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Net Rusher
01-09-2006, 08:04 PM
What's the speed of a flat serve if the ball just jumps to the base of the wire mesh in a normal tennis court?

And can the ball jump farther if the server adds topspin even the speed is lower?

jonolau
01-09-2006, 11:21 PM
You've posted in the wrong section ...

jonolau
01-09-2006, 11:22 PM
Try Miscellaneous: Odds & Ends

didier
01-10-2006, 01:31 AM
your speed would be something like 110 mph.
mine also lands there and i had it measured once on a event.

you can make it jump higher by adding topspin but serving harder is what you really want, try using your legs and shoulders more

Ash Doyle
01-10-2006, 02:34 AM
If by wire mesh you mean the fence, then it all depends on how far back the fence is, and that varies from court to court. If everyone on these boards were to have their service speed professionally recorded, I'm sure we would all be amazed at how slow it is, with the majority unable to even break 100 mph. Don't argue this if you are just guessing...if you've ever been to an event where they do measure a person's serve you'd be hard pressed to find even one person that didn't walk away with a terribly bruised ego. Anyway, don't get so caught up on speed...just worry about placement and effectiveness.

bamboo
01-10-2006, 06:26 AM
http://www.getronics.com/global/en-gb/getronics/daviscup/speedserve/amateur-rankings.htm
Try this link/address - the little hand-helds are notoriously inaccurate.

Matthew
01-10-2006, 01:17 PM
if you've ever been to an event where they do measure a person's serve you'd be hard pressed to find even one person that didn't walk away with a terribly bruised ego.

Oh so true. ;)

In regards to the topic, very hard to answer. Too many variables... My suggestion? Get a radar gun, or just be happy if the returner isn't getting your ball back in play.

frekcles
01-11-2006, 06:58 AM
Oh so true. ;)

In regards to the topic, very hard to answer. Too many variables... My suggestion? Get a radar gun, or just be happy if the returner isn't getting your ball back in play.

I'd try to concentrate not so much on the velocity of your serve but in trying to get it in play. Of course it's harder said than done. Who wouldn't want to blast it past any opponent? I'd be happy if at least half of my serves go in. It's a work in progress.:D

TheRed
01-11-2006, 10:17 AM
Oh so true. ;)

In regards to the topic, very hard to answer. Too many variables... My suggestion? Get a radar gun, or just be happy if the returner isn't getting your ball back in play.

Actually, I hit harder than I thought but you're probably right, most don't serve as hard as they think and they worry far too much about speed. Years ago, I hit 109 at a tournament out in Carlsbad without warming up. Of course, nowadays I'd be hard pressed to hit 90 on my serves. Most amateurs probably peak around the 90's. The hardest serve most amateurs have seen is probably in the low 100's, which if you've played at a high enough level, is much different than a serve that hits 115-120. Adding to that, an amateur serve that hits 100 is not the same as one from a pro. Pro's hit 100 on their KICK serve. So not only is the ball coming as fast as you've ever seen, it's not moving in a straight line.

Kevo
01-11-2006, 10:48 AM
Yeah, every once in a while, maybe 2-4 times a match, I hit an incredible serve. Of course I don't try to hit them too often because I can't hit them on cue. However, it's a pretty nice feeling to see a serve that simply jumps over your opponents racquet on the way to the fence. Almost as nice is the serve that is so fast, they can't even complete a step before it's past them. I only know one other person that I've seen hit the ball that hard, so I'm sure that very few people at the club level have experienced that kind of serve. It happens all the time at the pro level though. Pretty amazing when you think about it.

Midlife crisis
01-11-2006, 02:40 PM
If you don't have access to a radar gun, you can tell about how fast you serve by figuring out how fast you can throw a baseball. Your serve speed will be about 50% faster than you can throw a baseball, and this seems accurate over a wide range of baseball throwing speeds.

Of course, now you just have to find a way to measure how fast you can throw a baseball!

VGP
01-12-2006, 05:04 AM
I know this is mostly a combination of speed and spin, but what's the speed of a serve that gets stuck in the fence or goes through the fence?

