Waiter's wrist

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Kobble, Mar 17, 2004.

  1. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    I know it is typically defined by the palm pointing up during the serve. What I do not get, is at what point in the serve is it classified as waiter's wrist? I ask this because I had told the college guy Salman that he had a waiter's wrist, but he does it at the take away and then gets into the correct positions before contact.
     
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  2. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    From what I know a "waiters wrist" is classified when the server has completed his toss motion and has brought his racquet hand to head level just before he goes up to hit the ball.

    If he drops the racquet back in the initial part of the swing, so long as he makes the correction and the palm of the hand is facing the ear when the arm is ready to accelerate upward then I think that is fine. Everyone mixes in their styles.
     
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  3. JR

    JR Guest

    I think I have waiter's wrist! More often than not I find my hand does not get in front of my wrist on the serve (unless forced) - which I think is a cause for my inconsistency. With the waiter's wrist would one result be to hit the ball too to the right (I'm a righty)? If I check my serve motion in the mirror the racket face would appear to end up pointing to the ad court even though I am imagining serving to the deuce court! To avoid this should the thumb (when leaving the back scratch position) be pointing straight back and down (as if you were throwing a javelin) and then you turn the forearm out (pronate) on the way up to striking the ball? Help! Thanks.
     
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  4. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    With the "classic" waiters wrist, you would have a tendency to hit long if unchecked. Because the racquet is behind the forearm/hand on impact. Usually, the brain will know this and compensate by accelerating the wrist motion forward which can cause numerous errors. Or your head will go down trying to bring the racquet more forward to hit the ball on time and that also leads to errors.

    A great way to eliminate this is to build a training aid. Get a flexible strong string or rope and securely attach a tennis ball to it. the string lenght should be about the same length of the racquet or a little longer. Swing the ball around in a serving motion trying to eliminate stalls or flex in the string.

    The palm of the hand should resemble you talking on the phone before going up to the ball. This is one continuous motion.
     
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  5. JR

    JR Guest

    Thanks Bill for the tip. Have been hitting long as well although if I really focus on keeping my tossing up until I'm ready to strike things definately improve. Will keep practising and see if I can't build one of those 'toys'!
     
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  6. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the replies.
     
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  7. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

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    With the forehand grip you get the waiter's wrist when the palm is facing the sky, your right thumb is near your right ear, racket strings are facing the sky (the racket is on the right shoulder). It is also called "the potty serve" -- which also means that you don't have to pronate to hit the ball. Generally with the continental grip the problem is solved!

    Bungalow Bill's responses are on the target.
     
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  8. Anonymous

    Anonymous Professional

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    Kobble, thanks for bringing this up, I was a bit confused

    by the way, i'm working on keeping my hand (and racquet) up just before the racquet drops down to hit the ball

    Mahboob Khan, I use a continental grip for serves and was told i have "waiters wrist"
     
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  9. Noelle

    Noelle Hall Of Fame

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    Sorry to dig up an old thread, but I'm trying to save Marius some "do a search" posts. Besides, all I want to do is thank BB and Mahboob for their descriptions of waiter's wrist and the recommendation on how to solve them. I recently videotaped myself serving and discovered I do have waiter's wrist, which is why I've been hitting long all this time. :( Funny how my coach didn't spot that detail.
     
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  10. JackD

    JackD Rookie

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    Another good training tool that is cheap is take an old tube sock and put to old balls in it. Hold the sock with your arm in back of you with your palm pointing down. To keep you palm down make a salute motion only salute behind your ear not to your forhead. As your hand goes behind your head the is still down. Now your right elbow should be driving forward and you want to keep your palm down as long as possible. If you serve palm up the balls in the sock will hit you in the butt as a reminder that you flipped your palm up to soon.

    You can also stick a ball in a fence at contact point level for your serve. Now slowly pratice this while you swing up to the ball. If you have a continental grip you'll notice that your frame is swing up towards the ball. As your swing goes forward think in your head; frame, frame, frame...strings. Try to hold off on the pronation to the last second.

