How to turn a heavy spin serve into a flatter serve

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by johndagolfer, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. johndagolfer

    johndagolfer Semi-Pro

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    I have a freshman in HS who started playing 2 years ago. She's gone from a exhibition player to 2nd doubles to vying for the #1 singles spot. The only thing that's holding her back is her first serve. She hits good serves but instead of hitting with pace she hits with super spin. She can hit mega slice serves. When she hits topspin her serve reaches my head 5'10".

    I am trying to tell her to pronate (thumb up to thumb down) but this is only bringing limited success.

    I do notice that her dominate arm doesn't bend as much as I would like, but I am not sure that is the reason.

    Any suggestions?
     
    #1
  2. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Play with her mind some...see if she can hit the back fence off one bounce...doesn't matter if it's in or out. Then, once she is able to do that ask her why she can do it. She should figure out that it is a combo of striking more behind the ball with a slightly different grip. If she doesn't, repeat the drill a few times til she does.

    It will take some time to break the habit. Be patient with her and encourage her to have patience with herself.

    Might want to also set up a video camera behind her. Show her what she is doing.
     
    #2
  3. tennis_ocd

    tennis_ocd Hall of Fame

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    I don't equate pronation with thumb up/thumb down. That sounds more like wrist snap. Two different, separate motions in my mind.
     
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  4. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    Pace is overrated ,focus on placement. My player can make a radar scream mid 130's and he is rarley over 115mph but a lot of great palcement.
     
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  5. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Umm...duhhh. No one is saying to go frying pan grip 130mph. Just adding a tool to the arsenal.
     
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  6. tennisconsultcom

    tennisconsultcom Rookie

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    Just find a good tennis coach who understands how to teach serve (there are a few ones, unfortunately).
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Question is, does she WANT to hit a flatter serve? Flatter serve means less consistent, the ball comes back sooner, and more surprises happen, which makes her have to decide between more choices.
    Start with conti grip, face her against a wall, tell her to flatten the racketface against that wall.
     
    #7
  8. chalkflewup

    chalkflewup Hall of Fame

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    The modern game on the men's side is all about serve and forehand. And in junior tennis, the serve is something the coach works on the last 5-10 minutes of a lesson. Most kids do not work on the serve and it shows. If you can consistently hold serve and can play doubles too, colleges are going to come a knockin.
     
    #8
  9. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    Tell me about her overhead.
     
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  10. peter

    peter Professional

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    In my opinion, a flat serve in the girls game is just a waste of time due to a couple of reasons:
    1. Girls don't hit with enough power for it to be a serious weapon - all good girls can return flat serves easily.
    2. Girls are shorter - making it more difficult to hit it with good consistency.

    Unless your name is Serena that is...

    No, much better to spend time on developing a kick serve. That's more unusual and will give a lot of free points!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012
    #10
  11. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    ^^^hogwash. There are three serves that every aspiring junior (gender irregardless) should be able to use. Flat, kick, and slice. It's a weapon to be able to mix it up and change pace on the ball.

    Step 1 is learning HOW to hit them. Step 2 is learning WHEN to use them. I've watched enough college tennis to be able to say that those women that can switch their serve up have a much easier time holding. Every UF player has these skills.
     
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