Help with my Serve (video included)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Ten_is, Aug 31, 2006.

  1. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    can everyone help me out with my serves?

    Please keep in mind I havn't been playing since 15yrs of age. I'm 25 and just returning to the game. Just bought myself a new raquet (Head Flexpoint 102sq in.) which I don't think it's working compared to my older Wilson 95 Staff Series. I'm thinking of switching to Wilson nSix tour 95 but I've had this raquet for a month and paid $200CDN for it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yC07yhInPEo
     
    #1
  2. zhan

    zhan Banned

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    i think you are trying too hard...
    you dont need to throw yourself like that to make power...
    most power lies in the strings, racquet and timing...
    ...
    i still think you are slapping at the serve
     
    #2
  3. str33t

    str33t Professional

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    try not to use a forehand grip for the serve. use either continental or eastern BACKHAND grip.
     
    #3
  4. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    Thanks guys, I was told to use a Continental grip when serving.
    I think me swinging the raquet after the toss is wrong, and after I jump for the hit my left leg seems to 'kick' out. Is this wrong?
    I know I'm hitting it flat it seems and not bending the raquet down afterwards like the proper way. I'm not sure I'm trying too hard, maybe I need to keep looser but I need to work on my technique before it gets natural. Practice makes perfect I guess. Any other suggestions? Thanks alot!
     
    #4
  5. TENNIS_IS_FUN

    TENNIS_IS_FUN Professional

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    Is that house haunted behind you? Looks scary -_-
    Try to use a continental grip when serving. Your serve motion seems to be inconsistent, you're finishing at different places for each serve. You seem to be hitting the ball too hard...try to slow down your pace and work on your service motion, once you got that down, try to build up power little by little, until you can become consistent with it.
     
    #5
  6. ZPTennis

    ZPTennis Semi-Pro

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    to me it looks like your body direction is actually falling to the right a little when you hit the ball. try to lean more towards your target when you throw your weight into the ball but be careful not to over emphasize it.
     
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  7. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    I took some practise serves this evening and ALOT better. The continental grip has helped me alot and I see a difference already. I took video footage and will post it up as soon as I can. I think the biggest thing for me was my shoulder dip and raquet swinging behind me after the toss. Once I changed my dip from - - - to / that helped alot with the power and consistancy. I also noticed the foot positioning as well before and stepping into the serve.
     
    #7
  8. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    now that you've tried the continental grip, go for the eastern backhand grip.

    Also, you're using way too much arm, and not enough hips, legs, back, and wrist. Also, dont finish with your racquet in front of you, finish with your racquet on your non-racquet hand side. Try not to shuffle your feet. In my experience, a stable foundation produces much more consistency in your form, and the outcome.
     
    #8
  9. AJK1

    AJK1 Hall of Fame

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    Stop spinning your racquet after you hit the ball.
    Use a Continental or Eastern Backhand grip
    Keep your feet planted on the ground ala Federer.
    Follow through right back past your waist.
     
    #9
  10. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    and dont hit the ball dead on, you're suppoesd to attack it from the side (sorry for the organic chemistry talk)
     
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  11. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    re: you're using way too much arm, and not enough hips, legs, back, and wrist. Also, dont finish with your racquet in front of you, finish with your racquet on your non-racquet hand side.

    That's a great tip. Am I not doing this already?
    What am I supposed to do with the hips and legs? someone told me not to jump up for the ball which is a Great tip. The comment about attacking the ball from the side is Great. I thought you need to use variation. Thanks! What about kicker/power serves? are you supposed to hit them bang on?

    I think everyone has a unique serve especially Andy Roddick. His serve looks so weird yet extremely powerful. Not like Fed who serves like everyone else
     
    #11
  12. drakulie

    drakulie Talk Tennis Guru

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    Erwin, your welcome. Remember to take your time getting back into playing. Old habits wil die, and be replaced by new ones, which will most likely help you improve.

    Glad I was able to help. Good luck with your game!
     
    #12
  13. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    Thanks Drakulie! your comments where very helpful. Video taping myself really helps out as well as seeing other players serving. I do have to switch my raquet though, to a Wilson nSix nTour 95 from my current Head Flexpoint Fire 102. I think I'll be Wilson forever.
     
    #13
  14. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    No you're not finishing correctly based on your video.

