things till that
is adjusted.

Cheetah
12-18-2012, 05:22 PM
Definition: The Target Plane is the plane that includes the tennis ball at contact and the imaginary target inside of the deuce or ad tennis court. This plane should be parallel to the perpendicular to the racquet string bed during the impact. The Target Plane basically determines the boll velocity direction. We shouldn’t change amount of the arm pronation, because it is almost impossible to control, in order to change boll’s direction. It’s much easier to alter direction of the Target Plane. Always keep the range of the arm pronation around 90°.

Let’s analyze Stosur and your arm actions before contact.

http://i47.tinypic.com/sglqht.jpg

In pic.1 Stosur longitude axis of the racquet is parallel to Target Plane. In pic.3 longitude axis is perpendicular to the Target plane. She rotates her racquet by using internal shoulder rotation (ISR) around 90°.

In pic.4 longitude axis of your racquet is already perpendicular to Target Plane. Thus you cannot use, before contact, internal shoulder rotation at all. That’s why you apply ISR after contact, but that doesn’t make any sense. With this technique you never are going to get powerful and consistent serve. :confused:

sigh... Toly strikes again.

The pictures you posted of Stosur are of her hitting an advanced kick serve. That swing path, angle of attack, pronation, timing, contact point, body position and movement checkpoints are all different than what the OP is trying to achieve. He's trying to learn a flat serve or a standard slice serve.

He need pics of a regular federer flat or slice serve or something like that. Not a stosur kick serve. :roll:

5263
12-18-2012, 05:25 PM
its kind of funny on one hand you post video and seem receptive to criticism but then you are so sure you are at a certain level....

Hey, it's tough enough to watch yourself and tougher still to hear some of the
comments and how they come across. I say cut him some slack, even if he is
a bit sensitive about it, :)

JackB1, What part of Atl are you in? I might could get by and help you some if
you are interested. Either way, looking fine over all and just keep cleaning things
up a bit at the time...for a lifetime:)
Thats how it goes for all of us.

luvforty
12-18-2012, 05:26 PM
toly's analysis is still valid though.

Cheetah
12-18-2012, 05:33 PM
toly's analysis is still valid though.

yes maybe, but i wouldn't recommend copying the motions in that sequence. there's almost no torso rotation towards the net on a kick serve.

Cheetah
12-18-2012, 05:36 PM
we need one of charliefederer's pics. looking for one now...

Cheetah
12-18-2012, 05:44 PM
maybe some vids would help
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcjZ5r_YHV0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D4PfHpKbJSI

toly
12-18-2012, 05:48 PM
sigh... Toly strikes again.

The pictures you posted of Stosur are of her hitting an advanced kick serve. That swing path, angle of attack, pronation, timing, contact point, body position and movement checkpoints are all different than what the OP is trying to achieve.

http://i50.tinypic.com/200tpg6.jpg

Can you see white line next to red arrow? :twisted:

Cheetah
12-18-2012, 06:00 PM
http://i50.tinypic.com/200tpg6.jpg

Can you see white line next to red arrow? :twisted:

yes. can you see the angle of chest related to the net?

JackB1
12-18-2012, 08:21 PM
no, every time you tap the right arrow (on your keyboard !), it advances a few frames

OK....I was on my ipod. :-)

JackB1
12-18-2012, 08:28 PM
Hey, it's tough enough to watch yourself and tougher still to hear some of the
comments and how they come across. I say cut him some slack, even if he is
a bit sensitive about it, :)

JackB1, What part of Atl are you in? I might could get by and help you some if
you are interested. Either way, looking fine over all and just keep cleaning things
up a bit at the time...for a lifetime:)
Thats how it goes for all of us.

I am in N. Atlanta near the Marietta border (75 & Windy Hill).
Yes I would love some help. Drop me a line at jackbandel@gmail.com.

JackB1
12-18-2012, 08:37 PM
OK, I started reconstructing my serve....

I am now starting with a small rock back and then forward.
Dropping both arms down and looping the racquet around in
one continuous motion...no stopping or hitches. It's gonna feel
weird for a while, but I will stick with it. For now, my serving
motion looks better, but the results on the court are about the same right now as my old serve. I am having a harder time being as accurate as before, since the motion is longer and moving more...seems harder to hit my spots. I'll try and take another video soon to see if I'm on the right track.

TomT
12-18-2012, 08:57 PM
ad side serves
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIGX4touWHc

deuce side
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTjmVNQzqpI

I can see how I a falling to the left instead of straight into the court.
that one thing I am working on.

I know my from isn't the greatest, but I can usually hold serve about 75% of the time and only double fault about 2, 3 times a match. Any suggestions on what I can improve would be great. Thanks.Well, I read some of the posts. So ... whatever the better players or instructors said.

From my relatively inexperienced viewpoint, I think, from the vids, that you have a pretty nice looking serve. But that it could be much better, and that you seem to have the potential to make it much better.

Best of luck. Post more vids.

zapvor
12-18-2012, 09:43 PM
Hey, it's tough enough to watch yourself and tougher still to hear some of the
comments and how they come across. I say cut him some slack, even if he is
a bit sensitive about it, :)

JackB1, What part of Atl are you in? I might could get by and help you some if
you are interested. Either way, looking fine over all and just keep cleaning things
up a bit at the time...for a lifetime:)
Thats how it goes for all of us.

no you are right. i told him kudos for posting! most people on here are just all talk, and never post a video. i guess i found him over sensitive after posting video. i figure if he was posting he wouldnt be so sensitive. my bad

Cheetah
12-18-2012, 09:55 PM
can you take a video where it shows the actual contact and a little above?

JackB1
12-19-2012, 06:07 AM
can you take a video where it shows the actual contact and a little above?

yes I can try and raise the camera angle up next time

Power Player
12-19-2012, 11:38 AM
What do you guys think of this? I posted it here, because it may be helpful - it is a simple way to rebuild a serve.

I slowed down my serve bigtime like I would learn to play a complicated song on guitar basically. Went to a platform position. My first problem was my feet were moving out of platform and it was causing balance issues. So I made myself hold that base even though it felt awkward. Jack, this may possibly fix your balance issue.

Focused on the toss, just worked on placing the ball up there instead of throwing it.

Finally did not worry about the racquet much except making sure to have my palm facing out in the trophy pose.

This results in very few things to think about so i could achieve the clear mind I feel you need to serve well. I also was serving slower..not going for big pace, just consistency over and over.

It seems to be working so far. I will try and get in front of my camera this weekend to see how it looks.

Cheetah
12-19-2012, 11:47 AM
What do you guys think of this? I posted it here, because it may be helpful - it is a simple way to rebuild a serve.

I slowed down my serve bigtime like I would learn to play a complicated song on guitar basically. Went to a platform position. My first problem was my feet were moving out of platform and it was causing balance issues. So I made myself hold that base even though it felt awkward. Jack, this may possibly fix your balance issue.

Focused on the toss, just worked on placing the ball up there instead of throwing it.

Finally did not worry about the racquet much except making sure to have my palm facing out in the trophy pose.

This results in very few things to think about so i could achieve the clear mind I feel you need to serve well. I also was serving slower..not going for big pace, just consistency over and over.

It seems to be working so far. I will try and get in front of my camera this weekend to see how it looks.

Another way to do this is to stand with both feet pointed towards the net or maybe just slightly angled off the net like how they are at contact and hold that base and practice serving like that. That will help with coordinating balance and the rotation together and it's a good way to feel the arm being thrown around and up from the body rotation. It's pretty good. give it a try.

Power Player
12-19-2012, 11:52 AM
Even better. Ok, perfect I will try that. Ever serve like that in matches to groove it under pressure or is that taking it too far?

Cheetah
12-19-2012, 11:59 AM
Hmm... i don't know about that. You will lose a lot of power that way because the legs aren't involved and then you might try to rotate your hips faster but your legs will be locked so that's not good. You'll see when you try it. However when you try this you'll really get the feel of the torso rotation and arm working together. It highlights the 'whip' action and also makes you concentrate on the correct contact point more since you can't move and adjust your body using the legs on a less than ideal toss. You'll see the benefit when you try it. Hard to describe but it forces you to have more discipline kind of. You have to look up at the ball longer and it makes you hit up more and .... well... just check it out. :)

Power Player
12-19-2012, 12:03 PM
Ok I definitely will. It sounds like from that I will be able to get the feel and then go to a platform and be fine.

JackB1
12-19-2012, 12:12 PM
Another way to do this is to stand with both feet pointed towards the net or maybe just slightly angled off the net like how they are at contact and hold that base and practice serving like that. That will help with coordinating balance and the rotation together and it's a good way to feel the arm being thrown around and up from the body rotation. It's pretty good. give it a try.

could you do a quick video to show how this looks?

LeeD
12-19-2012, 12:18 PM
He's saying to serve from a platform stance in the basic position, feet pointed to the your own service line/sideline intersect.
DO NOT move your feet as you serve! This forces you to add pronation, slowing of the hand, and a faster swing to get the ball to bounce to the backboard after it's initial IN bounce. You need to work on those mechanics before adding the lean the hop of your backfoot.
You should be able to hit flat serves that bounce thigh high on the backboard without moving either feet with decent hand and wrist coordination.
So when you add your body movement forwards, it adds that extra 10-15% to your serve.
But it starts with your hand/wrist coordination, so take away your feet movement right now.

