Jim Mclennan kick serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Finster, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. Finster

    Finster New User

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    Anyone get this video series "Mastering the kick serve?" Its $200, but claims to provide specific drills for the kick serve. Want to know if its useful or a waste. Thanks.
     
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  2. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    #2
  3. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    use the $200 to buy a couple of lessons from your local pro instead.
     
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  4. joe sch

    joe sch Hall of Fame

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    Not enough marketing to draw many to that missing reference. I am curious how many pay for that price ? Heck, wonder how many would even pay for an Edberg online video when his serve has been analyzed by my leading experts and coaches so its just a "simple" matter of trying to reproduce what you see and hear and thats exactly why a real coach is usually required. infact, I know a former top 10 level player that would give a player in the LA area 4 one hour lessons for that price and he could help a player capable of a world class serve tons in those 4 hours.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011
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  5. goober

    goober Legend

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    $200

    also gets you a video analysis of your serve, 45 days to the ETI network (which I presume is more videos and teaching materials) and access to their forums where the instructor answers your questions.

    Is it worth it? Seems high to me. A good personal instructor would seem better to me, but remember there are a lot of people who have taken in person lessons from a tennis pro and still can't hit a kick serve. Many of them have posted on these forums.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2011
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  6. dozu

    dozu Banned

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    a golf pro of that kind of credential is worth at least $200/hour... just another example why tennis is one of the worst ways to make a buck.
     
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  7. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    I'd pay $200 bucks to take a lesson from him in person - though my kicker is already my best serve (although granted I don't thinks its great. But at my hacker level it gets complements).

    But i think I would like video analysis as well for that kind of price.

    The real problem is is finding a way to make your body do what it should..once you have an inferior pattern ingrained.
     
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  8. Finster

    Finster New User

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    Who is this pro? I would definitely hire him. I would rather take lessons from a teaching pro, but am wary of the quality of instruction for $50/30min. Is he still teaching? Do I need to belong to his club to get lessons from him? How do I get in touch w him?
     
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  9. Playnice

    Playnice Guest

    The first free kick serve video by McLennan gives a long explanation of hitting up on the serve. A very suscinct recommendation of hitting up on the serve has been offered by Oscar Wegner for decades, in his books, his ESPN tips and his videos.

    ln the second free kick serve video a demonstration is described as pronating the forearm. In fact, the motion illustrated (medial rotation) rotates the humerus (the upper arm bone) in its socket; this motion is accomplished by the 4 rotator cuff muscles located on the scapula (shoulder blade) together with the lats and the pecs. The main purpose of the rotator cuff muscles is to stabilize the humerus in its socket and keep it from "dislocating" as well as assist in the medial rotation of the arm. The motion being demonstrated in the video is exactly the motion that, when done repeatedly with a lot of force, causes torn rotator cuff! I believe this is a very common error in understanding of anatomy by coaches and players. Because of this misunderstanding the very thing that causes the problem is being recommended.

    Instead, the pronation motion of the serve can be accomplished with the pronator quadratus and pronator teres muscles in the forearm, not up in the shoulder. Here is a good explanation from Wikipedia:

    "Pronation of the forearm should not be confused with medial rotation of the shoulder. When standing in the anatomical position, medial rotation of the shoulder can perform part of the movement to change the palm from facing ventrally to dorsally. of the forearm occurs at the radioulnar joint so such a movement does not constitute it. To isolate medial rotation in the shoulder from pronation of the forearm one can stand with one's elbows tucked against the trunk, with the elbows flexed to 90 degrees with the forearms pointing directly in front of the body with the palms of the hands facing upwards. Keeping one's elbows tucked at the sides, the act of moving one's forearms so that the palms are facing downwards is pronation of the forearm."

    Oscar Wegner recommends a motion that originates with the upward motion of the arm, pronating the forearm so that the back of the hand is facing toward the ear, then extending the arm upward with the triceps. In this way the relatively small and weak muscles of the rotator cuff are not compromised. Proper timing of this up and across motion is critical to optimum and safe performance of both first and second serve.
     
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  10. ricki

    ricki Professional

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    not worth money, get 10 hours teaching from good trainer.
     
