I cannot for the life of me

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by HunterST, Jul 24, 2009.

  1. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    I've been trying to get my serve so the ball hits the back fence off the first bounce and I can't get the darn thing to do it. I have no idea how fast my serve is, but I do hit aces and unreturnable serves occasionally against high school players that are upper JV and lower varsity. That makes me feel like it's not that I'm just not advanced enough to hit the back fence.

    Any advice on how to accomplish this? I know more topspin would help. anything else?
     
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  2. masterxfob

    masterxfob Semi-Pro

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    i don't think that should be a goal when serving, but it shouldn't be that hard to achieve. you should be able to do it just by pronating properly and making contact with your arm/stick fully extended. study some tuts on fyb, they explain most parts of the serve from the knee bend to the pronation.
     
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  3. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    That's bothered me also. After all, some total beginners can do it, (on the rare instances when they get the serve in). My pro told me that it's because the racquet doesn't have enough speed when I serve. Makes sense. She said I should try to increase the speed by increasing the follow through. I still don't hit the back fense with my serve, but it bothers me less. My serve is consistent and accurate even though it is slow. I can put it in with a low, skidding, bounce, that most players don't attack.

    Maybe you can rent or buy a radar gun? I got one and I can't even hit it up to 70 mph. But Ken Rosewall had a 70 mph serve, and look at how well he did.
     
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  4. conditionZero

    conditionZero Rookie

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    I thought about using a radar gun, but I'm afraid I woud spiral into deep depression if I knew how fast (or slow) my serves really were. I don't think hitting the fence should be a goal. Placement and consistency are much more important. Often times I hit the fence before it even bounces and no one ever seems too impressed.
     
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  5. ms87

    ms87 Rookie

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    1) hit the ball at full extension (height)
    2) hit the ball really hard (doesn't mean you tense up, just that you are using your legs, torso, shoulder, and pronators properly)

    hitting the back fence is trivial if your technique is correct.
     
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  6. HunterST

    HunterST Hall of Fame

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    I know hitting the back fence alone isn't a big deal, but every pro's serve hits the back wall. So I think the ball hitting the back fence or equivalence is an indicator of good pace and/or spin.
     
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  7. Claudius

    Claudius Professional

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    I've seen some women who actually don't, but most men do.
     
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  8. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    You know what really ticked me off. Like almost a year ago my goal was to hit the back fence too. I used to get really close but never had it. But when i just threw the ball up and served with just pronation with my arm fully extended i hit the back fence pretty easily. But when i went through my whole motion..i lost pace..and it didnt hit the back fence..

    but yeah i agree, go to fyb and follow their instruction on how to serve, especially helpful is the pronation part.
     
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  9. ms87

    ms87 Rookie

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    I don't think you understood me. By "trivial", I didn't mean irrelevant - I meant that it's so easy that it's not even a concern. The fact that you are having trouble with it tells me that your technique is flawed.
     
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  10. SethIMcClaine

    SethIMcClaine Rookie

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    1)Hit the court closer to the fence
    2)find a place that the fence is closer to the court

    --Make sure youre nailing your sweetspot,
    --go for a flat serve if youre really trying to hit the fence (why are you trying to hit the fence again?), top spin will give you more height after the bounce but it will take off pace
    --check out fuzzyyellowballs . com as mentioned befor and take your form into consideration, everything from stance/toss/fallow through
     
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  11. ra7686

    ra7686 New User

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    There's a ton of things you could be working on with serve. I guess the two things I would say ,apart from SethIMcClain's very helpful first two :p, are (for a flat serve):
    1) Be fully extended when you hit your serve - really try and reach up to the ball, and make contact at your maximum height
    2) Make sure your weight is going forward as you make contact. Absolutely necessary if you want to generate more pace.
     
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  12. SethIMcClaine

    SethIMcClaine Rookie

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    RA I feel like we are the only two on the forum at 2:00 AM Eastern, I think you've fallowed every post ive done!

