How did you get your serve?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by user92626, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    First, are you happy with your current serve?

    Is it small improvement over time? Or relatively a big "discovery" over a very short time?
     
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  2. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    honestly it took me a long while. i would say it evolved over about over 2.5 years. its still evolving. i am not happy with it. but i am mostly working on just 2nd serve
     
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  3. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Hitting a few hundred serves every day for several years.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Took about the 3rd year of tennis, 5 days a week, 3 hours a day.
    Tried a bunch of lefty pro level form ideas.
    Figured MINE worked the best for me. Stiff, PetrKorda like.
     
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  5. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    I Practiced a lot and read books on tennis,ect.
     
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  6. Say Chi Sin Lo

    Say Chi Sin Lo Legend

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    Like wise, still evolving and I'll say that I'm happier with it than I was yesterday.

    And shoulder surgeries are a b****.
     
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  7. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    exactly! i am working on 2nd serves because my shoulder is just getting worn down. too much over use
     
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  8. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    I'm not sure. I've never been really happy with my serve, as I know there is always room for further improvement. Sure, I can serve big, but that's not what is always going to win me matches. It takes a break to win right? :razz:

    It's a tough call. It's almost as though the serve is built up from dozens of little quirks and details, and even the smallest thing can really change you're entire motion. Ex: I used to do a really low toss, and abbreviated motion, think Dologopolov. After some much needed help in the last month or so, with a drastically higher ball toss I've somehow morphed from pure platform into a hybrid stance with loads more pace and accuracy, similar to a higher wind up style of Berdych/Soderling. It's such a small factor such as the ball toss, but it ended up completely revamping my serve motion without much thought from my own end, and is producing much, much better results.

    -Fuji
     
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  9. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    When I started playing as a child, my mother got me some lessons and so I've always served with a continental grip and decent if unremarkable form. During high school my first serve was probably one of the stronger parts of my game, but my second serve didn't have much action on it - more of a lower pace slice version of a first serve.

    Since I started playing again after a long break my serve has progressed but not in a straight line. For the first six months I had decent looking form but no pace and little directional control, though I started to be able to hit more topspin on the 2nd due to watching pro video on tennisplayer and lessons on fuzzy. Finally, my form clicked and my pace jumped about 20mph in a week. I started bringing 110mph plus flat serves when my timing was right and went to an offset abbreviated motion with a shorter toss (Roddick influence). This went fine for a few years until I started getting more pace again. For about three months my pace jumped and I was sometimes hitting flat serve bombs over 120mph that actually landed in the court. Of course, I went too hard and ended up straining my shoulder, and locking up muscles in my back and neck. A year or so of rehab, seeing the chiro, and getting deep muscle massage made serving possible again.

    I'm training again, but working more on form and placement. My advice is to always warm up and consistently do exercises to strengthen the shoulder area (thrower's ten, scapular pushups, pull-ups and deadlifts, etc). As I get older, I definitely am finding that I need to do off-court work if I want to keep playing tennis without injury.
     
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  10. Larrysümmers

    Larrysümmers Hall of Fame

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    yeah, im happy with it. its not great, but i get it in the box. cant complain for never really practicing
     
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  11. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Pretty happy with my serve since it's the best weapon in my arsenal. Now that I'm 60 it has slowed down a bit. I've also developed a serious rotator issue (from an old v'ball injury). However, by employing a generous knee bend (and other elements of a good kinetic chain), the shoulder/rotator issue does not hamper my serve very much. The only problem that I have with the serve is that my toss sometimes "goes South" (becomes erratic) when I am fatigued or, more often, when I did not get a good night's sleep.

    I first made significant strides with my serve in the mid-1980s by repeated viewings of Stan Smith on the SyberVision Neuromuscular Training tape. I also learned quite a bit about using pronation from playing badminton in the 80s.

    In the 1990s, I started studying slow-mo videos of Pete Sampras' serve mechanics. I adapted/modified his serve to suit me. This took my serve to a much higher level. I have since modified & improved my serve futher from viewing Pat Dougherty (the Serve Doctor) videos, Will Hamilton's serve sequences (FYB), and slow motion videos of Federer, Sharapova and others.
     
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  12. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    I always had a great serve relative to my level. Before I ever started matches I really didn't know anybody who played tennis so I would go to the park alone and hit hundreds of serves and practice groundstrokes against a wall. So I never had to go through that early phase in tennis development where everyone pushes the ball in with the old frying pan pat over the net.
     
