Serve help- Hey TT

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by bt johnson, Oct 7, 2012.

  1. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    #1
  2. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Take a look at the action of your right leg. It kicks off to the right. Instead, your right foot should kick toward the back fence (not the side fence). Will Hamilton of FYB talks about this in his serve progression. You should be able to see it in the serve motion of nearly all modern elite servers.

    Also notice the direction that your left foot is pointing on your ad-side serves (in your 1st link) when you land. It is pointing way off to the left. Notice that Maria, in the image above, gets well into the court when she lands and her left foot is pointing, more or less, in the direction of her serve. With your right leg kicking off to the right and your left foot landing off to the left, you are often falling off to the left. Your leg drive should be up and forward -- you should be falling in the direction of your serve, not to the left.

    Your action is an indication that your lower body is rotating too much late in the serve motion. If you kick your right leg back (as seen in both photos above), you might be able to drive up and forward more with your left foot landing in front of the baseline (and pointing in the direction of your serve when you land). The right leg kicking back will serve as a counterbalance and will also limit your lower body rotation after you have transferred your kinetic energy to your upper body, arm and racket.
     
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  3. sansaephanh

    sansaephanh Professional

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    ^what he said
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    All you're doing in the first vid is a lazy 80% serve and falling off to your left.
    If you want to add the last 15 mph, you need to end up, after hitting the serve, about 18" - 3' inside NML.
    Like throw a ball. If you stand in place, you cannot throw far OR hard. You need to get your body moving forwards as well as your hand and rackethead.
    Think...if you standing on the ground, throw, would your throw go as far as if you stood on a train moving forwards at 10 mph, then you throw?
     
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  5. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Why are you against tossing the ball farther into the court?

    It would be nice to see your serve from the side. Next time you video, video from both the back and the side to see if you are getting your hip out into the court during the windup.
     
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  6. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    OP is copying pro level warmup serves before they start hitting the serves for real.
     
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  7. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

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    Why are you against throwing the ball further into the court?

    Cause #1
    Toss is bad. It's inconsistent and your body is off balance trying to compensate for it. First off, fix your toss. I'm not an expert on tossing as I also suffer from bad tosses.

    Cause #2
    Your leg action (while you have a good knee bend), is nonexistent. Part of getting your body to land that far into the court is really having your legs explode you up and into the ball. It want to sort of attack the ball with your motion. But all of this is pointless until you fix your toss first.

    And I'd rather land closer (if not on) the baseline unless I'm rushing the net. If they hit short, I can get to it anyway. But if they hit deep, I can respond better. I would stumble 2-3 feet forward into the court after hitting a serve because I was also off balance when hitting my serves apparently (though nobody ever really noticed so I never really fixed it until I tried new things aimed at getting my goal of landing cleanly on the baseline).
     
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  8. 3fees

    3fees Hall of Fame

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    Nothing wrong with your serve,,your feet staying planted as along as possible is good,,nice 2nd serve-can use as 1st serve too.

    if you want your left foot to hop into the court first,,,

    1.) slide your back foot right next to your left foot with knees bent-this is called a semi step--australian tennis school teaches this.
    2.) as your coming out of back scratch--your knees unflex-like jumping up diagonally to hit the ball
    3.) Ball toss just slightly in front of the base line

    As you jump to hit the ball you'll land on the left foot in the tennis court, for a lefty right foot lands first and reverse the semi-step.

    thats the basic's,,it has also been called the "Windmill Serve",,the book I read said this movement is what gave Mister Roscoe Tanner his tremendous speed on his serves,,actually--he slid his left foot over the court-very low-(continous movement) and then as he hit the ball right foot hopped on to the court---into ready position in one motion-feet even-ready to go---.......weight moving forward towards the target is key or its another lost serve. You have to trust yourself on Mister tanners serve technique--like riding a bicycle for the first time-try it.....

