Video hitting some serves - critique wanted

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by JackB1, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I don't think this makes too much sense given his serve in not that bad at all unless
    you want to compare him to the best players :???:
    Nice looking rec serve over all and trending towards some improvements
    should be a super way for him to go imo.
     
  2. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    I cite my experience in playing all my life, taking many lessons over the years, talking to fellow players, reading numerous books, reading forums and other tennis instruction sites, being a member on several paid lesson sites and watching uncountable video lessons on the serve and have never read or heard anyone say 'supinate on the serve and then pronate'.

    ...except for your in posts.
     
  3. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    I don't see any physical limitations. Overall not that bad but a couple of major problems there if you want a decent serve.

    I'd say consider rebuilding from the beginning. The pancake / waiter thing is a big issue. Serving that way inhibits many other components.

    Take a look at FYB progressions, essential tennis' 'free serve course' and vitualtennisacademy. all free.
     
  4. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Guys, I am not going to rebuild my serve. I just want to tweak it to make it a little better and more consistent. I play year round leagues and cannot afford to take 3 steps back to eventually get 4 steps forward. I am never going to get much more racquet drop or get to the same trophy position as the pro...that's never going to happen. So please help me focus on things I CAN fix.

    As I see it, here are things I CAN possibly fix. Please help me put them in order that I should work on them, without hindering my current serve too much...

    -more fluidity...no stops, pauses or hitches
    -ball toss more deliberate and smooth
    -ball toss more into the court and to the right
    -more stable platform throughout...no "happy feet"
    -slightly more racquet drop...flexibility will cause limits here
    -more usage of legs and knees....again, this has limits
    -no "waiter position". Lead with the edge and don't let palm face upward
    -more pronation...Finnish with racquet on left side with palm facing right fence
    -stop falling to the left...land on left foot straight ahead in balanced position
    -contact point with arm fully extended, inside the court.
    -more left hip lean into court at trophy pose
    -keep tossing up moving until straight up
    -more cartwheel motion with shoulders changing places
    -keep chest facing sideways longer
    -better trophy pose, with right shoulder much lower than left...hip leaning into court

    please help me put these in a working order of importance. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  5. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Wow thats so much to think about..cheetahs tip on feet forward and serving really helps. Try that first. Get rid of that waiters tray for good because it will mess your arm up.
     
  6. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Here is OP & Pros Racquet Orientation Comparison

    [​IMG]

    Before arm pronation phase of the serve pros always bring the racquet so the racquet string bed is parallel to the target plane and at contact racquet string bed is perpendicular to target plane. This technique allows them to use arm pronation the most efficient way. The angular path of arm pronation would be around 90°.

    In case of OP serve, his racquet orientation is completely wrong, due to before arm pronation phase the racquet’s string bed is already almost perpendicular to target plane and he cannot use arm pronation with angular path around 90°, but only about 10°, see picture below.

    [​IMG]

    So, what is wrong with OP slice serve?

    In order to use internal shoulder rotation (ISR) the most efficient way he has to use external shoulder rotation (ESR) as much as possible. I believe he does that very well. BTW there is no waiter’s tray at all, see frames #1 and #2, so it isn’t the problem.

    He has only one problem that string bed before pronation is already perpendicular to target plane.

    IMO, the forearm supination is the only motion that can provide additional 80° of the racquet turn and put it in proper position – parallel to target plane. If you know any different way to do it, just tell us please.

    Next picture demonstrates very clearly proper racquet’s orientations.:)

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  7. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Image #1 shows he's in a waiter's tray position.

    edit: the pro pic you posted is a kick serve and not a slice serve. different mechanics. different contact postion. different amount and timing of pronation, different swing path, different body position. not applicable to this discussion.
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  8. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Toly, thanks for the great analysis. I do think I still have slight "waiters tray" in frame 1, but its not as bad as it was in the first set of videos, so that is promising. I am continuing to work on that. My palm is not facing 100% upwards, but about 45%.

    And yes, I believe that diagram is of a kick serve, which I am not working on right now, so its not exactly what I need right now, but I do appreciate it. You can tell how the ball was tossed behind his head.

    But back to your point of pronation...it looks like there is some pronation going from frame 3 to frame 4. So what exactly is my issue here, in terms I can understand and try to fix? Am am pronating too early and not enough? What steps do I take to fix? Again, be realistic about what's "fixable".
     
