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-   -   awkward serve photo (http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=461475)

grhnc 04-23-2013 06:04 AM

awkward serve photo
 
Hi - I've read this forum before but never felt compelled to post until I saw this freeze frame shot of my serve over the weekend. Besides being a ridiculously awkward looking pose, I'm wondering what the collective wisdom of this board sees.

My observations:
- I have a bad habit of keeping my right hand up after the toss, almost to the point of absurdity (sometimes I notice my hand on my head after I serve).
- My hips aren't rotating at all.
- Do I need to get my back foot moving forward and step into the court on the follow through?

I'd appreciate any other comments. Quick background - I'm a strong 3.5 and my serve is probably the strongest part of my game, despite the obvious visual quirks. Other freeze frames from the same afternoon showed what I hoped I would see - good trophy pose, full extension at contact, etc. But the disaster seems to unravel just after contact.



Thanks!

Bobby Jr 04-23-2013 06:17 AM

Who are you giving the finger to?

grhnc 04-23-2013 06:23 AM

I had to look closely to make sure, but that is my index finger!

arche3 04-23-2013 06:25 AM

I think you have much more wrong than the finish. It just shows you cartwheel your arm? Film whole form and post that. I suspect the form from trophy forward is completely bad. No way should you end like that in any serve.

Just do a side by side of a pro serve with yours

Chas Tennis 04-23-2013 06:27 AM

There is such a thing as tennis players inventing strokes. ( I heard that Borg was told to forget about that topspin. )

One problem with inventing a stroke vs imitating a pro stroke is that if the invention is not sound biomechanically you might get injured. The shoulder is especially vulnerable to injury, including impingement injury.

The problem with having your tossing arm still up at ball impact is that your shoulders are very level which probably means that you cannot forcefully and safely use internal shoulder rotation for racket head speed. The line between your shoulders looks level in that photo.

See the Todd Ellenbecker and Jim McClellan videos on this shoulder risk - shoulder impingement on serving especially with incorrect shoulder orientation. Reply #4. Basically the line between your two shoulders and the upper arm bone at the shoulder should not have a larger angle as detailed in the Ellenbecker video.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showt...shoulder+video

A sound pro service technique using internal shoulder rotation:
https://vimeo.com/27528701



Note how the line between the shoulders lines up with the upper arm bone (between the shoulder and elbow). The upper arm is not quite in line but nearly - a small up-angle for the upper arm is OK according to the Ellenbecker & McCellan videos. I'm not going to estimate the range of small angles being used by the pros - judge for yourself by viewing single frames at impact when viewed from behind.

Also what camera did you use to get the picture?

grhnc 04-23-2013 06:37 AM

Thanks, I do see the difference in shoulder position. I will grab a couple other pictures from the sequence as well.

As for injury, I'm 35 and have been playing regularly since I was a teenager, so I'm fairly certain what I'm doing isn't causing much damage, since it should have hit me by now. But I'm CERTAIN it's not optimal!

eidolonshinobi 04-23-2013 06:59 AM

I can't even...my brain....

Looks like you're arming the ball from this picture. The rest of your core body has yet to turn. I'm not qualified to give tips, but I'd say watch some pros in slow mo.

arche3 04-23-2013 07:25 AM

your hips are also actually facing more backwards than forward. Please a real coach give a couple tips.

Cheetah 04-23-2013 08:18 AM

I wish I didn't see that.

Adles 04-23-2013 08:33 AM

Yer holding the racquet in the wrong hand. There's your problem!

Relinquis 04-23-2013 08:37 AM

have to see a video clip of this...

Ash_Smith 04-23-2013 08:41 AM

yep - would be happy to offer advice, but need to see how you end up in that position before that's really sensible!

grhnc 04-23-2013 09:00 AM

Thanks, all. I am trying to get the images - wasn't my camera so I don't have ready access, but I'll get them up there. The rest aren't as bizarre, but they will paint a more complete picture.

sureshs 04-23-2013 09:08 AM

I thought it was one of the Jenson brothers

sureshs 04-23-2013 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Adles (Post 7363114)
Yer holding the racquet in the wrong hand. There's your problem!

That was my first thought, but this confirmed he is a leftie:

I have a bad habit of keeping my right hand up after the toss

arche3 04-23-2013 09:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sureshs (Post 7363185)
That was my first thought, but this confirmed he is a leftie:

I have a bad habit of keeping my right hand up after the toss

Sureshs did you measure the angle of the internal septum deviation yet on the ops serve still frame?

Govnor 04-23-2013 10:21 AM

Are you an Orangutan?

charliefedererer 04-23-2013 11:41 AM

Quote:

My observations:
- I have a bad habit of keeping my right hand up after the toss, almost to the point of absurdity (sometimes I notice my hand on my head after I serve).
- My hips aren't rotating at all.
- Do I need to get my back foot moving forward and step into the court on the follow through?
I think you know what your problems are - the question is how to change.


I would recommend you learn your "new" serve motion away from the court to develop some "muscle memory" - and don't immediately fall into serving the "wrong" way.



The biggest thing to change is that while you are coiling your hips, you are not uncoiling.

Watch how Coach McCraw swings in this video below:
McCraw Serve Fundamentals http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature...&v=WuIgTyh4aDs


Mimic his slow and relaxed swing, uncoiling the hips to help initiate the racquet drop.

Do this over and over and over again at home until it feels free and easy.


When you get to the tennis courts face the fence, not the net.

Your first serves with your new motion will not be pretty, and if you stand on the service line, you will quickly fall into hitting the "old way".

Have a few sessions where you just serve 50 tennis balls into the fence before turning around, and start to hit them into the court.




[You also have to change to a continental grip - NOW is the time to do it.

I am quite sure you invented your swing style to allow a shoulder coil/uncoil to accommodate your Eastern grip.

How do I know? I tried to swing with an Eastern grip and coil/uncoil my shoulders, and immediately produced the same body position you show in your picture.

The Eastern grip is what most beginners first use to patty-cake their serves over the net.

But being athletic, you figured out you needed a shoulder coil/uncoil for more serve speed.

However keeping your Eastern grip would end up with you serving wide all the time - until you unconsciously figured out to overcompensate by swinging your shoulders without swinging your hips.

Don't let a faulty grip keep you from learning your new swing motion.]

grhnc 04-23-2013 11:56 AM

Thanks, that's smart stuff. I actually hit a full continental kick serve, so I feel reasonably comfortable with the grip, just not on a more powerful first. I've resisted rebuilding my serve, since it's currently very effective - about 1/3 don't come back playing 4.0s - but I realize there's always room for improvement. I'm fit but not naturally athletic, so I often struggle with new mechanics.

Will still get the other couple of pics posted later this afternoon.

grhnc 04-23-2013 02:04 PM

OK - here are a few additional shots that show better hip rotation. Maybe the orangutan shot was a bit of an outlier. Although unhinging my jaw doesn't help the visual either.

Trophy:


Drop:


Contact:


Oh, and the images were taken with a Nikon D700. Not sure of the lens.


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