Help with my serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by frenzy, Jan 29, 2012.

  1. frenzy

    frenzy New User

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    Hello everyone, I could use some help with my first serve. I have a very good second serve, but my first serve is really to slow. I have been taped by a friend and I see when I do my first serve (flat), my racket "doesn't" drop behind my back. It feels unnatural at this point to generate power hitting a flat serve by using the racket drop. It seems when I try, the power I generate is significantly less and makes it more difficult to execute the pronation well.

    Any tips how I can improve this racket drop?
     
    #1
  2. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    We need to see the video to properly diagnose this.

    Is your racket dropping when you are hitting the 2nd serve?

    The racket drop is not something that you should force, but something that should naturally occur by relaxing the lower arm and driving the elbow up toward the ball while serving. Hitting flat or not should have nothing at all to do with it - watch the pros and you'll see the same racket drop on all varieties of serves.

    Do you throw a ball well? The serve motion is sort of like throwing a ball up into the air. A good drill is to take an old or broken racket and go out in a field and see how high you can throw it. You'll notice that the racket needs to drop and lag the elbow and hand in order to get much height.
     
    #2
  3. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    if you attach the tape your friend took it would be much easier to see whats going on
     
    #3
  4. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Getting a full racquet drop is so important that it would be worth doing something "radical" to achieve it.


    What I would recommend is following Coach McCraw's advice and moving up to the service line to practice this pronation exercise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iONY6fcqZGg


    By stepping up to the service line, you take the pressure and temptation to try and get every serve in while you are practicing this drill.


    Notice the very deep racquet drop achieved by getting the hitting elbow high even as the racquet head is low.
    [​IMG]

    And as seen from the front:
    [​IMG]

    So getting the elbow up will not only force the racquet head down, but as in Coach Mcraw's exercise set you up for a very powerful pronation movement.



    All with a really big serve will actually get supination at the deepest part of their racquet drop, and seeking to achieve this can actually help in getting that hitting elbow high.
    An example of that can be seen in pic 12 of the Sampras serving sequence below:
    [​IMG]
    Also notice that the very deepest racquet drops are only possible from a full leg push off "up the mountain" powerful enough to leave the hitting arm/racquet left behind as the body is launched up.
     
    #4
  5. frenzy

    frenzy New User

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    Thanks for the replies! I think my entire body is too tense when going for the 1st serve; thinking I will generate power from that. And getting the elbow up is something I don't do either. Already a few things to work on for the next week.

    I'll ask my friend to upload the video (it's on his cell). Maybe I am doing other weird stuff as well :).
     
    #5
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Most likely, lots of "weird" stuff.
    Takes time or special talent/luck to immediately adopt a flaw free serve technique.
    Look at the pros, copy.
     
    #6
  7. frenzy

    frenzy New User

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    Hi, after some practice, the movement is a lot better. While turning in, I get my elbow up and I don't squeeze my racket anymore. I let gravity do its work and it drops naturally behind my back.

    But... I am not there yet. It seems that the swing following on to this movement is rather slow, like I am missing some explosiveness. Any tips on that part of the serve?
     
    #7
  8. frenzy

    frenzy New User

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    Seeing on charlies images: starting from 11 till the last picture where I seem to be struggling now...
     
    #8
  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hold racket loosely with your index, middle, and ring fingers. Allow the racket to dangle.
    Now start your motion from prep, closed stance, back to target. Whip the head of the racket at the ball. Make a WHISSH sound. Then POP!
     
    #9

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