Advice for my serve?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by sharpy, Jan 3, 2008.

  1. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    That's the solution. Right now, your racquet tip is pointing away from body (and the elbow is closer to your body than the hand), and you're pulling the elbow toward your body. That's shown in your pic, and it's "incorrect."

    Instead, have your racquet tip initially pointing slightly toward the body (i.e. hand closer to body than elbow.) When you take your racquet back in that slot, the forearm initially moves away from body. This is shown in the Sampras pic, and it's "correct."

    In other words, just flip what you're doing. I was trying to convey that with the grey lines. The other lines just represent what the overall takeback path would look like in 3-dimensions. Or, uhm, "3 cheesy dimensions" :D
     
  2. speedtoburn

    speedtoburn New User

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    Tricky,

    In the first picture of Sampras that you posted, he is holding the racket kind of oddly, almost as if he is scooping something.

    I drew a red circle around that part that I am talking about, here's the picture:

    Sampras

    Why does he do that?
     
  3. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    What about the guys in the bottom, their elbows seem to be closer to their body.

    This is some real subtle stuff we're talking about here, so lets clear some stuff up, and I apologize for any misunderstandings

    1. when i refer to 'racket tip' i mean the very tip of the top of the frame, and for that I see the "racket tip" pointed to the right actually for all the guys and especially the bottom two

    2. for sampras and safin, i see their strings are facing to their body a bit

    3. the guy in the bottom right keeps his racket kind of on edge and his racket tip is really really pointed to the right.

    ---
    I have trouble seeing still how I can fix it by "pointing my racket tip" toward my body when in the first place i see the actual tip of the racket pointed to the right.

    please clarify
     
  4. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    no scoop here, please do not confuse this discussion than it already is. his strings are simply pointed a bit toward his body, i call this supinated but watch tricky call this no forearm rotation
     
  5. speedtoburn

    speedtoburn New User

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    But Bio-mechanically speaking, is there a reason that he is holding the racket like that? Is there any application ot is it just "style"?
     
  6. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Sharpy
    Below is another go at this:
    http://img184.imageshack.us/img184/3519/photo2je3.jpg

    I agree. BUT, in addition, the racquet tip is also pointed toward the line of the body.

    If you draw a straight line (like your green liens)from the body, matching the angle of the left torso, they would intersect the green lines (racquet tip angle) that you draw. This indicates that the racquet tip is pointed toward the line of the body, or "in." The exception is in your case. Your torso line and racquet tip line would not intersect. Your racquet tip is pointed to the right and *away* from the line of your body (i.e. "out.")

    Yes, there may be some supination at the beginning of the windup to set up the "groove" of their takeback. Though in the takeback, they limit the forearm rotation. I also want to point that their wrist is in a neutral or slightly stretched position.

    Yes, his racquet is on edge (Agassi? <-- if it's Agassi, his trophy position is really high and a fun one to discuss, erm, later!) Even though his racquet tip is well to the right, its line still intersects with the line of his left torso (i.e. racquet tip orients "in.")

    speedtoburn
    Yeah, he does a little supination trick at the beginning of his takeback. It's actually Pete's secret to his racquet drop.
     
  7. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    [quote='tricky]
    Yeah, he does a little supination trick at the beginning of his takeback. It's actually Pete's secret to his racquet drop.[/QUOTE]

    Could you explain?

    - agassi's serve was such a waste, he basically armed his serve, he could have hit the ball 140mph if he'd connected up his leg drive to his racquet drop.His racquet drop, interestingly enough, was as deep as sampras's
     
  8. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, it's a neat little trick. At some point in the takeback (and you can even do this as you're setting up the trophy position), you supinate the forearm a little. Sampras does this as he's starting up the windup. You know you're supinating if the arm starts straightening out a little.

    Lots of things go into the racquet drop -- one of them is that the forearm hooks upwards to let the racquet has enough room to drop from the trophy. It kinda works like a crane. The supination enables the crane to do a better job at this, and the racquet drop will increase a few inches.

    It also essentially increases the contact point of your stroke. The racquet drop that you see is due to a significant bend around the mid-back (you'll feel a greater stretch in your mid-section.) When you initiate the upward swing, this bend will straighten out and cause you to "skyhook" your upward swing a little bit. In effect, it increases the "height" of the server by a few inches, and lets you hit balls at a flatter trajectory.

    That said, if you try using the trick when you haven't nailed down the trophy position, it'll hose your serve.

    Yeah, if you notice, the pronation on his serve wasn't particularly good. Also, there's some things about Federer's serve that makes me go hmm too.