Kaptain Karl
01-12-2006, 06:30 AM
What's the speed of a flat serve if the ball just jumps to the base of the wire mesh in a normal tennis court?By now, you've received plenty of good answers to this part.

And can the ball jump farther if the server adds topspin even the speed is lower?Yes ... depending on the quality of the topspin.

My advice is club and Rec players should focus on placement of their serves, rather than on power. (Federer seldom hits BIG serves, but has one of the best serves in the business. He can place it where he wants.)

- KK

Net Rusher
01-12-2006, 06:56 AM
Thank you all!

Indiantwist
01-12-2006, 07:15 AM
What is up with 100MPH. Is it some kind of benchmark?. How does it matter. Elena dementieva puffies or second serves are well under 100 and she gets a few aces too just by her placement and that is PRO level.

didier
01-12-2006, 07:31 AM
there is a DIY way to measure the speed of your serve.
tape it with your webcam and laptop and count the number of frames till the first bounce.
then a bit of simple calculation will tell you the average speed.

oh and
a serve loses about 30 % of its speed till the first bounce

VGP
01-12-2006, 07:31 AM
What is up with 100MPH. Is it some kind of benchmark?. How does it matter. Elena dementieva puffies or second serves are well under 100 and she gets a few aces too just by her placement and that is PRO level.

I suppose it's kindof a benchmark....

As for Dementieva, her serve gets the point started. She's quick and has killer groundstrokes. Plus her return game is good. Her serve is her biggest weakness and she acknowledges this.

chess9
01-12-2006, 08:06 AM
Dementieva needs to learn to toss the ball on the serve. No other pro has such an anemic toss. Sometimes she barely clears her head! I watched her double fault her way to a loss in December. Very sad. She's one of my favorite players otherwise. I'm guessing she gets nervous and a bit tight with the throwing arm.

I'm hitting about 82 mph on my serve measured at the net with one of the cheap radar units. I'm guessing that's only about 90-95 mph at the racquet head. Anyone actually know?

Anyway, Dememtieva out serves me on her first serve. :)

-Robert
________
Vaporgenie Vaporizer (http://www.vaporshop.com/vaporgenie-vaporizer.html)

VGP
01-12-2006, 08:36 AM
I know this is mostly a combination of speed and spin, but what's the speed of a serve that gets stuck in the fence or goes through the fence?

Anyone?

I'd like to seek out a radar gun. I sure don't want to drop $160 on one just to see.

Kaptain Karl
01-12-2006, 10:20 AM
If I recall correctly, the Pros' serves are measured by the speed in the vicinity of the net; not as the ball is leaving their racket.

Can anyone verify or correct this...?

- KK

Midlife crisis
01-12-2006, 10:58 AM
I'm hitting about 82 mph on my serve measured at the net with one of the cheap radar units. I'm guessing that's only about 90-95 mph at the racquet head. Anyone actually know?

A tennis ball loses approximately 1 MPH for every 2-3 feet it travels, depending on how much spin it has. You trade spin for speed. In baseball, every inch you make the ball break, you lose between 0.5 to 1 MPH at the glove. It's probably about the same or a little greater for a tennis ball.

Kaptain Karl, the radar units are not a point-beam - it's a fairly wide beam. I'm not absolutely sure of how the signal processing algorithm works, but in most systems similar to this, it will display the highest speed it receives that initates and passes the detection threshold. In other words, if you point it at the net and slightly upward and activate the radar, it'll probably pick up both the racket swing and the ball as it leaves the racket, but the ball speed will be higher and possibly be an equally strong signal, so it will report this.

Roddick's 150+ MPH serves have to be measured right after the ball leaves the racket. If it were to really cross the net at 150 MPH, it would be leaving his racket at 170+ and that's not physically possible (either that or he should go and be a baseball pitcher, being the first to be able to throw 110+ MPH and make **WAY** more money doing that than playing tennis).