Cheetah
12-19-2012, 12:24 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixKYhPmhKGA&t=2m36s

LeeD
12-19-2012, 12:32 PM
I'm sure that last video has some meaning and practical application.
But like throwing a football to learn to serve, it's at the point of being too abstrat, too different than what you do on a serve.
At GoldenGatePark in SF, we worked all 2.5 -3.5 level players to serve as I mentioned, to give them the FEELING of the wrist hand hand movement, before we let them use their legs into the stroke. Practiced seperately, they can see the EFFECTS of each part, then put it together.
Practiced together, they don't know if their weakness is from lack of legs, lack of trunk turn, lack of strikepoint height, or lack of swing speed. Just too many parts for a basic serve that needs to be put together.
Starting facing the opponent, it adds a component you need to take out later...that component of TOO MUCH body rotation to reach trophy position.
Yes, some player's like Sampras and Fed use a bit of body rotation.
But Roddick uses little, in comparison, and can still serve an OK ball.

Power Player
12-19-2012, 12:37 PM
Regardless, I will try the drill as shown. If it does not work, I will go back to platform, but I see the benefits of the drill.

Cheetah
12-19-2012, 12:42 PM
According to the Bionic Serve vids Roddick has the most rotation. His legs are in a neutral position but he has a large differential between the hip and shoulder turn for a lot of torque.

In this vid roddick's back is faced towards the camera/net and makes contact with body fully facing the net.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9iN1qPaKtw

comared with Roger who seems to have less rotation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=InYd8IrFnkU

Besides, it's just a drill that helps identify some aspects of timing and coordination. Not suggesting you should practice this way routinely.

LeeD
12-19-2012, 12:46 PM
Different camera angle, so hard to tell.
Both guys seem to line their shoulders with their feet, almost exactly, at the trophy position.
Roddick faces more forward in the prep position.
Roddick doesn't pull his racket as far back in the initial move to trophy, then pulls it back just before swingin forward.
Roddick uses more vertical movement. Fed more forward into the court.

Cheetah
12-19-2012, 12:48 PM
Different camera angle, so hard to tell.
Both guys seem to line their shoulders with their feet, almost exactly, at the trophy position.
Roddick faces more forward in the prep position.
Roddick doesn't pull his racket as far back in the initial move to trophy, then pulls it back just before swingin forward.
Roddick uses more vertical movement. Fed more forward into the court.

yea. true.
....

JackB1
12-22-2012, 05:50 PM
filmed 1 game today playing singles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxFVws4If9s

still lots of work to do. I am letting the go down, back and up now, where previously it never went below my waist.

Cheetah
12-22-2012, 06:51 PM
still can't see contact on the serve

JackB1
12-22-2012, 06:53 PM
still can't see contact on the serve

I know :-(. Not much I can do at this particular court unless I use a different angle like from the side of the net post facing me serving.

JackB1
12-23-2012, 12:14 PM
Is this angle any better ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfalbX1sioQ

Cheetah
12-23-2012, 05:46 PM
what type of serve were you trying to go for in that vid?

JackB1
12-23-2012, 05:53 PM
what type of serve were you trying to go for in that vid?

just a middle of the road hard slice

JohnB
12-24-2012, 08:16 AM
Is this angle any better ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfalbX1sioQ

A lot of improvements!! Nice job!!
Fluid motion!! Far better kinetic chain!!

Mick3391
12-24-2012, 08:21 AM
ad side serves
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIGX4touWHc

deuce side
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTjmVNQzqpI

I can see how I a falling to the left instead of straight into the court.
that one thing I am working on.

I know my from isn't the greatest, but I can usually hold serve about 75% of the time and only double fault about 2, 3 times a match. Any suggestions on what I can improve would be great. Thanks.

No offense but you are just throwing, waiting, then hitting.

Try this, throw the ball up higher, and when it starts to drop jump and come over it. Your legs seem to be in cement and you aren't generating any power.

Again no offense but you asked.

toly
12-24-2012, 09:49 AM
just a middle of the road hard slice
This is very good slice serve http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUj4KnzF0cs.

Kvitova demonstrates completely different techniques compare to your slice serve, that’s why she creates huge speed and sidespin. Pay attention on forearm supination before arm pronation, otherwise you cannot pronate at all. :shock:

Cheetah
12-24-2012, 12:46 PM
Pay attention on forearm supination before arm pronation, otherwise you cannot pronate at all. :shock:

You don't need to supinate in order to pronate.
Nobody intentionally supinates on a serve.

JackB1
12-24-2012, 12:47 PM
Okay guys I need some advice here. I need to figure out a plan of attack on my serve. There are many things I need to fix but I can only handle one or two at a time. I realized I need to be realistic about what I can actually fix given my age and physical limitations. I will edit this thread later and list all the fixes I need to make.

5263
12-24-2012, 12:52 PM
Okay guys I need some advice here. I need to figure out a plan of attack on my serve. There are many things I need to fix but I can only handle one or two at a time. I realized I need to be realistic about what I can actually fix given my age and physical limitations. I will edit this thread later and list all the fixes I need to make.

I agree, focus on 1 thing at a time unless the are very related.

I suggest to correct the waiter position in conjunction with improving the
shoulder turn.
good luck

toly
12-24-2012, 01:08 PM
You don't need to supinate in order to pronate.
Nobody intentionally supinates on a serve.
This is again pure speculation!!! Can you provide any proof that supports your statements???????:evil:

arche3
12-24-2012, 01:24 PM
Okay guys I need some advice here. I need to figure out a plan of attack on my serve. There are many things I need to fix but I can only handle one or two at a time. I realized I need to be realistic about what I can actually fix given my age and physical limitations. I will edit this thread later and list all the fixes I need to make.

Start fresh. Relearn everything. Will take about a year. You do not need to be a kid to learn again. Your fit enough. Its the old wrong habits that will take a lot of reps to erase.

TomT
12-24-2012, 01:28 PM
filmed 1 game today playing singles
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxFVws4If9s

still lots of work to do. I am letting the go down, back and up now, where previously it never went below my waist.

Is this angle any better ?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RfalbX1sioQThanks for the vids. Vids are always good. Good camera angle.

Your game looks pretty good. You'd probably beat me, but I think it would be somewhat competitive and fun. If you're ever in Fort Lauderdale and need a hitting partner or a match, send me an email.

Some helpful comments and vids on the serve so far. The thing that stands out the most to me, as some other posters have mentioned, is that it could be more fluid. Actually that last serving vid did look more fluid. Whatever you're doing seems to be in the right direction.

I've been working on getting more arch (getting my chest to point more up). It seems to be having the effect of ensuring that I look up, and it's also producing higher bouncing serves. That is, more easy power. Not sure why this is so. Maybe it's causing me to rotate a bit more without thinking about it.

Anyway, thanks JackB1, and to all commenters. This thread has been very informative for me.

5263
12-24-2012, 01:36 PM
Start fresh. Relearn everything. Will take about a year. You do not need to be a kid to learn again. Your fit enough. Its the old wrong habits that will take a lot of reps to erase.

I don't think this makes too much sense given his serve in not that bad at all unless
you want to compare him to the best players :???:
Nice looking rec serve over all and trending towards some improvements
should be a super way for him to go imo.

Cheetah
12-24-2012, 01:43 PM
This is again pure speculation!!! Can you provide any proof that supports your statements???????:evil:

I cite my experience in playing all my life, taking many lessons over the years, talking to fellow players, reading numerous books, reading forums and other tennis instruction sites, being a member on several paid lesson sites and watching uncountable video lessons on the serve and have never read or heard anyone say 'supinate on the serve and then pronate'.

...except for your in posts.

Cheetah
12-24-2012, 01:46 PM
Okay guys I need some advice here. I need to figure out a plan of attack on my serve. There are many things I need to fix but I can only handle one or two at a time. I realized I need to be realistic about what I can actually fix given my age and physical limitations. I will edit this thread later and list all the fixes I need to make.

I don't see any physical limitations. Overall not that bad but a couple of major problems there if you want a decent serve.

I'd say consider rebuilding from the beginning. The pancake / waiter thing is a big issue. Serving that way inhibits many other components.

Take a look at FYB progressions, essential tennis' 'free serve course' and vitualtennisacademy. all free.

JackB1
12-24-2012, 01:52 PM
Okay guys I need some advice here. I need to figure out a plan of attack on my serve. There are many things I need to fix but I can only handle one or two at a time. I realized I need to be realistic about what I can actually fix given my age and physical limitations. I will edit this thread later and list all the fixes I need to make.

Guys, I am not going to rebuild my serve. I just want to tweak it to make it a little better and more consistent. I play year round leagues and cannot afford to take 3 steps back to eventually get 4 steps forward. I am never going to get much more racquet drop or get to the same trophy position as the pro...that's never going to happen. So please help me focus on things I CAN fix.

As I see it, here are things I CAN possibly fix. Please help me put them in order that I should work on them, without hindering my current serve too much...

-more fluidity...no stops, pauses or hitches
-ball toss more deliberate and smooth
-ball toss more into the court and to the right
-more stable platform throughout...no "happy feet"
-slightly more racquet drop...flexibility will cause limits here
-more usage of legs and knees....again, this has limits
-no "waiter position". Lead with the edge and don't let palm face upward
-more pronation...Finnish with racquet on left side with palm facing right fence
-stop falling to the left...land on left foot straight ahead in balanced position
-contact point with arm fully extended, inside the court.
-more left hip lean into court at trophy pose
-keep tossing up moving until straight up
-more cartwheel motion with shoulders changing places
-keep chest facing sideways longer
-better trophy pose, with right shoulder much lower than left...hip leaning into court

please help me put these in a working order of importance. Thanks!

Power Player
12-24-2012, 02:12 PM
Wow thats so much to think about..cheetahs tip on feet forward and serving really helps. Try that first. Get rid of that waiters tray for good because it will mess your arm up.

toly
12-24-2012, 06:35 PM
I cite my experience in playing all my life, taking many lessons over the years, talking to fellow players, reading numerous books, reading forums and other tennis instruction sites, being a member on several paid lesson sites and watching uncountable video lessons on the serve and have never read or heard anyone say 'supinate on the serve and then pronate'.

