anyone tried the 11 to 5 "Rafter kicker"?

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

  1. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Looks like some kind of coaches union is at work here, supporting each other and trying to silence non-union workers.

    That is why it is always better to observe and learn directly from the pros.
     
  2. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    No it's not because you lack the top down knowledge necessary to create queues by which to teach yourself. Good players do not always make good coaches, the two skills are separate.
     
  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Intriguing. You were taught to hit down on the kick serve (the usual second serve)? Did you think why that was said?
     
  4. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Yeah and spelling is also a separate skill. It is "cues."

    Good players may or may not make good coaches and that may be subjective in the end. But it is only a bad coach and a bad player who will start with the negative first, and feel threatened by what a good player will say.
     
  5. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    You are too funny. A union. The only union here is the solidarity in the idea that you are a troll. When you are proven wrong you attack people. What of my explanation of what I think rafter says? What about will hamiltons explanation of what rafter means which mirrors mine? Are we all here mistaken? But only you have unique insight?
     
  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Have you thought about why your coach asked you to hit down on the second serve?
     
  7. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    It is cues! None of my coaches ever asked me to hit down on my second serve. It is possible that there is a certain state that player could be in where telling them to hit down on their second serve may correct an issue. But even in that case it is only a way to describe what the player should feel.
     
  8. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Yes. The other cue was to toss into the court. And use knee bend and spring forward into the serve. The hitting down is probably so I used my knees properly and more effectively. To get the racket head to move faster. I still use the hit down cue on all of my serves. I think it makes me use my legs better.
     
  9. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    The others are run of the mill advice. The real intriguing thing is he told you to brush up on the ball and hit down. Do you know why?

    He probably realized sub-consciously that for top-slice serves the conventional way of thinking was wrong. Since the arc is lower than a conventional kick serve and there is more pace on the ball, hitting up very fast will make the ball fly, even taking gravity and air drag into consideration. He was getting you to hit up, over, and down on the ball - all during the dwell time.
     
  10. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    a lot of tennis instruction is subjective... maybe he felt the arche3 wasn't getting enough volume though contact.

    When I was young I had a coach tell me not to throw the ball so far in the court because i was stretching to make contact, sapping power from my serve... good advice for my specific instance, but that would be bad advice to players in general as you're supposed to toss the ball in the court, to someone who is serving and volleying that is horrible advice.
     
  11. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    If you want to see Rafter's slow motion serve, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MFQKZDcHqIA

    He is clearly not hitting 11-4 or 11-5 in that video.

    At the 9:50ish mark in Rafter's serve video, Will talks about how Rafter would close his eyes and shadow a motion in order to try to describe the motion in the context of a clock face... and that he did it purely based on the feel. He wasn't describing it from a tennis physics perspective. Only a feel perspective.

    People on this board are way too explosive arguing about teaching analogies used to encourage the mechanics employed in certain shots. I mean we all realize that a windshield wiper forehand doesn't exactly move like a windshield wiper, right? We all realize that "pat the dog" might not be exactly how you would pat a dog's head, right? We all realize that "up the mountain" on a serve doesn't accurately reflect the actual plane and slope of a mountain, right?

    Jeez, can't we just take what Rafter says and try to understand it and learn from it. Do we really need to argue about whether or not Rafter is actually hitting a slice-forehand serve?
     
  12. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    I just wanted to emphasis the part in bold above, which I agree with wholeheartedly... also, wanted to get this in before you get 15 posts about how the orientation of your video and the frame rate don't allow us to... oops!
     
  13. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    In the video, at contact, the ball is aligned with the white row on the seats (probably the seat backrests). In the next frame, the ball is well below, in the gray backdrop. Gravity of the falling ball and air drag cannot explain it. The ball has been discharged at or below horizontal, and a powerful upwards swing cannot account for it (and no, "across" won't turn up into down).
     
  14. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    We need john yandel video. Only his type of video has high enough frame rate.
     