To the OP, there is no way you can determine how fast a serve is by how it bounces. We can't know how far the fence is behind the baseline, how tall your serve's contact point is, how new the balls are, how rough the court surface is, how wide the links in a fence are, or a number of other variables that would make it only a guessing game and a poor one at that. It is, however, pretty safe to say that unless people are routinely amazed by the speed of your serve, if you are a 4.0 player or under, it is almost assuredly under 100 MPH, probably closer to 90 MPH. If you're up in the 115-120 MPH range, people will usually be gasping when you let it all hang out, and on a full sized baseball field, you'll be able to make a second-base to home-plate throw, all 127.25 feet of it, without the ball getting much above 10 feet high. You should also be able to throw a baseball probably 250-300 feet, or throw a football 50 yards with good control.

VGP
01-12-2006, 11:13 AM
Roddick's 150+ MPH serves have to be measured right after the ball leaves the racket. If it were to really cross the net at 150 MPH, it would be leaving his racket at 170+ and that's not physically possible....

If the serve is clocked across the net, then maybe the calculated speed of Bill Tilden's 160+ mph is correct. :confused:

Kaptain Karl
01-12-2006, 11:55 AM
A tennis ball loses approximately 1 MPH for every 2-3 feet it travels, depending on how much spin it has. You trade spin for speed. In baseball, every inch you make the ball break, you lose between 0.5 to 1 MPH at the glove. It's probably about the same or a little greater for a tennis ball.I'm no engineer. How do you know this? (In plain English, please.)

I'm not absolutely sure of how the signal processing algorithm works, but in most systems similar to this, it will display the highest speed it receives that initates and passes the detection threshold.I thought I remembered the article in World Tennis saying Dibley's 145mph serve was measured at the net. (Remember, I asked for verification / correction when I floated this issue. I really do want to understand this....)

Roddick's 150+ MPH serves have to be measured right after the ball leaves the racket. If it were to really cross the net at 150 MPH, it would be leaving his racket at 170+ and that's not physically possibleSame question. How do you know...?

It is, however, pretty safe to say that unless people are routinely amazed by the speed of your serve, if you are a 4.0 player or under, it is almost assuredly under 100 MPH, probably closer to 90 MPH. If you're up in the 115-120 MPH range, people will usually be gasping when you let it all hang out ...My only "correction" would be, I'd be surprised if most 4.0s and under can even break 85MPH.

If you're up in the 115-120 MPH range ... on a full sized baseball field, you'll be able to make a second-base to home-plate throw, all 127.25 feet of it, without the ball getting much above 10 feet high. You should also be able to throw a baseball probably 250-300 feet, or throw a football 50 yards with good control.Okay, this is fascinating to me. I *know* my serve is as fast now (or very close) as it was in my late 20s. (I'm 49.)

When I was 30 and playing Center Field in the Denver Softball League, players from other teams would warn each other not to try to stretch a double on a ball hit to me. (I used to have "cannon".) By the time I was 42, I'd moved myself around to Right; the cannon was no more than a pop-gun by then. Today, I laugh when the guys call me to substitute for one of their Outfielders....

How is it that I cannot throw a baseball very fast and hard anymore, but I still am known for having a BIG serve? (IOW, I'm suspicious "something" in your explanation is ... off.)

If the serve is clocked across the net, then maybe the calculated speed of Bill Tilden's 160+ mph is correct.Huh?

- KK

Midlife crisis
01-12-2006, 11:58 AM
If the serve is clocked across the net, then maybe the calculated speed of Bill Tilden's 160+ mph is correct. :confused:

I've heard this story before but I don't know the details of it. My thoughts are that in that day, there were no good time measuring devices for events like this, and even small measurement errors will lead to large calculation errors. Then, like all things old, near, and dear, they get embellished with time. After all, anyone with kids will surely have said how they had to walk to school, 10 miles and uphill each way, with snow always on the ground and only one shoe.

There was an article published in excerpted form in Scientific American several years ago that calculated the absolute best performances possible based on detailed scientific analysis of tissue strength and muscular contractile capabilities. That study says that no modern human will ever run 100 meters below about 8.8 seconds, nor will a modern human ever pitch a baseball more than about 110 MPH unless they do it only once, during which their joints and ligaments will come apart becauses the forces necessary to do this will exceed the strength of the structures that hold us together.

