Please help with my Serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by RajeshS, Aug 15, 2006.

  1. RajeshS

    RajeshS New User

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    anirut, Craig, skraggle, Richie Rich, jonolau, BreakPoint, Naveen - and others are welcome too:

    I carried this over from the Racquets section. Thanks for offering to help on the serve.

    I could not wait :0) So shot video today morning.

    Here are 4 short clips in slow-mo.

    www.dropshots.com/RajeshS

    Like I said before I am 37 yrs, and am between 3.5 - 4.0 maybe 3.75. This is for my strokes - my Serve is at 0 !

    My serve is what I am experimenting with now. So am not suprised that I can't serve well yet. For many years (5) I have been hitting with an upward brushing motion - so was able to place the ball but with no power. Recently I gave up that and am trying hit hard to generate power - not caring about placement.

    I know this is not correct - but want to see if I can learn to serve with some pace.

    I was a little surprised on seeing the videos. I am taking my racquet AWAY from my back - what Vic Braden call "scratching your neighbors back". I was trying to force this - but it seems to be there.

    Yet overall there is something wrong. Please tell me.

    Most of my serves go long. Sometimes they hit the baseline ! I think there is something wrong with the way am hitting the ball at impact. Also I don't see a top-spin curve on it - it almost goes in a straight line over the net.

    Finally - look at our courts ! You'd say I was playing on a soccer ground ! No lines !

    Thanks a lot. Rajesh
     
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  2. guedoguedo

    guedoguedo Semi-Pro

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    Hitting the ball way too low. I hit my serves just a little bit after the peak of the toss
     
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  3. skraggle

    skraggle Professional

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    Agreed. You appear to be striking the ball in a no man's land. It's neither truly hitting up on the ball or throwing it out in front of you and striking it. But your back and knee bend look good.
     
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  4. Two Fister

    Two Fister Rookie

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    Rajesh,

    Disclaimer: I'm not a teaching pro. I'm a 4.5 player but have paid a lot of attention to tennis technique as I was helping my daughter learn how to play.

    First thing that strikes me is your weight distribution. You start with your weight forward, and it pretty much stays forward the whole stroke. You're not really "loading the spring" for maximum efficiency. Many folks will at some point in the serve bring their weight back a bit to load up before whipping forward.

    Same is true for let's say forehand. If you put 80% of your weight on your forward leg as the ball is bouncing, keep it there and wait for the ball to come to you, then you will be using mostly arm for the stroke. You won't be transfering weight forward into the ball. On the other hand, if you start with 80% on back leg (loading), and transfer the weight forward as part of the stroke (unloading), then you will have more power with the same effort.

    Just my two cents.
     
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  5. anirut

    anirut Legend

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    Did you use any wrist action with your serves? I don't seem to have seen it clear enough. And what grip do you use to serve with?

    Try hitting with the arm more stretched out with the ball forward (not way forward, of course). This way you put your weight into the shot.

    Don't force pace into your serves now or you might end up with a dead elbow like me. Just practice that your toss is in the right place and contact made at the right time. Get the serves in consistently. After that we can go to the next chapter.

    OK, this is my observation only. I'm sure others can help you more.

    My Rs 0.02 ...
     
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  6. Jonnyf

    Jonnyf Legend

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    Am i the only one who notice's really quite abit of wasted motion. I dont know but i think im going to post a video of how to hit a decent serve without anything difficult just simple ball up swing
     
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  7. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Rajesh,

    First of all, where are you playing? It kind of looks like the tropics, congrats if you live there, I wish I did...

    Anyway, as to your serve. Basically it looks pretty good. A few small tweeks: I agree that you are hitting the toss while it is on the way down, but the problem is the toss (it's too high) not the serve per se. Second, your overall body motion is a bit too vertical, ie you are coming up to the ball not into the ball in a more forward motion. Your toss reflects this, of course and needs to be a bit in front of you that is, if you toss and don't hit the ball it should land well in the court. Otherwise it is a very efficient motion. Quite a bit more efficient than I prefer, but that is a measure of preference, not a critique.
     
