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View Full Version : Video #2: My quest to quit "arming" my serve.


lendl1986
12-14-2012, 10:06 PM
Video 1:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDo4mthLBvA

Problem items:

little knee bend
limited shoulder turn
limited "racquet drop" (backscratch)


Video 2:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYJv4XL-arc&feature=youtu.be

I've improved on the above easy to spot problems, but I'm now noticing a more fundamental problem: My lower and upper bodies are not coordinated. The leg push isn't followed by the waist, shoulders, arm, wrist, etc.

Here's a video of Federer I've been studying:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wXkAK_iFBuQ

Screenshots: Comparing my serve to Roger's.

Trophy Pose:
http://content.screencast.com/users/seo4detailers/folders/Snagit/media/77df4548-6158-4403-a076-a2b320d1b6fd/12.14.2012-22.02.png

I notice:
*Roger's right arm is bent more and his racquet closer to his head.
*His left arm points directly upward.

Back Scratch:
http://content.screencast.com/users/seo4detailers/folders/Snagit/media/7168ec30-c57a-4e6d-8abd-25881d891116/12.14.2012-22.04.png

I notice:
*Roger's elbow is above his head. Mine below.

Contact:
http://content.screencast.com/users/seo4detailers/folders/Snagit/media/566687f2-2177-4b9d-8e1e-12d0aee45822/12.14.2012-21.56.png

I notice:
*Roger's shoulders have rotated 20 degrees further than mine.
*Why is my left arm so close to my body?
*How have I managed to land with my right foot forward?
*I clearly create more racquet speed than Roger...look @ my blurred racquet! :)

What do you see?

Chas Tennis
12-14-2012, 10:50 PM
In video 2 your toe does not leave the ground. It almost looks as if you walk into the court. That is why the wrong foot leads. Try to get 3-6" off the ground with both feet.

The timing of the leg thrust should occur when the forearm is about at 90 d. to the upper arm and the racket is at ? d. so that the upward thrust of the shoulder externally rotates the shoulder and stretches the muscles there. The main muscles are the pectoral and the lat which attach to the front of the upper arm bone. Once stretched these two muscles can rapidly internally rotate the shoulder to provide the largest contribution to racket head speed at impact.

I'm not sure of all body movements but if the hitting shoulder is very high (lateral trunk flexion) and there has been a forceful leg thrust then your right leg should fly up, some say, for balance. If I'm doing well my right leg flies up.

In your video the most important arm motion - ISR just before the impact - is blurred out. It requires a high speed video camera with a fast shutter to observe.

My Serve. My puny internal shoulder rotation -
http://vimeo.com/21512296
Watch the black tape on my upper arm. There's a more forceful internal shoulder rotation on the second serve of the video. Probably a 80-90? MPH serve. 240 fps video.
(To do stop action on Vimeo press the play-pause button as fast as possible.)

Pro Serve. Strong serve with very forceful ISR- watch the elbow bones very rapidly rotate.
http://vimeo.com/27528701
I believe that this is a kick serve. The fastest flat serves with this level of ISR were clocked over 130 MPH. 240 fps video.

I would be afraid to internally rotate my shoulder as forcefully as shown but want to increase the amount that I'm doing.

Club Player Serve. I've taken HS videos of my friends serving and they do some ISR although they are not aware of doing it. His ISR timing might be late. ? Is the racket-forearm angle correct, similar to the pro serve?
https://vimeo.com/55660219

TheCheese
12-15-2012, 12:15 AM
Try bending your right knee more than your left knee, like Roger. That'll increase the slant of your shoulders.

donnygg
12-15-2012, 01:40 AM
The key difference I can see is the angle of the body's axis of rotation. Roger is able to harvest the power from his core rotation because his chest is pointing up. Your chest is more towards the side (see your back scratch comparison photo) and serve is more like a see-saw motion of your shoulders, therefore your core rotation does not transfer to your serve. Bend you knees more so that your chest is pointing up more. That way you can direct more of the power from core rotation into the serve.

Serve doctor says it best
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgdXawklcZk

TomT
12-15-2012, 06:05 AM
Congrats on the noticeable improvement, lendl1986. Thanks for the vids. Hope you keep working at it, improving, and posting vids.

joe sch
12-15-2012, 06:45 AM
Congrats on the noticeable improvement, lendl1986. Thanks for the vids. Hope you keep working at it, improving, and posting vids.

I concur !
Great job with the clip analysis which arms you with the facts to add to your improvement using visualization with corrective goals. Every players body has different flexibility and response abilities and you are fortunately getting pretty close to one of the best ever. Best wishes with further improvements

JohnB
12-15-2012, 07:06 AM
The key difference I can see is the angle of the body's axis of rotation. Roger is able to harvest the power from his core rotation because his chest is pointing up. Your chest is more towards the side (see your back scratch comparison photo) and serve is more like a see-saw motion of your shoulders, therefore your core rotation does not transfer to your serve. Bend you knees more so that your chest is pointing up more. That way you can direct more of the power from core rotation into the serve.

