Beginner Serve Help Day 7 - Weekly Review


Goals for today:
Didn't work on anything new. Just served a bucket of balls to establish a new baseline for where my serve is after a week of asking for advice on Talk Tennis.

Video from First Day for Comparison:


Overall, on a scale of 1-10, I'm a 10/10 in terms of satisfaction in regards to the help I got from this forum.

Thanks so much guys! You're all awesome!
 

jz000

Rookie
yes, start learning from just the Ad side first. It’s more intuitive.
Aim for the corner as well. The T is a slice serve usually on the ad side.

keep one thing constant in the beginning, and branch out from there. Don’t try too many different things at first.

And again, start with racket up, trophy position. And use your body to accelerate, not the arm. Try rocking back and forth in trophy.

keep at it!
 

eah123

Semi-Pro
Toss is too far to the right. Should be in the direction of the T at 1 o’clock or to the left of the T at 12 o’clock. Racket face should be slightly angled at contact to the left rather than completely vertical. At contact, you should be facing slightly sidewise to the target rather than facing directly at it. This will allow you to pronate the forearm correctly.
 

RVT

Rookie
the problems start as soon as you grab the ball from the hopper (or your pocket). The whole thing is one continuous motion. Hold the ball at the ready position, and STOP for a second. Every time. You're just rushing to practice your next mistake. There's no need to rush. At one point you're firing service rapid fire and finishing with the rack behind your back--then grabbing another ball during the finish. Slow down!

Global perspective, there's a lot of extraneous motion, on the wind-up and and the finish. I'm of the mind that all of the motions should have a purpose--and if it doesn't don't do it.

Technically, I liked that video posted earlier about "elbowing your enemy" from Salzenstein(sp?). And 70% of the tosses are way too far to the right. Don't even hit those. Just let it drop and try again.
 

Dansan

Rookie
You made some big improvements from the very beginning (y)

Your motion is a step in the right direction from where you were at. Eventually you can start to incorporate your lower body more. But for now, focus on the basic movement.

I always remind myself to hit UP at the ball and not to hit DOWN at the ball. Most of your racquet acceleration will be on the way UP at the ball. When your racquet hits the ball at the correct angle, it will bring the ball back down into the court.

To hit up at the ball you need to relax your arm a bit so the racquet can drop after the trophy position. Beginners sometimes hit with a tense arm which makes it impossible to hit UP at the ball correctly because they are trying so hard to hit DOWN on the ball. It gets even worse when in a match and you tense up. Hitting up at the ball also conserves a lot of energy because of the efficient way it uses kinetic energy to drive the ball.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Stop practicing.

On the first serve in the video your upper arm angle to your shoulder joint (draw a line between your two shoulders & measure the angle of your upper arm) was high and that indicates a risk for shoulder joint impingement, a flawed technique according to Ellenbecker. Probably had ISR. ? Search forum: Ellenbecker shoulder impingement Chas

Search for the Ellenbecker posts that I've written so that you find information on the safety issue involving the upper arm being high.

On another video, it looked like a Waiter's Tray. Probably little ISR. How does Ellenbecker video apply when this WT technique? I don't know.

I looked at only two serves.

Find an instructor or study the information available on the serve. Don't experiment with what you know now.

Post a link to your earlier serve thread in the OP (Original Post). You could use "Quote" whenever you post a new reply. You can't use QUOTE when editing a post.
 
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yossarian

Professional
Stop practicing.

On the first serve in the video your upper arm angle to your shoulder joint (draw a line between your two shoulders & measure the angle of your upper arm) was high and that indicates a risk for shoulder joint impingement, a flawed technique according to Ellenbecker. Probably ISR. Search forum: Ellenbecker shoulder impingement Chas

Search for the Ellenbecker posts that I've written so that you find information on the safety issue involving the upper arm being high.

On another video, it looked like a Waiter's Tray. Probably little ISR. How does Ellenbecker video apply to this technique? I don't know.

I looked at only two serves.

Find an instructor or study the information available on the serve. Don't experiment with what you know now.
Just how is he supposed to correct his technique without practicing to correct his technique?
 

