Helping my dubs partner with first serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by millardus, Apr 9, 2013.

  1. millardus

    millardus Rookie

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    Hey guys

    My dubs partner commented to me that he is struggling with his first serve to the Advantage side. He's right, he tends to hit the net quite a lot when going out wide on the Ad side during our matches.

    He's not the tallest fella, around 1.65m, but I'm convinced that this is more of a technical issue, there are plenty of shortish tennis players around!

    Admittedly, he does go for a flat hit on his first serve.

    So, with all that being the case, and presuming he wants to keep going for the flat serve on his first delivery, what would you suggest he focuses on to find out why he's hitting the net a lot?
     
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  2. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Get over the net. And maybe his toss is too much inside the court, and he doesn't reach high enough on his toss (leg drive or not, doesn't matter, it's the arm here). And I'm not joking, that's what I think about when I play on all my shots. If it goes over the net, it forces the opponent to play another shot, that can be missed or poached. If he's righty, he should go down the middle to cut some angles to the returner, and avoid him to rip it off DTL.
     
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  3. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Tell him to lose the "flat" serve, unless he is up 40-0.

    Much better to use a hard slice for his T and body serves, and a hard kicker for his wide serve on the ad side for his first serve to the ad court. (You can even switch up on this to keep your opponents off balance.)

    Work on this with him.

    He will benefit from the serve practice, and you will benefit from the return practice.


    Want to really work as a team?

    Use hand signals to call for the type of serve and direction so you can anticipate what direction to break, and to relieve him of the burden of deciding which serve and where to go.
    Let him do the same for you.
     
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  4. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    All he needs to do is focus on serving to the backhand of the opponent. It doesn't have to be a fast serve. Just enough to draw the weak floating reply. If it is a kick serve, that's better, because it is harder for the opponent to attack the return.

    If he does this, then you as the net man need to do your job. When those floaters come, put them away. Don't watch them float by expecting your partner to get them. Don't let short lobs go over your head -- step back and smash them. Don't dump balls long or into the net.

    I also agree on using a hand signal. At a minimum, if you want to poach, you should give a signal the server behind your back. As a server, when I get the poach signal, it tells me exactly what kind of serve I need to do to draw a middle return shot.
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Do some math.
    He cannot hit a flat serve wide on ad court, him being short in height.
    He CAN hit it if he stood on a 18" platform.
    Short guys need to add topspin, slow down the serve, then go for the wide ad court serves.
     
    #5
  6. millardus

    millardus Rookie

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    Here's some footage of him playing in our singles league, he lost this one 6-2, 6-1 against a very decent player. Have a look at his serves, see what you think of his technique.

    Looks to me like he needs a lot more racquet head speed to start generating the topspin he needs to be more consistent.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AZV-w-PrUHk&feature=youtu.be
     
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  7. GoudX

    GoudX Professional

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    Looking at that video, he has a pretty good serve up the T. Remind him that the cross court path is longer, so the net is further away, which means he needs to hit out a bit more to hit over the net.

    In spite of being a short player, I have a very good serve for my level, and I found that it was much more effective to emulate a player like Sampras and use a good amount of topspin on my standard first serve. It really brings up the percentage over different angles.

    If he doesn't want to do that there are two drills I can recommend from my experience.

    First have him keep track of how many are going into the net versus how many are going long. If lots more are going into the net then he needs to aim up, if lots are going long he needs to aim down. This is a really useful exercise for just getting players to realise if their trajectory is off.

    Next have him focus on hitting the ball so that it travels a certain height above the net rather than aiming for the service box (1-2ft for flat serves, 4-6ft for kick serves). This drill will help as he probably is aiming about an inch above the net on every serve, which is unnecessarily close and leads to lots of netted serves.
     
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  8. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Will Hamilton from Fuzzy Yellow Balls has a new kick serve video with Pat Rafter.
    KICKIN' IT WITH PAT http://www.patrafterserve.com/fe/46..._required=email&meta_tooltip=&name=&x=94&y=31

    When I saw it, I thought of your post.

    Don't know if you remember Pat, but he was one helleva serve and volleyer.

    In the video he says he patented his game after Stefan Edberg (I always thought so.)

    In the video, he demonstrates a "hard" kick as his first serve.

    He has varients of the kick from an exaggerated kick left to even a slice - all off the same tossing motion!

    If you are looking for success in doubles, I think you would really like this free video series.
     
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  9. millardus

    millardus Rookie

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    Checking through this link now. rafter is awesome isn't he! What a dude.
     
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  10. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    The serve looks pretty good to me. My only advice is that he may want to try to aim more for the center of the net (which is the low part) when hitting flat serves. He seemed to have no problems with the first serves in that video when playing singles, so maybe he is trying to go too far wide, over the high point of the net in doubles.
     
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  11. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Read and understand post 5.
     
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  12. syke

    syke Professional

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    That's pretty good serve motion... hell it looks better than most of guys lurking around in this forum...

    Like some said above, maybe it's better not to toss the ball too much into the court.
     
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  13. ericwong

    ericwong Rookie

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    Hi there, I would like to use this video as reference if the OP may allow so as to share the same problem I had. Two months back, I was serving this way and of course the chances of getting it in at the Adv side was slim. Then, after reading serving posts here and any material I can find, I'd made some adjustments and my percentage increased :). Things I had changed in my serving technique :
    1) Place the ball , instead of tossing
    2) Standing with the toes pointing at the net post
    3) Use a continental grip ( aka hammer grip )
    4) The swing path is from 7 - 1 o'clock for top spin and 7-3 for slice
    5) Load up with a reasonable knee-bend and 'reach' for the ball after 'placing'.

    I would like to hear what others have to say.

    ps : OP, sorry for hijacking your post
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Guys, it's not rocket science or brain surgery.
    Simple....5'7" is too short to hit wide flat serves, with any consistency.
    Isner can do it.
     
    #14

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