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Old 01-30-2013, 09:55 AM   #11
Chas Tennis
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 4,119

Phrases such as 'hit up the mountain' or any other words to describe the very complex 3D body movements in a serve require clarification from those who use them. How can a few words describe a complex 3 D motion?

'brushing up the back of the ball'
'hitting from 7 to 1 o'clock' on a kick serve

How many of these terms have a positive value that outweighs their possibly misleading interpretations?

For example
Maybe ?? Stosur is 'brushing up the back of the ball' with a '7 to 1' direction, very fast, at 240fps it's difficult to see. But you can see that the racket is also definitely rotating very rapidly at impact. I've heard 'hit 1 to 7' many times but the more complex racket rotation has never been part of the description. 'Brushing' seems to me a different motion conceptually than this rapid rotation (I think that this interpretation of brushing is screwing up my kick serve improvements.). If you brush up 1 to 7 and don't have the racket rotation is your kick serve forever doomed? (Yes, we all know our serves are likely doomed forever anyhow......)

In this video, what part of the motion of this serve is ’up the mountain’? What is the clear and useful interpretation of the term?
I believe that his hand stays mostly level for some time before and after impact.

Also, while the less important components of the serve that can be observed by eye get a lot of attention and discussions the most important part of the serve that can only be seen in high speed videos receives hardly any discussion. A completely muddling and misleading term "pronation" is most often used instead of internal shoulder rotation (upper arm axial rotation). Is there a single instructional video where the term internal shoulder rotation is used?

Where is the up the mountain, brush the ball, hit 1 to 7, etc . What stands out is the very high racket head speed created by the rotation of the upper arm.

If you have some short phrases for describing components of the service motion, please reply with the term, its meaning and possibly find a high speed video to show how term applies?

BTW in the OP - "with a closed racket face (perpendicular to the ground)". A Closed racket means that the highest edge of the racket, as held, is forward, closer to the opposite court. A closed racket tends to hit the ball more downward than a neutral or open face. The racket might feel closed at impact on the serve but you can’t tell unless you check with high speed video. In the videos of pros the racket face seems close to neutral (not open or closed). PS - Players often hit overheads into the net because they are positioned a little too far away from the falling ball and therefore reach and contact it with a closed racket face. If the toss on the serve is too far in front the same thing might happen.

Last edited by Chas Tennis; 01-30-2013 at 10:29 AM.
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