Serve wrist snap

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by mattlikovich, Jul 16, 2004.

  1. mattlikovich

    mattlikovich Rookie

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    Hey,
    I'm having trouble with my serve I think. I know Power Game posted this in vins request for help with his video analyzation.

    6. Let your wrist snap into the ball rather than across it. DO NOT try to snap your wrist it will lead to injury
    Look at how Federer snaps into into it:

    The outside of my right arm hurts and it goes a little into the bicept. Is this because I snap my wrist? I'm not sure how to fix it, and I think it is mainly on the first serve, flat, when I try to hit hard. Any help is appreciated. Thanks.


    Matt
     
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  2. mattlikovich

    mattlikovich Rookie

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    also on my groundstrokes, if its a short ball, ill do like a little flick almost like a windshield wiper to get more topspin. is this okay too?
     
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  3. Tim Tiger Henman

    Tim Tiger Henman Rookie

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    There is no wrist-snap on serve. There is some *pronation* (i.e. wrist turns outward), but even this is unconscious and totally natural. The wrist should be "loose". Think "loosey goosey".
     
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  4. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    If you pretend the racquet is a whip and make your wrist loose, you'll naturally snap the wrist..
     
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  5. mattlikovich

    mattlikovich Rookie

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    thanks guys, ill try it today and let you know how it works
     
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  6. Power Game

    Power Game Professional

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    little busy right know, check back later for my post
     
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  7. ibelieveinliquidmetal

    ibelieveinliquidmetal Rookie

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    Geez whats loosey goosey from again? I breaking things trying to figure it out.
     
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  8. Tim Tiger Henman

    Tim Tiger Henman Rookie

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  9. tetsuo10

    tetsuo10 Rookie

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    The type of wrist snap depends on what type of serve you are hitting, kick, slice, or flat serves. They all have a wrist snap but in a different way.

    See Sampras and his wrist snap on a flat serve here. http://uspta.com/index.cfm/CFID/1845489/CFTOKEN/9665716/MenuItemID/1266.htm Flat serves have wrist snap down and slightly outwards. I think how much you pronate depends on where you toss the ball.

    For slices, you want the type of snap that imparts a side spin on the ball. And for kicks, you need a snap that comes over the top of the ball. If you ever played baseball, then this is all simliar to throwing fastballs, sliders, and curve balls.
     
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  10. mattlikovich

    mattlikovich Rookie

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    thanks, its mainly flat serves
     
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  11. Tim Tiger Henman

    Tim Tiger Henman Rookie

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    tetsuo, there is *no* wrist snap in the serve. This was proven by John Yandell's excellent article "The myth of the wrist: Serve" where he analyses the motion of the pro's in slow motion. Guess what? There is no snap!

    Next time you go on court I suggest you "snap" your wrist. 2 things will happen - your serve will slow down drastically, and you might even break your wrist.
     
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  12. tetsuo10

    tetsuo10 Rookie

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  13. Power Game

    Power Game Professional

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    Ok here we go.


    For all those who say that there is no wrist snap during serves, i have read the articles and analzyed pro strokes myself. From this I think we can all agree that something significant is happening at contact that is causing the racquet to drop down quickly. This i will call a "snap" whatever it is.

    Please notice that in the first post I advised not to force a snap because it can lead to injury, but rather you should let it happen.

    From my previous post:

    6. Let your wrist snap into the ball rather than across it. DO NOT try to snap your wrist it will lead to injury
    Look at how Federer snaps into into it:
    [​IMG]

    Here are some more pics of what I am talking about:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here I think I proved my point, whatever these guys are doing is what I call a "snap." Maybe someone can come up with a better term.

    Anyway, if you use a loose grip and loose motion you will "snap" in some way or another. If you hit the ball forward you will naturally "snap" into the ball and forward. I suggest to do this for flat and kick serves. For the Kick serve just try to hit the bottom of the ball. I think you should "snap" across the ball on slice serves since it makes it easier to impart spin. For the flat and kick serves "snapping" into the ball will help you hit harder and with more spin.

    Matt, to answer your questions. YOu may be getting pain by gripping too tightly. Also it may be a pulled muscle (which explains why it is mostly on the first serve), i'll skip all the medical explanation, but just so some simple bicep and tricep and forearm exercises to strenghten the tendons. Try this and you should be pain free.
     
