Has anyone on the board learned to hit 130mph serves?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by kiteboard, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ agree on the crossover b/w baseball and QBs. Genetics also play a big
    part. Michael Vick has an incredible arm. They guy and flick his wrist/forearm
    and launch a football halfway down the field. Super fast-twitch guy.
    Can't teach that. Genetics + technique + hard work = monster serve.
     
  2. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Just to chime in on the pitcher/server comparison. The serve is something different. I can't throw a ball very hard compared to a good pitcher, but I have hit serves close to 120mph.

    Perhaps both are very technique dependent, but I've found that seemingly small tweaks in timing and motion can have a big impact on serve speed. Some days I was having trouble reaching 100mph and other days I could hit 110mph easily.

    I've found that young athletic guys can bring 100mph on the serve with terrible form, mostly because they swing extremely fast. However, I haven't yet measured anyone hitting 130mph on the public courts I play on in Southern California. The fastest I measured was just over 120mph by a former Division 1 player from the Mid west.
     
  3. anontennis

    anontennis New User

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    I love the comparisons. You would think people would realize that there is a reason we don't have an abundance of pitchers who dominate in the major leagues. Most sports, baseball included (pitching, hitting, etc.) are incredibly difficult at the upper end of the spectrum. Just because you are more familiar with the difficulties of serving does not mean it is more difficult than pitching.

    On a side note, I had the opportunity to return a few 130 mph serves this weekend. It was a fantastic experience. No chance if they weren't arms length (or I didn't guess). I accidentally served one of my bigger serves (~120) in this guys wheelhouse, and the return was back at my feet before I could think about dealing with it. Wish I had that kind of power and control!
     
  4. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    btw, where in southern cal are you hitting your wild volleys? I'm in LA area.
     
  5. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    North County San Diego. You definitely have more players in the LA area, but I think we have an easier time getting courts down here. There are some nice public courts around here, but the competition for them can be fierce. In the mornings on the weekdays they are dominated by the senior crowd.
     
  6. onehandbh

    onehandbh Hall of Fame

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    I haven't played in N. County SD, but I've played on some of the HS
    courts in the universal city area, UCSD and also downtown La Jolla, which
    has some nice courts.
     
  7. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I played both sports at a fairly high level and faced serves of 130+ from touring pros along with D1 players, while also facing some pitchers in the mid 90s.
    Absolutely unreturnable is another world beyond merely possible in my book.
    No baseball pitch anywhere near the zone is unhittable, but many, many serves are completely untouchable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  8. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    I served a ton yesterday, and its been said, but I got a LOT more MPH's on my serve putting my hip into the court and throwing the ball in front of me. Plus my serve went in a lot more.
     
  9. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    Listen to this guy. Anybody who can teach their own kid to hit 130 deserves respect.
     
  10. anontennis

    anontennis New User

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    So the goalposts have shifted from returning to returning a rare subset of serves?
     
  11. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Rare subset?? You are kidding right. We are talking mens tennis, right.
     
  12. mightyrick

    mightyrick Legend

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    That is why hitting a major league fastball is the hardest thing to do in any sport. Every single pitch is always well within your reach. You know when it is coming. You know generally where it is going to be. All you have to do is make clean contact -- if you can make any contact at all, that is.

    But in reality, 18 out of 20 times (or worse), you are going completely whiff the ball. Complete air. And the two times you make contact, you are going to shank it straight into the ground or pop it straight up or back.

    If a baseball pitcher was allowed to serve a pitch to as wide of an area as a tennis service box, a batter would *never* get a single hit. Not one.

    The two cannot be compared.
     
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  13. anontennis

    anontennis New User

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    Yes, men's tennis. Are you under the impression that aces are very common? And of all the aces hit, not all were literally unhittable, unless you want to call a whif in baseball unhittable.

    How heavy is a racquet? A bat? How far back can you move in the batters box? Don't you hate when you swing for a ball outside the strikezone in tennis? Etc. I'm not a baseball player or fan and have no idea what challenges a pro batter faces, but I'm not going to make assumptions. Even if you have some experience, you don't have the level of experience necessary to judge this, and there is always the chance that you could be incorrect regardless of experience.
     
  14. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Legend

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    True - but has anyone gone over the pitching motion with you? Have you learned to use the rubber? Did someone show you how to use your leg drive? These kind of things could quickly add alot to your best pitch.

    If you have a big time serve - someone could work with your pitching technique and quickly add alot of MPH to your fastball.

    Both are technique dependent - but its the throwing motion that the real basic of both actions - hence the crossover. Its not instant but it would still be dramatic.

    If Tim Lincecum picked up tennis (he probably wouldnt be allowed to serve contractually) he would very quickly be able to hit huge serves. Pitchers have it all - the height, the flexibility, the kinetic chain. The major difference is a tennis serve is an upward throw - more like throwing the ball well into the air - instead of regular pitch.
     
  15. kiteboard

    kiteboard Hall of Fame

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    When I began to throw/serve upwards, and stop all the motion but the frame arm, my first serve consistency went up to 90% in doubles matches recently. But the mph was only about 89-100.
     
  16. tennisdad65

    tennisdad65 Hall of Fame

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    130 mph without video and speed gun.
    90 mph with video and speed gun :).. The video adds 40 lbs and reduces 40 mph.:p
     
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  17. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    The video I posted a while ago shows about 113 on the fastest serves, but that was by measuring frame count and so is quantized, so ones a few mph faster or slower would all end up counted at the same speed. My fastest serves were over 35 years earlier than that. Normal flat first serves were in the 120s, and I know I've hit many random serves much faster than that average, so certainly some in the 130's. What I did to achieve that?

    My dad taught me good tennis form and throwing form from the time I was a little kid. Not only that, when I was elementary school age, I would spend hours throwing a tennis ball against the side of the house. As I got older, I spent hours and hours throwing a football with my dad and my brother. That was our most common form of recreation. The next most common was playing catch and throwing baseballs to my brother trying to strike him out. I switched to basketball much of the year in high school, but all summer would play tennis from after diving practice to evening, so maybe 4 hours not counting lunch and snack breaks. Much of the time there was no one else to play, so I would mix up hitting the backboard and practicing serving. Of course, my brother and I and our friends would still throw the football or baseballs many days. Then, I got serious about tennis late in high school and would go practice my serve every day working on different spins and speeds as well as drill and play. Often an hour or two of serve practice a day. By college, I was getting taller and stronger and my serve speed was still increasing.

    So, how many hours does it take to have a 130 mph serve? A lot.
     
  18. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Legend

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    Best I Have hit against was this college player who could hit 120. Guy was huge though - well over 200lbs and 6'4".. That being said - HUGE difference from some guy going out and hitting for maximum pace - and in match play serves. In a match you are trying to conserve some energy - get it in - etc. I have no doubt a lot of the male pros could hit bigger serves if they had to.. For example the ad down the middle serve is often hit with some slice at the pro level. It's not a full on slice serve - but there is significant slice which takes away some zip - so maybe its only 115. It still looks like 'flat' serve and is recorded that way but that's not entirely accurate.
     

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