RVT

Rookie
Just how is he supposed to correct his technique without practicing to correct his technique?
there is "practicing to correct your technique" and there is "practicing your mistakes". This is mostly the latter. Moreover, it's not really practicing to correct technique as much as it is just hitting balls. The serves are like snowflakes--no two are really the same. This is highlighted in the first 4 or 5 serves. So, step 1 is taking a step back and learning how to practice. That includes putting some focus into each ball, and mentally thinking about what you just did right--and wrong. Not overanalyzing, but just slowing down a bit.

I agree, the service looks much better than day 1. But there are some huge technical flaws that have to be corrected, and a lot of them should probably be done at first off the court in front of a mirror for instant feedback. For instance, starting with the hitting shoulder and elbow (shoulder doesn't come back very far, elbow is pinned against the body), and ending with the opposite hand, which just falls to the side (vs. coming across the body to start the transfer of energy to the shoulder/arm/hand). And lots of stuff in between (toss way off to the right, toss release point in a different location almost every serve).

Again, all stuff that can be corrected. As I said before, I think the process would go a lot faster and more efficiently (and more safely) with some professional instruction. I say this as someone who is self--taught (though at a young age, and with a strong background in throwing sports). I think it can be figured out on your own, but again, what I see here is a lot of practicing mistakes. Step 1 is "learn how to practice".
 

eah123

Semi-Pro
I think the shadow swing doesn't look bad, but the problem is you are ignoring the fact that your tossing arm motion is incorrect. Please watch this video and practice!
 
Stop practicing.

On the first serve in the video your upper arm angle to your shoulder joint (draw a line between your two shoulders & measure the angle of your upper arm) was high and that indicates a risk for shoulder joint impingement, a flawed technique according to Ellenbecker. Probably had ISR. ? Search forum: Ellenbecker shoulder impingement Chas

Search for the Ellenbecker posts that I've written so that you find information on the safety issue involving the upper arm being high.

On another video, it looked like a Waiter's Tray. Probably little ISR. How does Ellenbecker video apply when this WT technique? I don't know.

I looked at only two serves.

Find an instructor or study the information available on the serve. Don't experiment with what you know now.

Post a link to your earlier serve thread in the OP (Original Post). You could use "Quote" whenever you post a new reply. You can't use QUOTE when editing a post.
Just searched and looked up everything.

Is this image correct?



The key is to drop the left shoulder (for rightie) and raise the right shoulder so there's almost a straight line instead of a sharp angle from shoulder to shoulder to the racket?
 

ballmachineguy

Professional
Definitely need to fix the toss. Tossing too far to the right causes your racquet path to be directly at the target. That means no spin, flat ball trajectory and little margin for error. Since you are not using the legs, don’t throw too far into the court yet. I would say to try and have them land on the left foot. Adjust it out into the court if you feel that you aren’t able to shift you weight toward the target (on to left foot). This is more second serve than first, but you definitely need to get the feel of that sort of racquet path.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Just searched and looked up everything.

Is this image correct?



The key is to drop the left shoulder (for rightie) and raise the right shoulder so there's almost a straight line instead of a sharp angle from shoulder to shoulder to the racket?
I have no medical training.

This issue involves the upper arm bone, humerus, and the shoulder joint and tissues that get impinged. The shoulder joint is on the scapula and the scapula moves around and tilts on the body.

There are various complications, such as the scapula moving around, that are discussed in this long thread. There are exceptions to the simple recommendations. You should also search on your own.

D. Whiteside, later in the thread, discusses estimating the angle. He is a biomechanics researcher and his view is very creditable. Ellenbecker's view is very creditable. They have studied the risks to the shoulder from the tennis serve. Ellenbecker has a video, "Rotator Cuff Injury," that is no longer available free, but is on Tennis Resources website, join for 3 months and see their videos.

You have the right idea but you need to learn to estimate for yourself. The chest can be oriented in 3D and that affects the apparent angle seen by cameras placed around the server. I would select ATP servers for that angle estimate. Note that even Federer's upper arm is high, not perfect, neither is top server Karolina Pliskova. They are discussed in the thread. Read my 'Background' post at the end.

You should be able to estimate when the arm is too high, be aware of it, and limit it based on Ellenbecker's recommendation. Use ATP servers and look at various camera angles. Pick a camera angle from behind to see near impact. But the upper arm angle should be somewhat maintained during more/most of the service motion. See clear high speed videos.

