Dragging foot on serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Tour_pro, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. Tour_pro

    Tour_pro New User

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    Many players don't move their feet when serving, meaning they stay in the same spot. Some drag right before going up to get the ball and stop at their left foot (righties). Is there advantages and disadvantages or is it how you feel comfortable?
     
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  2. WilsonWest

    WilsonWest New User

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    There's the platform or party stance and then there's the one (I forgot the name) where you drag your foot
     
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  3. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    I find it so much easier / more natural to drag my right foot. It gets my momentum moving forward, into the court.
     
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  4. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    its platform vs pinpoint stance . pros and cons for each
    do search you will find many dicussions
    bootom line personal preference
     
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  5. Josh_Camp

    Josh_Camp Banned

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    Well I slide my foot up because it helps me put all the weight on my front foot and transfer my weight. But I don't think it's that necessary if you don't feel comfortable with it, a lot of great servers don't/didn't do that, like Boris Becker and of course Federer.
     
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  6. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    Feet close together through whole stance: Pinpoint
    more power
    less control

    feet apart through whole motion: platform
    less power
    more control

    feet sliding forward: hybrid
    best of both worlds, worst of none, but in between
    weakness is that the toss is the hardest to control because of the movement (from my experience)

    these are by and large the governing factors. Obviously, personal preference kicks in here as well as everything else

    I prefer the platform, but can do pinpoint as well. hybrid is also option, but it's harder for me to get the right toss
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Used to drag to pinpoint.
    Wore out lots of toes in shoes.
    Now lift backfoot to pinpoint.
    Wear out less shoes.
    Serve much weaker.
     
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  8. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    I used to use a pinpoint as well. Helped with power and serve and volleying.
    It forced me to really get my weight up and into the court.
    After taking a long break from tennis, when I started again,
    I initially started with a platform stance b/c my toss wasn't that
    accurate. Kind of just stuck with platform and that's what I use now.
    FWIW, my serve is not as big as it used to be. Maybe 10-15 % worse, but
    that may have more to do with me serving /playing less regularly than
    the stance.
     
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  9. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I use the pinpoint stance with the toe drag. It allows me to hit the ball at its highest point which is good for those of us on the short side.
     
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  10. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    That's the truth.

    I always buy the 6-month durability shoes. TW used to allow me to return shoes in perpetuity. Now they are careful to check and see if the shoes I am returning were purchased with the 6-month durability credit (in which case, no credit).

    But, at least I always get what amounts to a "buy one get one free" deal.
     
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  11. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    fist of all your first example like roddick i would call a narrow platform since the feet dont move.
    second could you give a reference for you statements regarding the pros and cons please
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I used to wear a fully open hole under my toes and in front of my toes in TWO weeks max, if practicing seriously.
    When they came out with the "wonder shoes", I think from Nike originally, I bought those $80 dollar shoes and they lasted almost one month before a hole in front of, and under the big toe of my right foot, me lefty.
    They honored the warrantee once only per purchase.
     
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  13. Tour_pro

    Tour_pro New User

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    Thanks for all the comments.
    So the message I am getting is basically, how I feel comfortable is the way I should do it. I did not use the hybrid because I felt like I would tend to do a different serve each time I did. I have more consistency when I don't move my feet. I am still able to get a lot of power since I squat down pretty low and explode up.
    Thanks again for the contributions!
     
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  14. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    pinpoint isn't moving feet, it's feet still but very close

    I believe it was on this board somewhere before about the pros and cons of the pinpoint and platform, as well as the hybrid, anyone remember which thread?
     
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  15. jmjmkim

    jmjmkim Semi-Pro

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    I don't really pay attention to my service form, but man my toes really wear out. They are the first to wear out. I must also drag my left foot on backhands, the top of my left toes get worn out too.
     
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  16. Jaewonnie

    Jaewonnie Professional

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    I find it much easier to get a nice archer's bow when dragging my feet together.
     
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  17. Bottom_Edge

    Bottom_Edge New User

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    I guess this is the best explanation. Also, make sure you're not dragging your front foot while serving (left leg for righties). That would reduce the power going into the serve from your legs.
     
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  18. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    this is from brian gordon in an article on the biomechanics of the serve
    found at www.tennisplayer.net

    The "foot up" and "foot back" terminology corresponds roughly to the common coaching terminology of "pinpoint" and "platform" stances, and this is the terminology I'll use. To be clear I'll refer to any serve where back foot movement occurs as "pinpoint" and any serve where no back foot movement occurs as "platform". This distinction between pinpoint and platform holds regardless of the relative distance between the feet.