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  8. BreakPoint

    BreakPoint Bionic Poster

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    Rajesh,

    Overall, I think your serve looks pretty good. If you're hitting long, the only thing I would recommend is to toss the ball a little lower and more out in front of you (more into the court) and then lean your upper body into the shot and try to hit the ball near the peak of the toss. This is, of course, if you're trying to hit a flat first serve. Topspin or kick serves would be quite a bit different.
     
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  9. looseswing

    looseswing Professional

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    The two major things that I see are that you could use more upper body coiling and lower body coiling and that you should be going more foreward (put the toss more into the court and you will go more foreward naturally). It seems like you go almost straight up with no foreward movement.
     
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  10. harleywilson

    harleywilson Rookie

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    I assume you are hitting a flat serve. I totally agree with two fister, you are not transferring your weight from back to front. Another things I noticed is that you seem to be blocking a full release of the racquet at impact. I do it all the time. I don't know what grip you use, but you should in a backhand grip or continental grip. Maybe your getting too tight in your arm. Try to serve with little finger off the racquet to loosen your arm. Hope this helps. Good luck
     
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  11. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    Rajesh,

    Do you have these serves in quicktime or .avi? I would like to be able to go through them frame by frame. It is hard for me to tell what is wrong without going frame by frame. You are very very close to the model, but it looks like subtle things are off.

    I think the recommendations from posters were excellent.

    Jeff
     
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  12. maverick1

    maverick1 Semi-Pro

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    Your serve looks good. Better than mine. I wish I could use my legs like that.

    In the first two clips, you are falling back after serving. I don't have to tell you that you have to be leaning in to the serve or else you sacrifice a lot of pace. In the last two clips, you do follow thru into the court. It follows that your toss must be inconsistent. If you are hitting long, tossing in front should help.

    Another point that has already been made is work on the consistency of the toss. The toss is the most critical part of the serve IMO, and you can work on it without wearing your shoulder out.
     
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  13. w00gy

    w00gy Rookie

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    Rajesh,

    What kind of courts are that? They look like dirt... is that even an official type?
     
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  14. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    Rajesh,

    After a quick review:

    1. You start your motion facing the net much too 'head on' w/ your front foot almost perpendicular to the baseline. This will severely limit your shoulder rotation. Point your front foot at a 45 degree angle to the baseline, and have your back foot parallel (to the baseline, that is!)

    2. Your toss is WWWWWAAAAYYYYY to high!!! You'll never get good timing like that (unless you are Steffi Graf, of course)

    3. Focus on hitting up and out, NOT down (hard to tell from your video, but looks like you are pulling your head down, a classic mistake that ruins good serving.

    Your overall athleticism looks very good. You SHOULD be able to serve better if you practice and correct these technical problems.

    Best,

    CC
     
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  15. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    Rajesh-you are also pulling your left shoulder back, which displaces your 'fulcrum' and causes the racquet head to decelerate. Instead you want to 'wrap' your left arm across your lower abdomen, facilitating a 'cracking of the whip'. :) CC
     
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  16. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

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    i tend to agree. not really major things wrong. as Craig mentioned earlier looks like positioning to the court (more parallel) and keeping the head up would give some immediate improvements - hell, I should do that myself :wink:
     
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  17. TDabone

    TDabone Banned

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    The Toss

    Here is a great picture of the toss:

    [​IMG]

    A big difference between most recreational players and the pros is the toss.

    Trevor

    www.MyTennisTournaments.com
     
    #17
  18. RajeshS

    RajeshS New User

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    Thanks....

    Firstly – this is really overwhelming. So many of you responded – taking time to review the clips – then analyzing – thinking and posting back. THANKS.

    This is a long post – so please take your time.

    My serve is not good which is why I posted for help – still there were some of you saying that the “stroke” looked good. It makes me happy – I am glad there are better players who feel that my stroke at least “on paper” looks good. Note – as we all know – the end result is still not good but at least I feel I don’t have to change the basic model.

