Trying a new serve. Thoughts?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Dimcorner, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    #1
  2. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Your serve got better, no question about that. Much better than the local TT user... :lol:

    I think you should have your left arm straighter up when in trophy position.
    http://www.optimumtennis.net/images/federer-serve-technique.jpg
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/Roger_Federer_serve_in_Roland_Garros_2012.jpg
    http://www.playmoderntennis.com/images/DSC04973 Nadal serve.jpg
    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0b/Andy_Roddick_SAP_Open_2005_006.jpg

    And I feel your impact point is a bit low. Remember that the serve is an upward throwing motion, not forward. You often have balls going low into the net.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WlPVdppfYGs

    Then, these are just little tweaks.
     
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  3. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    Hmm... Ok so higher toss then maybe? (to fix low strike)
    Point arm up more, noted.
    I think that probably will help me bend my knees more. I just tried it at home and to get my arm up that high it kinda forces me to line up my shoulder more vertically so I have to squat more unless I want to totally bend my back.
     
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  4. Roger Wawrinka

    Roger Wawrinka Professional

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    Yes your serve is so better now. One thing to note is that your toss is all over the place. Try working on a better toss. :)
     
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  5. Tight Lines

    Tight Lines Professional

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    I have two comments. On the toss, I think the reason it is inconsistent is that your arm stops just after releasing the ball. That means your arm starts to decelerate before you even release the ball. Try to release the ball and continue your arm movement until you reach a vertical position like others have noted.

    When you go to your trophy position, try to see if you can move your hip towards the net so that it goes past the baseline. That might help you to achieve a vertical arm position and gain a few mph. In other words, your body shoud be bent to your right, rather than to your back, which is dangerous.

    Harry
     
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  6. wings56

    wings56 Professional

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    the serve looks the same, but now you dont slide your back foot up. looks like you're almost using an eastern forehand grip on the serve... cant tell if its that or you just allow your hand to relax and give that appearance. cant say i'm a fan of that.

    also, the down together, up together of your arms... the best servers seem to almost drag the hitting arm into position allowing the tossing arm to go up first. might just be a personal preference there.

    looks like there could be more range of motion in your throwing arm as well. we can all say what we want, but bottom line is it will all improve with practice.
     
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  7. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    My knuckle is on bevel 2 (1st short bevel clockwise from top). I bounce the ball with eastern (big flat bevel) but I switch the grip right before toss. On 2nd serves I go a little more counter clockwise to the top corner of bevel 2 to get more spin.

    Good point on the arm drag. I think that will also help with the left arm pointing up more. I just checked roddick's serve and his arm goes up at the same time as the toss but he might be the exception. I think my habit comes from badminton/overheads. Both arms come up to set up for the overhead and I think of a serve as an overhead.

    So notes:
    1. toss better (and a little higher) and point arm up.
    2. de-couple toss arm from racquet arm.

    Thanks for all your feedback!
     
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  8. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    This high level serve, viewed more from directly behind along the ball's trajectory, shows arm and racket positions at impact. See the other Vimeo videos from behind.

    [​IMG]
    https://vimeo.com/27528701

    From what I see from the few frames caught near impacts, yours does not look too bad.

    Of course, it is most important that there be an angle between the racket and forearm at impact so that the rotation of the arm can create racket head speed. You seem to have that.

    Your camera has a very fast shutter speed so that each captured frame can be examined. However, the frame rate is not high enough to show the service motion - for each serve video you catch random samples of the motion.

    Cheap high speed video camera, see reply #47.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=405536&page=2
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
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  9. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Thing is that YT compresses videos down to a 30FPS maximum rate. So he'll either have to record it in slow-mo (like GregG) or find an alternate upload location.
     
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  10. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Not sure I understand what you mean. I don't use Youtube.

    All high speed video cameras that I know of record at the stated frame rate, such as 120, 240, or 420 fps, etc. and then process - in the camera - to produce output video files of 30 fps/25 fps (Europe). The video files produced by high speed video cameras are already 30/25 fps. (It's incidental to recorded and output frame rates but the size of the video file is also compressed on the camera.)

    Vimeo and Youtube further compress the size of the video files that they receive to reduce storage on their systems. Their compression might noticeably reduce quality. Vimeo does not have a way to do stop-action single frame. Mostly that is the case also for Youtube videos but some recent videos will advance or go backward single frame by using the keyboard arrows.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
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  11. tennis_balla

    tennis_balla Hall of Fame

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    To me the whole serve is rushed. You bounce the ball, bring the racket and left hand/ball together and right away start your motion. The good servers pause there, look again where they wanna serve and at their opponent, to see if he's shifted position etc. It also helps to balance you out before you begin your serve. When you rush through you're more likely to be off balance and a higher chance for a bad toss. I've noticed this quite a lot with the players I work with. When I get them to pause there, they become more calm in their serves, their serve improves as does the toss.
     
