How can I improve my serve?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by hyogen, Oct 15, 2007.

  1. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,951
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    How can I improve my serve? (video)

    If interested in seeing some other strokes/return of serve of the new and improved me:

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=161310
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?p=1828049#post1828049

    edit again:
    here are some even more recent vids: http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=185469

    for one thing I am at LEAST 35lbs overweight right now. My ideal weight was around 155-160 at most for 5'10.5". I'm not talking just about some health fat chart here--around 155 or so is when I can start having a 3-pack or the beginnings of a 6-pack. LOL...

    After college I put on more than 50lbs of unhealthy weight...probably including loss of muscle mass.

    since starting back tennis I've gained some muscle and have lost some fat -- a net loss of about 6 lbs so far...lol.

    What do you think I can improve on my serve? This is my kinda slice/flat serve that I use for my 1st serve. My flat serve just doesn't seem to be as consistent as I'd like.

    Youtube links below.

    Haha, I'm wearing jeans...and tight shirt that used to fit me fine in college.... >_<
    [​IMG]
    And this second pic probably shows as high as I can jump right now... this was a different serve. both serves went in ;)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Youtube Links (NEWLY ADDED):
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Vc_BhlnCQg - from the screen shots - please don't mind the silly last part
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xo_JegFQyew&mode=user&search= 3 sloppier ones, the last being the best. (I may serve like this if I'm not focused)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_wKkU6tUSM - single good effort

    Any feedback appreciated. I find that for example...if I toss too in front of me, the percentage of my serves drops b/c of decreased angle. I am trying to explode INTO the court as much as I can....but it doesn't look like it's that much.

    Maybe I can bend my knees more and arch my back more?

    How does the serve look? Thanks
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2008
    #1
  2. ananda

    ananda Professional

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    913
    it looks like a 150 mph serve ! haha!

    i wish i could serve like that. the knee bend/trophy is my target for this week.
     
    #2
  3. shwetty[tennis]balls

    shwetty[tennis]balls Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2007
    Messages:
    326
    Practice, practice, practice. Try to increase racquet head speed while keeping the serve accurate. The reason flat serves aren't the most accurate is because- it's flat!. If you want to improve accuracy, try to hit the ball at its apex, while jumping a little higher, this will give you better net clearance and up to down angle. If this doesn't work, try to brush the ball more, as little as you can without brushing it too much (like a second serve might be), as to keep it mostly flat, but the slight brush across the ball will help the ball clear the net and curve right on or near the service line. Don't decrease your raquet head speed for this. Luck to you!
     
    #3
  4. lkdog

    lkdog Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    167
    Couple things to experiment with:

    Straighten your tossing arm at the top when you finish the toss.
    This may assist in getting a bit more coil.
    If you watch top servers they turn their back toward the receiver more which will increase your rotational power. This is something I am working on also.


    Losing 35 lbs for someone who is 195 lbs and 5'10 1/2 is a lot.
    That sounds like a guy trying to become a serious road cyclist.:D
    I guess it depends upon your body type.
    You may find your ideal weight is higher than 155 lbs if you add some upper body muscle.

    Good luck.
     
    #4
  5. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,951
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    yeah i have gained a lot of fat.

    that is very good advice for me i think--thank you!
    1. extend arm straight after the toss and don't bring it down or bend elbow. I do think I can get more coil + explosion like that.

    2. i really never turn my back while i toss the ball (to my opponent)--so if i do that I think I can get more rotational power for sure

    3. losing weight, and doing squats and stuff to increase my vertical jump will help me as well.

    4. I'm kinda using a continental grip for my flat serve, but it feels a little awkward so it's not completely consistent every time.

    I'll post a vid on youtube shortly.

