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View Full Version : Trying to play D3 Collegiate Tennis. Evaluate my Serve?


BirdWalkR
01-06-2013, 03:36 PM
So this may be a lofty goal but I'm a freshman in college looking to transfer somewhere to play some D3 tennis in about a year or two. From what I could gather D3 generally seems to about 4.5 levelish.. although it depends on the program i suppose. I don't expect my serves to really be college level yet (I go to a D1 school and their serves are insane!) but at least on the right track for improvement. Can someone please give me some tips/advice/critique? Both technical advice and tactical advice? I plan to upload some groundstrokes pretty soon too.

Serves (Using a cheap walmart racquet at the moment since I have broken the strings)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EE17IDMNq2Y

Edit:
Went out and took a new vid. Focused on tossing the ball more in front of me. Felt a little awkward but can someone tell me if this is a step in the right direction?

New Serve (Toss more in front)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrFxQWNmjYE

luvforty
01-06-2013, 03:50 PM
not bad with a walmart racket (well, actually most graphite rackets perform quite similarly, despite what the racket companies trying to tell you).

can you take one from the side?

can't be 100% sure, but your toss is not forward enough into the court.... usually the left foot lands where the contact point is... yours landed right on the baseline lol.... should be 1-2 ft into the court.

this will allow you to put the weight into the shot.

overall pretty good slice serve.... you can develop a kick to open up both corners.

BirdWalkR
01-06-2013, 04:13 PM
not bad with a walmart racket (well, actually most graphite rackets perform quite similarly, despite what the racket companies trying to tell you).

can you take one from the side?

can't be 100% sure, but your toss is not forward enough into the court.... usually the left foot lands where the contact point is... yours landed right on the baseline lol.... should be 1-2 ft into the court.

this will allow you to put the weight into the shot.

overall pretty good slice serve.... you can develop a kick to open up both corners.

Thanks for the feedback mate just one question. Should I keep my toss location the same just 1-2 feet forward or should I move my toss to the right more?

luvforty
01-06-2013, 04:23 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTg9gpMtAmw

I like his explanation.

psv255
01-06-2013, 04:33 PM
You have a quite a live arm, always good!
Make sure your tossing arm is more vertical before you start your swing; it'll help align the shoulders and help transfer energy better.

Overall, a very good serve, uses the legs nicely.
I'd second what luvforty has already said about the toss, move it up a slight bit but don't toss any more to the right; ideally a slice serve toss should be between your head and right shoulder at contact.

Tactically, a slice serve out side on the deuce side could be a formidable weapon if you work on it!
Good luck!

BirdWalkR
01-06-2013, 05:51 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZTg9gpMtAmw

I like his explanation.

Interesting video thanks for sharing it

You have a quite a live arm, always good!
Make sure your tossing arm is more vertical before you start your swing; it'll help align the shoulders and help transfer energy better.

Overall, a very good serve, uses the legs nicely.
I'd second what luvforty has already said about the toss, move it up a slight bit but don't toss any more to the right; ideally a slice serve toss should be between your head and right shoulder at contact.

Tactically, a slice serve out side on the deuce side could be a formidable weapon if you work on it!
Good luck!

Thanks for the feedback! I've always had a quick fire motion so i've always found it hard to have a full vertical tossing arm. something to definitley practice though

pvaudio
01-06-2013, 07:14 PM
I remember your other serving thread. Your motion looks slightly different, but the same issue still exists: the toss location. Everyone above already covered that rather succinctly, so best of luck :)

BirdWalkR
01-06-2013, 07:29 PM
I remember your other serving thread. Your motion looks slightly different, but the same issue still exists: the toss location. Everyone above already covered that rather succinctly, so best of luck :)

Yeah took a break from video analysis for a while to focus on consistency and pace without worrying about the technical things haha. not sure if this was a good or bad thing but i feel my serve has turned into an asset rather than a liability

TennisNinja
01-06-2013, 08:56 PM
I play DIII tennis and depending on the team your serve could definitely hold up. It's definitely a fun experience.

BirdWalkR
01-06-2013, 09:41 PM
I play DIII tennis and depending on the team your serve could definitely hold up. It's definitely a fun experience.

