beginner learning serve
friend is taking up tennis; he was inspired by Wimbledon:) Anyway, he's a little frustrated w/ his teaching pro regarding the serve. The pro wants him to learn serving w/ just the arm movement and then later add the waist and hip thrust. I tend to agree w/ the pro; my friend insists that he should be using all components of the serve to keep it together and smooth.
I guess since my friend feels this way, he should go that road. I was just wondering for those that teach or have been taught, is it not easier to learn one component at a time?
I totally agree with you and the coach. Tell your friend tennis isn't easy or quick. It's commendable he wants to improve quickly. If your friend decides to accept the coach's and your advice, watch that he doesn't sabotage the lessons to "prove" he was right, I've seen people do that. Good luck.
You need to know each 'part' well to do it all together.
Currently I've changed to a pinpoint position, jumping with both feet, straight ball toss (opposed to circular) and different racquet take back (or up). I started by picking each part and practising it (without a ball most of the times). First I started to get used to use both feet to keep balance and 'jump'. Then was the ball toss, etc. I used to practise these independently of the others.
Then, when I had the basics of each, I tried them all together in a court. Most of the times I couldn't do them all well, but I was able to know which part was failing, and concentrate on it on the next serve, and repeat, and repeat. I still have problems with doing it all together (about 50% of times), but I gained a good 15-20 mph on my serve by being consistent on this.
I'm pretty sure if I just tried everything from the start I would still be hitting the ball with my frame in a best case scenario or hurt my shoulder in the worst.
(Yeah, I changed pretty much everything in the serve :))
But to defend the 'whole serve' motion. When I started playing, my coach made us practise each part separatly, the ball toss without the racquet for example, which thrown my rhythm out of the window when I had to do it all together. The ball toss was completly different when done without moving the right arm with a racquet. I had to 're-learn' the toss after that.
Bottom line, if the coach is teaching him the small part correctly (for example, a ball toss while pulling the racquet up) I think its ok, but if he separates it like forcing you to hit the ball with your racquet already on your back, I think this will only cause you to mess up since you won't learn any of the timing involved in the serve.
About your friend, he may be righ tor wrong. If he thinks he should do A, but actually has better serves with B, then B should be used, but if he has the same level serves with A or B, and feels more confortable with A while the pro says B, he should use A, unless there is something wrong with his A :)
It seems a bit that your friend is trying to advance a bit to fast, not because of wanting to use the waist and hip, but because, as you said, he is taking up tennis, and is already 'defying' his pro so he can do the same as the guys/gals he saw on tv. Just a thought thou ;)
Hope it helps,
I think it's best to start simple with the least number of body parts moving (like throwing darts) and just use the arm to get the ball in. That is what I had my mixed doubles partner do last year on her second serve since before then her serve % was way too low as she was twisting her body way too much trying to imitate the pros.
If he can get his simple second serves in then he can work on hitting a more aggressive first serve using more hips and legs.
I agree with your coach.. The serve is very complex and I learned it through a number of stages.. It's called serve development! You can't expect to do everything at once. The way I learned it was through each of the following stages and I didnt go to the next until I was comfortble with the previous ones:
1.) Flat serve, just arm and forehand grip
2.) Flat serve, just arm and continental grip
3.) Slice serves
4.) Added more hip/shoulder rotation
5.) Added some leg bend
6.) Added a stepup formation
7.) Fine tune the toss
9.) Add fuller range swing (backscratch)
9.) Change grip to a little closer to eastern backhand
10.) Change toss to be more into court
11.) Looser wrist, looser arms
well u get the point..
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