    Many have proposed small changes – so am happy as this will mean I can actually improve if I concentrate on them. Later in the post – I have categorized and summarized all your suggestions.

    I need to first apologize for not providing this background: I use continental grip and I am not really looking to hit “flat” serves. My aim is a safe – slightly faster topspin serve. For a second serve – I will toss exactly to the same spot – but brush upward. I know the toss should vary – but my tossing is inconsistent – and I can’t afford to try two different tosses.

    I hope your observations and suggestions remain valid?

    Jonnyf – I will wait eagerly for your post of the ideal serve motion. Also will you please point where I go wrong? Some have indeed pointed to a very high toss – so it is possible there are wasted motions there.

    I have seen some player videos my self – but I am not an expert – hence unable to pin-point the exact wasted links. I am actually a firm believer of trying to keep things simple. But am hoping there is nothing wrong with the basic model. So your reply will be important as I want to make sure if my entire serve needs an overhaul !

    In the past I have not shied away from going right ahead and changing the basic. One fine day (20-Jul-2005) – after playing with an Eastern FH grip for 5 years – I just switched to Semi-Western !

    I am hoping that with this current post – I can get some inputs and finally straighten out my serve. It is painful to be playing 5 + years – yet not being confident about it. I am not looking to hit aces – I just want a safe and a reasonable-power serve. A NTRP 3.75 serve J

    JCo872: I’ll try to convert the clips to QT or AVI.

    In summary there have been the following primary suggestions:

    Toss issue: Observed by: Skraggle, guedoguedo, LuckyR, BreakPoint, looseswing, maverick1, Richie Rich

    >> Am tossing too high, should hit in front – i.e. lean into the serve.

    Maverick1 – you are one expert ! You watched a couple of clips and you analyzed I had an inconsistent toss!! You are so right.

    The toss has indeed been my biggest tennis problem for all the 5+ years I have played. I have tried so many things to be consistent. For some months I even tried holding it like a “glass”. I gave that up too and am back to holding “normally”.

    My action of leaning on the front foot, tossing perpendicular to the baseline – is a recent experiment. And I am tossing “better” and “in front” than I did for the last 5 years. I have some “consistency” now!

    If I wanted to develop a safe but slight faster first serve – should I still be tossing ahead more than I do?

    Skraggle guedoguedo - you mentioned I was hitting low – I think I have the arm extended and there is even a slight jump. Should I be jumping higher? I don’t want to deliberately try that.

    Weight distribution issue: Observed by Two Fister

    >> Weight distribution on front foot. Not on back.

    Two Fister – I appreciate your feedback! Your observation is correct and seems valid.

    Loose – fluid motion: Observed by: anirut, harleywilson

    >> Motion not fluid. Jerky.

    You are right – I do tend to check the stroke – that is because of all this tension I carry of not being able to serve! I am now “trying” to be loose and am trying to develop the whippy action.

    Left arm postion: Observed by Craig.

    >> Should try to wrap left arm around my lower abdomen.

    Craig – wow ! That was some observation. Now that you point it out – I remember seeing this in many pictures of the top players!! I am not sure I will be able to correct this at this stage. Maybe if I can get the fluid motion – the “whip cracking” action will come? Moving the left arm down may require some major correction and some time. I think I will tackle this after I get my toss straightened. Does that sound reasonable?

    Standing position: Observed by Richie Rich.

    >> Could try standing parallel.

    Richie – for a few months I experimented with this. But then gave up – although it added pace to my serve – my toss was not consistent and I was finding it difficult to toss into the court. But I actually served some aces that way ! The only few ones in my life. Like the suggestion above - maybe this is something I can go back to later and try to correct after my basics are right. Is that reasonable?

    Thanks folks. Thanks a lot. If I have not thanked anyone – it is unintentional.
     
