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JB 03-22-2004 12:32 PM

When You Serve.....
do you extend your arm all the way so that your elbow is locked on contact?

I have always served so that when my racquet makes contact, my arm is fully extended. I have found that recently my shoulder is taking too much abuse and I've started serving with a slightly bent arm. This takes a lot of the stress off of my shoulder. I do give up some power but seem to have gained some control.

Does anyone have any insight?


kevhen 03-22-2004 12:42 PM

on flat serves my arms is extended, but on kick serves, it is bent at the elbow.

Bungalo Bill 03-22-2004 06:43 PM

You might be tossing the ball too far behind you. Relax the shoulder and let your mechanics and motion hit the ball.

VTL 03-22-2004 10:32 PM

So bungalo bill, how would you recommend tossing the ball on the serve for a naster kick serve? I also started having the same problems w/ the shoulder after working on a more "steep" kick serve, where I toss it a lil more behind me so I hit the ball higher over the net. I get exactly the results I want, but my shoulder gets sore. I'd figure as my shoulder becomes stronger it wouldn't be much of a problem, but if there's a more efficient way of doing it out there, then obviously I would want to try that out. Thanks

Bungalo Bill 03-23-2004 08:21 AM

On this kick serve, with out reading above is this a Twist your talking about or a Topspin serve.

Also, what kind of motion do you use. Both hands go up as in Roddicks style and Rafters style? Or The classic racquet goes down - like Sampras???

Rafter and many other players incurred shoulder problems with kick type serves. Studies revealed that Rafter and others were not opening their shoulders enough. Taking pressure off a nerve in the shoulder. I am sorry but I am not that "up" on what the name of the nerve was.

Anyway, the report said had Rafter learned to open the shoulders more he might have had a much longer career in tennis. Is the report accurate? I dont know but it is food for thought.

There is know doubt that the kick serve places tremendous pressure on the shoulder and lower back - especially if the kick serve your talking about is a twist serve. You really have to work on strengthening the shoulder area and your stomach to support and offset that pressure.

The soreness your talking about is it pain? Or is it like muscle soreness? Because you might want to check that out with a Doctor before serving more kick serves.

Without me typing more there are plenty of websites that tell you where to toss. Here is a good one

This site does not show the tossing area for the Twist. It is further over the left shoulder and above the head as you hit as compared to topspin.

If you think your tossing out in front, it could be that as you toss in front you are moving forward before you hit the ball which causes you to go back under the ball, your actually hit could be too far behind you placing strain on the shoulder.

Again, without seeing your motion it is difficult to give you advice, take some of these tips and see if something is happening. Go see a Doctor!

VTL 03-23-2004 09:10 PM

Thanks for the advice! I have one more question, I use a twist serve and as I toss the ball my racket arm stays down as if it's just hanging there. So my hand don't go up at the same time (my toss and racket prep occur in separate segments). I'm not quite sure what opening up the shoulder means, can you elaborate?

Bungalo Bill 03-24-2004 08:23 AM

Opening the shoulders means pulling your shoulders back more.

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