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  11. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Why the comparison to Oscar. Why not just comment on Jim Mclennan without comparing him to how Oscar teaches?
     
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  12. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    How can we deliberately block counterclockwise upper arm rotation during pronation phase of the serve and use only forearm pronation? I definitely cannot do it.
     
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  13. Playnice

    Playnice Guest

    Fair question, Balla. I believe it is important for readers to understand that there is other instructional information available specific to this subject. Oscar happens to provide it and he is IMO a very reliable and trustworthy source. I do not mean to criticize McLennan, but based on my study of tennis biomechanics I believe this particular information is faulty and even damaging. I do feel that people need to research material and decide for themselves what to apply.

    Toly, I had difficulty initially with the inward position of the hand when learning the kick serve with Oscar's instruction. At first I was reluctant to even try it and my pro at the time thought it was crazy. However, I gradually got the feel for it and find great value in it's application. I have witnessed many players improve their serves tremendously with it.

    McLennan, Hamilton, Abel & Westerman are all working in tandem to promote sales of their product(s). This thread addressed the issue of perceived value of McLennan's product. I question the value of said data in that product, but I also find much of McLennan's material sound and helpful.

    .
     
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  14. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Fair enough, however you can input your opinions about what you feel McLennan is doing correct and what he's teaching wrong without comparing him to anyone, regardless of your beliefs. There is no need to turn this into another Oscar Wegner thread, there are enough of those around on the forum.
     
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  15. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Hi Playnice, I understand how the rotator cuff is impacted by upper arm rotation, and Oscar's injunction against using such a technique. But don't the pro servers use a massive amount of upper arm rotation? In fact, Brian Gordon's analysis has shown that upper arm rotation is a major source of power. Will not using just the forearm with its weak muscles to generate power cause other kinds of damage, especially to the wrist?
     
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  16. goober

    goober Legend

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    And you are here to promote Wegner and his products.
     
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  17. Playnice

    Playnice Guest

    I'm not saying you use the forearm to generate power, rather the triceps in conjunction with other, larger and stronger muscles.

    I respect Brian Gordon's work in general, but I am not familiar with specifics of his research on this point.

    Everyone is free to study anatomy and biomechanics independently and come to his own conclusions. IMO Wegner and Gordon are good reference points.

    I will repeat that I mention Wegner's serve information because it is very simple, specific and effective. Judging from the amount of data on the serve and struggle that players express about it, I feel that mention of Oscar is reasonable. However, I don't mean to overstate my point, so I will respectfully sign off on this part of the discussion.
     
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  18. bhupaes

    bhupaes Professional

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    Thanks, Playnice - appreciate your bringing up Oscar's point of view. I pretty much agree with Oscar's approach except in two areas, and serve mechanics is one of them. (The other is open stance 2HBH, but that's not relevant to this thread.)
     
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  19. spacediver

    spacediver Hall of Fame

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    Are you talking about the "tying it together with the toss" video? If so, he most certainly is showing forearm pronation and NOT internal rotation of the shoulder.

    Are you saying that the serve should not incorporate internal rotation of the shoulder? Because this is plain silly. Internal rotation of the shoulder is one of the most vital upper body movements in any throwing or serving motion. You claim you respect Brian Gordon's work - have you actually read any of it?

    Apologies if I've totally misunderstood your post.
     
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  20. Orion3

    Orion3 Semi-Pro

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    Don't profess to fully understand to why's and wherefore's of the last few 'injury' posts but will say that I access the 'free' sessions and it did make a difference to my kick serve; specifically the height of the kick and the consistency of my serve.

    In answer to the OP: Is it worth $200 - IMHO, probably not but it is worth something (for me anyway).
     
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  21. syc23

    syc23 Professional

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    Had a thought about this and then decided $200 ( £158 ) is better spent on getting 5-6 one-to-one lessons with a coach. All this video analysis and multiple angles is going to achieve nothing if you keep doing things wrong fundamentally.

    FuzzyYellowBalls has enough online resources FOC without resorting to paying for these $200+ online courses.

    For me, after struggling with putting meaningful power into my flat serve, one of the coaches in my club came over during a knockabout session and gave me a few pointers. Once in the trophy pose, I was not bending my knees before exploding upwards with a racquet take back.