Recently, I became aware of another video that describes a shoulder impingement at a specific shoulder configuration for baseball pitchers and overhead athletes, I believe, including tennis servers. You should be aware of that injury also, the injury occurs well before impact.

See also, sub-acromial impingement.

I draw or imagine a line between the two shoulder joints and extend it toward the upper arm. I draw or imagine the line of the upper arm estimate the angle formed. I use a protractor or estimate the angle and am aware of the inaccuracies when making measurements in a 2D image of objects in 3D space. If that angle is more than about 15-20 degrees I warn the posters that they should check if the angle is OK.

I found flaws in simply measuring up from the server's side and don't use that.

The angle I prefer uses the same lines as Whiteside's method, except my angle is the complement, a smaller angle. He gets 179 d. and I get 180-179 = 1 d. I prefer this smaller angle because I can estimate small angles better than large angles. For example, Federer's upper arm is often about 30 degrees up from the shoulder's line extended vs upper arm 150 degrees from the line between the two shoulders. We have a better feel for the smaller angles.

Besides all this, due to individual bone structure, shoulders vary regarding impingement risks for extreme motions such as baseball pitching and tennis serving.

If you look for a while, you will see that some servers' upper arms look too high.

You should also see similar upper arm orientations for baseball pitchers.
Google: baseball pitcher pictures
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Stop practicing...
there is "practicing to correct your technique" and there is "practicing your mistakes". This is mostly the latter. Moreover, it's not really practicing to correct technique as much as it is just hitting balls...
OP has made a significant improvement since Day 1 -- in a relatively short time. Doesn't have everything right just yet but it does seem that his practicing has produced substantial corrections / improvements
 
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a12345

Professional
Theres definitely progression.

What youre doing is opening up the racket face too early because youre worried it wont hit the ball at contact. So you end up pancaking the ball.



You need to keep this racket on edge longer and open the racket face right at the last second. And when I say last second, the very very last moment.

You have to have a certain leap of faith that it will hit it, you cant slow down and align the racket face directly behind the ball and then pull your arm down.

As I say use the middle of your index finger as a guide, as this is on the same plane as the racket face, to kind of turn and pass through the ball at that very last second, just like you would throwing a ball.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
OP has made a significant improvements Day 1 -- in a relatively short time. Doesn't have everything right just yet but it does seem that his practicing has produced substantial corrections / improvements
My approach is for analysis and not for stroke instruction. I believe in screening for Waiter's Tray first. Racket face faces the sky, the serve is not a high level serve.

If WT, the player should first study the high level serve and understand WT & the high level serve. I don't believe, for example, in practicing a toss with a WT because a toss trained with the WT may require un-training.

I believe that the path of the racket head and hand are probably very different for a WT vs a high level serve technique, but I don't have videos for the WT to study that. The angle between the hand & racket paths relative to the ball's trajectory may be the worst issue to unlearn. ?

Here is a Toly composite picture showing the ball trajectory, hand path and racket head path. Slice serve. The 1st red arrow indicates the start of ISR and the 2nd is impact. Notice that racket face does not face the sky around the 1st red arrow.

If there were one similar picture for a typical Waiter's Tray technique we could avoid a lot of forum threads that go nowhere. Toly used Photoshop 'layering' to insert arm, racket and ball. He also created Youtube videos.

I'd like to compare these angles to similar WT serves. WT is based on swinging the racket more in the direction that the server wants the ball to go. In the high level serve picture above, the camera is high, viewing somewhat along the path of the hand and the other angles show up very well (the high camera is probably necessary to show this and Toly's composite technique show many frames of video in one picture all at once). These critical angles stand out in Toly's composite picture technique but do not when viewed in high speed videos because we don't remember so well what was in the frames before or after the one we are looking at.

I think that the above path angles may be one of the reasons that learning the high level serve from a WT is so difficult. I think practicing the WT serve, with its toss and footwork might have negative effects, entrenching bad muscle memory. ?

I believe that these things should first be studied and understood. Best not to practice the WT in my opinion. The Serve Dr is the only one that has a video on the WT technique and how to improve it, Hammer That Serve.