    But the platform stance has to be subdivided into narrow and wide designations, depending on the distance between the feet. By this designation, both Roger Federer (wide) and Andy Roddick (narrow) are platform servers

    he goes on to say pinpoint can have 2 forms also where the back foot slides up but stays behind the front foot
    and another version where the back foot slides up alongside or slightly in front of the front foot.
    lastly he mentions the platform stance may preferentially give more horizontal drive to the leg push
    whereas the pinpoint gives more vertical drive.
    ill search to see if there is mention of control or power differences but i havent seen them yet
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2010
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  19. Manus Domini

    Manus Domini Hall of Fame

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    loook here

    has a FYB clip about it in it too
     
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  20. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, we also have the crossover step which is used very much today. Great stance if you can learn to control the right foot from foot faulting. Lot of women use it now but even the men are using it because it gives them greater torque/rotation into the ball.

    As most know, you start in a platform stance and then move the back foot along side the left on the baseline (right handed approach).

    Another one gaining more popularity is moving both feet - start 6" (depends on the player) behind the baseline and more left foot first to baseline - more of a variation to a pin-point.

    Both are good but remember you have to come to a complete stop prior to the toss - in other words you have to stay away from the volleyball type serve.
     
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  21. larry10s

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    i read the article but did not see the videos
    wil might be talking about more power UP with the legs
    NOT more power in the serve
    that would be more consistent with brian gordons view.
    from my own reading pinpoint usually has the back foot moving.
     
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  22. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    the problem when the back foot gets too along side and especially in fromt of the front foo is the way it causes an opening up of the hips you lose power .
    SO not recommended
     
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  23. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Well, actually you might lose a little power but you certainly make up for it in the spin category Larry. This serve is used frequently now by many players.

    For those that haven't tried it, hit a few balls that way - you might be pleasantly surprised and discovered a new serve. Make sure you keep the shoulders to the side as much as possible - just the hips open up as you move the right leg alongside the left on the baseline (right handed approach).

    Watched some top college teams this weekend and not only saw this approach but several others that are interesting. One that I found most interesting is what appears a normal motion but after the toes are raised on the front foot, it is then rotated back so its more parallel to the baseline. Of course this is nothing new but maybe its making a comeback of sorts. I actually like it because it allows greater movement of the hips into the ball.
     
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  24. GetBetterer

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    Those players are transitioning into the pinpoint stance. It has it's ups and downs, just like the platform stance.

    However, one significant, game-defying disadvantage is that it wears away your shoe. This just makes me go: "Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!"
     
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  25. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Are you talking about players using the crossover? If you are, they aren't transitioning anywhere, let alone to a pinpoint serve. As a matter of interest, I watched a player from your State in a college final this past weekend. Although he lost in three sets, it was a great match and he uses one of the stances I mentioned in my previous post. These guys are Div 1 top players, probably at 6.0.
     
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  26. Jeewalk

    Jeewalk Rookie

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    i find it actually harder to control the toss in a platform stance. i tend to toss the ball more to the left so i screw up. but as always it comes to personal preference
     
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  27. GetBetterer

    GetBetterer Hall of Fame

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    papa:
    I'm talking about what the OP is talking about. What are you talking about?
     
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  28. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Interesting topic discussed between Papa and Larry, as they represent two very differing views on the role of the hips in the serve. In fact, I would submit they echo the opposing views (at least it would seem) of two of the foremost authorities on the serve, Brian Gordon and Pat Daugherty.

    Papa (and correct me if I'm wrong here) is describing more of the "spring loaded theory" as prescribed by Pat. Where by the hips are rotated forward into a lateral pinpoint, even as the shoulders perform a counter-rotation backwards. This creates considerable separation angle between the hip and shoulder line, and thus the "load" at the end of the windup/point of maximum knee flexion.

    Gordon, (based on his articles in tennisplayer) would prescribe a more conventional "optimal" position of the hips, at the end of windup. With a minimum of 10 degrees (and in some cases substantially more) of hip rotation AWAY from the court. As this angle is "an indicator of the overall range of motion available for hip rotation in later phases of the serve". "Less angle, or an angle skewed to the hitting side ( i.e open hips) point to a potential range of motion deficiency". Brian also notes that the closed hip position helps provide for "better working conditions"(force muscle production) in the forward swing, when the hips contribute more substantially to the forward rotational cycle.

    Two very differing opinions, from two of the best tennis minds.
     
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  29. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Sorry about that. You guys have a great team (University of Arizona) - saw a couple of the matches, one kid was in the finals --- think his name was Alan but apparently also known as "Macho" or "Nacho". Great kid, heck of a fighter and I liked his style of play.
     
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  30. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Chico9166,

    Yes, good summary of at least what I was presenting. When done right, which isn't very difficult, its an effective service motion.

    I like and respect both Pat and Gordon.

    Was just trying to present "other" service motion styles than the platform or pinpoint. I guess we could debate that these are just variations of the two but I see them quite different. The crossover, was made popular by the Williams sisters but it has been around for some time now.

    As for rotating the toes back on the right foot, its probably been around also but I just haven't noticed it to be honest.

    Anyways, as you mentioned, two very different approaches but equally effective.
     
