Never had a lesson. I NEED help with my serve. Pics inside

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by cap217, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. cap217

    cap217 New User

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    I never had a 1 on 1 lesson and just started a year ago. I have played 3 matches but cant get my serves in. I just end up lobbing the 2nd one and I get killed. Id say my first serve % is 10!

    I hit balls the other day and I took my ipad with the V1 golf software and I cant upload a video but I took snapshots. I wasn't jumping high enough and this was the last serve I made where I actually jumped instead of hop.

    I feel like it looks way better than I would have thought. But I am still doing a lot of things wrong.

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    #1
  2. cap217

    cap217 New User

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    More pics


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  3. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    What grip are you using?
     
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  4. cap217

    cap217 New User

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    When I started I would grip it with the face of the racket down and just try to hit down. I have recently tried the contenital grip but I don't have any success with a harder serve but it cuts with no power. So now I am inbetween those I guess.

    I cant grasp the concept of hitting up on the ball in a serve. I am trying but I don't get it. I think I might be doing it by accident though. I don't know.
     
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  5. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

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    Wow, I've never seen someone jump that high without bending their knees before. That requires talent!! :)

    On a serious note, you really should be using your legs more. Remember that a big serve from a big guy who doesn't use anything besides their arm = possible injury. Bend your knees more.
     
    #5
  6. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    How do you get to jump so high? I need a forklift to haul myself up an inch. I am wondering if your jump is timed right for maximum height of contact?
     
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  7. cap217

    cap217 New User

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    I am not sure if this is serious or not....??? I honestly don't know if I am jumping high or not here. I tried to jump in this serve.

    Here is the above serve where I have the most leg bend in my swing. I really wish I could post video.

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. cap217

    cap217 New User

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    Here are pics of my serve with how I was doing it before I tried to actually jump. I thought I was jumping but obviously not...

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  9. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    Your form actually looks very good. Your problem with cutting the ball indicates your racquet face is probably angled a bit at contact. I would suggest two drills.

    One, face the fence standing a couple of feet away and go through your motion(sans ball) up until the contact point, which should be at the fence. You want to get the face sqaure to the fence.

    Two, stand at the service line and grip down on the racquet to the edge of the grip, ie shorten up your grip. Practice hitting soft serves, varying the spin.
     
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  10. cap217

    cap217 New User

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    With what grip?
     
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  11. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    Your normal serving grip, which for most people is a continental grip, ie V between the thumb and forefinger is along the top flat of the grip.
     
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  12. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    In the first sequence, it appears that your body jack-knifes (particularly evident in photos #4 thru #6). See if you can drive your body up and forward and have your right heel kick toward the back fence instead of bending forward at the waist and having the right leg come forward). Do not see this pronounced jack-knife action in the 2nd sequence (post #7 and #8 ).

    Also, push your left hip forward during (or just after) your trophy phase to get the archer's bow (position). Take a look at the page below and Maria's knee bend and hip action on this photo.

    http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/step12_2.html

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    If you get the chance, post a video of your serve; it's a lot easier to analyze a video than a series of pictures. From what I see, your biggest problem is that your ball toss is too far back, causing you to crunch your body at contact and finish awkwardly. You want to contact the ball out in front, which, provided you release the ball toss halfway between your transfer from back front to front foot, will ensure a smooth swing. Actually, come to think of it, your form looks a lot better when you don't try to jump. The toss is in a much better place. Don't try to jump on the serve.
     
    #13
  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Too much emphasis on jumping, form, and all that crap.
    Not enough focus on YOU hitting a clean ball 9" above the net and IN.
    Take speed off the second serve so you can hit it 18" above the net and IN.
    On vids, where the ball goes and how it goes is the most important points to show. Set camera behind you, at least shoulder high.
     
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    And I agree, there is no reason to learn to serve by jumping up to the ball. That is something you can adopt once you learn to hit first serves, AND second serves. Learn to hit the ball cleanly first, get the consistency and the placement, and then add the jump, which only raises your contact point....and often kills your accuracy.
     
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  16. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

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    What ever you decide to do, practice your 2nd serve only for at least a year.
     
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  17. cap217

    cap217 New User

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    I can see the ball toss being the issue in the jumping serve. To be fair, that was the first time I have ever "jumped" for a serve, ever!

    I need work with a lot of stuff but I see that the hip being forward is something that I can remember and actually see. I am going to start 1 on 1 lessons soon so the serve is something I want to work on. Its hard to win if I cant ever get a 1st serve in and I have to lob over 2nd serves.
     
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  18. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I'm not a teaching pro, just someone who started as a newbie adult and now has a decent serve.