    But service technique is still kinda "tribal knowledge", still kind of a word of mouth thing. I have my own preferences, but if you break down the biomechancis of each pro, you do learn a lot of the nuances. Takeback is kinda the "black hole" of the service game, but what people don't realize is that it keys off the pronation and even the degree of knee bend in your stroke. Most players with a strong knee bend have that due to a great takeback, not because they self-consciously stayed low to the ground.

    Sharpy's serve isn't "wrong." He has a trophy position that a lot of players do have, and he uses a good coil and knee bend to generate the energy. In fact, going back to Federer's serve, Sharpy's serve is actually very similar in principle. The reason why Federer doesn't have to "wrist" his trophy position is that he starts supinating his forearm (which enables the forearm to deviate just enough to act as that "crane") when his body is starting to orient upwards. So, his trophy position is high compared to other pros but he's still able to keep the load on the shoulders. Now, the load on the shoulder isn't great; the pronation isn't as great as it should be; but the upward action of the swing enables him to put a lot of topspin and place shots.
     
  9. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    wow. im still trying to figure out all this stuff about left torso and angle of racket tip connecting together...

    so basically, in order to fix my situation where should i point the actual actual actual tip of the racket frame? to the right more? less to the right? on edge?

    and then i'll just think about pulling the elbow back right?

    when exactly in all of this natural slot stuff is a good time to begin initiating upwards???
     
  10. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, that's one of those small tweaks that can bump up the accuracy and power of a serve. But all that has comes after the foundation stuff is set.

    I guess I'm kinda hoping that after all this torture I'm putting you through, you might see a 150+ serve. Coz, you know, that would be kinda cool. ;)

    Less to the right and start on edge. I suppose you pull "away" instead of "back", though if you watch yourself in the mirror, your arm eventually will go back anyway.

    Pretty much same place you're doing now. When your tossing arm rises above your shoulder and your body orients upward, your racquet arm should already start setting up the trophy.
     
  11. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    unfortunately though the hand is still very high.

    haha tricky all of this nitpicking better be giving me that 150 mph serve or otherwise.....
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2008
  12. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Okay, so, checklist -->

    1) When you pull away, does your elbow reach upper pec height? Does your hand move father away from the right side of your body? Is the overall motion similar to what one does while jogging?

    2) Is your elbow bend, thumb-wrist and wrist all correct through the stroke?

    3) Is the wrist bending in? If so, try it in a slightly stretch or laid back position.

    4) Are you keeping your right trap down/relaxed? You shouldn't hunch it in takeback.

    5) When you raise tossing arm, do you feel tension in your inner arm? (Good)

    6) Are you sure you're not pivoting the elbow?

    7) Do you think Tsonga will upset Joker?
     
  13. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    tricky,

    tried to fix the 'wrist issue' and the 'high hand' issue but still not getting the results i want.

    i've got some really high quality video but youtube is being a ***** so i might just use some screenshots instead.
     
  14. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    If you can get send it tonight, then I'll be able to annotate the pictures with my . . uhh . . artistry.
     
  15. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    ok here they are

    http://geocities.com/mastamoda/a1.jpg to 16
     
  16. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, off the bat, your racquet tip is still off and the takeback is still in the wrong direction. I think I'm going to have put together some separate pictures to show the motion, because there's just this fundamental disconnect over this issue.
     
  17. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    I hate to ask my own question on this thread. but Does anyone know a good in home excercise i can do to improve your toss on the serve. I have a very erratic and inconsistant toss, though my motion is basically flawless. i feel like if i practice my toss more at home, it will be better on the match day.
     
  18. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    This is from the revolutionarytennis site:

     
  19. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    drill at home??
     
  20. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    You can just put the racquet on the ground and go from there.
     
  21. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    ok tricky...lets hope your pictures can help this time:)
     
  22. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    So what's the status there, tricky?

    need any pro videos or anything?
     
  23. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    If I could cite Tennisplayer legally, this would be really easy.

    I'm almost done with some really awful stick drawings, but I need a few hours since I'm on something right now . . .
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2008
  24. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    dude lay off the drugs alright?

    Just joking. Take your time...:)
     
  25. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Shhh. Buddha is telling me how a smurf can hit a 160mph serve. . . .

    The pictures will focus mostly on the takeback issue. Really, everything else is on the cusp.
     
  26. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    still working on those stick figures?

    I've got some more good video of fh/bh today.
     
  27. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Annotating the stick figures and sending them out sometime late tonight. They're not particularly good, but they're taking longer due to other commitments.

    No problemo!
     
  28. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    Didn't buddha teach you how to draw? I expect only the highest quality standards from you.

    Yea, i've got alot more more fh bh videos from all kinds of angles today, hitting the ball really well. just gotta edit all the footage and hope youtube doesnt smother it all.
     