    #18
  19. shindemac

    shindemac Hall of Fame

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    You need to adjust your contact point and toss. You are hitting the ball too early, before your arm has time to fully accelerate. If you toss more in front, this may help fix this. Your torso rotates too early. You are already facing the net before your racket has gone higher than your head. This means you are not loose enough and most of the energy from your shoulder and below is wasted.

    This is specific to your topspin serve. You really don't look like you are trying to hit topspin except for your ball toss. You need to brush up on the ball, but it looks like your racket is hitting right through it for a flat serve. On a topspin serve, you need to stay even more sideways to the serve than usual.
     
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  20. fx101

    fx101 Rookie

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    You are shifting your balance to the left far too much, try to balance your body during the entire serve, unless you want to "lead in" to the court where you would shift balance foreward.
     
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  21. maverick1

    maverick1 Semi-Pro

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    Rajesh

    From the clips and your name, I am guessing you are playing in a South Indian city. Chennai?

    I will be in Hyderabad in September. If you happen to be near there and are interested in playing Tennis with me, send me an email.
    My rating is basically 3.75.
     
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  22. Fred132

    Fred132 Rookie

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    I agree with Maverick on a key point -- in the first 2 frames you seem to push almost straight up to strike the ball, then you land off to the left. Really good servers always seem to land well into the court after they strike the ball.

    You do a good job of "scratching the other person's back", as Braden says, but you would get more power with a deeper racquet drop. For me, this is the #1 ingredient in generating more pace on my serve. When I'm feeling loose and relaxed, I get a deeper drop, and the ball seems to fly off the racquet.

    Easier said than done, I know. It would be interesting to hear what others recommend to promote a deeper drop. Stretching, maybe?
     
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  23. JCo872

    JCo872 Professional

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    Rajesh,

    I don't need frame by frame. I figured out your main problem. You can see my analysis here:

    http://www.hi-techtennis.com/students/rajesh/

    I think your initial observation was right on the money. You said you didn't feel like you were striking the ball correctly on impact. This is exactly what I discuss in my analysis.

    Jeff
     
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  24. Fred132

    Fred132 Rookie

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    Wow...nice call, Jeff.
     
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  25. looseswing

    looseswing Professional

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    Rajesh, if you are having problems with the toss a good tip is to just keep your tossing hand up longer than normal. I do this whenever I have taken some time off and am coming back rusty. It gets my toss perfectly after about a half hour of practice. I hope this helps with that issue.
     
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  26. RajeshS

    RajeshS New User

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    Jeff ! WOW - thanks. Thanks for that analysis. Jeff - you too feel my serve action is ok - even if upto the pronation point? Wow - I just don't know what to say - I have videoed myself after a long time - and am happy - being endorsed by so many people. Jeff - I will try implementing your suggestion.

    maverick: You are right to some extent :) I live and play in Pune. Hyderabad is far away - but I'll keep in touch with you - let's see if we can meet up!
     
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  27. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Your motion (as previously noted) is "efficient". It really isn't a "classic" service motion ... but don't let that bother you. Your motion does need some "tweaking".

    Some of this will be "re-run" of previous comments. If I were you, I'd find a good Teaching Pro who can help you with...

    1 - Grip should be between C and EB. It *appears* too much to the EF.

    2 - Your starting stance doesn't allow for any rocking / weight shifting.

    3 - Toss is too high and in the wrong direction / location (evidenced by your tendency to fall off to the left after you make contact.)

    4 - You need better coordination between your weight "coiling" and uncoiling into the tossed ball.

    5 - Shoulder rotation and timing is off.

    If you are trying to self-teach, all this will take quite a while. I'm betting 3-6 lessons with a good Teaching Pro will help you immensely ... IF ... you are motivated to practice what is suggested in-between lessons.

    - KK
     
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  28. RajeshS

    RajeshS New User

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    looseswing, Fred132, Kaptain Karl -- Thanks all.

    I've decided then.

    First - I'll try to shorten the toss. What I noticed from the clips myself is - somehow the ball is coming in - during its descend. Meaning if I shorten the height - it might not come in as much - thereby being farther into the court than it is now.

    looseswing - guess I'l try keep the hand up - will that increase it's distance into the court?

