What's wrong with my serve? (With HD Video)

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by willroc7, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. willroc7

    willroc7 Rookie

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    My serve is day in day out the weakest part of my game. I've been tinkering with it a lot the past year, including a stint with platform footwork. Can you guys see anything in particular that is robbing me of spin, power, or consistency? Keep in mind these are the first 3 serves I hit that day, after about 75 minutes of hitting. So in a match I might have a bit more swing speed but the technique is there. However, I do try to make an effort to jump more forward into the court, as in the last attempt. Thanks in advance!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rypffe1t9mI&hd=1

    Edit: platform motion I experimented with

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phF-oNOcjh0&hd=1

    Edit: more serves:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz1igS-9j_s&hd=1
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
    #1
  2. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

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    Shoulder over shoulder rotation is minimal. Your shoulders are nearly level. I think part of this is that your routine is to raise your racquet in much the same manner as your tossing arm which brings it up over your head. You want to get that tossing shoulder higher and the racquet shoulder lower. Guy on the right is doing more or less what you are doing.

    [​IMG]
     
    #2
  3. willroc7

    willroc7 Rookie

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    I will work on that more. I don't think I have djoker's level within my comfortable range of motion, but I can probably improve mine a bit. Thanks for the reply.
     
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  4. sabala

    sabala Semi-Pro

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    #4
  5. willroc7

    willroc7 Rookie

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    That was a really helpful video. I'd like to think I hit a little bigger than their rec player example but I agree with your point, thanks! I have some lower left back issues so hopefully that won't prevent me from being able to get into this position.
     
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  6. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Don't you think you're lacking the forward distance? Basically your takeback and the ball at contact is about 2, 3 feet. I dunno.

    This clip shows the pros swaying back and hitting forward alot. Wait for the photos with the lines showing the distance.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCKWHe3oIx8&feature=related
     
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  7. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    I think you are stepping up too fast. Try to time it so the step up leads to your body going into the ball. Like a kinetic motion. I'm sure that if you time it like a chain your serve will have increased speed and heaviness.
     
    #7
  8. willroc7

    willroc7 Rookie

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    user, I think you make another valid point. I've been working on that. I usually get a tad bit more than in this video, but it's inconsistent.

    Marina, you're probably correct here as well. That's why I experimented with the platform footwork. I think this is a secondary issue that will fall into place once I fix the shoulder rotation and forward movement problems, however.

    I'll work on these things and get some more video when I can.
     
    #8
  9. willroc7

    willroc7 Rookie

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    Here are a few other serves, including some 2nds. Definitely not my best service games, even from that day, but they are the only ones I recorded. It is mostly a highlight reel for my opponent, haha. It does highlight how my serve is often a weakness. I do manage to hit an ace at 4:45, though.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz1igS-9j_s&hd=1
     
    #9
  10. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    Awesome looking serve man.
    At first I watched only your feet. I guessed based on what I saw that you were opening up too early.
    Then I watched the whole motion, and was impressed by its graceful movement.
    Next I thought: His serve is underpowered. . .but why?

    My only guess is that, given the location of your toss, you may actually be opening up too late. For the motion that you have acquired--and it is a nice one--you could stand to toss the ball a little farther into the court. As is appears to me, your present toss is located more directly overhead, suited for pure topspin. It's almost as if you are slicing languidly but very precisely a ball positioned such that ripping over the top of it would seem more indicated.
    I cannot seem to put my finger on it, but you have a very nice serve. I would like to see its top end to better gauge any latent power. Basically, your motions seem perfectly sound and you look to be grounded in a very nice mechanic that suits or is adapted very well to your physique.

    I guess if anything, you do not seem to be building your exertions to a crescendo--you may simply need to incorporate more violence into your motion if you want more power. Easier said than done because serving effectively need only seldom involve serving powerfully, and if someone is disinclined by their personality to attempt fire-bombing his opponent with aces (think of Wilander) he may see no need for increasing his physical exertions on serve. But if you want a more powerful serve then, given how distilled and pure your mechanics look, you may want to begin experimenting with hitting with pure topspin as aggressively as you can physically manage.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
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  11. willroc7

    willroc7 Rookie

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    Thanks DeShaun. I added a video from earlier in the summer when I wasn't sliding my foot forward. It's in the OP.
     
    #11
  12. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    My pleasure bro. Did you see my edit? I tried to add remarls more constructive.
     
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  13. willroc7

    willroc7 Rookie

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    Yea, I definitely have some things to work on, but it's nice to know at least one person thinks I have something to work off of. Thanks!
     
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  14. gindyo

    gindyo Semi-Pro

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    here are my 2 cents. Your serve is not bad at all, the only thing I could see "wrong" with your it is the way you move your back foot - in the wrong direction. Instead of moving it forward you kind of move it to the right and hence your trophy pose looks somewhat awkward - for a moment there you look like you will fall back(missing the forward momentum). Try to either not move the back foot at all - ala-Federer, or if you move it put it right next to the front foot.
    this is kind of what I mean
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZrW-sIREZow
    make sure your momentum is forward not sideways
    My advice would be to not move the back foot at all - less things to go wrong :). I made that change and I have not looked back, my serve became much more consistent and is not missing power either.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
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  15. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    When people say to get a better shoulder angle on the serve, doesn't that necessitate a ball toss that's farther back?
     
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  16. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    I would say yes as you generally cannot get very much shoulder angle on a ball that is tossed well in front of you.
     
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  17. jibinhe

    jibinhe Rookie

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    very nice follow through!!!
    I would bend knee/back a bit more, and throw the ball into court a bit more for more power. The shoulder thing will became natural when you bend more knee/back to make sure you are well below the ball before hit.
     
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  18. rufusbgood

    rufusbgood Semi-Pro

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    Sorry for going off on a tangent here and maybe it's just that I don't know Spanish but the line drawings in this video clip I think are awfully misleading. The dotted red line for instance between the ball as Fed tosses and hits. If this is what you mean by "forward distance" since when does Fed stand two feet behind the baseline to toss? You do realize those aren't a bunch of twins in the stands, right?

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2012
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  19. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    What about Murray's photos at 0:50?


    Forget these photos if they're not entirely accurate, but do you get my point about the distance between the start of acceleration and the contact point?
     
    #19

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