    Thanks for the compliment--i wish i could serve 150mph... I'm not sure how fast i'm serving though. some people have estimated about 90 or 100, but i doubt the 100...maybe for completely flat and perfect serves i can hit 100.

    but at the same time I can't imagine a girl serving so much harder than me... like 100-120. So if I think of it that way, I think I could be serving about 100mph (flat)
     
    #5
  6. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,951
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    wow, someone else talked to me about the "trophy" thing in my other thread. he just explained what it was...I gotta work on this this week too!
     
    #6
  7. sharpy

    sharpy Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    295
    ^^ you're a 3.0-3.5 with that serve? I remember you posted backhands of yourself. That was good too. Your forehand must suck then!
     
    #7
  8. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,951
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    actually not...the couple vids of my forehands (one was a return of serve and didn't look complete). I would say I have a much better forehand than backhand (reliability and shot making at least). Those videos are only 10 seconds long b/c my olympus camera is retarded...(790SW...BUT it is waterproof, shockproof, freezeproof, etc...hehe) so I don't worry about it getting hit by a ball when I have it propped up.

    It's my backhand that I struggle with--timing and hitting higher balls, and stooping for lower ones. And also making a very good sweetspot contact with my backhand. The main problem is moving my feet fast enough and getting into perfect position. If I can do that, I can hit a decent backhand.

    I'll post some vids of points including forehands soon. I would even rate myself higher than 3.0....but I'm trying to be conservative. I most likely can be beaten by a 3.5 ball pusher too...I'm almost positive that an experienced 4.0 player could beat me simply because of consistency/fitness. 4.5 player there would be no question he could beat me. so, there are several humps I need to get over to be 4.0+ I think.

    As for my serves, that has improved tremendously. I'm not double faulting like I did in high school/college. I have a reliable kick 2nd serve and ace at least a few times in a singles set.

    My returns have improved tremendously as well...but have trouble with backhand if they go out wide with a fast serve--unless I split second slice it and lob it back into the court I most likely can't get it back.
     
    #8
  9. cncretecwbo

    cncretecwbo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    510
    hmm id say dont move your right foot too far ahead of your left foot, If you keep them closer it might help you get better rotation in your body. Also, i cant tell whether or not your are doing it from the pictures, but really relax your arms when you serve and put most of your effort into your legs and body rotation. Lastly make sure to get a good wrist snap in there at the end.
     
    #9
  10. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    you jump before you have started your service with your arm, that means you get no power from your legs, agassi used to have this problem too.Jump only when you have gottern into the trophy position, don't jump up ,jump forward.More long jump than high jump.
     
    #10
  11. lkdog

    lkdog Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    167

    This is an astute comment.
    I think Hyogen is maybe trying to jump as an isolated part of the motion, rather than it being a result of the motion (if that makes any sense).
    It should happen naturally due to force of rotation and slinging the forearm out, and the lean in-not by trying to jump into the serve.
     
    #11
  12. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    Yeah, that's what I'm seeing in the stroke too. That's something most coaches emphasize too -- what we see as them jumping into the ball is a product of their motion.

    It looks like the racquet drop is occurring late. By the time the heels lift up, the racquet drop needs to already be almost there. It looks like what he's doing is

    1) He lift from the knees.

    2) THEN, he initiates the racquet drop with the hand to get a whiplash effect.

    3) His hips seem pretty fixed through steps 1 and 2, and doesn't really open or rotate until the racquet drop is already happening.

    Also,

    4) When he's setting up his trophy position, he's using a straight takeback except from a very, very low position (i.e. below the shoulder.) Like he draws the bow, and then he points the bow up at the ball.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2007
    #12
  13. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    It has to do with body sequencing. Goes something like this . . .

    1) Before you take the racquet back and set up the trophy position, you turn your hips.

    2) Once you've initiated this, then you take the racquet back while still turning the hips.

    3) You'll notice that the more you turn your hips, the more your knees will bend.

    Many people initially turn their hips toward the net, so they're pointing toward the net (a la Sampras), and then start the windup back. It's still key that the arm doesn't start moving into trophy position until after the hips are already turning.