If you have access to students with WT serves consider the camera angle that is shown in the above picture and try some videos. Compare the angles that Toly's composite picture so clearly shows. If those angles are confirmed different, be aware of them when instructing players with WT.

Other forum posters have comments and information on the toss, footwork and other issues.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
My approach is to screen for Waiter's Tray first. If WT the player should study the high level serve and understand WT & the high level serve. I don't believe, for example, in practicing a toss with a WT because a toss trained with the WT may require untraining...
OP displayed a significant WTE in his Oct 5th video. I addressed it at that point. Not seeing a WTE on the drop at all now. But he does open it up early on the upward swing of many of his serves at this point.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
OP, slow down a bit between serves. As others mentioned, your tosses are moving away from you to the right. You are placing the toss at nearly 2 o'clock. You are chasing bad tosses. Better to put it between 12 and 1 o'clock for first serves and between 11 and 12 or so for second (topspin or topspin-slice) second serves.

You still sometimes finish your stroke on the right side of your body. Avoid this. Some old school twist servers did this but that is not the type of service you are working on. Some of your finishes are on your midline while a few have your racket head finishing on your left side. Try to get all of your serves finished on the left side.

Racket face opens up too early on your upward swing. (Perhaps this is the WTE that Chas is talking about). Seems that you have your racket face "on edge" for racket drop and have eliminated the WTE for that part of your serve. But I would still go for a little bit more palm down for your salute (& trophy) positions.

For your upward swing, try to keep the racket "on edge" for the first half or more of that upward swing... as if you were going to cut the ball with the edge of your racket. Or imagine cutting a branch that is above you (and a little bit in front of you and slightly to the right) with the edge of your racket head. As your racket gets closer to the ball, then you can rotate your hand to present the strings to the ball

It will be a partial hand & racket face rotation (forearm & shoulder actions) for spin serves. But more of a fuller high-five rotation for flatter serves.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
OP displayed a significant WTE in his Oct 5th video. I addressed it at that point. Not seeing a WTE on the drop at all now. But he does open it up early on the upward swing of many of his serves at this point.
I don't know what a WT "on the drop is". Or what 'open it up' is. I have never seen a reference. You have looked at a lot of serves and found some useful indicators.

I only look at the racket when the racket shaft is roughly horizontal, around the area of the 1st red arrow in the high level pro picture. I use the Hi Tech Tennis position, search Waiter's Tray Error.

Exactly like this from @a12345

If I see this I'm 100% sure that the serve is not going to be a high level serve and is probably a Waiter's Tray (there is an exception). The value of this checkpoint - it gives an answer in a few seconds.

Other posters use various times and positions for racket face orientations that I'm not familiar with.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
..................................................................................
What youre doing is opening up the racket face too early because youre worried it wont hit the ball at contact. So you end up pancaking the ball.



You need to keep this racket on edge longer and open the racket face right at the last second. And when I say last second, the very very last moment.
...........................................................................................
"You need to keep this racket on edge longer and open the racket face right at the last second. And when I say last second, the very very last moment."

Your "last second" view of the high level serve is not supported by high speed videos. Where is it? It looks continuous to me, just what to expect from ISR.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't know what a WT "on the drop is". Or what 'open it up' is. I have never seen a reference. You have looked at a lot of serves and found some useful indicators.

I only look at the racket when the racket shaft is roughly horizontal, around the area of the 1st red arrow in the high level pro picture. I use the Hi Tech Tennis position, search Waiter's Tray Error.
A majority of WT rec servers manifest the WTE very early -- at the trophy or at the start of the drop. The OP was doing this a week ago. (Roger has a minor opening of the racket face on his drop but then "corrects" it as he continues the drop & subsequent upward swing). In the images below, we see that the left arm is still UP -- indicating that this is likely occurring at or close to the trophy phase rather than at the start of the upward swing


http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/Resources/step126d.jpeg
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
A majority of WT rec servers manifest the WTE very early -- at the trophy or at the start of the drop. The OP was doing this a week ago. (Roger has a minor opening of the racket face on his drop but then "corrects" it as he continues the drop & subsequent upward swing). In the images below, we see that the left arm is still UP -- indicating that this is likely occurring at or close to the trophy phase rather than at the start of the upward swing


http://www.revolutionarytennis.com/Resources/step126d.jpeg
I see your revolutionarytennis picture of the open racket face. Good reference.

