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Old 05-11-2013, 07:13 PM   #22
charliefedererer's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 5,639

Originally Posted by travlerajm View Post
I actually disagree with this one. I think pulling the racquet down faster (instead of relying on gravity, was one of the secret sources of racquetspeed that I discovered 10 years ago when I was serving at a much higher level). By actively pulling the racquet down, I can get the bottom of the downswing much lower (down around my thigh rather than my waist). This gives me more distance to accelerate upward into the ball. It allows me to use the muscle chain in my abdominals, lat, shoulder, and triceps as a spring -- so in that sense I get extra energy into the racquet on the upstroke. I notice this is also one of Roddick's secrets, but very few amateurs do it. It gives the appearance of a "live arm", but really, my arm is not very live at all - I can't though a baseball particularly fast, but I can serve at a high level when my biomechanics click.
It's interesting that you are using an active pulling down of your racquet.
I was quoting the analysis of Brian Gordon from his articles on the service technique on based on analysis of D1 college players and pros. He specifically cites the rapid racquet drop of Roddick and has a video clip of him in this section, and mentions how he has perfect timing of his leg drive.

Unfortunately as we get older the leg drive diminishes and so maybe you have found a way to get a quicker/fuller racquet drop with an active muscular contraction.

But Brian warns that an active contraction to get a deeper racquet drop, followed by an active contraction to get the racquet coming up can be too violent a reversal of forces, and can lead to shoulder injury.
Hopefully your method is "just right".

Originally Posted by travlerajm View Post
I disagree here. After a few weeks of serving reps, my "Samprasized" Blade is startign to feel like an extension of my arm. There's also no question that I can serve faster and with significantly more rpm with 370 SW than I can with a stock racquet.
That's great that you can get in the reps with your weighted racquet. It sounds like you are getting close to the motion you want anyway.
I play/serve less over the winter, and in the spring need a lot of practice reps before the timing is right of the entire kinetic chain. It occurred to me I could use an unleaded 6.1 90 while initially warming up, and save my weighted stick until I was getting close. It sounds like you are already long past this point.
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