    :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I just hate this thread....
    OP has a good motion, fast swing, and just stands there as he hits the ball.
    He can hit into the lower 120's pretty easily, if he jumps upwards and into the court using his legs....but he doesn't.
    His serve CAN be 5.5, but he's too lazy to use his legs.
    Sad, sad.
     
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  10. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    I am not against tossing the ball further in the court at all. I noticed that I was not doing it as I watched the video's myself
     
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  11. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    This is great information and I will use it tomorrow and post some more pics. Thank you
     
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  12. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    This is the only feedback I disagree with so far. I do not see how you can say that I have a bad toss
     
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  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Toss is bad because if you allow it to drop, it would hit the baseline. A good toss for a strong server, and you are definetely a candidate, lands between 12 to 20" inside the baseline, forcing you to use your legs to drive up and forwards into the ball, landing YOU 18" to 3' inside your baseline.
     
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  14. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    Here is the deal: I started filming the video's while warming up so yes a lot of them are warm up serves. Anyhow that is not the point. LEE D I can assure you I am not lazy. If I was lazy would I video serves and then ask for feedback about how to get better? I am willing and open to learning and using the knowledge I get to make my serve better (excluding changing my ball toss). So here is the back drop on me. I played a fairly high level of tennis until the age of 20 and I am now 33. I picked up a tennis racquet for the first time since the age of 20 back in March of the current year. I have moved to a new city and tennis is HUGE here and I am trying to get my game back. I appreciate more than y'all know about all of your insight and feedback and I am looking forward to posting more video's of me trying to improve.
     
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  15. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    I misunderstood your original post.

    As LeeD noted, your serve looks like a warm-up. I'm not a fan of your high toss and long pause. The downside of the high toss is that accuracy is compromised, it really is more difficult to keep the toss consistent the higher you throw the ball. The benefit is that it allows you to take a long pause at trophy if that is what you like.

    I'd advise taking at least a foot off the height of the toss and trying to increase your rhythm. You won't need to chase the ball as much if you do.
     
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    :):)
    Can't help someone who won't listen.
    Problem here is not the form or technique of your toss, the problem is the LOCATION of the toss.
    Like I noted, your serves IN THE VIDS look like warmup serves....no legs whatsoever, just an arm motion. That is what you posted, that is what we see, that is what we judge.
    Now if you actually serve 125 and play at 5.5, we can believe that, but it's not what you showed in your vid.
    You show a warmup motion, feet planted behind the baseline, little to no leg upward thrust.
     
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  17. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    I am very much open to listening and I really do appreciate the advice. I never knew I had such a high toss until well today. When I looked at the video's again I do see a higher toss then I would have anticipated, actually much higher. I recently switched racquets (within the last 2 weeks) to the Wilson BLX BLADE tour from the Babolat PSLTD 2009 version. I guess since I hit so many serves over the summer with the PSTLD that I somehow found a way to compensate for my high toss. I have been double faulting some with the Blade and hardly ever double faulted with the PSLTD. The main reason that I posted the video is because of the double faulting but looks like there was a reason and it was not just the racquet haha. Even those serves in the video were taken while warming up they are pretty much the same as I would hit in a match. When I do chase after the toss going into the court ( usually by accident) I do hit a flat serve that does not get returned very often. Sp is the overall consensus that I take a foot off the toss and throw further in the court?
     
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  18. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    side note: the league that I play in has some very solid depth and the players for the most part can read the ball toss. I have been working on hitting all my serves with the same toss but I guess I need to learn to walk before running
     
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  19. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Note that most pros do not use only 1 ball toss -- despite what some coaches will tell you. Sampras has said that he has 2 basic tosses. Elite players will often have 2, sometimes 3, different tosses. However, the difference between those 2 or 3 tosses are probably much less for elite servers than it is for us mere mortals.

    You don't need to disguise the fact that you are going to hit your first serve flatter than your 2nd serve. Instead of disguising the type of serve you are going to hit with the ball toss, disguise the placement of your serve.
     
