A year later, my serve still sucks.

SystemicAnomaly

Bionic Poster

Yeah I definitely don't have the same range you do. I can't go past my shoulders.
That doesn’t look too bad. Maybe a very minor deficiency. It does NOT explain your very shallow drop.

How does that ROM compare to your L shoulder? Did you try the alternate ESR test I suggested? Or try it with a bit of resistance as suggested in post #138?

While your ROM might not be too bad, your strength, power / speed of motion might be substandard for ESR.

But, at this point, your shallow drop seems to be primarily something other than an ESR limitation.
 
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ballmachineguy

Hall of Fame
Once the elbow starts swinging up from trophy position there’s a problem if the hand is also going up. What causes this? That’s the question. I can’t think of anything other than tense shoulder or anatomically restricted rotation.
What if, as the racquet is dropping north to south, shoulder rotation starts pulling it west to east? Can you jump as high if you are broad jumping as you can when you purely vertical jump?

That is why I suggested he not, incorrectly, start rotating before jumping. Just saying the drop isn’t enough is focusing on the effect. I was going for the possible cause, so he might fix the drop in the process. The premature rotation has to be fixed anyway.

Try it at home. Start a serve drop and rotate your shoulders. The drop pretty much stops.
 

Curious

G.O.A.T.
What if, as the racquet is dropping north to south, shoulder rotation starts pulling it west to east? Can you jump as high if you are broad jumping as you can when you purely vertical jump?

That is why I suggested he not, incorrectly, start rotating before jumping. Just saying the drop isn’t enough is focusing on the effect. I was going for the possible cause, so he might fix the drop in the process. The premature rotation has to be fixed anyway.

Try it at home. Start a serve drop and rotate your shoulders. The drop pretty much stops.
Yeah, stay side on as long as possible! Big revelation on serve I’ve been talking about recently. Should help him but I doubt that’s the solution to his problem.
 

Dragy

Legend
Yeah, stay side on as long as possible! Big revelation on serve I’ve been talking about recently. Should help him but I doubt that’s the solution to his problem.
This suggestion should be accompanied with a disclaimer:
- You stay sideways “as long as possible” to still turn into the serve, depending on its type. Get open enough - just maybe later through the motion.

Because I’ve seen enough videos where they stay sideways and arm the serve sideways in an awkward manner.

Also, to do shoulder-over-shoulder while “staying sideways” one should use legs and body well enough. Not mandatory jump high, but neither just stand there on straight legs.
 

Curious

G.O.A.T.
This suggestion should be accompanied with a disclaimer:
- You stay sideways “as long as possible” to still turn into the serve, depending on its type. Get open enough - just maybe later through the motion.

Because I’ve seen enough videos where they stay sideways and arm the serve sideways in an awkward manner.

Also, to do shoulder-over-shoulder while “staying sideways” one should use legs and body well enough. Not mandatory jump high, but neither just stand there on straight legs.
No matter how hard you try to stay side on eventually you open up anyway. That’s why I said as long as possible because I know it won’t last that long. Agree with you .
 

Digital Atheist

Hall of Fame
Oops, error in post #151. Should read:

That doesn’t look too bad. Maybe a very minor deficiency. It does NOT explain your very shallow drop...
Nope, it doesn't, and ROM is important to check first, but when I see this, it's rately because of that.
Exhibit A:
Exhibit B:

Not entirely sure how to fix it, but you might benefit from some shadow swings mimicing the following.

Focus on where he says "I'm going to work this part of the swing". His demo isn't exactly what happens on the serve but heis doing it slowly without any other forces in play, and it is the component of the serve you skip, which eliminates your racquet drop. Instead you make a beeline for the ball with your hand from trophy. You should easily be able to copy that in your backyard or living room to learn how it feels.

Here are a couple of other videos that might help explain things (you have a muscled or very small power loop):

Some OTI stuff is just rubbish, but those seem quite relevant to your issue. There is also a drill you can do to help (can't find the video sorry). Do a normal shadow swing serve WITH a ball toss, and as you come around don't hit the ball, but instead, simply elbow the ball to the side of your head as it drops (elbow should be pointing straight forward to the court but to the side of your head). It is very similar to the McCraw motion above.

Everything else looks great, so good luck!
 
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Digital Atheist

Hall of Fame
I don't see any Thoracic Extension in the OP's serve. That might affect the racket drop.
Compare single frame. To single frame on Youtube, stop video, use the period & comma keys.
Go to the OP's serve frames with maximum Thoracic Extension. I don't see TE.

Update - Needs similar camera angles for more accurate comparison.

