2nd serve training HD video

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by StasTs, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. StasTs

    StasTs New User

    Mar 27, 2018
    After returning to tennis after ~17 years of not playing, I'm staggering with my 2nd serve and have to serve with mostly 2nd serves only to avoid double failures. I've got some footage of training session. My current level is ~4.5 ITN (~4.5-5 NTRP). Will gladly take some advises :)

  2. Dragy

    Dragy Semi-Pro

    Aug 10, 2015
    Moscow, Russia
    What do you want for your second serve? Spin, trajectory? The common approaches are (1) hitting softer than a first serve and (2) hitting with lots of topspin. If first serve percentage is very high, hitting seconds with same pace, but more conservative placement, is also possible.

    For any higher level player (or ambitious for higher level) I advocate hitting topspin/kick serves as second - full effort, full swing, but with an “across” direction related to the ball expected trajectory. Particularly for you I’d go with 2 tweaks:
    - toss the ball over your head/left shoulder, not to the right;
    - swing and follow-through up-and-out, not through and down as you do now.

    Practicing spin serves off your knees is great to get the feel - put a tallow on the ground, get down on your knees sideways to the baseline, toss up over your head and swing up and out - towards the net post or even close to “along the baseline”.
    conkerzzz and StasTs like this.
  3. StasTs

    StasTs New User

    Mar 27, 2018
    Reliability and be able to control placement of the serve to deny opponent's attack on my 2nd serve. I don't have at the moment good percentage of 1st service because having too much fear of failure on my 2nd serve. So, I'm making soft 1st serve and it doesn't work :(

    Actually when recording on this video, my personal feelings were that I'm tossing ball over head/left. Normally I'm tossing much more right/ahead. I'll try to toss even more to left. And thank you for tip/advice.
  4. Keendog

    Keendog New User

    Feb 27, 2017
    hey mate no coach but my opinion only, take what you want from it. Looking at your motion, when you fault, is it mostly into the net? It looks like you are hitting down on the ball with your elbow starting high above your head and never really dropping.

    Try your service motion with a ball in your hand instead of a racquet, and try to throw the ball at the back fence using the same motion as your serve. Then try to throw using a natural throwing motion like you were pitching a baseball. See if you can feel the difference, it should feel alot easier throwing normally and less effort from the muscles.

    Essentially the tighter you can get your elbow into your ribcage the more power you can make, and also the more the serve motion will be up and through the ball.
    Your backswing looks Tomic-esque, however you don't ever drop your elbow down like Tomic does (high elbow is also why Tomic doesn't have as much power for his height as other players).

    To change a common exercise, which I also went through, is to not do a backswing and just start at a 'trophy' position, toss ball up, and swing from that starting position. You can still serve a very effective serve from this action, it can just lack a little rhythm.
  5. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Feb 25, 2006
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    For 2nd serves, your body should be staying sideways longer. This should help you to get more topspin on 2nd serves — especially with a ball toss that is a bit more to the left. As it is, you are stepping forward with right foot pointing toward the net post. This opens up your hips (and body) too early. If you must step forward with your right foot, try to keep it more parallel to the baseline so that your hips don’t open up too soon. This should enable to stay sideways longer rather than facing the net too soon.

    Try more torso or body coil for your trophy position. Your right elbow is too high and you have no shoulder tilt for your trophy position. Get your left shoulder higher than your right shoulder and your right elbow a little bit lower than your right shoulder. The right elbow should be in line with your shoulder tilt.

  6. Friedman Whip

    Friedman Whip Semi-Pro

    Jan 30, 2016
    Here's some advice I'm pretty sure you'll never take because it's difficult. It's not an easy fix. You need to change your grip to be more of a continental grip. The standard grip for serving. You'll need to also make some other changes at the same time.
    Fintft likes this.
  7. conkerzzz

    conkerzzz New User

    Oct 22, 2012
    Sweet you are yet to make the paradigm shift into topspin! I'm making some good progress with my kick serve and would advise to have a trophy position (using continental or even slightly towards the backhand grip) where the strings face the side fence, as in the picture by the poster above. When swinging at the ball I find it helps to think I want to hit the top inside part (closest to you). To hit there you will need to make use of internal arm rotation. Do this while you are sideways and your arm should swing almost along the baseline, while the ball will fly into the court with topspin.
    StasTs likes this.
  8. S&V-not_dead_yet

    S&V-not_dead_yet Legend

    Mar 16, 2015
    You've got great racquet drop: the tip of your racquet is well below your waist.

    You do not have great shoulder turn. Increasing that will help you with the below.

    Also, your stance [with your right foot coming up even with your left] makes it very difficult to maintain rotation, which is precisely one of the problems you're having. See the video for Salzy's explanation.

    Your serves looked like flat 1st serves. If you want more margin of error, you need to alter your swing path: right now, you're swinging forward towards your target. A topspin/kick serve would involve a swing path more to the right of you. It's counter-intuitive to swing to the right when you want your serve to go forward but that's the reality. And the faster you swing, the more topspin, which means you'll have more net clearance with the ball still dropping in.

    For example:

    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
    StasTs likes this.
  9. Curious

    Curious Hall of Fame

    Feb 1, 2016
    That piece of advice could be misleading as there should be an optimal one rather than 'tighter the better'. Because too close to ribcage will reduce power, too.

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