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  20. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    Very very interesting. Disguise placement in which way? I know that Johnny Mac, Sampras and FED hide the ball toss with the shoulder but what exactly do you mean about hiding placement?
     
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  21. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    dont get into it with Lee hes nuts. you wont win
     
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  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Nah, the reason you shouldn't argue with me is because I'm always right....:):)
    Opponent cannot see the depth of your toss, from his position. A toss farther forwards looks just like a toss farther back, to him.
    As said, opponent knows whether you are serving fast or serving to get the ball IN.
    Your execution of your serve, done well, is so important that if you told your opponent where and how you're gonna serve, they will still have trouble with it if you place it well. If you don't place it well, you don't have to tell them anything, they will pummell your serve.
    So, FORGET your opponent, take care of your own business.
    No, I don't play at your level. Yes, I can coach player's well above your level.
     
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  23. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    You can disguise placement by not setting up in a different location or tossing differently to hit a serve out wide rather than up up the middle. The upward swing path might vary a little for different placements but it should not be a huge difference in the upward swing. A small difference in the orientation of the racket face and, possibly, a very slight difference in the swing path is all that is needed to change the direction/placement of your serve.

    There should be nothing in the preparation prior to the upward swing that gives away direction or placement. I recall that Agassi claimed that he could read the serve direction for either Sampras or Henman by the way that the tip of the tongue would point.

    When I am receiving serve, I will notice the toss placement for the type of serve. However, I primarily take my cue from the upward swing as to where the ball is going on the serve.
     
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  24. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    Best of luck to you. Not wanting to listen to frankly obvious advice is not just a sign of ignorance and stubbornness, but a sign that you really don't care about improving. Everything he said was completely spot on. If you even bothered to post warm up serves and then ask for help, you didn't want help in the first place. Blunt, yes. True, yes. Deal with it, your choice.
     
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  25. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

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    You have a really nice motion. I'm no great serve expert but you may be staying too vertical with your body. Try "bowing" your body more. Push the left hip forward and lower the right shoulder down a bit more right before the swing. Then "uncoil" on the swing, and that motion should bring the back foot foward. just a thought.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
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  26. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    You obviously just read about one post and probably saw a clip of one serve. Maybe you did not even see the clips but just decided to be redundant. Anyway you remind me of my kid brother. Always trying to hang with me and my friends, until one I my friends locked him in a closest for 6 hours. Now run along troll, time to get back in the closest. LEARN TO READ!
     
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  27. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    Everything who said? I can't wait to hear your reply when your done serving pizza slices at your family owned Italian eatery in Jersey
     
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  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Look, we're replying here because we see that your serve is superior to almost all the other serves posted on TT, and certainly up to 5-5.5 standards!
    I already said your motion is very good, but...
    Of the 3 vids, you ONLY show slow lazy warmup serves. How can we deduce that you actually serve like StanSmith or MichaelStich?
    We can only judge by what YOU posted.
    And of course, why are we wasting our time trying to help a guy who obviously is on a high horse and knocks everyone who posted?
    The reason? Because you have a nice service motion! Nice and slow warmups, so far. Post some vids of match play, then see what the comment's become.
     
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  29. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    Bro I totally respect your knowledge and I have admitted that the information you and others have given me is accurate. I have not ripped anyone but the Pizza guy. I have followed your posts on other threads since I joined the forum. I was hoping that you, Limpinhitter, SystematicAnomaly etc. would be the ones that gave me the feedback that I needed. I even admitted that my ball toss was high and not as good as I thought that it was. Once it was explained to me by you and Wild Volley I even admitted as much. I just did not understand why Jersey would make a statement without reading more than one line. It would be like rating a movie during the previews. Anyway I have worked on my serve myself everyday since posting the clips ( 150) balls a day. I am hoping that tomorrow or Friday I can get someone to film me. I will be happy to post some match play.... just need a extra person for that too
     