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  31. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    There are so many examples, in fact, of just what you are describing. No doubt about it. It is certainly a viable option, and worth noting. I always enjoy your observations, which are always well informed. There is definately more than one way to skin a cat.
     
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  32. larry10s

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    agree there is more than one way to skin a cat.
    im not sure pat and brian are that different . i need to read gordons articles more closely but heres my take
    from your quote above brian found a certain hip angle was ideal. not necessarily the stance that got you there.you could get into that angle with either a platform or pinpoint stance.
    pat advocates the spring loading concept which obviously having more open hips accentuates but is there a point where better in one aspect does not translate into good???
    i think thats what brian tries to quantify.
    icbw
     
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  33. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Hate to misrepresent their positions, but my take is that they are diametrically opposed views. Yes, you can find proper hip rotation away from the ball in the windup from both a platform or traditional pinpoint. But what Pat is advocating (i think) in his spring loaded video, is based on a rotation/counter rotation principle. The hips and shoulders are working in different directions. As the right leg and hips rotate forward into a lateral pinpoint (into more of an open position relative to the baseline), the shoulders are going the other way.(rotating away) The net result, is a large separation angle between the hip and shoulder lines, at the end of the windup. This is the "loading" mechanism.


    For the reasons mentioned in my previous post, Gordon takes a more traditional approach. In that the hips lead the backward rotation (not forward), and attain at least a 10 degree "closed position" at the end of the windup/point of maximum knee flexion. A very different "look" at this stage in the motion, than what Pat advocates.


    Then again, my perspective comes from that of a layman tennis instructor, and not of a biomechanics expert. I may be wrong.
     
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  34. larry10s

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    at trophy position both are sayingthe shoulders are more closed than the hips.

    yes?
     
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  35. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Yes, there is separation angle in both. That is, that the shoulders are rotated further than the hips. Is that your question/comment?
     
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  36. larry10s

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    yes.that was my question.
    so in a way there is "spring loading" in a platform, pinpoint or narrow pinpoint.
    yes?
     
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  37. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Yes, I think that is true. In fact in almost all strokes this is true. You generally want the shoulder coil to be greater than hip coil.
     
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  38. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    They realized you were up to no good
     
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  39. larry10s

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    i need to go and read brians articles some more.
    what i am trying to say is that pat may advocate a pinpoint stance to accentuate the spring loading but brian may have shown that past a certain point its counterproductive.
    just sayin
     
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  40. GetBetterer

    GetBetterer Hall of Fame

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    I go to ASU...don't you mention U of A in my face...ever...again.
     
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  41. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    I don't think there is any doubt, that's what he's advocating.

    The major difference is the position of the hips at the trophy position. Even from a "traditional pinpoint" the hips can remain "closed". In fact, most pros recommend keeping the back foot behind, or in line with the front, when using the pinpoint.(not swing it around into a lateral pinpoint) It makes it much easier to keep the hips closed. But that's not what Pat is advocating. He wants the hips to "open" (lateral pinpoint") even as the shoulders are closing.. The "loading" occurs as these two forces work in opposite directions. This flies in the face of conventional wisdom. Which dictates the hips should remain "closed" up until the trophy position.

    The resultant "closed hip position" will contribute in two ways. (quoting Gordon)

    1.Rotation of the hips on the serve is important primarily because this in turn impacts the rotation of the upper trunk and shoulders. Rotating the hips increases the overall range of shoulder rotation.
    2.Rotation of the hips also allows the upper trunk rotating muscles to contract in slower, more favorable conditions. (slower contraction=more force muscle production)

    One could conclude that when the hips are open, as per Pat's suggestion, hip contribution will be diminished.

    But then again, who knows. Pat is a genius. And I like his "outside the box thinking".

    Reread the article, and tell me what you think:)
     
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  42. larry10s

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixx-MCC7D88
    chico this is pats video.
    i find it interesting if you watch closely i dont think the servers hips really rotate foward that much as she brings her leg foward. her hip position at trophy really doesnt look that much different than others.(althoght that bent knee on tippy toe looks alittle different)
    what do you think??
     
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  43. chico9166

    chico9166 Guest

    Yeah, I don't think "open" is the operative word. I think the distinguishing factor is that Pat, is discouraging the backward rotation of the hips. As far as the trophy position goes-----the hips are not literally open, but basically perpendicular to the baseline at this stage. Remember, the minimum ten degrees of hip angle Gordon sites, is past a line perpendicular to the baseline. The hip line starts at a right angle to the baseline, and remains unchanged, so no, i dont see very much available hip rotation for the girl. No real net gain.

    As a point of reference, Sampras's hip angle is 70 degrees past perpendicular at this same stage. Of course, with his closed stance platform, and extreme athleticism, he may be the most extreme example in this regard. Yandell, has an article on this that is very interesting.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 17, 2010
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