So, I say that it is extremely unlikely that Bill Tilden got anywhere near 160 MPH considering the racket, string, and ball technology of his day, nor is it scientifically believable that Mickey Mantle (or whomever it is supposed to be) hit a 600 foot homerun without a huge tailwind or some other assistance. If these things were possible by a one in a 100 million, exceptionally gifted athlete, we should see these things in sports performances, but we don't have one 150+ MPH server and no one else that can get over 130 MPH, nor are there any runners who win a 100 meter competition by half a second. At the very limits of human capabilities, the differences between the elite are very small.

VGP
01-12-2006, 12:41 PM
(I suppose given the question and discussion, this thread should be moved)

As for calculations, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to calculate the speed of a ball hit across a tennis court. Bill Tilden played in the 1920s. Albert Einstein proposed his theory of relativity in 1905. I'm sure it can be done even with a stopwatch.

If a mile = 5280 feet and a tennis court is 78 feet long, a tennis court is 0.01477 miles.

If it takes a ball 1 second to travel end to end, the ball's speed averages 53.18 mph.

For a 100 mph serve, it should take 0.532 sec to travel across the court.

For a 150 mph serve, it should take 0.354 sec to travel across the court.

I know that serves are hit at an angle and bounce off the surface of the court. Factor in differences in air resistance, initial velocity, ball spin, and after bounce speeds, even still, you should be able to get an approximation of how fast a serve is hit.


My train of thought correlating "today's" measurement of the serve being measured across the net to Bill Tilden was if Andy Roddick's 150 mph serves are measured at the net (with a radar gun) then there's been a decrease from the initial striking velocity and therefore his serve was actually faster coming off his strings. Bill Tilden's calculated serve was figured out (obviously) in a different manner. I think was in the Guiness Book of World Records (Tilden) but has been adjusted for measurement with new equipment (Roddick).

Old info: http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2001/TinaCheung.shtml
New info: http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/content_pages/record.asp?recordid=44299

Midlife crisis
01-12-2006, 01:10 PM
I'm no engineer. How do you know this? (In plain English, please.)

The coefficient of drag of a ball is well known, and it is not hard to make pretty accurate estimates on the effects of the nap of the ball. A tennis ball moving at a certain velocity has a certain amount of energy. If you know the energy of the ball and the energy resisting the ball, it's a relatively simple calculation.

There was also a thread here that quoted an older article in RSI, I believe, that measured the speed of a serve coming off the racket, as it crossed the net, right before it landed, right after it landed, and when it reached the baseline. I'll try and find that after this post and link to it.

I thought I remembered the article in World Tennis saying Dibley's 145mph serve was measured at the net. (Remember, I asked for verification / correction when I floated this issue. I really do want to understand this....)

Same question. How do you know...?

I don't know with absolute certainty. However, I do have a pretty good understanding of human physiology, physics, mechanics, and biomechanics. The coefficient of restitution, which is basically how efficient a racquet is when hitting a ball, is not as great compared with a modern racket and Colin Dibley, not being an exceptionally large individual, would have had to be able to generate levels of force that would have been off the charts using a 13 ounce racquet to get a tennis ball to 145 MPH at the net. It would have been close to the levels of force that would have physically injured him, and there are things in our body (Golgi tendon organs) which prevent this from happening.

My only "correction" would be, I'd be surprised if most 4.0s and under can even break 85MPH.

I see quite a few sub 4.0 players who can really bash the ball hard but they usually don't go in. During a match situation, I'd agree that this is about as hard as they usually serve.

Okay, this is fascinating to me. I *know* my serve is as fast now (or very close) as it was in my late 20s. (I'm 49.)

When I was 30 and playing Center Field in the Denver Softball League, players from other teams would warn each other not to try to stretch a double on a ball hit to me. (I used to have "cannon".) By the time I was 42, I'd moved myself around to Right; the cannon was no more than a pop-gun by then. Today, I laugh when the guys call me to substitute for one of their Outfielders....

How is it that I cannot throw a baseball very fast and hard anymore, but I still am known for having a BIG serve? (IOW, I'm suspicious "something" in your explanation is ... off.)

