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View Full Version : Why is my return of serve so bad??? help plz


knasty131
07-04-2006, 10:16 AM
Ok, I play with the wilson HPS 7.1 and for some reason I cannot return with it. My serve is awesome, groundstrokes penetrating, and volleys solid...but my return is just awful...I have tried several other rackets and have found that my returns are better with them, but i cant generate as much spin as i normally would with my 7.1 in every other aspect (groundies, serve)...I have 3 grams of lead in the handle, a leather grip, and 3 grams of lead at 3&9 o'clock but i just added more with some hope that more stability will help...if anyone has ANY advice, please help me out...or if i need to provide more info in order to help, just post here...

BTW I am a 5.0 player, lefty, big kick serve, like to hang around the baseline but have no objections to coming in on short balls...

will1087
07-04-2006, 10:23 AM
Just out of curiosity, how's your preperation, what kind of grip do you use, what about services returns bothers you, and what type of serve do you have the most trouble with?

knasty131
07-04-2006, 10:28 AM
serve returns dont come easy to me, tennis came naturally but the return aspect just didnt...my preparation is just me bouncing my feet, trying to stay on my toes...i use a semi western grip...serves that are heavy or just with a lot of pace i have trouble with...the sitting second serves i run around and hit a forehand with loads of spin to keep it in but other than that, they plain and simple suck

knasty131
07-04-2006, 10:32 AM
oh yeah since this is in the rackets section of the board, i meant to ask what can i do with my racket to possibly enhance my returns

will1087
07-04-2006, 10:47 AM
Do you frame a lot of returns? Do they go long/short/flat?

If its a stability issue, you might want to add a bit more lead to the hoop and handle. The HPS is a pretty light racquet and extra weight means more plow through and should help you swing through your returns.

If you find yourself stabbing at a lot of serves, you might want to add more lead in just the hoop.

Kevo
07-04-2006, 02:03 PM
I don't understand why a 5.0 player would be looking for help on returns from some racquet mods. I can't imagine that you could beat another 5.0 player if you can't return well. Maybe this is all in your head?

bluescreen
07-04-2006, 02:09 PM
thats what im thinking. seems to be a mental problem to me. if u're 5.0, there's no technical reason why u shouldnt be getting your return of serve in, whether it be off a hard serve or not. u just need that mentality that u CAN get that return in.

ps 6.0
07-04-2006, 02:38 PM
The first thing i'd wonder is if you're taking big cuts at the ball or are you trying to ease the ball into the point? As all 5.0 players know, you dont have to take a big cut at the ball on a serve return to hit a penetrating return. Try taking a compact approach to the serve return. Think about your full stroke on your forehand. . . then go ahead and try to cut your takeback 25% at first. (meaning wind up 75% of the way) and try to "aggresively" bunt the ball back. Not actually bunting but mimic it avoid wristing the ball.

A good drill to practice with a friend is to have your friend hit some overheads into the service box to your forehand just to force yourself to hit with less of a backswing.

ace of spades
07-04-2006, 02:46 PM
s...my preparation is just me bouncing my feet, trying to stay on my toes...

Split step, you see every pro do it. It takes practice, timing on the s-s is very important, but it does improve your ability to react to the incomming serve and return it successfully. I would expect any and every 5.0 player to be able to successfully split and at least block back the serve.

kinsella
07-04-2006, 02:52 PM
How can you be 5.0 without a terrific return? Most 4.5s return very well and it is really hard to hurt a 5.0 in my experience.

Shoulder turning is likely the answer to your original question. You always have time to turn, even when you don't have time to get your feet just right. On those occassions, the serve will supply the power if you meet it with your large muscles, not just your arm and stick. A shoulder turn allows you to put your "core" on the ball. This also gives you a consistent starting point for each return swing, yada yada. Any decent pro could tell you all this and sometimes you cannot fix these things by yourself. Least of all with a racquet mod.

jaykay
07-04-2006, 02:52 PM
The first thing i'd wonder is if you're taking big cuts at the ball or are you trying to ease the ball into the point? As all 5.0 players know, you dont have to take a big cut at the ball on a serve return to hit a penetrating return. Try taking a compact approach to the serve return. Think about your full stroke on your forehand. . . then go ahead and try to cut your takeback 25% at first. (meaning wind up 75% of the way) and try to "aggresively" bunt the ball back. Not actually bunting but mimic it avoid wristing the ball.