...except for your in posts.

Here is OP & Pros Racquet Orientation Comparison

http://i48.tinypic.com/2h4m6x4.jpg

Before arm pronation phase of the serve pros always bring the racquet so the racquet string bed is parallel to the target plane and at contact racquet string bed is perpendicular to target plane. This technique allows them to use arm pronation the most efficient way. The angular path of arm pronation would be around 90°.

In case of OP serve, his racquet orientation is completely wrong, due to before arm pronation phase the racquet’s string bed is already almost perpendicular to target plane and he cannot use arm pronation with angular path around 90°, but only about 10°, see picture below.

http://i50.tinypic.com/k30me9.jpg

So, what is wrong with OP slice serve?

In order to use internal shoulder rotation (ISR) the most efficient way he has to use external shoulder rotation (ESR) as much as possible. I believe he does that very well. BTW there is no waiter’s tray at all, see frames #1 and #2, so it isn’t the problem.

He has only one problem that string bed before pronation is already perpendicular to target plane.

IMO, the forearm supination is the only motion that can provide additional 80° of the racquet turn and put it in proper position – parallel to target plane. If you know any different way to do it, just tell us please.

Next picture demonstrates very clearly proper racquet’s orientations.:)

http://i47.tinypic.com/x5y53s.jpg

Cheetah
12-24-2012, 07:09 PM
BTW there is no waiter’s tray at all, see frames #1 and #2, so it isn’t the problem.


Image #1 shows he's in a waiter's tray position.

edit: the pro pic you posted is a kick serve and not a slice serve. different mechanics. different contact postion. different amount and timing of pronation, different swing path, different body position. not applicable to this discussion.

JackB1
12-24-2012, 07:28 PM
Toly, thanks for the great analysis. I do think I still have slight "waiters tray" in frame 1, but its not as bad as it was in the first set of videos, so that is promising. I am continuing to work on that. My palm is not facing 100% upwards, but about 45%.

And yes, I believe that diagram is of a kick serve, which I am not working on right now, so its not exactly what I need right now, but I do appreciate it. You can tell how the ball was tossed behind his head.

But back to your point of pronation...it looks like there is some pronation going from frame 3 to frame 4. So what exactly is my issue here, in terms I can understand and try to fix? Am am pronating too early and not enough? What steps do I take to fix? Again, be realistic about what's "fixable".

JackB1
12-24-2012, 08:03 PM
I don't see any physical limitations. Overall not that bad but a couple of major problems there if you want a decent serve.

I'd say consider rebuilding from the beginning. The pancake / waiter thing is a big issue. Serving that way inhibits many other components.

Take a look at FYB progressions, essential tennis' 'free serve course' and vitualtennisacademy. all free.

there is a GREAT video on serve at virtualtennisacademy call "The 1st Serve" Just watched it and it was very helpful. Highly recommended. Thanks Cheetah!

Cheetah
12-24-2012, 08:28 PM
there is a GREAT video on serve at virtualtennisacademy call "The 1st Serve" Just watched it and it was very helpful. Highly recommended. Thanks Cheetah!

yea the 1st serve slice video right? good site.

JackB1
12-24-2012, 08:53 PM
yea the 1st serve slice video right? good site.

yes. I love the way they teach on that site with the checkpoints of positions you should hit.

question for all...

should I stick with an "abbreviated" motion where I go straight to an "L" position like I did in the 1st 2 videos (like Azarenka/Roddick) or should I let the racquet swing down and back first, like I did in the last video? I know this is personal preference, but I cannot decide which way to go. Since switching to the longer backswing, my toss is not as consistent, since there are more moving parts at the start. On the other hand, it's got more flow that way. Any opinions??? thanks

here's Azarenka with the "abbreviated" motion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHVtA7OP-TE (interesting point...NO GRUNTING!!!)

here is Brent Able with the fuller backswing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeZp90h-Ar8

toly
12-25-2012, 02:42 PM
Toly, thanks for the great analysis. I do think I still have slight "waiters tray" in frame 1, but its not as bad as it was in the first set of videos, so that is promising. I am continuing to work on that. My palm is not facing 100% upwards, but about 45%.

And yes, I believe that diagram is of a kick serve, which I am not working on right now, so its not exactly what I need right now, but I do appreciate it. You can tell how the ball was tossed behind his head.

But back to your point of pronation...it looks like there is some pronation going from frame 3 to frame 4. So what exactly is my issue here, in terms I can understand and try to fix? Am am pronating too early and not enough? What steps do I take to fix? Again, be realistic about what's "fixable".

Here is OP & Kvitova Racquet Orientation Comparison

http://i49.tinypic.com/15d75ag.jpg

Let’s compare racquet’s orientations of yours and Kvitova’s slice serve, see also original video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUj4KnzF0cs.

In pic.1 longitude axis of Kvitova racquet is directed to deuce court, but you directed it to ad cord. The angular difference in azimuth orientation is around 70°.

In pic.4 you and Kvitova have the same racquet orientation. Thus, she can pronate her arm around 90° but you can pronate only 20°. That’s why your ball bounces two times before it reaches the fence. I’m old man and still can serve (sometimes) with one bounce.

In pic.1 you must apply proper amount of forearm supination to direct longitude axis of the racquet into duce court. Do exactly what Kvitova does.
This is not big deal and can be easily fixed!!!:)

Power Player
12-25-2012, 02:54 PM
In pic 1 is it because the chest is not open towards the court yet? I think the act of opening the chest helps set the racquet on edge correctly but i could be wrong.

Cheetah
12-25-2012, 04:52 PM
In pic.4 you and Kvitova have the same racquet orientation.

Sort of. Not really. In pic 4 Kvitova is making contact where you should be which is between the head and the shoulder. OP is making contact to the right side of his body. Also OP is in full radial deviation there and the racquet is pointing almost straight up as opposed to Kvitova who is making contact in a more neutral wrist position with more angle between racquet and forearm for leverage. OP has a lot less leverage in his contact position.

JackB1
12-25-2012, 05:03 PM
Here is OP & Kvitova Racquet Orientation Comparison

You must apply proper amount of forearm supination to direct longitude axis of the racquet into duce court. Do exactly what Kvitova does.
This is not big deal and can be easily fixed!!!:)

Huh? Can you rephrase in easier to understand terms? I wish I could do "exactly what Kvitova does" :-). I wish it was that easy.

BTW, I CAN hit the fence on one bounce on a serve. Not all the time, but I can do it.

directionals
12-25-2012, 05:09 PM
-more fluidity...no stops, pauses or hitches
-ball toss more deliberate and smooth
-ball toss more into the court and to the right
-more stable platform throughout...no "happy feet"
-slightly more racquet drop...flexibility will cause limits here
-more usage of legs and knees....again, this has limits
-no "waiter position". Lead with the edge and don't let palm face upward
-more pronation...Finnish with racquet on left side with palm facing right fence
-stop falling to the left...land on left foot straight ahead in balanced position
-contact point with arm fully extended, inside the court.
-more left hip lean into court at trophy pose
-keep tossing up moving until straight up
-more cartwheel motion with shoulders changing places
-keep chest facing sideways longer
-better trophy pose, with right shoulder much lower than left...hip leaning into court

please help me put these in a working order of importance. Thanks!

I'd say work on removing the waiter tray and then make sure you lead with the edge of the raquet when you swing up and towards the ball, and then pronate. Make sure you practice the pronation drill in charliefedererer's post. You can even shadow swing that at home(choke up on the racquet) Forget about pushing up with your legs now. You can always add the legs later. This is coming from a guy who had similar issues a few months ago.

Also make sure you study coach McCraw's pronation drill video. Watch the motion frame by frame

toly
12-25-2012, 08:01 PM
Huh? Can you rephrase in easier to understand terms? I wish I could do "exactly what Kvitova does" :-). I wish it was that easy.

BTW, I CAN hit the fence on one bounce on a serve. Not all the time, but I can do it.

Rotate the forearm (forearm supination) according to the red arrow, see pic.1, until you reach the position #2 in pic.2.

The forearm supination is very easy motion, so you shouldn’t have any problem. Good luck. :)

http://i46.tinypic.com/14b2l2u.jpg

JackB1
12-25-2012, 08:12 PM
^^^
ok thanks...I'll work on it.

Cheetah
12-25-2012, 08:33 PM
^^^
ok thanks...I'll work on it.

no. don't do that unless you want your serve percent to go down to 15% not to mention less pace and less control.
crazy talk.

JackB1
12-26-2012, 08:16 AM
no. don't do that unless you want your serve percent to go down to 15% not to mention less pace and less control.
crazy talk.

Don't do what? Were you being serious?

toly
12-26-2012, 09:54 AM
^^^
ok thanks...I'll work on it.
The arm pronation is very strong and fast motion, that’s why it is very dangerous for body. Be very careful with it, not too many serves per training session. See also http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6h25e_preventing-rotator-cuff-injury_sport#.UNs3Im_AeSo :confused:

Chas Tennis
12-26-2012, 12:54 PM
The Federer serve video has supination that appears in the backswing. Probably this motion stretches the pronator muscles. Easy to see on this serve with high speed video, a good viewing angle and favorable lighting.
http://www.optimumtennis.net/tennis-serve-lesson.htm

This early 1995 research discusses contributing joint motions including internal shoulder rotation and mentions briefly supination as a minor and difficult to observe component of some observed serves (even with arm markers). Pg 440.
http://www.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/internationalexeter/documents/iss/Elliot_et_al__1995.pdf

Link with stretch-shortening discussion, some injury info briefly explained.
http://www.coachesinfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=350:tennis-highspeedserves-article&catid=95:tennis-general-articles&Itemid=173#se

toly
12-26-2012, 05:42 PM
The Federer serve video has supination that appears in the backswing. Probably this motion stretches the pronator muscles. Easy to see on this serve with high speed video, a good viewing angle and favorable lighting.
http://www.optimumtennis.net/tennis-serve-lesson.htm

This early 1995 research discusses contributing joint motions including internal shoulder rotation and mentions briefly supintation as a minor and difficult to observe component of some observed serves (even with arm markers). Pg 440.
http://www.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/internationalexeter/documents/iss/Elliot_et_al__1995.pdf

Link with stretch-shortening discussion, some injury info briefly explained.
http://www.coachesinfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=350:tennis-highspeedserves-article&catid=95:tennis-general-articles&Itemid=173#se

Forearm supination should be used to provide outgoing ball’s direction and make best use of arm pronation. We have to employ it during preparation phase of the serve, before arm pronation.

