anyone tried the 11 to 5 "Rafter kicker"?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Rozroz, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

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    I watched it and only just managed to make it through the painfully slow introduction!

    Although I'm now curious. Jeff Salzenstien has just come out with a volley tip video (waiter's tray) based on his 'analysis' of Pat Rafter's volley. I wonder if it's related to the volley stuff in the paid course.
     
  2. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    So who is the "science police" will mentions?
     
  3. tennis_balla

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    Most likely our resident physics graph and formula guru
     
  4. tennis_balla

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    I am a bit surprised that Will H took the time and effort to address the debate that went on in here as it was completely pointless (the debate). Rafter explained himself more than enough, and he and Will put out a great serving video. The fact that some armchair experts in here didn't understand and tried to over analyze is their problem.
     
  5. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Well ttw seems to be the place must tennis asylum patients hang out that would actually pay for tennis videos at 400 a pop so its good for Will to recognize ttw members. Give props.

    Also I am sure Rafter if he read this thread and posted his thoughts here under a pseudonym he would get blasted by the usual suspects. Told he has no idea what he is talking about.
     
  6. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    High Speed video

    1) Pat Rafter hits his kick serve and achieves the "11 to 5".

    2) A high speed video camera with a frame rate of 1500-3000 fps takes closeups of the string-ball contact.

    3) The experiment is repeated a few times including from different camera views (or using two cameras).

    We view the results and draw our own conclusions.
     
  7. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    11-5 is a feel thing, how can people not understand that?
     
  8. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    because this is ttw.
     
  9. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    As far as I could tell from the webinar, Will says the "11-5" idea works because it helps players remember to completely "finish the serve motion" . With the classic "7-1" idea a player may feel he is done earlier than he really should, especially with the serving wrist motion. Of course, mind control and a mysterious stranger whispering in your ear are also needed. :)
     
  10. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Or maybe Pat was wrong and some damage control had to be done, passing it off as feel :) There is a huge market for "feel" on here, and a much smaller market for facts. But that is true of the world in general, isn't it?
     
  11. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Are you calling a 2 time Grand Slam champion wrong, and yourself and toly right?
     
  12. tennis_balla

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  13. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    LOL.

    The internet - where a rec player can question the teaching of a 2 time Slam champion.

    I know you were probably kidding though, but c'mon man. Tennis is all about feel. Facts are good for watching tennis and debating players..etc. But when you are on the court, you want to be flowing out there and that is where the feel comes in.
     
  14. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Well, then that post could be an early damage control - just pushes the issue back in time.

    Not saying that it is, but to me, it is a little far-fetched to think that hitting 7-11 has the same "feel" as hitting 11-5.

    I am surprised at the sudden respect for pro players, because we have been constantly told that pros are often not correct at all in what they say. I have heard that Laver and Djokovic are wrong about wrist snap, and they are just repeating what they have heard, but don't really do it at all. So I am curious why suddenly a pro player has to be always right. I have also heard that "hit through the ball" which is what many pros have said is important, is actually not true because in the modern game they are hitting more across. It seems to me an issue of what aligns with a coach's viewpoint - when the pro agrees with them, it is "feel," when he doesn't, he is wrong about the feel.

    I never completely believe any pro or coach, so I have no axe to grind.
     
  15. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    You are hitting through the ball. You are also finishing across if that is your style. You do both if you know how to hit.

    Not sure why people don't get this.

    In fact it is the same as the rafter serve. The 11-5 concept actually helps you hit through the serve while applying the top slice. Once this clicks on the court, you will feel it and it all makes sense.
     
  16. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    So sureshs rather take tennis cues from toly and disregard pat rafter. Carry on.
     
  17. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    It's just silly to think that you don't hit through a tennis ball. I hope more people think this way because it basically means more easy matches for us.
     