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  14. mattlikovich

    mattlikovich Rookie

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    Thanks, maybe instead of snap , it seems like its more of a turn. ill do what you suggest and let you know how it goes.


    thanks everyone!

    Matt
     
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  15. JohnYandell

    JohnYandell Hall of Fame

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    OK guys. Let's try to sort this out. Those are some great serve photos. However what they show is the arm and wrist position multiple milliseconds after contact. The don't represent what the wrist is doing (or not doing) at contact. The racket has slowed down and the wrist has moved in the deceleration phase. We can also see that position with the naked eye and this is what onfuses us about what really happens at the hit.
    The primary components in the motion upward to the ball are: the extension (or straightening) of the elbow and the rotation of the arm, forearm and hand. This is what positions the racket head, determines spin etc.
    If you really look at the contact in high speed video, you'll see that there is no forward movement or snap of the wrist. At the contact and for a few frames thereafter, the hand is in line with the forearm. The "break" of the wrist, sometimes confused with a "wrist snap" occurs as a natural consequence of the motion, but light years after the ball leaves the racket. That's what the photos above show. The continuation of the rotation is the key element in what happens after the contact as well.
    No doubt, that the wrist moves as the racket goes up to the ball, from a laid back position to a position that is in line with the arm.
    I think this movement happens naturally and automatically.
    The best description of the motion that I've heard is: give the ball a high five with the continental grip. If the wrist really was breaking forward, you might bounce the ball on your side of the net. You'd also have to stop the rotation of the arm to do this and would lose a huge amount of the racket head speed.
    Now that doesn't mean you won't feel anything in the wrist. And this is another part of the confusion. All the comments about staying loose etc are spot on. If you arm is really relaxed as you move through the key positions, you will (eventually) feel the movement in the wrist. It doesn't mean that this was caused by conscious contraction--or that you should try to do it or that it is a key to the serve.
    The differences between the various serves and spins are very very difficult to see--even in the video. You can come up with all kinds of descriptions about how the racket head "should" move to create them, but you won't see those "differences" with the naked eye or even on regular video.
    Bottom line if you have a great serve and it feels like a "snap" it's probably OK to think that way. But most players I've seen who think they need to "snap" and try to do it have all kinds of horrible technical problems. It's rather ironic that the USPTA is using our Advanced Tennis video and my friend Fred Viancos has the nerve to use the term to describe the serve--even after we have gone over the reality of what the video shows.
    I believe the real key is to make the same positions as the top pros--or as close as your ability allows. This is more important than the words--but we should at least start with accurate descriptions to base our teaching upon.
     
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  16. Tim Tiger Henman

    Tim Tiger Henman Rookie

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    I think the cavalry just rode into town - thanks John!

    PowerGame - great pictures you posted. They all illustrate the fact that the wrist doesn't snap. Look at each picture and you will see that the hand is in a straight line with the forearm. The Federer pictures especially shows this as we are looking down the line of the arm. What you do see is turning of the hand outwards - *pronation*. Again the Federer picture particularly illustrates this.
     
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  17. Power Game

    Power Game Professional

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    Great Job John Yandell and Tim Tiger Henman, I agree

    I apologize for the terminology, what I showed in the pics are what I am trying to describe (which most people call a snap). Perhaps John can provide us with a correct term that we call all use to refer to the thing that I showed in the pictures, then we can come to a consensus and hopefully not mislead anyone. I know of alot of people who try to snap the wrist and their serves suffer and they get hurt.
    Excellent discussion guys
     
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  18. mattlikovich

    mattlikovich Rookie

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    thanks for all the help guys!!! It doesn't hurt when I serve, but it still hurts on the forehand. I don't know if this is because of my winshield wiper for short balls or just over use, or if its because I used to do it bad and never really gave it a break. Should I ice it or put heat on it?
     
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  19. Tim Tiger Henman

    Tim Tiger Henman Rookie

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    Don't be silly PowerGame - you have nothing to apologise for! We are all students of the game here - even John!

    Its the USPTA I blame. Why is tennis instruction still in the dark ages??

    Here's a question for you John if you are still reading. Why do we pronate? Is it simply to get the racquet face aligned, or does it also generate pace/spin?
     
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  20. Power Game

    Power Game Professional

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    Tim Tiger Henman, Thanks for the vote of confidence
     
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  21. Rickson

    Rickson G.O.A.T.

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