What is the camera recording rate?

@Digital Atheist - FYI
I would say that's a contributor, but TE isn't solely responsible for the OP lack of drop. See the McCraw video where he demos an ok drop with only the arm.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I would say that's a contributor, but TE isn't solely responsible for the OP lack of drop. See the McCraw video where he demos an ok drop with only the arm.
I have a thread on Thoracic Extension of the Spine and the Tennis Serve. The OP of this thread seems to have little Thoracic Extension. ? I explained how TE affects the length and stretch of the lat muscle because TE back bending affects the location of the lat's origins on the back and rib bones. Drawings in Thread.

Suggest looking for the amount of Thoracic Extension in ATP servers vs other servers (posters) and observe any differences. note complaints from other servers like the OP with racket drop. Observe the OP's TE. (requires pointing a high speed camera)

You have been doing lots of interesting displays of single serving frames. Some camera angles will show TE well and others not so well. See if you notice TE and can find good camera angles. There are lots of pictures in the TE thread showing TE.

In the TE thread, the Sampras multi-frame display is excellent for showing when TE occurs & TE. See #12 - Looks like maximum TE & racket drop. But it is from a rare high camera angle, and finding comparison videos would be difficult. Forum posters would usually not have elevated angles in their serve videos.
sampras_serve_04_0402.jpg


Looking now for lower camera angles that might show TE well. Getting TE with a racket drop in a video is probably out there for the finding for some particular camera angle - like an Easter Egg hunt.

The OP here has the camera lying on the ground, so I don't trust that his TE is being displayed well. ? We need some better camera observations.

Camera rule - every camera angle is best for displaying something. What is that camera angle for displaying TE & racket drop together from a tripod on the court. ?

To find my thread's main TE video below, I looked over many video thumbnails and happened to see this one that displayed TE well. It was from an elevated camera located in the lower stands and for a doubles match.

Notice how the maximum Thoracic Extension shown below looks like #12 of the Sampras display.

Biomechanics issue - Is there an association between racket drop and amount of serve Thoracic Extension. Pictures ...
 
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Digital Atheist

Hall of Fame
That is why I suggested he not, incorrectly, start rotating before jumping
+1. Not really sure how to explain this and whether I'm even correct, but as I understand it the body should still be somewhat sideways at the same time the racquet drop is at its deepest, and then the hitting shoulder comes up and through, forcing the body to rotate properly into the strike.
 

Curious

G.O.A.T.
+1. Not really sure how to explain this and whether I'm even correct, but as I understand it the body should still be somewhat sideways at the same time the racquet drop is at its deepest, and then the hitting shoulder comes up and through, forcing the body to rotate properly into the strike.
McCraw video you posted above shows drop can be achieved during a vertical axis rotation, too.
 

Digital Atheist

Hall of Fame
I have a thread on Thoracic Extension of the Spine and the Tennis Serve. The OP of this thread seems to have little Thoracic Extenison. ? I explained how TE affects the length and stretch of the lat muscle because TE affects the location of the lat's origins (bone) on the bones across the back/ribs. Drawings in Thread.

Suggest looking for the amount of Thoracic Extension in ATP Players vs Other servers (posters) and observe any differences. Observe complaints from other servers like the OP with racket drop. Observe the OP's TE. (requires pointing a camera)

You have been doing lots of interesting didplays of single serving frames. Some camera angles will show TE well and others not so well. See if you notice TE. There are lots of pictures in the TE thread.

In the TE Thread the Sampras multi-frame display is excellent for showing when TE occurs & TE. See #12 - Looks like maximum TE & racket drop. But it is from a rare high camera angle, and finding comparison videos would be difficult. Posters would never have elevated angles.
sampras_serve_04_0402.jpg


Looking now for lower camera angles that might show TE well. Getting TE with a racket drop in a video is probably out there for the finding for some particular camera angle - like an Easter Egg hunt.

The OP here has the camera lying on the ground, so I don't trust that his TE is being displayed well. ? We need some better camera observations.

Camera rule - every camera angle is best for displaying something. What is that camera angle for displaying TE & racket drop together from a tripod on the court. ?

To find my thread's main TE video below, I looked over many video thumbnails and happened to see this one that displayed TE well. It was from an elevated camera located in the lower stands and for a doubles match.

Notice how the maximum Thoracic Extension shown below looks like #12 of the Sampras display.