Here is Roger Federer serve.

http://i48.tinypic.com/2z66urp.jpg

In pic.1 longitude axis of the racquet is parallel to upper arm’s axis. In pic.2 these two axes are perpendicular to each other. IMO that can be done by using forearm supination only, right? :confused:

JackB1
12-26-2012, 06:31 PM
The Federer serve video has supination that appears in the backswing. Probably this motion stretches the pronator muscles. Easy to see on this serve with high speed video, a good viewing angle and favorable lighting.
http://www.optimumtennis.net/tennis-serve-lesson.htm

This early 1995 research discusses contributing joint motions including internal shoulder rotation and mentions briefly supintation as a minor and difficult to observe component of some observed serves (even with arm markers). Pg 440.
http://www.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/internationalexeter/documents/iss/Elliot_et_al__1995.pdf

Link with stretch-shortening discussion, some injury info briefly explained.
http://www.coachesinfo.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=350:tennis-highspeedserves-article&catid=95:tennis-general-articles&Itemid=173#se

do you know anything about the ebook on serve at optimumtennis?
it's $40 I think. That seems like a lot for just an e-book.

psv255
12-26-2012, 06:31 PM
In pic.1 longitude axis of the racquet is parallel to upper arm’s axis. In pic.2 these two axes are perpendicular to each other. IMO that can be done by using forearm supination only, right? :confused:

You have correctly identified a small degree of supination prior to the upward swing, but it doesn't have much instructional value. It is not something one would focus on when instructing or demonstrating the serve, as excessive supination at that stage closes the racquet face too much and may lead to injury.

The supination we observe is a consequence of a relaxed/passive arm and upward thrust with legs/hip rotation, setting up the racquet drop.

Power Player
12-26-2012, 06:47 PM
Jack, the stuff toly is talking about is nuances. You will not be able to think about that stuff during the serve. It will just throw you off.

The link Charlie federer put up about pronation. Watch that and sit there and copy it. The coach shows the high elbow and an easy drill that should lock it in.

I think a lot of things after that may be fixed if you focus on bringing your left hand into the center of your body when you swing to contact. It will fix your balance and some of these subtleties people are talking about will just fall into place. It is better to keep it simple.

Cheetah
12-26-2012, 06:48 PM
nobody teaches intentional supination on a serve. from the tropy pose you just go up with elbow high and let the racquet drop on the right side. There are no coaches that teach or videos that say '... and then you supinate here'. You'll never see that anywhere. everything happens on it's own if you are loose and have decent form. The foream goes into that position because it's relaxed and the racquet is dragging as you go up so it stretches the muscles. If you 'supinate' as toly says then you won't be relaxed and loose, it won't prevent the waiter's tray and you will have more control problems and less pace.

and the fed pic is not a slice serve. it's a topspin serve or maybe a lazy kick attempt. not the same body position, racquet position, swing path etc etc

Chas Tennis
12-26-2012, 07:19 PM
do you know anything about the ebook on serve at optimumtennis?
it's $40 I think. That seems like a lot for just an e-book.

I don't know about that e-book. I recently found the website and think that some parts of the discussion were clearly expressed.

The biomechanical tennis researchers B. Elliott and D. Knudson have reasonably priced tennis books that I look to as references.

JackB1
12-26-2012, 07:35 PM
Jack, the stuff toly is talking about is nuances. You will not be able to think about that stuff during the serve. It will just throw you off.

The link Charlie federer put up about pronation. Watch that and sit there and copy it. The coach shows the high elbow and an easy drill that should lock it in.

I think a lot of things after that may be fixed if you focus on bringing your left hand into the center of your body when you swing to contact. It will fix your balance and some of these subtleties people are talking about will just fall into place. It is better to keep it simple.

I know and I do plan on keeping it simple. I am going to practice the half swing pronation drill over and over for awhile. That and getting rid of the "waiters tray" are my 1st priorities.

Graphiteking
12-26-2012, 07:39 PM
I forgot what this tread was about. With all this scientific explanation of supination and bio mechanical researchers, blah, blah, blah. Is it even fun anymore??

Power Player
12-26-2012, 07:51 PM
I forgot what this tread was about. With all this scientific explanation of supination and bio mechanical researchers, blah, blah, blah. Is it even fun anymore??

Agreed. Nobody thinks this way to learn sports. It is just convoluted nonsense that doesnt help anybody. Simple tips are far more effective.

JackB1
12-26-2012, 08:20 PM
Agreed. Nobody thinks this way to learn sports. It is just convoluted nonsense that doesnt help anybody. Simple tips are far more effective.

the serving instructional videos on virtualtennisacademy are really good and simple. Glad someone clued me in to them :-)

Cheetah
12-26-2012, 08:25 PM
the serving instructional videos on virtualtennisacademy are really good and simple. Glad someone clued me in to them :-)

that someone would be me.
you could also practice trying to hit the ball with your frame like you are trying to knife the ball in half or try to serve it in by hitting it with the frame.

Chas Tennis
12-26-2012, 09:07 PM
There have been a lot of replies using terms such as 'relaxed muscles' & 'relaxed arm' - stretching muscles, etc.. For example, Cheetah Reply #127. These are sensations or feelings. Is this just the normal stretch-shortening cycle concept?

Let's say that the muscles are relaxed, get stretched and then shorten using the 'stretch' shortening cycle and no deliberate active shortening was ever applied to that muscle during the motion. Maybe this gives the sensation of a 'loose arm' or 'relaxed arm' as opposed to the sensation of 'arming' or 'muscling' the ball. ?

Some muscle research says or implies that if muscle shortening is based on stretch(passive) that it is capable of being faster than if we deliberately, actively contract the muscle. Is this just a current research issue or is it now the view of most biomechanical researchers? Reference?

Interesting recent research involving the basic nature of the spring in the muscle-tendon system, Titin.
http://www.umag.ca/issue/spring-2012/article/clash-titin

Is active muscle shortening slow and passive muscle shortening fast?

toly
12-26-2012, 10:58 PM
nobody teaches intentional supination on a serve.

Here are examples where coaches recommend supination.



http://i39.tinypic.com/308kv0j.jpg

Not only is the racquet well to the right side to set up pronation, all the pros set up the later pronation movement by supinating at the deepest racquet drop. So in that sequence of Stosur serving, in pic 1 she has supinated so that you can see the full stringbed as a sign of that supination - if she had just reached full racquet drop without supinating, the string bed would be harder to see - as it is harder to see in pics 7, 8, 9 where the supination has reverted to a neutral phase, so that rather than seeing the wide expanse of string bed, you see just the edge of the frame.

You can see the same supination in the Sampras racquet drop in pic 12:
http://news.tennis365.net/lesson/img/pro_gif/sampras_serve_04_0402.jpg
(As well as clear alignment of the racquet along the right side of the body - no back scratch in the middle of the back here.)
Most consider supinating at racquet drop to be an "advanced" technique.

But supinating at maximum racquet drop sets up a "feeling of tension" that cannot be sustained as you start to "throw the butt of the racquet at the ball" - you've already started to pronate as you go from supinated to neutral.
And that makes it easier to continue from neutral to pronation.

You may want to try this - supinating in the racquet drop - to see if it helps you to subsequently pronate.


I am being misquoted here. It should say SUPINATING the forearm so the back of the hand is facing toward the ear, then extending the arm upward with the triceps and pronating, still upwards, on contact (Put the hand in front of your face; if you look inside your palm you supinate - if you look at the back of your hand, you pronate). There is no way a person can pronate and then pronate again. If you observe carefully the top pros, the first supination action occurs, in most cases, when the racquet drops behind the player's back. Great servers like Kramer, Gonzalez, later on Newcombe, and modernly Roddick, Federer, Serena, practically everyone at the top level uses this particular aspect on the serve to a larger or smaller extent.

toly
12-26-2012, 11:33 PM
You have correctly identified a small degree of supination prior to the upward swing, but it doesn't have much instructional value. It is not something one would focus on when instructing or demonstrating the serve, as excessive supination at that stage closes the racquet face too much and may lead to injury.

The supination we observe is a consequence of a relaxed/passive arm and upward thrust with legs/hip rotation, setting up the racquet drop.

Lack of forearm supination in OP serve doesn’t allow him to use arm pronation. That’s why he loses around 50% of RHS. Proof can be found in tread http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=361610. So, forearm supination is very important!!!:shock:

Cheetah
12-27-2012, 12:40 AM
Lack of forearm supination in OP serve doesn’t allow him to use arm pronation. That’s why he loses around 50% of RHS. Proof can be found in tread http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=361610. So, forearm supination is very important!!!:shock:

Where did you get 50% from? Previously you said pronation only contributes 5%.

