Beginner Serve Help Day 13 - Incorporating the Jump!


Goals for Today:

Incorporate the Jump motion into my serve

Lessons Learned:

Seems like the jump reintroduces my bad habit of twisting the left shoulder to the left too early. Definitely need to fix that next time.
 

a12345

Professional
Personally I dont think you should incorporate the leg drive yet as its too early. It overcomplicates things and will mess everything up.

You want to get the cartwheel and the swing motion right first from a standing start. If its not right from standing it definitely wont be right from jumping.

The progression to the jump should first be to hit and walk.

Like this

 

eah123

Semi-Pro
Do not actively jump on the serve. The feet leaving the ground is a consequence of keeping the lower body relaxed.

Consider also keeping your feet together in a pinpoint stance while learning. I use that method to help people understand how the knee bend works with the rest of the body (hips, shoulders, elbow) in a coiling motion which ends at the trophy position, prior to uncoiling/exploding up into the ball. Similar to what Patrick Dougherty teaches in this video, but without the step forward with the right leg.
 

Niwrad0

New User
Get a hopper or basket that stands up so you don’t have to lean over to get another ball. You’re literally breaking your back and also tiring yourself out unnecessarily.
 
Is your serve completely awful?
No, it is a pretty typical beginners serve.

Is there hope for improvement?
Yes, let's get started.

First of all, let's stop trying to hit the ball into the service box, and work more on form.
Set the racket aside and, standing behind the service line, try throwing balls, one at a time, as hard as you can- toward the opposite fence. Notice how your body moves, how your shoulder moves back, how you twist at the waist and load your weight on the back leg, and with a throwing motion propel the ball forward.

Next, practice throwing the ball to specific spots in the service court- as if you were really serving and pay attention to haw you coordinate those motions.

When all that begins to feel pretty good to you, start doing the same thing with an old (wooden) racket. Don't think about the racket, itself (at this point), just throw it. What you are trying to do,here, is work on a natural "throwing" motion which is the basis of a good serve.

Now you want to hit the ball- but not a tennis ball. Find an old volleyball, toss it up and hit it across the net- eventually you may be able to control the trajectory of the volleyball by imparting some spin.

Ok, now is this service motion you are working on smooth and easy?
Let's find out. Tie an old tennis ball to the top of your racket head and practice the serve motion. The ball should extend out straifght from the racket head without any jerking about through the entire service motion.

Now, if you can do all that add the ball toss to the mix. All the motions should remain basically the same, only timing is, now, an issue.

Keep at it until the motions and timing begin to gel.

When you get to that point, send another video.
 
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ichaseballs

Semi-Pro
  • don't think of "jumping", think of going after the toss. you have enough to focus on, and "jumping" should happen without thought
  • the most important part of serving is being consistent with your toss. aim for about 12 or 1 o clock right above your shoulder. toss should drop inside the court if you let it fall. ideally aim to toss it so the peak is where you will make contact. this timing takes a lot of practice.
  • hold the racquet with a continental grip. do not choke up high on the grip, your hand should be towards the bottom of the grip.
  • the biggest issue i saw was dropping your tossing arm early. hold that "trophy pose" before starting your serve motion
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
You appear to be regressing here. What happened to the progress you were making earlier? It's gone. I am wondering if we are not being punked here. Is it an act?

Forget the jump for now. Best to fix the other problems identified previously. And get rid of that pre-toss down and up motion with the knees prior to the trophy phase... before it becomes an ingrained habit. You will end up with a troublesome double-dip motion later if it does become ingrained.

