Please critique my serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by SuperDuy, Oct 19, 2009.

  1. SuperDuy

    SuperDuy Hall of Fame

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    Please critique my serve, I want to know what I can do to make it better/ what I should work on. I know one thing is to keep my left arm up longer right?


    Please note: serves may be only 80-90 mph(not sure) because I had played for 2 hours before this and yesturday for 2 hours(my arm was killing me). Also temperatures were in the 40's so the ball didn't go through the air that well. My serve was at about 80% of it's normal speed when I took these videos.


    What speed do you think these serves are? 60?

    http://vimeo.com/7155004

    I know that I am off balance, but Im trying to work on it. Im also trying to work on landing inside the court fordwards not to the left side. I was rushed today because it started to rain and I didn't want to get soaked. I will make a video of my second serves some time this week :)

    And so far my shoulder isn't hurting. Im trying to get as much tennis in as I can before winter(1 month away).
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
    #1
  2. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

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    you are going to hurt yourself
     
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  3. cesarmo03

    cesarmo03 Rookie

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    i dont think your serve is that fast, you are hitting slices serves. a tip try to practice your toss and follow trough you are way off balance when u land on the court.

    And also try to hit with your body not with your arm u are going to injure your shoulder real bad.
     
    #3
  4. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

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    2nd serve ~90 and that is being generous
    3rd serve ~94 and that is being generous
    4th serve ~96 and that is being generous
     
    #4
  5. tikkimonkey

    tikkimonkey Rookie

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    You're jumping backwards.
     
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  6. ReopeningWed

    ReopeningWed Semi-Pro

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    They look like they're around 60-70. My flat serve is barely 85, 90 mph, I'll put up a video for you sometime.
    Most people on the board claim to serve in the 120's but few realize just how SOLID your technique has to approach even 100.
    On another note, you need to find a different hero. No more attempting to serve like Andy Roddick, you're really going to hurt yourself. Even if your body is made of steel, you're WAY off balance after you serve, and a strong returner will have you scrambling.
    The momentum you have after your serve is nice though, try to move forward instead of sideways though?
     
    #6
  7. cesarmo03

    cesarmo03 Rookie

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    i was going to say that, but didnt know how to write it.
     
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  8. jserve

    jserve Rookie

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    Seems to be pretty off balanced. All your momentum is moving towards the side rather than forward.
     
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  9. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    Dude, LOOSEN UP!


    You look like someone jammed a large pole up your rear end on every serve. Relax, and the speed will come with practice. Don't force it.
     
    #9
  10. ReopeningWed

    ReopeningWed Semi-Pro

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    I wanted to say that, but I didn't quite know how to phrase it :p
    I think most tennis players try to over-complicate serving. In attempts to generate those lovely MPH's a lot of people stiffen up.
    For you home-improvement geeks out there, it's like swinging a hammer. Stay loose, use a fluid stroke, turn your arm into jelly and just WHIP. :D
     
    #10
  11. SuperDuy

    SuperDuy Hall of Fame

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    Ok, but how do I change my serve so its flat? Do I change my grip?

    I hear that I am off balance from alot of people at the club. But I have gotten way better since I first started playing. I will try to land forword instead of sideways next time.

    Yeah, I gotta fix that.

    That I know sorta robotical, but I was in a rush to serve because it started to rain and I didnt wanna get soaked.

    Yeah man, I need to loosen up.
     
    #11
  12. SuperDuy

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    What i'l probably end up doing is getting a radar gun, then work on my tecnique then slowly try to increase the speed without going off balance.
     
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  13. SuperDuy

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    Right now im working on my toss, and tossing it right infront of me.
     
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  14. SuperDuy

    SuperDuy Hall of Fame

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    Yesturday when someone had radar gun, I served over 108, but that serve went around 1.5 feet higher then the lsat one in the vid, and it was in the box.
     
    #14
  15. The_Steak

    The_Steak Rookie

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    Why are you so worried about pace? Your serves have no placement whatsoever and anyone could easily return them. Why don't you worry more about technique and aiming the ball instead of just heavily slicing the ball and aiming it right at the opponent?
     
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  16. cesarmo03

    cesarmo03 Rookie

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    Well the first grip is better for u to use is the continental grip (in this boards is a lot of information about it). The type of shot u do on your serve (flat, kick, slice) depends from how u use your wrist. and the power from the serve comes from like 90&% abs 10% arm, cause u are going to injure your shoulder dude.

    try to focus on transfer your weight to the front instead to the left side, that is another reason you are hitting slice serve.
     
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  17. SuperDuy

    SuperDuy Hall of Fame

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    Oook I sorta get you now, If I land directly forward It would be flat, if I land to the left it would be slice?

    I just dont know how to get the power from my abs and not my arm, what do I change?
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2009
    #17
  18. cesarmo03

    cesarmo03 Rookie

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    Dude i also notice, that your feet are so close each other when u are going to serve, remember when u do the toss u transfer your weight from your right foot then to your left foot so u can have more power. that why u dont have any balance when u land.
     