  9. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    there is a GREAT video on serve at virtualtennisacademy call "The 1st Serve" Just watched it and it was very helpful. Highly recommended. Thanks Cheetah!
     
  10. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    yea the 1st serve slice video right? good site.
     
  11. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    yes. I love the way they teach on that site with the checkpoints of positions you should hit.

    question for all...

    should I stick with an "abbreviated" motion where I go straight to an "L" position like I did in the 1st 2 videos (like Azarenka/Roddick) or should I let the racquet swing down and back first, like I did in the last video? I know this is personal preference, but I cannot decide which way to go. Since switching to the longer backswing, my toss is not as consistent, since there are more moving parts at the start. On the other hand, it's got more flow that way. Any opinions??? thanks

    here's Azarenka with the "abbreviated" motion http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHVtA7OP-TE (interesting point...NO GRUNTING!!!)

    here is Brent Able with the fuller backswing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeZp90h-Ar8
     
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2012
  12. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Here is OP & Kvitova Racquet Orientation Comparison

    [​IMG]

    Let’s compare racquet’s orientations of yours and Kvitova’s slice serve, see also original video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hUj4KnzF0cs.

    In pic.1 longitude axis of Kvitova racquet is directed to deuce court, but you directed it to ad cord. The angular difference in azimuth orientation is around 70°.

    In pic.4 you and Kvitova have the same racquet orientation. Thus, she can pronate her arm around 90° but you can pronate only 20°. That’s why your ball bounces two times before it reaches the fence. I’m old man and still can serve (sometimes) with one bounce.

    In pic.1 you must apply proper amount of forearm supination to direct longitude axis of the racquet into duce court. Do exactly what Kvitova does.
    This is not big deal and can be easily fixed!!!:)
     
  13. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    In pic 1 is it because the chest is not open towards the court yet? I think the act of opening the chest helps set the racquet on edge correctly but i could be wrong.
     
  14. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Sort of. Not really. In pic 4 Kvitova is making contact where you should be which is between the head and the shoulder. OP is making contact to the right side of his body. Also OP is in full radial deviation there and the racquet is pointing almost straight up as opposed to Kvitova who is making contact in a more neutral wrist position with more angle between racquet and forearm for leverage. OP has a lot less leverage in his contact position.
     
  15. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Huh? Can you rephrase in easier to understand terms? I wish I could do "exactly what Kvitova does" :). I wish it was that easy.

    BTW, I CAN hit the fence on one bounce on a serve. Not all the time, but I can do it.
     
  16. directionals

    directionals Rookie

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    I'd say work on removing the waiter tray and then make sure you lead with the edge of the raquet when you swing up and towards the ball, and then pronate. Make sure you practice the pronation drill in charliefedererer's post. You can even shadow swing that at home(choke up on the racquet) Forget about pushing up with your legs now. You can always add the legs later. This is coming from a guy who had similar issues a few months ago.

    Also make sure you study coach McCraw's pronation drill video. Watch the motion frame by frame
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2012
  17. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Rotate the forearm (forearm supination) according to the red arrow, see pic.1, until you reach the position #2 in pic.2.

    The forearm supination is very easy motion, so you shouldn’t have any problem. Good luck. :)

    [​IMG]
     
  18. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    ^^^
    ok thanks...I'll work on it.
     
  19. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    no. don't do that unless you want your serve percent to go down to 15% not to mention less pace and less control.
    crazy talk.
     
  20. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    Don't do what? Were you being serious?
     
  21. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  22. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Supination

    The Federer serve video has supination that appears in the backswing. Probably this motion stretches the pronator muscles. Easy to see on this serve with high speed video, a good viewing angle and favorable lighting.
    http://www.optimumtennis.net/tennis-serve-lesson.htm

    This early 1995 research discusses contributing joint motions including internal shoulder rotation and mentions briefly supination as a minor and difficult to observe component of some observed serves (even with arm markers). Pg 440.
    http://www.exeter.ac.uk/media/unive...alexeter/documents/iss/Elliot_et_al__1995.pdf

    Link with stretch-shortening discussion, some injury info briefly explained.
    http://www.coachesinfo.com/index.ph...atid=95:tennis-general-articles&Itemid=173#se
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  23. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Forearm Supination!!!

    Forearm supination should be used to provide outgoing ball’s direction and make best use of arm pronation. We have to employ it during preparation phase of the serve, before arm pronation.