Thanks for the comment! Def confidence boosting hearing from a college player themselves. Judging by your college vid I've still got some work to do on groundies and getting a little more pace on my serve but hopefully i can pull it together

BirdWalkR
01-07-2013, 09:54 AM
Went out and took a new vid. Focused on tossing the ball more in front of me. Felt a little awkward but can someone tell me if this is a step in the right direction?

New Serve (Toss more in front)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xrFxQWNmjYE

sureshs
01-07-2013, 10:02 AM
A real man is one who hits the back fence in one bounce. Till that time, you got to keep on improving.

pvaudio
01-07-2013, 10:07 AM
As I said in your prior thread, your energy is rotational only. You spin about your center to try to generate momentum to hit the ball. Rather, you need to be swinging upwards at the ball. The first thing to fix is to bring that toss further to the right as it's causing you to spin left. Keep your tossing arm straight up and pointed at the ball (which is impossible if your toss is flying to one side).

pvaudio
01-07-2013, 10:12 AM
This is you before:
http://imageshack.us/a/img9/8361/birdmanq.jpg

This is you now:
http://imageshack.us/a/img339/7600/bird2b.jpg

Get your body truly coiled by having your tossing arm NOT stop going up after the release. Keep it pointed at the ball, and your body will naturally release its potential energy. I hate to use physics terms, but it is true.

BirdWalkR
01-07-2013, 10:14 AM
A real man is one who hits the back fence in one bounce. Till that time, you got to keep on improving.

At least I'm somewhat close haha

As I said in your prior thread, your energy is rotational only. You spin about your center to try to generate momentum to hit the ball. Rather, you need to be swinging upwards at the ball. The first thing to fix is to bring that toss further to the right as it's causing you to spin left. Keep your tossing arm straight up and pointed at the ball (which is impossible if your toss is flying to one side).

Ahh I see what you're saying. So the majority of my energy should be going into exploding up into the ball? I see what your saying it looks as if im just collapsing onto the ball and falling onto my left side. And would you say working on my vertical arm toss should be my first priority?

BirdWalkR
01-07-2013, 10:17 AM
This is you before:
http://imageshack.us/a/img9/8361/birdmanq.jpg

This is you now:
http://imageshack.us/a/img339/7600/bird2b.jpg

Get your body truly coiled by having your tossing arm NOT stop going up after the release. Keep it pointed at the ball, and your body will naturally release its potential energy. I hate to use physics terms, but it is true.

Appreciate the visuals helps me see exactly I need to work on. I've had a tendency to think that the vertical arm thing was more preference and a consistency thing but I guess I've been robbing myself of pace. Gotta hit the courts soon and practice it

pvaudio
01-07-2013, 10:18 AM
Yes, most if not all of your energy should be headed upwards, not to the side, and not forward (contrary to common thought). Your wrist snap brings the ball down into the court, so the more energy you can transfer upwards towards the ball, the more that is going into your racquethead speed.

In my opinion, yes, the tossing arm and getting a consistent toss location should be first. Others may disagree.

boramiNYC
01-07-2013, 10:20 AM
your rotation is a little too much and abrupt resulting in flattish ball speed but sacrificing the topspin and control. try to increase the speed without rotating at all and slowly incorporate rotation later. if you slow the rotation and brush up the back of the ball that would be your second serve and it would be one of the most important shot to master for competition. toss into the court and above your head and lean into the court sideway to control the trajectory. master this before trying to speed up the serve with rotation.

mikeler
01-07-2013, 10:26 AM
Yes, most if not all of your energy should be headed upwards, not to the side, and not forward (contrary to common thought). Your wrist snap brings the ball down into the court, so the more energy you can transfer upwards towards the ball, the more that is going into your racquethead speed.

In my opinion, yes, the tossing arm and getting a consistent toss location should be first. Others may disagree.


My best serving days also coincide with my best tossing days.

luvforty
01-07-2013, 10:36 AM
you have a decent trophy position with the back facing the target;

but that energy is wasted on the hitch at the racket drop.. you basically turn counterclock to face the ball, pause, then swing up with the arm.

the uncoiling of the core is a major contributor.. i think if you can put that into the ball, you will be able to hit what suresh calls a 'man serve' lol.

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

notice his body language from the trophy to the racket drop, no pause... the unwind of the chest is followed seamlessly by the unwind or the arm.

