short/compact or long/fluid?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by eLterrible, May 13, 2006.

  1. eLterrible

    eLterrible Rookie

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    On the service motion, which style is more efficient (in terms of using up energy and creating pace and consistency) a short compact service motion (i guess kinda like roddick) or a long fluid serve that looks effertless (the example being...henman/federer etc.)?

    And regarding the question, I'm talking about players who use a platform-style serve with no backfoot slide/step.
     
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  2. LowProfile

    LowProfile Professional

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    Roddick's serve is effective because he gets his racquet into the backscratch position and back out so quickly. He has an extremely explosive motion and this is where all the power comes from. Federer and Henman generate the racquet head speed more slowly and gradually.

    It's all really a matter of style, but the fluid style should appeal to a wider base of players.
     
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  3. snoflewis

    snoflewis Guest

    also, what people see players doing on tv is generally overestimated. example: nadal hits w/ a lot of topspin, and people see this a think they have to switch to a western grip and hit only topspin. but that's not necessarily true because nadal can still keep the pace, while most people who try this cant. i think it's better that people start from a longer fluid motion and switch later on if they wish to.
     
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  4. travlerajm

    travlerajm Hall of Fame

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    This a good observation - a lot of people don't realize that Roddick actually yanks his racquet head down as fast as he can, so that his muscles and tendons react like a spring to deliver more recoil energy into the ball. Also, by yanking it down fast instead of letting gravity alone pull it down, the racquet head reaches a much lower low-point. This allows him to accelerate up into the ball over a longer distance.

    Incorporating the "yank-down" into the serve works for recreational players too. I've shown this to 3.5 guys, and they are amazed at how the yank-down added 10-15 mph to their serves. The caveat: be careful to loosen up your shoulder by hitting 20 or more warm-up serves before you incorporate this.
     
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  5. topspin kid

    topspin kid Rookie

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    thanks for that yank the raquet down thing im gonna try it because i was think why not follo roddick on the serve if he holds the fastest record?=)
     
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  6. southpaw

    southpaw Rookie

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    travlerajm, not quite sure about that yank-down the racquet thing.

    Roddick's service motion from the trophy stance position forward is textbook. He gets the extra pop from a combo of strength, a good kinetic chain, and gumby like flexibility in his arm and shoulder. His shortened initial windup phase is a timing issue that's personal to him. Use whatever works best for you.

    I risk getting flamed, but ... I think the service motion is actually 2 separate strokes fused together. The toss/load and the hit/unload. The racquet head movement that takes place prior to the trophy stance doesn't contribute much to the final speed at impact. Some very good servers even stop (hitch) the racquet head completely at the end of the windup. I'm not recommending practicing or visualizing the serve as two parts. Just that for the sake of this discussion, there really aren't different styles of swing on the business end of the service motion.
     
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  7. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    For some reason, I cannot duplicate his service action. I've been asked and end up looking (and feeling) completely out of it. Maybe this "yanking down" thing is what I've been missing - I'll give it a try. I've always thought Roddick a very gifted athlete and thought his service motion not one that many could do - I can mimic most strokes fairly good but not this.
     
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  8. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    From an efficiency perspective, long and fluid.
     
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  9. Fatmike

    Fatmike Semi-Pro

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    What I try to do is not getting the racquet head down but instead getting the wrist higher then the racquet head, just before contact.

    Seems to work for me. Kinda do an elastic reaction.
     
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  10. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Interesting, I'll give that a try also.
     
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  11. eLterrible

    eLterrible Rookie

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    thanks for all the input, I'm actually trying to model my motion after sampras (kind of) I'll try to get a video up for more advice.
     
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  12. brucie

    brucie Professional

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    Smooth flowing power and racket speed like fed looks best rodick is like an explosion, though but i like lubicich sorry cant spell it he starts low weight moves back then through ball, people trying to emulkate roddick can forget to load weight and transfer it through the shot!
     
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