    Here is Roger Federer serve.

    [​IMG]

    In pic.1 longitude axis of the racquet is parallel to upper arm’s axis. In pic.2 these two axes are perpendicular to each other. IMO that can be done by using forearm supination only, right? :confused:
     
  24. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    do you know anything about the ebook on serve at optimumtennis?
    it's $40 I think. That seems like a lot for just an e-book.
     
  25. psv255

    psv255 Professional

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    You have correctly identified a small degree of supination prior to the upward swing, but it doesn't have much instructional value. It is not something one would focus on when instructing or demonstrating the serve, as excessive supination at that stage closes the racquet face too much and may lead to injury.

    The supination we observe is a consequence of a relaxed/passive arm and upward thrust with legs/hip rotation, setting up the racquet drop.
     
  26. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Jack, the stuff toly is talking about is nuances. You will not be able to think about that stuff during the serve. It will just throw you off.

    The link Charlie federer put up about pronation. Watch that and sit there and copy it. The coach shows the high elbow and an easy drill that should lock it in.

    I think a lot of things after that may be fixed if you focus on bringing your left hand into the center of your body when you swing to contact. It will fix your balance and some of these subtleties people are talking about will just fall into place. It is better to keep it simple.
     
  27. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    nobody teaches intentional supination on a serve. from the tropy pose you just go up with elbow high and let the racquet drop on the right side. There are no coaches that teach or videos that say '... and then you supinate here'. You'll never see that anywhere. everything happens on it's own if you are loose and have decent form. The foream goes into that position because it's relaxed and the racquet is dragging as you go up so it stretches the muscles. If you 'supinate' as toly says then you won't be relaxed and loose, it won't prevent the waiter's tray and you will have more control problems and less pace.

    and the fed pic is not a slice serve. it's a topspin serve or maybe a lazy kick attempt. not the same body position, racquet position, swing path etc etc
     
  28. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I don't know about that e-book. I recently found the website and think that some parts of the discussion were clearly expressed.

    The biomechanical tennis researchers B. Elliott and D. Knudson have reasonably priced tennis books that I look to as references.
     
  29. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I know and I do plan on keeping it simple. I am going to practice the half swing pronation drill over and over for awhile. That and getting rid of the "waiters tray" are my 1st priorities.
     
  30. Graphiteking

    Graphiteking Rookie

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    I forgot what this tread was about. With all this scientific explanation of supination and bio mechanical researchers, blah, blah, blah. Is it even fun anymore??
     
  31. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Agreed. Nobody thinks this way to learn sports. It is just convoluted nonsense that doesnt help anybody. Simple tips are far more effective.
     
  32. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    the serving instructional videos on virtualtennisacademy are really good and simple. Glad someone clued me in to them :)
     
  33. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    that someone would be me.
    you could also practice trying to hit the ball with your frame like you are trying to knife the ball in half or try to serve it in by hitting it with the frame.
     
  34. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Feelings & Joint Angular Motions

    There have been a lot of replies using terms such as 'relaxed muscles' & 'relaxed arm' - stretching muscles, etc.. For example, Cheetah Reply #127. These are sensations or feelings. Is this just the normal stretch-shortening cycle concept?

    Let's say that the muscles are relaxed, get stretched and then shorten using the 'stretch' shortening cycle and no deliberate active shortening was ever applied to that muscle during the motion. Maybe this gives the sensation of a 'loose arm' or 'relaxed arm' as opposed to the sensation of 'arming' or 'muscling' the ball. ?

    Some muscle research says or implies that if muscle shortening is based on stretch(passive) that it is capable of being faster than if we deliberately, actively contract the muscle. Is this just a current research issue or is it now the view of most biomechanical researchers? Reference?

    Interesting recent research involving the basic nature of the spring in the muscle-tendon system, Titin.
    http://www.umag.ca/issue/spring-2012/article/clash-titin

    Is active muscle shortening slow and passive muscle shortening fast?
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2012
  35. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Here are examples where coaches recommend supination.

     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  36. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Lack of forearm supination in OP serve doesn’t allow him to use arm pronation. That’s why he loses around 50% of RHS. Proof can be found in tread http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=361610. So, forearm supination is very important!!!:shock:
     
  37. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Where did you get 50% from? Previously you said pronation only contributes 5%.