    He pointed out that my back was therefore not more upright when rising therefore I was not letting the racquet drop (with my elbow facing up) and then bringing arm up 'chopping' at the ball before opening the racquet face prior to hitting the ball and then pronating after contact.

    To my amazement, those little adjustments made a huge difference as I was at last able to generate much more pace to my serves. My serves now have so much more pop and seemed to generate so much more top spin and landing consistently further to the corners and edge of the service box whereas it was landing on the middle far too much.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011
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  22. Finster

    Finster New User

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    I would gladly pay a pro or any knowledgeable teacher a good buck to learn to serve better. But who to find? I don't want to just throw away $100 here and there only to be fed valueless, or worse, black pearls. A teacher who can analyze my technique, diagnose my problem and then give me a few tips and drills to correct them. I don't belong to a club, so how do you find such a person? I don't know a lot of people who do this one-on-one coaching, so word of mouth doesn't go very far.
     
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  23. Orion3

    Orion3 Semi-Pro

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    I just watched the last 'free' video on the MTKS site and the rotator cuff issue is addressed specifically.
     
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  24. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    I signed up for the program and hopefully it is worth the price. I really want to learn the kick serve and have watched many of his past videos on tennisone and hope this works out. I will let you know how the program works out in a few weeks when everything is all set.

    On a side note, if any one knows of a good instructor in the SF Bay Area who you would recommend to teach the kick serve, let me know. I want someone who can give me step by step drills that I can work on and help me improve my serve.
     
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  25. Orion3

    Orion3 Semi-Pro

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    Good luck - hope is works out. The 'free' stuff was excellent; one point (hit up) made a big difference to my kicker.

    For years I've had a 'safe' second serve but the 'hit up' turned it back into a weapon. As a kid I think I served this way naturally and my ad court kicker was a 'go to' but as I grew older, and had some significant breaks from thje game, my technique changed. I could never figure out why (even when I served with a huge amount of fizz) it wouldn't kick like it used to. Watched his video and had a eureka moment.
    Not looked back since and think he has a lot to offer - for me its now not worth $200 but.... I would've happily paid $200 a few months back if someone guaranteed me that my kick serves would be like they are now.:)
     
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  26. Ryoma

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    There is a good reason why people are searching all over for a kick serve lesson. It is simply because the "local pro", "fuzzy yellow balls" and the like can't really hit a decent kick. They can all talk the talk, but none of them can walk the walk. Just like Nick Bollettieri, I have never seen him hit a killer forehand nor a sonic serve. Just speaking from experience. There is a huge gap between 3.0 to 4.0 and above. Your best bet is to watch local players and try to chat up the ones that can actually hit a kick serve. They are the only ones that can tell you how. I have tried a lot of online instruction (tennisone, tennisplayer, hi-techtennis, and watched fuzzy yellow balls) only to find out after finally achieving 4.0 that they are all armchair coaches.
     
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  27. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Really? So you're saying that Nick Bollettieri cannot teach a forehand or a kick serve? Do you honestly think that Tony Nadal cannot teach and is just an armchair coach because he cannot hit the ball like Rafa?
     
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  28. goober

    goober Legend

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    LOL- so pros and pro wannabees go to Nick B, Landsdorp and Macci because they all can hit killer groundstrokes and awesome kickserves? They are all frauds? Wow a lot of people are wasting a heck of a lot money on these guys if that is the case.

    There is a huge difference between watching someone online and having someone correct your technique in person working with you 1 on 1. Just because you can do something doesn't mean you can teach it. In fact I bet most pro level players would be terrible instructors for recreational level play.

    But I am glad that you as a 4.0 player have found the secret to high levels of play. Just go find some dude in the local park who can hit kick serves and chat him up. Pretty soon you will be 5.0 with a kick serve.
     
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  29. parasailing

    parasailing Hall of Fame

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    For me, the kick serve is the hardest thing to learn and finding a good instructor who can teach it properly including making sure you are doing the proper form to prevent injury is the critical and who isn't going to drain your bank account.

