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View Full Version : The serve again


lcw
09-20-2005, 06:13 PM
Is there a movie or even pictures showing just the racquet action step by step during the serve. Forget the toss and body motion, the best way IMO to understand the mechanics of the serve is to see the racquet action from start to finish. For instance, when we say brush the ball for top spin, kick and slice serve, what is the racquet position vis a vis to the ball.? I have a hard time understanding how to brush the ball from 7 to 1 while the racquet head is straigt up and the arm extended. The same goes for top spin.

lcw

mucat
09-20-2005, 10:21 PM
I have a hard time understanding how to brush the ball from 7 to 1 while the racquet head is straigt up and the arm extended.

I see You got it figure out. That's why the contact point for topspin serve is lower than flat serve, because it is hard to brush up when the arm is already fully extended, so hit the ball lower, then you can apply topspin to the ball.

GuyClinch
09-21-2005, 07:57 AM
Personally I am not convinced that brushing up in the best analogy for the top spin serve. Truthfully the ball is off the racquet nearly instantly so it's a matter of getting the right racquet angle while swinging through the ball.

I guess you could think of it is "brushing up" but since your naturally pronating I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense. I think your best bet is to look at the slow motion videos of some guys hitting a second serve. I don't see much brushing going on.

I was totally confused but that analogy and the 7 to 11 stuff. I would try to swing my racquet kinda straight up at the ball and "brush" it which really isn't what is going on at all, IMHO.

Pete

takeuchi
09-21-2005, 09:01 AM
Personally I am not convinced that brushing up in the best analogy for the top spin serve. Truthfully the ball is off the racquet nearly instantly so it's a matter of getting the right racquet angle while swinging through the ball.

I guess you could think of it is "brushing up" but since your naturally pronating I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense. I think your best bet is to look at the slow motion videos of some guys hitting a second serve. I don't see much brushing going on.

I was totally confused but that analogy and the 7 to 11 stuff. I would try to swing my racquet kinda straight up at the ball and "brush" it which really isn't what is going on at all, IMHO.

Pete
i think you are on to something here. honestly when i started to learn topspin, i literally tried to brush the ball over. This resulted in arming the ball, and balls dipping right into the net. you really have to swing and pronate just like a proper first serve, but in a slightly different direction. its almost like you are doing a slice serve but rotated upwards (if that makes any sense).

would you(anyone) say that the topspin serve requires sound technique moreso than the other serves? it seems like people can get away with weird swings on slice or flat or dink serves, but when it comes to topspin they have so many problems. just a thought.

PM_
09-21-2005, 09:58 AM
Personally I am not convinced that brushing up in the best analogy for the top spin serve. Truthfully the ball is off the racquet nearly instantly so it's a matter of getting the right racquet angle while swinging through the ball.

I guess you could think of it is "brushing up" but since your naturally pronating I don't think it makes a whole lot of sense. I think your best bet is to look at the slow motion videos of some guys hitting a second serve. I don't see much brushing going on.

I was totally confused but that analogy and the 7 to 11 stuff. I would try to swing my racquet kinda straight up at the ball and "brush" it which really isn't what is going on at all, IMHO.

Pete

Yah, "brush" is a bit of an understatement when it comes to instructional terminology. With topspin serves, I would use the term "snap" more because to me it's more of a snapping motion with my forearm (and wrist i suppose) to achieve the desired spin for the ball to dip.

cadfael_tex
09-21-2005, 10:24 AM
I thought I'd seen this and went and found it. I hope this is what you are looking for.
http://www.tomavery.com/video_clips/52859.mov

GuyClinch
09-21-2005, 11:03 AM
See I like Tom Avery and I even have one of his videos but..

I think that video confuses people. His little "topspin" demonstrations explain how topspin "feels" but not really how its hit. When i saw that video I thought hitting the topspin serve was something similar to hitting a top spin lob where you would generate the topspin by brushing the racquet against the edge of the ball as you swung up. I tried to hit an "upward" kind of slice serve.

But it's really the pronation in combination with the regular serve swing that kind of "comes together" to form a topspin serve, IMHO. Sonic Deviant already discussed this. I am not saying that Tom is "wrong" per se I just think the brushing analogy for the topspin one is a poor one because if you know how to hit topspin forehands and lobs it just confuses you.

Sonic's theory was that you would be better off learning a proper continental gripped serve that naturally has a little bit of spin rather then thinking about all this brush from whatever to whatever bit.

My current pro who taught me a kick serve was explaining why pronation was so important and how you had to use a continental grip and I was like why? Don't you just swing up and brush against the ball? And he kept telling me what I was doing was like a messed up slice serve. <g>

Pete

lcw
09-21-2005, 03:35 PM
I thought I'd seen this and went and found it. I hope this is what you are looking for.
http://www.tomavery.com/video_clips/52859.mov

Thank you all for the tips and the video. Already from just 5 posts we have plenty of disagreement and the familiar terms like pronate, brush, 7 to 1 and snap the wrist keep coming up. One poster from a previous thread said it perfectly when he noted: Keep practicing and when you hit it right once, you will know how to hit it from there on. I am one of those who have been practicing the top spin serve for years but still waiting for the lucky hit. Trust me I am neither dense or clumsy on my feet but the logic still escapes me. What I was looking for is a video or a set of pictures zeroing only on the racket and the arm. I want to study the racket motion step by step from the time the swing starts. I will know then exactly where to hit the ball, when to pronate and when to snap the wrist and so forth. All the videos I saw so far show the whole body and the racquet motion is not very clear.
Thanks again
lcw