Pete's racquet has momentum between images 7 - 10. His arm and wrist are relaxed. When he is in position 10 his body goes up causing the racquet to go down which was already falling due to gravity. He's not pulling the racquet down. He's not 'supinating' his forearm. He's not doing anything. The racquet falls and his body goes up.

The OP doesn't get into the image 12 position not because he doesn't supinate but because he is not meeting all the prerequisite checkpoints leading up to and after the trophy pose. If he starts to supinate intentionally it's not going to help.

Power Player
12-27-2012, 06:11 AM
I agree. It is just like the whole "pat the dog" and windshield wiper thing. If you do everything else right, you naturally do those things.

You most likely will supinate just from pulling that left shoulder down when tucking your left hand into the middle of your body during the swing to contact.

toly
12-27-2012, 08:45 AM
Where did you get 50% from? Previously you said pronation only contributes 5%.

Pete's racquet has momentum between images 7 - 10. His arm and wrist are relaxed. When he is in position 10 his body goes up causing the racquet to go down which was already falling due to gravity. He's not pulling the racquet down. He's not 'supinating' his forearm. He's not doing anything. The racquet falls and his body goes up.

The OP doesn't get into the image 12 position not because he doesn't supinate but because he is not meeting all the prerequisite checkpoints leading up to and after the trophy pose. If he starts to supinate intentionally it's not going to help.

Previously I said that forearm pronation contributes 5%, but arm pronation supplies much more, see http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=361610. :twisted:

Your description of Sampras serve is pure speculation. So far no one has been able to measure the activity of each muscle during the serve. Thus, we do not know what muscle actions are active or passive. :evil:

Power Player
12-27-2012, 09:09 AM
Im not an engineer or a "delicate" tennis player (whatever that means), but focusing on feeling that racquet drop and pulling my left hand towards the middle of my chest while swinging up has cured and pronation issues I had.

I know because improper technique in that aspect would bother my wrist. I also get really good pace and spin just by getting that racquet drop proper.

This is a lot like the use of the left hand in a forehand. People will say to aim the buttcap at the ball and all kinds of stuff, but just having proper balance and using your left hand actively in the swing to do so fixes a lot of issues.

psv255
12-27-2012, 09:44 AM
Lack of forearm supination in OP serve doesn’t allow him to use arm pronation. That’s why he loses around 50% of RHS. Proof can be found in tread http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=361610. So, forearm supination is very important!!!:shock:

Anatoly, we all understand that supination is important. But when you want someone to to be able to pronate, you don't tell them to intentionally supinate! You can give them an easier tip that enables them to accomplish this, but it has to be along the lines of what Power Player and Cheetah have already said, not just "supinate more."

So you have established that OP isn't able to pronate because he isn't supinating. But you might be pointing out a minor point in a bigger problem in technique.

Power Player
12-27-2012, 09:46 AM
Anatoly, we all understand that supination is important. But when you want someone to to be able to pronate, you don't tell them to intentionally supinate! You can give them an easier tip that enables them to accomplish this, but it has to be along the lines of what Power Player and Cheetah have already said, not just "supinate more."

So you have established that OP isn't able to pronate because he isn't supinating. But you might be pointing out a minor point in a bigger problem in technique.

Exactly, well said. I have never met a great tennis player that can describe how he hits like some of the people on these boards.

zapvor
12-29-2012, 09:25 AM
i see this thread has gone off track

JackB1
12-29-2012, 09:47 AM
i see this thread has gone off track

yes it has. Can we please end the nonsensical debate about pronation and supination. Yes it's important, but please take that stuff to another thread.
That's not what this thread is about. Its about what practical steps I (or anyone else like me) can take to improve their serve.

As far as my serve goes, I have begun taking some small steps and will post more video soon to see if I am on the right track. Some of the small adjustments I am attempting to make:

-keep the motion moving and flowing...no stops or hitches.
-better platform to start...no "happy feet"
-more consistent and smoother toss...into the court to the right more
-keep the palm downward...no "waiters tray"
-more "cartwheel" motion
-lead with the edge more and pronate into the ball more

this is plenty to work on and I think will get me moving in the right direction.
one thing I am REALLY struggling with is getting more racquet drop. I don't know if its a lack of flexibility, but it's really tough for me to get my elbow up high. I may just have to accept this isn't too fixable?

ShoeShiner
12-29-2012, 10:34 AM
. . .
http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/step12_4.html
. . .

Thank you for a good link.

psv255
12-29-2012, 10:35 AM
yes it has. Can we please end the nonsensical debate about pronation and supination. Yes it's important, but please take that stuff to another thread.
...
this is plenty to work on and I think will get me moving in the right direction.
one thing I am REALLY struggling with is getting more racquet drop. I don't know if its a lack of flexibility, but it's really tough for me to get my elbow up high. I may just have to accept this isn't too fixable?

Sorry for contributing to the derailment.

As for racquet drop, don't concern yourself with getting your elbow high.
A better image to keep in mind might be leading with the elbow; that would put your arm/racquet in a better position leading up to contact. At this point, looking at your first videos frame by frame, what's really hindering your racquet drop is that the elbow isn't coming forward before the hand&racquet (I guess this is "waiter's tray"?).

Can't tell how relaxed you are, but stay as loose as you possibly can.

JackB1
12-29-2012, 10:39 AM
Sorry for contributing to the derailment.

As for racquet drop, don't concern yourself with getting your elbow high.
A better image to keep in mind might be leading with the elbow; that would put your arm/racquet in a better position leading up to contact. At this point, looking at your first videos frame by frame, what's really hindering your racquet drop is that the elbow isn't coming forward before the hand&racquet (I guess this is "waiter's tray"?).

Can't tell how relaxed you are, but stay as loose as you possibly can.

I will try leading with the elbow more. Being relaxed is definitely key and something I struggle with.

TomT
12-29-2012, 08:39 PM
... this thread is ... about what practical steps I (or anyone else like me) can take to improve their serve.

As far as my serve goes, I have begun taking some small steps and will post more video soon to see if I am on the right track. Some of the small adjustments I am attempting to make:

-keep the motion moving and flowing...no stops or hitches.
-better platform to start...no "happy feet"
-more consistent and smoother toss...into the court to the right more
-keep the palm downward...no "waiters tray"
-more "cartwheel" motion
-lead with the edge more and pronate into the ball moreIn addition to the considerations you mention above, one of the things I've been doing that has increased both the consistency and speed of my serve is focusing on relaxing both my grip and my wrist. Focusing mainly on a very relaxed wrist snap.

I'll try to remember to post some vids of what I'm talking about.

JackB1
12-30-2012, 08:02 AM
is there any secret or key getting a deeper racquet drop?
Is it a flexibility issue? If 60 yr old Brent Able can do it, why can't I?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs1JF8QTb4k&feature=share&list=PLPyVWxXxx3LHDVLg5r4jnrmEykMHt3-Yk

luvforty
12-30-2012, 08:13 AM
is there any secret or key getting a deeper racquet drop?
Is it a flexibility issue? If 60 yr old Brent Able can do it, why can't I?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs1JF8QTb4k&feature=share&list=PLPyVWxXxx3LHDVLg5r4jnrmEykMHt3-Yk

it's not flexibility.

Jack you are trying to swing up face on... that's causing the waiter tray position and you can't drop it deep.

start the swing edge on. this will allow you to drop deep.

forget about the tennis serve for a second... just scratch your back as if it's itching... notice how you use the edge instead of the face.

JackB1
12-30-2012, 08:58 AM
it's not flexibility.

Jack you are trying to swing up face on... that's causing the waiter tray position and you can't drop it deep.

start the swing edge on. this will allow you to drop deep.

forget about the tennis serve for a second... just scratch your back as if it's itching... notice how you use the edge instead of the face.

I feel like I am not doing the waiter tray anymore...I am keeping the palm from facing upwards, but still have a hard time getting that racquet to drop down my back. I'll try and take some more video today to see what I'm still doing wrong.

arche3
12-30-2012, 09:26 AM
I feel like I am not doing the waiter tray anymore...I am keeping the palm from facing upwards, but still have a hard time getting that racquet to drop down my back. I'll try and take some more video today to see what I'm still doing wrong.

I stopped your video in the drop. Your not doing waiter tray. It looks pretty deep too so all in all its good and smooth. If you bend your knees more now and as you lift the racket will drop more. If you have knee issues then I think it looks plenty deep enough.

Power Player
12-30-2012, 10:50 AM
Jack, the left hand plays a huge role in the serve and can help with everything. Make sure and pay note to it. As for racquet drop, it takes some time to get that feel. I used to rush my motion and not drop my racquet deep enough because I could get away with it, but tossing higher helped. Also puling my left hand into the middle of my chest got my shoulders to cartwheel properly every time, and also gave me a deeper drop.

An easy drill you can do in your house is to serve, but stop before you swing up. Look at your buttcap and adjust it so it is pointing up in the air. Look at your left hand and make sure you are pulling it into your body to initiate the drop and the swing to contact. Get the feel for that and then work it in when you practice your serve.

luvforty
12-30-2012, 11:29 AM
Definition: The Target Plane is the plane that includes the tennis ball at contact and the imaginary target inside of the deuce or ad tennis court. This plane should be parallel to the perpendicular to the racquet string bed during the impact. The Target Plane basically determines the boll velocity direction. We shouldn’t change amount of the arm pronation, because it is almost impossible to control, in order to change boll’s direction. It’s much easier to alter direction of the Target Plane. Always keep the range of the arm pronation around 90°.

Let’s analyze Stosur and your arm actions before contact.

http://i47.tinypic.com/sglqht.jpg

In pic.1 Stosur longitude axis of the racquet is parallel to Target Plane. In pic.3 longitude axis is perpendicular to the Target plane. She rotates her racquet by using internal shoulder rotation (ISR) around 90°.

