Finding my serve after 20 years.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Greg G, Jul 7, 2012.

  1. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    A proper toss can also increase contact’s elevation. :shock:

    [​IMG]

    To create new pictures you should learn Photoshop – very interesting application.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  2. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    and let's not forget the hitting on the way down...
     
  3. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Am improving in that area Cheetah! From a 2:1 ratio it's now almost 1:1, counting frames before and after contact.
     
  4. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Get that toss more to the left and get that angle between the racquet and the arm and you will be driving straight into the court on your first serve.
    Kicking that right leg out to the right will disappear.
    You will be landing like this:
    Leg Kick on Tennis Serve
    http://blip.tv/fuzzy-yellow-balls/leg-kick-on-tennis-serve-1190196
     
  5. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    yes i agree. i noticed right away it has improved. so now you are hitting
    closer to on the way up. but still hitting on the way down. hahaha.
    just thought i'd let you know i'm lurking .... :)
     
  6. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Thanks for the new picture toly! Sometimes a mental image can really help. Maybe you could photoshop a pat the dog position on my forehand :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2013
  7. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    I know. Chime in when I actually show improvement :p

    Hey where's your video? :)
     
  8. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    i have the volleycam now. i used it the day after i got it but the court i usually play on w/ another member here doesn't have enough backcourt room. all you could see was my shoulders and above. nice cam system tho.
    sometimes we play at different courts so the next time we are there we will film.
     
  9. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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  10. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Slow motion analysis. Tracking the shoulders shows how open they are at contact, and the left shoulder falling off to the left, dragging the swing with it. At least that's what I think I see..

    http://youtu.be/AEypkFs1J8o

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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  12. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Toly's composite picture shows some serve motion from the same above view. See FYB high speed videos.

    [​IMG]

    How does your chest compare?

    I believe that the wrist's path in these serves is more outward than my wrist path. The above view is best to check the wrist path and its difficult to check without the above view.

    I simplify the problem by thinking that for 3D motions the camera gets a 2D projection. The dimension toward and away from the camera is not well observed and can be misleading. That is why they use high speed multi-camera motion capture systems to get accurate 3D information.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2013
  13. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Worked on the upper body. I felt I was rotating the wrong way, more like a counterclockwise rotation right to left rather than a shoulder over shoulder motion. So I did a basket while seated, isolating the upper body. Was also looking for the proper swing path for a kick, everything was slicing.

    http://youtu.be/E9c-HkUd7sM

    I think I found the kick swing path at 0:12

    Started standing up at 1:07. Stayed in platform stance for now. Still over rotating. And LeeD the balls were dead :)
     
  14. psv255

    psv255 Professional

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    One tip: Make sure you get the right toss before swinging, and take a reasonable pause between each ball. Court time is valuable, but you'll get more out of every ball hit right than double the reps with every other ball hit right.
    Also, the way you were seated restricts the shoulder-over-shoulder motion you were looking for. The right shoulder wasn't able to come down when you loaded. If you want to sit down, a stool is ideal, or just sit farther away from the back of the chair

    For the kick - it's hard to get it to kick with your toss that far to the right. Toss a little closer to you, and as you start loading and swinging up, move your entire body right (i.e. get more under the ball) as you hit it. You may shank a couple, but the kick is worth it.
     
  15. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Thanks! Will keep those points in mind next time. I was trying to lean back while sitting down and serving, maybe next time I'll take a knee (gotta put something to avoid getting cut on those ground seashells). Thanks! :)
     
  16. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Nice form Greg. I especially liked the sitting down and choking up on the racket drill. I'm going to try that.
     
  17. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Hey Tom! That drill always helps me when I find a lot of serves hitting the tape or falling short. After serving while sitting, I find the serves have much higher net clearance and are actually going long. Easier to dial it down instead of the other way around :)
     
  18. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Trunk: 1)Somersault 2) Shoulder-over-Shoulder 3) Rotation & References

    In the references Biomechanics of Advanced Tennis (2003) Elliott, page 40, and Technique Development for Stroke Production (2009) Elliott. These books are available from the ITF store only, as far as I can tell. For the serve they identify trunk motions of the serve.