Serve doctor says it best
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgdXawklcZk

This is spot on, I think.

If the OP watches this link also. Notice the angle of the upperbody just before the release of the ball.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTi6fQ22sH0

And some throws in real speed http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQ0y-q7Ml-M&NR=1&feature=endscreen

Watch how gains enormous ballspeed by rotating his body from the ground up. utilizing every chain of his body in the right sequence.

TomT
12-15-2012, 07:29 AM
The key difference I can see is the angle of the body's axis of rotation. Roger is able to harvest the power from his core rotation because his chest is pointing up. Your chest is more towards the side (see your back scratch comparison photo) and serve is more like a see-saw motion of your shoulders, therefore your core rotation does not transfer to your serve. Bend you knees more so that your chest is pointing up more. That way you can direct more of the power from core rotation into the serve.

Serve doctor says it best
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgdXawklcZkI think this is going to be very helpful for me. Thanks.

svarthofde
12-15-2012, 08:41 AM
i cannot make a video right now so i will post a picture.

http://img5.imageshack.us/img5/7831/mod2oz.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/5/mod2oz.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

you can see here some key points
in the third frame you can see both the left hand an the racquet head are pointed up also my knees are bended
in the 4th and 5th frame you see the left hand pulling the body, rotating it while the right hand goes up. you can see my elbow above my head
in the 6th frame you can see the contact with the ball at full extension and at almost full rotation and landing on my left foot inside the court

i am a lot heavier than i used to be so you can see that i didn't achieve a lot of height while jumping. but i am 6' 2" so it's enough for a powerful serve

svarthofde
12-15-2012, 08:43 AM
also one of the most important things that i sometimes forget to do ( as you can see i forgot to write about it :D) is keeping your eyes on the ball until the moment of contact

Chas Tennis
12-15-2012, 10:02 AM
also one of the most important things that i sometimes forget to do ( as you can see i forgot to write about it :D) is keeping your eyes on the ball until the moment of contact

Until a few months ago I believed that looking at the ball until impact was always part of a high level serve. From some recent high speed video observations I now think watching until impact is not the technique used by the majority of high level servers.

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=442804

??

svarthofde
12-15-2012, 10:13 AM
did;t know that. thanks for the info. the thing is if I don't keep my eyes on the ball until the moment of impact i tend to hit worse.
maybe because pros have the movement repeated so many times they rely more on muscle memory.
this is what works for me and i'm obviously not a pro

Chas Tennis
12-15-2012, 10:19 AM
I now believe that the ATP pros are not looking at the ball at impact.

But my first observations should be repeated preferably by another interested party or some other existing research results found.

svarthofde
12-15-2012, 10:24 AM
maybe it's the same thing like in football, an experienced player looks at the goal when he shoots not at the ball, even though the ball is in movement. he sort of feels where the ball is.

WildVolley
12-15-2012, 10:40 AM
lendl1986 and svarthofde,

Both of you still have shallow racket drops as compared to Federer (who by the way isn't noted for having a deep racket drop).

I think this may just be an issue of tensing up too early in the stroke with the wrong muscles. For instance, lendl, your racket hitting face is not pointing toward the ground in your racket drop comparison photos while Federer's is.

By allowing the racket face to lag even more, you'll gain a couple of advantages. The path to contact from the drop will be longer meaning more acceleration. Also, the drop will allow the racket to come up on edge allowing more pronation (actually mostly internal shoulder rotation) through contact.

You should do drills specifically to allow you to relax more into the racket drop. You are tensing up too much a little too early. Try to visualize cracking a whip, so keep things as loose as possible.

By the way, you have improved a lot since your first video.

UCSF2012
12-15-2012, 10:54 AM
...the rest of it's just the explosion off the ground.

This is what you're doing with your legs: 1) bend knees 2) unbend knees like you're standing up (feet remains on the ground the entire time.) 3) Begin the racket swing waist up. ....To paraphrase, you do your leg work THEN you do your upper body work. All the meanwhile, your leg work isn't providing the thrust upwards.

So just learn to do the leg work WHILE you do the upper body part. Add more upward thrust in the leg (you don't have to jump off the ground, but you should not be on the ground).

...and lose the left hand sideways wave. It looks gay.

UCSF2012
12-15-2012, 10:56 AM
...and good job on adding the elbow bend like I said before. That's was why you were arming the serve and why you've had shoulder injuries in the past.


Actually, I was somewhat wrong about the waist down first, waist up second. Just fix the thrust and we'll see where you are with that.

svarthofde
12-15-2012, 11:00 AM
.....

thanks for the observation WildVolley I'll work on that... i'll see what I can do about it

LeeD
12-15-2012, 11:16 AM
Lower your left shoulder, raise your right shoulder and bend your elbow more the right side.

WildVolley
12-15-2012, 11:32 AM
Lower your left shoulder, raise your right shoulder and bend your elbow more the right side.

