Video of serve, thoughts/advice much appreciated

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by psv255, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    968
    Location:
    NY
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
    #1
  2. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,446
    Whole lot of good stuff going on there.
    Nice timing, balance seems fine, good leg drive but could improve some,
    I think knit picking is that it is slightly too fore and aft.
    Stopping the vid as it snapped over the top, it was just a bit extended into the
    court, and not happening as high as it should.
    More evidence is how you finish so strongly to the left side.
    You don't want to go straight up, but not as forward as this either...fine line
    about 11 degr from straight up should go into the court and being more vert
    in your case will also affect the racket drop in a positive way!

    Good pace and quite a bit to like about how you do it.
    Nice shoulder turn away, along with delayed elbow extension.
    yes, pretty darned good.
     
    #2
  3. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    1,922
    That looks like the 90 you're using. If that's the case, then you're pretty much not going to get much more from your serves. You won't get to 130mph from it, not without adding lead, using powerful strings at low tension, and removing the vibration dampener.
     
    #3
  4. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,408
    you´re kidding, right? if his fastest serve is at 105(stated in the video)
    than no changes in racket, string,..., will bring him to 130, imho
     
    #4
  5. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,982
    Location:
    San Diego
    You are hitting on the way down instead of on the way up.
    Turn shoulders back more during toss for kick.
    Stay sideways longer for kick serve.
     
    #5
  6. treblings

    treblings Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    Messages:
    2,408
    hitting up would be maybe the first thing i would focus on.
    i noticed how many serves didn´t find the box
     
    #6
  7. ramos77

    ramos77 Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2012
    Messages:
    605
    that's an instant 20mph... :?
     
    #7
  8. Moz

    Moz Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Messages:
    2,778
    Location:
    Mallorca.
    OP - that's an awful method of practising your serve, it looks like a chase scene in The Benny Hill Show.

    My suggestion would be to take a bit more time and concentrate on what you're doing before thinking about changing things.
     
    #8
  9. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,960
    I'm worried about the fact that it looks like you give 90-100% on the first serve and about 50-70% on your second serve. It should more or less be the other way around.

    If you can hit an average of high 90s on your first, you can probably hit a higher-bouncing kick serve at least in the mid 70s. I don't know if you were just winding down when you got to second serves or just didn't care, but I'd rather you include kick serves where it looks like you gave half a damn. It looks like you don't give a **** compared to your first serve, when again it should be the other way around if you don't care about one of them.
     
    #9
  10. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    968
    Location:
    NY
    Although 130 would be nice, I'm not looking for that kind of pace (even if that were possible). But I'll try removing the dampener just for kicks!

    All great points. I'll work on all of these. Thank you!

    I see what you mean! I was trying to reduce the time I had to think about what I was doing, to more accurately depict what my serve is like. When I do practice, I take time to concentrate before each swing :)
    Thanks!

    Yeah, the kick serve I posted was a bit of a misnomer. It's not a complete serve my any means. Kick serves aggravate my shoulder (mostly having to do with not staying sideways long enough and bad toss), so I had to lay off and just do a half-a***d moonball.
    Thanks.
     
    #10
  11. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    1,960
    Makes sense. Though I think you can still put at least the same amount of leg commitment to the second serve, so you can probably squeeze out a little there.

    I don't know if not staying sideways long enough is the issue. Because the kick serve is the first serve I learned and practiced (yeah, bad idea in terms of serve development), I stay sideways TOO long for most of my serves. Though I've gotten a bit better about it and can actually hit decent, wide, spinny slice serves that don't change directions back to my opponent! But given this, I still developed problems with my shoulder. It probably had a little to do with going for 100% on every damn serve I hit every damn time. And that I hit a really wild and loose forehand... And followed that up by screwing around by trying to hit with the racket backwards. (Think Viking Horn if any of you understand the reference... The younger crowd will...) So yeah... I popped my shoulder out of the socket maybe 2-3 times over the course of my life hitting forehands and topped it off by playing like an idiot. That with going for 100% on serves all the time could've had a little to do with the shoulder problems... >.>
     
    #11
  12. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    I like it. Good technique (good shoulder turn and tilt), good power, good kick. However, your toss seems a bit out of control, and, you seem to be trying to muscle the ball with your arm too much. Slow it down from the beginning of your motion, including your tossing motion, and stay totally loose and relaxed all the way through. Start your motion slowly and gradually accelerate through contact. That little step you are taking with your front foot also makes your toss a little more of a challenge to place correctly.