TheCanadian
01-07-2013, 10:43 AM
You're pulling down too much and too quickly. Try to stay up with your chin a bit longer.

sureshs
01-07-2013, 10:56 AM
At least I'm somewhat close haha



Also, the height at which it hits the fence has got to be at least 4 feet, for a real man.

Head Pegger
01-07-2013, 12:45 PM
dafuq did I just watch..

r2473
01-07-2013, 01:02 PM
My best serving days also coincide with my best tossing days.

In those days were you known as a tosser?

pvaudio
01-07-2013, 01:30 PM
In those days were you known as a tosser?
This site needs to do rep points so I can give you some :lol:

TheCheese
01-07-2013, 04:36 PM
I think your placement could really be much better. Most of the serves are two-bouncing, you're not going to get too many free points with that so placement is essential.

LeeD
01-07-2013, 06:09 PM
Your serve is good enough for Div1 if you have the footspeed of a MichaelChang and the determination of a Nadal.
If you plan to play S/V, plan on Div111 doubles or last singles.
Too much slicing, not enough flats, twists, kicks and too high a hand at trophy without enough snap and a rushed motion that never sets and releases it's motion.

rufus_smith
01-07-2013, 06:22 PM
This is another one of those serves where the guy looks like he's putting a lot of coil and a lot of energy into it and not getting much ball speed and not a high bounce either. The balls seem dead. Like others say, in effect, he needs to hit a flatter serve (racquet handle is 90 degrees to court surface) and pronate the forearm/wrist to get some speed,imho. Doesn't seem like a 4.5 serve.

BirdWalkR
01-07-2013, 07:08 PM
Thanks for all the feedback guys didn't expect to get this much! hopefully I can fix a few things mainly

1. Vertical Arm Toss
2. Exploding up into the ball

will try to work on these things and post an updated video soon. any other tips/comments are greatly appreciated

BirdWalkR
01-07-2013, 07:11 PM
Your serve is good enough for Div1 if you have the footspeed of a MichaelChang and the determination of a Nadal.
If you plan to play S/V, plan on Div111 doubles or last singles.
Too much slicing, not enough flats, twists, kicks and too high a hand at trophy without enough snap and a rushed motion that never sets and releases it's motion.

Can you elaborate a bit? Do I need to slow my motion down, lower my racket hand on trophy position and add more wrist snap/pronation?

LeeD
01-07-2013, 07:19 PM
Your serves look like you're just going thru the motions.
You need to stop, group, and then FIRE.
Lower your rackethand at trophy.
You're hitting all slice serves, which are slow first serves.

pvaudio
01-07-2013, 07:23 PM
Your serve is good enough for Div1 if you have the footspeed of a MichaelChang and the determination of a Nadal.
If you plan to play S/V, plan on Div111 doubles or last singles.
Too much slicing, not enough flats, twists, kicks and too high a hand at trophy without enough snap and a rushed motion that never sets and releases it's motion.
No, just...no. Being unrealistic is just as bad and not trying to fulfill your potential.

LeeD
01-07-2013, 07:25 PM
Reality, pvaudio, not dreams.
If Chang had that serve, he could play Div1 top singles.
If Nadal had that serve, he could play Div1 top singles.
If BirdWalker had that serve, he could play Div111 doubles, if the rest of his game is around solid 4.0 level.

luvforty
01-07-2013, 07:36 PM
on that one I'd agree with Lee.... chang and rafa can serve underhand and still play d1 top singles.

well, chang actually got a point off lendl that way

pvaudio
01-07-2013, 07:49 PM
Reality, pvaudio, not dreams.
If Chang had that serve, he could play Div1 top singles.
If Nadal had that serve, he could play Div1 top singles.
If BirdWalker had that serve, he could play Div111 doubles, if the rest of his game is around solid 4.0 level.
No see, you went the other way. If Federer served underhand, he'd sure as hell be able to play D1 singles. That does not mean that someone with only an underhand serve who tries to emulate Federer would be able to do the same. BirdWalker has talent, absolutely. However, if D1 players are 5.5+, the serve is irrelevant as those guys would be able to tee off on the returns. I never once said his serve is bad, I'm just saying that being realistic is the only fair way to help someone reach their goals.