How come my serve is very accurate but my groundstrokes are not?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Golden Retriever, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    My serve, even my 1st serve, is very accurate. I can control my serve to about 1 foot in accuracy. If it doesn't hit the net, it can find its target within 1 foot. However my groundstrokes are very inaccurate, maybe 3 feet in accuracy. Is that "normal"?
     
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  2. boojay

    boojay Hall of Fame

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    Last time I checked, the serve was the only shot you had full control over so it shouldn't be a surprise that you can place it better. It's not like you have to go chasing after the ball before you serve it.

    Hey, we're pretty close in post count. We can be post count buddies!
     
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  3. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    if you draw a hoop i doubt ( i could be wrong) that you could consistently get to within 1 foot on serve location and 3 feet on ground strokes in game situatiion or even is practice. if you can that is pro quality and you would not be "ashamed" of of only getting within 3 feet on your groundies
     
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  4. eagle

    eagle Hall of Fame

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    We'll leave you two alone. LOL

    As boojay said, you are pretty much stationary with controlled stance and motion with serves. Very different when hitting groundstrokes when you have to deal with ball pace, height, direction, and spin coupled with your distance to the ball/movement, your mechanics, your prep, type of shot you are trying to hit (defensive or offensive; flat or spin), proximity to the net, location on the court, etc.

    Just a lot more complicated than serves.

    r,
    eagle
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
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  5. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Sort of an interesting topic.

    I think that the serve probably has about twice as many components that need to be properly synchronized for it to work reasonably well compared with a typical forehand or backhand. The problem with that ground stroke is the limited time you have to move and set up for the shot before the ball arrives. Your preparation can also be undermined by an unpredictable bounce. That makes for a more dynamic situation than the serve where the most significant variable can be the location of the toss. Aside from some wind, the success of the toss is up to the server.

    The preparation and execution of a serve can actually take the same amount of time as a couple of strokes in a decent baseline rally! In fact, the one thing that I often try to fix in my teaching or coaching is an overly rushed service motion. It can often break down when the server puts the ball in the air before they've fully setup to swing at it. This even happens sometimes among the pros.

    Stronger, more reliable strokes usually demand better movement and earlier preparation while a stronger, more reliable serve usually needs better tempo and properly synchronized execution. Basic technique is a must for both, but the serve isn't "on the clock" until that toss goes up in the air - much of the preparation can happen beforehand. The ground stroke is counting down to zero as soon as the ball leaves the opponent's racquet, but everything has to happen in that small chunk of time before it arrives on your end.
     
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  6. EikelBeiter

    EikelBeiter Professional

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    no you can't. Well maybe 1 in 10

    groundstrokes 3 times as inaccurate as a serve? i guess so. Still 3 feet is not at all inaccurate for a groundstroke.
     
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  7. Mick

    Mick Legend

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    when you serve, you have 25 seconds to aim and place the ball where you want it to go. when you hit your ground strokes, you only have 1 second to aim and place the ball where you want it to go.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2009
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  8. ramseszerg

    ramseszerg Professional

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    #8
  9. EikelBeiter

    EikelBeiter Professional

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  10. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    fuzz
    - good post.

    good video find. great service accuracy from Murray too.
     
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  11. Golden Retriever

    Golden Retriever Hall of Fame

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    Actually when I said 1 foot I meant 1 foot radius so it is actually 2 feet. 3 feet is actually 6 feet. Sorry for the confusion.
     
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  12. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Well my guess is that groundstrokes are hit from many different points around the court - at many different angles with many different spins.

    Where with the serve your hitting from a spot you choose every single time.. That would kinda alter accuracy.
     
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  13. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    No there's no confusion on our part. Error is always measured in +/-. The confusion is on your part. Accuracy to such a degree is insane! Pros would dominate with that level of accuracy on groundstrokes. For serves, it's more accurate because they always serve to targets and have hit millions of them as well as having reliable tosses, allowing them maximum control over the serve.

    The fact is, we doubt you have anything close to that level of accuracy. 3 feet maybe for serves (which is still pretty darn good for a majority of rec players), and 9 feet for groundstrokes. 1 foot accuracy is maybe 5.0-6.0 level. 2 foot accuracy is like 4.5 level. 3 foot accuracy is like 3.0-4.0. I'm not saying all NTRP X serves like that, but if you can serve to a 1 foot accuracy, you have a 5.0-6.0 level serve.
     
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  14. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I remember when I was a squirt and playing tennis pretty much all summer, I could set up empty ball cans at a couple spots on the service line and pick them off with no more than six or eight tries each. I haven't done that in a while, but now that I'm thinking it over, I need to do it again the next time I'm practicing with a bucket to see how it goes.

    I wouldn't want to have to knock over cans with ground strokes, though. It's a different sort of target, isn't it? Almost as if you're trying to hit the ball through an imaginary narrow corridor. Even if I were to hit two rather accurate forehands consecutively at the same "target", one ball might bounce three to five feet deeper in the court than the other one. A rather firm serve feels more like I'm actually going for a spot in that area just a couple of inches inside either the service line or sideline.

    Hmm... hope that's not complete gibberish...
     
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