What exactly does this mean Lee?

You need to tell him when to do this, because he needs to have a steep shoulder differential just after the toss and at contact. Keeping the shoulders level the whole time isn't the way to develop a good shoulder-over-shoulder serve motion used by most of the top pros.

lendl1986
12-15-2012, 12:34 PM
...and lose the left hand sideways wave. It looks gay.

http://content.screencast.com/users/seo4detailers/folders/Snagit/media/a7789764-05a4-4221-9aa5-9ddacbf41063/2012-12-15_12-29-28.png

Hahaha. One problem at a time.:)

Relinquis
12-15-2012, 07:09 PM
Great improvement. I love seeing progress. Give me hope as I try to sort out my serve with my coach.

A minor point.

the reason federer's right elbow is higher than yours while swinging to hit the ball (after back-scratch) is because his left elbow is lower than yours. as you swing up with your right arm up, you need to bring your left arm down in sync. It also makes it easier to keep your vision focused on point of contact (my problem, not yours). It has to be smooth also.

This video illustrates my point:
http://youtu.be/uBO8OVmdjEI?t=2m3s

iambape
12-16-2012, 12:53 AM
sorry if i'm coming off strong, but you cant really compare yourself to a pro. adapt to your own style with the correct technique is what you're looking for. yes, you can try to mimic his motion, but do what suits you better.

you're starting off great, just need a couple of fix here and there.
- bend your knees a little more, since thats where power is generated from.
- snap and follow though, loosen up.
- and what chas said, try to jump a little higher and use that height adv. you have to hit down at the court.

thats a few, but you're off to a great start!

goodluck!

UCSF2012
12-19-2012, 12:35 PM
sorry if i'm coming off strong, but you cant really compare yourself to a pro. adapt to your own style with the correct technique is what you're looking for. yes, you can try to mimic his motion, but do what suits you better.

you're starting off great, just need a couple of fix here and there.
- bend your knees a little more, since thats where power is generated from.
- snap and follow though, loosen up.
- and what chas said, try to jump a little higher and use that height adv. you have to hit down at the court.

thats a few, but you're off to a great start!

goodluck!

Look at the picture on top. He HAS his own unique style. It's a blend of a Roger's slice serve and Dancing with the Stars. Of course, he's the girl dancer, but that's another story.

arche3
12-19-2012, 12:50 PM
http://content.screencast.com/users/seo4detailers/folders/Snagit/media/a7789764-05a4-4221-9aa5-9ddacbf41063/2012-12-15_12-29-28.png

Hahaha. One problem at a time.:)

Yeah I cant even comment until the hand wave is gone lol. :eek:

Nellie
12-19-2012, 01:27 PM
The key difference I can see is the angle of the body's axis of rotation. Roger is able to harvest the power from his core rotation because his chest is pointing up. Your chest is more towards the side (see your back scratch comparison photo) and serve is more like a see-saw motion of your shoulders, therefore your core rotation does not transfer to your serve. Bend you knees more so that your chest is pointing up more. That way you can direct more of the power from core rotation into the serve.

Serve doctor says it best
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgdXawklcZk

I totally agree with this. You need to swing up at the ball. Think of the serve as storing and releasing energy into the ball. In you serve (around 20 seconds in the slow-mo portion of the video), you have already shifted all your weight forward and rotated your body before you are swining, so the only remaining source of energy is your arm/shoulders. If you delay the rotation of the shoulders/torso and and coordinate these motions with your arm swing, you get a lot more power.

Ryoma
12-20-2012, 02:59 AM
First of all, do you even know how to user your chest and core muscles?

First learn how to use your body before going into techniques. Hit the gym and pick a pec machine and start experimenting. The first thing to do is to learn the muscle to brain connection.

If your brain can't even tell your pec to flex, how on earth will you be able to execute the serve properly?

If you arm your serve, your arm is stronger than your chest muscles. Simple as that.

tennis_pr0
12-20-2012, 06:50 AM
The second video definitely looks better. A few things I saw in the first video that were improved in the second idea was a bigger angle between your two shoulders in the trophy pose, a better knee bend and more of a wrist snap. Those were the three things that looked weak in the first video but were improved in the second video.

In the second video, you are still not getting your right elbow bent enough. The more you bend the elbow, the more the forearm will extend up and snap at contact. The throwing motion with the quick release of the forearm is what i am talking about. Also, I am not seeing enough shoulder turn before contact. The elbow needs to remain tucked in until the shoulder has rotated 90 degrees, so when you rotate and are ready to hit, the elbow should still be bent and pointing forward, I am noticing you are releasing from this position too soon resulting in one of the issues you brought up yourself, arming the ball.

The racquet drop would happen more if you did this. With the turn then throw motion, the elbow stays bend during the initial rotation and as you are turned and ready to swing up on the ball, the racquet will be in the full back scratch position. Work on staying relaxed and throwing a ball up towards the ceiling. Focus on doing this and letting your shoulders turn before you throw the ball. Hope this helps.