Two possible solutions for this issue. One is to forget about bending your knees at all until you fix your other identified issues. The other approach is to time the knee action properly. For now just go with a moderate knee bend. It should be a contrary motion. That is, as the arms & racket go up toward the trophy position, the rest of the body moves down (by bending the knees). The legs (knees) should not extend until the racket drop starts -- After the trophy phase. This is another contrary motion that is desired & should be developed

You really need to fix the other issues in your serve. You need a better toss. You need to stop chasing your toss to the right. You are over-rotating too much -- especially your lower body. Fix all of these problems and other identified problems before considering adding a jump to your serve
 

PocketAces

New User
You appear to be regressing here. What happened to the progress you were making earlier? It's gone. I am wondering if we are not being punked here. Is it an act?

Forget the jump for now. Best to fix the other problems identified previously. And get rid of that pre-toss down and up motion with the knees prior to the trophy phase... before it becomes an ingrained habit. You will end up with a troublesome double-dip motion later if it does become ingrained.

Two possible solutions for this issue. One is to forget about bending your knees at all until you fix your other identified issues. The other approach is to time the knee action properly. For now just go with a moderate knee bend. It should be a contrary motion. That is, as the arms & racket go up toward the trophy position, the rest of the body moves down (by bending the knees). The legs (knees) should not extend until the racket drop starts -- After the trophy phase. This is another contrary motion that is desired & should be developed

You really need to fix the other issues in your serve. You need a better toss. You need to stop chasing your toss to the right. You are over-rotating too much -- especially your lower body. Fix all of these problems and other identified problems before considering adding a jump to your serve
OP's last post was on Oct. 29th - Day 16 - Loading on the right foot. This is an earlier post that someone else resurrected. Looks like OP has petered out on his updates.
 

MotoboXer

Professional
You are not bending your front knee enough.
That front knee should bend until it is 2-3 inches
in front of the toes.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@Happi
Proof that any knucklehead can make tennis videos. Ask Clay how much topspin he produced from those knee and no jump serves.
Actually, Florian Meier was promoting the "no legs" serve concept even more than Clay some 4-5 years ago. At least Florian's popup video ads were more ubiquitous than the video from Clay B.

Ignore the title of Clay's video. His primary point is that RHS or power on the serve can be generated with minimal or modest knee flexion and little or no jump. He does acknowledge the value of being able to become airborne (jumping) on the serve. However, his target audience here is older players or servers with limited (or painful) knee function.

Clay B actually knows a considerable amount about body & stroke mechanics for both tennis & golf. He does, however, say one thing in this video that I do not completely agree with. He indicates that knee flexion and jumping is harder on the body than a minimal knee flexion, no-jump serve. The reality is that a no-jump serve might be less stressful to the knees & feet but is probably more stressful to the shoulder if the server is achieving a fair amt of power or a high RHS (with minimal leg drive)
 

ballmachineguy

Professional
@Happi

Actually, Florian Meier was promoting the "no legs" serve concept even more than Clay some 4-5 years ago. At least Florian's popup video ads were more ubiquitous than the video from Clay B.

Ignore the title of Clay's video. His primary point is that RHS or power on the serve can be generated with minimal or modest knee flexion and little or no jump. He does acknowledge the value of being able to become airborne (jumping) on the serve. However, his target audience here is older players or servers with limited (or painful) knee function.

Clay B actually knows a considerable amount about body & stroke mechanics for both tennis & golf. He does, however, say one thing in this video that I do not completely agree with. He indicates that knee flexion and jumping is harder on the body than a minimal knee flexion, no-jump serve. The reality is that a no-jump serve might be less stressful to the knees & feet but is probably more stressful to the shoulder if the server is achieving a fair amt of power or a high RHS (with minimal leg drive)
Yeah, I saw Florian’s video years ago and the ad for it that keeps popping up with his annoying voice haunts me frequently when trying to watch other YouTube content. “I can get 90% of my regular serve speed from my knees.” I don’t think too many players would like to give up 10% of their serve power. No one claims that you can leave your racket on the bench and go to the service line, toss the ball, and as long as you jump you’ll have 100 mile an hour serves. But to say that it’s not important to use your legs to get off the ground to increase racket head speed for power and spin but instead says it’s for height doesn’t get it.
 
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