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raiden031 08-02-2009 04:51 AM

Serve speed cage
 
At Legg Mason, I tried out the serve speed cage. You get three serves and the radar gun is basically behind net-wall right in the middle part, facing out to the server. The three serves I took kept landing upwards and to the left of the target. I guess i was trying too hard and lost control. It registered in the mid-70s. I thought no way are my serves that slow. I also saw a asian girl who looked to be a teenager hit in the 80s and her serve didn't seem that powerful.

Then I got back in line and tried again. First serve I took was way off to the left and again in the 70s. Then I hit one right near the radar target and it registered at 87. Then I did another one that registered at 90. Then later on I saw some middle-aged hack hit in the upper 90s with a serve that didn't look all that powerful.

I don't get it really. I think maybe I wasn't hitting cleanly because I was trying to kill the ball, but still I was disappointed in my speed compared to what some of the faster serves looked like. I guess I'm a little skeptical about the accuracy given how much of an effect 2-3 feet of placement makes in the calculation.

I consider my first (flat) serve a weapon, and it usually hits the fence on the first bounce. I always thought I could crack 100, from comparing what I've seen at pro events where the serves are clocked and I can sort of cross-reference wiith my own serve. I guess I was wrong. :(

GuyClinch 08-02-2009 08:24 AM

Hmm I don't know if that thing is accurate. But I got to hit with a guy that was on the satellite tour. his serve sounds like a sonic boom..or something. He said he only hits like 110.

Did you play with anyone that can hit really hard serves? You can video your serve and use that technique as another check.

LeeD 08-02-2009 08:33 AM

Tough to really tell your serve speed without actually been timed or have actually been seen playing 5.5 players who you can be compared to....
Everyone thinks they serve really fast.
Well, go and watch a 5.5 + tournament. Look for the fastest 5 servers there. I'll bet they only reach 120 at best.
Go and watch PRO 7.0 tournaments. Get up there real close, maybe hit with them like I did, maybe get front row seats. Now we're talking 125+ speeds.
Try hitting with some Div1 singles tall guys. They might be 130+, but not get it in very often.
Unless you happen to be a great thrower in your past, meaning you can throw anything farther than anyone else you've ever seen, chances of your serve being much over 115 is NIL ZERO ZIP.....
You know I claim to have had a fast serve. Well, in 7th grade, at about 4'2" tall and maybe 60 lbs., I could throw a softball 185 feet in PE class. I never took PE after that, as I was always in school sports thru college.

raiden031 08-02-2009 08:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GuyClinch (Post 3757169)
Did you play with anyone that can hit really hard serves? You can video your serve and use that technique as another check.

Couple players with big serves, but they haven't been clocked. The only clocked serves I've seen are pros at live events, and some videos. I realized that it is impossible to really gauge speed from videos (as far as how it translates to witnessing it live), but I had likened my serve speed to some WTA pros who often hit the 100 range.

J011yroger 08-02-2009 12:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by raiden031 (Post 3756731)
I consider my first (flat) serve a weapon, and it usually hits the fence on the first bounce.

Have you ever posted vids? I have seen your groundies, and they looked nice, but maybe you are doing something wrong with your serve.

My pre-match warmup serves that I would say are around 70mph hit about 3-4' up on the back fence from what I remember you are a young guy of a decent size there should be no reason for a usually in that statement, your first and 2nds should be hitting the fence with authority.

J

raiden031 08-02-2009 01:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J011yroger (Post 3757844)
Have you ever posted vids? I have seen your groundies, and they looked nice, but maybe you are doing something wrong with your serve.

My pre-match warmup serves that I would say are around 70mph hit about 3-4' up on the back fence from what I remember you are a young guy of a decent size there should be no reason for a usually in that statement, your first and 2nds should be hitting the fence with authority.

J

I dunno, there are quite a few rec players I've played against whose serve doesn't hit the fence on the first bounce, let alone with hitting it with authority. The only time mine don't hit on the first bounce is if I don't hit it cleanly.

