Comments on my serve?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by mattavery24, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. mattavery24

    mattavery24 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Orange County
    #1
  2. jussumman

    jussumman Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    438
    Location:
    NJ USA
    Great knee bend. Nice tossing arm up straight into the sky. Very original in your little reverse motions of foot and racquet too. Lot of power from your legs. But first thing I noticed you don't take your racquet back behind your head far (or in motion). But you're not the tallest player, it seems to work for you, simpler. Given your height (seem shorter than most) and your strong legs (seem stronger than most), these factors combined I think you make it work with the motion you have now. I don't have any tips or advice other than these comments. Good luck hopefully someone here can add to.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
    #2
  3. mattavery24

    mattavery24 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Orange County
    Thanks I appreciate it. I'm 5'11 so not super tall but average. What do you mean by take the racquet behind my head? Just so I can understand sorry.
     
    #3
  4. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,220
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I've posted many times on getting the most out of slower video cameras on the serve.

    Search using above box, select "Show Posts": serve video behind Chas Tennis

    Some of the serve threads include discussions, pictures and links. Single frames at impact taken from behind in bright sunlight can show some informative angles.
     
    #4
  5. mattavery24

    mattavery24 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Orange County
    I will definitely take a look and do it in better sunlight. I won't have a chance to do it during the day until the weekend, so hopefully I can get some good shots and be able to better understand my serve.

    I was just fishing for some comments on if my serve is ok or if I need to make some adjustments.
     
    #5
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Pretty solid.
    You have your wrist quirks, but it's your thing.
    Slow down between serves, set, ****, and FIRE.
    Don't flow from one serve to another, as you don't store any energy.
    Nice to see someone actually trying to swing fast at the ball.
     
    #6
  7. jussumman

    jussumman Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    438
    Location:
    NJ USA
    I'm referring to the racquet drop. I was trying to pause to see how far back your racquet drops, it's so quick and with the frame count hard to isolate, but looks like maybe not optimal but good. But your leg thrust and power makes up for it!

    Were these serves going into the box? hard to make out.
     
    #7
  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Racketdrop is WAAAAAAY over rated.
    Yes, a good racketdrop is needed to serve 130+ mph.
    NO, that does NOT apply to us an any way, shape, or form.
    We will never serve into the 130's, even if we bend our shoulders into a pretzel.
    We need to maximise FORWARD swing with an upward component. We need to swing as fast as we can. We need to incorporate ab crunch, torso twist, archer's bow, forward body movement, high elbow finish, and solid contact.
    That little bit of dropping the racket hand is only important if we have the rest of the stuff, and only adds a tiny percentage to the overall swing speed.
     
    #8
  9. mattavery24

    mattavery24 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Orange County
    Yeah I only missed one and it was less than a foot out on the second video, I think the first one.
     
    #9
  10. mattavery24

    mattavery24 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Orange County
    Is there any way to calculate speed from the video?
     
    #10
  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Tough to calculate, but judging from your size, your swingspeed, your leg lift, and your forward movement into the court, if you hit flat, you're well over 100, but maybe not approaching 110.
     
    #11
  12. mattavery24

    mattavery24 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Orange County

    Cool, how do you estimate the speed? Just curious.
     
    #12
  13. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,505
    Location:
    The Peak of Good Living
    Count the frames from racquet contact to bounce and use this site: http://www.donthireddy.us/tennis/speed.html

    Reasonably accurate but you need to be able to see where the ball bounced and estimate distance from racquet to bounce point.
     
    #13
  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    Some people go by player height, movement, dynamics of the swing, ball bounce, court temps, and EXPERIENCE.
    If you have played tennis less than 4 years, no way can you apply the experience card.
     
    #14
  15. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    10,938
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    What is with the weird pendulum oscillation when you drop the racket head prior to the trophy? Actually, you do an oscillation prior to that one (when your hands are still together). That one is rather common but the wrist exercise you perform with the pre-trophy racket drop is rather unusual. Don't know if it will have any detrimental effects.

    Other than that, your serve looks pretty darn good. Perhaps a slow-mo/high-def vid might reveal more.
     
    #15
  16. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,333
    There's a lot to like in this serve but I think the wind-up path is a little too Roddick inspired (even if subconsciously).

    A more conventional loop in the take-back I think would seam the serve together better and help get the timing more reliable by removing the tendency to rush the motion after the ball-toss.
     
    #16
  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    It's strange.
    Andy has the fastest serve of anyone his height. You'd think LOTS of ATP up and comers and a few peers in years, would adopt something similar in style.
    But no, maybe TWO guys total, and neither have anything near the same RHS as Roddick.
    I guess Courier preseeded Roddick, similar quick windup and swing, but very few other's.
     
    #17
  18. Bobby Jr

    Bobby Jr Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2010
    Messages:
    7,333
    I know. I think there's reasons for it which are rooted in the likelihood of ending up with an unreliable serve. Perhaps coaches see this (or think it) and know how hard it is to guide those serves to a level of all-circumstances dependability. Imo Courier and Roddick are the odd balls out with making that sort of serve work, not so much role models to copy based on how effective they happened to be with them.

    This guy doesn't rush too much compared to most but when I see players with this style of Roddick/Courier wind-up they're invariably quite inconsistent and the variability in their serve quality is generally broad. One guy I used to play had a Roddick serve to a tee and sometimes he could nail them really well, but generally he's go through multiple patches where he's be returner's fodder.