    #18
  19. cesarmo03

    cesarmo03 Rookie

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    kind of, the thing is that when u are going to hit the ball u move your body to your left that makes that you twitch your racquet a little and brush the ball from the side, but also u have to hit ball directly in the back.

    Try to watch some videos on youtube from fuzzy yellow balls those videos help me a lot to be more consistent on my serve.
     
    #19
  20. ReopeningWed

    ReopeningWed Semi-Pro

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    I'm sorry, but you're so misinformed.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmmSMJhIUqU

    Look at that video, and tell me the server is off balance.
     
    #20
  21. wyutani

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    imitating roddick are we?
     
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  22. cesarmo03

    cesarmo03 Rookie

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    excellent karlovic example :).

    What im talking see that karlovic do a step back with his right foot to transfer his weight and have a great balance to serve. the OP always maintain his feet close together.

    Thanks an excellent way to explain more about his mistake.
     
    #22
  23. prattle128

    prattle128 Semi-Pro

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    made my night
     
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  24. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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    90% abs? HUH?


    I know people love to say things like "it's all in the legs" or hips or abs or whatever, but the truth is, 80% of the power DOES come from the arm.

    There's a reason that some people can hit around 100 MPH just using pronation. It's not because of their rock hard abs, let me assure you.
     
    #24
  25. Nellie

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    I think your follow through (accelerating after contact with a high to low back to high stroke) is throwing you off balance.

    This long stroke, with you falling to the side, will make it hard for you to recover to hit the return of serve.

    P.S. you are hitting a pretty good slice serve - you would get more speed if you delayed the opening of your shoulders
     
    #25
  26. SuperDuy

    SuperDuy Hall of Fame

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    Ok, anyone know how to get me better balance?
     
    #26
  27. SuperDuy

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    One more question, do you get power from abs or arms?
     
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  28. cesarmo03

    cesarmo03 Rookie

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    thanks my friend i realize that i made a mistake, not from the abs more power u will generate with rotation on your waist (im talking from personal experience) when i loose up my arm but maintain a good form i get more speed and zero pain in the shoulder, than just accelerating my arm and injuring my shoulder.
     
    #28
  29. Mike Cottrill

    Mike Cottrill Hall of Fame

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    The power from the serve comes from the kinetic chain. You are losing so much energy in your serve (it is wasted because it is not transferred through your body to the ball). Once you get the kinetic chain down, you will be severing faster without “swinging” as hard. Check out the biomechanics here:
    http://www.itftennis.com/shared/medialibrary/pdf/original/IO_24976_original.PDF

    The answer to your question where the power comes from is in this doc:
    http://www.itftennis.com/shared/medialibrary/pdf/original/IO_24973_original.PDF


    Go through the whole series and watch the videos.
    Save your self 500+ bucks and follow these lessons:
    http://www.fuzzyyellowballs.com/video-tennis-lessons/serve/serve-progressions/


    This should keep you busy.
     
    #29
  30. SuperDuy

    SuperDuy Hall of Fame

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    Thanks a ton man! Appreciate the effort you put into answering my questions. :)

    They will keep me busy.
     
    #30
  31. brado32003

    brado32003 Banned

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    EWWWWWWWW I almost threw up watching this... I don't know if you can even fix the numerous problems you have
     
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  32. SuperDuy

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    And that is great help! :evil:
     
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  33. tricky

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    This exercise can help:

    1) Instead of a racquet, swing with a long sock containing one or two tennis balls. This lets you shadow your service motion and encourages you to treat it more like a continuous, pitching motion.

    2) Before you initiate the tossing motion, lift your front foot. Keep your front foot up through the windup and as you initiate the upward swing. This will force your balance to go either forwards or backwards. You want it to go forwards, even as you intiiate toss. You can practice this without a ball using the sock.

    3) Not sure if you want to commit to an abbreviated or traditional service motion. If it's traditional, let the tossing arm drop by your left pocket before you raise it to toss the ball. If it's abbreviated, raise the arm without letting it drop prior. You can work on this with step 2.

    4) Be mindful of how how your trunk and torso feel during the service motion. If you feel your lower back is involved during windup, then the balance is off.
     
    #33
  34. SuperDuy

    SuperDuy Hall of Fame

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    Thankyou for this! Also I am not sure what type of motion I do, can you watch video and try to tell me what motion I use. And I always feel my lower back is used.
     
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  35. SuperDuy

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    Hey tricky can you also help me, Am I moving left after I serve because of the off balance?
     
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  36. SuperDuy

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    I have just watched some fyb videos and I leanred that to stay balanced I need to kick my back foot all the way up.

    Anyone else think this is right?
     
    #36
  37. OHBH

    OHBH Semi-Pro

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    UGLY.... but it looks like some good results. Though I think you will injure yourself I think you are just trying to hit the ball to hard, but the real question is---Do you serve that way in matches? or do you relax and get the ball in.
     