    What I didn't see, though, was much demonstration of your ability to locate the ball where you want it. IMO, location and deception are more important than power and kick. For deception, I try to toss and set up exactly the same way no matter what kind of serve I hit, or where I hit it. I vary my serve (ie: slice, kick, hybrid), by how I position myself under the ball, and I vary my location by how soon I come out of my turn. Most opponents don't know what's coming, or where it's going until after I hit the ball. That's a huge advantage.

    For your shoulder, I would highly recommend two things (speaking from personal experience): (1) rotator cuff specific exercises daily for as long as you play tennis, and (2) ice for 20 minutes after every practice for at least 3 months, Advil as needed from there on out, assuming you can tolerate Advil. Start now, while you're young. You will regret, sooner or later, it if you don't.

    You can do a Google search to understand what the rotator cuff is, and what discrete exercises you should be doing. The 4 rotator cuff muscles and tendons stabilize the joint (keep the ball in the socket), they don't move your arm. The exercises you need to do are very specific and are meant to strengthen the rotator cuff muscles, not the skeletal muscles.

    The 3 exercises that helped me the most were: vertical rotation, internal rotation and external rotation. I use an 9lb dumbell for the vertical rotation, and a "Thera-band" exercise band for the internal/external rotation exercises.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
    #12
  13. Clive Walker

    Clive Walker Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2006
    Messages:
    159
    Location:
    Mcr UK
    Could be the way that it comes over on the vid- but it looks a bit rushed to me,

    Only advice I can offer is to slow it all down a bit.
     
    #13
  14. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    968
    Location:
    NY
    Yes! I've been trying to stay more relaxed and not muscle the ball. My aim here was to maximize power through the technique I've come to learn, and just begin to lightly hit topspin serves. Disguising direction is definitely something I need to practice, though...
    As for the shoulder, thank goodness it's not a sharp pain and only seldom makes itself known. But I will do rotator cuff exercises (there was a time I did the Thrower's 10, I believe it includes such exercises). Thanks.

    Yeah, I've been told that it's very rushed, Dolgopolov-like. I'll make an effort to slow it down.
     
    #14
  15. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    Instead of serving to put up numbers on the SpeedTrac, why not serve to hit targets and generate consistency? Your first serve percentage was about 10%.
     
    #15
  16. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    He likes to post absurd comments on a regular basis. Take them with a salt block.
     
    #16
  17. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    968
    Location:
    NY
    My goal here was to maximize power while maintaining some semblance of correct technique (or rather, the technique I've developed). Consistency is, of course, much more important.
     
    #17
  18. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,372
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    This video shows the biggest contribution to racket head speed at impact - internal shoulder rotation. Watch the bones of the elbow as the arm axially rotates.

    https://vimeo.com/27528896

    This action lasts only about 0.03 seconds and was taken at 240fps.

    Your video appears to be taken at 30fps with a fast shutter speed which gives the small motion blur. 30fps captures a frame every 0.033 seconds. At most, you might catch 1 frame, before, after or during the ISR. You cannot evaluate the quality of your ISR and it is very unlikely that you will capture a frame near impact.

    If you have a camera that does 60p fps with fast shutter speed (like some DSLRs) you can do a little better. You would be more likely to see the arm-racket angle at impact. See pro high speed serve videos that show the arm-racket angle to see how your arm-racket angle compares.

