Serve the Jay Berger way?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by dlam, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Not really much of a serious comparison between Roddick and this Berger serve. Sure, Berger racket drop is ok, but Roddicks is other worldly in all the aspects I mentioned. Is Berger's fine for an avg pro level serve? Yes, it's fine, but not good and clearly not exceptional as I was referencing.

    I agree that racket drop isn't something to think about while serving, but if you want a big serve, then you better be thinking about the things that help you get good drop and delayed extension!
     
    #51
  2. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I agree and think it's more like a trebuchet....where there is no wrist snap, although it gets that same accel over the top.

    This one even seems to have a cam that acts a bit like ISR maybe...

    http://fourriverscharter.org/projects/Inventions/images/china_trebuchet1.jpg
     
    #52
  3. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Do not like the term because I have seen waaay too many novice and intermediate players employ excessive wrist flexion when instructed to "snap the wrist". Seen this problem in tennis as well as badminton. The wrist does move but it does not need to go much past neutral, if at all, after contact. Many who attempt to snap the wrist, often will show an extreme flexion at/after contact.
     
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  4. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Awesome, topspin and SA,

    So, after contact you need to intentionally bend the wrist forward to keep the racket head away from the legs, right? (From hitting the leg :))

    I think I always have that configuration in mind so I never really tried to flex the wrist.
     
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  5. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ No, I would not bend the wrist forward (wrist flexion) on the follow-thru at all. Do not need it to avoid hitting the leg. Sampras and others bend the elbow rather than the wrist after contact -- the "dirty diaper" according to Jeff S.

    Also, the torso continues to rotate after contact so that the racket arm usually comes across the front and around to the other side of the body. Some players, like Fabrice Santoro (below), did not do this for twist/kick serves. For these serves, he ended on the same side of the body, but well away from the legs.
    [​IMG]
     
    #55
  6. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    No. Just keep a loose arm and throw the racket up to the ball. Your wrist may or may not flex forward past neutral after contact; this flexion is completely passive. In the racket drop, the wrist should be laid back fully, but again, this comes from a loose wrist, not an active cocking motion. The racket should finish on the left side of your body and not hit you in the leg unless you completely buckle over after contact or don't swing up to the ball properly.
     
    #56
  7. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    SA I think you are just too harsh on Jay Berger style
    It might look unconventional but he has good rhythm for his service motion
    He's consistent and does get good speed on his serves
    Agassi abbreviated serve isn't the same
    Agassi has some windup and whereas Berger essential "pumps" the racket behind the back
    Agassi abbreviated windup has some features similiar to Rafter in that he winds up with the arms going straight up rather than around the back that most players do
     
    #57
  8. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Shortstops in baseball don't wind up and frequently they go into trophy pose and take a hop before throwing.

    Rafael Furcal was a short stop that could throw absolute ropes with no windup.

    I don't think there is much velocity lost if any by starting in the trophy pose.
     
    #58
  9. heninfan99

    heninfan99 Legend

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    I prefer the abbreviated motions of Roddick, Gasquet & etc. To start from the racket drop robs you of momentum and power.
     
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  10. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    SA and Top,

    I see what you mean.

    The server in SA's post is clever. He's using the wrist in the way I picture and seemly runs into the problem I perceive also, so that's why he doesn't have much of a followthrough, at least a natural, decent looking one like Fed does.

    The way I served before was like you were trying to put your arm over a friend's shoulder but for the racket head to go down, point down substantially you'd need to bend just the wrist. The racket follows through on the same side but gradually travels across the body and finally tucks away on the other side, no?
     
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  11. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    #61
  12. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    Shortstops need to release quickly to get a first base out.
    Windup creates more velocity.
    isnt that why pitchers windup and shortstops dont?
     