    Pete's racquet has momentum between images 7 - 10. His arm and wrist are relaxed. When he is in position 10 his body goes up causing the racquet to go down which was already falling due to gravity. He's not pulling the racquet down. He's not 'supinating' his forearm. He's not doing anything. The racquet falls and his body goes up.

    The OP doesn't get into the image 12 position not because he doesn't supinate but because he is not meeting all the prerequisite checkpoints leading up to and after the trophy pose. If he starts to supinate intentionally it's not going to help.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
  38. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    I agree. It is just like the whole "pat the dog" and windshield wiper thing. If you do everything else right, you naturally do those things.

    You most likely will supinate just from pulling that left shoulder down when tucking your left hand into the middle of your body during the swing to contact.
     
  39. toly

    toly Hall of Fame

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    Previously I said that forearm pronation contributes 5%, but arm pronation supplies much more, see http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=361610. :twisted:

    Your description of Sampras serve is pure speculation. So far no one has been able to measure the activity of each muscle during the serve. Thus, we do not know what muscle actions are active or passive. :evil:
     
  40. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Im not an engineer or a "delicate" tennis player (whatever that means), but focusing on feeling that racquet drop and pulling my left hand towards the middle of my chest while swinging up has cured and pronation issues I had.

    I know because improper technique in that aspect would bother my wrist. I also get really good pace and spin just by getting that racquet drop proper.

    This is a lot like the use of the left hand in a forehand. People will say to aim the buttcap at the ball and all kinds of stuff, but just having proper balance and using your left hand actively in the swing to do so fixes a lot of issues.
     
  41. psv255

    psv255 Professional

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    Anatoly, we all understand that supination is important. But when you want someone to to be able to pronate, you don't tell them to intentionally supinate! You can give them an easier tip that enables them to accomplish this, but it has to be along the lines of what Power Player and Cheetah have already said, not just "supinate more."

    So you have established that OP isn't able to pronate because he isn't supinating. But you might be pointing out a minor point in a bigger problem in technique.
     
  42. Power Player

    Power Player G.O.A.T.

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    Exactly, well said. I have never met a great tennis player that can describe how he hits like some of the people on these boards.
     
  43. zapvor

    zapvor Legend

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    i see this thread has gone off track
     
  44. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    yes it has. Can we please end the nonsensical debate about pronation and supination. Yes it's important, but please take that stuff to another thread.
    That's not what this thread is about. Its about what practical steps I (or anyone else like me) can take to improve their serve.

    As far as my serve goes, I have begun taking some small steps and will post more video soon to see if I am on the right track. Some of the small adjustments I am attempting to make:

    -keep the motion moving and flowing...no stops or hitches.
    -better platform to start...no "happy feet"
    -more consistent and smoother toss...into the court to the right more
    -keep the palm downward...no "waiters tray"
    -more "cartwheel" motion
    -lead with the edge more and pronate into the ball more

    this is plenty to work on and I think will get me moving in the right direction.
    one thing I am REALLY struggling with is getting more racquet drop. I don't know if its a lack of flexibility, but it's really tough for me to get my elbow up high. I may just have to accept this isn't too fixable?
     
  45. ShoeShiner

    ShoeShiner Rookie

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  46. psv255

    psv255 Professional

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    Sorry for contributing to the derailment.

    As for racquet drop, don't concern yourself with getting your elbow high.
    A better image to keep in mind might be leading with the elbow; that would put your arm/racquet in a better position leading up to contact. At this point, looking at your first videos frame by frame, what's really hindering your racquet drop is that the elbow isn't coming forward before the hand&racquet (I guess this is "waiter's tray"?).

    Can't tell how relaxed you are, but stay as loose as you possibly can.
     
  47. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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    I will try leading with the elbow more. Being relaxed is definitely key and something I struggle with.
     
  48. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

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    In addition to the considerations you mention above, one of the things I've been doing that has increased both the consistency and speed of my serve is focusing on relaxing both my grip and my wrist. Focusing mainly on a very relaxed wrist snap.

    I'll try to remember to post some vids of what I'm talking about.
     
  49. JackB1

    JackB1 G.O.A.T.

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  50. luvforty

    luvforty Banned

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    it's not flexibility.

    Jack you are trying to swing up face on... that's causing the waiter tray position and you can't drop it deep.

    start the swing edge on. this will allow you to drop deep.

    forget about the tennis serve for a second... just scratch your back as if it's itching... notice how you use the edge instead of the face.
     

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