    See
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2577481/
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=370729&highlight=pronation+physics+scientific
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=361610

    Search - Internal Shoulder Rotation
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
    #18
  19. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    968
    Location:
    NY
    ^ Thank you Chas, I'll be sure to check those out.

    What I noticed from the Stepanek video straight away is how my ulnar deviation at impact is too large; my racquet is nearly vertical, while Stepanek's racquet is at an angle to his forearm.

    Also, my shoulder is too far out at contact, which would lead to hyperextension and possibly one of the causes of my occasional shoulder pains. I would assume that also inhibits internal rotation.

    I filmed this at 60p, but apparently YouTube forces it into 30fps.
    I looked at the original file and was able to see the rotation more clearly.

    Thanks again!
     
    #19
  20. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,372
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Todd Ellenbecker video on the shoulder.

    You have a fast and powerful service motion. Experimenting with serving techniques can be risky especially for your shoulder. I read that sometimes shoulder injury conditions can develop without much pain.

    Be sure to understand this video by Todd Ellenbecker on the shoulder and its injury risks in tennis. At minute 8 he describes shoulder orientation on serving to minimize the risk to the shoulder. He also has conditioning exercises especially for the external rotators that stop the racket and arm in the follow through.

    http://www.tennisresources.com/index.cfm?area=video_detail&vidid=3712&ATT=&reso=hi

    One issue - the external shoulder rotators are weaker and if they lack endurance the injury risk goes up. You were serving very rapidly on your video. You might slow things down for your serving practices so as not to fatigue the external shoulder rotators.

    There is a coincidence - If you reach up before serving while standing on the ground with the shoulders tilted, the arm straight and the racket straight up also, parallel to the forearm, that racket height is about the height at which you will contact the ball. However, during the actual serve you will have jumped off the ground AND your arm should be at an angle. You wind up impacting the ball, by coincidence, at about the same height as when you stood on the ground and reached straight up.

    A camera view from behind is very good especially for showing ISR and the arm-racket angle at impact. One along the baseline for the side view can be good also to show body angle, arm angle and racket angle, all with respect to vertical. I was recently surprised to confirm that many pro players are not looking up at the ball when it is impacted on the serve. Not sure of the type of serves but it looked like for most of their serves. The head orientation at contact is observed from the side view. I have to reconsider my mind-set on that issue.

    I believe the motion should be automatic and natural and you must not be consciously trying to sequence the actions before impact. I'm working on it...
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2012
    #20
  21. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    968
    Location:
    NY
    All right. I shall check out Todd's video.
    If I change anything, I'll give 40-50 percent of my full capacity until I can be sure that I won't hurt myself. Even then, 85% is good enough for match play, as FullCourtTennis already noted. Thank you!
     
    #21
  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,247
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Nice live arm and snap in the motion, good to see.
    You rush between serves, meaning that during a match, you might start to spray serves because your prep is not the same every time.
    Small step forward with left foot changes in distance.
    All your serves seem top/slices, curving from your right to your left. Not really a problem, except when you try to hit wide outside on ad court.
    Nice of you to move your serves from left toward right as you hit each serve.
    Incorporating more legs would give you higher strikepoint and more momentum into the court, adding some speed but landing you in NML, not sure if that's what you want.
    Toss height is fine, as you complete your backswing in plenty of time.
     
    #22
  23. TomT

    TomT Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2012
    Messages:
    1,954
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Well, I like your serve and wish I could serve like you. Other than that I have no comments or criticism to offer. I'll leave that to the more accomplished players and teachers here at TT.

    Thanks for the video. I love the videos and would like for more rec players to post their videos.
     
    #23
  24. bboy_beez

    bboy_beez New User

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Messages:
    81
    Location:
    La Crosse, WI
    you've got some nice serves buddy. First thing I notice is your vertical shoulders and 1 bounce to the fence. Either that or the court is short. Other thing I notice is the consistency. Maybe focus on getting the ball in more. Otherwise, you have a solid serve. good job!
     