    #37
  38. wihamilton

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    Hi SD. You don't necessarily have to kick it up a lot -- top pros do it because their upper bodies are leaning way into the court when they land. The back leg keeps them balanced. If you're more upright as you complete your motion you don't need a big leg kick (or one at all).
     
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  39. tricky

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    It's mostly due to your approach for your tennis windup. As you initiate your windup, you're shifting your weight backwards and leaning back. When you initiate the cartwheel motion of the serve (the part where you swing up at the ball), you're trying to "throw" your trunk forward to catapult your arm at the ball. A lot of beginner pitchers do something similar. They kick their leg up so high that they lean back and put all their weight onto the backfoot -- then they kinda catapult their arm at the target. This, however, is not right for either pitching or serving. When you feel your lower back in the windup, you know that you're executing the service motion with the wrong balance.

    When you begin to toss, you want your weight to start moving into the court. You actually want your weight to move into the court through the end of your windup. This is what facilitates the shoulder-over-shoulder arm action associated with the cartwheel motion. The finish of the cartwheel motion is when your left leg has landed forward (rather than spun to the left) with your right foot kicked up (rather than "around.")

    Practicing the toss and the windup with one foot reinforces the correct cartwheel motion. With one foot, you'll find that it's much easier to go through the shadow motion of toss and windup when your weight is moving forward off that foot. Then, when you practice the motion with both feet, you'll have your natural cartwheel motion with a correct landing.

    Lift the front foot for practicing serves from ad court. Lift the back foot for practicing serves from deuce court. Again, you have the foot lifted well before you initiate the toss.

    The main thing is to get down the "muscle memory" of that cartwheel motion. Then, it's much easier to develop your serve from observing videos.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
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  40. AlpineCadet

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    I feel sorry for your body.
     
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  41. SuperDuy

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    In those videos I was trying to hit the ball as hard as I could. In Matches I take my time, bring my body more upright and then slow down then aim then hit it a bit lighter with a sorta different than that technique.
     
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  42. SuperDuy

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    Ok, I will mainly work on shifting my weight forward on my toss, then land on left foot.
     
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  43. tricky

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    I recommend going through the one foot exercise a few times. The balance itself is really a means to an end. As your weight moves forward into the court, you'll notice that certain muscles in your trunk are loading. You want to be aware of those muscles during your windup, and in your case you'll find that it's very different than what you've been doing before. This is generally true for most people learning to serve.

    You really want get acquainted with what a cartwheel "shoulder over shoulder" motion really feels like. Just shadowing the serve with a sock a few times, using the one foot exercise, will help give you that awareness.
     
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  44. marcovan

    marcovan New User

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    hi tricky,
    are you able to point me in the direction of any instructional videos that discuss the cartwheel 'Shoulder over shoulder' motion.
    I have heard it talked about but when I watch any video on youtube or even on FYB they do not mention this motion.
     
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  45. SuperDuy

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    Ok Thanks I will try this, can you give a vid of the shoulder over shoulder motion?

    Thanks tricky
     
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  46. Djokovicfan4life

    Djokovicfan4life Legend

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  47. SuperDuy

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    Thanks for this, only thing is that guy was not understandable.
     
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  48. tricky

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    marcovan + SuperDuy,

    Cartwheel motion describes two aspects of the serve. First, there's the shoulder-over-shoulder motion. There's also the trunk twisting and unloading over the left hip. (This is because, though angular momentum is toward the line of the service motion, linear momentum is toward the sky.)

    You can simulate a generic cartwheel motion by doing the following. I'm kinda stealing this from larry/Pat D, so . . .

    First, try a basic pitching motion with a small leg kick. Keep in mind that as you leg kick, your balance should still be moving forward. Do this a few times until you feel a loose, whippiness of the arm. This is to emphasize that all motions, be it throwing or service windups, should be continuous with your momentum/center of gravity in front of you, rather than behind you.

    Now, try the pitching motion, but with the chest aimed at the sky as you leg kick. Again, you want to keep your balance moving forward. As you execute this pitching motion, notice how your arm motion changes. Notice how you land on your left foot. Notice where your right foot kicks up. Notice your trunk kinda bends toward the left. This is a basic cartwheel motion.

    We can apply similar lesson to a serve using the one-foot example.

    1) Put your arms together by putting your left forearm under your right forearm arm.
    2) Lift your front foot and keep it off the ground.
    3) Separate the arms by lifting your left arm toward the sky. Follow through, landing on your front foot. Make sure your balance is forward through the entire motion.
    4) Notice you land and the motion of your right arm.
     
    #48
  49. SuperDuy

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    So kick with the right foot and balance on the left?

    Thanks btw.
     
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  50. tricky

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    Mmm, no. It's just that if you execute the cartwheel motion properly, it'll look like what you see with most pros/mature players.
     
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