  29. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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  30. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Hmm, I need to slow down the FH clip but dang that looks like a good swing. It looks like you're properly dragging the swing. How is it working for you, so far?
     
  31. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    Pretty good actually. Decent spin decent power. My only concern though sometimes its not a really clean hit (mishits)
     
  32. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    First off, here's the stick figure presentation in PPT.

    http://www.megaupload.com/?d=S1TFDFMV

    Superficially looking at the FH (obviously Youtube clips are harder to worker with), it's pretty close. Your racquet tip is pointing toward the back fence before you initiate the forward swing, which is not desirable.

    Try one of these two visualizations:

    1) As the racquet drops from gravity, visualize that the end of your thumb is still pointing toward the net.

    2) As the racquet drops from gravity, visualize that the racquet head is coming closer to the right side of your body.

    As for the BH, try these changes

    1) Concentrate on tracing the smile pattern with just the left arm. Let the right arm go for the ride.

    2) When putting your right hand/top hand onto the racquet, just use your 2nd, 4th, and 5th fingers.

    Together, this should create strong left hand dominance. See if your swing less around the body. Once you're good with that, then

    3) Concentrate on keeping your left shoulder above the right through the entire stroke. That also means when the racquet goes into the ball, see if you can keep the left shoulder above the right.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
  33. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    tricky,

    thanks alot for taking the time to draw out the sticks. although at times very hard to follow i think i got the general idea.

    now no matter how hard you try to keep the elbow "away" from the body if you pull back you'll find that your elbow automatically DOES come back into your body. Right? Is this very much different than what im currently doing?

    the only thing i wasn't sure about is the racket tip stuff (last slide?)
    ------
    fh

    I'm not sure I totally agree with the racket at the backfence stuff before the forward swing. i might have to post a few pictures.... basically i lose all the spin in the world if i focus on keeping the racket at a set angle the whole time. just naturally letting it drop lets me get the spin im looking for.

    Everything else is beautiful, spin, power, accuracy. Just the problem is mishits. and a very chronic problem at that, giving me blisters...
     
  34. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, but it depends on perspective.

    Say I am standing in front of you. You stick your right arm out to the right. Then you start rotating your torso back and forth, while keeping your right arm parallel with the width of your body. In other words, let your right arm match the rotation of your torso, but don't swing your right arm around.

    To my eyes, every time you rotate toward your right, your elbow, hand, and shoulder comes back into the body.

    However, to you, your elbow, hand, and shoulder is really no closer to your body.

    In fact, however you move your right arm, I will always see your arm come back into the body as you rotate your torso to the right.

    What I see in the above example is more or less what we see when looking at service clips, and the discrepancy between what we see and what we actually do is pretty similar. The torso rotation makes it tougher to evaluate, and that's why the slides show the takeback of the arm without the torso rotation.

    Basically, work on grooving the takeback so that the elbow reaches close to shoulder level. You will find that only a certain orientation of the takeback makes this possible.

    Yeah, that was to show that, if you were serving to the deuce court, your racquet tip can point toward the right fence and yet still point toward the body. You brought this up before so I wanted to clarify this.

    Yeah, let me know when you chop up the pix again. I might have totally missed what you were doing in the takeback.

    Yeah, just work on orienting your thumb toward the net as you let the racquet drop, and see if it makes an effect on your swing.
     
  35. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    Tricky,

    So obviously with the torso rotation its going to appear like the elbow is moving into the body.

    Now last night I tried this a bit to keep pulling the elbow back as far away from the body as possible, there was only a certain extent I could do this before it felt very unnatural. No matter what, eventually the elbow does move back byitself.

    I forgot to bring video, but im pretty sure that im just going to let my elbow pull back on its own, and let whatever happen just happen. My rotator cuff was starting to kill....

    ----
    According to the racket tip stuff, what if you were serving to the ad court? your racket tip could still point to the right??

    Hopefully I can maintain that good spin on the fh side you''ll see a followup real soon.
     
  36. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Yeah, you should never feel like you're forcing something. Basically I'm just trying get you to pull back from a different slot (i.e. racquet tip initially pointed toward body.) Really, the main thing is checking your takeback has your elbow coming up "high" (i.e. toward the shoulder.) If it is, then you're doing fine.

    If you have access to Kuerten clips, he's a really good example to observe this.

    If this ends up not working for you, there is an alternative. You can continue doing your normal takeback, and when you're at the point where you're going to set up the trophy, you could supinate your forearm in order to set up the trophy. If you do this, the hand will be high in the trophy pose, but there will be no wrist issue and your shoulder will be loaded. This is similar to how Federer does it.

    Yup.
     