    1) Forward as in a somersault direction.

    2) Shoulder over shoulder motion forward.

    3) Rotation in backswing and early in the forward motion.

    In my opinion, these provide some racket speed but also function to stretch or maintain the stretch of the internal shoulder rotator muscles. (The leg thrust - accelerates the body while the feet still touch the ground - also stretches the internal shoulder rotator muscles by external shoulder rotation.)

    In your sitting drill, what is being used and what isn't relative to the breakdown above?

    If possible shoot in bright sunlight and get some high speed video, 240 fps, with small motion blur.
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  19. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Hey chas. I do have the Biomechanics of Advanced Tennis book on the way. Any significant difference in content with the newer book?
     
  20. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    The earlier book was edited with chapters by several authors. The later book is more on characterizing strokes. The second book has less detailed discussion of the biomechanics but lists the principles when appropriate to describe a stroke. The second book also has some developmental information for younger players such as when they have the strength to use certain motions in their strokes. I'm sure there are differences after 7 years of evolving tennis and research. I use both as top references.

    I will say that in the second book I was disappointed in the chapter on backhands. My copy also seems to have figures that are mislabeled in that chapter.

    I can now see the 3 trunk serve motions as described. The Biomechanics of Advanced tennis has clear pictures of those components. Maybe there will be better ways to describe these complex motions. But if I don't consider the service motion with that breakdown it is pretty confusing to understand what is going on.

    These books also mention the stretch shortening cycle when it is important in phases of strokes. For example, for the forehand the shoulders rotate back farther than the hips to stretch muscles, that is in the second book and probably the first also. Remember that?

    When a muscle is stretched it must be used in a short time or the passive force capability will dissipate to nothing. I don't agree with some of the delay times presented in some of Elliott's books, anything around a second and longer seems too long to me. ??
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2013
  21. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  22. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    You're getting the general idea of a kick serve. Your forearm is a bit stiff, your pronation/arm movement doesn't look really fluid. Relax a bit: if the wrist is really loose it will happen naturally. And work on your balance. Your best serves were the ones where you landed well balanced after impact.
     
  23. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    At least there's some progress! :)

    So to get it to bounce higher, I need to make that arc even higher?
     
  24. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    It's simple, just duplicate these strokes.

    The bounce, high to the right, looks like a kick serve.
    https://vimeo.com/40449753

    Toly composite picture from video frames.
    [​IMG]

    Close up, believed to be a kick.
    https://vimeo.com/40449544

    Believed to be a kick from the bounce.
    https://vimeo.com/27528701

    Actually, Stosur is probably not the best to start with as she really has an exaggerated kick serve that is hard to copy. Also, more body bending than we should do.

    I believe that the way to compare your serve to theirs is to video from behind with the camera viewing along the path of the serve. The camera can't easily be placed that high but as high as is convenient.

    The angles from behind are the arm, elbow straight, forearm-racket, shoulder-shoulder to upper arm (see the Ellenbecker video). Side views show other angles and how far forward the toss and body go for impact.

    A thread with some discussion of angles
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=478319
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  25. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    I don't think it's quite that easy, mate.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013
  26. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Would be cool if it was though ;)
     
  27. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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  28. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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  29. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    First thing you need to do is toss at least another foot into the court. When you do that, you will get more pop. 1% grasshopper, 1%. The toss you are using is more for a kicker (depth wise at least), not a first serve. Try mastering one thing at a time, not all of them. It is just way too difficult.
     
  30. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    ^ Gregor, that post and vid you quoted was from 2 years ago! :)

    But your advice is still valid, I still don't toss as far out in front as I should. I mean it's better now, but under stress, it can go back again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  31. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Is that where your toss is currently? If so, remember,it is hard to get the ball going forward when it is behind you. If this is the case, you are going forward under the ball, not up behind it.
     
  32. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    No it's further forward now. But still needs more forward. I'll take a side view video next time out. Thanks again!

    Yesterdays video was posted above, quoted here:

     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2014
  33. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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  34. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    Some of it is new and interesting to me, but some of it has been talked about a million times on here like the kinetic chain, legs, and balance. Yes, they all go together and I consider it advanced. Meaning most beginners will have a hard time adding in the legs properly.