    When you initiate the racquet drop, you actually do this from the hips. This also causes your legs to unload and drive.

    The trophy is the breakfast of champion servers! :D It's really key to nail down the arm motion associated with the trophy position. And so you would initially work on hitting the ball with just the basic arm motion, without worrying about using the legs.

    I kinda see it as a big C motion (or 75% of a full circle.) Here's roughly how it goes

     
    #13
  14. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,951
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    hmm, wow I am glad I posted those pictures. I'm sure once I post videos you'll all be able to give more feedback. Thanks for all of the tips! Until now I thought I had done all I could to improve my serve.

    I would practice tossing the ball a ton...bending my knees more, etc...but now I have quite a lot to work on :)
     
    #14
  15. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    One of the interesting points Tennismastery brings up is that the leg drive accounts for only something like 10-20% of the total service speed. It's not a lot. So, getting deeper knee bend, which does help, should not be the main focus on improving serve. More key is nailing down the arm motion, which involves learning the trophy position.
     
    #15
  16. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    10-20% is a lot, it's the difference between serving 120mph and 100mph.

    BTW, HAS ANYONE ELSE NOTICED THIS GUY HAS SAMPRAS LIKE RACQUET DROP?IE, DOWN TO HIS ASS.
     
    #16
  17. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    Mmm, I think it was something like 10-20% between a serve with and without leg drive (i.e. serving with feet always on ground.) So, going with your example, that means a guy who can dial it at about 120mph can hit close to 100mph without his feet leaving the ground. I think that's amazing.

    A good racquet drop, which he has, should be below the butt. Explains why he can hit 90mph right now, even without a proper trophy position. A great racquet drop should be between butt and knees, which is Joker/Sampras/Roddick level.

    But it's less about pure shoulder flexibility, and more about the quality of the arm motion, grip choice, and how much abbreviation you're using (which frees up the shoulder to rotate more.) If you're taking back with just the shoulder, which few pros do (but Roddick does), your racquet drops even further.

    Also key is the amount of arc you have in your back when the racquet drops, which is partially set up by how far you turn the shoulder in the takeback.
     
    #17
  18. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,951
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    lol... Racquet drop and "trophy". All these new terms I'm learning from this forum. ;)
     
    #18
  19. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    I wouldn't be surprised if you have a 110+ in you. Given the form is proper, racquet drop is a good way to predict how much power/racquet speed you got on that puppy.
     
    #19
  20. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    . .
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2007
    #20
  21. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,951
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    wow, such compliments! >_<

    for those of you wondering how i got to this point and wondering if you'll ever have this kind of racquet drop or form..........how much practice it will take, etc...

    all throughout high school and college I had a very compact serve. I had okay form--it didn't look like a noob serve. However I was doing so many things not as well as I am now or could have been. Sometimes I could hit the ball pretty hard, rarely an ace...but mainly it was very inconsistent. Double faulting was probably the main reason I lost my games.

    Like my toss was really really low...I was contacting the ball like a half second or less after the toss AND only about a foot and half above my head (was the contact point)... So to an untrained eye the serve looked pretty good--kinda like what a recreational player would see on TV...I hardly jumped at all too so it was a LOT of ARM use.

    I remember getting tennis elbow and a kinda messed up/strained shoulder from serving the way that I did. I would have to get the shoulder really warmed up or else risk injuring it or feeling like a little uncomfortable pop in the shoulder.

    Well, ever since I learned how to do a kick serve for my second serve and was confident about not double faulting, I started to go for more on my first serve. I practiced tossing the ball more so I could toss it higher and more consistently in the same place.

    The great thing is now with these motions my arm doesn't get sore or injured and it doesn't take much to warm up my arm before my serves. This is great!

    Thanks for all the input and advice. I've already benefited more than I thought I could have. :D
     
    #21
  22. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    ah, I see, like this you mean?


    [​IMG]

    I've got to say it looks pretty much identical as far as depth goes.
     