  18. tennis_ocd

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    Agreed if you limit 7-11 window (and I like 7 - 1) as moment of ball strike/dwell. If one opens the window larger; including racket follow thru I can see this 11-5 "feel" stuff. Picture ("feel") the 11-5 as striking at 11 and moving upward to 12 (same axis as 7-1) and then the 12 to 5 path as off ball racket follow thru. Easy if If you can picture uncle tony whispering in your ear jedi mind tricks.

    disclaimer: non-coach union ttw rec hack I am.
     
  19. tennis_ocd

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    More discussion about feel. Some would take "hit through" as a perfectly horizontal, base-ball like swing.

    Might be interesting to read what some "feel" as they strike the fh ball; into it, up the back, or a combination.
     
  20. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Yes, this is how you learn to hit with spin. you hit through the ball flat and miss long enough and you start grasp the concept of going a little more low to high after a while. You may overspin the ball for a bit and have to focus back on hitting through again. It takes a lot of court time, but the result is being able to hit through the ball and have spin on it as well. It is what they call a "heavy ball".

    5263 posted vid of Nadal hitting clean winners in practice (may be FYB footage) that shows that he hits with enormous spin and still through the ball as well.
     
  21. BalboaNoah

    BalboaNoah New User

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    you really just have to try the 11-5 on court yourself and when you get it, internalize it with your own "feel moniker". after watching the video the third time, i really keyed in on that Rafter was describing his 1st serve, "wanting to get a little more pace, not really a 'kick'"...

    to me this meant much more drive through the ball than brush so being a right-hander i basically hit the half of the ball on the right side of the 11-5 line. bingo, a serve with flattish pace that bites the court. not sure if this is exactly Rafter's desired effect, but, works for me and is one more arrow to the quiver:)
     
  22. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    they don't feel, as they can't trust their instincts or their bodies... their experience of life has to be disintermediated by analysis, not direct... not visceral.

    [insert monologue about the dehumanising aspects of contemporary life]
     
  23. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Professional

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    It is a feel.

    You're not going to impart topspin on the ball by swinging from 11-5. You have to brush up on the ball in an 8-2 swing path.

    I suspect high speed video analysis will show that the Rafter serve is still an 8-2 swing path but the 11-5 visualization may help some players achieve more topspin.

    Club players can try to use this visualization and see if it helps them.

    Coaches, OTOH, need to understand, and be able to communicate to students that wish to know , what is physically happening in the Rafter serve.
     
  24. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    you can get away with hitting more across when you're hitting an incoming ball, because it has it's own (insert appropriate physics term)... especially if you are using a USTA type high over the net rally ball.

    on serve, the ball isn't moving horizontally with any real pace. You have to generate your own power*.


    * Replace with appropriate physics textbook term.
     
  25. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Rafter is a coach. And so is Will. They both think it works. So is it better to have a student hear 8-2 and fail at kickers or tell them 11-5 and have them serve better?
     
  26. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Exactly. 8-2 can result in puffballs, improper pronation and injury.

    11-5 results in a loose arm, pace, weight of shot and a healthy elbow.

    But you know, you kind of have to go outside and actually try this stuff for a while for it to make sense.
     
  27. tennis_balla

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    That's....what I said. Echo....
     
  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Or it may not, and just confuse them. I would not go completely by what is posted here, having seen way too many honeymoon posts in the Rackets section, followed by the frames being put up for sale. It is human nature to justify something that time and money is spent on, or anything novel for that matter.

    I have a rather simple explanation for what might have really happened. Rafter is quite tall, though not like some of the giants today. He uses a top-slice on both serves. He did not have the need for the high-arching kick serve one sees at the club level, in which the ball actually leaves the strings heading up (a high-speed video example is in TWU). So the 7-11 advice may have seemed a little inappropriate for him as it suggests that kind of a path, which he did not want. To distinguish from that case, he suggested 11-5, implying more of a top-slice than the club-level slow kick serve (but that did not appear to be what he actually does).

