Juniors' Complex Serving Motions

Discussion in 'Junior League & Tournament Talk' started by zshells21, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. zshells21

    zshells21 New User

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    I don't know if it's just me, but lately I've been noticing that in about 90% of juniors their serving motion or pre-serve routine is just ridiculously complex, jerky, and utterly pointless. It seems as if they are either trying to imitate some random pro, usually Roddick or Nadal, or it is simply to look cool and has no real purpose there. I've encountered dozens of kids who bounce the ball ten times against their racquet ten times, do some weird motion with their feet and racquet, then bounce the ball with their hand a few more times, then when they finally serve their form is way off and it goes straight into the net.

    I understand that many kids out there want to look like the pros with their serve, but most of them don't understand that the pre-serve routine is actually supposed to do something for the server, not just look cool. It may just be that the answer is something as simple as, "They're just kids" but I have no idea why no coach decides to tell their student to make their motion simple and just hit the ball.

    So why is it that no junior tries to emulate the serve of someone like Sampras or Monfils, who both have very simple and to-the-point service motions?
     
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  2. PowerPlay

    PowerPlay Rookie

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    The worst is when they try and do the Isner ball bounce between the legs. Dumb.
     
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  3. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    No coach I know actually promotes that jerky, overwrought, contrived junk. Jrs learn it from each other.

    As for the homogenized rituals after points and leading into serves...I blame Jim Loehr.
     
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  4. floridatennisdude

    floridatennisdude Hall of Fame

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    Interesting first post. From what I know about kids, they are really dumb sometimes. To the point that you can tell them that something is hurting their game and they ignore you because the think it looks cool.

    I don't know, I'm 35 and I still imitate Agassi with my serve routine and motion. Been doing it since the 80s. Tried to do a Roddick motion 5 years ago...ended up tearing the rotator cuff. Back to Agassi. I do it because it works.
     
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  5. slice bh compliment

    slice bh compliment G.O.A.T.

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    Hahha, great post.
    Could apply to a number of things:
    idiomatic expressions, television, cigarettes, ice cream, red meat, cannabis, kicking a soccer ball with your toe, riding a fixed gear bicycle, corn chips, gatorade....whatever.

    As for you imitating Agassi's serve.....right on, yeah, I like Roddick's volleys, Chris Evert's one-hander, Rusedski's 2 hander, Pete's hairline, the defensive movement of Boris Becker, Edberg's continental FH grip, the grass court style of Thomas Muster, the fit of Rafa's shorts, Djokovic's entourage, Irakli Labadze's nutritionist, Francoise Durr's backhand grip, and the smoking cessation program favored by Karsten Braasch.

    Kidding, exaggerating. Agassi's serve was effective and he used it well. Solid model.
     
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  6. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    Kids do it in most sports, a baseball kid will set up like his favorite pro batter. To me if it does not interfere with the fundamentals off the serve, no biggie. Before you know it they will be out of school, working a job, and the mannerisms they used in junior tennis just a memory.
     
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  7. Misterbill

    Misterbill Semi-Pro

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    I always recommend economy of motion. In other words, the motion that has the fewest moving parts necessary to get the function done successfully.

    If a machine has 100 moving parts and it breaks down, there are 100 things to check to try to fix it. If a machine with 3 moving parts breaks down, the job to get it back working is much simpler.
     
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  8. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    I agree on the actual stroke itself. The serve should be as simple as possible. But pre serve or other rituals that do not affect the actual serve mechanics are fine. Whatever gets a kid passionate about tennis, if it is copying the ritual of their favorite player, so be it.
     
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  9. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    I'm in the camp of those that think it's getting out of hand in the pros and that's where the influence begins - between point rituals and grunting, that is. Some matches are just excruciating to watch, both on TV and/or live. They need to enforce the time rule better (yes, that's you Nadal and Djoker). And they need to address the noise issue - especially with the women (uh, Azarenka/Sharapova at IW anyone?)