If you look at a throwing motion and a serving motion, they are similar with the exception of those things necessary to get the arm in the proper slot for the motion and to keep the motion legal. In other words, the takeback, the shoulder rotation, the elbow leading the hand, the squaring up of the palm to the target right before/at release/impact, and the pronation during the stroke, are all very similar. Hand speed during the motion equates to racquet speed and throwing speed. If the motions are similar and if you have enough muscle mass to effectively swing a racquet, then I believe the general guideline that a serve is about 50% faster than a thrown baseball applies very well. It fits in well with modeling showing how much faster a swung racquet is moving compared to the hand, and is in line with the percentage of ball speed compared to racquet speed.

I don't know why you can't throw like you used to. I'm 44 and can still throw a baseball around 80 MPH, which is about as fast as I've ever been able to throw a baseball. It sure does hurt the elbow more than serving though!

Midlife crisis
01-12-2006, 01:13 PM
Kaptain Karl, here's the thread I referred to in my previous post. It's post #24 from "twocents":

http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=72206

Kaptain Karl
01-13-2006, 08:29 AM
Thanks for the English answers.

If you look at a throwing motion and a serving motion, they are similar ... Hand speed during the motion equates to racquet speed and throwing speed. If the motions are similar and if you have enough muscle mass to effectively swing a racquet, then I believe the general guideline that a serve is about 50% faster than a thrown baseball applies very well.As a "general rule" I can accept this. My own throwing/serving case must be an exception. And back in college, my roommate (the baseball teams #2 Catcher) could throw a baseball a great distance on a laser line. We thought it was funny that he -- a very good athlete -- could not hit a serve well at all ... and I -- also athletic -- could throw a ball only half as far as he could. (Remember, post-college my CF throw to the Infield was reputed to be a gun.)

Interesting stuff....

I don't know why you can't throw like you used to. I'm 44 and can still throw a baseball around 80 MPH, which is about as fast as I've ever been able to throw a baseball.I don't understand this either.
It sure does hurt the elbow more than serving though!If I've been using lots of Flat or Kick serves, I "feel it" in my shoulder the next day. (Slice serves don't do this to me.)

If I try to throw a baseball as if to gun down a runner stretching a double? Oh boy! I feel that (shoulder again) right away....

I *did* mess up my rotator cuff in HS and College. An ortho told me (back in '84) I needed surgery. Instead I got more informed about weight lifting and stuck with my karate training. My rotator cuff only gives me trouble if I don't remain diligent at the gym....

That twocents/Yandell piece was very interesting. Thanks.

- KK

chess9
01-13-2006, 08:50 AM
Midlifecrisis:

Thanks for that. I'll take it! At 63, at least I can get the ball over the net!! :)

Anyway, I seem to recall that all the pro serves are measured just in front of the baseline, so that the speed is calculated at or near the moment of striking. Please do not ask me to recall from whence that notion came. I have a couple of tennis science books at home (I'm in England today.) and will check when I get back, though. (My teaching pro told me pro serves were measured at the vicinity of the racquet, but that's not my source.)

I cannot imagine Roddick's serve being measured at the net at 150+ mph. It just doesn't seem credible based upon my baseball experience. I think MLC is right about this.

-Robert
________
Amateur orgy (http://www.****tube.com/categories/68/orgy/videos/1)

Midlife crisis
01-13-2006, 11:52 AM
If I've been using lots of Flat or Kick serves, I "feel it" in my shoulder the next day. (Slice serves don't do this to me.)

If I try to throw a baseball as if to gun down a runner stretching a double? Oh boy! I feel that (shoulder again) right away....

I *did* mess up my rotator cuff in HS and College. An ortho told me (back in '84) I needed surgery. Instead I got more informed about weight lifting and stuck with my karate training. My rotator cuff only gives me trouble if I don't remain diligent at the gym....

That twocents/Yandell piece was very interesting. Thanks.