    #22
  23. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    I would say Sampras's drop looks a touch deeper. Hyogen's shot is at a 3/4 angle, so it's a little misleading. That said, his racquet drop *is* very good. He's got pretty high power potential here, once he's got his form all set up.

    But as Hyogen said, nailing down the proper arm motions sets everything else up. The farther you take back the shoulder, the lower the racquet drop will be and the higher the racquet speed.
     
    #23
  24. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    actually hyogens serve is at ground level, it's sampras's that's misleading.They both have racquet drops at mid thigh level.

    BTW, you said he doesn't get into a trophy position, he actually does, he gets into what John Yandell describes as the new power position in the article on Roddick's serve.


    PS:
    You HAVE to intervene in this thread, this guy called EPH can pitch at 92mph left handed, has only been playing for a couple of months , right handed!!Says where would he find a coach to teach him lefty!!!Says he doesn't see any benefit to serving lefty!!!Tried serving lefty on my advice and said he served 'much much faster', but is going ack to righty because he doesn't see any advantage to serving lefty!!!

    only in america.


    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=161956
     
    #24
  25. sharpy

    sharpy Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2005
    Messages:
    295
    Tricky,

    is there a way to improve timing on the serve to make the racket drop deeper?

    Like if i start my serve at the trophy position right off the bat, and just toss, drop and hit, my drop is deeper (federer-like deep!!!) than if I went through the entire motion in full. So I conclude that it's probably a timing issue of some sort.
     
    #25
  26. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    Yeah, he uses a straight takeback (which is actually the smile pattern, but upside down), and that is partially why Hyogen has a good racquet drop (straight takeback forces you to abbreviate the takeback to some degree, which improves racquet drop.) The problem here is that he's using a straight takeback below the shoulder, and so he's actually not loading the shoulder properly. He thinks of the position as an archer's bow, and he interprets the takeback as drawing that bow.

    I don't know . . . I just think people should start out with the normal circular motion first, before trying out the straight takeback. It's just good to know what a "proper" trophy position looks and feels like.

    Which means he's probably capable of a 130+ serve. Left handed. Yikes. :D
     
    #26
  27. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789

    yeah but he wants to learn how to play right handed because he doesn't think there's any benefit to serving lefty and because he says 'where am I going to get a coach to serve lefty?', he posted a thread asking for help on his righty serve because it's crap.

    come on man, back me up on this and tell this guy to serve lefty, I just can't watch talent being squandered like this, it's so painful.

    Everyone post on this thread and tell this guy to learn how to serve lefty!!!!!!!!!

    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=161956

    You'll have to scroll down a few posts though.
     
    #27
  28. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    So here's a very long way to go about this . . .

    Okay, so, first thing is, the following has nothing to do with Federer's serving mechanics, so all the stuff about Federer's body sequencing that was posted there and arm motion doesn't apply here. Clean slate.
    Initially do all the following without the racquet. Using a sock with a tennis ball can help with this.

    Once you get the above down (which is, uhm, not easy), then the next step is to learn the arm motion by tracing the circle with the elbow (rather than the hand.) At this point, then you start seeing a "pro"/Sampras-style takeback, and get a deep racquet drop. Your overall motion will be more compact as well.

    It's actually possible to take it one step further, by tracing the circle with the shoulder. But that's outside the scope of the thread. :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
    #28
  29. Tennis_Monk

    Tennis_Monk Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2005
    Messages:
    3,476
    No YOu cant improve your serve. Its impossible to improve on Perfection.
     
    #29
  30. lkdog

    lkdog Rookie

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2005
    Messages:
    167


    Tricky-

    As always-thanks for your insights. You have a real passion for the game and helping others.
    I have been redoing my serve from scratch and am making some progress through some insights and comments from your posts and also some very helpful comments from Dave Smith and his great book and website, and Will Hamilton and his excellent site.
    It seems like I am working on a new element of the serve each week (grip, take back, drop, rotation, lean in, swing path). :)
    Really it is lots of fun to see different outcomes at times and some better ball rotation and power as things fall into place a little more. Takes some time I have discovered to incorporate or experiment even when making small changes like how one sets their wrist on the take back.