I haven't posted vids really out of laziness aside from not having a tripod and having to ask another person to record it, but maybe sometime I will.

Steady Eddy 08-02-2009 01:17 PM

With my radar gun you have to be facing the direction the ball is coming from. One doesn't want to stand a few feet from the server and get hit by the ball, so you get some distance away. The serves seem very slow. Maybe the radar gun picks up the ball after the bounce? But, I never was very fast, mid 70's, but now I'm only at about 60. One guy, whose serve always hit the back fence with force, was only in the 70's. I was a little skeptical about the speeds, but from what you report, I'm even more skeptical. Maybe the person with the gun should stand behind a chain link fence? Then they could record the speeds and still be protected from being hit?

On the other hand, I think alot of people just assume that their serves go 100 mph, and it might really only be 70 mph.

raiden031 08-02-2009 01:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steady Eddy (Post 3757936)
With my radar gun you have to be facing the direction the ball is coming from. One doesn't want to stand a few feet from the server and get hit by the ball, so you get some distance away. The serves seem very slow. Maybe the radar gun picks up the ball after the bounce? But, I never was very fast, mid 70's, but now I'm only at about 60. One guy, whose serve always hit the back fence with force, was only in the 70's. I was a little skeptical about the speeds, but from what you report, I'm even more skeptical. Maybe the person with the gun should stand behind a chain link fence? Then they could record the speeds and still be protected from being hit?

On the other hand, I think alot of people just assume that their serves go 100 mph, and it might really only be 70 mph.

In the speed cage, you hit the ball into a net and there is a radar gun propped up behind the net which points at the server as you describe. I'm just surprised because I really don't think 100mph looks very fast live, especially when watching the pro men who serve 115-135 pretty consistently. I woulda thought 70mph would seem pretty slow even in rec. play.

Steady Eddy 08-02-2009 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by raiden031 (Post 3757951)
In the speed cage, you hit the ball into a net and there is a radar gun propped up behind the net which points at the server as you describe. I'm just surprised because I really don't think 100mph looks very fast live, especially when watching the pro men who serve 115-135 pretty consistently. I woulda thought 70mph would seem pretty slow even in rec. play.

Then again, if I go to the batting cages, one cage is marked "70 mph", and those pitches look very fast. But a difference might be that a baseball doesn't slow down much from pitcher to catcher. Air resistance affects a tennis ball alot more. I'd like to know the speeds as it comes right off the racquet, otherwise I don't think I'm making "apple to apples" comparisions.

J011yroger 08-02-2009 01:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by raiden031 (Post 3757921)
I dunno, there are quite a few rec players I've played against whose serve doesn't hit the fence on the first bounce, let alone with hitting it with authority.

Well yea, but they are also not really trying to improve, hit technically correct serves, or put forth effort in maximizing whatever natural ability they have.

You on the other hand are trying to improve, and get the most out of what you have to work with.

I am certainly not trying to get on you if that is what my post sounded like, I think you are for sure up there on my list of most respected posters.

That is why I asked for the vid. It is possible that you just tightened up and your normal serve is faster.

Some days I wake up in the morning and I have the arm of god attached to my right shoulder, other days I get so ****ed and frustrated and confused with myself that I couldn't serve my way out of a wet paper sack.

J

J011yroger 08-02-2009 01:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steady Eddy (Post 3757968)
Then again, if I go to the batting cages, one cage is marked "70 mph", and those pitches look very fast. But a difference might be that a baseball doesn't slow down much from pitcher to catcher. Air resistance affects a tennis ball alot more. I'd like to know the speeds as it comes right off the racquet, otherwise I don't think I'm making "apple to apples" comparisions.

Serves slow down approx 10% from racquet face to net.

And they slow down A TON after the bounce.

So 100 at the net is approx 110 off the racquet face.

J

rk_sports 08-02-2009 07:26 PM

A friend who tried this at the LA Open (UCLA).. said even his faster serves seem to register less unless hit right low at the camera spot.. he did register 110.. and he does his them real hard!