    Everyone - thanks. Thanks for your time.

    Let me take all this "home" now. I will go one-improvement at a time.

    Also I am going to try to observe if I can overcome Jeff's observation. Holding the racquet vertical then bring through the ball.

    I hope to come back with something in another couple of months :) Its ZEN - continuous improvement !!

    Rajesh
     
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  29. maverick1

    maverick1 Semi-Pro

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    I have never understood the low toss suggestions. I agree it is easier to hit a still ball than one that is falling fast, but my problem is
    1. There is little margin for error with a low toss. If the toss is too short, the serve is totally messed up. A higher toss buys you not only margin for error, but some extra time in order not to rush your "kinetic chain".
    2. The pros seem to hit the serve about 2 feet below its peak height, which is about what Rajesh does.
    3. If you can get used to hitting a falling ball, it has advantages - a little extra pace and topspin.
     
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  30. RajeshS

    RajeshS New User

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    maverick,

    Well a year back or a year and half back I had a low toss -- and I used to rush on my "kinetic chain". So I went high.

    What I think has happened is - I have gone way high.

    I dunno about the comparison - not sure if like you say - I am tossing about 2 ft and is the same as pros. What I can't and will not be able to do is hit at the apex of the toss. Requires too much precision. SO - I believe - like so many suggest - it boils down to shortening a little .

    Maybe by a foot if I can manage.

    Which means - I will still be hitting on the descend.

    I think - I can atleast give it a shot. Lemme try for a month or so and then I can tell for myself.
     
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  31. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    This is for anyone; not just Rajesh....

    If you want to know if your toss is "grooved" in your motion, serve blindfolded(!). I am always demonstrating this to people looking for help on serving ... and I can hit good blindfolded serves 9 of 10 times. (But this is because I have practiced just my toss thousands of times. And "putting it all together" with a serve (easily) tens of thousands of times.)

    If you are changing your serve / toss, just do this once or twice for a laugh. (Of course you won't have the thing grooved. Don't worry about it.) If you think your serve / motion is pretty solid, this drill will be more helpful.

    - KK
     
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  32. maverick1

    maverick1 Semi-Pro

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    Can you actually get 9 out of 10 serves in ?!! That is almost my second serve percentage. It is pretty impressive if you can even make contact on the strings.

    Can you tell us how the ideal toss should be? If I am going to practice it, I should at least do it the correct way. I try to toss it up in vertical line about a foot in front and a little to the right, about 2 feet higher than the contact point.

    I have tried to watch Federer's toss, and it seems to take a big arch starting on his right and actually end on his left. He arches back towards the leftside to hit the serve.
     
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  33. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Toss Practice

    Yes. I will even announce "Wide Slice" or "Slice up the T" ... and make those. (It usually "blows the minds" of the kids I work with....)

    Even blindfolded, I have a good idea of when I tossed badly. This is because I've trained myself to pay attention to certain physical cues ... and NOT chase after bad tosses. (I catch more tosses than anyone I know. I also have the most reliable serve among all my playing partners (4.5 - 5.5) and they all acknowledge this.)

    Better Instructors than I have written good books on the serve, but I'll give it a shot. (But I must warn you, I am very much "old school" about tosses.)

    (1) Hold the ball ever so gently on the pads of the finger tips with the thumb barely holding it in place. From your "ready position" -- which ought to always be the very same, even down to how far back from the baseline your forward toe is, and how you hold the ball and racket to begin serving. (I wiggle my foot until my toe is just past one-half inch from the edge of the baseline. I start every serve with the ball held on the sweetspot of my racket -- reinforcing where my contact point will be.)

