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TennisCoachIN 11-09-2012 02:00 PM

8 Year Old Serve Help Please
 
Hello Everyone-

New to posting on this website. Appreciate all the tips and information on this board.

I was hoping for some opinions on my 8 year old daughters serve. I notice that she does not get to the trophy position where her racquet tip is pointed up towards sky. Please if anyone has any suggestions, ideas or comments, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeohu...ature=youtu.be

WildVolley 11-09-2012 02:25 PM

I don't like how her wrist cocks back before entering sort of a weak trophy pose. While it might be something of a strength issue, I'd encourage her to keep her hand in a neutral position with respect to her forearm and that might help her trophy pose.

Let her see how the hand is allowing the racket to flop back and encourage her to keep her wrist in line with the forearm. In the trophy pose, the face of the racket shouldn't be open toward the sky. On edge or even slightly closed is better in my opinion.

LeeD 11-09-2012 02:32 PM

Racket should point at the sky above her when she's in trophy position. Do not **** the wrist, do not preload the wrist, do not bend the wrist.

kopfan 11-12-2012 02:39 PM

At 6sec. The problem is on the tuck in elbow drop wrist. The racket is too head heavy for her to handle?

sureshs 11-12-2012 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kopfan (Post 7012682)
At 6sec. The problem is on the tuck in elbow drop wrist. The racket is too head heavy for her to handle?

The head does look too big for her, right? It may be an illusion though, and may be just 100 sq in.

LeeD 11-12-2012 02:59 PM

Tell/show her NOT to lay the wrist back.
She's basically hitting serves with a WTA forehand, when she should be using a ATP forehand, but with conti grip of course, technique.
The resultant loop from the racket pointing straight up adds swing speed to the equation, giving more RHS on serves.

boramiNYC 11-12-2012 04:17 PM

Don't know the severity but look up what lordosis is and keep that in mind for your daughter. It's caused by weak front abdominal muscles and tight lower back muscles. So, strengthen the abs and stretch the lower back. Due to her young age it should be much easier to address that now than later. And it will improve all aspect of her tennis performance.

Specifically for serving, once those muscles balance is improved, she will feel and understand how to push the hips forward which naturally causes the knees to bend just the right amount in the trophy position. Unless the hip (pelvis) is locked forward the coordination between the legs and torso is reduced for loss of power and control.

Cheetah 11-12-2012 04:39 PM

Try a more abbreviated takeback where the palm faces down while it's on the way up and the racquet comes up more on side of the body as opposed to going behind her body. Take the racquet back with an inside out motion meaning racquet starts close to body and goes 'out' away from the body

Like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuIgT...e=related&t=7s

SystemicAnomaly 11-13-2012 04:06 AM

As others have mentioned, she never gets to a proper trophy position (Note: do not think of the trophy phase as a trophy pose). At the pseudo-trophy phase of her motion, her elbow position is way too high -- it should be in line with her shoulder tilt (in line with the clavicle line). It should not be lower than the clavicle line either. The high elbow position, relative to the shoulder/clavicle line is actually stressful to the shoulder (and may cause her shoulder problems when she gets older).

She also does not pull her elbow back far enough for her faux trophy position. The results in a lack of a pectoral stretch on the serve preparation. This is a stretch that should be present during the trophy and racquet head drop phases. It is released a bit later during the upward swing to the ball. Note the elbow position in the images below...

It may be best for Emily to abandon her full motion for a while. Instead, have her start her motion with the arm and racquet preset in the trophy position (even tho' I indicated earlier that this would not be a pause for a full motion serve). Have her start her serve motion this was for a while. Some players will start from this position for several weeks or even months. Some players, even quite a few pros, have adopted this as their standard serve.

With this "trophy" serve, make sure that she performs a proper racquet head drop (the so-called "backscratch"). She can also work on a full motion serve motion at the same time that she is using her trophy serve. However, she should only do the full motion with shadow swings for a while (no actual ball toss). She should not use the full motion for actual serves until she has done numerous repetitions of the trophy serve. Here is a video of a young Agassi using a very abbreviated preparation -- employing something similar to a "trophy" serve:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCpjys2heNA

gregor.b 11-13-2012 04:18 AM

Give her the appropriate sized racquet would be a good start. 8 years old is still really young and not very strong at all.

TennisCoachIN 11-13-2012 05:06 AM

First of all, thank everyone for offering their help with trying to improve her serve.

Emily uses a 26 inch Head Youtek IG Instinct 100 square in. 8.5 oz. I'm hoping that is not the issue, the racquet does look bigger than it is. When she shadows the stroke she has no problem getting into the trophy position.

We are going to head to courts today after school to work on the tips that were giving on this board.

We are also going to try full and abbreviated motion. Again, thanks everyone. She sees what she is doing and is eager to get better :)

5263 11-13-2012 05:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCoachIN (Post 7005051)
Hello Everyone-

New to posting on this website. Appreciate all the tips and information on this board.

I was hoping for some opinions on my 8 year old daughters serve. I notice that she does not get to the trophy position where her racquet tip is pointed up towards sky. Please if anyone has any suggestions, ideas or comments, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eeohu...ature=youtu.be

What she is doing is what you feel you see on the Sampras serve, but watch him
and notice how different he actually brings the racket up. See at 4 secs
into this how the motion back stops and starts to come up instead?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...j1F-DCskM#t=4s

It is a slight illusion with Pete due to his very large turn away from the court.

My bigger concerns for her is that she does not have much turn away to load her
serve, along with how smoothly her racket tracks down and around to her left side.
Not enough of her swing energy is going up and over, leaving too much taking her
racket down and around.

