Discussion in 'Former Pro Player Talk' started by vin, Nov 8, 2007.
Does anyone have video of Todd Martin's newer abbreviated serve or know where one is?
Youtube has plenty of action from TM and his new serve - look for the Outback event in Boston where TM played Sampras.
That's a hard serve to replicate I think. I tried it for a while and threw my timing off. I had thought the more simple the better. In any case, uselesstube has plenty of his serve
Thanks guys. I'll hit up youtube again with some better search terms.
If you're trying to replicate it! I'm not necessarily happy about it, but I migrated to this type of takeback on my own and it seems to work well for me. Seeing Todd Martin do it makes it feel a bit more acceptable. I think Henin was doing something similar for a while as well. Just wanted to get a clip of Martin on the computer to take a closer look.
I've always thought that this type of takeback simplified my timing and made my serve feel on more often. From watching the Outback series, Martin said it improved his timing as well.
It's not pretty, but it can be effective. At least that's what I keep trying to convince myself of!
I have 240fps video of his "new" serve.
I have 240fps video of his "new" serve. Very simple take back. Working on getting it available for viewing. Don’t think you will find better video of his serve anywhere else. Anyone know why he changed? Was it because of injury?
After the take back, rest of the serve is text book
Wow, that would be great Mike.
I believe I remember a commentator saying that it was to reduce stress on his shoulder, but my memory is a bit foggy on that. The same was said for Henin and I remember that pretty well.
I agree that it's an economy of motion. More power to you if you can make it work! I would love to see video of you doing it because I haven't seen anyone else really get it to work. Maybe I could go back to something similar if I had another perspective....
If you really want to learn how to serve this way, here's how I did it.
I used to do a serving drill where I'd start with my racket up and my elbow and wrist cocked, basically the position right before the racket drop. I thought this was a great drill for encouraging this position to happen more consistently during the conventional circular backswing I was using at the time. I think this position is important because it facilitates cleaner mechanics from racket drop through contact and promotes efficient transfer from the legs and core to the shoulder and arm. If my backswing didn't get me to this position, or didn't get me there at the right time, I'd be arming the ball for the most part, and when my serve wasn't feeling good, this is what I believed the cause to be, at least most of the time.
After doing this drill many many times and realizing that the conventional circular motion still sometimes interfered with my timing and prevented me from obtaining the position described above, or at least obtaining it at the right time, I figured I might as well try modifying my backswing to simply go directly to the position ... like Todd Martin is doing. It's really not that much different than the drill I was doing. I just had to add some form of a simple, but direct takeback and incorporate my knee bend and shoulder turn after the toss. It didn't take long at all for it to click. It's definitely not a pretty motion, and I've tried to go back to the more conventional backswing several times, but I always end up back to the Todd Martin style because it works (for me).
I don't have a current clip of my serve, but here's one from about a year and a half ago when I was half way to the full Todd Martin style. Now, my racket goes right up to the top before I toss, just like Todd. As you can see in the video, my racket drop is too early in relation to my leg drive. This contributes to the timing issues I described above and is part of the reason why I think Todd's style works well for me. Now if I could just get my toss straightened out I'd be all set.
Todd has said that he wishes he tried this when he was on tour, that it may have helped him in the long term(less injuries)
Awesome tip vin! Thanks for the video as well. I'm playing this afternoon and I'll give it a try I would assume your power is still relatively the same?
Vin, I know you said this is old and not complete but I wanted point out something. Todd's hand never drops below his shoulder from this point on:
In the video (maybe you changed by now), it looks like you forcing it and end up half way through the rotation reverting back to a low take back. I hope to have a video and write up soon. I do believe this technique has merit not only for those injured or preventing injury but also takes away unnecessary movements that waste energy. His new motion is as smooth as I have seen from any pro, even Sampras.
Yeah, I don't think I do that anymore. Here's a video from 6 months ago. My elbow is quite a bit more open than Todd's, but my hand never drops below the plane of my shoulders. Now, I think my elbow is quite a bit more closed, but still not as closed as Todd's. I also ditched the goofy looking starting position with the ball and racket up at my head.
For kicks, here's what my serve looked like two years ago (about 8 or 9 months before the first video I posted). Quite a different backswing, as well as a few other things!
Looking forward to that video!
I don't think the takeback increased my maximum power, but due to the improved timing and balance that I believe are a result of the takeback, I'd definitely say my average serve speed for the course of a match is higher.
The drill I described in my earlier post did increase my max power by about 5 to 10 percent.
Sorry to complicate a simple question.
Actually, I watched Newport and todd martin said there that his new motion was really messing up the timeing on his serve, he was only doing it to protect his shoulder as he got older.
Huge problems with doublefaults.
Waiting on an email reply on the video.
You are getting closer. He rotates his body/shoulders on the take back and has and stance is closed. Is there a reason you changed your stance to an open stance? Are you finding that you hit the tape on your serve often?
Did he say he was having problems with double faults? when I saw him in Dallas, he had the timing down. All the videos I have, the motion is exact and it was hard to see any difference all the way down to the finger roll on the grip he does in the middle of the service motion.
It is more closed now, but I changed it because I tend to over rotate, and if I make my stance too closed, it gets worse. I also moved my feet closer together because I like pushing off with both feet. Similar to Roddick, but a little more closed.
I’m no expert, but it would seem that an open stance would tend to cause the hips opening to soon causing the shoulders to open too soon leading to hitting the ball into the net more often.
Jeff of Hi Tech Tennis has been kind enough to host some of the high speed videos. Here is the video you are interested in.
Let me know what you think.
Thanks Mike. That's some great video you took!
Separate names with a comma.