    (2) As your racket is drifting into its part of the motion, simutaneously supinate and straighten your toss arm. This makes sure your fingers are directly beneath the ball and that your shoulder will be the fulcrum for the toss. (Not the elbow or the wrist.) When I post "straighten" I do not mean "lock the elbow in a state of near hyper-extension;" I simply mean that I straighten my elbow to its extreme-but-still-comfortable limit. (Where the next added effort of straightening, would indeed, hyper-extend the elbow a touch.)

    (3) Allow your toss arm to drop far enough to *just barely* have the back of your toss hand touch your thigh. (This is the physical cue I referenced earlier.) If my hand has *bounced* off my thigh -- or if it did not quite touch my thigh -- I abort the serve. I've trained myself so much on this cue that there are times when I find myself aborting a serve in mid-swing ... and I don't even know why I'm aborting. (But in mentally replaying my service motion, I realize "Oh yeah. I missed my thigh....")

    (4) My tossing arm travels up in the very same plane in which it descended to touch my thigh. This prevents my toss from having any arc or loop to it.

    (5) I toss the ball to a point just above where my racket tip would be in full extension. (It's a myth that most good servers hit the ball *just* as the toss stops. I am no different.) My toss drops anywhere from three to four inches from its apex prior to making contact.

    (6) To practice distance into the court on the toss, I place another racket on the ground, in line with the axis of my foot ... butt cap against my non-racket toe. I go through the whole motion, until my racket has dropped into the "back scratch" position. But I pause ... and wait to see where my toss lands. If I have tossed well, the ball should land on the strings of the racket on the ground.

    In should be noted that error is a function of distance on the toss. I am 6'2" tall, with 36" arms. I also use an extended length racket. My toss' apex is over 8 feet in the air. Someone who is 5'6" will have a much lower toss. Someone shorter (theoretically) should be able to have more tosses land on the ground racket, than someone tall. In ten tosses, my ball will land on the strings 7/10 times. (The frame of the hoop is a "Miss".) Because error is a function of distance, this is a ratio of good tosses I am pleased with.

    [Note: I hit all my serves from the same toss. Most people do not. Therefore, your Slice toss should be different from your Flat or Kick tosses. Adjust your foot position and the angle of the racket on the ground accordingly.]
    _____________

    I sped through this. Let me know if I left out anything pertinent....

    - KK
     
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  34. maverick1

    maverick1 Semi-Pro

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    Kaptain,
    Thanks for the detailed instructions and cues. I will try that.

    Only thing that surprises me is how low your toss is.

    If you step through video clips of pros frame by frame, not only does the ball go a few inches higher than the contact point, it goes out of view, keeps going and going. You have to step through many frames before the ball comes back into view. I would say the ball is tossed at least 2 ft above the contact point.
     
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  35. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    I think a lot of today's Pros serves are influenced by Graf's and Llendl's. They were *anomolous* serves back then. Some of these guys seem to toss the ball at least four feet too high. "Oh well."

    I patterned my racket movement after Newcombe's, because of its efficient flow. I patterned my pinpoint stance after my older brother's with my own variation (brought on by the need to be frugal). As a Junior, my mother announced she wasn't buying anymore shoes for me. (I completely wore through the toe of a new pair in one night of tennis. Really!)

    Back to the very high tosses of today's Pros ... I'd like to see how many of those guys can serve blindfolded.

    P.S. I also think you may only be noticing the Pros whose tosses are super high. (Mostly dirtballers.) I'll start paying more attention....

    - KK
     
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  36. RajeshS

    RajeshS New User

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    shindemac, fx101: Sorry I had to "skim" trough your suggestions earlier in the week.

    Yes - shindemac - my toss needs to be in the front and right. Which is also what fx101 suggests.

    I am also not loose - since I am so not confident on my serving. I tighten up.

    I have begun practiing tossing a little lower, to a little right and a little ahead into the court. This I am doing by pulling my tossing arm toward my body - i.e. more acute angle with the baseline - earlier I was straight/ perpendicular to the baseline.

    This means my toss will be toward right - now to toss inside the court - when lifting my arm I am lifting up and into the court - i.e. trying to toss inside the court. So my arm does not go straight up like earlier - the arm is lifted in a inside out motion.