    Anyway-my question is (probably been asked before)-any chance you could have someone demonstrate your detailed learning steps above and post some pictures?


    Thanks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
    #30
  31. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    hyogen,

    just took a quick look at your pictures -- first impression is that you are not sideways to the net in your racket drop, e.g. when the racket is pointed straight down at the court, your shoulders should be parallel with the sideline(s).
     
    #31
  32. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,951
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    ah, are you from Fuzzy Yellow Balls? I was up late last night watching your videos on the serve, backhand, and forehand.... I was late to work this morning too :-/

    Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm gonna work on that today + trophy pose + some other stuff.
     
    #32
  33. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Heh ya I am... sorry I made you late =p Hope those videos help -- let me know.
     
    #33
  34. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    BTW, does anybody think Will Hamilton look a little bit like Eli Manning? Just a little? Do you cut that meat? :D

    Haha. I wish I did. Or at least I wish I could draw, that would make BeHappy, erm, happy. :D

    But I think the clips at fuzzy are pretty much gold. And the clip about throwing the racquet upwards is really good at showing the "swinging up at the ball" aspect down.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
    #34
  35. stinkpaw

    stinkpaw New User

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2006
    Messages:
    74
    I am in no way affiliated with the site, but I suggest you join hitechtennis dot com. Then go through their serve instructional analysis with videos and compare. For each step of the serve they give different focus points you can then look for in your pictures and compare. Great website and great way to improve.

    Technical question: did you take your pics with a digital cam that snaps continuous still pictures or did you take frames from a video? What software did u use?
     
    #35
  36. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    Messages:
    1,535
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    Haha unfortunately (I'm a huge Redskins fan) that is not the first time I have gotten Eli Manning. Ed Norton also. I dunno. Hopefully Eli will go back to being Eli (guaranteed 2 picks a game) -- the NFC East is tough enough w/the (hated) Cowboys tearing things up.
     
    #36
  37. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    . .[color]
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
    #37
  38. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    I'm partial to the cheech stance, myself. *rim shot* ;) BeHappy, is this from a book or is there a link to this?

    No doubt. Seriously Hyogen, once you got the basic gist of the form shown on Fuzzy and give yourself a few months of practice, you're going to have a smooth, popping serve.

    The key thing about kinetic chain is getting the correct body sequence down. If the arm goes before the hips and legs, then the hips and legs can't really transfer energy into the arms.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
    #38
  39. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,951
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    I'm definitely going to try and practice these things. Looking at the pictures of Pete though...I don't see that he has his feet at 90 degrees....

    Looking forward to your next post BeHappy. You can be sure I'll have videos and these screenshots of the videos of my new and improving serve.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
    #39
  40. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    . .
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
    #40
  41. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    . .
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
    #41
  42. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    What I'm going to do is this, I'm going to post the first one again and delete it from the 2nd page so that you can read all three together:


    ok, Hyogen;

    you have two seperate flaws in your service motion;

    1) stance, (hip rotation- worth between 10-15mph)

    2)no kinetic chain, all arm/shoulder.(A one in a million shoulder, but still massive room for improvement, getting the legs involved worth up to 20mph)


    now this is your serve:

    [​IMG]


    and this is Sampras's serve:

    [​IMG]


    first I'm going to deal with your stance.

    this is your stance:

    [​IMG]


    and this is pete's

    [​IMG]


    the important thing here is not the angle at which he stands compared to yours, it's this:
    http://216.194.87.192/personal.htm

    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 left 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 roate your torso into the shot by rotating your hips.

    Another issue with your stance is that you use what is called a pin point stance.A pin point stance is when you drag your left foot up beside your right foot and stand it on it's toes before hitting the ball.

    Yeah, the chong stance should fix that for you.


