Elbow Position at Trophy Pose

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Postpre, Dec 3, 2013.

  1. Postpre

    Postpre Rookie

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    I'm teaching my 9 year old son how to serve properly. I'm big into technique, so I pay close attention to mechanics.

    Notice Roger's elbow on the trophy pose:

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

    Fed's elbow sticks out back a bit (due to coiling before his ball toss), and his right elbow is in line with his shoulders (after his tilt back).

    Murray, on the other hand, does not drop his right elbow as much as Fed:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kn7b_UEYPIo

    Janowicz, also, doesn't seem to have quite elbow drop as Fed:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyY1EXp4sCw

    Is there an inherent advantage to Fed's lower elbow at his Trophy position. He is one of the most accurate servers in history. I'm wondering if this has anything to do with it. Or, can both approaches work equally well?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Topslice

    Topslice Guest

    Not too low and not too high. Whatever feels good for the boy and feels natural after that.
     
    #2
  3. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    There is a great warmup that I have seen multiple people use:

    You simply toss the ball and get the racquet up at the same time. Its basically the first motion of the serve. One pro I play does this every time before we play sets. I started doing it too, and it really works. My timing just syncs up.

    The trophy pose is the wrong way to focus. It can make you stiff and ruin your motion. Just focus on that whole first motion of getting the tossing hand up and the racquet up at the same time.
     
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  4. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    90-90 position at trophy is a good guide - upper arm at 90deg to the body line and forearm at 90deg to the upper arm - Murray is more or less in a 90-90.

    And PP - I would always recommend focus on the loading position forward rather than focus on the starting position - so starting from 90-90 is a very good way to isolate the specifics of the approach and acceleration into contact. I have taught countless players to work forward from this position with no issues around stiffness or ruining a motion.
     
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  5. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Why do you have to toss the ball and get the racket up at the same time? I bring the racket up before I toss, any reason not to do this? Here is my serve for reference: http://youtu.be/dkpQJkPMXnw

    Also, good question OP. I have a high hitting elbow myself and I'm trying to fix it. However, I notice Janowicz and Wawrinka and other big servers also have a high elbow.

    Interested to see what everyone says


    And thanks Ash, I like that drill. Will try it and see if I can isolate the high hitting elbow and work on getting it into the correct position. I've been having trouble fixing this
     
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  6. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    You don't have to. There are many ways to serve, but when you do the real abbreviated serve like you are doing, the racquet stops moving. I like to have the racquet in motion at all times, as I find that less goes wrong.

    I use an abbreviated motion, but I really believe in the rhythm of the serve and find that a unified motion of both hands can really help with that.
     
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  7. Power Player

    Power Player Talk Tennis Guru

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    Thats cool. It just didn't work for me. It was easier to warm up with the start going to trophy/ toss.

    Before I did that, I spent a lot of time developing my racquet drop though, so there is that.

    I foundd that starting in the 90 degree position was not good for my serve at all. I was too focused on a trophy pose and it didn't compliment my natural loop.

    Now if I stop during the trophy position, it is far better looking than before - ironically.
     
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  8. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Compare the hitting elbow movement of Janowicz and yours. Janowicz starts slightly high and then drops down to basically the shoulder line before his forward movement. You start lower and then shrug it up to high and then it is difficult to see if it drops back down by the time you move forward.

    Another big server who has a slightly high elbow is Raonic. But again, it seems to drop down into the correct position before the forward movement of the elbow.

    Seems that if you can make a small change you'd be in the correct range. The 90-90 rule does seem to be decent model to try. I'm more 90-80 when I hit.
     
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  9. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    As a rule of thumb, consider that the elbow should be in line with the collar bone. Out and away from the body.

    However, for your 9 y.o. boy to understand the serve, I'd recommend you make him throw balls upward instead. It's much easier to understand. Check this video of a young girl being taught this way, with excellent results.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EFWB18kPWY
     
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  10. Postpre

    Postpre Rookie

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    I think this is what I'm doing with my kid. Although he is quite advanced in his game for his age, he's now starting his serve at the trophy pose (then coil a bit, and toss and tilt back at the same time). I'm basically following Rick Macci's advice when he works with younger kids (isolate certain aspects first).
     
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