    Karl: I was looking for a descrption on toss too ! Thanks. Do you think the tossing motion above is ok? Well the toss is my biggest issue :) I have been struggling for years. I think I should groove it - I just don't have the initiative to just toss the ball without hitting the serve.
     
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  37. maverick1

    maverick1 Semi-Pro

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    Interesting, as always.

    I was watching not just any pros, but the very best servers.

    I have a tennisone.com subscription and just checked a Sampras first serve frame-by-frame. The camera shows upto about 10 ft above the ground. When Sampras has his left arm fully stretched, there is almost a whole arm length of space above that. When his toss reaches the top of the video frame(ie., 10 ft of vertical height), the racket head has just started to go up and is just above the knee. Then the ball goes out of view, takes another 18 frames(0.6 sec) for the ball to come back in view. The .6 secs translates to about 1.5 ft if I didn't mess up my back of the envelope calculation.
    My estimate is he tossed it 11.5 ft high and hit the ball at a height of a bit more than 9ft.

    My best estimate is that he hit the ball 2ft 3 in below its peak.
     
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  38. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    You can certainly do worse than to study Pete's serve ... for sure.

    I am not subscribed to any of those types of sites anymore. (I'm no longer coaching.) I'll take your word for it ... but I am surprised.

    The guys' serves I plan to study for toss height (Chosen because I see them as very efficient effective servers; not necessarily the *biggest* servers): Federer, Luby, Bagy, Hewitt, Haas, Tursunov, Bjorkman, Thomas Johansson. I'll try and remember to revisit this thread after I've seen enough of these guys' serves.

    (Or .... Maverick, since you have the subscription, you take a look at about four or five of these guys ... and report back.)

    - KK
     
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  39. maverick1

    maverick1 Semi-Pro

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    For you, of course. Here typing as I watch one by one in another window

    Federer : same as Sampras. (Camera covers more height; ball out of view for 15 frames)
    Lubicic(sp?): not in library
    Bagy: who is that?
    Hewitt: Here the ball is in view the whole time. It drops for 9 frames before he hits it. I think that is 18 inches. At regular speed his toss does look lower than Sampras/Federer
    Haas: All the videos are too close up, cant see racket head at contact.
    Tursunov: looks a little lower than Sampras
    Bjorkman & Johansson not in library.

    In general better the quality of the video, more of a close-up it is and therefore worse for studying the toss.

    The hewitt video from the side was great. ANother interesting observation is that the ball follows a substantial arc. He hits it about 3 ft inside the court and if he let it drop to the floor, you would need two rackets on the floor starting from the baseline if the ball is to land on the strings
     
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  40. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Thanks, maverick1. (Bagy is "Marcos Baghdatis".)

    I got *hugely* frustrated with ESPN's producers. Watched the whole Ferrero / Robredo match, looking for height of tosses. The only time they showed the whole serve was from 120 ft away. I couldn't even *see* the darn ball...! (Somehow the producers think it's clever ... cool ... catchy ... to be zoomed-in on the face of the Server until the moment *just* before they hit the ball.) Aargh!!!

    Regarding arcing tosses: Lots of them do it; I still argue against it. I believe arcing your toss reduces your margin of error. (That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.)

    - KK
     
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  41. maverick1

    maverick1 Semi-Pro

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    He is not in the library either
    You would agree there is are advantages to hitting the serve 3 feet inside the court? Since you can't toss straight up that deep into the court, I guess Hewitt compromises a little on the margin for error in the toss to gain margin for error elsewhere - you can hit more easily from closer to the net, you can take a little pace off still leave the same reaction time for the opponent
     
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  42. Kaptain Karl

    Kaptain Karl Hall Of Fame

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    Hey, sorry I let this slip....

    Yes. Greater power, more "action" on the ball, etc.

    Yes. And I probably should have stated my "peeve" on tossing better. I try to focus students on not having a "loop" in their tossing motion / hand. This is how I try to increase the margin. (Of course, if you're tossing well into the court, your ball will arc.)