    How do i say this, ok... you need to hug yourself during the follow through of your service motion. And your serving arm looks very stiff, you need to relax it. Your arm is supposed to dangle once you make contact with the ball. You need to allow your arm to come across your body. You need to use more of your back and abdominal muscles, power comes from the flexing of your back, and the contraction of your abs.

    Kick serve is the result of your arm swinging up, and a quick snap to bring your racquet back down after the contact. Practice throwing stuff into the air.
     
    #14
  15. nViATi

    nViATi Hall of Fame

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    So you are saying changing racquets and strings will help to increase power more than good technique? Funny...
     
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  16. snoflewis

    snoflewis Hall of Fame

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    first of all, your service stroke is very inconsistent. it looks like you have a different service motion after every serve. try to keep it consistent. in order to do that, you would definitely need to take some power off and start out slowly.
     
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  17. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    Say Chi Sin Lo,
    Thank you very much. I have a new video.
    Based on the first video, I noticed everything you all pointed out. The biggest thing for me I learned is how to hold the raquet continental. I had no idea it would make such difference. And tossing the ball over your head and a little forward? I was tossing way out which was why my serves where inconsistant.

    Thank you Drakulie for the posting with images about my shoulders not being \. That helped out ALOT!

    Here is the new video taken yesterday when my friend was teaching me about serving in a parkade. THE SECOND PERSON IS ME: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rBarA7buhlg

    Current Improvements I know of based on this video:
    1) I basically have to relearn how to serve based on using the continental grip. Before.. I was holding it 45 degrees like I would be slapping the ball hard. Jesus!

    2) I need to learn how to jump up into into the ball and twist my raquet down and followthrough to my left side (the hug). But what should happen with my tossing arm now?



    Thanks alot everyone! Much help!
     
    #17
  18. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Erwin, your knee bend is not getting you anywhere. The bend is good, but you stay down there!! It's the same than not doing it at all. In fact, without doing it, it would look better.

    Try not to exaggerate the stratch position, and try to bend ur knees and release them as in an explosion.

    And the guys who's teaching you is not that good either :)
     
    #18
  19. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    Thanks Adnres,
    I was told not to jump into the serve. That the jump is a reaction of the reach.

    Is this true?

    Doesn't sound like it. Yes I know he's not that good, but his serves go in.. I have to relearn how to serve with this continental way as I was slapping it like a frying pan before. He is basically steering me in the right direction. I've been looking at alot of tutorials online and am really keen on learning the proper way.
     
    #19
  20. goober

    goober Legend

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    Zhan has been only playing for 3 months or so.
     
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  21. Andres

    Andres G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly, don't JUMP, like jumping, but when you serve correctly, the power from your legs will drive you up, and your feet will be on the air. Technically, you're not jumping. Just let the legs do the work ;)
     
    #21
  22. Talon

    Talon New User

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    When you hit the ball, your left arm (tossing arm) should be bent and "tucked in" toward the body. i.e. Federer
    [​IMG]
     
    #22
  23. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Also, your arm is too stiff, you need to relax as you go through your motion. Your arm is supposed to be so relaxed that it sort of dangles on the side as you finish... remember, you just hit a good serve, hug yourself!

    To give you some idea of what Talon and myself are talking about, here...

    [​IMG]

    Dont worry about that leg being out there, it's been fixed :cool:

    Note what my wrist is doing, and i believe i was using an eastern backhand grip. (I switched from continental to eastern backhand about a year ago, this picture was also taken a year ago, i dont know if i made the switch yet at that point, but that's not important now)

    [​IMG]

    I dont know if you can picture it, but the relaxation of my knees naturally brings me up in the hair, very effortlessly. So yeah, bend your knees, it's important and if you do it right, you wont have knee problems. And note that the ball is directly on top of me, not to side.

    And note how i'm pushing off with both of my feet spread apart. I'd show you a video of it, too bad i dont have any, for that i apologize.
     
    #23
  24. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    Awesome! thanks guys!
    Like I said, I'm totally relearning this serve with the new grip being continental. Kinda seems weird at first. I'll need to learn to get them in, and then learn how to power them. I'll be posting a new video in the next few days. I'm learning some new things off you guys and really appreciate it! Pictures help the most. Cheers!
     
    #24
  25. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    hey guys, new video:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx0OtkKHG04

    Please don't mind if they go in or not as I'm just practicing in a parking lot..

    The first 2 serves, take a look at my feet setup (like Rogers) is this the proper way to do this? on all the other serves,.. I have my right foot moving in front of my left foot setting up my hips to go in which I believe is not the proper way.. hips should be out. But... I did take good points from all of you. Thanks and I'm working on the consistancy.