    Greg, I took a quick look, and your arming the ball. Even though it looks like your using your legs and torso, well, it's not contributing much right now.
     
  35. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    OK I haven't done this in a while, but I wanted to get into the nitty gritty of it, if I'm not using the kinetic chain optimally.

    It's the 3rd serve in the previously posted video.

    https://vimeo.com/107238452

    Annotated video at 25% speed. And yes I chose a serve that was way wide LOL.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P_-z3VtPhc

    Legend:
    red-racquet tip
    cyan- back hip
    blue- wrist
    blue (oops, but you can tell which is which)- front foot
    light green- ball
    The dots on the lines give an indication of relative speeds. Video quality was not the best so much of the points were plotted manually.

    Here are the stills, with my annotations on what I think is happening. Please do correct me, and tell me what you guys think is right or wrong.

    Trophy position. This is also the deepest knee bend. I think my hand/elbow could be closer to my head, but not too sure about it.
    Also, am not sure if my backfoot coming too far right impedes the kinetic chain in any way. It doesn't seem to open my hips too much. Or maybe it prevents them from being turned further away?
    [​IMG]

    Full knee extension. The leg drive initiated the backscratch.
    [​IMG]

    Deepest backscratch. Shoulders now even.
    [​IMG]

    Highest hip elevation. Hip and shoulder turning. Shoulder over shoulder cartwheel complete.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  36. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Off arm at its lowest point, elbow nearing highest point.
    [​IMG]

    Contact at the highest point. Toss has dropped a little, ball barely accelerating down. Highest point of the front foot, but note I am probably on the way down. Perhaps more power from the legs would have me hitting the ball while rising. That and a gajillion squats.
    [​IMG]

    Landing on balance.
    [​IMG]

    Shoulders square up to the net.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  37. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Hip squares up to the net. Server realizes it's a fault :D
    [​IMG]

    Recovery step.
    [​IMG]

    So there. Yes my arm could be looser and I am probably arming it too much. Need a clearer direction here.

    Yes Chas I will take the Casio next time and not the GoPro ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  38. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I have been wondering..............

    Catch a few from behind, camera viewing parallel to the ball's trajectory.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  39. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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  40. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    That alignment is pretty close, your ball goes to the right a bit. That camera alignment would be better for wide serves to the other side of that service box.

    If it could be done perfectly the ball would travel only away and hardly move to the right or left. But we never know the direction of the serve exactly. From where the ball is impacted, I believe that the service box subtends about 14°. If you eyeball the camera to look at the center of the service box with the impact point in the center then the widest in serves will be +/- 7° to perfect alignment with the camera.

    Indoors, light level can be a problem that causes motion blur.

    I posted a lot on the camera set up for serves, especially so that some frames can be caught that show useful angles even with low frame rate cameras. Lots of camera angles show parts of the serve very well. I just picked along or perpendicular to the trajectory so that I could estimate certain angles better, for example, the forearm-racket angle at impact.

    For camera set up and arm and racket angles seen on poster's serves, search TW: camera behind Chas Tennis
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  41. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I have not done much on the overall swing path and ball trajectory that your tracking shows.

    I mostly compare arm, racket and ball checkpoints on high level serves to the same checkpoints on other serves. Since the camera's point of view affects how things look I try to compare using the same or very similar camera viewpoints. Motion blur is very important for seeing the arm, racket and ball, etc.

    You have done the same comparing superimposing racket paths for high level strokes. When the camera viewpoints are similar the results can also be very useful. The overall path results from the checkpoints, is more difficult to compare, less accurate because of the 3D nature of the serve..... If a checkpoint is off does the swing path mean much after that................
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  42. Greg G

    Greg G Professional

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    Yesterday's footage. Seems pretty good, been getting the toss farther out in front. Just have to keep doing that during a match...under pressure it doesn't go as far in front.

    http://youtu.be/U1Mnl6PHfhE

    Working on placement now, just the basic slice out wide, flat down the T in the deuce, topspin out wide, flat down the T in the ad.
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2014

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