platform stance serve: do you twist your core?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by taurussable, Jul 22, 2014.

  1. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    Many are familar with the following video.
    Serve Doctor's Simplified Spring-loaded Serve Technique

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ixx-MCC7D88

    This technique encourages the twisting of the core, separate the hips and shoulders to create the rotational energy.

    In a platform stance, at the trophy pose, I see federer's shoulder is almost inline with his feet and his hips. Does that mean there is no such twist force generated in the core? and all the rotational force is generated by the leg?
     
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  2. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    some players pivot off their left leg, allowing the torso to rotate into the serve.....
     
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  3. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    If you pivot off the left leg, then you are essentially rotating with the left leg as the axis and this rotation must be driven by the leg.

    unlike the simplied spring loaded serve demonstrated in the video, the hips and shoulders are separated so much that the rotational is mostly generated by the core(obliques).

    so I think what you said makes sense, that's what federer is doing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Which foot they land on tells you about pivoting.
     
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  5. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    "Almost" in-line? Click to enlarge.
    [​IMG]
    'Cuz' I can clearly see his shoulder blades. Depending of the viewpoint pictures can be deceiving, but Federer definitively "turn his shoulders away from the net further than his hips do".
    And since videos are better than pictures, go to Essential Tennis' YT channel. You'll find plenty videos of his serve in slow-motion. I dare you to reproduce the slope he has with his shoulders without twisting your core. Which doesn't mean you should twist a lot of course.

    Even from behind. Hadn't he turned his shoulders, you wouldn't be able to see his chest. But you can see it very easily.
    http://www.datadiary.com/UserFiles/Wallpaper/sports/tennis/Org201207020620392818000.jpg

    If you want a jab at women tennis (I'm not a fan of such comments, but anyway), this is a good example of shoulders not really "turning away".
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v8q2cBx19ec
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
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  6. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    good example and video. looks like there is some separation between the hips and shoulders.

    I don't feel much coil in my trophy pose, i must be doing it wrong:(

    viewing from above, the hip shoulder separation is not that much, a lot less than what the girl demonstrates in the serve doctor's video.

    http://i929.photobucket.com/albums/ad138/taurus_sable/tennis/serve00057_zps2802fc23.png


    plenty good platform servers on this board: do you feel the coil in your core at the trophy pose?
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    That second vid is made by an idiot.
    Women are just smaller in the upper body than men, except for Serena, who can benchpress US with no problem. Amazingly, she serves OK for a girl.
    Height is not the main factor. And men are just bigger, period.
    When women become the size of Groth, then their serves will be close to equal.
     
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  8. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
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  9. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    @LeeD: Well even if I think her size is slightly exaggerated, Sharapova is at least 6'1, and she never served past 200kph/124mph. Shoulder injury aside, her height doesn't allow her to simply push the serve in either since her DF number is very often quite high, even for a women. But let's say she's an exception: she used not to serve so bad before, so who knows.
    By the way, if you look at the list of fastest women servers, most of them are said to be 6'0 or lower. However, if you look at the serves of men at 149mph and over, bar Tanner and Roddick, none of them are smaller than 6'2... with Roddick being 6'2 himself. And Tanner's serve is from a period we didn't have as precise radar guns either.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fastest_recorded_tennis_serves

    What does it means? To me, it means that there are more issues with women serve than simply their sizes. Because if size was the biggest factor, you would have much fewer women serving that hard below 6'0. Even if size indeed helps in absolute. I'm not a fan of Broudy's strike at women serve in the way he said it which comes quite aggressive. but I do believe that somewhere else, he's completely wrong if he isn't completely right.

    Maybe not. You need to record yourself serving. You don't need ot share it on this board if you don't want to. But it would give you a good basis for comparison. BTW, I'd appreciate if you wouldn't quote very big pictures please. Takes quite a bit of space on the screen.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
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  10. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    my serve is here if you are interested..
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=8572072&postcount=24

    i don't think i have any shoulder and hip separation.

    yeah the image size sucks. i am amazed how big it is.. i'll resize before post again.
     