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  13. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Not really. There is no reason to perform the superfluous elbow/shoulder gyrations that Berger does. His high elbow position at the beginning can be somewhat stressful to the shoulder & rotator cuff. It could take its toll after a decade or so of serving this way. It can be done much cleaner & simpler in a manner that is potentially less taxing on the shoulder/rotator muscles. Below is the modified Agassi serve that I was talking about -- it is not his normal serve motion at all. The 2nd link is Todd Martin's implementation.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCpjys2heNA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-5aycYgifs&t=34s

    The action used by Andre and Todd is a bit different than the abbreviated takeback of Salzenstein or Roddick. For the most part, they put the right arm & racket into position before commencing the serve. For Jeff and Andy, the takeback seems to be part of the service motion a bit more. Kind of splitting hairs on this tho'.

    While I do recommend half-serve (trophy serve) or an abbreviated takeback serve, after seeing the Jay Berger serve, I would not use him as a model.
     
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  14. dlam

    dlam Rookie

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    I guess we have to agree to disagree then
    i have to say that rhythm is just as important as mechanics.
    If a student has a certain body motion sequence that is odd like the Berger serve and he's winning with that serve, I dont think its neccessary change it to look "conventional"
    BTW Andre and Todd do have a takeaway and i agree its different from Jeff and Andy.
    Jay has NO takeaway, so you can compare takeaway of Jay when he has none.
     
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  15. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ I implore you to take it from someone=me who has experienced serious shoulder/rotator cuff problems from improper overhead mechanics. I wish I knew 25 years ago, what I know now about proper mechanics and repetitive motion injuries of the shoulder.

    Many tennis players in their 40s and 50s that I know have developed shoulder issues, primarily from their tennis service motion. Even some pros in their 20s have developed rotator and other shoulder problems. Tennis players, baseball players, volleyball players and others are all susceptible to these types of problems -- even with decent motions but especially with substandard or sub-optimal overhead motions.

    Whenever I see a high elbow (wrt the shoulder tilt line), a red flag goes up. I have talked about this with my chiro as well as some athletic trainers and physical trainers. The following videos from Ellenbecker and McLennan have shed quite a bit of light on the shoulder issue:

    http://www.tennisresources.com/index.cfm?area=video_detail&vidid=3712&media_type_id=3&Media_FileURL=&media_name=todd%20ellenbecker&media_desc=&media_status=1&media_preview=1&show=100&extra=0&reviewed=1&errors=&presenter=&AssetCategory=&basicsearch=1&ATT=&LineNbr=1&StartRow=1&ts=1
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6eix2_angle-of-racquet-on-serve_sport


    I strongly suggest that you watch these video before dismissing possible shoulder/rotator injury.
     
    #65
  16. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    SA, the red flag is not always necessary for high elbow. It just means they're using the elbow lift less. If that causes s bad form at the contact it'll cause problem. But if the form at contact is good it'll be ok albeit not as efficient or effective as possible.
     
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  17. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ I do agree that the angle of the racket arm (& elbow) wrt the shoulder line at contact is important -- the elbow/arm should not be too much higher than the shoulder tilt line. This is why it s important to drop the front (tossing arm) shoulder. This yields a steeper shoulder tilt at contact which allows the racket arm to reach up for the ball w/o impinging the shoulder.

    The racket angle at contact that Jim McLennan suggests (in my 2nd link above) will also put the upper arm in a more favorable angle wrt to the shoulder line. By angling the racket as JM indicates, the racket arm is less likely to cause a shoulder impingement at contact.

    However it is not just at contact that undue stress to the shoulder/rotator can occur according to Todd Ellenbecker (1st video link). He indicates that the reason we run into trouble is that the rotator cuff is taxed (virtually) "throughout the entire phase of serving". He further indicates that rubbing (impingement) occurs whenever the (upper) arm is raised above the shoulder line...
     
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  18. crash1929

    crash1929 Hall of Fame

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    what ? really this is a travesty.
     
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  19. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Fear not. While is was difficult to find images or videos of Berger's serve back in 2012 when this thread was started, I was able to find an extended sample of his quirky serve motion that had been uploaded earlier this year. See post #30 for that link.
     
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  20. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    There is a good close-up of Berger's start position at 28:37 (break point) but it goes to the overall view for the serve. Other good shots in this long match video that is over an hour long?

    I don't use Facebook. Does Berger have a FB page?
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2014
    #70
  21. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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  22. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I think this post is so important and have worked with this for years. Imo well stated here....Should be a sticky :)
     
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