    At least, that is how I read it. The suggestion that 11-5 was suggested to make people complete their swing better did not come from him, one should realize that. It was someone's add-on in response to posts here. He might now say that this is what is meant, that is a different matter - otherwise he will be contradicting someone else.
     
  29. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    This was free advice. How is that a honeymoon?
     
  30. treblings

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    Rafters advice is clear and simple. it may work or not for you. i´ve tried it and noticed increased pace on my serves.
    it is certainly not confusing, unlike so many things on this forum:)
     
  31. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Good for you. And it was free, so enjoy it!

    I was always doing what he suggested, so it was not new to me. Not only that, I can actually hit 11 to 5! The frame seems to get out of the way of the ball an instant before it leaves, and the ball kicks up a lot and in a way different from other swings. To be honest, it happens when I reach out to salvage a toss which has wandered a little too much in front. I end up almost hitting over the ball.
     
  32. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    i'll be happy to see a video ;-)
    (seriously)
     
  33. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    and good for you too
    you´re not really saying that your racquet is making contact with the ball from 11 - 5, are you? that the ball stays long enough on the strings to achieve that?
     
  34. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No, but that I can hit above the middle of the ball and still turn it around.

    But even that might not be actually happening - it may be just a "feel" thing :)
     
  35. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Sureshs admits to using feel. Good way to start the morning.
     
  36. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

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    and the thing is, it doesn´t matter if it´s just "feel", as long as it works
     
  37. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Had rafter in the dark cloak in my ear for a set today. It works.... omg. Will is right. Rafter is a genius. I've never served this well in years. I actually pretended some dark cloak guy was saying 11-5 every time I stepped up to serve.
     
  38. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    Having studied Rafter extensively I can say with 100% confidence that Rafter was a truely great server. He could do it all. I have well over 100+ matches of Rafter in my library and he underates himself a lot. I have seen him hit 130+ MPH serves, explosive sliders, high arching kickers, low arch fast kickers etc....all while hitting his marks and total disguise and unpredictability. You just cant tell whats comming.

    The rest of his game is fairly similar other than when he is serve and volleying. Your just not sure what he is going to do and its difficult to get a rythem in the match. The most interesting thing I found him sdaying in this series was how he would overthink matches sometimes. This is something that a lot of players like Rafter do and IMO why Rafter was so comfortable serve and volleying as that stlye is one you have to commit to 100% to be effective tactically.

    His relaxed attitude towards it is rather funny. You get the feeling that he thinks of himself a some sort of junk ball server which he is not. There are no servers on the tour today like Rafter. There are not many in the history of the game. He is very underated in the serve department.

    Another thing he said that was interesting in a broad sense is that he was basically an Edberg wannabe. LOL. Pat is such a great bloke. He speaks of Sampras having "great hands" (which he did) and Mcenroe being soo talented (which he was) while at the same time talking about how screwed up parts of his game were LOL. If I was at that shoot I would have stopped the camera and said...geewiz Pat you had pretty darn good hands yourself!

    Pat thinks he was a talentless hack, who couldnt serve and didnt know what the ball was doing coming off his strings. Certainly not an egomaniac by any means. It shows why he is so highly thought of in Ausstrailia and around the world even by his competitors.
     
  39. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    many thanks for this!!! absolutely fascinating.
     
  40. rosewall4ever

    rosewall4ever Semi-Pro

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    in otherwords rafter = humility + great sportsmanship + underated skills = great sportsman

    and don't forget those bonds ad... endearing but i hate them
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXCkiQgSkQQ
     
  41. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Video using the clock face to describe serves

    Here is a video describing serves using the clock face. The video is very concise and clearly explained. A+ for communication clarity in my opinion. However, I am still considering the interesting clock face contact points.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tNz4cXtYUuo

    Still, to me the issue of whether the clock face is intended to be strictly vertical OR from the view point of the server's eye looking sharply upward - considerably off vertical - is never made clear(as for most other instruction using the clock face). If the server's view - then the clock face would depend on the toss. This issue seems essential for applying any advice based on the 'clock face'.