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  13. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    Still work in progression , maybe always will be.
    i liken it a golf swing, some days I swing well, other days, I dont know what Im doing.
    I find practicing too much serves ( like the golf swing in the range )maybe be harmful, as the serve gets to much of a groove and I forget the rest of the game.
    i usually just work on a specific part of the serve if I do practice it.

    Right now I working on reducing double fault which I did last match (no df for entire set)and it gave me a lot of confidence toward the rest of my game.

    Also I think I lot of it is mental, learning to serve with break point against you is very tough as opposed to being ahead 40-0.

    Learning to serve in clutch moments must come from match situations.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
    #13
  14. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    #14
  15. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    I drank from a mate's water bottle.
     
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  16. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I'm like you and Say Chi. My serve was evolving, but somehow something just held me back from going full blown and possibly getting a shoulder injury. This is amazing considering I'm very impatient and love power, and I had tried very very hard a couple of times. :)
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I think it's extremely important to simulate the service motion of a top player who uses a simple, basic motion. Then, after a year or so, you can allow that simple motion to evolve to where your own style starts to apply.
    In the beginning, you don't know what motion is best, and don't know how to make any motion work, so start simple.
    Simple as in PetrKorda for lefties, and StanSmith/MichaelStich for righties.
    Fed and Sampras are complicated, take timing, takes legs.
    DJ's is more simple.
    Nadal's might be too basic, but it works for strong, explosive guys.
    Ferrer's good, Verdasco's good, but more complicated with the low drop.
    JuanCarlosFerrero and LeytonHewitt some of the best to try to simulate.
    Once you have the basic fast first serve and solid heavy spin second serve, you can start to use your own personality into the motion.
     
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  18. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Since I was really fat, getting a fast serve was the only way for me to stay in matches. How it developed, I'm not too sure.
     
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  19. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Initially I also thought like that. But in hindsight I have to admit it was harder than I thought. It looks very simple for pros but it's quite complicated for recreational, weekend warriors. Im talking about reliable 90+ mph first serve and high percentage kick second serve.

    For me, there would be no evolvement if I didn't look for change and actually experimented. This explains why many folks have crappy serves after years of playing.

    I don't think I ever care about styles. All I have been looking for is points of leverage. Basically, what allows me to hit harder. Placement and spin is relatively easy to come by.
     
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  20. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I was at the local courts today, watching mostly 4.0 and some 3.5's play doubles and singles, 4 courts being watched.
    The only guy who had a somewhat decent form serve was a 4.0 who just turned 70. He doesn't hit it hard (well, he's 70 !), but at least he turns fully sideways, get's the racket to trophy position, archer's bow, and hits upwards at the ball.
    The other 10 guys all had some weirdo hitch you never see in 5.5's, much less pro level tennis, most pattycake their second serves, some have no clue whatsoever, some pound both serves the same (and miss the second).
    These are supposed to be my peers.
    No, I haven't talked to every one of those guys. The 70 year old and two other's know my serve, think it's with good form, and I hit much harder first serves, and much more spin and pace second serves than anyone there.
    My movement sucks, and I hit stupid shots all the time, of course.
    Seems 10 out of 13 players on the courts could use some basic serve instruction, not that it would really help their overall game.
     
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  21. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    I go mine on DaBay. Great deal, free market economics always work.
     
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  22. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    Careful that it's not a fake paintjob serve. It could crack on you at any time.

    -SF
     
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  23. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    You got jibbed. That kind of serve is worth less than free. :)
     
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  24. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

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    Serve used to suck big time. Last winter I decided I HAD TO FIX IT. Enter: Fuzzy Yellow Balls, tennis player dot net, Bolletieri Sonic Serve, Oscar Wegner dvds. Read, studied, practiced, but most importantly used what works for me. That Sampras serve analysis on tp was like 7 articles, totally in-depth and fascinating, but no way I could do most, if any, of that stuff.

    So I just built my serve as a simple but effective motion. It's decent now and getting better. I win cheap points with it at my level. Plus my arm/shoulder never hurts from serving (whereas before it did), so I must be doing something right. A coach even complimented my motion. "Beautiful" was the word he used... lol :)
     
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  25. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    #25
  26. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Due to age and so on, my first serve is more of a placement shot with rhythm and moderate pace than anything else. I actually rip my second serve a lot harder than my first because if I don't generate enough racquet head speed, I lose control and it tends to sail long. But, it has taken a very long time to get to the point where I can swing at absolute maximum on the second serve and have better control than on the first.
     
    #26
  27. chrischris

    chrischris Hall of Fame

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    Aside from silly jokes, i got my serve action from watching other players.
    I used to watch Sampras and Safin a lot and i think their serves are what i dream of mimicing just a bit.
     
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