    (to be continued in next post)
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
    #42
  43. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    a pin point stance, (which you use) looks like this;

    [​IMG]

    the whole point of the pin point stance is to allow you to run into the net as you serve.It has noe effect on your leg drive at all as you push off the front leg, whether you realise it or not.

    Rod Laver used to use this stance.
    Stefan Edberg and kraijeck also used it for a similar purpose and to similar effect.

    At best it has no effect upon your hip rotation, at worst, and in your case I think this applies, it messes up your timing and destroys the kinetic chain.

    what I want you to do is use the platform stance.I want you to completely ignore the back foot throughout the motion.It is relax it totally.If it is dragged forward passively and very slightly by the depth of your knee bend, (like Sampras), that's okay, that's not the same thing as a pin point stance.

    refer to the Sampras pics to look at what I'm talking about.

    You have another MASSIVE PROBLEM though, and hat is that you are jumping WAY to soon.

    You aren't using your legs to power your arm at all.

    What you are doing is this;

    1) You toss the ball

    2) You bend your knees and jump upwards almost immediately

    3) Way, WAY after this you are getting into the racquet drop position.

    4)while you are in the air you swing at the ball.


    What Sampras is doing, and what you need to do is this.

    Throw the ball up in the air and at the same time lean into your front foot as heavily as you possibly can.

    the heel of your right foot should be up slightly ie your right foot should be on it's toes, ie, the ball of your foot.

    You'll find this will take you far longer than sitting down which is what you are doing now, and which is completely ineffectual as it launches your weight into the wrong direction anyway.

    Next what you need to do is to time it in such a way that you get your arm into the trophy position as at the same time as you reach your maximum knee bend.This should look like this:

    [​IMG]

    whereas at the moment you're reaching your maximum knee bend position way before your arm reaches the trophy position, (pointing straight up towards the sky:

    [​IMG]

    So the link in the 'kinetic chain' as it's known, is broken.Your legs and hips have no effect on your arm.the arm has to do all the work on it's own.

    you need to link them up so that the maximum knee bend and the trophy position of the racquet coincide, like this:

    [​IMG]


    the pic that is framed in red is where he has achieved the Trophy position, where his maximum knee bend coincides with his arm pointing straight up.



    (continued in next post, can only post 4 images a post, grrrrrr)
     
    #43
  44. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    Sampras has a unique technique with his feet. It's a cool trick, but maybe best to stick with basics?

    Yeah, that's the key thing. It helps give you the rhythm that you're looking for.
     
    #44
  45. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    Linking Stance, Knee Bend and Trophy Position up

    Now the pic that's framed in red I've already explained, the pic that's framed in yellow demonstrates something very important.

    [​IMG]
    He initiates the Kinetic Chain by rotating his hips

    again

    He initiates the Kinetic Chain by rotating his hips

    NOT by driving with his legs

    Coaches always say leg drive shold be natural, should be passive, that it should be as a result of a good motion.

    Well this is how to make that happen.

    What your stance will do is allow you to do this.

    Your stance allows for huge hip rotation, as your hips are rotated backwards so much.

    What you need to do is when you are in this position, (maximum knee bend, racquet pointing towards the sky):

    [​IMG]

    is to rotate your hips volently, everything will happen completely naturally from this point on, your legs will naturally release forwards, your arm will naturally drop down, and you will have an amazing serve that is somewhere between 30 and 35 mph faster than the one you have now.


    The 'jump', is more like a single legged step into the court than a jump, what you're really doing is transferring your weight aggressively, and you shouldn't even try to do it, it'll happen all by itself if you rotate your hips properly.
    it's worth noting that Sampras's foot barely leaves the ground:

    (Green Frame)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
    #45
  46. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,951
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    easy! I just took screenshots of my video playing in Windows Media Player. Used the print screen button...then 2 open windows of MS PAINTBRUSH! Pasted the screenshot, then cut and pasted the part I wanted for the sequence.
     