  15. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Well I tried the Rafter serve yesterday. Previously I utilized the 8-2 visualization but I tried thinking of it as 11-5. It worked great for me. My serves had more margin than usual, a better kick, i had more aces than usual and I only double faulted twice the whole session and this was on a day where I was hitting below my avg overall strokes wise. Maybe thinking of it as 11-5 made me make contact on the ball a little higher than i previously had been doing. or something...

    I'll be using the rafter visualization from now on. The FYB/Pat video was worth a $60 lesson to me so thanks, Will.
     
  16. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    thanks for the feedback Cheetah... glad to hear other players experiences...

    have you returned against this type of serve?
     
  17. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That was below avg last afternoon? Keep it below avg then :) I had to get around 11 hours of sleep from 7 pm onwards and I am still tired.

    Though I did also play an hour in the morning so that might be part of it.
     
  18. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    That's awesome dude thanks for sharing and congrats!
     
  19. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    I'm going to try this visualization, as well. I think visualizing hitting from 11-4 might do a better job of encouraging the over-the-top pronation. I found his visualization of the actual second serve (a real kick serve) even more interesting. He visualizes 10-2 for that. So he visualizes almost rolling over the top of the ball sideways.

    Up to this point, I've been visualizing hitting the inside of the ball... 7 to 2.

    I'll be curious to see if I feel any difference.
     
  20. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    He seemed to do very well against my Rafter serves :)
     
  21. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    No not yet. But it definitely made my serve more consistent. There was a sharper arc and dip than I usually get. I tried doing some twist serves this way but I couldn't get that work. It ended up being a regular kick so I'll have to play around with that more.
     
  22. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    as i said at the thread start, i also managed to apply some change to my serve because of the 11-4 mental feel. however, the final pronation for applying some more "pop" is still lame.


     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 22, 2013
  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Gotta say, after following this thread over the weekend, I was ready to pounce on this advice and twist some serves into the 6' range, the statosphere in my book, but.....
    Focusing for 3 days on 1 - 7, me lefty, I couldn't hit ONE serve that kicked high and out left (me lefty). Just mishits or regular topspin serves curving towards the right. Totally lost it. Mishit almost every twist serve attempt, to the consternation of my partners.....I play doubles, and twist are my second serve half the time.
    Possibly I always serve into the lefty late morning sun, but it's just impossible to focus on a spot on the ball. I normally don't look at the ball when I serve....at least not at the moment of impact.
     
  24. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    ^^^ I carefully marked the height of the ball at/almost-near contact with a pen laid against the monitor parallel to the ground in the video, and in both cases the subsequent heights of the ball, frame by frame, were always lower than that. It is not consistent with a powerful upswing at impact, which would have caused at least a momentary jump in height before air friction and gravity brought it down.
     
  25. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    haha!

    good point... how well relative to your other serves?
     
  26. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    No problem. You don't have to arch your back as much as Pat. He's a pro so he takes everything to extremes.
     
  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I think a good twist or kick serve should have it's maximum altitude somewhere between your own NML and service line , focusing on the service line mostly, to give a downward trajectory as it passes 3' above the net to create the maximum height bounce.
    Now this depends on how hard you actually hit the ball, as a big hitter can force more arc into the flightpath, while a weaker hitter would hit a flatter trajectory twist or kick serve.
    Whether the ball actually leaves the racket higher or lower than the contact point, it would depend on the swingspeed and contact path.
     
  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    He did well against all the serves so it is difficult to say.

    I didn't have to do anything special for a Rafter serve. I have often hit more in the upper half of the ball than below on first serves, so it was already in place
     
  29. mike84

    mike84 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks for Videos.

    Will try it next time on court.

    Just saw the short slow motion videos.
    Fantastic camera angle on this video and mega kick on that second serve wow.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsY5uRqTOEI
     
  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    That vids first serve seems top/slice.
    His second is a kicker, not a twist, and doesn't seem to bounce particularly high.
    Pat must be 6'3" tall, as such, should bounce his kicker/twists easily over 6'6" at the baseline.
    I've faced a couple of rec players who bounce it that high. Of course, they play Open division.
     
  31. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    do pros even bother with the "twist" serve? seems like a lot of hassle and shoulder aggravation for what is essentially a party trick shot, no?
     