    I'd say towards the end I like (except the right setup tilting my hips during the toss). Learning to serve continental for the first time in my life, and doing things proper.

    Thanks!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xx0OtkKHG04
     
    #25
  26. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    Good points, IMO everything is looking like you have a great grasp of how to serve, but you are not relaxing enough.

    Try to relax as much as possbile, and let the racket arm drop all the way full down.

    It looks like your feet are unstable and moving around and thus your toss is giving you problems, I suggest you don't point your back foot like that as it looks as if you are unstable.

    #1 Get your base/feet stable, if your base is not stable then you can't have a proper toss and it just goes right down the chain messing everything else up.


    #2 Relax, let muscles loosen up all the way and work with the body, the motion should feel nice and smooth

    #3 Keep practicing, you are on the right track good for you. and you have no excuse with a court so close to home LOL:mrgreen:
     
    #26
  27. andrew_b

    andrew_b Rookie

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    You're definitely improving. But you're losing power because your weight isn't coming through the entire stroke, as evidenced by your ending position - your right leg is beside, sometimes behind, your left leg after your motion. Your serve should take you well into the court as and after you hit it.

    Try making sure to step *through* the stroke, keep your head up (watch the ball hit the strings), and keep your toss up. Those things should take care of the momentum/power you're losing with your right leg going out/wide. Think *up* and *through*, and let your right leg carry naturally forward.

    play well,
    Andrew
     
    #27
  28. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    Jackson Vile:"I suggest you don't point your back foot like that as it looks as if you are unstable."

    What do you mean? like during the toss? or before doing that pivot?

    Andrew_b: "your ending position - your right leg is beside, sometimes behind, your left leg after your motion."

    Isn't that what's supposed to happen? look at Fed's leg after he serves:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXSHuaOqKTs&NR
     
    #28
  29. andrew_b

    andrew_b Rookie

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    In that video it appears similar to Federer's motion, but Federer actualy bends his right leg at the knee almost straight back sometimes. It may also be the angle that's making it look similar to your serve. It just looks fom your motion like your right leg is absorbing much of the momentum - and thus power - of your stroke. Your weight needs to be moving forward. This, along with a full pronation of you wrist/arm, is what generates the most powwer.

    Try serving a bunch of balls and allowing yourself to take two steps into the court after the serve (don't do this in normal play, just to practice) to get a feel for the forward momentum generation. Then do it with no steps, just a full "step-through" with your right leg and then a split-step. Many times you'll see pros actually inside the court when they strike the ball - their forward push propels them into the air, into the court, and then they strike the ball, coming down a good 2 or 3 feet inside the baseline.

    Play well,

    Andrew

    EDIT: take a look at THIS clip of Roddick's serve, around the 30sec mark, to see what I mean. His right leg bends up as a result of the force, but it's not swinging out wide, and he steps into the ball.
     
    #29
  30. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    Oh sorry I thought I made that clear:D Yes during the toss, you see your feet are not stable, as you keep watching your toss your toss is not consistant.

    The reason #1 for that is that your feet/base is not stable, as a result you are moving arond and the toss keeps ending in different spots and you are some times chasing it but almost always you are having to compensate the hitting arm trying to line it up.

    Your feet should be perfectly still until the ball is full out of your hands, then you slide the foot forward if you want to do that, and at the same time bring the racket arm up, droping the racket as you bow and bend.

    You don't want to start pulling the racket up until you are almost full turned and legs and back straightend, then you pull the racket up.

    If you get your motion 100% correct and relax the hitting arm correctly you will actually feel the racket pull down on your arm as your legs and troso extend and rotate.
     
    #30
  31. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    I just wanted to quickly point out that you have to be very careful when examining pros serves, as different serves are going to look differen from the same pro.

    ie you could be looking at a clip that is of the kick serve, or just something a little different Roger does in some instances.
     
    #31
  32. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    Awesome thanks! Will work on it, and will post new videos up soon.
    Thanks for all the help! I do notice Roddick does the foot pivot as well. Fed keeps his legs a little spread. I think Sampras had the foot pivot too.

    re: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PvC33gSTSR4&mode=related&search=
    Notice Roddick's foot pivot after the toss.
     
    #32
  33. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    you arm is still way too stiff
     
    #33
  34. andrew_b

    andrew_b Rookie

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    Very good point. While they look almost the same up until the time they strike the ball, the follow through, etc, can be very different.

