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fishuuuuu
10-04-2005, 05:03 PM
Warming up serves ...

I noticed this on pros and local kids that play higher level tennis here ...

When they warm up their serves they hit them very slowly and relaxed, the same serve but without all of the leg mechanics and normal "effort" applied to their serve. But somehow they hit them very cleanly and just as fast ... can anyone elaborate on this?

Rickson
10-04-2005, 05:27 PM
Warming up serves ...

I noticed this on pros and local kids that play higher level tennis here ...

When they warm up their serves they hit them very slowly and relaxed, the same serve but without all of the leg mechanics and normal "effort" applied to their serve. But somehow they hit them very cleanly and just as fast ... can anyone elaborate on this?
You're just buggin out, fishuuuuu.

Kaptain Karl
10-04-2005, 05:34 PM
I warm up this way too.

When I play my 3.5-4.0 friends they comment that my warm-up serves are just as hard as my "real" serves. But my 4.5-6.0 friends notice a difference....

I also think it's deceiving to watch serves ... versus being on the receiving end of them.

- KK

fishuuuuu
10-04-2005, 06:02 PM
They had a speed gun set up during the warm-up and their warmup speed was in the 90s and they hit in the 100s during their actual play. Any more elaboration besides I'm going crazy? :confused:

Thanatos
10-04-2005, 06:36 PM
They had a speed gun set up during the warm-up and their warmup speed was in the 90s and they hit in the 100s during their actual play. Any more elaboration besides I'm going crazy? :confused:


Players like to warm up slowly for several reasons:
1. So they don't pull or tear a muscle by exerting too much force suddenly before their body has a chance to warm-up.

2. It helps build muscle memory. It helps a player focus on the basic fundamentals before the match such as correct toss, shoulder\hip rotation, knee bend, eye contact with the ball, etc.

3. It helps a player groove his serve. As the player gets deeper into his warmup, he will slowly increase the pace of his serves.

It's like when you first get on a tennis court. Do you start smacking the hell out of the ball? Of course not, you slowly hit your groundstrokes so you can warm-up your muscle and groove your groundstrokes.

fishuuuuu
10-04-2005, 06:49 PM
Players like to warm up slowly for several reasons:
1. So they don't pull or tear a muscle by exerting too much force suddenly before their body has a chance to warm-up.

2. It helps build muscle memory. It helps a player focus on the basic fundamentals before the match such as correct toss, shoulder\hip rotation, knee bend, eye contact with the ball, etc.

3. It helps a player groove his serve. As the player gets deeper into his warmup, he will slowly increase the pace of his serves.

It's like when you first get on a tennis court. Do you start smacking the hell out of the ball? Of course not, you slowly hit your groundstrokes so you can warm-up your muscle and groove your groundstrokes.

Oh ... well it sounds so self-explanatory when you put it like that lol ... so on to my next question ... how do they hit it so cleanly?!

GrahamIsSuper
10-04-2005, 07:00 PM
Practice. I almost never mishit any serve other than an occasional kick simply because I practice my serve SO MUCH. I'm talking 200+ serves a DAY practice. Also, a smooth motion can produce just as much power really as a forced one, and has less chance of being mishit (haha that word without a hyphen looks AWESOME!) . Its all really explained here:

Do big muscular guys (3.0, lets say) hit harder than wiry little dudes (5.0)? No. They simply don't have the kinetic chains that a more advanced player harnesses in all their strokes. It's all about propper form.

Thanatos
10-05-2005, 03:59 AM
Practice. I almost never mishit any serve other than an occasional kick simply because I practice my serve SO MUCH. I'm talking 200+ serves a DAY practice. Also, a smooth motion can produce just as much power really as a forced one, and has less chance of being mishit (haha that word without a hyphen looks AWESOME!) . Its all really explained here:

Do big muscular guys (3.0, lets say) hit harder than wiry little dudes (5.0)? No. They simply don't have the kinetic chains that a more advanced player harnesses in all their strokes. It's all about propper form.


GrahamIsSuper is correct. Alot of players don't practice their serves bc they think it's boring, can't find the time, or whatever... The serve is one of the MOST important stroke in tennis and return of serve is second.

CLEAN CONTACT?
It slightly different depending on what type of serve you're trying to hit (slice, kick, twist, flat), but for the most part the fundamentals are the same. To hit a clean serve:

1. TOSS (location will vary depending on the type of serve): Try to keep your left shoulder (arm) up as long as possible after releasing the ball. To exaggerate this motion, after the ball is released try to keep the palm of your left hand facing the sky. This is an exaggeration to help you get the idea of keeping that left shoulder up. This exercise helps to keeps your chest up and head from dropping too early. When your head drops too early, it usually results in poor contact with the ball. Check out the link below:

http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-images/Sport/Pix/site_furniture/2003/06/20/roddick_serve1.gif

2. BALL CONTACT: During the toss-up and before striking the ball, try to VERIFY with your eyes that you have made clean contact with the ball. This means holding your head up to see the ball hit the sweetspot on your racquet. It will require you to reduce your racket head speed (swing). If done correctly, the ball will still have some pace; consistency, and the serve will feel effortless.

Shoulder\hip rotation and bent knees are important, but don't worry about that right now. The goal is to try and make clean contact with the ball. Once you have gotten into the rhythm of making clean contact, then slowly incorporate the shoulders\hip and bent knees.

It will feel awkward at first, but once you've made that clean contact. The ball will just fly of your racket with a nice pop! After a few sessions of serving, then you can start to increase your swing speed. However, if you start to mis-hit or not make clean contact with the sweet spot, then slow down the motion again. It takes discipline and self-control to force yourself not to whack the hell out f the ball. Be patient and don't get frustrated. Good luck!

Marius_Hancu
10-05-2005, 04:07 AM
check in the Sticky
Server Power and Placement, including this:

Primary muscles used for serving
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=29058
(check esp the "waterfall" approach by Bungalo Bill)

Kaptain Karl
10-05-2005, 08:12 AM
... how do they hit it so cleanly?!As has already been posted ... practice. But to elaborate on the saying, "Practice makes perfect," I'd say, "Perfect practice makes perfect."

After you have worked on a consistent toss and a smooth motion -- and hit dozens of baskets of serves -- you may want to test yourself to see just how consistent and smooth you really are with your serve. [WARNING: This can be demoralizing. What it SHOULD BE is an encouragement to follow GrahamIsSuper's advice and keep on perfectly practicing....]

1 - Stand in your Service Position on the baseline.
2 - Tie on a blindfold. (I usually use a bandanna. It’s too easy to cheat if you try to just do this with your eyes closed.)
3 - Relax.
4 - Hit three serves blindfolded. (Really!)

When I help my HS boys work on their serves, I demonstrate this. I can regularly (7-out-of-10-attempts) not merely “make contact” but hit a good serve blindfolded. I can hit my Slice, Flat and Kick serves this way. I can not only *hit* them, but hit them to my targets (Wide, Jam, Up-the-T) on request.

This is NOT because "I’m so great.” It’s because, like GrahamIsSuper I have hit tens of thousands of practice serves. I’ve “grooved” my motion with perfect practice.

This test of your Service Motion will really help you understand the importance of hitting serves in practice. (And not just having the practice goal of “emptying the basket,” but of practicing good, smooth, clean serves....)

- KK

GrahamIsSuper
10-05-2005, 12:54 PM
Like several people have aluded to, the toss is pivotal between having a good serve or a bad one. For a consistent serve, your toss must be in EXACTLY the same place every time. Sometimes I just practice tossing and not serving out, it is THAT important.