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TylerWeekes
09-04-2006, 05:22 PM
Do you think the words scratch your back should be used when teaching the serve?

I personally think these words are poor “teaching verbage” and should not be used. Studies have shown that during the racket drop phase (commonly referred to as the back scratch position) internal rotation of the upper arm takes over and throws the racket away from the body. Keeping the racket close to the back causes angular displacement and inhibits the ability to internally rotate the upper arm, which Bruce Elliot showed to be the primary contributor to racket head speed. I would especially like to hear Yandell and Bungalow Bill's thoughts on this one.;)

What do think? Teach the back scratch? If so why?

-Tyler:D

emcee
09-04-2006, 09:54 PM
I just call it the backscratch because I don't know any better term for the proper way to do it.

andyroddick's mojo
09-04-2006, 10:19 PM
hmm...i think the important key facts of teaching a serve should be more focused, such as a knee bend, consistent toss, and the general racket motion, because after one has these components, the backscratch seems to come naturally. nobody ever taught me that i had to scratch my back, but after just serving and studying pros, it seems that i do do that, although i have never really even given it any thought.

ucd_ace
09-04-2006, 11:55 PM
...he backscratch seems to come naturally.

Assistant coaching high school tennis for five years, I'd have to say that there are a lot of people who this does not come naturally to. I'd have to say that it's natural for about 1 out of 6 of our players.

I tell our players to do this because: 1) the head coach uses the term, 2) I don't know a better term for it, 3) it's easy for the kids to remember.

Tim Tennis
09-05-2006, 05:19 AM
It is basically a term to get people to bend their elbow. I have seen a lot of beginners serve with a totally straight arm all the way through the motion. It hurts my shoulder just to think about it.

emcee
09-05-2006, 05:34 AM
And the "backscratch" is the easiest way to get racquet head speed, I think. I mean, it's easier than a deep knee bend or a shoulder rotation, etc.

TylerWeekes
09-05-2006, 01:26 PM
It is basically a term to get people to bend their elbow. I have seen a lot of beginners serve with a totally straight arm all the way through the motion. It hurts my shoulder just to think about it.

I agree that you should bend the elbow to gather racket head speed as power is directly related to the length of the radius created. Bending the elbow does create a longer radius. My question is, if it is technically inaccurate should we as coaches be using the term? I believe we should not because if it is inaccurate, then we might lead students to due something inaccurate.

Thoughts?

-Tyler:D

dennis10is
09-05-2006, 06:21 PM
My coach told us to do this. Attached a tennis ball of the towel, glue it on or something, or just put something with a weight to it at the end of a string/towel. Next, twirl it around your head, keep the end moving, and transition to a throwing motion.

this teaches you how to not have a hitch on your swing and how to loop the motion as long as you can before throwing it. this will help explain physically to the student how loose and continuous their motion should be. After awhile, you can do the drill without anything in your hands.

We did this with our groundies also, to develop a fluid and flowing stroke. It works.

siber222000
09-05-2006, 06:44 PM
*stretching your back* confused me even more when i was learning serve... not recommanded

tennis_hand
09-05-2006, 06:54 PM
hmm...i think the important key facts of teaching a serve should be more focused, such as a knee bend, consistent toss, and the general racket motion, because after one has these components, the backscratch seems to come naturally. nobody ever taught me that i had to scratch my back, but after just serving and studying pros, it seems that i do do that, although i have never really even given it any thought.


I agree. Plus a loose grip and relaxed body.

TylerWeekes
09-06-2006, 12:51 PM
My coach told us to do this. Attached a tennis ball of the towel, glue it on or something, or just put something with a weight to it at the end of a string/towel. Next, twirl it around your head, keep the end moving, and transition to a throwing motion.

this teaches you how to not have a hitch on your swing and how to loop the motion as long as you can before throwing it. this will help explain physically to the student how loose and continuous their motion should be. After awhile, you can do the drill without anything in your hands.

We did this with our groundies also, to develop a fluid and flowing stroke. It works.

We put balls inside of long tube socks and do the same thing at our academy so that is great. So you are saying your coach does not teach the backscratch?

-Tyler