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-   -   Poll - % Pros Looking at Ball Impact for Serve? (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=442804)

Chas Tennis 10-12-2012 12:04 PM

% Pros Looking at Ball Impact for Serve?
 
On the serve - overall, what percent of pros are looking at the ball when it is impacted by the racket?

All pros, all types of serves.

This is best observed from the side (viewing along the baseline) in high speed videos?

LeeD 10-12-2012 12:06 PM

Without watching a series of videos, I'd reckon less than half, are still watching the ball at the moment of impact.

user92626 10-12-2012 12:46 PM

I'll let other pros answer your survey. But Goats and hall of famers like LeeD and me don't look at the ball at all.

Looking at the ball is for losers.

LeeD 10-12-2012 12:55 PM

In my defense..:):)
I"m Asian, have slanty eyes that see side to side great, but not upwards or downwards.
I've worn a hat for tennis since 1989.
My neck is stiff from 25 years of 5 day a week surfing on shortboards.
I've been serving a tennis ball since 1974.
Would you believe that I tossed it up every time? Myself.
I haven't caught any of my tosses since maybe 1976.
Where can my ball go, really?

sureshs 10-12-2012 01:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LeeD (Post 6950907)
I"m Asian, have slanty eyes that see side to side great, but not upwards or downwards.

What about if you also move your head up or down?

user92626 10-12-2012 01:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 6950937)
What about if you also move your head up or down?

His asian neck would break. Only red necks could move like that.

LeeD 10-12-2012 02:07 PM

I have surfer's neck, from 3 years of competing 4A, 4 years to get there, and 20 years of free surfing after that. Nobody of my generation in surfing can look upwards by craning their neck. We all arch our backs like a twist serve.
I can bend over, turn more than sideways, and stare straight up at the sky, but that is not the best position for a high strikepoint on serves. It's a Yoga pose, though.
Would you believe I haven't been able to raise both hands over my head at the same time in over 6 years? Rotator cuffs destroyed, from motocross crashes to overuse throwing rocks and sand dollars in my youth. I can do it if you assist by lifting my elbows..:?

Chas Tennis 11-11-2012 06:34 PM

Are the pros looking at the ball when they hit it on the serve? Are you?
 
Last call to vote in the poll. (The identity of the voter is not recorded in the poll.)

I have looked over a small sample of videos. While the videos are not ideal I did estimate some stats. Will post in a few days.

Chas Tennis 11-13-2012 08:31 AM

Some Observations- % Pros Looking at Ball Impact on Serve
 
High speed video may be required and was used here. ? To view whether the server is looking at the ball a side view along the base line works well. It would have been better to view from the face side along the baseline. Front and back views do not work as well in my opinion. The front view is especially deceptive because the eyes are up but you cannot tell where they are looking. Since I could not always see the face I judged either by the head angle (mostly) or by the face profile(sometimes) whether the server was looking at the ball at impact or not. There is still some uncertainty because in the majority of videos the eyes could possibly have been at an extreme angle toward the ball.

The serves - no information on which kind of serve or whether the serve was in.

Results - 60 videos total -

The male servers in this sample were never observed to be looking at the ball at impact on the serve.

While we have to confirm this observation elsewhere it certainly has changed one on my solid beliefs about watching the ball at impact on the serve................

Sample video with face in profile
https://vimeo.com/53440915
Stop action on Vimeo - press play-pause button as fast as possible, not perfect. Better if you can download MP file and view on Quicktime, stop and use QT forward & backward arrows for single frame stop action.

Anyone have data on this issue?

boramiNYC 11-13-2012 08:45 AM

It's related to the posture that you can see from olympic weightlifters. When the weight is supported above the head you must look squarely front. If they look up the same weight cannot be supported. At full extension for impact during serve unless the head is already turned toward the target the extended arm loses its ability to achieve high swingspeed at full extension. This is different from rotational swing of GS where it's possible (but not a requirement) to fix the eyes for the ball at contact.

Chas Tennis 01-05-2013 04:06 AM

Tennis serve - camera view from above.
 
Fuzzy Yellow Balls has some high speed videos on Youtube where the camera views the server from above. You can get a good look at how well the server's eyes are on the ball at impact.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1a7Qq0eljU

I looked at this video for the flat serve and another for the kick serve and the servers did not appear to be looking at the ball at the time of impact.

It would be interesting to find some ATP & WTA servers with the same camera viewpoint from above.

the hack 01-06-2013 05:00 PM

great video Chas. thanks

toly 01-06-2013 08:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chas Tennis (Post 7099130)
It would be interesting to find some ATP & WTA servers with the same camera viewpoint from above.

Stosur Serve Top View

http://youtu.be/wG-Lc-bO4a8

Cheetah 01-06-2013 08:21 PM

you actually get greater swing speed if you dont look at the ball at contact.

SystemicAnomaly 01-06-2013 09:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Cheetah (Post 7102638)
you actually get greater swing speed if you dont look at the ball at contact.

This certainly appeared to be the case for Roddick. His eyes appear to be on the ball when his arm reaches full extension (racket in the "big L" position). however he quickly pulls his eyes/head down so that at contact he appears to be looking at the receiver.

Contrast this with Sampras and Federer. These guys keep their eyes on the ball longer/later. From the slow-mo videos that I've seen of these two, their eyes appear to be on the ball pretty close to contact. From repeated viewing of a number of videos, it is conceivable that their eyes might be on the ball at contact but it is difficult to determine, with absolute certainty, if their eyes are really still on the ball.

Because the hitting shoulder comes over the top (shoulder-over-shoulder cartwheel action), the head must move off to the side a bit. The head and neck also rotates somewhat to accommodate the shoulder. However, it does appear that Roger and Pete still watch the ball out of the corner of their eyes even tho' the head had moved/rotated.

Bottem line: I would say that Roger & Pete might very well be looking at the ball at contact. Even if this is not so, it is apparent that their eyes are still on the ball very close to contact unlike Andy (Roddick) and others.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcjZ5r_YHV0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqRqdbBEzUM

christo 01-06-2013 09:59 PM

Interesting observation! I'd like to see Cahill and Brad chip in on this topic as both are astute students of the game.

Raul_SJ 01-06-2013 10:20 PM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...Dxn4sH7E#t=18s

Federer has his eyes closed at contact.

Cheetah 01-06-2013 10:26 PM

i've heard at least 2 coaches say that you would get greater rhs on the serve if you tilt your head down just before contact because of the relationship of the neck muscles and the cartwheel action and this gives more flexibility at the end of the stroke. ... or something along those lines. I believe Heath Waters was one of the people that said that.

Chas Tennis 01-07-2013 04:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by toly (Post 7102623)
Stosur Serve Top View

http://youtu.be/wG-Lc-bO4a8

From Reply #56
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showt...59#post7069659

Quote:

Originally Posted by toly (Post 7069659)
.................................................. ..........

Let’s analyze Stosur and your arm actions before contact.



In pic.1 Stosur longitude axis of the racquet is parallel to Target Plane. In pic.3 longitude axis is perpendicular to the Target plane. She rotates her racquet by using internal shoulder rotation (ISR) around 90.

.................................................. ......

This Stosur serve is during a match and shows the moment of ball contact. Probably a kick serve.

SystemicAnomaly 01-07-2013 11:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Raul_SJ (Post 7102751)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...Dxn4sH7E#t=18s

Federer has his eyes closed at contact.

I've seen this before. Roger does as a serving drill. Even tho' his eyes are closed, notice where they appear to be directed -- right at the ball!


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