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  30. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    thanks for the info Rufus. I have been reading some stuff about FED and his archer bow and incorporating the feedback that I have gotten from people on TT and I can already see a huge improvement. My flat serve has probably gotten about 10 mph more juice on it now and was able to hold serve at 40-0 or 40-15 in our ALTA practice match yesterday ( doubles)
     
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  31. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    LEE D this is where I admitted about my ball toss. I have never taken video of my serve so I just grabbed a friend and started hitting my serve. Did not even think to take warm up serves :oops:
     
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  32. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    You are getting close to the CAUSE of why you swing your left leg out to the right.

    The CAUSE is that you are not throwing your body sideways up and out at the ball - "cartwheeling" sideways as you powerfully "reverse the bow".

    You are mainly swinging your shoulders from left to right (uncoiling) - and while that is good - you are not "dropping your left shoulder" as in the following video:
    Preventing Rotator Cuff Injury TennisOne.com Editor Jim McLennan explains some serving techniques to generate power and protect your shoulder.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lTRvxaBMh8s


    This is what "dropping the left shoulder" looks like at impact:
    [​IMG]


    "Dropping your left shoulder" will allow you to throw yourself sideways up and at the ball and subsequently into the court.


    Setting this up by getting your body more into a "bow shape" at the trophy position is necessary to then forcibly "reverse the bow" and throw the side of your body "up the mountain" at the ball, and subsequently straight forward into the court, and not falling off to the left side as you are currently doing.

    Here is a video of Soderling serving. It is easy to see how powerful his bow shape is, and how he explodes out of that position: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a56pvP1i6x8

    Note that "leading with the left hip" is necessary - the left hip must move out over the baseline as you form the bow shape to counterweight the tilt back away from the baseline by the upper body/shoulders:
    Tennis Lesson: Serve Tips: Lead with the Hip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgeYmEScfgQ

    All of this is emphasized in Nick Bolletierri's video, Sonic Serve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ajoZ0f7hw-A



    If you can incorporate that more pronounced bow shape in the trophy positon, you'll look more like Pete Sampras in pic 1 of the sequence below:

    [​IMG]

    The force of Pete "cartwheeling" sideways into the ball includes dropping the left shoulder" so that at impact in pic 7 his left shoulder is straight down, and his right shoulder is straight up.

    The force of this powerful "reversing the bow" motion throws Pete straight into the court, not to the left like you.

    So when you learn how to powerfully "reverse the bow", you'll also have to learn how to land on the left leg, and kick straight backward with the right leg:
    Leg kick on serves from Fuzzy Yellow Balls: http://blip.tv/fuzzy-yellow-balls/leg-kick-on-tennis-serve-1190196
    [You'll know you are doing it right if your leg is moving straight back as a reflection of you moving into the court.]


    [You comment on your "high" toss - note that Sampras's toss was about 16 inches above the contact point, and most pros toss about a foot above the contact point.]

    [Note that you can see that Sampras has a powerful coil/uncoil motion just like you.
    But his bow/reverse the bow motion is so powerful that it overpowers the spinning to the left that you exhibit, with instead the net direction of the leg and body movements is first up and at the ball ('up the mountain") with his body follow through straight into the court.]



    I hope this helps.

    Good luck!

    [P.S. If you post more of your serve, could you also post a view from the side?]
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012
    #32
  33. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    Double post edited out. Sorry.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
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  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Notice I mention your serves with StanSmith and MichaelStich.
    Both are great servers with high toss, and your body language.
    You might look at their serving vids, for more advanced technique points.
     
    #34
  35. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    This info is SWEET! I really appreciate the time that you took to write this out! Okay I am about to head out and it some serves with back and side video. I will be posting more vids tonight and lets see if I have gotten any better. Thank you!
     
