When to look at the ball when serving.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by circusmouse, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. circusmouse

    circusmouse Rookie

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    I just started taking some lessons with a good coach. He's had some great observations and advice so far, but I'm struggling with something he suggested on serve. He told me to watch the ball from the beginning of the motion. Normally I start looking at the ball around shoulder height. I really struggled to watch the ball throughout. It throws off my balance. So I looked at some videos and found that Sampras, Federer, Agassi, and Becker all make eye contact with the ball around shoulder height. The one benefit I've found so far to watching the ball throughout is that it forces me to move more slowly, which improves racquet acceleration before impact. I intend to ask him later if he intends me to watch the ball all the time or just for right now while I slow down my rhythm. What do you guys think about this? When should you start looking at the ball on serve and why?
     
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  2. baek57

    baek57 Professional

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    i'd say do whatever is natural to you. i dont look at the ball til its out of my hand or leaving my hand... something around that area.
     
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  3. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, that is tough. The benefit you described can pan out. As you said, I would ask him why is this so important.

    I have never told anyone to look at the ball from beginning to end throughout the serve motion. To me, it would make me a bit light headed moving my eyes, like that. :)

    I do teach to see the blur of your arm hit the ball before lowering the head. This promotes keeping your head up.
     
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  4. junbumkim

    junbumkim Professional

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    I think it's more of preference than anything.
    I used to struggle a lot with my toss, and my coach suggested the same thing but it felt very unnatural.

    I actually find it more helpful to look at where my toss want to be..
     
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  5. Mansewerz

    Mansewerz Legend

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    I usually watch it from toss to contact, and watch where it soars. I dunno, i'm pretty sure that's what I do, feels pretty natural now that I think of it.
     
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  6. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    If you are thinking that much during the serve it is likely to cause problems, period. I can't imagine this is a long-term suggestion. I am also hard pressed to imagine what it does in the short run. Please post and tell us what is explanation proves to be. CC
     
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  7. Trinity TC

    Trinity TC Semi-Pro

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    I actually have my head upright but half-heartedely watch the back of my toss hand with my peripheral vision. It looks like I'm watching the ball from about shoulder height on up but I'm not. I'm more interested my tempo, rhythm and timing of the racquet head in the pre-acceleration phase. It's a feel thing. I don't really shift my focus and really lock onto the ball until about 3 or 4 inches before it reaches it's peak which is when it decelerates enough so that I can track it. Any sooner usually leads to a "bouncy" head and a breakdown in my mechanics.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2008
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  8. circusmouse

    circusmouse Rookie

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    I'll keep you posted. It'll probably be a week or so. But I will say now that it's an effective way of slowing your toss because if you toss fast the ball will blur and you'll lose your balance. And I do have a tendency to flip the ball up quickly, so it is a good thing for me to practice, but I don't think I'd want to do it in general.
     
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