    When I was teaching, I'd not be super "absolute" about the more linear tossing motion, but my students generally had far more efficient tosses than those who employed a loop in the bottom of their tossing motion. (Is that better?)

    - KK
     
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  43. odessa

    odessa New User

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    QUOTE=maverick1]For you, of course. Here typing as I watch one by one in another window

    Federer : same as Sampras. (Camera covers more height; ball out of view for 15 frames)
    Lubicic(sp?): not in library
    Bagy: who is that?
    Hewitt: Here the ball is in view the whole time. It drops for 9 frames before he hits it. I think that is 18 inches. At regular speed his toss does look lower than Sampras/Federer
    Haas: All the videos are too close up, cant see racket head at contact.
    Tursunov: looks a little lower than Sampras
    Bjorkman & Johansson not in library.

    In general better the quality of the video, more of a close-up it is and therefore worse for studying the toss.

    The hewitt video from the side was great. ANother interesting observation is that the ball follows a substantial arc. He hits it about 3 ft inside the court and if he let it drop to the floor, you would need two rackets on the floor starting from the baseline if the ball is to land on the strings[/QUOTE]

    Hello Maverick

    Just a little tip for you to make things easier. You have to go to the pro stroke library. Its a little hard to find : its under tennisone club just under stroke comparison and stroke gallery, the third one from above.
    There you can pick serve toss and you get all the videos from all players where you can see the toss fully. There are several from each one. Great tool for research. Happy counting.

    Some servers who are on the lower toss side are Goran Ivanisevic (4 to 5 frames under peak) Andy roddick (same as Hewitt around 9 ,10)
    Henry Leconte hits the ball right on the highest point maybe one frame sinking hard to tell. (tennisplayer has video) and of course the serve legend roscoe Tanner also right on the apex. Bill Tilden hits it def not falling down it looks more like it is still going up.

    The question if somebody can serve blind is very interesting. I would bet on KK against most pros with high tosses, assuming that KK delivers his 9 out of 10 under pressure.
    I believe the low toss philosophy is more based on swing the racket and and toss the ball in hits way.
    The higher toss philosophy is more of toss the ball load your body and than hit at it. The advantages are more knee bend and higher contact point. Federer Roddick are standing way up in the air. Additional topspin from the ball falling down.

    In Berlin is a Vic Braden based tennis school and the best under 12 girl (top 3 nation wide) was playing former wimbeldon champ Zornareva. Zvornareva was making double foults all over the place with her graf like toss and the little girl was hitting serves where she wanted them making no double fault in the whole set. Short compact fluid motion vic Braden style.
    I believe there is no best for all serving motion and toss you simple have to try and find out what works for you.

    Good luck with your toss


    Josef
     
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  44. odessa

    odessa New User

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    Gasquet is a very interesting case because he has a relative low toss but gets up in the air as high as anybody.
     
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  45. maverick1

    maverick1 Semi-Pro

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    Thanks Josef. That is really useful!

    My formula for converting number of frames to feet below the peak of the toss is 0.18 x N x N, where N is the number of frames.
    Rafter: 12 frames = 2' 7" below peak of the toss.
    Sampras: 11 frames = 2' 2"
    Agassi, Rodick: 8 frames = 1' 2"
    Ivanisevic: 3.5 frames = 3"
     
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  46. Nextman916

    Nextman916 Professional

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    Is that bagdhatis in those videos???? :) jk
     
    #46
  47. odessa

    odessa New User

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    I am not good at physics but i calculated for Rafter :

    0.5 a * t*t = s with t = frames * 1/30 and a is g

    the result is 78 cm which is pretty much 2 feet 7 inches. But your formular is easier.
    Anyway if your calculation is wrong you are at least not alone.:mrgreen:
     
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  48. maverick1

    maverick1 Semi-Pro

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    I started with the same formula as you. my formula includes the conversions necessary to go from number of frames to feet.
     
    #48

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