When I went there to see Sampras/Safin, I was out of time to stand in the long queue to get in to measure mine :(

On a separate note, does anyone know where this sort of Serve speed cage is available locally (in my case Central LA)

SlAyR 08-02-2009 07:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by J011yroger (Post 3757982)
Well yea, but they are also not really trying to improve, hit technically correct serves, or put forth effort in maximizing whatever natural ability they have.

You on the other hand are trying to improve, and get the most out of what you have to work with.

I am certainly not trying to get on you if that is what my post sounded like, I think you are for sure up there on my list of most respected posters.

That is why I asked for the vid. It is possible that you just tightened up and your normal serve is faster.

Some days I wake up in the morning and I have the arm of god attached to my right shoulder, other days I get so ****ed and frustrated and confused with myself that I couldn't serve my way out of a wet paper sack.

J

Roger,

I'm currently trying to get my serves down..and I'm wondering...what are some things that you concentrate on to try to get the ball to hit the back fence on one bounce after you hit the ball on the serve?


Thanks,
SlAyR

J011yroger 08-03-2009 03:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SlAyR (Post 3758889)
Roger,

I'm currently trying to get my serves down..and I'm wondering...what are some things that you concentrate on to try to get the ball to hit the back fence on one bounce after you hit the ball on the serve?


Thanks,
SlAyR

Well, firstly either working with a good pro, or via video on your own, make sure you have a technically sound motion.

After that the most important things are not trying too hard, making your arm as loose as possible, and just trusting yourself to let it go. The serves should be hit with belief and agression.

My various serves if you haven't seen them.

http://vimeo.com/4678697

J

Kevo 08-03-2009 04:53 AM

Most people seriously over estimate their service speed. I rarely break 110, but when I do people have trouble even getting their racquet on the ball even if the ball is close to them. I doubt even at the 4.5 level that anyone I've ever played against has broken 100mph in a match.

As far as hitting the back fence, my fastest serves hit the back fence still rising at a good clip maybe 5 feet high. If the fence were another 20' farther back I suspect they would hit about 8 feet high.

One problem you may be having is that when you swing hard you are not hitting the ball clean. Some of my best serves have felt softer than what I would have expected. Hitting the ball clean in the sweet spot is *way* more important than hitting hit hard.

WildVolley 08-03-2009 06:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kevo (Post 3759516)
One problem you may be having is that when you swing hard you are not hitting the ball clean. Some of my best serves have felt softer than what I would have expected. Hitting the ball clean in the sweet spot is *way* more important than hitting hit hard.

This is true, but I've found some of my fastest serves are slightly above the sweet spot. It gives a little deader feel off of the racket, but the racket is moving slightly faster higher in the string bed.

deluxe 08-03-2009 07:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kevo (Post 3759516)
As far as hitting the back fence, my fastest serves hit the back fence still rising at a good clip maybe 5 feet high. If the fence were another 20' farther back I suspect they would hit about 8 feet high.

!!! Your fastest serve kicks over 8ft high more than 20' back from the baseline!!!

raiden031 08-03-2009 07:54 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by deluxe (Post 3759948)
!!! Your fastest serve kicks over 8ft high more than 20' back from the baseline!!!

No he said 20' back from the current location of the fence.

deluxe 08-03-2009 08:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by raiden031 (Post 3760106)
No he said 20' back from the current location of the fence.

Hence the more than...

mtommer 08-03-2009 10:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Steady Eddy (Post 3757968)
Then again, if I go to the batting cages, one cage is marked "70 mph", and those pitches look very fast. But a difference might be that a baseball doesn't slow down much from pitcher to catcher. Air resistance affects a tennis ball alot more. I'd like to know the speeds as it comes right off the racquet, otherwise I don't think I'm making "apple to apples" comparisions.

It doesn't slow down as much. It's a much truer speed even moreso than a tennis ball in the air because their is no fuzz to increase resistence and the ball is heavier.


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