    #46
  47. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    why?

    I mean you just set your feet differently and serve, and you get an extra 10-15 mph free.It's not like it adds ANY difficulty.

    Gaudio does this for example, although there are many many more.


    far more than rythm, it' what gives you racquet head speed.
     
    #47
  48. tricky

    tricky Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,305
    I tend to see this as you rotate your hips into the ball. So, naturally, if your ball toss is more out in front or higher, your hips will follow as such.

    Well, if you're talking about lifting the balls of your feet in order to orient, yeah that's fine and it helps with the hip rotation. And that's what's covered on the fuzzy site. If you mean, however, setting your feet parallel to each other with your hips "pre-rotated", which is what Sampras does in order to hit balls way out to the left and, that's an advanced technique. It's like setting up the trophy position by leading with the elbow; eventually you want to get there, but it's confusing if you have no concept of the circular motion necessary in a more classic serve.

    Nah, that's not completely true. What gives you most of the racquet head speed is how the shoulder is loaded, and then how you pronate into the ball. The most important part -- and one of the most difficult things to really get down -- is to nail down the racquet drop, so that the kinetic chain is not broken, and so that the body can still properly prestretch the shoulder rotators.

    There's various ways to execute a racquet drop, but most ways disconnect the kinetic chain. That is why most coaches recommend mastering the arm motion prior to adding in all the body sequencing stuff. What they really want the trainee to figure out, is how to get the kinetic chain to connect correctly during the racquet drop. The problem is most coaches do not really understand how that works, except to emphasize a loose arm and a throwing motion.

    When the kinetic chain is connected through the entire motion, the movement becomes rhythmic and relaxed. It means you have a clear eccentric/negative stage that properly mirrors the concentric/positive elements in the movement. That is what takes so many hours to master with a movement pattern as involved as the serve.
     
    #48
  49. BeHappy

    BeHappy Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Messages:
    4,789
    It doesn't force you to hit the ball way out to the left, what it does do is force you to rotate your torso further and faster, which pulls your shoulder forward further and faster, which gives you an even lower racquet drop, and which also loads more energy into the ssc system which allows you to internally rotate your shoulder a lot faster.

    I'm not sure how you came to that conclusion.

    I'm not being disingenuous here Tricky, I really and truly amn't, but I have no idea what you mean by leading with the elbow.

    but it's the kinetic chain that which is responsible for loading the reflex action, which is what gives you more racquet head speed.Your post seems to agree with me on this point although your initial statement doesn't.

    I'm confused.
     
    #49
  50. hyogen

    hyogen Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2007
    Messages:
    2,951
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    Ok, wow..that's a lot of work you did BeHappy. I definitely owe you a video...If you saw it I think what you said here doesn't apply:

    "whereas at the moment you're reaching your maximum knee bend position way before your arm reaches the trophy position, (pointing straight up towards the sky" is not what's actually happening.

    I think when I reach my maximum knee bend I have already tossed up the ball high and am waiting for the right height of the ball. The thing is, I don't even have a trophy pose. I immediately start dropping my tossing arm, as many people have observed so far in this thread.

    I will definitely post the video on youtube--if you must, you can see these three 15MB videos - one of them has an embarrasing running towards camera (girlfriend holding the camera) with a goofy expression...I'll get some better ones and post them on youtube for easy viewing. I don't think you answered my 90 degree chong position question. The Sampras pictures don't look like he has his feet at a 90 degree angle...

    So here are the videos (15MB each!)
    http://www.dochyo.com/PA140104.AVI
    --the one from the screen captures from original post (and goofy end part)
    http://www.dochyo.com/PA150109.AVI 3 sort of rushed serves--what I might do if I am tired or am not focused as much during the match. Interesting to see
    http://www.dochyo.com/PA150111.AVI one good one that I think most of my serves are like. Shows my flaws, timing, non-rotation, how I'm jumping, etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
    #50

Share This Page