- KK

I think some of this can be chalked up to the fact that you've played a lot of tennis and so your motion is optimized for swinging with the amount of inertia resisting your hand that a tennis racquet provides, and not a baseball. This is probably also the reason that people who fiddle around with racquet weights find that their fastest serves come at different swingweights depending on the person. If you were to practice throwing a baseball again, I'm sure you'd get to the point where you can gun it again. I've only kept it up out of necessity since my son's been playing little league.

As far as the shoulder, if you look at high speed footage of something who serves hard or someone who throws hard, you'll see that the upper arm almost comes to a full stop at the moment of full extension to hit or release the ball. This is necessary so the momentum in the body turn can get transferred to the upper arm, which must then stop to transfer the momentum into the forearm and, from there into the the racquet. In any event, at the moment of impact the decelerative shock of the racquet travels down the arm and into the shoulder, with the upper arm acting as a lever against the shoulder when it is in a pretty vulnerable position.

Common sense would say that you want to get your arm/shoulder out of that position as quickly as you can without causing undue strain elsewhere. Do it too fast and you end up with labrum-type injuries like a lot of pitchers have. However, I've found that if I try and maintain that position for as long as I can, my shoulder is happier. I do this by accentuating my bend forward from the waist after serving, and making sure that the majority of the deceleration of the racket happens through pronation and not through lowering of my upper arm. I end up with my upper body almost parallel to the ground, with my serving upper arm pointing downward but only at a 45 degree angle. This helps, but makes recovery from that serving position difficult. It's pretty immaterial since I'm only able to bomb about a dozen serves per match anyway. Any more than that and my muscles just aren't up to it.

Midlife crisis
01-13-2006, 11:54 AM
Midlifecrisis:

Thanks for that. I'll take it! At 63, at least I can get the ball over the net!! :)

Anyway, I seem to recall that all the pro serves are measured just in front of the baseline, so that the speed is calculated at or near the moment of striking. Please do not ask me to recall from whence that notion came. I have a couple of tennis science books at home (I'm in England today.) and will check when I get back, though. (My teaching pro told me pro serves were measured at the vicinity of the racquet, but that's not my source.)

I cannot imagine Roddick's serve being measured at the net at 150+ mph. It just doesn't seem credible based upon my baseball experience. I think MLC is right about this.

-Robert

No problem. Most of the time, I'm pretty happy to get a ball over the net too!

BTW, the article I quoted above was in a Scientific American published in 1996, I believe. The articles are only available online on the Scientific American website for a cost, so I can't link to it and shouldn't post large parts of it verbatim. I'll dig out my own paper copy in the next few days and get some more tidbits from it if anyone is interested.

tonysk83
01-13-2006, 12:39 PM
If you don't have access to a radar gun, you can tell about how fast you serve by figuring out how fast you can throw a baseball. Your serve speed will be about 50% faster than you can throw a baseball, and this seems accurate over a wide range of baseball throwing speeds.

Of course, now you just have to find a way to measure how fast you can throw a baseball!

If that is true then I'd serve around 105-110 mph. So I don't think that is accurate for me. I throw about 70-75 mph, but my serve on a hard flat bomb is probably close to that I am guessing, with my topspin 2nd serve around 50 or so. No idea though.

killer
01-13-2006, 12:58 PM
Interesting physics behind measurement, indeed! I had my serve measured by radar gun quite a few times as a 19 year-old, and my flat first serves were averaging in the 110-115 mph range (relatively accurately in the corners of the service box), with the highest being 126mph. When you realize how bloody hard you have to hit the ball to get it up to that velocity, it gives you a real sense of appreciation for pros who routinely hit in that speed range and higher! Even recalling how my arm felt after a day of radar-gun measurement is making it ache! :-)

Matthew
01-13-2006, 01:07 PM
Most amateurs probably peak around the 90's.

Wow I feel exceptional! :D I dunno what you would consider an amateur but I get my first serve up to about 110 to 115 and I consider myself a 4.0.

TheRed
01-13-2006, 06:11 PM
Wow I feel exceptional! :D I dunno what you would consider an amateur but I get my first serve up to about 110 to 115 and I consider myself a 4.0.