A good drill to practice with a friend is to have your friend hit some overheads into the service box to your forehand just to force yourself to hit with less of a backswing.

Great post. Split-step, short backswing.

And as other posters have pointed out, if you are a 5.0, you would know this.

Good luck!

knasty131
07-04-2006, 04:50 PM
I understand why without seeing me play and here I am posting about "how to return a serve" would mislead you...but its not that I miss all my returns, but I was wondering what would give me that extra plow through that Will1087 mentioned...when I used the PS 6.1 Classic and the M-fil 200, it had that plow through and my returns were very solid...anyone who has played with the HPS 7.1 will tell you that against the heavy hitters, stability is an issue with this racket...but today I added some more lead (stretched from 2-8 o'clock), and my returns were a lot more solid...and just for the record, as a junior in texas I was an 18's super champ, went to state for doubles, and am about to try out for a D1 tennis team...

But regardless, thanks for the advice will, and as some of you said, my problem is mainly mental...and every player 1.0-7.0 has their mental issues...the mental issues of the game play no role on level of the player...

jaykay, yeah I tend to try and put more topspin on my returns...which give me decent sucess...but the short swing helps when i actually do it...

and kinsella, I never thought of the shoulder turn...good point...i have only had professional lessons several times and this was never brought out to me...

once again, thanks for the advice...and go poo on yourself if you picked at me...just messin :p

jaykay
07-04-2006, 05:07 PM
Ok, I get it now. This is not really a technique query..., but more of a racquet query.

But I do hope that the split-step and short backswing tips that the others have provided will help you. The drill mentioned by 'p.s.6.0' will also help.

Now, in connection to your original query, in order to put a service return with some depth and spin, a relatively stiffer racquet with strings that provide better feel/playability may help your cause. Some addl wt in the hoop may also help. I'm not familiar with the HPS 7.1's specs, but the Prince TT Warrior type specs would be a great stick for service returns, chip-n-charge and volleys. Other old-school classic frames which'll fit the bill would be the Prince Original Graphite, the Wilson Pro Staff and the Head Prestige Classic.

You may want to look up the general specs of such sticks and see if you can mod your existing HPS 7.1 frame accordingly.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!

Cheers.

knasty131
07-04-2006, 05:12 PM
Ok, I get it now. This is not really a technique query..., but more of a racquet query.

Yeah, I tried to clarify that...I thought the putting it in the racquet section would be good enough...but no hard feelings...and just for the record...the HPS 7.1 specs are...

Model: Hyper ProStaff Zone 7.1
Headsize: 95 Sqr. Inches
Length: 27 Inches
Stationary Weight: 329g strung
Balance: 7 points head light
Swingweight: 317
Stiffness: 59 (100 point scale)
Beam Width: 21mm
Composition: HyperCarbon/Graphite/Kevlar
Power Level: 2 (0 to 10 scale)

But yeah, the added lead made the racket similar on returns to my other ones

jaykay
07-04-2006, 05:18 PM
This sounds like a fairly flexy stick and not too stiff (stiffness rating in the high 50's), which is not necessarily bad, just different.

You can't mod the stiffness of the stick but you can defly play around with the static weight, swingweight and balance by customizing with lead tape.

I hv got some good tips from knowledgeable posters such as Louis Netman, vkartikv, Monologuist and Court_Jester on racquet modification, what racquets to demo, what strings to use etc... you may want to reach out to them.

Good luck!

knasty131
07-04-2006, 08:18 PM
much love from my texas folk!!! haha ive played a tournament or two in plano