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  36. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    Haha yeah bud I noticed. Kind of blushed a little to be honest. What is your take on my serve compared to the bigger guy's serve that was posted by his coach earlier? His serve seems very fast but also maybe inconsistent and lacks variety. He is really throwing his body in the court with his left shoulder down. I am not into the stance he uses either or the rocking motion but the part in which I am lacking he seems to do a good job. Yes? No? Thoughts
     
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  37. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    He is trying really hard to impress the camera, and us. He has a good serve nonetheless.
    You are casual and warming up, care little about the camera.
    Let's see some of your heaters.
    You both have the form of a 5.5 level serve.
    Me lefty, I liked PetrKorda's serve and game. Notice it's a mirror image of your service motion and form.
     
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  38. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    A little confusing, CF. Are talking about a back perspective or a front perspective? Didn't you mean "right leg out to the right"?
     
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  39. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Right leg swings out to the right because he's falling to his left, and needs the counterbalance to stay on his feet.
     
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  40. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ Or, he's falling to the left cuz his right leg swings out to the right. This is pretty much what I was saying in post #2.
     
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  41. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    Good news is I am hitting serves everyday and it has gotten much better IMO. Bad news is I am having trouble getting someone to take a video. Living in new city plus single = not a ton of options. Any ideas of how to tie an IPhone to a fence?
     
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  42. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    I remember Korda! He was a damn fine player. I never cared for him much because he gave my tennis idol (Agassi) fits at times. I was very very young when all thus was going on but I remember his haircut and I think he might have rocked a bandana at some point. Never picked up the fact he was a lefty.
     
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  43. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Flip Korda to rightie, he serves like Stich, Smith, and you.
    Duct tape, stuff the camera behind in the fencing behind the baseline, just off center, 21' behind the baseline, use tape to hold the camera in place, about 5' off the ground. Stand on other side, hit first serves towards camera. Then from camera side, hit away to other side.
    There is video of me hitting wide serves, right at the intersect of sideline/service line, where the ball hits a camera mounted on a 36" tripod on a IN serve. You's will go higher and faster, since I was 62 then, and couldn't run one step or push off with my back foot.
     
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  44. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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  45. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    Okay so as promised I have got some more footage. I do not feel like I was serving as well today as I have been the rest of the week but let's see if I have progressed at all.
     
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  46. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    Also I used some surgical tape(idea compliments of LeeD) to film a hitting session with a friend who plays -6.0 here in Atlanta. He did not want to play a set because his arm was hurting him but we played some tiebreakers and did some other drop feed drills etc.
     
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  47. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Looks like warmup serves to me, but now from 5 on.
    Your left leg clears the court by one inch. You don't spring up into your strikepoint with powerful thrust from your thighs.
    You serve from waist up is as good as it get's.
    Looking at waist down, you put no effort into it.
    I'm 63, I don't have nearly your upperbody serve motion, but WITH a sprained ankle and twisted knee, both my feet come off the ground by TWO inches, and I end up almost 3' inside my baseline if I'm trying to serve fast.
    Why don't you use your legs? Look at vids of Sampras or Roddick, Stich or Korda. Their feet are NINE inches off the court, at contact of the ball. Your's are ONE inch, mine twice as good.
     
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  48. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    Yeah I agree man. It's really frustrating me. I will go again in the morning
     
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  49. bt johnson

    bt johnson Rookie

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    Hey LeeD this seems to becoming a two person thread but I am having trouble getting my practice match vid to fully upload to YouTube. Any suggestions?
     
    #49
  50. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    Jun 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,693
    BT,

    Posting the side angle was helpful. Your toss looks to still be landing on the baseline, and you have little leg push as your forward foot doesn't even clear the ground on most serves.

    You can work on both things separately before you combine them. First, I'd practice just with the toss and make certain that the ball is landing in front of the baseline. Next, I'd put something like a tennis ball lid in front of your left foot and then while hitting a relaxed serve, consciously hop over it and let the right leg kick back on the follow through. Don't worry about hitting hard, just try to get the hop to flow with the swing.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2012
    #50

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