    I do know a few people who have wicked kick serves but like some posters hear mentioned, they can't teach it. Watching videos only goes so far. The small details is the difference between doing something properly and doing something that might cause injury to your shoulder.
     
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  30. julian

    julian Hall of Fame

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    Very loosely related

    Very loosely related-I assume that you have seen a tape inside of a tape
    belowi
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=GljqJv84tTI#
    Please note the phrase " a tape inside of a tape"
     
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  31. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    #31
  32. CoachingMastery

    CoachingMastery Professional

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    Ignorance is bliss, apparently. I've been around the tennis teaching industry for over 35 years, know most all the "armchair coaches" you seem to associate with the various sites on line and those who teach tennis...and can tell you that you are either a troll seeking attention or someone who really does not understand the concept of teaching tennis whatsoever. Personally, I am a high 5.0 player with a hell of a kick serve. However, that does not necessarily make me automatically know how I developed it, how most players will progress in learning to hit it, or what drills or tools I might offer as advice to those seeking to learn to hit a Kick Serve.

    No, my ability to train thousands of players, (including hundreds of state, nationally and world-ranked players), stems from seeking undertanding, reading books, yes--talking to hundreds of other qualified pros and players, and then going out and training thousands of players, evaluating how they progress using different training methods...then adjust, learn more, and augment my teaching mantra to better serve my students as I continue to learn myself. (I also did not win over 1000 team matches against fewer than 15 losses over a 28 season career in coaching tennis by abiding by the so-called advice offered by this poster.)

    There is nothing wrong with talking to skilled players; more importantly, watch skilled players execute skilled strokes and try to understand what they are doing. However, many players, pros included, don't have a clear understanding of how they developed their strokes. Some do...but many do not.

    However, while there certainly are pros who indeed are misguided--as there is in any teaching industry, I would never label those of us who have dedicated our lives to first understanding the sport we teach, but then dedicate ourselves to helping students become the best they can be, as "armchair coaches" who have stagnated at the 4.0 level!
     
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  33. wihamilton

    wihamilton Hall of Fame

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    #33
  34. Playnice

    Playnice Guest

    Message deleted by poster
     
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  35. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Along with a ton of other coaches who state the exact same thing....for decades.

    Once again, why try and turn this into an Oscar thread? Is there a way someones work here can be discussed without you coming out trying to convince others how you believe Oscar does it better, has done it for longer and his way is the correct way?

    Your posts are looking more and more like advertisements rather then helpful hints and tips or debates. Is MTM membership down this quarter? Trying to meet the quota? I understand its a recession, tough times but we all gotta deal with it you know.
     
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  36. Playnice

    Playnice Guest

    Sorry you feel that way - there was much to be learned in what I posted, but I have removed it so as not to offend anyone who can't accept that credit should be given where it is due.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2011
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  37. Wegner

    Wegner Rookie

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    I am being misquoted here. It should say SUPINATING the forearm so the back of the hand is facing toward the ear, then extending the arm upward with the triceps and pronating, still upwards, on contact (Put the hand in front of your face; if you look inside your palm you supinate - if you look at the back of your hand, you pronate). There is no way a person can pronate and then pronate again. If you observe carefully the top pros, the first supination action occurs, in most cases, when the racquet drops behind the player's back. Great servers like Kramer, Gonzalez, later on Newcombe, and modernly Roddick, Federer, Serena, practically everyone at the top level uses this particular aspect on the serve to a larger or smaller extent.
     
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  38. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    If they Garantee you will master the kick serve or your Money back then It is worth $200.
     
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  39. Wegner

    Wegner Rookie

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    Serve Up

    Below is the exact quote from my first and second books (1989 and 1992). And thank you, Jim McLennan, for bringing this subject forward in your DVDs.

    Myth: Move forward on your serve.

    Fact: Top players hit up on the serve, then fall forward.

    Pushing forward with the body on the serve causes a tendency to hit down with the arm. Visually, it seems that you have to hit down to get speed on a serve. But the more you hit down the more you have to open the racket to get the ball over the net, and the ball gets backspin instead of topspin, losing its downward curve.