In pic.4 longitude axis of your racquet is already perpendicular to Target Plane. Thus you cannot use, before contact, internal shoulder rotation at all. That’s why you apply ISR after contact, but that doesn’t make any sense. With this technique you never are going to get powerful and consistent serve. :confused:

i think toly's analysis can also explain the shallow drop... notice that stosur drops into the slot in a way the her hand goes back somewhere between her right ear and right shoulder.

Jack, your hand is OUTSIDE of your right shoulder.... it's humanly impossible to achieve deep drop that way.

I think you can try to feel the other extreme this way... imagine your right hand holds a comb and will comb the back of your head... this will allow you to feel how to bring the hand more inside (of the shoulder), to allow you drop deeper into the slot.

Cheetah
12-30-2012, 01:04 PM
I stopped your video in the drop. Your not doing waiter tray...

What do you call frame #4 above?

JackB1
12-30-2012, 03:14 PM
I stopped your video in the drop. Your not doing waiter tray. It looks pretty deep too so all in all its good and smooth. If you bend your knees more now and as you lift the racket will drop more. If you have knee issues then I think it looks plenty deep enough.

no I don't have any knee issues. I usually don't do a big knee bend/jump because it tends to throw off my consistency and placement. I will give it a try and see if it helps the racquet drop.

arche3
12-30-2012, 03:23 PM
What do you call frame #4 above?

I only looked at one. And only one spot. And I think the toly pic w frame 4 is from old video. I was looking at a new one. In think some threads got merged.

JackB1
12-30-2012, 04:02 PM
I watched again and used the pause/right arrow to go thru slow and I think I see the root of the problem. Everything looks pretty good up until the trophy pose, but as I start to go up after the ball, for some reason I lay back my wrist and the racquet goes from facing the back fence to facing upwards. It's this initial move that must be fixed. Anyone else agree?

watch this
http://youtu.be/XrRK9UVolBQ

luvforty
12-30-2012, 04:35 PM
yeah pretty much.. wrist should be flat at trophy, also flat at racket drop.... but the reason for that is your hand is too much outside of the shoulder, so the shoulder is locked up and the racket went back by itself, which causes the wrist to lay back

Cheetah
12-30-2012, 04:53 PM
i don't really agree. I'm in the 'you should rebuild' group.

There are numerous important fundamental things that you are not doing.
For one, the serve has to have a rhythm. Yours doesn't have a rhythm from the start so that manifests itself later on at several points in the swing.

For example, ideally there shouldn't be any pauses or hitches. Easier said than done I know but I count 4 pauses/hitches in your swing. When you first set up their is a small hitch where you're holding the ball out in front still. You set, start and then stop very slightly and then start again. Then after you toss there is another pause. Then as your getting ready to swing there is a small pause and then very quickly after that there is another one. Each time you pause you lose stored energy and you have to expend energy to hold some other body part in place. That means muscles are tightening. Then you have to use more energy to restart those stopped parts and then things are out of sync. Also your knee bend is too late. You should be going down in sync with the toss.

Also your feet are messy. You start in a platform and then move into a pinpoint which is ok but it's not a smooth transition. You move your right foot forward and put it next to the left. You might want to consider dragging the right foot here up to the left which a lot of ppl do. It's smoother. It has momentum. You just place it there which is ok but when you place it there your whole body kind of stops. Then instead of using that position as your base you move your left foot away from the right foot. And then sometimes you adjust one or both feet again after that. That's a lot of shuffling.

You're not pointing at the ball with your left hand. It's extended up but it's not pointing. You should point up at the ball for as long as possible. This also gets you into having a cartwheel motion. You don't have any cartwheel shoulder action going on which is like wta serves. You also don't have any torque. Pete and Roger have their torso twisted and facing further past the side fence towards the back fence. Your torso is facing the side fence. Their legs are bent and on their toes and springy and their weight is loaded. Your legs are straight, knees locked and flat footed. They start the swing by pushing off their legs using ground forces. You start with your arm and then bend and push off the legs. Their left shoulder is up and right shoulder down (cartwheel beginning). Your shoulders are horizontal. They go towards the ball with the butt of the racquet and hit the ball as their body is going up. You go at the ball with the strings and slap the ball as your body is falling down.

If you stop your vid at 24s here you are holding the racquet way to far to the right of your body as you toss. Also your palm and the strings are facing the net. They should be facing the side fence. This is contributing to the waiter's tray. Also your elbow is all the way down to hip level. It has to be much higher. And you should be leading the upward swing with your elbow.
https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQz5wd3jsWwRTRD8ZmNkKQxpnWybF-vodKjwXrCVk6eTe6VDzPbfA
https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSnV6u8Yvo39oN2u1d8zwN_WXwePXfyD 4j6Dz58Lro8l23Kg7K7rQ
http://img189.imageshack.us/img189/5844/1111zb.jpg

Fed:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xbC31AQqSg&t=37s

If I were you i'd work on getting the feet figured out because that's the start. Then work on getting into a pretty trophy position. Then work on smoothness. That way things will work themselves out.

Or you can band-aid everything :)

ohplease
12-30-2012, 06:31 PM
Someone else already mentioned leading with the elbow. There's a reason that's important. You can approximate decent biomechanics by focusing on accelerating the hand - which is clearly what you're doing. Looking at your vids, you're kind of sweeping an arc through the air via hips/shoulder/hand.

In contrast, pro level serves are using ground reaction forces to build tension and stretch across their abs, chest, and inner arms, then releasing all that stretch into the ball. Try to approximate a service motion with a 5-10 pound kettlebell or medicine ball and you should notice very different muscle groups in play vs. what you're currently using in your serve.

If I were you, I'd boil it down to getting your balance in order, so that you can use the ground reaction force to really get some juice into your motion so that you can leave your elbow hanging back there before really whipping it through the serve. Same thing with pitching a baseball and the forehand - the longer you wait before releasing the hand, the more its got to cover to catch up. That means faster racket speed and a bigger serve. Leading with the elbow guarantees that you're building that lag into the motion.

toly
12-30-2012, 07:48 PM
I watched again and used the pause/right arrow to go thru slow and I think I see the root of the problem. Everything looks pretty good up until the trophy pose, but as I start to go up after the ball, for some reason I lay back my wrist and the racquet goes from facing the back fence to facing upwards. It's this initial move that must be fixed. Anyone else agree?

watch this
http://youtu.be/XrRK9UVolBQ

There is real disaster water’s tray error from http://www.hi-techtennis.com/serve/waiter_student.php.

http://i46.tinypic.com/5dqlq0.jpg
Figure 1. Very bad waiter’s tray
You don’t do anything like that.

During the transition from the trophy pose to racquet drop a lot of pros bring the racquet to waiter’s tray position.

http://i45.tinypic.com/2rf4g1t.jpg
Figure 2. Federer and Safin very good water’s tray

I think you do something like Federer & Safin do.

After that pros bring racquet into racquet drop position.

http://i45.tinypic.com/1z1e5vp.jpg

Pay attention on position and orientation of the racquet face.

The racquet face parallel to the right side of the body in the racquet drop is a hallmark of professional serves.

In order to provide the most efficient ISR you have to:
1. Apply External Shoulder Rotation as much as possible.
2. Use proper amount of forearm supination to bring the racquet face to the right side of the body. :)

Power Player
12-31-2012, 06:24 AM
Jack, as pointed out - your racquet is facing in the wrong direction in the trophy pose.

JackB1
12-31-2012, 09:58 AM
Jack, as pointed out - your racquet is facing in the wrong direction in the trophy pose.

Yes I see that now. I will work on just getting to the trophy pose in proper position. See you guys think I should work with a teaching pro to read construct my serve? I just don't want to spend lots of money on countless lessons

EDK
12-31-2012, 07:03 PM
Your serve looks like the playtester Chris Edwards's (trophy and hitch), with less coil and explosion.

WildVolley
12-31-2012, 08:49 PM
Yes I see that now. I will work on just getting to the trophy pose in proper position. See you guys think I should work with a teaching pro to read construct my serve? I just don't want to spend lots of money on countless lessons

I think you can rework your serve just using video, and some classic drills.

You have an offset trophy pose, sort of like Roddick's, except you aren't getting your elbow quite as high or the shoulder drawn back as much.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZbxKuLEP_o

However, I think the biggest problem you have is that you aren't letting the racket drop. Your hitting arm is too straight and too tense when you should be allowing the hand and racket to lag the elbow more.

Assuming you have a healthy shoulder, you should do drills to relax the arm during the racket drop and allow the hand to lag the elbow. Getting more elbow bend is going to help you do this. One of the classic drills for this is the tennis ball in the long sock drill, which is sort of a timing drill, but the motion should be fluid and allow the ball to drop with the hand as the elbow starts driving up. I'd also advise going to a field and throwing an old tennis racket high into the air on edge like a tomahawk. Again, make sure that you're getting the natural drop.

At the moment you're forcing the hand and racket up as a unit, but you'll find more effortless power if you can let the hand relax and the racket lag the elbow into the shot. Good luck and keep using the video to see if your form is changing.

JackB1
01-01-2013, 10:49 AM
^^^

thanks for that WV. I am currently working on relaxing the arm and wrist and leading more with the elbow....trying to get a deeper racquet drop.

I have gone back to an abbreviated takeback motion and it makes it easier to get into a proper trophy pose. Less moving parts to time properly and I can easier get the racquet pointing the right way at trophy pose.

note: The racquet face should point to the right side fence at the top of the trophy pose, correct? Or perpendicular to the baseline, is another way to say it.