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  12. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    I mean that when YT compresses the video, not only they reduce the quality, but they also reduce the initial framerate of the video down to 30FPS. Which means to display a video with an higher framerate than this you have to either shoot a slo-mo video (like the one with your ISR, or this one), or upload it somewhere else. Which also means that doing a frame by frame of a YT video in real speed is tricky since you barely have 30FPS to toy with, even if the uploader used a top-notch camera. It's possible to do a frame by frame on YT, but you have 30 frames per second maximum if the video is in real speed.
    EDIT: That doesn't mean one should upload low quality videos. Because when it becomes compressed by YT, it becomes even worse... :|
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
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  13. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    What were the video file frame rates when you have had this problem? Do you mean loading 60p fps/50 fps video files? If you have your own video and some YT problem you can look at it with Quicktime on your computer. You can also send the video file or any other file to others with Dropbox.
     
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  14. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    I have a DSLR that can shoot 60fps at 720p (T3i). Problem with that setup is that the lens is that the widest lens I have is the 18-55 one so it doesn't pull back enough for regular rallies.

    I have tweaked the serve a little and will record it tomorrow to at high frame rate. I'll only keep like 3 or 4 serves on the video. I did the disconnect of the toss and the racquet arm and it made my left arm go up straighter and stay up longer but I haven't seen if my racquet arm is flowing correctly into the shot. Felt good and I had 3 aces during one set. 2 double faults.

    About being rushed to the serve, yeah I sometimes catch it. I sometimes do it on purpose to give my opponent less time to set up and read my serve but I guess at 3.0 level it doesn't matter much.

    I do agree that my toss is erratic. I don't have much problem tossing it out to the sides, but if I try to toss it over my head more I start losing control of it and there is a chance it goes too far behind me. It worked a little better today with the arm raised higher. I'll post vids tomorrow. I don't have software to slow it down thou from 60fps.
     
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  15. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Some of the newer DSLRs have 60 fps with manual control of the shutter speed. Use larger aperture & ISO to get as fast a shutter speed as possible to minimize motion blur.
     
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  16. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    Yeah I can set the shutter speed on the camera. I'll do it tomorrow morning and maybe setup a dropbox or something to put the video in.
     
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  17. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Dropbox requires emails. Try Youtube and see if there are any issues. Vimeo is also free, similar to YT. I cannot view Vimeo videos on my Samsung Epic S2 smartphone for some reason.

    Dropbox is very handy if you want to send someone a file and it is too large to attach to an email. Upload to Dropbox and send them an email with the link that Dropbox provides. That way the video file gets no YT or Vimeo compression (exclusive of the 30 fps issue that Lukhas mentioned). Files other than video can also be sent. Dropbox does not work well for showing stuff on forums since I believe anonymity is lost ...but not sure?
     
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  18. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    I repeat, I do not have a problem, it's the way it is. YT videos are at 30FPS. YT converts every video at 30fps. If you record a real speed video and upload it, YT converts it to 30FPS all the time to save bandwidth. You shoot it at 25FPS, YT will most likely repeat the 5th frame. Shoot it at 60FPs, YT will shave half of them. Load a video on YT using Flash Player (not HTML5). Right click on a video, click on "Stats for nerds", you'll see it's at 30FPS.

    There's nothing you can do about that, except shooting a super slow motion video, or putting it somewhere else. Although I don't know if some other video upload platforms don't have an FPS cap.
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2013
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  19. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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  20. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Lukhas, you are exactly correct.

    I found a 60p fps video that I had uploaded to Vimeo. I downloaded the Vimeo file back to my computer and compared it to my original video file using Quicktime. As you said, 1/2 of the original frames were not retained in the Vimeo video. The Quicktime 'Inspector' indicates 60 fps for the original video file and 30 fps for the Vimeo video file. Reduced resolution of the HD as well. (That's the free Vimeo, the upgraded paid Vimeo gives and option to keep the original file.)

    Dimcorner can view 60 frames of stop action for each recorded second on his computer using Quicktime. But every other frame will be lost in the Vimeo and YT videos.

    http://www.moviestudiozen.com/doctor-zen-faq/421-how-to-render-720-60p-video-for-youtube
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2013
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  21. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    You guys have any recommended programs to edit the video from 60fps to a slow motion 30fps?
     
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  22. wings56

    wings56 Professional

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  23. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

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    Just upload your original video file on 4Shared or Zeoarchives for example. If you use 4Shared, people here can just grab a temporary account at BugMeNot to DL it.
     
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  24. Dimcorner

    Dimcorner Professional

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    Ok I decided to focus on just the toss and arm up for now and it has paid dividends! (Will post vids soon).

    I have been practicing it for about a little over a week and during my 3.0 match I totally ruled with the serve. I only used the flat serve about 10-20% of the time but mostly it was a hard serve with a little top on it for about 80% of my first serves and they were VERY consistent landing in. I think I have to now work on serve placement but the new toss and arm position has increased my consistency on the toss (still a little errant now and then when I'm not concentrating). I feel power-wise I'm ok for now (counting frames I'm doing about 108mph on the flats)

    Final score of my match was 6-2, 6-3 and I held about 4 games 40-0. No aces but there were many out of bounds/into net returns

    Thanks for all the tips and observations!

    BTW I did take some video at 60fps but I'm going to see if I can upload a clip at 1/2 speed to YT.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2013
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