Landing foot on the serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by lindamoggio, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. lindamoggio

    lindamoggio New User

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    When serving, most, if not all, current top ranked pros land momentarily on the undominant foot and then almost immediately land with all of their weight on the dominant foot. Right handed players land momentarily on the left foot and then on the right foot. Left handed players land momentarily on the right foot and then on the left.

    Boris Becker was the last player that I can remember that landed on the dominant foot (his right) without first touching down on the left foot. This style of landing results in the feet being crossed with the dominant foot in front when a stop-motion photo is taken at the moment of ball contact. Years ago, when this technique was more popular, there were many photos of pros in that crossed foot position. Someone once told me that landing on the dominant foot makes the serve harder to control. I tried it and it gave me alot more power but the serve was indeed harder to control. What is the reason for this style having disappeared?
     
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  2. Gee Willikers Batman!

    Gee Willikers Batman! Professional

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    Tennis has developed in a new age/era. Somethings will stay the same, but eventually, almost everything will change.
     
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  3. armand

    armand Banned

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    I land on my non dominant foot and it's really hard on the knee. What can I do?
     
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  4. Gee Willikers Batman!

    Gee Willikers Batman! Professional

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    Start using a platform stance if your knee takes a toll everytime you serve.
     
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  5. donnygg

    donnygg Rookie

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    I thought it has something to do with the rule change for serves. The old rules require the feet to be on the ground throughout the serve so it's natural to hit and shift the weight onto the dominant leg. But now, players are allowed to jump into the serve. Not sure when the rules changed but maybe Becker, Sabatini and co. were playing in the transitional period so they kinda combined the two. Personally, I feel more balanced when I land on my non-dominant leg if I jump on my serve but the reverse if I have to keep a foot on the ground
     
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  6. armand

    armand Banned

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    Will take it under consideration, thanks GWB. That's a good handle, btw.

    donnygg: interesting, didn't know that.
     
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  7. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    People seriously land on their dominant foot? How? It seems like if you're pushing off with your right foot behind, your going to fall on your left foot. Could you post some instances of this? I personally land on my left foot, and can't see any way around it. It leaves me in an open stance, not some weird cross legged one!
     
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  8. Trinity TC

    Trinity TC Semi-Pro

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    Which is the dominant foot? I assumed that the left leg and foot is dominant on the righty serve.
     
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  9. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    So He's saying righties land on their left foot "momentarily", but then put all the weight on the right foot? And that some just go right to their right foot for more power.... Weird. I get massive power stomping down on my left foot :p
     
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  10. lindamoggio

    lindamoggio New User

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    Landing foot on the serve.

    Donnygg, you're absolutely right about the old rule requiring that both feet be on the ground during the entire serve, however, this went out long before Becker and Sabbatini (by the way, I don't remember her landing on the dominant foot). This old rule was why so many of the old players looked like they had such pathetic serves.

    WBF, you doubt that anyone can land on the dominant foot on the serve. I've done it, and as I've said, it's difficult to handle. I wish I could show you some of my old tapes of Becker as proof. By the way, the cross-footed position is only when the server's feet are both off the ground, not when the server lands.

    When a right-handed server lands on the left (undominant foot) the left side of the body acts as a control point to prevent over-rotation of the right side of the body in the follow through. That is why landing on the dominant foot is more difficult - it's hard to control over-rotation. Several times, when I was landing on the dominant foot, I felt as if I were going to fall forward because of no check on the follow through. That is what has to be learned.

    Normally, when pros are warming up their serves, they begin serving softly and land on the dominant foot. But as soon as they begin building up power, they begin landing of the undominant foot for control.
     
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  11. donnygg

    donnygg Rookie

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    Sabatini does land on her dominant foot
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv56KLi8hoQ

    Players used to have to keep both feet on the ground during service and were later allowed to move the back foot (usually the dominant foot) without crossing the plane of the service line into the court. It was until 1967 that players are allowed to jump into the court during service. That's around the time Becker was born so maybe he was coached by someone more accustomed to landing on the dominant foot and continued to feel comfortable with that. Interestingly, McEnroe, who's more than 10 yrs older, lands on his non-dominant foot. Wonder if he landed on his dominant foot earlier on in his career?

    http://www.southcoasttoday.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070715/SPORTS/707150378
    http://www.geocities.com/vegasarchivist/the_serve.html
     
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  12. lindamoggio

    lindamoggio New User

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    WBF: You asked me to post some instances of someone serving and landing on the dominant foot. Go to YouTube and search videos for "Boris Becker serves 5 aces in a row". (I don't know how to post a link.)
     
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  13. Trinity TC

    Trinity TC Semi-Pro

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  14. Trinity TC

    Trinity TC Semi-Pro

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    Yes. The old school footwork can be tricky because of the timing of the hip release. There is a tendency for beginners and intermediates to rotate the hips prematurely and land on their right foot which puts their body out of phase. It's the equivalent of swinging your right leg and right arm forward simultaneously (instead of right leg / left arm) when you run.:)

    I'm originally from the old school but changed when I first saw Pat Cash play although I'm sure others did it before him. Fortunately tennis instruction has adopted the "aggressive" ball toss, right foot push off/left foot landing technique which I believe allows for a more efficient and powerful swing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2007
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  15. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Landing on your right foot (as a righty) is stepping into the court. This is the way serve and volley was taught in those days. Right foot crosses over - 3 steps - split step - and first volley. One of the reasons that serve and volley is not played much anymore - the serve motion is part of the S&V equation and people are not taught that way anymore. If you look at the Becker and Nastase serves, notice how they just naturally appear at the service line ready to volley. McEnroe landed on his front foot (rightfor a lefty), but his rear foot was coming around quickly and he stepped into the court with that foot (not an extra step) - thus the same effect.
     
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  16. lindamoggio

    lindamoggio New User

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    Great information Trinity TC.

    NLBwell, very interesting information. You're right, forward motion into the court (for serve and volley) is more fluid with the dominant foot landing. I would never have been able to pick that out. The server remains more upright and there's no interruption of forward motion. Great.

    To play the devil's advocate, it would seem as if both landing options get one foot into the court. Does it really matter which foot it is? I'd like to have your opinion.
     
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  17. tbini87

    tbini87 Hall of Fame

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    great info from you guys! i never even thought about landing on the dominant foot because landing on non dominant feels so natural. but if i ever get around to working on the s and v then i will have to give it a try.
     
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  18. BravoRed691

    BravoRed691 Semi-Pro

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    One of my favorite players to watch, Karol Kucera, landed with his "dominant" (right) foot. He himself retired not too long ago...

    BR
     
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  19. WBF

    WBF Hall of Fame

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    Interesting! I wasn't thinking of them having both feet off the ground, makes more sense that way.
     
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  20. tennisally

    tennisally New User

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    Landing Foot Serve

    I have been told to switch from dominant to non-dominant foot. My daughter does it effortlessly. It looks so simple, but I cannot figure :confused out the up/power ala sonic serve motion. I looked on the net about this issue and on About . com found a video of a guy doing the right foot landing (righty). If I continue to switch---does anyone have any advice? Has anyone made a later in life switch to this serve landing?
     
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  21. lkdog

    lkdog Rookie

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    Nothing wrong with landing on the dominant foot, but the modern technique has evolved to where most people land on the non-dominant foot and then bring the rear foot around after it kicks out.

    The issues with the old method as noted by others is the hips opening up too soon which can reduce spin/power etc. unless you have excellent timing.
    Obviously if you can time the angular hip thrust you can still hit a great serve-it just is harder for many folks.

    If the traditional method works for you and you serve well, don't change.
     
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