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  11. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Honestly, when I serve, I bend more or less my legs to avoid stretching my back too much, keeping it straight. Like if you're "sitting down" and leaning back a bit. Do what you want with this opinion. But that's indeed a pretty serve.
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2014
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  12. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    Thanks for the kind word:) I'll keep experimenting.
     
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  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lukkas, I"m agreeing with you.
    I never said HEIGHT makes the difference. There are 6'6" tall men who can't serve worth lick.
    However, it's the body build difference, men generally having more upper body strength ...."generally"....than women, that allows the bigger serve.
    Maria might be 6'2". Plenty of WTA girls at 6', at least 6 in the top 30.
    OlivierRochus can serve much harder than any of them.
    But, expand Olivier's body up to 6' tall, and you'd get something stronger than Tsonga and more athletic....until it get's injured and wears out.
     
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  14. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    I think I see what you are saying and mostly agree. The spring load in the video highlight stretching in the core by basically having the shoulder rotation pull back against a locked hip structure. This results in a stretch across the stomach and chest that can be unloaded into the shot.

    But, does not Federer and other platform servers stretch the chest as they uncoil into contact? Don't platform servers have a big coil angle with more of their back to the net allowing them stretch and unload into contact?
     
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  15. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    exactly. And the girl in the video locks his hip by stepping in her right foot. However if you see Federer in a platform stance, his right toe is behind his left heel. This causes his lower body and hip to rotate towards the back fence.

    When I try to hold the trophy position with the same feet orientation as Federer, I find the hip and shoulder separation pretty hard to achieve. I think it is all because the lower body has rotated so much that it is hard to rotate the shoulder even further.
     
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  16. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    I get what you're saying. I mean it as comparing women between women and men between men and then looking at the results overall. The thing is that I find that most men 6'3" or over can serve well; maybe not very very good but well enough. The ones who can't serve hard is the minority. However, most women 5'11" or higher don't always have a reliable serve. However, watching the ace rankings so far this year, it's maybe changing. I believe that women serves aren't as efficient technically speaking.
    Even if she's stronger, Serena has technically speaking a very good serve too. I think polished technique comes first in this matter: after all Simon is barely over 150lbs for 6'1" but can serve over 130mph.. when his back isn't injured (all the time) or when he wants to (almost never).
     
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  17. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

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    I hate to criticize someone who calls himself the "Serve Doctor", but this whole concept is nonsense. Actually it's dangerous nonsense. He may be the Serve Doctor but he clearly didn't earn a doctorate in kineseology.

    The spine has three sections, termed the lumbar, thoracic and cervical as we move from the hip to the neck. The move he advocates loads the lumbar spine, which would be fine except for the fact that it does not have any rotational freedom. It will tilt left and right and backwards and forwards, yes, but it has at most a couple of degrees of rotational freedom.

    A 12 year old girl may be able to get away for a while with this move, but an adult man is asking for lower back issues if he tries it.

    So how do you get separation between the hips and shoulders, assuming it is important? You rotate the thoracic spine , the middle section. If you hold your hips still and turn your shoulders, you will feel that motion. If you want to serve like he advocates, I would just start out facing the net and turn your shoulders. Easier and much safer.

    You should ask yourself though why no pros serve like this anymore. the answer is that bowing the hip into the court and throwing the shoulders in a cartwheel fashion allows you to use ISR to achieve a much more pace. You will notice that the girl in his video doesn't get into a fully pronated position through inpact. If she did, she would generate reverse slice spin.
     
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  18. RetroSpin

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    That is a wonderful motion, far superior to what the girl in the video is doing.

    I would suggest pulling your right foot back a lot more, ie toward the left side of the court. You could get a bit more knee bend and lean back a bit so that your upper body is along the line of your thighs( whichwill be angled to the left if you bend your knees more).

    Seriously though, that is great motion. Stay away from the Serve Doctor. LOL.
     
