how to get serve pronation

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by sportsfan1, Sep 22, 2011.

  1. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    serve is the weakest part of my game(ok, among others :)). I watched the FYB serve progressions. The one part that I understood but could not implement is the "swing on edge, pronate to contact". I can visualize it, but can't go through it when serving or hitting overheads.
    Anyone have tips on how to learn the swing on edge and pronate to contact? Thx
     
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  2. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    you dont have to think about it too much. as long as you got your motion it just happens naturally. i can try and show you when we meet up:)
     
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  3. jdubbs

    jdubbs Hall of Fame

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    You just turn your racket right before you hit your serve so that its sideways, your wrist will automatically correct and hit the ball. Voila: pronation.
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    As said...
    And also, you can stand facing a wall and lay the racket flat against the wall, using a conti grip, to simulate what pronation feels like to hit a flat ball with conti grip.
    Most Efh serves start out hitting extreme slice and barely clear the net at 20 mph. Pronation flattens the face of the racket to hit flat serves, so the serve up's it's pace by 60 mph immediately.
     
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  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oh, the REASON.
    Swinging initially leading with the edge is much more aerodynamic, so the racket can swing faster sooner. Once near impact zone, the racketface needs to flatten to hit a flat serve, and it's already moving fast.
     
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  6. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    if you use a backhand grip
    to serve
    and use a throwing motion
    it will force you to come up on edge and pronate to hit the ball with the strings:)
    even if your grip "shifts" slightly to forehand as you serve
     
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  7. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    #7
  8. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Yes, that's why all those rec and club players you see bashing around have perfected internal/external rotation :)

    Seriously, how many times do the coaches on here have to repeat that correct pronation needs to be taught (in all but extreme/unique circumstances). Serve pronation doesn't just come from the forearm/upper arm, but also internal - external rotation of the shoulder from the rotator-cuff. It is a feeling which must be learned in order to be performed correctly, repeatedly and most importantly safely.

    The video with Pete McCraw is a good demonstration.

    cheers
     
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  9. Maui19

    Maui19 Hall of Fame

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    Great video thanks for posting it.
     
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  10. sportsfan1

    sportsfan1 Hall of Fame

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    Good video, thanks.
    Also, on the serve ball toss, what's the easiest motion for the toss hand (in my case left hand)? I believe the ball starts in the finger tips, but at the end of the toss (hand is completely raised to the highest point), should the left palm face
    1) the net(parallel to it),
    2) the sidewall (perpendicular to the net) or
    3) towards yourself
     
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  11. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

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    You don't have to look far on these boards to find references to serving being like throwing a ball. When throwing a ball you pronate. Why? Because it makes your fist more aerodynamic??? I don't think so.

    Not saying you are wrong about the racquet moving through the air faster on edge but I don't think that's the REASON for pronating. It may however be the reason for using a continental grip.

    Not an instructor though so what do I know...
     
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  12. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    lol well hold on. i did say you dont have to think about it much after you get the motion down. so what i would focus with him is making sure he has the motion. its kind of like walking. once you get the motion down you dont need to think about it too much. every time i walk i dont say 'oh god right foot down' evvery time you serve do you say 'oh god dont forget to pronate" ???
     
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  13. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    i guess i will add that some things you have to be explicit about. like keeping your eye on the ball is a good one that should be taught and repeated. but pronation on serve is more a built in function of the stroke itself.
     
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  14. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Put racket up in positon like it is about to go into the backscratch loop. The right side edge (for R server holding racket straight out to side with conti grip) of the racket will be pointing roughly at the contact point. Toss and serve from this abbreviated start. As you come up out of the backscratch loop, the same R edge should be pointing a contact. But, the wrist/forearm will begin to pronate into contact and the stringbed will be square into the ball at contact. Basically, you start up from backscratch loop with edge pointing at contact point and pronate to open strings to the ball. Pronation continues thru contact and strings/palm end up pointing slightly toward right fence.
     
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  15. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Keystone Paper Until The 2012 Tennis Bio Mechanics Conference

    This paper from prominent bio-mechanics researcher, B. Elliott, summarizes some main concepts of tennis bio-mechanics as of 2005.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2577481/

    If you don't understand any of the terms search and study them.

    In 2012 there is a tennis biomechanics conference that should have a lot of interesting new updates. I hope that the proceedings can be purchased for a reasonable fee. (Some of these guys have high speed video 3D motion capture equipment!)

    http://biomch-l.isbweb.org/threads/22035-Sports-Biomechanics-Special-Issue-on-Tennis-Biomechanics

    If you have similar papers please post.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2011
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  16. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Agree, I think it is better to think how you want to hit it - brush it 8-to-2 for slice or 7-to-1 o'clock for top or strike it flat rather than "thinking" about pronation. You may want understand pronation but it is not very useful during a match. In fact, I think it can be counter productive if you over emphasize it in your stroke. A baseball pitches thinks I am going to throw a curve ball, or a slider, or a fastball, but they don't think I am going to pronate at a 45 degree angle to produce a curve ball. The pronation just happens as part of the serve or pitch.
     
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  17. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    precisely. better said than i did
     
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  18. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    Wrong way round. The pitcher (or in our case the server) doesn't think about how much they need to pronate or rotate or whatever because they have been taught the correct feeling and practiced it thousands and thousands of times. At that point they can think "i'm going to throw this type of pitch" or "hit this type of serve" and can perform the action because the neural pathway has been created and repeated. It doesn't just happen, or every muppet would be out there throwing curveballs or hitting kickers.

    The correct positions and timings of the internal/external rotation and pronation must be taught and practiced. It's that simple.

    Cheers
     
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  19. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    clarification of terms and muscle use

    I would say that by definition any "upper arm" axial rotation is internal-external shoulder rotation.

    Also, I'm not educated in this area but I believe that the rotator cuff functions to mostly secure the ball of the humerus into the shoulder socket which is part of the scapula (shoulder blade). The scapula in turn is secured to the upper body by positioning muscles inserted around its edges. The rotator cuff muscles are small and probably don't supply much power for racket head speed. The lat & pec are large muscles and after being stretched probably supply most serve power because, as kinesiology references indicate, they are the 'internal rotator muscles' for internal shoulder rotation. Maybe there is another muscle or two also?

    A good reference on the terms, motions & muscles is -

    Manual of Structural Kinesiology, C. Thomson & R. T. Floyd

    Chas Tennis
     
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  20. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    You're right, but the thing is... the feeling isn't really taught, per se. The feel is developed. I'm sure the exact feel varies from person to person. And each pitch has a different feel. I could never throw a slider or screwball (too hard on the arm), but I could throw a good sinker and an okay curveball.

    Back in the day, my coach would tell me... "Here's the finger position. When you throw the ball, you should feel the pressure of the throw on such-and-such finger. If you feel it anywhere else, you're doing it wrong." Then I'd go up in front of a piece of plywood and practice for hours and hours. After a year of working on a kick serve, I still haven't developed a complete feel for it, yet... but I'm getting there.

    The important takeaway for people in your post is that serving (or pitching) takes a bunch of practice to ingrain. You can learn fundamentals. Work on basic progressions. But it will take months to get anything close to a good feel. People should set their expectations appropriately.
     
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  21. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    thats what we were saying man...once you have the motion taught you dont have to think about it. the guy is asking how to pronate but the thing is its better to teach someone the motion rather than how to pronate. how do you teach someone to walk? or ride a bike? you dont say 'push down with right foot on the pedal and repeat' more like 'use your feet and pedal' and when they do it they will natirally push their foot down on the pedal. you are missing what we are saying
     
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