    I wouldn't compare too much to *anyone's* serves, preferring to watch the stroke in question - but the OP "quoted" that clip asking about it...

    play well,
    Andrew
     
    #34
  35. Duzza

    Duzza Legend

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    jackson whered u get all ur caymans from?
     
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  36. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    Do you guys think I should be setting up my serves as per the first 2?

    Or the others (last ones in the video as my body positioning seems to be better during the toss)?
     
    #36
  37. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    Direct from the factory for only $50, that is all they are worth.
     
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  38. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Hahah for a while, i thought you were talking about the Porsche Cayman...
     
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  39. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    LOL:p Hey we can dream can't we LOL

    The whole Cayman line as well as most rackets are only worth that much brand new. We really get ripped off big time, especially considering that a lot of the "technology" is total BS many times making the racket worse.
     
    #39
  40. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Wow, this is actually a useful post. Still one can compare apples to apples. But I will agree (finally) that many times a player is comparing someones second serve to a first serve of another. Or different spin serves from different players.

    Geeee, there is hope after all.
     
    #40
  41. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    Oh great it is the old usless coment ***** again LOL:mrgreen:

    Repeating the same information to save face LOL

    What a loser:p
     
    #41
  42. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    Just wanna mention that I went out tonight and hit with my older Wilson Staff series. A 95" raquet that I just absolutely love. I've been hitting with a FXP Fire (102") and had difficulty with my game for a while so I'm selling it. I now know I want a nSix nOne 95 Tour due to knowing I like playing with a smaller head size raquet. Much like Federer I guess.

    The downside, is I couldn't really serve tonight though so I'll have to practice getting them in with my motion, toss, and staying loose etc..

    I will post a video up as soon as I'm ready and feel more comfortable.
    Thanks for all the comments and help guys!
     
    #42
  43. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    LOL, save face? LOL
     
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  44. Duzza

    Duzza Legend

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    50 bucks! Are they any good? Ship to Aus?
     
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  45. jackson vile

    jackson vile Legend

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    I bought them for $50 I would never sale them for that much, and this is my main racket so I will hold on to them.

    But if you can get a Roger signature racket I would trade for one of those:mrgreen:
     
    #45
  46. Xtennis88

    Xtennis88 New User

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    well... you are doing a few things wrong that I can see...

    1. you are too firm at contact... the key to getting good power and consistency on the serve is to keep your arms relaxed and use your legs and hips to generate pace... my coach taught me a motion that has improved my serve 100% since learning it and it will probably help you as well.. this will help you get added accuracy, spin and placement on your first and second serves...

    steps
    1... relax your tossing and serving arm...
    2. drop your racket AND tossing arm to begin your backswing... try to stay loose and relaxed...
    3. toss the ball in front of you between 12 and 1 o clock... keeping your arms loose
    4. bend your back and use your legs and back to generate spin and pace...
    5. make contact... you SHOULD NOT move into the court because of force... you should stay pretty much in the same place except for a routine step in with your back foot... you should NOT end up inside no mans land or halfway to the net.. or else you swung TOO HARD... you should hear a nice sound and get a little bit of slice and or topspin on the serve while still maintaining the pace of a flat serve... the key is to use your body and swing easy... instead of swinging hard and tightening up

    Ive also found this to be a very effective technique if you grip the racket on the butt, with a continental grip slightly moved towards eastern backhand... (about 1/4 of an inch..)
     
    #46
  47. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    That's exactly when I serve the best I think. When I go continental and just move it a tad eastern. Funny how you mention that actually. I just need to get my tossing consistant and learn about the hips more.

    Question.. am I supposed to have my hips opposite my opponent before the hit? Like coil my back way back and my hips facing opposite the opponent and then rotate hips and coil out of it with a relaxed arm?

    [​IMG]

    notice the hips being outward and his right leg way out.
    Thanks!
     
    #47
  48. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    that one didn't work for some reason.. try this..

    [​IMG]
     
    #48
  49. Ten_is

    Ten_is Rookie

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    #49
  50. The Pusher Terminator

    The Pusher Terminator Banned

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    Simplify the stroke. In other words From your ready position (good Petesampras imitation by the way) don't bring your racquet down in a "wind up" motion to the "back scratch position". Instead use the Roddick motion and simply go from your ready position to cocking your racquet at the "back scratch" position.
     
    #50

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