Modifying my serve due to lower back pain injury

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Dharmaboy, Sep 20, 2012.

  1. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    So I had a pretty whippy flat and slice service which has been going down south since i have started to develop lower back problems due to the nature of the motion. I had been serving like this for years but took a 7-8 yr hiatus from tennis till last year. Since last summer it seems that my bad technique has caused my lower back to develop a type of stenosis. just started spring of this year and never bothers me when I play goalie in ice hockey.

    here are some vids of some modified serves I was trying yesterday. Please any suggestions for me to get some of the power I am missing with this modified serve.:neutral:

    Thanks

    http://youtu.be/8rqFOg0odNA

    http://youtu.be/EzXKHRcQbCE

    http://youtu.be/_h1ml1pSBPM
     
    #1
  2. jrs

    jrs Professional

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    How about trying the John MacEnroe - service stance - he stared doing that because he had back problem. It stretches his back on every serve.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPn2j2hZpzw&feature=related

    Also in the videos - if tossed the ball more in front of you, you will not need to arch your back.
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    While Mc's motion might stretch your back, the amount of twisting he does to meet the ball square might not be applicable here.
    You have a nice clean swing. Since you cannot arch your back, or drive your legs upwards, you're somewhat limited to a 70% serve no matter what other compensating you do.
    I'd think, without really knowing your level (maybe strong 4.0, mid 4.5) that your serve is strong enough not to be attacked consistently if you just mix up your spins and more importantly, your placements.
    Would have been nice to see your serves when you were/are 100%. I'd bet it's one of the better ones vid'ed by a non pro here.
     
    #3
  4. Fuji

    Fuji Legend

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    Trust me, last time I played him his slice serve was probably the deadliest I've ever seen. Darn thing flew by me without me contacting it quite a few times... :oops:

    -Fuji
     
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  5. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

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    Have you seen an Osteopath? I highly recommend them.

    I don't think there's too much you can do, serving in general is hard on your body, especially your back and shoulders.'
     
    #5
  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oh, I trust you...
    When's the last time I saw a video and said the OP had a good serve?
    MOP, LawMan, very few other's.
     
    #6
  7. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    thanks for the positive comments on the smooth motion. I prided myself on a very strong serve. Against good returners, i was able to power and spin my way out of LOVE/40 games and hold very easily.

    Again I have all the appointments made for my back, just waiting for the time i can be in full swing (if that ever happens).
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Don't feel bad.
    I just turned 62 in Feb.
    That's about a THIRTY percent loss of physical skills, including that much drop in my serves.
     
    #8
  9. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Likely your hamstrings need to be much looser.
     
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  10. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    I feel for you. A back injury is something you don't want to mess around with because it doesn't just affect your tennis, but daily life as well and possibly even your job (buddy of mine hurt his lower back golfing and for a few days he couldn't even sit in a chair all day at work). My game was much different 10 years ago than it is today, mainly because age and injuries have taken their toll on my body. I took a 5 year hiatus from the game because it was frustrating to not be able to play how I wanted to, but I missed the game too much. Now in my 30's I've learned to accept that I'll never again be the player I was in my early 20's but I'd rather play at a diminished capacity than not play at all. Because of my shoulder injuries I've lost some velocity on my serve and the endurance to bomb it all day. So I've adapted and use it more to set up the point and have to pick my moments to turn up the heat knowing I can only hit so many of those in a match.

    My advice to you is to listen to your body. Know the different kinds of pain and what you can play through and when you should shut it down so you can go on to play another day.
     
    #10
  11. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    Yes, I am learning this as well. Its frustrating that my back will start to hurt after an hour, but again I was playing very conservatively on the weekend. I did notice a tweak when I hit and open stance forehand down the line this past saturday. after that it started to flare up.

    I played a double header of hockey on Fri night and no issues at all.

    I need to get back into working those hamstrings and staying loose.
     
    #11
  12. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    suggest flexibility stretches. also have lower back issues (along with other ailments that accompany 60 yrs old peeps).
     
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  13. Dharmaboy

    Dharmaboy Rookie

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    Flexibility has always been my strong point. I can still put my feet (one at a time) behind my head. I do however do feel that my ham strings need to be looser.
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Hammies.
    I'm 63. My toes have never been approached closer than 6" by my fingertipss, even in high school varsity football and basketball, junior high track and baseball.
    My serve is just fine for a 60 year old. Has nothing to do with stiff hammies.
    Now 4 collarbone breaks, 2 separates of the hitting shoulder, sprained knee and maybe torn ankle ligaments...that might affect my serves.
     
    #14
  15. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Only obvious thing is that the follow through is peculiar. It almost seems that you are pulling out of the follow through for some reason. Let it go right past your hip and you might get a few more mph and a few more rpm's.

    Apart from that it is pretty fluid with a good contact point.
     
    #15
  16. greystar403

    greystar403 Rookie

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    I feel your pain. I had a pinched nerve in my lower back due to my back arch when serving. Turns out I had a minor trunk lift/scoliosis I wasn't aware of and I'm only 18........... :(

    About your serve. All I can say is make up for it in leg bend. And FITNESS.

    I stretch 30 minutes before I play and work out on my spare time instead of tennis all the time. Works like a charm.
     
    #16

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