    Another problem with the clock face is that the racket goes from edge-on to face-on to the ball in just 20 milliseconds for a high level serve. [1/10 sec is 100 milliseconds]
    https://vimeo.com/65434652
    That rotation rate is extremely fast and will affect the real initial contact point. To initially touch "8:30" for a left handed slice serve or "3:30" for a right handed serve would require that the racket face be at a certain angle at initial impact. If the racket is simply angled and brought up to contact with the prescribed spot on the clock face and not using the rapid arm turn from ISR, then the serve will have much less pace than a high level serve.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  42. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    If you think about it this much you will never get the loose form that is required.

    Everything you are saying is prety much right. Shoulder supination (i think that is what its called) is key. Hitting spots on the ball for certain spins..etc. It just has to be simplified so you don't think about any of it.

    The best drill for shoulder supination is on Feel tennis. So easy, you can practice it while you warm up. You are just dropping the racquet behind your head and getting the feel of whipping it around so the racquet head wants to go the the right of your body before swinging up. It requires zero thought, but will accomplish all the stuff you are charting out and analyzing.

    the spins are accomplished from simple practice and repetition, You will naturally find certain contact points that work for the spins you want, and if everything else has been developed right , it should not require any real conscious effort.
     
  43. TennisCJC

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    I think there is a compromise position and I think Will H was trying to express this position when he talked about Rafter's advice being based on feel and not necessarily on what physically happens.

    I think it is common to hit up on the serve but you also get the feeling of going over the top and pulling down the right side of the ball as you pronate and snap/roll the wrist.

    Vic Braden who always taught hit up on the serve even said the sensation of getting over the top of the ball was valid.

    I think if you visualize hitting up and contacting the ball on the L and finishing over the R side of the ball with the racket going down as the forearm pronates, you get pretty much the 11 to 5 sensation. But, the visualization of hitting up and/or throwing the racket head up into contact is still very valid. Rafter also said he sometimes uses a 10 to 2 visualization which is L to R over the top of the ball. I think this is valid too.

    There's something to the height concept too. Taller players can probably afford to hit out or even slightly down as they have a better angle into the box. But, watch video of Sam Stosur and her racket head goes up for a frame or 2 of super slow mo after contact. I think anyone under 6' or so is not going to have much margin if they hit downward.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
  44. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Good point. I would say though that 10 to 2 in this context may not be over the top of the ball (defined as the highest point on the ball), but over a part of it to the right of the highest point, if that makes sense - kind of over a tilted latitude.
     
  45. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    Is it just me but when I think of the clock I make an justment when I serve from ad to deuce side and normally I will aim the tennis ball for 2 o'clock on the deuce side. But when I m setting up on the ad side it feels more comfortable to aim for 1oclock
    I only have 2 serves in my menu
    I flattish kick with velocity that I start at the center of the clock and carve it to either 1 o'clock or 2 o'clock depending on which side of the court I'm serving from
    The other serve is lower velocity pure kick that I start aiming at the bottom of the clock at either 7 o'clock or 8 o'clock that finishes at 1 or 2 o'clock respectively again depending of the side I'm serving
    In the end it's a matter of what works for me
     
  46. 5point5

    5point5 Semi-Pro

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    Yeah, I think the "dwell time" has led to the deformation of your brain.
     
  47. dknotty

    dknotty Semi-Pro

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    I thought I'd heard it all...
     
  48. Jkramer

    Jkramer New User

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    He also the only one on tour that used a baseball cup on his balls :)
     
  49. Chotobaka

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    Don't forget his "pioneering". How did I miss this thread until now -- hilarious.
     
  50. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

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    You can actually create topspin without brushing up on the ball, as long as your racket face is slightly closed. On this 11 to 5 kick serve, the closed racket face provides the topspin, and the sideways "carving" action action adds the sidespin.
     

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