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View Full Version : how to measure serve speed?

brandonht
05-07-2006, 05:36 PM
I've purchased a radar gun but i'm curious as to where i should be placing the radar gun.

are serves measured before they bounce or after they bounce?
should the radar gun be placed at the baseline or at the service line?

TheSnowMan
05-07-2006, 05:56 PM
I think people put it in the service box, near the net.

Andres
05-07-2006, 06:17 PM
I've purchased a radar gun but i'm curious as to where i should be placing the radar gun.

are serves measured before they bounce or after they bounce?
should the radar gun be placed at the baseline or at the service line?
The serves are measured when the ball gets in contact with the racquet. The contact point. There is no point of measuring the speed after the bounce, the ball lost like 50% of its initial speed ;)

FuZz_Da_AcE
05-07-2006, 06:20 PM
they put it at the net. think about it, in professional tournaments, both player's serve speed must be measured equally, and if the ball is served into the net, the speed is still registered.

MTChong
05-07-2006, 07:32 PM
Are you sure it's at the net Fuzz_da_ace? How would it measure if it goes into the net then?

doriancito
05-07-2006, 08:18 PM
put it against the net facing diagonally where you are serving

tennis_nerd22
05-07-2006, 08:58 PM
Are you sure it's at the net Fuzz_da_ace? How would it measure if it goes into the net then?

dont matter, its a fault ;)

i mean, if your measuring your serve, may as well be a good serve. unless of course your just seeing how hard you can actually hit. thats different

Midlife crisis
05-07-2006, 09:24 PM
The golden standard would be how effectively your opponents can return your serve, but if you are trying to put down "a number", you want to measure the ball speed as soon as possible after it leaves your racquet. A tennis ball slows down by 1 MPH for about every two feet it travels, more if it is spinning, so measuring at the net would show the ball moving about 18-20 MPH slower than right off the racquet.

The speeds you see for pros are usually measured by pointing the device at the impact point. Once the ball is the only reflected signal, the gun usually will pick it up then, maybe five or six feet after impact.

MTChong
05-08-2006, 07:47 AM
The golden standard would be how effectively your opponents can return your serve, but if you are trying to put down "a number", you want to measure the ball speed as soon as possible after it leaves your racquet. A tennis ball slows down by 1 MPH for about every two feet it travels, more if it is spinning, so measuring at the net would show the ball moving about 18-20 MPH slower than right off the racquet.

The speeds you see for pros are usually measured by pointing the device at the impact point. Once the ball is the only reflected signal, the gun usually will pick it up then, maybe five or six feet after impact.

This was also my understanding of it; and I believe I even read an article about how the newer speed guns are able to measure closer and closer to the contact point.

Clive Walker
05-08-2006, 08:18 AM
I was most disappointed when I had a go with on a radar gun (It was in a tent at Wimbledon last year). The best I registered was 84mph -admittedly this was with soft balls, a strange bat, in front of 100s and with no warm up, but I would really have hoped to have registered 3 figures.

I suppose I should have said that I give my serves quite a whack.

Hoot
05-08-2006, 08:34 AM
I was most disappointed when I had a go with on a radar gun (It was in a tent at Wimbledon last year). The best I registered was 84mph -admittedly this was with soft balls, a strange bat, in front of 100s and with no warm up, but I would really have hoped to have registered 3 figures.

I suppose I should have said that I give my serves quite a whack.

I think a lot of people would be shocked by the speed they registered. I have a friend that thinks my serve is around 120+ and I tell him that my guess would be only 100 for my best serve. I don't think people realize how fast 120+ is when a serve is coming right at you.

sdslyout
05-08-2006, 08:40 AM
The MLB uses radar guns at all games , scouts use radar guns to scout pitchers.
the radar gun is behind the plate , behind the back board and ANY radar gun is used from a distance and the object has to travel towards the radar gun. Another way is like in drag racing, distance , time to cover that distance will result a mph . it also uses a "beam "

chess9
05-08-2006, 09:17 AM
My radar unit measures speed at the net. My best speeds are 98 mph for a serve that did NOT go into the service box :( and 93 for one that did. My average is around 85 mph for a first serve (measured at the net) and around 72 for a second. I've made extensive use of my radar unit as a means of testing certain changes to my serving motion, including turning more at setup, ala McEnroe. (that is very hard to do properly and was a no go)

Anyway, in college I was a lights out server. I moved at least three tectonic plates during my career. :) At 63, I'm not doing too badly. :)

-Robert

Midlife crisis
05-08-2006, 09:22 AM
I think a lot of people would be shocked by the speed they registered. I have a friend that thinks my serve is around 120+ and I tell him that my guess would be only 100 for my best serve. I don't think people realize how fast 120+ is when a serve is coming right at you.

There was an older, long thread about this and clearly most people overestimate how fast they can serve, and most people are only in the double digits.

One good way of knowing if you really are hitting a serve 110+ is that people will generally stop to "ooh and ahhh" if you are really doing so. It is not common to be able to serve that hard.

Clive Walker
05-08-2006, 09:45 AM
There was an older, long thread about this and clearly most people overestimate how fast they can serve, and most people are only in the double digits.

One good way of knowing if you really are hitting a serve 110+ is that people will generally stop to "ooh and ahhh" if you are really doing so. It is not common to be able to serve that hard.

I'm inclined to agree on that one, - although given that I managed a mid 80's serve in unusual circumstances I would like to feel that I could manage mid 90's when all is going well.

Galactus
05-08-2006, 10:57 AM
I usually serve out-wide and down-the-T around 85-95mph.

I know that if I flat-serve faster, three things happen:
* I lose overall consistency, placement-wise
* they're easier for opponents to block-back on returns
* I fault more

Kevo
05-08-2006, 12:42 PM
One good way of knowing if you really are hitting a serve 110+ is that people will generally stop to "ooh and ahhh" if you are really doing so. It is not common to be able to serve that hard.

I am by consensus the hardest server in my 4.0 team, and I would guess that my first serve is probably only about 90-100mph when I am not trying to kill it.

However, when I really hit it hard, I get one of several reactions.
1) Stunned silence
2) Complete misses (the ball has already hit the fence by the time the racquet starts moving)
3) Screams of terror as they try to get out of the way, and they don't always make it.

Hoot
05-08-2006, 01:06 PM
I am by consensus the hardest server in my 4.0 team, and I would guess that my first serve is probably only about 90-100mph when I am not trying to kill it.

However, when I really hit it hard, I get one of several reactions.
1) Stunned silence
2) Complete misses (the ball has already hit the fence by the time the racquet starts moving)
3) Screams of terror as they try to get out of the way, and they don't always make it.

Playing in an indoor 3.0 doubles league this winter, I had some comments on a few serves that I really went after and hit the top of the net. The sound was really loud and usually the player returning the serve took a few steps back for the next one. :D

This spring I really worked on a dependable top spin serve and now I really hit that most of the time and every once in awhile try to bomb one.

eahls
05-08-2006, 01:16 PM
I'm inclined to agree on that one, - although given that I managed a mid 80's serve in unusual circumstances I would like to feel that I could manage mid 90's when all is going well.

I get that all the time :p Truthfully I used to think I served around 110 but got clocked at 103 about 3 years ago. But since then I have definetly added atleast 4-5 mph to my serve (more knee bending) so I should be close.