foot position on a serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by TheShaun, Oct 22, 2007.

  1. TheShaun

    TheShaun Hall of Fame

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    how important is foot position when serving? i see many pros with many different foot positions. i don't feel like i've found "my" foot position yet. i don't seem to have one that i use consistantly or comfortably. could this be because i'm still working on the proper service motion for me?
     
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  2. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    http://216.194.87.192/personal.htm


    [​IMG]
    Why does Pete has such a perfect game?

    Pete Fischer, Pete's first coach, who was not a "proper" tennis coach nor a pro player (he was in fact a doctor: paediatrician), sent Pete along to various "experts" for training. For his winning forehand he was sent to the dean of tennis coaches, Robert Lansdrop. For his footwork, to Del Little. For his volley to Larry Easley who was the coach at Nevada University.

    And for the famous Sampras serve there was a story behind it: Initially the starting stance was learned from Little, called the "chong", in which the heels face each other and the toes form an angle as wide as 90 degrees. "With that start you can get power by rotating and using your hips rather than your legs or even your shoulders.The trick is to translate your hips into the hit," said Fischer. " In some photos you can see Pete rotates so much that his belly button faces the back fence. The great advantage of the "chong" is that when you come forward through such a severe rotation you are launched right into the court."

    It is that unique starting position that helped Pete develop one of the tour's most effective deliveries and transform himself from a baselining junior to a worldclass serve and volleyer with five Wimbledon titles to his credits.


    the angle at which he stands is a natural by product of the 'chong' stance.

    what you need to do is this:

    1) stand with your right foot perpendicular to the baseline.(perpendicular means to be at a right angle to something, eg: a lamp post to the ground), now position your other foot comfortably parallel, (Parallel means the same angle as, eg these two l's are parallel to each other l l ) to the baseline.
    That's the correct stance.

    It will allow you to rotate your torso into the shot by rotating your hips.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2007
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  3. cukoo

    cukoo Semi-Pro

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    Hi, Behappy, did you mean the right foot?


    ---
    Interesting article, an argument I've heard, against this is that the power is transferred to the outside part of your left foot instead of the toes which could lead to a decrease in power.

    Gasquet's foot position is similar however, instead of making the left foot paralleled to the baseline, he points it a little bit more to a 45 degrees angle so he can get to toe quickly and go up and out into the court.
     
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  4. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    I did mean the right foot, well spotted.

    fixed!
     
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  5. shwetty[tennis]balls

    shwetty[tennis]balls Rookie

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    I am by no means a Pete Sampras, but I find that my stance is very similar to Sampras, left foot parallel to baseline with the right foot nearly perpendicular to the baseline. I find that this gives me great rotation,which will convert into power released into the ball. Certainly my seve is a very big advantage for me, so good luck. Try implimenting this into your style and make it your own- you should do whatever works best for you, though.
     
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  6. Midlife crisis

    Midlife crisis Hall of Fame

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    I don't see how it is possible to stand in the way you describe. The foot you are describing (I'm not sure if this is your front foot or your back foot) would be pointing either directly towards the net or directly towards the back fence if it is perpendicular to the baseline.

    I believe most instructors would instruct someone using a platform stance to position their back foot parallel to the baseline, and their front foot would be very slightly pointed in towards the count and in front of the back foot, as if you were taking a step forward with your front foot.

    In the picture of Pete, he is approximately in this position, though he is turned more away from the court. Most players aren't going to have the degree of flexibility nor explosive turn necessary to get themselves from that position into the proper hitting position in time, and the position I write about above is less extreme and easier to serve from for most normal players.
     
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  7. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

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    back foot pointing towards the back fence.

    no flexibility required at all, just counter intuitive initially, gives you faster torso rotation though, in the same way as a western grip gives you faster foream rotation.

    Give it a go, seriously, so easy, so rewarding.
     
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  8. Midlife crisis

    Midlife crisis Hall of Fame

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    I just tried it, and there's no way I can swing or bend down from that position and still get into a correct hitting position.

    Here's a video showing what I'm trying to say:

    http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/index.php?id=410688&col=260823
     
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  9. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    Shaun,

    Ya it sounds like you just haven't "found" your motion yet. There are a number of fundamentals / common elements each good server possesses but the stance isn't one of them (although you have to stand in a way that facilitates certain body motions). For example, Sampras and Roddick have very different stances but both those guys have bombs.

    That said, how you position your feet will impact your ability to do certain things. Sampras' wide stance helped him push off his back foot into the court and get to net quickly. Roddick's narrower stance lets him explode up to the ball (more so than w/a wider base) and hit harder.

    As long as you have all the fundamentals, there is nothing wrong w/tweaking how you stand to fit your game.
     
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  10. TheShaun

    TheShaun Hall of Fame

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    thanks for the responses.

    in this pic of sampras you can clearly tell that his back foot is not perpandicular to the baseline and more of a 45 degree angle. i tried the perpandicular or nearly perpandicular stance in the living room here before looking for a pic. and it really put and bad strain on the right knee.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. TheShaun

    TheShaun Hall of Fame

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    it even looks like much of his drive comes from the front foot

    [​IMG]
     
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  12. RoddickistheMan

    RoddickistheMan Professional

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    yeah not feeling the shirt in that video man. There are some good tips like the ball in the fingers.
    ________
    VIDEO REVIEWS
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2011
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  13. chess9

    chess9 Hall of Fame

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    At age 9 he was using a heavy wooden racquet. ;) Love it.

    -Robert
     
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  14. ho

    ho Semi-Pro

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    behappy give a good tip, try it, you will see the first motion of the foward rotation is the hip by this particular stance, either you like or not, and it set up the kinetic chain. After a while, you do not need this stance no more since your hip rotation first is imbed in your memory, that explain while Sampras do not stand that way latter. I try this stance several year ago, knee, back hurt, stop and now try again, it really work.
     
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  15. 1171

    1171 Rookie

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    Good point on the Sampras footwork, or more precisely his "hip work".

    Carry his foot position over a few more degrees, it becomes the McEnroe position. Trading forward movement with angular movement.

    A good trade off? (for McEnroe extreme foot position)
     
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