JackB1
01-02-2013, 02:44 PM
Here is a still frame of my trophy pose taken from the last video i uploaded. Please tell me what should be fixed? Thanks.

http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd84/jack592285/BE4F422A-48C5-42D3-8D2F-E4484EDE88E3-812-0000025DE1D6C359.jpg

Avles
01-02-2013, 04:20 PM
A big thank you to those who said "lead with the elbow" in this thread--I tried to focus on this idea the last time I practiced my serve, and it felt like I got a looser, livelier arm, a better racquet drop, and more acceleration as a result.

psv255
01-02-2013, 04:44 PM
Here is a still frame of my trophy pose taken from the last video i uploaded. Please tell me what should be fixed? Thanks.


Couple of things I see off the bat:

Upper arm (shoulder to elbow) is too close to body. Ideally, your shoulders and upper right arm should all make a line.
Lower arm is nearly parallel to ground (i.e. hand is too low)
Show even more of your back to your opponent! :D

JackB1
01-02-2013, 04:49 PM
Jack, as pointed out - your racquet is facing in the wrong direction in the trophy pose.

please look at the pic I just posted and tell me what is wrong about the "direction"??

JackB1
01-02-2013, 04:51 PM
Couple of things I see off the bat:

Upper arm (shoulder to elbow) is too close to body. Ideally, your shoulders and upper right arm should all make a line.
Lower arm is nearly parallel to ground (i.e. hand is too low)
Show even more of your back to your opponent! :D

OK, so get the elbow up higher and away from the body.
Turn shoulder back more.

thanks....I will work on that

UCSF2012
01-02-2013, 08:53 PM
Here is a still frame of my trophy pose taken from the last video i uploaded. Please tell me what should be fixed? Thanks.

http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd84/jack592285/BE4F422A-48C5-42D3-8D2F-E4484EDE88E3-812-0000025DE1D6C359.jpg

Now, that looks like a pro stance. Unfortunately, it looks like Sharapova's. But hey, pro's pro.

Raul_SJ
01-03-2013, 04:07 PM
Definition: The Target Plane is the plane that includes the tennis ball at contact and the imaginary target inside of the deuce or ad tennis court. This plane should be parallel to the perpendicular to the racquet string bed during the impact.

Don't quite follow. 3 points define a plane.

Where is the third point of the "Target Plane"?

Point 1 Contact Point

Point 2 Target Point on the opposite court.

Point 3 ???

luvforty
01-03-2013, 04:15 PM
I am assuming the plane is vertical, perpendicular to the ground.

Power Player
01-03-2013, 04:36 PM
please look at the pic I just posted and tell me what is wrong about the "direction"??

Its fine there, but in a still you dont get answers. Just make sure you are swinging up on edge from that position.

I am watching the Mac/Martin match from the legends series. Martin currently has a great serve you could emulate. See if you can find it on youtube.

JackB1
01-03-2013, 06:23 PM
Its fine there, but in a still you dont get answers. Just make sure you are swinging up on edge from that position.

I am watching the Mac/Martin match from the legends series. Martin currently has a great serve you could emulate. See if you can find it on youtube.

I found some pretty good footage of Martin's serve

http://www.hi-techtennis.com/serve/martin_serve_open.PHP

I like how simple it looks. I'll give it a try. He gets the racquet and elbow back and up right away before he tosses. Never did that before...I'll give it a shot.

ohplease
01-03-2013, 07:39 PM
The take back really doesn't matter. This is what matters:

http://i.imgur.com/V5Mqy.png

Martin's forearms on both his racket and non-racket arms are just along for the ride. Another thing to pay attention to is his racket hand relative to the background. It literally does not change height relative to the stair step/woman's head in the background. Sure, the rest of his body is dragging that hand forward and ultimately up and through the ball, but that hand doesn't change height across the entire width of the stairs and through most of his motion. The still above is the last moment before his hand leaves that same height.

Chas Tennis
01-03-2013, 07:41 PM
I found some pretty good footage of Martin's serve

http://www.hi-techtennis.com/serve/martin_serve_open.PHP



That link did not work for me.

[BTW - If you cut and paste a link from a TW reply it will not work because it has been abbreviated. Click on the TW link and bring up the website again and then recopy the address.]

psv255
01-04-2013, 07:53 AM
That link did not work for me.

it's the ".PHP" part. lowercase it and it'll work, had the same thing happen to me!

WildVolley
01-04-2013, 08:54 AM
The take back really doesn't matter. This is what matters:

http://i.imgur.com/V5Mqy.png

Martin's forearms on both his racket and non-racket arms are just along for the ride. Another thing to pay attention to is his racket hand relative to the background. It literally does not change height relative to the stair step/woman's head in the background. Sure, the rest of his body is dragging that hand forward and ultimately up and through the ball, but that hand doesn't change height across the entire width of the stairs and through most of his motion. The still above is the last moment before his hand leaves that same height.

Nice picture. I agree that JackB1 is going to have a much better serve if he can get a feel for the racket drop. I contend the racket drop error is more of a problem than the trophy, though they might be slightly related.

The proper serve motion can be practiced off the court. Just work on getting the feel of a nice relaxed motion with plenty of lag and racket drop. I'd use video to confirm that the relaxed shadow swings are instilling the form you want.

Power Player
01-09-2013, 09:03 AM
I have spent a lot of time getting my serve to the point of being rhythmic. I started in the abbreviated. One thing that really stuck out to me in the virtual tennis academy was the instruction to bend the knees and hit the trophy position when the ball is at it's peak. For whatever reason, that really clicked with me, as I was bending my knees too early. Basically when I was tossing.

Anyway, to get this timed out better, I went to a lagged serve motion where I bring the racquet back instead of abbreviating. I found that when I do this, as long as I have a high toss, everything just flows. Racquet drop, knee bend, etc. It also feels a lot easier on my arm, since it seems to go loose.

Bottom line is that I have been practicing my serve to the point where this all is developing itself. So it is all about practice and spending the time until at some point it clicks. I still have to get the accuracy and consistency down. Takes a lot of time, so dont overthink too much. Just keep hitting serves everyday .

JackB1
01-09-2013, 01:22 PM
Nice picture. I agree that JackB1 is going to have a much better serve if he can get a feel for the racket drop. I contend the racket drop error is more of a problem than the trophy, though they might be slightly related.

The proper serve motion can be practiced off the court. Just work on getting the feel of a nice relaxed motion with plenty of lag and racket drop. I'd use video to confirm that the relaxed shadow swings are instilling the form you want.

Anyone have any tips on how to get the "racquet drop" lower? I can do it in "slow mo" shadow swings, but for some reason when it's "live", I don't get much drop. I really need some kind of a drill or cue to help get the racquet down my back and the elbow up. It's a real struggle for me for some reason.

Chas Tennis
01-09-2013, 01:49 PM
Anyone have any tips on how to get the "racquet drop" lower? I can do it in "slow mo" shadow swings, but for some reason when it's "live", I don't get much drop. I really need some kind of a drill or cue to help get the racquet down my back and the elbow up. It's a real struggle for me for some reason.

On thing that drops the racket is the timed leg thrust.

[Rotation means axial rotation.]

Picture the racket and forearm at about a right angle to the upper arm, back somewhat from vertical, as the legs begin to thrust upward. Then the moment of inertia of the forearm-racket causes the upper arm to rotate - the shoulder externally rotates stretching the internal shoulder rotator muscles. If you try to do this using only the small external shoulder rotator muscles it cannot rotate as far. Stand upper arm out from shoulder, forearm-racket at 90° to upper arm, slightly back from vertical, and see how the leg thrust would rotate the upper arm.

In most serves the forearm and racket are not held as a unit in a straight line although I have seen some strong servers them keep them in a straight line for quite a while. There may be additional stretching of wrist muscles as the legs thrust up and also as the hitting shoulder goes up. See videos as words can't describe......

The range of motion for shoulder external rotation is greater in a dynamic loading stretch mode with leg thrust as opposed to just rotating the upper arm back without other body motions.

I'm not clear on how the trunk also causes the same stretch of the ISR muscles but I believe it adds.

Also, the arm should be relaxed and not trying to reproduce mental images of serves.

Power Player
01-09-2013, 01:52 PM
Anyone have any tips on how to get the "racquet drop" lower? I can do it in "slow mo" shadow swings, but for some reason when it's "live", I don't get much drop. I really need some kind of a drill or cue to help get the racquet down my back and the elbow up. It's a real struggle for me for some reason.

You want it all to flow. Most likely you are overthinking it and putting everything into steps.

What can help is to just practice tossing a ball and hitting your trophy pose with the knees bent when the ball hits its peak. You can practice this anywhere.

From there, I went back to the standard motion where my racquet is pointing down and is in motion from start to finish. That really helps get a racquet drop that you won't even think about.

Chas Tennis
01-09-2013, 01:58 PM
What is the largest muscle attached to the arm?

psv255
01-09-2013, 03:30 PM
Anyone have any tips on how to get the "racquet drop" lower? I can do it in "slow mo" shadow swings, but for some reason when it's "live", I don't get much drop. I really need some kind of a drill or cue to help get the racquet down my back and the elbow up. It's a real struggle for me for some reason.

Try this video, develops a good sense of racquet drop gradually.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=WsJJ_BWBQcI

JackB1
01-09-2013, 07:30 PM
Try this video, develops a good sense of racquet drop gradually.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=WsJJ_BWBQcI

Thanks. That's EXACTLY the kind of thing I was looking for :-)

JackB1
01-09-2013, 07:34 PM
What is the largest muscle attached to the arm?

the shoulder muscle?

zapvor
01-09-2013, 07:36 PM
Now, that looks like a pro stance. Unfortunately, it looks like Sharapova's. But hey, pro's pro.

hahaha thats funny

zapvor
01-09-2013, 07:38 PM
seriously though, this is a tennis board. on the internet. whatever instruction you get here is only so much.

you will get much better, much quicker, if you just get lessons from a good pro. 6 lessons should get you enough to hone it. or be stupid like me and take over 3yrs and counting

Chas Tennis
01-09-2013, 09:13 PM
the shoulder muscle?