    #24
  25. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,982
    Location:
    San Diego
    Your video does not show internal shoulder rotation. That's foream pronation.
     
    #25
  26. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,950
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    ^^^Yep, you cant actually see the shoulder joint in that video! There will be internal shoulder rotation, in order to develop that level of pronation - you just cant see it on the video!
     
    #26
  27. nabrug

    nabrug Rookie

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    155
    You are almost there. There are a few obvious things missing.

    You can ask CoachingMastery what they are. He knows all the right fundamentals. Or maybe John Yandell. He worked on Paul Goldstein's serve among others.

    I prefer you ask these experts first. I am just a lower skilled teacher who let's his students push balls like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUQLwaRBj8Y.
     
    #27
  28. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,372
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    #28
  29. Ash_Smith

    Ash_Smith Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Messages:
    3,950
    Location:
    A green and pleasant land
    ^^^Yeah, no it isn't - there will be ISR, but the video primarily shows pronation of the arm as you cant see the shoulder joint when the external shoulder rotation moves to internal shoulder rotation (which you are correct is the major contributor to racquet head speed).

    Cheers
     
    #29
  30. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,372
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I use anatomical definitions of the joint motions as defined in The Manual of Structural Kniesiology, 15th ed.

    Total axial arm rotation at wrist = ISR (upper arm (humerus) axial rotation shown by elbow bones) + Pronation (exclusively forearm motion between the elbow and wrist).

    At impact, any rotational arm component due to pronation is small according to biomechanical research published by B. Elliott. In pro videos I have been unable to identify any wrist motion - between the elbow and wrist - that is clearly due to pronation. But is is always easy to see large axial arm rotation at the wrist due to ISR.

    Ash Smith, What reference are you using to identify pronation? If you are using the 'tennis' definition (?) could you please define it and identify the joints involved.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
    #30
  31. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2011
    Messages:
    3,982
    Location:
    San Diego
    #31
  32. r2473

    r2473 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,114
    It looks to me like you "dip into a knee bend" instead of getting into the "set to launch position" (as explained by pat dougherty in the sonic serve video):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9rGAuWYf7U

    Your serve actually looks quite similar to the guy at :25 in the video.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
    #32
  33. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,372
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    Could you provide a link defining pronation with regard to the elbow rotation? How do you define it and what joint does it involve?
     
    #33
  34. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2009
    Messages:
    7,543
    Pronation is the counter-clockwise rotation of the forearm. ISR, however, is related. You can prove this to yourself by holding your right arm straight out, palm parallel to the ground. Try to pronate (rotate inwards) as much as you can. You should really only be able to get about 90-120 degrees. Now, try to turn your palm to face the ceiling. The way this happens is internal shoulder rotation. If you can create a kinetic chain which involves both, then you'll find you have a monster serve. This is something that can be taught BUT more often than not simply occurs naturally. I personally happen to have a good bit of ISR naturally in my serve motion. Unfortunately, exploiting this as a junior to try to get as much kick and speed as I could tore a tendon in my rotator cuff. My ROM now is seriously limited in comparison.
     
    #34
  35. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2010
    Messages:
    9,277
    On serve, both the elbow and the shoulder joints contribute to the pronation of the hand.
     
    #35
  36. UCSF2012

    UCSF2012 Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2010
    Messages:
    1,922
    Sometimes, the level of reading comprehension from my fellow man is quite discouraging. As I said before, he's NOT GOING TO GET MUCH MORE from his serves. It is unlikely that any change he does will get him to 130mph.
     
    #36
  37. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    4,372
    Location:
    Baltimore, MD
    I disagree. Could you provide a link showing the shoulder joint participating in pronation?
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
    #37
  38. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,247
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    It's plain fact.
    99.8 % of US, you and me, will never improve our service speeds by more than 10% with any and all the coaching in the world, any kind of change of technique, or wish list.
    Sorry, that's reality. If you don't got it, you don't got it.
    That of course, includes ME.
    130? Probably less than 5 of the total TTW posters have seen that.
     