    At the high speeds of professional tennis the ball has to have some topspin, even in the hardest serves, both for accuracy and consistency. To get that, the body needs to go up to help the arm to fully extend "past" the impact with the ball.

    Most professionals hit upward on their serve, but sometimes it is not enough. I recall spending less than an hour with Robbie Seguso at the beginning of his professional career. I had him standing on the service line facing the back fence, serving a bucketful of balls on the condition that he hit them over the fence but with plenty of topspin.

    In the beginning he hit several balls into the fence and he was slightly puzzled. He thought he was hitting up, but obviously it was not up enough.

    He continued until he got every ball over the fence. We picked up the balls, then he served normally. It took him a few minutes to adjust, but soon I saw a miracle. He had raised his serving to an incredible level of speed, depth, accuracy, and kick.

    He had all the talent. Once he got the right concept and feel, he could do no wrong.

    Partnered with Ken Flach, Seguso's serve, together with their other assets, got them to the position of #1 doubles team in the world.

    This upward effort is even more pronounced on second serves. Hitting upward on the second serve instead of hitting forward helps to get the ball into the service court, with both speed and spin.Rather than slowing down your swing, pull it upward even faster than your first serve, like Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg, brushing up on the ball. As a result, you'll get an "American Twist" serve, a pronounced topspin shot that will clear the net by a couple of feet or more and land prior to the service line. The ball may look slow at first, but it will kick fast and high.

    Players who don't have this action either slow down their second serve or they risk a lot, while a good "American Twist" server doesn't slow down the motion at all and feels plenty of power and confidence on the second serve.

    You can look at the whole Misconceptions Chapter for free by going to http://www.tennisteacher.com/misconceptions.htm
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2011
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  40. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Why didn't Bourras or Uncle Toni correct the bad habit in 2011 ?

    He is definitely a Genius. I need to setup a lesson with him NOW.

    Anyway, why didn't Tony correct Rafa's serve again in 2011 when the bad habits showed up again ?? He isn't stupid. I am sure he has this lesson videotaped. Rafa's serve sucked so bad during entire US open, not just the finals that most people thought that he was injured or worse. Why didn't uncle Toni correct this problem Before the US open started or even early in the tournament. :confused:
     
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  41. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Will, i think Pete demonstrates the Trophy position with Arm bent in and tossing arm pointing forward into the court as RAFA was taught to do in early 2010.

    [​IMG]
     
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  42. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    See the perfect Arm bent into trophy with tossing arm pointing up and inward toward the court. Pete isn't serving and volleying here.

    [​IMG]
     
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  43. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Another perfect position that Rafa's coach was teaching by all time GREAT server in history of tennis.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
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  44. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Thank you Capt. Obvious (Fedace)
     
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  45. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    Since the GOAT, RAFA can't master this, it isn't so Obvious,,,,,it it. ?:???:
     
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  46. Playnice

    Playnice Guest

    Thank you, I stand corrected.
     
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  47. Ryoma

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    You can obviously teach a language you don't speak very well or you can ask the native speaker. Given a choice to ask Tony Nadal or Rafael Nadal how to hit a reverse forehand, who would you choose?
     
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  48. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    Tony....next question
     
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  49. Ryoma

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    You should read Agassi's book Open. The famous tennis camp is just like a famous school. It's not about the school or teachers, it's the people who go there to study that counts. The pros of training in a tennis academy is that it attracts all the top juniors. They ended up playing each other everyday and that's how they get better. I am sure there are qualified and dedicated coaches out there but I will take the advices from a qualified player over a coach anytime. Well, unless the coach can play better.
     
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  50. Ryoma

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    CoachingMastery, I read some of the quotes from you in hi-techtennis.com's kick serve lesson. I think you are one of the best ones out there. I am not saying ALL coaches are bad. But a lot of them just repeat traditional myths over and over. Honestly, it makes my blood boil when I saw some tennis coaches giving their lessons. The point is I trust the advice from a high 5.0 with a hell of a kick serve who is willing to tell me how he hits it more than a coach who said he read a lot of tennis books and theory but can't actually hit a good kick serve.

    It seems that this apply to any other field but tennis. Would you take a driving lesson from a person who can't drive or a person who can? That's just a pre-requisite.
     
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