Falling into serve?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by JonC, Jul 13, 2014.

  1. JonC

    JonC Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,040
    I have a bad habit of tossing my ball too straight up and not moving into the court as I hit - talking about flat or slice serves. I was wondering if I should feel like I'm falling forward, jumping forward, leaning - what is the feeling?
    It is difficult to get under the ball and hit up when it's out in front of me so I'm doing something wrong. Probably need a video - will work on that.
     
    #1
  2. JonC

    JonC Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,040
    Or maybe you feel like you're sliding under the ball?
     
    #2
  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    39,192
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Depends on the level of your serve.
    Learning, lean in, don't fall.
    Once you get solid second serves and a variety of first serves, rise up to meet the ball at your highest point, not necessarily reaching too high to hit the ball.
     
    #3
  4. sjoerdklarenbeek

    sjoerdklarenbeek Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Zaandam, The Netherlands
    It's important to maintain balance and consistency. It depends partially on your athletic skills. If you just lean in forward into the ball and hit the ball in full stretch (high and a bit into the court) that can be just fine. To maximize your angles, you could try to jump up and forward, which is not necessarily easy and for some it's too difficult. The higher and more forward you can hit the ball, the larger your window for service placement will become, obviously.

    Whatever you do, try to keep a relaxed natural flow and use weight transfer and rotations to generate pace, reducing stress on the muscles and joints. You should experience a sense of elegance and rhythm.
     
    #4
  5. JonC

    JonC Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,040
    Let me clarify.
    I've always have a good serve and can hold serve pretty regularly against 5.0 players. My question is on the feel - what are the guys with the good serves doing that allows them to end up 2 feet inside the baseline? Looking at video, they leg bend with the intent to push off forward. When is their (your) balance shifted to move forward? Is it WITH the ball toss or AFTER. These kinds of things.
     
    #5
  6. sjoerdklarenbeek

    sjoerdklarenbeek Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2014
    Messages:
    145
    Location:
    Zaandam, The Netherlands
    I feel it's like this (everybody should feel free to disagree):
    - start a slow forward momentum WITH the ball toss into the court
    - after releasing the ball from your hand, bend the legs in a trophy position, personally I feel I'm still moving (falling?) forward during this, pushing my hip slightly forward so that my body is arching a bit, building up tension to hit the ball with enough energy
    - push off with your legs, forward and into the court, to meet the ball at the hightest contact point that is still comfortably possible, while snapping your upper body forward over your legs, over your hip, into the ball / court.
    - because of the powerful leg push up and forward, you'll naturally land or step a couple of feet in front of the base line.
     
    #6
  7. JonC

    JonC Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,040

    That's good, thanks. One thing that seems to throw me - my good flat serves happen when I feel like I'm throwing the racket almost straight up - maybe slightly out. Do you need to get under the ball (with the lean in and jump) and attempt to hit up still? - is this something that you think you're doing? Put another way- even though the ball is tossed in front by two feet, is your body getting in such a position such that the ball ends up almost above your head at contact?
     
    #7
  8. JonC

    JonC Banned

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2012
    Messages:
    1,040
    Found this on essential tennis -

    "For greatest racquet head speed, the trick is to swing UP and snap the racquet FORWARD. Said again, swing up but snap forward. The action of the serve comes from this up and out motion, but most (unfortunately) snap the wrist down at the ball. Roger tosses the ball in front, but moves beneath the ball so that contact is above him. There are a number of specific drills you can do to get the feel for this, but one to consider is the drill Pete did as a youngster, where he served many warm up serves to the top of the opposite fence (on the fly) and then more serves to the opposite baseline – after which he would then serve to targets within the service boxes."
     
    #8
  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    39,192
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Leg drive is upwards AND forwards, so your momentum is moving towards the opponent as you contact the ball, 9" or so above the ground, and your momentum takes you into the court by 2'.
     
    #9

Share This Page