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  19. President

    President Legend

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    Simon is about 5'10 in real life...and a 150 lb man is going to be much more explosive and powerful than a woman of the same weight. You bring up height in the WTA, but I think (as LeeD said) STRENGTH is much more important on women's side when it comes to having a good serve. Most of the 6 foot women are skinny and lanky and have very little muscle mass (maybe some fat though, like Azarenka and Kvitova) and very few of them would ever be considered "explosive" athletes. That's why so many shorter women serve faster than them, apart from technique they are just flat out STRONGER. Look at Sloane, Serena, Stosur, and even Henin! They are all well built, well muscled athletes, unlike nonathletic giraffes like Azarenka, Sharapova, and their ilk.
     
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  20. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    do you think the separation is important in the serve?

    what's the benefit of maintain the upper body in line with the thighs? I do see pros do that however I don't understand what's the main benefit.

    Thanks RetroSpin for the encouragement. I'll work on the areas you pointed out.
     
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  21. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Then Tsonga is no more than 6' I guess? Because I can't see a 4in in difference personally between the two. Which is beyond the point: he ain't that strong but still serve hard FOR A MAN.
    [​IMG]

    It isn't the point either. I didn't compare raw men serve speed to raw women serve speeds. I compared them to each other then drew parallels. Tall men dominate the speed chart regardless of their build. Be they thick or not, they're up there. It's not the case for women, and this is what I find interesting. And yes, I do believe that mechanics are more important than pure strength.

    Henin hid a bodybuilder in her small frame, but she was very thin. Sloane Stephens ain't exactly know for her serve either. Most basket players or volleyball players could make circles around John Isner but he still serves very hard despite being as lanky as someone his size and weight allows. Ditto he can hit down on the serve though, which kinda helps.
    Remember I also said there was change ongoing when talking about the ace charts for this year. In case you didn't bother searching, I'll give it to you: only 2 of these women are lower than 5'10: Serena Williams and Flavia Penneta. All the others are 5'10 or taller. So there seems to be change. I believe that some women, contrarily to the majority of men, don't always have efficient serve mechanics an rather rely on their groundies to win. but I also believe it is going to be something of importance onwards and the ace chart of 2014 is telling me this. And I believe that onwards, taller women will start taking the lead more and more frequently as serves are polished for everyone on the tour. Will take some time, but I'm convinced it will happen: women will serve better, and ad a result those who have a size advantage will start being more and more often up the serve stats.
     
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2014
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  22. RetroSpin

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    Personally I don't think the separation idea is worth much. Do you see a lot of separation here? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnMolTSCUqo

    I don't.

    Using a rotational movement to power the serve is kind of old school. The modern technique is more up and down, ie exactly what you're doing.

    I'm not completely certain about the body in line with thighs concept, but I think it allows you to get leaned back a bit more without arching your lower back too much. Leaning back gives you a bit more room to hit up at the ball and generate some topspin. Some of the knowledgeable coaches on here can probably give you a better explanation.
     
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  23. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    The Michael stich style serves seems to use a lot of core twist because of the step up of back foot. Roger Federer, not that much.

    The lean back explanation makes a lot of sense to me. it is to get under the ball to create more spin. Thanks again!
     
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  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Too much analysis, not enough practice?
    Fast swing speed is the key. How you achieve it is up to you, but best to use everything you have, if it's working.
     
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  25. taurussable

    taurussable Professional

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    lol, i sorta agree. I like play tennis with a keyboard. :)
     
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  26. xFullCourtTenniSx

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    If you didn't twist your core with a serve that has your hips rotated forward, how would you get power from your serve aside from your arm? You wouldn't. :/

    There are pinpoint stances that don't push your hips forward like this girl does (something like Serena or Sharapova for example), in which case, whether you want to force an extra turn or not is up to you, though the turn WILL give you more pop and action on the serve.

    For a platform serve, you can't really open your hips super early, so we don't have to worry about it.

    And yes, Federer's hips are fairly in line with his shoulders. Compared to his hips, his shoulders get very little extra turn (it's definitely there, it's just not extreme). The picture taurussable picked is just a horrible angle. You can find plenty of better angles in videos or pictures.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mmxfhjwjPw
     
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