  37. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    So, do you mean the racket tip is incorrect at the initial starting position?

    http://geocities.com/mastamoda/rtip.jpg (the same one used in the earler pics)

    so should the ACTUAL tip be pointed more toward the GREEN/RIGHT OR THE RED/LEFT?
     
  38. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Should be the red. Though the angle of that red line seems troubling, as if you intend to supinate heavily in order to point the racquet tip toward the body? Presumably you would also orient the tip of your elbow to point away from the body initially.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  39. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    The lines just intended to show direction left to right. But I do see plenty of pro servers who do orient their ACTUAL racket tip quite alot to the right and even in the green direction.
     
  40. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Oh I know, and much tennis instruction from video sites is geared toward your kind of takeback and a higher trophy pose. It's actually rare to see anybody but pro servers achieve a "low" trophy position (and not all pros do), and moreso to see this actually explained, even though it's mechanically more powerful and IMO a more flexible/flowing style.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  41. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    Yes, the lower trophy pose is much better looking than the higher trophy, but i think its way harder to obtain the lower one, atleast for me.

    So are you saying by pointing my ACTUAL racket tip initally closer to the red, i can obtain the lower trophy?

    You see as hard as i try to keep the trophy low, this doesnt feel natural and the elbow/upperarm just wants to raise higher.
     
  42. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    All other things equal (wrist, elbow bend, etc.), pretty much. But there's kind of a disconnect there, I think. It's a very simple move but I'm just not doing a good communicating the "how" to you.

    Do you mean during the takeback? Because that is exactly what you want. You have to let the elbow hook upwards during the takeback. That's actually the whole reason for this takeback, the elbow hooking upwards enables a low trophy position to be possible.
     
  43. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    Very true. you have a very unique technical way to explain things. :)

    Im pretty sure we are talking about a very simple move indeed.

    As for the comment about the elbow hooking, this is not exactly what im doing. on the last videos i posted i forcefully kept the trophy low. normally its super high like federer.
     
  44. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Are these recent Youtube videos? I don't believe I've seen recent serve videos from you in the last 2 pages.

    Yeah, just in general, the takeback needs to have the elbow/upper arm hook upwards toward the shoulder level. Basically when you try grooving your takeback in the beginning of serve, you should look for this. If this isn't happening for then, then initiate the windup with the racquet tip more toward your body and the elbow more away from the body, then try again.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2008
  45. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    Tricky,

    heres the newest fh pics.

    http://geocities.com/mastamoda/r1.jpg
    /s....
    /t....

    we got the r's, the t's and s's going from 1-6 from different angles
     
  46. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    Okay, it looks like in R1-6, your racquet drop begins when the racquet frame is square to the net. This is good, because it'll simplify the observations.

    The key thing is that you need the racquet tip to still point toward the net when you drop racquet and start pronating. Or to put it another way, the racquet stays well in front of your hand through the entire racquet drop.

    It looks like your racquet head is coming closer to right side of your body, so you've definitely improved there.

    I forgot to mention something that will help you. In S1-S3, you want your upper arm to pull back across your body as the racquet drops, i.e. stretching the right pec and turning the right shoulder further. Kinda like what you've been doing with your service takeback. In S1-S3, your upper arm doesn't pull back, so you're obviously having a tough time orienting the racquet tipproperly while pronating.

    If you do this correctly, the racquet should remain in front of your right hand, AND the racquet head will also move closer toward the right side of your body through the pronation and racquet drop. The visualizing with the thumb pointing at the net should help with all this.

    Initiation of drag swing looks solid.

    You're close man. Seriously. Just one more thing and your FH will enter holy s*** territory.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2008
  47. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    Wait, so you're supposed to conciously pull the upper arm further back???

    Does this happen before the racket drop or during??
     
  48. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    During. The natural momentum of your takeback will allow this to happen if you let the pec stretch.

    At racquet drop, visualizing the racquet head coming closer to the right side of your body, or the thumb pointing at the net. That should do it.
     
  49. sharpilistik

    sharpilistik Banned

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    So its another one of those things that is supposed to happen 'by itself.'?

    I did actually experiement with doing it conciously and it messed things up. ive basically messed with all kinds of stuff, im literally waiting...waiting for that heavy ball and power to come...
     
  50. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

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    It does once you know to look for it. There's a certain whippy feel that you'll pick up instantly, which you'll "release" when you drag the swing forward.

    If you don't let the elbow/upper-arm "turn" back (such in your pics) -- then your wrist probably won't relax (and the racquet frame couldn't reach near parallel with ground) while pronating and keeping the racquet out in front.

    You could do this now with the racquet. Start at height of takeback and let the racquet drop while pronating the forearm, stretching the right pec, and observing the racquet tip pointing in front of you and racquet head coming closer to the right side of your body.
     

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