110-115 is exceptional. But rankings are more than the speed of your serve unfortunately. A 5.0 would exploit a 4.0's weaknesses, even if the 4.0 could consistently serve well, because by definition, a 4.0 is not as strong in other areas.
When I was a 4.5, I served 110-115 consistently. I would win 6-4 on one break because I couldn't return worth a lick. I once served 11 aces in a set and still won like 6-4. Now, I'm about a 5.0-5.5 and serve about an ace every two sets but my return game and groundstrokes are much more consistent with better control. I played a 4.5 to 5.0 who I consistently beat 3 and 2. He served quite well, probably in the low 100's to 110, with few double faults. I still break him about 30-40% of the time.

Freedom
01-13-2006, 11:57 PM
Elena dementieva puffies or second serves are well under 100 and she gets a few aces too just by her placement and that is PRO level.


Well under 100? I thought it was well under 60...

I always wonder how Dementieva got to where she is with such a big flaw in her game. The rest of her game must be epic or she'd be gobbled up in every first round. (I've never really seen her play more than a couple points.)

Mike Cottrill
04-05-2006, 12:03 PM
If you don't have access to a radar gun, you can tell about how fast you serve by figuring out how fast you can throw a baseball. Your serve speed will be about 50% faster than you can throw a baseball, and this seems accurate over a wide range of baseball throwing speeds.

Of course, now you just have to find a way to measure how fast you can throw a baseball!
Midlife,
50% faster than you can throw a baseball? This is interesting… Okay, about 15 years ago I was at a place that had a radar gun set up to measure baseball pitches. The goal was not to throw the hardest but a series of balls at the same speed. Well, being macho, I was more interested in seeing how hard I could throw (nothing to measure a strike zone). My first two measure 87 and 85. This was thrown from a flat surface (no mound). When I saw those numbers, I did not believe the reading and thought they were high. I’m a small athletic man and it just did not add up to me, but who knows. The other balls I threw I toned it down to try and be consistent. Those measured in the low 70’s, witch still seemed high.

My tennis serves. I always wondered how hard they were. An ex ATP pro friend of mind said his flat serve was around 105-110 when we were hitting. I hit with a guy in Hawaii for a few minutes who was just off challenger circuit and he said his were reading around 117 consistently. He is 6-5 and hits only huge kickers with a lot of movement. A friend of mine in my opinion hits a heavier ball then both of these folks, but without the placement and consistency (the key more than MPH).

Now to the radar gun: One of the guys we hit with brought out one of those hand held Bushnell radar guns. To be honest, this thing was very flaky and I’m not sure I believe the readings (they just do not seem to be consistent). First, my friend above that hits a heavy serve highest reading was 104. More than half the time the thing would not make a reading. I think the highest mine measured was 102 when the thing would actually make a reading. I have never returned my own serves :), but I sure think his are a lot harder than mine. This thing however would not measure what we felt were the fastest serves. It was just blank. Again, I was surprised that my serve was this fast. With your statement though, my serve should be on the top end 130mph. On the low end 105mph. At my height and weight, I just do not think it is possible for me to hit 130mph serve. So how did you come up with formula?

I’m confused by both the radar readings and your statement. As far as the radar gun goes, I have to laugh… During a set a guy was standing behind me with the Bushnell and I let one rip as hard as I could for an unreturnable, and it measured 25mph. I guess that it measured my foot speed?? I’m just not convinced that these low end radar guns are returning the correct MPHs. I figured my hardest serves were in the 90’s at best.

Were did you come up with this: “50% faster than you can throw a baseball?”
Thanks
Mike

Ko8727
04-05-2006, 02:45 PM
hey for that baseball dealy i used to pitch in high shcool then i got a bone bruise and tendonitis and quit because the schools pitching coach wouldnt let me not pitch his way...which was wrong but thats another story and i can throw my fastball at 85 mph for like 2 innings then i lose a little so but im not sure on my serve other than i think i might be able to break a 100 once in while but good news ill report tommorow with my serve speed ill ask my coach tonight for his gun.

Mike Cottrill
05-10-2006, 11:35 AM
Midlife ?? any response?