TennisCoachIN 11-13-2012 02:42 PM

We weren't able to get video of serve today, but will tomorrow.

I noticed that she was really quick trying to get to the trophy position and about the time that her knee were bending and the ball was at it's peak that her racquet was already out of trophy phase and behindher (waiter pose) using the full motion.

She made a lot more serves in when we tried to abbreivate her motion. She was not getting to a perfect trophy phase, but her wrist/palm were no where near what they are in the original video and her racquet face was a bit more closed.

She was frustrated, but I believe we made a little progress. Will have updated video tomorrow.

LeeD 11-13-2012 03:36 PM

She's loosing RHSpeed because she can't loop with the wrist laid back.
Tell her to point the racket at the sky, and to relax her forearms.

SystemicAnomaly 11-13-2012 04:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TennisCoachIN (Post 7014854)
We weren't able to get video of serve today, but will tomorrow.

I noticed that she was really quick trying to get to the trophy position and about the time that her knee were bending and the ball was at it's peak that her racquet was already out of trophy phase and behind her (waiter pose) using the full motion.


She made a lot more serves in when we tried to abbreivate her motion. She was not getting to a perfect trophy phase, but her wrist/palm were no where near what they are in the original video and her racquet face was a bit more closed.


She was frustrated, but I believe we made a little progress. Will have updated video tomorrow.

Seriously, have her give up the windup completely for a while. Not even an abbreviated takeback. Have her start with a proper trophy as I suggested. From there, make sure that she performs a decent racket head drop -- with no waiter position. Legs should straighten as the racket head drops and should be fully extended at the bottom of the drop.

If you can get her to accept this modified serve for a while, it should be much less frustrating. Who knows, she might stick with it permanently as some elite servers have. Or it could be a good stepping stone to an abbreviated takeback motion. Your first goal should be to fix the trophy and the timing of the racket head drop.

PS - You might try her with a 26" frame for her serves for a while -- even if she can handle the full size racket on her groundies.
.

TennisCoachIN 11-13-2012 04:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SystemicAnomaly (Post 7015033)
Seriously, have her give up the windup completely for a while. Not even an abbreviated takeback. Have her start with a proper trophy as I suggested. From there, make sure that she performs a decent racket head drop -- with no waiter position. Legs should straighten as the racket head drops and should be fully extended at the bottom of the drop.

If you can get her to accept this modified serve for a while, it should be much less frustrating. Who knows, she might stick with it permanently as some elite servers have. Or it could be a good stepping stone to an abbreviated takeback motion. Your first goal should be to fix the trophy and the timing of the racket head drop.

PS - You might try her with a 26" frame for her serves for a while -- even if she can handle the full size racket on her groundies.
.

She will try your suggested motion tomorrow. I understand what you are trying to say. Her and I watched the Agassi serve you linked.

She currently uses a 26inch head youtek junior racquet

Chas Tennis 11-13-2012 04:59 PM

The reference book

Technique Development in Tennis Stroke Production, B. Elliott, M . Reid, M. Crespo
Describes each stroke including the biomechanical features. Has a developmental breakdown for children who lack strength for certain components as they develop. Discusses what they are able to do for each stroke as they develop.

The book is available for sale from the ITF, at about $25. It's the best reference on stroke technique that I've seen.

5263 11-13-2012 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 5263 (Post 7013893)
What she is doing is what you feel you see on the Sampras serve, but watch him
and notice how different he actually brings the racket up. See at 4 secs
into this how the motion back stops and starts to come up instead?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...j1F-DCskM#t=4s

It is a slight illusion with Pete due to his very large turn away from the court.

I guess due to my greater concerns, I never finished the point I started above.

Due to the way she takes the racket back in her wind up, it tends to lead to
that hand position. I don't think there is reason for breaking down her swing
and nearly starting over due to this. Imo she should just work on moving more
in the right direction with what she is doing. Just shorten up that backswing
a bit and get her to work on more turn away and see what that gets you.
I used that approach in building some of the biggest serves in the Jrs with my
first son and have another coming along much the same. I don't believe in big
changes on a motion that looks that good overall and tend to just mold it
gently in the direction it needs to go. Imo she has no big problem...only little
adjustments to make over time.

TennisCoachIN 11-13-2012 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 5263 (Post 7015074)
I guess due to my greater concerns, I never finished the point I started above.

Due to the way she takes the racket back in her wind up, it tends to lead to
that hand position. I don't think there is reason for breaking down her swing
and nearly starting over due to this. Imo she should just work on moving more
in the right direction with what she is doing. Just shorten up that backswing
a bit and get her to work on more turn away and see what that gets you.
I used that approach in building some of the biggest serves in the Jrs with my
first son and have another coming along much the same. I don't believe in big
changes on a motion that looks that good overall and tend to just mold it
gently in the direction it needs to go. Imo she has no big problem...only little
adjustments to make over time.

Thank you. She is very open to suggestion. We appreciate your insight. We will look at the link you posted in detail tomorrow.

TennisCoachIN 11-13-2012 05:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chas Tennis (Post 7015068)
The reference book

Technique Development in Tennis Stroke Production, B. Elliott, M . Reid, M. Crespo
Describes each stroke including the biomechanical features. Has a developmental breakdown for children who lack strength for certain components as they develop. Discusses what they are able to do for each stroke as they develop.

The book is available for sale from the ITF, at about $25. It's the best reference on stroke technique that I've seen.

Thank you. I will look into purchasing this book. Always looking for an informative read


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