I figured out why my serve is lame

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by arche3, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Compared to my serve when I was playing in college my serve sucks.
    I had my friend who is a tennis pro give me a serve lesson. He said I have great technique but no flexibility in my shoulder. He had me setup in my racket drop position and he physically showed me where my arm drop was. where a pro has his forearm parallel to the ground (3pm) at the drop my forearm was about 1:00pm. Barely past vertical. So that is why my serve max mph is compromised.
    Old age sucks. He gently pushed on it to see how far I can rotate but it is basically stuck around 1pm.
     
  2. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Are you saying your racket drop is too short?

    IMO, the drop is important but far more important is the leverage of the forward swing. Look at this way. In the FH, some have a fuller back swing than other but don't you think it's really a correct weight transfering, timing, core based forward swing that generates power, no?
     
  3. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

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    I went out last night to video a few easy shadow swings in the backyard, just nice and relaxed. I came to the exact same conclusion about my serve. The racket doesn't drop deep enough. These were only easy shadow swings, will take a video of me hitting actual serves and see if I have the same vertical upper body.

    Because that's what can help, what u can try is push your chest up toward the sky, that should give ur shoulder some extra range.
     
  4. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Yes it's too short. My racket head does not travel as far as it should. A good racket drop has the tip of racket at waist of server. My racket tip is somewhere along my back because I can't rotate my shoulder any more than that. I think it makes a difference in the Max speed of racket head.
     
  5. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Yeah I came to the same idea. More chest up. I have been frustrated in my serve. The thing is I just had my 12 year old son show me his racket drop. His forearm is beyond 3pm and his racket tip is past his waist.
     
  6. rkelley

    rkelley Hall of Fame

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    Have you had a shoulder injury? Do you think age is the only reason that you've lost flexibility in your shoulder (it's gonna happen to everyone eventually)? Have you considered any plan to regain some of the lost flexibility if possible?
     
  7. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Frankly I have never seen any recreational players, young or old, who could bend their body (having the chest pointing up) and drop their arm that low. That stuff is reserved for pros.
     
  8. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    My 12 year old son does the deep drop and elbow bent back. Not just pro players.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  9. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    I have very limited external rotation of my (left) shoulder. However, as long as I externally rotate as much as I can on my racket drop, I still get a decent stretch-shortening cycle/reflex. If I flex the elbow (to less than 90 degrees), instead of the ESR, I do not get as much power on the serve.
     
  10. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    No injuries. But it was real eye opening. I think I'll try a stretching regiment.
     
  11. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    If my son stands straight up. Holds his right arm to the side and forearm pointed up. He can stay in same orientation and bend his forearm all the way back past 3pm. I have video of his arm motion on serve and the drop is past his waist.
     
  12. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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  13. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Is that your son? He does have a professional serve then. No question about it. Where does he play recreationally?

    edit: that looks like Djokovic :( sigh... I couldn't make it out in a tiny pic.
     
  14. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Lol. Yeah. It's djoko. I'm just pointing out the arm angle I meant.
     
  15. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Yes, that is his 12 yr old son, Novak. He plays recreationally in Serbia (and a number of other places on the planet).
     
  16. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    My statement stands. Only pros do that. hehehe..
     
  17. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLf_MJXzBVg
     
  18. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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  19. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    If I were you, I'd go see a physical therapist who specializes in sports medicine. There's a good chance he can give you exercises that will increase your range of motion.

    EDIT: Haha, I just got an e-mail from Active Tennis about yoga exercises for tight shoulders. http://www.active.com/fitness/Artic...21420&lyrisid=42512632&email=stepup81@msn.com I'd still go see a specialist though just to make sure you don't have an injury.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  20. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I wonder what LeeD range of motion is now. ?
     
  21. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Great idea.
     
  22. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Here are some reports on external shoulder rotation in tennis players.
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/?term=external+shoulder+rotation+tennis+players

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3811728/

    Dynamic external shoulder rotation, as during the service motion, is greater than static or gentle force range of motion.

    You can usually change ranges of motion with stretching, maybe 6 weeks.

    Usually pitchers or servers lose shoulder range of motion. I think the ISR range of motion is less in the serving arm than the other arm.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  23. Fedinkum

    Fedinkum Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for that link. That answers alot of questions for me. I know I should bend my knee, rotate my hip, should, drop my arms, etc. and now I see why!!
     
  24. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Thanks for this. It seems way over my head lol. So if I can regain even some range of motion back it seems it can be very beneficial to my serve max mph. I need to find a sport physical therapist.
     
  25. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    That company sells a piece of exercise equipment for hip rotation exercises.
    See if you can find a similar description and emphasis of the phases of the service motion from some other neutral source.

    Their sequence is good. They did mention 'turning the arm' briefly - that's internal shoulder rotation the most important part of the serve.