Biomechanics issue - Is there an association between racket drop and amount of serve Thoracic Extension. Pictures ...
That is still a good angle. OP goes from around frame 9 and then quickly moves his hand/elbow in an almost straight line to try and reach frame 13, instead of allowing the elbow to lead, coming around to the side of his face ala Sampras in frame 12. Maybe that is a timing issue and he doesn't feel like he can perform that critical move before the ball drops out of the strike zone, or maybe it is just because that is what his body knows. It can be trained however imo, but he needs to learn what that feels like (hence my McCraw video, which can even be practiced indoors!).
 

Digital Atheist

Hall of Fame
McCraw video you posted above shows drop can be achieved during a vertical axis rotation, too.
Yes for sure, but he is using elbow bending to assist since it is a more static motion. I think that is ok for learning the feeling. It is also possible to get a deep drop while opening up too early on a real serve, but that is to be avoided if possible since it is a power killer and you end up pushing, not pulling the racquet.
 

Curious

G.O.A.T.
Yes for sure, but he is using elbow bending to assist since it is a more static motion. I think that is ok for learning the feeling. It is also possible to get a deep drop while opening up too early on a real serve, but that is to be avoided if possible since it is a power killer and you end up pushing, not pulling the racquet.
What drops the racket?
Vertical axis rotation, horizontal axis rotation ( cartwheeling), leg drive. 2nd and 3rd are not utilised much by rec players imo.
 

Digital Atheist

Hall of Fame
What drops the racket?
Vertical axis rotation, horizontal axis rotation ( cartwheeling), leg drive. 2nd and 3rd are not utilised much by rec players imo.
We are getting a little off track for the OP I think.

I did state the motion in that video wasn't what happens in a real serve and why I think he should still learn to feel the racquet going down his back like that (it is also pretty easy to stay more sideways than his demo and achieve something similar, for me at least). You might not agree and you may even be correct, but I don't think he has much to lose by trying it.
 

Curious

G.O.A.T.
We are getting a little off track for the OP I think.

I did state the motion in that video wasn't what happens in a real serve and why I think he should still learn to feel the racquet going down his back like that (it is also pretty easy to stay more sideways than his demo and achieve something similar, for me at least). You might not agree and you may even be correct, but I don't think he has much to lose by trying it.
I like that video. OP will most likely benefit from it.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
The last second of the tennis serve and its many sub-motions. Go full screen, use the period & comma keys to single frame.

If we had this video of the OP's serve, what would we observe?

When there is uncertainty about some issue, collect information.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
History Tennis Serve

I do not know if ISR was observed and recognized during the serve until the big break through by the badminton researchers, presented in the mid-1980's at a sports science conference. They said that the badminton smash and the tennis serve used ISR in the same way. There is a thread.

[ISR - Internal Shoulder Rotation, in some countries - Medial Shoulder Rotation]

In 1995, tennis researchers using multi-camera motion capture systems published ISR for the tennis serve. The scientific community and the ITF accepted that ISR was true. The authors called ISR the "missing link". There is a thread.

In 1919, there is a high speed film that shows Gerald Paterson hitting his serve using ISR. You can see the shadows move at his elbow that indicate ISR. There is a thread and posts.

For many, many decades - until 1995, ISR was missed by the scientific community. I worked with 500 fps 16 mm film cameras in the 1970's. That camera would have shown ISR on the first try if the elbows had had shadows. Now you can do that with a used Casio EX-FH100 camera that costs $85.

This amazing story of - WHOOPS! How did we miss ISR for over 76 years!? - should be told by some of those that lived through it..........

Now it is 2024, 105 years after Gerald Paterson's high speed films of his serve......

....................................
 
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ballmachineguy

Hall of Fame
I do not know if ISR was observed and recognized during the serve until the big break through by the badminton researchers, presented in the mid-1980's at a sports science conference. They said that the badminton smash and the tennis serve used ISR in the same way. There is a thread.

In 1995, tennis researchers using multi-camera motion capture systems published ISR for the tennis serve and the scientific community and the ITF accepted that ISR was true. The authors called ISR the "missing link". There is a thread.

In 1919, there is a high speed film that shows Gerald Paterson hitting his serve using ISR. You can see the shadows move at his elbow that indicate ISR. There is a thread and posts.

For many, many decades - until 1995, ISR was missed by the scientific community. I worked with 500 fps 16 mm film cameras in the 1970's. That camera would have shown ISR on the first application if the elbows had had shadows. Now you can do that with a used Casio EX-FH100 camera that costs $85.

This amazing story of - WHOOPS! How did we miss ISR for over 76 years!? - should be told by some of those that lived through it..........

Now it is 2024, 105 years after Gerald Paterson's high speed films of his serve......

....................................
Just make a documentary and get it over with.
 
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