    Hope these help, good luck
     
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  11. Noelle

    Noelle Hall Of Fame

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    I saw this tip in one of the older threads and tried it a while ago, although I didn't know it was supposed to hit me in the butt as penalty for not keeping my palm down. :D Thanks Jack!
     
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  12. ShooterMcMarco

    ShooterMcMarco Hall of Fame

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    is this what you mean?
    [​IMG]

    or this one

    [​IMG]
     
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  13. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

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  14. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Close but I think if this picture could advance further in this motion you would see the hand face the ear as the arm continues up.
     
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  15. ShooterMcMarco

    ShooterMcMarco Hall of Fame

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    i still don't quite understand this exercise. so if you're a righty, you hold the sock in back of you palm down, got that, but when you say you make a salute, does it go to your right ear or across to the other ear? i think if i practice this exercise it will help me a lot because i'm short, and i tend to hit balls long.
     
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  16. POGO

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    I'm not sure if I have a waiter's wrist. Can you all confirm if I have a waiter's wrist by viewing my serve video? click here You must have quicktime to view the mov file.

    Thanks.
     
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  17. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    The girl I hit with last night I believe has waiter's wrist since her ball toss is like 2 feet or less over her head so that her arm and wrist are still bent back when she strikes the ball as if she were in the waiter's pose. I tried to get her to toss the ball higher and more in front and to straighten her arm out upon contact but it will take her awhile to relearn the timing and feel. She does get her waiter's wrist serves in at a fairly slow pace and they stay low because of the low toss so at the 3.0 level I guess it works for her. She is cool in that her groundstrokes are decent (from her being a hitting partner with her tennis competing sister growing up) and she doesn't mind me ripping forehands and backhands at her so I get a decent practice in too. But her serve and volley sucks since she never practiced that growing up as just a hitting partner.
     
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  18. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yes you do! I am so sorry.

    You have a more advanced one I might add and very slight but when I slow it down - I can see it. Also, this "waiters wrist" thing is causing a huge pause in your motion which means during the time you should be building acceleration you are slowing down.
     
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  19. POGO

    POGO Hall of Fame

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    That sounds severe. I think my wrists is too loose. What would recommend Bungalo Bill to fix this problem? Also, how is my service motion overall?
     
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  20. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

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    I think my wrists is too loose

    No no. You want a loose wrist. Relaxed would be a better word.
    Roy Emerson used to advise his students .... "loosey goosey on the serve"

    Over to you BB
     
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  21. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Paulfreda couldnt be more correct. A relaxed arm/wrist is what you want. Do not change that. Changing the motion yes, but not the way your arm is relaxed.

    It is going to be difficult to break the habit so you have two choices:

    1. Film yourself often and make the change over time.

    2. Hire a coach to teach you how to serve.

    The serving aid often talked about in this forum will help a lot. The palm of the hand for a majority of the upward motion is facing your ear not the sky.

    Someone in another post mentioned about the blade of the racquet being perpendicular to the court as it cuts through the air it provides less resistance (I think it was Datacipher) to help increase racquet head speed. In order to keep it like that your hand is turned towards your head. This is excellent instruction.

    The other practice method that will help you is to place a ball at the contact point in a fence. then take slow serving motions and touch the ball with the strings. You can watch how your arm behaves as you do this.

    The goal for serving in the arm motion is as follows.

    1. When holding the racquet getting ready to serve the palm - face your body.

    2. As the motion begins and your hitting arm goes back, the palm is facing the ground. If a dogs head were back there you could pat it on the head.

    3. As the arm comes back up, the next stage is allowing the elbow to come up and in front of your shoulder pointing up. This should place your hand in the often mentioned "on the phone" position with the palm facing your ear. This is also often called the "throwing" position. Like your throwing a football but the target is above you, not 50 yards down the field.

    4. As your hand heads up, leave it alone and let it do its thing with the ball and "pronation".

    If you look at this motion in slow motion. You can see how your elbow behaves - it sort of of goes back then up and forward while the hand stays facing your body once it begins its upward climb.
     
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