    And my name has an "E" at the end of it
     
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  13. ra7686

    ra7686 New User

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    haha it's not quite as late for me (12am Mountain Time). But yes, it IS getting a little ridiculous, isn't it. Maybe it's a signal that I should really really go to sleep, when no one seems to be replying haha.
     
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  14. masterxfob

    masterxfob Semi-Pro

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    if you're losing momentum/pace when going through the whole (trophy/back scratch) service motion, you're probably tossing the ball too high and pausing/waiting for the ball to come down. that or vice versa, your toss is too low and you don't have time to complete the trophy/back scratch motion.
     
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  15. jpr

    jpr New User

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    when i was working on my serve as a junior, hitting the fence was also a goal. here's what i did.

    1) ensure your technique is correct: extension, leg drive, etc

    2) pinky drill - to help develop more wrist snap, grip your racquet with your pinky hanging off the end of the grip...actually curl it under. hit a bucket of serves. will teach you importance of lower wrist/forearm tension

    3) backup drill - improve your power by hitting services back from your normal serving position. work up to 5' behind the baseline, in 1-2' increments. your goal is still to hit it in AND have it hit the fence on 1 bounce

    it will take time. you cannot do it in one day. remember, none of these drills help if your technique is poor to begin with.
     
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  16. federer_15

    federer_15 Rookie

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    I'm going to try that next tim eI start serving... How far away is the fence you are trying to hit?
     
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  17. NickH87

    NickH87 Semi-Pro

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    I got scared when I read this thread, you guys make it seems like you are wimps because you cant hit the fence. Then I couldnt remember if I could hit the fence, so I looked at my video and it was a breath of fresh air...I HIT THE FENCE lol
     
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  18. SethIMcClaine

    SethIMcClaine Rookie

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    Thanks for that tip, have been wondering what the difference between a high serve and a low serve were, was kinda getting the impresison its preference
     
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  19. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    I disagree that more topspin would help. My first serve is flat and always hits the wall after the first bounce as long as its hit cleanly. My second serve is a topspin/kick serve with a lot of topspin, and doesn't hit the wall nearly as much.

    I think the key is to develop a serve motion where your body stays loose, and you develop a good repeatable kinetic chain that you can really explode through the ball on the serve. You need to be able to make good, clean contact on those hard serves, something that definitely took me a while to figure out. In the past there was always something that would go wrong, such as a poor toss, or I would not pronate enough, or I would be late or early, not enough body rotation, etc. that led to less than good contact on my flat serves.
     
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  20. ak47m

    ak47m Rookie

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    Good technique, timing, and proper weight distribution. You can hit a really fast serve but it may not hit the fence. You need a good ball toss first off. If you can get all your weight forward and behind the ball, you can drive it with force. You also need to hit the sweetspot.
     
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  21. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Hunter,

    The most important thing about your serve is placing your serve on any part of the service box. You need to be able to hit wide, deep, a bit shallow, up the T, and into the hip. You also should have decent pace on both 1st and 2nd serves. Spin is also important to mix things up.

    That is what you should be working on instead of trying to hit the back fence with your serve.

    You will find that you can ace a person with your placement and decent pace and as you get older and stronger and you learn to relax more and improve your technique, the power and pace will come.

    Also, you need to change your mindset about your serve and aces. Acing someone is great don't get me wrong, however, that isn't how you want to build your game plan around. The serve is used to start the point and the play you want to do so you can hit the second, third, and maybe the fourth shot the way you want.

    So, it is a bit like a QB calling a play in the huddle. He might want to run a play left or right. He may want to run a play up the middle. However, as the play is executed it unfolds.

    Use your serve and placement to setup your next shot and then your next shot from the previous shot. For example, you may want to come to net and follow your serve to be able to volley away the ball to end the point. In this case, your best serve may be to go up the T and reduce the angles given to your opponent.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2009
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  22. Jsa2u

    Jsa2u Rookie

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    stay loose, PRONATION, and full extension.
     
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  23. Bud

    Bud Bionic Poster

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    Relax the arm (very important) and snap the wrist.
     
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