    Can I implore you to use Continental grip for serving from this moment forward until you go up to that Big Tennis Court In The Sky?

    Seriously, using the correct grip for my strokes from the get-go was the smartest tennis-related thing I have ever done. Being able to hit spin serves has saved my bacon on countless occasions.

    Good luck!!!
     
    #18
  19. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    Agreed that continental is the way to go.

    If you are having trouble putting topspin on the serve, one thing you can try is moving your toss a bit to your left (i.e. toward the ad side).
     
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  20. cap217

    cap217 New User

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    I agree that continental is the correct grip. But when I started, I didn't know that. I try the correct grip and I cant hit down on the ball. I will practice more.
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Give it time.

    Frying pan grip will not lead you anywhere you want to go.
     
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  22. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    Ah, but you don't hit down on a serve. You hit up. Lead with the forward edge of the racket somewhat closed, and hit up. Pat Dougherty has a couple good videos on this concept.
     
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  23. Avles

    Avles Hall of Fame

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    IMO you don't have to change all at once-- there's nothing wrong with gradually migrating over-- but a contintental is the goal.

    Once you can hit a continental-grip serve you can always move a little ways back toward EFH if you think it gives you more pop.
     
    #23
  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Maybe lead with the racket tip? Faced is slightly closed, but the swingpath is still leveling out from an upward path from trophy position.
     
    #24
  25. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Many learn to serve by facing the court they are serving into and hitting with a forehand grip to push the ball over the net.


    But all the pros throw the side of their body into the court they are serving into, as Murray demonstrates below - not at contact in pic eight his side is facing the court, and he thus needs a continental grip to have his racquet face square to the ball.

    [​IMG]



    You want to serve "up the mountain."
    "Up the Mountain" excerpt form Serve Doctor presents: M.P.H. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlPVdppfYGs



    You want to form a "bow shape" like Soderling in this video, to even more powerfully throw the side of your body up and into the court.
    Robin Söderling serve slowmotion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a56pvP1i6x8



    You want to learn how to "pronate" effectively, and can learn to do this by following Coach McCraw's pronation exercise: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iONY6fcqZGg




    You want to put it all together so you can have a "Sonic Serve".
    Nick Bollettieri-Sonic Serve.wmv http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajoZ0f7hw-A
     
    #25
  26. cap217

    cap217 New User

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    Here are 2 videos. 1 was a good serve and one wasn't. I didn't really jump here bc I was just trying to work on technique and the sun was in my eye/windy. But I used the contential grip and tried to hit up. But I still cant grasp on how to hit UP on a serve. Especially with this grip.


    http://youtu.be/jtF2wTE7vGQ


    http://youtu.be/SzJnQ84nebQ
     
    #26
  27. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    I just now posted the following in another thread ( http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=465755&page=2 )
    but I hope you find it helpful too.

    "You liked the video Lukhas posted on "The Upward pitch in the Serve" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EFWB18kPWY .

    "The Serve Doctor" undoubtedly was behind the following video as well, even though Nick narrates it.
    Nick Bollettieri-Sonic Serve.wmv http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajoZ0f7hw-A
    I would have you go to 3:07 into the video where the perspective is of a player looking up at the ball.
    This is how YOU should be looking up at the ball if you get a steeper shoulder angle and more knee bend.
    Looking up from that steeper shoulder angle and deeper knee bend the ball looks farther away, and it really seems like you have to hit up to power the ball.



    This video explains pretty well the importance of getting more loading from shoulder/hip coiling, a more pronounced bow shape, and more knee bend.

    The above body movements are related:
    - it is impossible to coil more without bending your knees
    - the steep backward lean of the upper body to get a steeper shoulder angle demands that the front hip protrude out further to provide counter balance.
    So it is not so much as sticking that hip out there, but of allowing it protrude out for balance so you don't fall backward as you go into a pronounced bow shape.




    In keeping with what LeeD said about practice, if you want bigger body movements like in the above video practice your swing without tossing a ball.

    Indeed, it is a great idea to practice your new serve motion at home so you can build up some "muscle memory" before hitting the courts where it is all to easy to revert to your former serve.

    Once at the court, try doing several serve motions without a toss with your new motion until you are confident you are incorporating all the elements into your serve, and you are able to do so smoothly.

    Only then should you actually try serving a ball.

    Try taking at least one practice swing before each time you actually do a real serve hitting a ball - otherwise you will quickly fall back to your old serve.



    You will have to adjust your toss to your new swing.

    But adjust the toss so that the height and placement fit in with your new swing - don't adjust the new swing or develop a hitch to accomodate a new toss.


    Good luck!"
     
    #27

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