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View Full Version : Serve Problem: Arm position is too high on the follow through.


Raul_SJ
12-16-2012, 02:31 AM
I am trying to keep my arms loose and relaxed on the serve,
and am able to get to the position as in the Samprac pic below:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/media/images/39418000/jpg/_39418931_serve.jpg

But after this, my arm position remains high. I am having trouble getting the arm to come down and finish correctly -- low and across the body.

I suspect that it is because my arm is too tense (even though I am trying to stay loose).

On the times where I do follow through correctly, I notice the serve has significantly more power, so it definitely makes a difference.


My understanding is that if the arm is relaxed, it will naturally come down to the low follow through after contact with the ball? I think maybe I am tensing up a bit after contact.


Any tips on getting to the proper low relaxed follow through position after contact?

dominikk1985
12-16-2012, 02:43 AM
accelerate through contact. you are probably decelerating well before contact. the follow through should be a result and not a concious effort. but it is an indicator for correct technique.

boramiNYC
12-16-2012, 04:06 AM
try prep high elbow shoulder level and not to close to the body. focus hitting the ball horizontally not upward.

LeeD
12-19-2012, 07:19 AM
IF you can achieve Sampras's high elbow, high hand, your racket pointing at the ground, don't think anymore, what happens , happens. Ball is almost at the net, why are you thinking about your form?

Mick3391
12-19-2012, 09:54 AM
accelerate through contact. you are probably decelerating well before contact. the follow through should be a result and not a concious effort. but it is an indicator for correct technique.

That sounds right. It's like in boxing, you don't aim at the face, but behind it. Same deal with serve, aim way past where you want to hit, jam it through with good form and you'll be fine.

Also Sampra's picture above, he would be like that no matter what, that's his move, do that whether you are serving well or hitting the net, it will come.

LeeD
12-19-2012, 10:31 AM
I differ in my thoughts about serving form.
In throwing, you throw past your release, aiming a foot farther.
But in tennis, the hand has to release the racket well before the impact zone, so the racket's HEAD accelerates past the hand at the moment of impact and keeps going past the hand, to achieve this high elbow, high hand finish.
So don't worry about the hand or arm! It takes care of itself after you've hit the ball, if you swung fast enough, the inertia follows thru to it's natural finish.

luvforty
12-19-2012, 10:57 AM
LeeD talks about the 'high elbow' finish... which is a required condition of correct acceleration.... but, that is not a sufficient condition of a correct acceleration.. i.e. player can have the wrong timing, and still end up with high elbow.... (I suspect the OP maybe doing this).

regarding throwing.... Lee is right about throwing the head.... I'd also add, that if the throw is done correctly, and you actually let go of the racket, this sucker should fly high and far, while tumbling end over end!

regarding slowing the hand... this is also valid... just think about snapping a towel.... right before the snap you actually pull the towel BACKWARDS !

Raul_SJ
12-19-2012, 04:07 PM
IF you can achieve Sampras's high elbow, high hand, your racket pointing at the ground, don't think anymore, what happens , happens. Ball is almost at the net, why are you thinking about your form?

I don't want to worry about it, but I have already observed the high finish definitely results in a weaker serve.

I am hitting the serve at 75mph with the wrong finish. If I follow through correctly, I get about 10 mph more pace.

I think it's because my arm is too tight. I am holding the racket loosely and trying to stay relaxed, but the low finish follow thru does not feeel natural -- my arm feels like it wants to stay high after achieving the Sampras high elbow position..

Hence, I have to consciously have to think about the low finish.

Response to other comments:

I know that I am accelerating at the top of the swing. I took a clinic that taught us that good servers achieve maximum acceleration at the top of the swing. The coach said I was accelerating correctly.

LeeD
12-21-2012, 04:20 PM
..and that's why you have to post a vid.
If you can achieve Sampras's high hand, high elbow finish, and less than 30% of us can, and you serve 75mph, you are a handicapped individual, so you probalby can't throw a football over 20 yards, too.
Post vid.
I'll bet your swing is stunted and weak, so your arm does nothing at all before or after impact.
I can't achieve this high hand, high elbow more than 1/3 of the time, and when I do, being over 63 years old, my serve goes into the 110's. When I don't, it goes maybe 100 for first serve flats.

Muppet
12-21-2012, 05:29 PM
I've been doing the same thing with my arm that you described. I would swing through impact properly, then when my arm started coming down I would tense it up to put on the brakes instead of letting go (not of the racquet) with a relaxed follow through.

I noticed that allowing my elbow to start bending at impact, and continuing to relax it as the arm falls, will give you much faster serves. It will also protect your shoulder from a lot of strain. Tensing up and decelerating the racquet really burnt my shoulder, and it still does when I do it wrong.

Looking at Pistol's picture, I see an incomplete serve. He has just hit the ball, has started letting his elbow relax, and is about to begin following through, or letting his racquet follow through.

To beat a dead horse, I'd like to add that the elbow will only be fully extended at impact (if even then.) When my serve feels the best, it feels like my forarm traces part of a smooth, circular path. The racquet follows a different path due to the the hinge at the wrist.