    All those angles involve stretching muscles for the stretch shortening cycle. The part with the helicopter is hard to relate to the service motion. How does it relate to racket head speed at impact?
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  26. bblue777

    bblue777 Banned

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    There are some pros who don't drop deep and still get great power.

    Sounds like a cop out to blame on the age.

    Arche3 why don't you show us the serve.
     
  27. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Find me a top pro that does not drop past 1pm like my shoulder.

    I'm pretty sure age does reduce flexability. And for the record I'll still serve better than your hack 3.0 serve using my left arm. Why don't you show your serve? Your so interested in my tennis on a Internet forum. Lmao.
    I can still hit over 100 mph anyways. Even with this issue.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  28. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    delete post.... 10 char
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2013
  29. psv255

    psv255 Professional

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    I can't move my forearm back past 1 or 130, but on video I can get the 3 oclock position. When relaxed, the shoulder muscles are much more flexible and allow greater range for recoil. try videoing while serving relaxed, that'll give you a better idea than just isolating your forearm/shoulder.
     
  30. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Looks like a big racket drop to me. [​IMG]
     
  31. Ballinbob

    Ballinbob Hall of Fame

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    Yup, it is indeed. I misunderstood that post for some reason, my bad. Was thinking of elbow/hitting arm drop not racket drop for some reason
     
  32. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    I read this entire thread and IMHO the above post is the absolute key to everything. The stretch-shortening cycle is the key. Maximizing the SSC is a much more efficient way to generate power. The same goes with the forehand.

    If you fully engage a stretch-shortening cycle, you don't need to worry as much about forcing your body into contortions trying to achieve these "perfect" positions.
     
  33. bblue777

    bblue777 Banned

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    So you are not a hack? How do you know you hit over 100mph.
     
  34. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Im not a hack. I am a decent player for rec tennis.

    I know because I've been radared by the same radars they use at pro tourneys this past summer at a usta high performance center. I can hit 110 max. Consistently over 100. Couple guys I play regularly are the juniors coaches at this center.
     
  35. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I think it is the difference between 100 and 120. A lot of rec players can hit 100. Only perfect technique gets you to 120.
     
  36. bblue777

    bblue777 Banned

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    LOL - this line is signature worthy.

    FYI those guns are notoriously inaccurate, often show inflated numbers to keep 'hacks' entertained!

    And hitting with junior coaches mean nothing... even a hack like me can do it!
     
  37. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Make it a ttw meme!!!

    Whatever major loser. Keep hacking away.
     
  38. bblue777

    bblue777 Banned

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    You have such a bad attitude... I don't think you can beat LeeD.
     
  39. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    A lot of people on this forum wouldn't be able to beat LeeD.
     
  40. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    you can also gain some range by improving the ROM of the scapula. the scapula will get pulled back at transition from trophy to racket drop. more flexibility there can increase the ROM. and it is easier to work on scap flexibility than shoulder flexibility.
     
  41. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    LeeD is goat. Of course I cant. Duh.
     
  42. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I have NO range of motion. 2 left collarbone breaks, 3 left shoulder separations, and one left dislocation tends to do that to the shoulders.
    I spent more than 5 years NOT being able to brush my teeth or shave with ONE hand....needed one hand just for elbow support.....
    OK, TURN MORE SIDEWAYS on prep position. Some of my best serves come when I feel like I BACK into my serves.
     
  43. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    Yeah. Turn more. Great idea.
     
  44. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hope it works.
    Try it, think of leading into your serves with the back of your right shoulder, not quite the shoulder blades.
    This also limit's the forward swing of the elbow, resulting in high elbow, high hands, allowing the rackekhead to come thru the ball ahead of the arm.
    This can shorten your followthrus, meaning your contact point is earlier in your swing.
     
  45. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Arche3 is a 4.5 level player.
    I am 3.5-4.0. He beats me every time.
    I beat him on more injured body parts.
     
  46. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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  47. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    This can potentially add more length to the swing. Making up for shallow racket drop at least a bit.

    As long as I am facing the net at contact like a proper flat serve I can see this helping with mph.
     
  48. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Groth is an interesting case. He has a very big flat serve, though I have some skepticism about his 163mph serve.

    His drop, in the slow motion video I've seen, is just below parallel, but not particularly deep compared to players such as Roddick.
     
  49. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I"m not convince you need to square up to the opponent at contact on first flat serves. A little lag keeps your body more in control, and tighter.
    Groth.
    1. He's a monster, maybe only 6'2" or so, but a Viking warrior.
    2. His right elbow is lower than the line of his shoulders, so low racket drop.
    3. In the pro levels, you see all sorts off weird motions. They can get away with it because they are young, superior athletes with lots of training and practice.
     
  50. arche3

    arche3 Banned

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    I just watched slow motion of his serve. He has a deep drop like all pros. But not like roddick.
    The drop I mean like the djoko pic in this thread. The tip of racket is pointed to the ground. Arm all twisted looking.
     

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