    #38
  39. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    968
    Location:
    NY
    I'm guessing you're talking about improving potential service speed. From simple positive feedback based on changing my technique without changing the effort I put in, I was able to improve many parts of my serve: timing, leg drive, et cetera. Several days ago, I hit 110, whereas when I started gauging my serve, I barely reached 85.

    Of course, the original comment mentioned a 130mph serve, and I have to agree that for most of us, that is outside the realm of possibility, even with the world's best instruction and endless conditioning.
     
    #39
  40. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,247
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    We've only seen your current vid, and 110 is well within reality.
    When you were serving 85 max, did you use your left arm?
     
    #40
  41. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    968
    Location:
    NY
    Concerning the pronation vs. ISR skirmish ;) :

    I have to agree with Chas on this one. Pronation cannot cause the elbow joint to rotate. If you place your right hand, palm upward, on a table and flip over to palm facing down, the amount the elbow has rotated is minimal to none. ISR is what rotates the elbow joint.
     
    #41
  42. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    968
    Location:
    NY
    Needless to say, I had many faults with my serve...

    The beginning of this video shows my ~85 serve:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q25qMHSVQdE
     
    #42
  43. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,247
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    Both vids show you haven't abandoned your tendency to top/slice all your serves, with the bounce going right to left in all of them.
    You can add maybe another 10 if you hit pure flats, but percentage goes down maybe 30. Worth it if you like to impress those around you with just the sound of the ball impact.
     
    #43
  44. rufus_smith

    rufus_smith Professional

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    887
    Is his speed estimation based only on the Speed Trac number? Is is pretty well proven that the displayed Speed Trac number underestimates the serve speed. Some of his serves look over 100 mph to me. Great forearm. First serve looks good. Based on the video, I'd rate it at NTRP 4.5.
     
    #44
  45. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    10,446
    I'm probably one of the few, if there are any here, who have coached several jrs
    to 130+ serves, but you didn't even respond to my post, lol.:)

    Oh, and I have another one coming ...a kid who just turned 14 last month and is already
    sticking them in the fence on 1st bounce and logging multiple 1st and 2ond serve aces in
    matches.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
    #45
  46. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    968
    Location:
    NY
    Ah, I'm sorry! Let it be known that your previous post was extremely helpful, I appreciate it, and thank you for your feedback!! I'll try to make my launch into the ball more vertical and less into the court; I felt like my toss often wanders too far into the court.

    And that is amazing! I stand corrected and bow down to your greatness :)
     
    #46
  47. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,247
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    But as a coach, can you actually take credit for the student's big serves?
    Could possibly his parents, his genes, and his prior sports background contribute just as much?
    The guy who won the amateur fast serving contest in GoldenGatewayCenter in SanFrancisco never took lessons, especially on his serves. I didn't either. Neither did the 5th fastest server, a #2 for CityCollege.
     
    #47
  48. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    968
    Location:
    NY
    I hope there comes a time when the sound of hitting plastic targets is all I need to impress ;)
    But I'll try to flatten out within the scope of my abilities!
     
    #48
  49. psv255

    psv255 Professional

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Messages:
    968
    Location:
    NY
    Thank you for the generous rating! I'm more of a 3.0 since I'm not very consistent with my groundstrokes (working on it!).

    And yes, I essentially posted the SpeedTrac numbers I was getting, so it might be that they are a bit quicker...plus, the average was around 99, I got some 102s and 104s in there as well.
     
    #49
  50. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    37,247
    Location:
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    You see, the sound not only impresses, but tells you that you maxed out with your technique.
    Currently, measuring serve speeds is not a good indication of your actual possible service speeds. Flattenning out the serves will ad some MPH, but you can't do it consistently. Until then, it's hard to pinpoint your actual swing speeds for any given serve, since some have more spin, while other's are flatter.
    You need a contant to refer off of. The constant is the flat serve. The sound tells you it's flat, and it also tells everyone around.
     
    #50

Share This Page