No that's not it.

Xizel
01-10-2013, 12:40 AM
What is the largest muscle attached to the arm?

The lats attach to the humerus :-P

Chas Tennis
01-10-2013, 05:03 AM
The lats attach to the humerus :-P

That's it.

JackB1
01-10-2013, 07:34 AM
seriously though, this is a tennis board. on the internet. whatever instruction you get here is only so much.

you will get much better, much quicker, if you just get lessons from a good pro. 6 lessons should get you enough to hone it. or be stupid like me and take over 3yrs and counting

I have been taking lessons at $75/hour, but I can only afford so many of those per month. The hour goes by so fast and the Pro's usually want to take things very sloooooow, so they can drag something out into multiple lessons.

Power Player
01-10-2013, 08:22 AM
Zappy has no idea anyway. The fact is that most pros will just teach you the rec level stuff so you can go out there and play matches. If you want to learn optimal technique you need to befriend a pro who gets it and that you can talk to now and then about what you are really trying to do. You can then set up lessons and work on specific issues.

they also need to see that you are a player who can execute the technique you want to learn, so there is nothing wrong with learning on your own as long as you are improving your technique.

For that reason I really like that whole feel tennis series a lot. The link posted is fantastic and this guy has a real unique way of showing things that are really only learned over years of play normally. It is almost like a cheat code if you can implement what he is saying.

JackB1
01-10-2013, 08:31 AM
Zappy has no idea anyway. The fact is that most pros will just teach you the rec level stuff so you can go out there and play matches. If you want to learn optimal technique you need to befriend a pro who gets it and that you can talk to now and then about what you are really trying to do. You can then set up lessons and work on specific issues.

they also need to see that you are a player who can execute the technique you want to learn, so there is nothing wrong with learning on your own as long as you are improving your technique.

For that reason I really like that whole feel tennis series a lot. The link posted is fantastic and this guy has a real unique way of showing things that are really only learned over years of play normally. It is almost like a cheat code if you can implement what he is saying.

which link was that PP?

Power Player
01-10-2013, 08:56 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=WsJJ_BWBQcI

JackB1
01-10-2013, 09:10 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=WsJJ_BWBQcI

thanks!.....................

Chas Tennis
01-10-2013, 09:27 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=WsJJ_BWBQcI

That video has some great demos of what I believe are some of the important components of the serve. His demos seem to bring out the relaxed arm motions. I'm going to try his demos. Especially the video seems to show how supination would naturally come into the service motion.

Two things that could be improved -

1) For those who would imitate his body position, in my opinion, he keeps his shoulders too level. That orientation differs from the hitting shoulder high by lateral trunk flexion as recommended in the Ellenbecker shoulder video on minimizing impingement risk.

2) He also - as in nearly all serve instruction videos - does not mention by name or identify internal shoulder rotation and the prominent part ISR plays in developing racket head speed on the serve. Some instructors call the motion pronation but still do not clearly describe it.

How many instructor clearly understand ISR - whether they accept that view or not - and, if so, why do they hardly ever specifically mentioned ISR?

Is there a single instruction video where the instructor clearly explains how ISR works? Even if the motion is misnamed 'pronation'?

bad_call
01-10-2013, 09:29 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=WsJJ_BWBQcI

whoa...BobFL lost some weight and now giving serving tips. go Bob... :)

Chas Tennis
01-10-2013, 09:30 AM
The lats attach to the humerus :-P

That's it.

And do you know what joint motion the lat performs in the serve?

psv255
01-10-2013, 09:57 AM
Two things that could be improved -

1) For those who would imitate his body position, in my opinion, he keeps his shoulders too level. That orientation differs from the hitting shoulder high by lateral trunk flexion as recommended in the Ellenbecker shoulder video on minimizing impingement risk.

2) He also - as in nearly all serve instruction videos - does not mention by name or identify internal shoulder rotation and the prominent part ISR plays in developing racket head speed on the serve. Some instructors call the motion pronation but still do not clearly describe it.


You make some great points.
I also thought that his keeping the shoulders level might be counterproductive. For the sake of solely developing a feel for the racquet drop, though, it is a very good drill.

As for ISR: I just tried shadowing a serve without using ISR (but keeping pronation) and it is extremely awkward. What I did notice, though, is that pronation enables ISR; one motion facilitates and guides the other. I think coaches focus on pronation for two reasons: control (since forearm is closer to the ball that the shoulder) and so as not to confuse a student with two separate movements.

Power Player
01-10-2013, 10:55 AM
That video has some great demos of what I believe are some of the important components of the serve. His demos seem to bring out the relaxed arm motions. I'm going to try his demos. Especially the video seems to show how supination would naturally come into the service motion.

Two things that could be improved -

1) For those who would imitate his body position, in my opinion, he keeps his shoulders too level. That orientation differs from the hitting shoulder high by lateral trunk flexion as recommended in the Ellenbecker shoulder video on minimizing impingement risk.

2) He also - as in nearly all serve instruction videos - does not mention by name or identify internal shoulder rotation and the prominent part ISR plays in developing racket head speed on the serve. Some instructors call the motion pronation but still do not clearly describe it.

How many instructor clearly understand ISR - whether they accept that view or not - and, if so, why do they hardly ever specifically mentioned ISR?

Is there a single instruction video where the instructor clearly explains how ISR works? Even if the motion is misnamed 'pronation'?

Thats not how the guy teaches. You are over analyzing it IMO.

luvforty
01-10-2013, 10:58 AM
we are not talking about robots with separate moving pieces... pronation seems to go hand in hand with isr.

JackB1
01-10-2013, 11:07 AM
I wish we could keep all the technical mumbo jumbo and anatomy lessons out of this thread. It's really not helping me at all. I need simple drills and thoughts to work on without over thinking and over analyzing everything. Can we please keep this thread simple and practical? Thanks.

luvforty
01-10-2013, 11:12 AM
i like this feel tennis guy.

psv255
01-10-2013, 11:16 AM
i like this feel tennis guy.

Same.
I think his name is Tomaz Mencinger; even before he started up Feel Tennis, I think his youtube channel was tennis mind game, lot of good stuff there too.

zapvor
01-11-2013, 09:21 PM
I have been taking lessons at $75/hour, but I can only afford so many of those per month. The hour goes by so fast and the Pro's usually want to take things very sloooooow, so they can drag something out into multiple lessons.

Zappy has no idea anyway. The fact is that most pros will just teach you the rec level stuff so you can go out there and play matches. If you want to learn optimal technique you need to befriend a pro who gets it and that you can talk to now and then about what you are really trying to do. You can then set up lessons and work on specific issues.

they also need to see that you are a player who can execute the technique you want to learn, so there is nothing wrong with learning on your own as long as you are improving your technique.

For that reason I really like that whole feel tennis series a lot. The link posted is fantastic and this guy has a real unique way of showing things that are really only learned over years of play normally. It is almost like a cheat code if you can implement what he is saying.

jack= you are on the right track. the key is to find a good pro for you. if you are not happy tell them. you are paying the money. get your moneys worth.

power player-hows that serve coming?

JackB1
01-24-2013, 03:00 PM
just to update this thread..... I am making some real progress finally with my serve. I am learning how to really let the arm and wrist go and be looser throughout the serve. I played a league singles match last night and served the best I have in a while. I am finally starting to get a repeatable rythym and everything is falling into place more and more. I still struggle to get the racquet down my back, but I feel like it's getting better all the time. I will post another video soo to show you guys my progress. I really appreciate all the help form everyone. It has started to payoff.

TennisCJC
02-01-2013, 08:27 AM
Another way to do this is to stand with both feet pointed towards the net or maybe just slightly angled off the net like how they are at contact and hold that base and practice serving like that. That will help with coordinating balance and the rotation together and it's a good way to feel the arm being thrown around and up from the body rotation. It's pretty good. give it a try.

This is an old drill and it works well. Teaches you to rotate shoulder back and then foward. You keep the legs relaxed but stationary - no knee bend or explosion up. Basically, you are serving with rotation of the shoulders and hips may rotate a bit too. I do this sometimes when warming up. Once you get comfortable with a smooth continuous rotation, you can really get pretty good pace just using upper body rotation. I have seen video of Paul Annacone somewhere teaching this drill.

TennisCJC
02-02-2013, 08:51 PM
is there any secret or key getting a deeper racquet drop?
Is it a flexibility issue? If 60 yr old Brent Able can do it, why can't I?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gs1JF8QTb4k&feature=share&list=PLPyVWxXxx3LHDVLg5r4jnrmEykMHt3-Yk

KEY: The butt of the racket will point roughly at the ball if the racket head drops fully. It is a transitional position and there is no pause with butt point up. From trophy position, as your body/shoulders start up and rotating in toward contact, the loop happens. Try thinking pull the racket up to contact with butt of racket pointing roughly at the contact area as you start hand up. Hitting elbow is up high too.

You could even start with a few warm up serves from the racket drop position. In service stance, start with racket head hanging down R side of back and butt pointing up. Toss and serve 10-12 balls from here. Then put racket in trophy pose, toss and loop thru racket drop and pull butt up for 10-12 balls. Then do full service motion and see if you can incorporate the pull up into the motion with no pauses or hitches - smooth and fairly slow motion until you get the feel.

I have a friend who has a very good serve. He racket butt points at the ball. I told him this once and he did not believe me. It was visible if you focused on his motion but it happens so fast and he gave it no thought. But, it happens.