    For the vast majority of players - club or pro - working towards having a bulletproof reliable second serve is the ticket to serving success and then just make the first serve a bigger version of that. I'd like to see more people who post videos serving a first and then a second serve - and missing NO second serves. It wont happen because most people simply can't do it right up to pretty high club level (or they'll just post the good footage).
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    #18
  19. jussumman

    jussumman Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    438
    Location:
    NJ USA
    If I'm not mistaken, currently Monfils based his serve on Roddick's, has same stance and similarity (not exactly the same though). But he serves in the 140s and last match I saw him he was on fire with aces.

    The thing is Roddick was all about leg power. There's a video how they analyze his serve comparing it to a 5 or 6 stage rocket, but key is his legs. OP here, his main thing is the leg power and that's good for him, he can generate extra power from the trunk and leg lift.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    #19
  20. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,323
    Location:
    colorado
    Leg push is important, but I'm pretty sure I read a study somewhere that it said it only accounted for ~10% of the serve speed.
     
    #20
  21. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,220
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Speculating -

    Several motions stretch the ISR muscles including the leg thrust.

    1) leg thrust
    2) shoulder over shoulder cartwheel - hitting shoulder goes from low to high stretching the lat.
    3) somersault forward motion.

    The ISR muscles can probably only be stretched so far so maybe the amount from each source varies among server. You have a very strong jump. There is a thread on serving from the knees, pace might be down but still pretty good. ?

    Speed does not build up throughout the entire service motion. Pre-stretched muscles are created and used. Bigger body parts first and then the distal smaller body parts such as the arm which rotates.

    There is an old plot, that I've seen many times, that shows 'ground force' from each of the sources. I'm not sure that makes sense. ?

    [​IMG]

    I don't know what to make of this. What does 'ground ... force' being so high for the wrist mean? There is an old rule - never trust a graph unless the axes are properly defined. I don't even see units on one axis. Have to get Groppel's original 1992 paper for any chance at explaining. Not sure if ISR was realized at the time of the publication.

    Don't believe your 10% number if what is spoken of is very poorly defined. Find the source.

    Also, a lot of people speak of 'power' for the serve and strokes. Power is measured in watts. When someone can tell me the watts associated with any part of the serve I'll start to listen.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
    #21
  22. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,323
    Location:
    colorado
    That's a great diagram, thanks.

    Is flexibility something every tennis player should work on then? Wouldn't it increase the muscle stretch you can get?

    I'm wondering why I don't hear about many people who work on this. It makes sense to me. Not sure if one can apply this to serving but if Hooke's Law is F=kx , one can increase the force by increasing the stretch (delta x). Surely one could look at the ISR muscle stretch as a spring?
     
    #22
  23. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,220
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I don't understand the relation between stretching and useful range of motion.

    There are reports that you can look up. When baseball pitchers pitch a season their internal shoulder rotation range of motion (ROM) decreases from the off season. I just saw some curves comparing the ROM changes. The article or website also said that they do not recommend any stretching because a part of the shoulder joint is already likely to be too lax.

    National Center for Biotechnology Information - "pmc" are free, full reports. Bookmark this site. Search any subject.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=baseball+pitching+range+of+motion

    GLENOHUMERAL MOTION DEFICITS: FRIEND OR FOE?
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3811728/

    I have seen it said before that stretching shoulder ROM is not recommended but I'm not sure of the circumstances.

    It may be that a strong leg thrust stretches the shoulder almost enough. ? Then some other motions mostly maintain the stretch or increase it farther. ? = Maybe you don't need more range of motion. ?

    Baseball pitching is more stressful and likely to cause shoulder injury than tennis so that is one place to look for the answer on stretching. Also, baseball is more advanced in biomechanical research than tennis. More $$ for professional pitching research. Baseball pitching uses ISR as much as tennis serving.
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
    #23
  24. mattavery24

    mattavery24 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Orange County
    I have pretty strong legs and I think they definitely help, but I was a baseball player before and could throw 90 mph from the outfield, so I have a pretty lively arm. I am not going for 100% flat as hard as I can serve serves in this because those are low percentage. These have decent spin I would say which allows me to stay consistent.
     
    #24
  25. mattavery24

    mattavery24 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Orange County

    Thank you for the diagram and explanation of what makes up a serve. It is greatly appreciated.
     
    #25
  26. mattavery24

    mattavery24 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Orange County
    I will post some screen shots when I get around a computer of the angles and idk where I came up with the weird thing in my drop, it just gives me my rhythm. I posted a video like a month ago and I don't think I was doing the little hitch at the bottom.
     
    #26
  27. mattavery24

    mattavery24 Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Location:
    Orange County
    Anyone else with suggestions?
     
    #27
  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    35,707
    How can you improve your serve if you don't try to hit your hardest on your videos?
    You can improve consistency for sure, but you can't increase your serve speed until you actually TRY to hit as fast as you can.
    OTOH, you DO have a nice live arm.
     
    #28
  29. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    963
    Location:
    NY
    solid serving, dude. one thing that jumps out, maybe already covered, is that you tend to dip down/sit into your knee bend, rather than moving forward into and then out of the knee bend as you swing up. This video exaggerates this and shows a different serve style, but the point is still technically sound: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ajoZ0f7hw-A#t=168
    also, slow down...
     
    #29

Share This Page