    Now, translate that to juniors and matches are taking longer and are getting louder. I have seen 10YO's playing orange that go to the towel after every point. I've seen (heard!) 10 YO girls screaming as they hit a soft floater to the middle of the court - again, on orange.

    Sure, you also see little leaguers spitting fake chew and adjusting junk they don't have as well. You see kid basketball players go to the chalk. It's part of being a kid and developing passion for the sport, but sometimes it gets ridiculous.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012
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  10. Tennishacker

    Tennishacker Professional

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    Actually those techniques are taught at the academies.
     
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  11. tball2day

    tball2day Semi-Pro

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    ...........................
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
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  12. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    I guess it just does not bother me. I love watching Sharapova play and I don't notice the noise at all. But I see how some do not like it.
     
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  13. CoachDad

    CoachDad Rookie

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    Ha, I have not laughed that hard in a while! That cracked me up.
     
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  14. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    I thought you were smart ? just do what I do , I break out my ear-protection headphone I use at the shooting range and enjoy watching Maria play LOL . I have to add loud music when she's playing Azeranka..

    Now that I have helped you solve that problem my fee is 14 dollars and hr.

    overall I am with you on this one , pretty annoying .
     
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  15. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

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    To back to the OP's point, I was at a Tennis Europe event today and saw a wide variety of serving motions, some of which had fairly complex 'hitches' (at least to my eye). I don't know whether coaches are afraid to make changes once their charges get to a certain level, but they aren't doing their players any favours as when they move up through the age groups and then ITF's they won't necessarily be able to develop the serve into the weapon it needs to be.

    The only player I know who made wholesale changes to his serve after maturing onto the tour was Juan Carlos Ferrero, who completely reworked his serve at the age of 19.

    Cheers
     
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  16. zshells21

    zshells21 New User

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    Obviously the actual serving motion is the most crucial for a developing player, but sometimes the pre-serve routine is just plain annoying. There have been way too many complaints in tennis about the time a server should have, and whether that rule should actually be enforced, but it seems to me that this issue is starting with the kids right now, and most kids don't even use their pre-serve ritual to concentrate or get into a rhythm, it is simply just to look cool. I think that this 'little' issue will eventually result tennis being almost unwatchable, like what pitching has done to baseball, because there is just way too much idle time passing in between points and serves.
     
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  17. CStennis11

    CStennis11 New User

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    I've been going between my legs before serving for years, and I didn't get the idea from any pro. It's like the person above says, it just gets me into a rhythm that makes me comfortable. When I don't do it, I feel like my serve falls apart. Just saying :)
     
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  18. tennis5

    tennis5 Professional

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    I actually turn off the sound on my tv.
    My question is why would anyone pay good money to sit through this screaming and shrieking?
    I hate the fact that the young junior girls are copying this.
     
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  19. Number1Coach

    Number1Coach Banned

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    You and I are on the same page on this one, i just dont know why some of the WTA players don't say "hey we had a 5 minute warm up it (shieking)was not there and I don't want to hear it now ! Argue the facyts get it their way and throw Sharpova off.
     
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  20. tball2day

    tball2day Semi-Pro

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    ..........................
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
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  21. MarTennis

    MarTennis Rookie

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    Rythym is the Key

    ...if a player demonstrates as such in their pre-serve routine, I have less problems with whatever they do. If they are a bad server, nevermind a curious routine, they have no business going between he legs. If they make em, fine.
     
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  22. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

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    Why do you care what their rituals are, and if they're emulating someone else or not? It's important to have rhythm in what you're doing, and having a routine helps. Their serve sucking or not doesn't have anything to do with the ritual. Besides, people can do what they want. Who are you to tell them to stop?
     
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  23. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Yes.
    His influence may ultimately kill tennis as a sport.

    They need to start in the juniors with penalizing screaming/grunting and enforcing continuous play.
     
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