Serve Help - PS: Serving on Knees Drill is Amazing!

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by RoddickAce, Mar 16, 2013.

  1. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    Hello, thanks again to everyone who has helped me in the past!

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated! :)

    I recently practiced serving maybe 15-20 balls on my knees, and personally I think it helped a lot in terms of pronation and my ball toss.

    Serving on knees: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDcBjzG-nyg

    Flat Serves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IrqnXcS_t5s

    "Kick" Serves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OU6PMXRrMFo
    -I see improvements in pace and consistency but my serves aren't really kicking up a lot. Any kick serve wizards out there that can help me out?

    Previous Serves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yxE6HuFow0Y&list=UUGNYr1CrS--sMjRF52gBOsw&index=7

    Thanks in advance!
     
    #1
  2. psv255

    psv255 Professional

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    Nice improvement, RA!
    Good pace on the kickers.

    Did you hit the kick serves after flats? You might have translated the "through" component of the flat into your kick swing a bit. What you can do is think of swinging along the baseline and opening up your chest to the net slightly later. Also, higher trajectory over the net = more time for the ball to dip down = higher angle of incidence = higher bounce.

    good luck! hope this helps.
     
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  3. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    I think you're right, I'm going to try and delay my shoulder rotation until my chest is fully opened up, and also think more sideways.

    Thanks for the tips and comments! :)
     
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  4. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    *bump* Any more comments? >_>
     
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  5. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Dude, really nice serve. Seriously. Regarding the kicker -- welcome to "top/slice" hell. This is where a lot of kick serves get stuck.

    Due to the angle of the camera, I can't completely tell what your toss or swing forward looks like... but... here's something to make sure of.

    First, toss into the court. With your racquet head speed, I'd say you should toss two feet into the court. So continue keep the toss at 12 o'clock over your head... but toss two feet into the court at the same time.

    Secondly, you are definitely closing your shoulders towards the net way too soon. The timing of the shoulder closing is more in line with a slice or flat serve. You need to keep the shoulders facing that side fence almost up until a split second before contact. It should almost feel like you are going to serve into the side fence.

    Lastly, check your grip. Once I started tossing into the court, I had to change my grip to eastern backhand. That will generate the necessary additional spin you need.

    Maintain that racquet head speed whatever you do. Just translate it into more spin instead of pace.

    Great stuff.
     
    #5
  6. oldschoolrules

    oldschoolrules New User

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    Definitely try to keep your shoulders from turning as square to the net prior to contact. Look back at your clip where you're serving from your knees - you actually have more "action" on the ball because you cannot physically get your upper body turned as far toward the net from that position. By doing so you enhance your ability to get an ideal angle of attack on the ball toss for the "kicker."
     
    #6
  7. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for posting the vids RoddickAce. Very nice serve. My only suggestion is to get a tripod so you can mount the camera higher.
     
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  8. Overdrive

    Overdrive Legend

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    Can you please turn the camera to the opposite court? I believe that you're serves were in and consistent (and honestly looked beautiful because of the pace) but I can learn more if I saw whether you're serve was line, obviously out, etc.

    I guess TomT beat me to it! :mad:
     
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  9. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for all your tips! Especially the bolded part, it's helping me visualize how to stay sideways a lot better. And ya, I am struggling to hit a real kicker, my serve is more of a hybrid topspin-slice, like you said, at the moment.
     
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  10. RoddickAce

    RoddickAce Hall of Fame

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    This seems to be my biggest problem at the moment, I will try to stay more sideways, thanks!

    Sorry for the bad camera angle, I will try to get a video showing where the ball lands!
     
    #10
  11. mightyrick

    mightyrick Hall of Fame

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    Keeping the shoulders at the side fence is one of the hardest things to do. This will feel very unnatural, I guarantee it. In fact, at first, you may actually shank some serves very wide... or even into the side fence... as you get used to it.

    But trust that your wrist/arms will make the natural adjustments the swing after some repetition. Always keep in mind that the contact point of the strings to the ball is not fully *behind* the ball. It actually is a little under the ball and also contacting the side of the ball closest to you.

    Once you can keep your shoulders sideways and hit the serve in, you will have hit a kick serve. Even if it is really slow.
     
    #11
  12. Govnor

    Govnor Professional

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    nice serves. A good kicker is something I"d like to have too!! The only real feeling I have when I hit one, is that I have hit "across" the ball, not through it and with good racquet head speed.

    Looks like you are well on your way though, just a little practice and adjustment needed.
     
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  13. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Serving from knees promotes loose relaxed wrist to gain a fast head speed.
    BUT, more important, it teaches you to finish your serve swing early, at the top, so you don't followthru crushing your racket on the court.
    Take that lesson standing up, you get a high elbow, high hand finish after you strike the ball, exactly what I preached to every single video server who posts his vids.
     
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  14. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    The leg thrust and some trunk motion probably stretch the muscles that drive the serve. This muscle is probably mostly the lat. Apparently, even without the leg thrust a lot of stretch still can occur. ?

    Earlier thread discussing serving from the knees.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=414039&
     
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  15. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    While having some lats is good (I"m a long time big wave surfer going out in places with the hardest paddleouts), I don't see the connection between lats and a service motion.
     
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  16. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    People think of the lats mostly when it comes to pull ups.

    The lat is connected to the front of the upper arm at the humerus. The pec is also attached there. When both the lat and pec have been stretched by the earlier 'kinetic chain' motions such as the leg thrust they are capable of shortening very rapidly. With the arm and shoulder blade raised high as in the service motion when the lat and pec shorten it causes the arm to rotated around its axis by internal shoulder rotation.
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I thought most of the service power comes from the trophy position onwards and upwards, before the lats are stretched.
    The lats might affect followthru, but I don't see it affecting the initial throwing motion.
    OTOH, I don't see much, I have slanted eyes.
     
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  18. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I don't know about the various contributions to power during the entire service motion but for the last acceleration of the racket toward the ball for racket head speed the main contributor is internal shoulder rotation. I don't know the relative contribution of the lat and pec to ISR but I believe that the lat is probably the most important since it is the largest of the internal shoulder rotator muscles.
    See image with lat shown in red.
    http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/LatissimusDorsi.html

    Now picture what happens when the lat - in red - shortens rapidly while the arm stays up as in the serve. The lat is attached to the front of the arm and the upper arm, and with it the entire arm, rotates rapidly.

    The result is the twitch-like arm rotation seen in the video thumbnail.
    https://vimeo.com/27528701

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
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  19. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Well, I can't argue, because I don't know, and still can't see where muscles would help if the ball is being hit as the muscle is being started.
    Anyways, OP is swinging much harder than ever before. Stands to reason his serve is better.
     
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  20. HughJars

    HughJars Banned

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    Seriously great serving there mate. Consistency looks pretty much professional standard to me. A lot of Federer in your action. Congrats on the improvements and good luck with your tennis.
     
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