  32. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Rightie pro vs rightie pro, ad court, the twist goes wide of the doubles alley, forcing the returner to step into his own doubles alley to hit the ball.
    Lefty 4.0 vs rightie 4.0, twist serve into duece court forces the rightie to step past his own doubles alley to return serve, opening the court for a CC volley hopefully winner.
     
  33. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    I have faced even junior boys who can hit the kick serve (as distinct from the top spin second serve). It moves nastily away into the alley and almost causes a twisted back. Some of the ones which land short exit early from the side line making them impossible to reach to.
     
  34. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Of course you did, LeeD.
     
  35. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Coming soon....
    The misadventures of LeeD seeking the elusive lefty twist that seemed to be lost when he decide to LOOK at the ball for a change.
    Naturally, I increased racket weight and SW, while going to a smaller grip (sans overgrip) and started thinking about WHERE to hit the ball instead of just hitting it.
     
  36. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oh, I'd think a 26 year old former CalPoly player at 6'5" can hit a pretty mean kicker, as can a 6' tall Japanese Open level player who doesn't hit flat serves whatsoever.
    Did I say I could? Highest I ever claimed was "6'" at the baseline, or head high to both those guys.
     
  37. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care?

    ^^^^ obscure reference to 70s rock band and a great American city ^^^^

    I have heard and tried the 10to2 on the kick before and I think you can still be swinging up and carve across the top half of the ball. I had never head the 11to4 theory before. I tried it a few times and didn't care for it. If I am hitting a top slice, I think 8to2. I sometimes experiment with carving thru the R side of the ball but swing is up toward 2 with more closed racket face.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  38. Tonyr1967

    Tonyr1967 Rookie

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    Hi Will. Another quick question:

    I tried this out last night - more speed than my normal twist serve, but the ball was lower and shorter. When I hit harder - the ball dips earlier (more spin) and when I aimed higher I was very inconsistent.

    Is this what you would expect? Is it just a lack of practice?

    Thanks again

    Tony
     
  39. Tonyr1967

    Tonyr1967 Rookie

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    90%+ of Djokers second serves are twists. If you watch any of his games in 3D or see him live (I had front row sears, behind the service line - at the Tour finals last year) the twist is very visible.

    I (re)watched last years French final in 3d at the weekend - Nadal hits a lot of second serve twists.
     
  40. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    really? didn't realize that. interesting. so we cannot see the twist effect because of the camera angles?
     
  41. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    Ya just sounds like a calibration issue.
     
  42. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    Will, is there any chance you will address the specific pronation that you told me about when Pat finishes the motion? this is thing i find hardest to produce.
    did you talk about this on your video shoots?

    thanks.
     
  43. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    haven't seen either live.. was supposed to attend Monte Carlo and Dubai this year, but didn't make it in the end. maybe i'll make it to US Open or World Tour Finals...
     
  44. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    couple of good videos
     
  45. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    can anyone recommend a good reliable 2nd serve for an older guy (50) that can't arch his back too much for a traditional kicker? How could I just add a little topspin to my normal slice?
     
  46. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    No not directly. We danced around it - talked about racket head acceleration and how to brush across the ball - but no in depth technical discussion, which is what I think you mean.
     
  47. Tonyr1967

    Tonyr1967 Rookie

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    The camera angle on 3d tv is lower and the 3d allows you to clearly see the ball jump to the side after the bounce.

    Both Djoker and Nadal regularly hit some great twist serves but you can't really see them that well on TV. If you specifically watch for them you will see them but with normal TV you just can't see how much the kick off.
     
  48. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    You don't need to arch your back as much as Pat. He's a pro and takes things to an extreme that us mere mortals don't have to. So inching your toss over your head for a little bit more topspin should work. Key is to stay relaxed.
     
  49. Rozroz

    Rozroz Legend

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    ok Will, thanks. this motion always feels so unnatural to me so it's harder to produce.
     
  50. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    Not surprised. I'd really slow it down and hit from the service line to practice. Have to develop the feeling for the shot.
     

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