I have never seen the other position, open racket face at Big L - much closer to impact, recover to become a high level serve. High Tech Tennis uses the Big L position. The High Tech Tennis Big L position has a straight elbow but I believe some Waiter's Trays do not - that is an issue. ? Waiter's Tray shown on left. High level serve on right. I only use the racket face as in the 'face the sky' vs 'edge on to the ball', like Hi Tech Tennis.



Have you ever seen the earlier position nearer racket drop with "open" racket face recover to 'edge on to the ball' or a high level serve?

I have also heard other posters discuss open racket faces at other even earlier times and always disregard those because I have no knowledge of the racket face there for other miscellaneous techniques.

Does the earlier position racket face open orientation always lead to the Big L position open racket face orientation.

If the Big L position is used, closer to impact, it seems more reliable as a checkpoint than any position at earlier times. Why not use Big L?

Before I understood what a Waiter's Tray was I thought that others were using it around the Big L position, but I'm not at all sure of that. I posted a thread about 2012 asking what the Waiter's Tray was. I believe it was the well known player/instructor Denis Van Der Meer with tennis school in NC or SC that made a point of discussing it. He did not call it a Waiter's Tray.

2012 thread on Waiter's Tray serve.

2015 thread on Waiter's Tray serve.

SEARCH_WAITER'S_TRAY_THREAD
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
I see your revolutionarytennis picture of the open racket face. Good reference.

I have never seen the other position, open racket face at Big L much closer to impact, recover to become a high level serve. High Tech Tennis uses the Big L position. The High Tech Tennis Big L position has a straight elbow but I I believe some Waiter's Trays do not - that is an issue.


Have you ever seen the earlier position nearer racket drop with "open" racket face recover to 'edge on to the ball' or a high level serve?

I have also heard other posters discuss open racket faces at other even earlier times and always disregard those because I have no knowledge of the racket face there for other miscellaneous techniques.

Does the earlier position racket face open orientation always lead to the Big L position open racket face orientation.

If the Big L position is used, closer to impact, it seems more reliable as a checkpoint than any of yet earlier times. Why not use it?
The other WTE image is from Feel Tennis, I believe. I've seen the trophy WTE position with numerous students and rec players. Most of these do not have much semblance of a proper drop
 

RyDuTennis

New User
hey bro, stop practicing and get a coach. Honestly, that will be the most efficient way for you to improve.
asking for help/comments here could work for you, but it may take much much much longer. Best luck!
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Dennis Van der Meer spoke about the Waiter's Tray serve. He called it "Waitress Position".


"The "Waitress Position"

Dennis Van der Meer estimates that over 50% of club level players serve from a "Waitress Position." That is where in the racquet back position the racquet face is parallel to the ground rather than on edge and down, very much like a waitress holding a serving tray. Dennis explains that when the racquet is back on edge and the elbow is bent, it straightens out as it comes forward. The forearm turns outward so that the wrist can roll and snap outward. This gives the racquet maximum acceleration. In the Waitress Position this secondary function of the elbow is eliminated, hence there is no wrist roll, only a wrist snap. This is a far less effective serve and puts stress on the wrist, which could lead to a strained wrist." comment by Tony Severino

I believe that the terms 'Waiter's Tray', 'Waitress Position', 'Pancake Serve', and others have been used to describe the same serving technique. What is 'Frying Pan'?

Dennis Van der Meer estimates that over 50% of club level players serve from a "Waitress Position."
http://www.tennisserver.com/wildcards/wildcards_03_06.html

http://www.active.com/tennis/articles/how-to-avoid-the-no-1-service-error-most-players-make

Thread - Teaching the Pancake Serve
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/teaching-the-pancake-serve.509394/
Van der Meer was one of the few to say something about the Waiter's Tray serve and the ridiculous state of player's knowledge about the serve. His estimate was that over 50% of players had a Waiter's Tray serve. I saw more than 50% in poster's serves and used Van der Meer's estimate as a reference.

Here is a post that has some links to his thoughts.
 
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yossarian

Professional
Denis Van der Meer spoke about the Waiter's Tray serve. He called it "Waitress Position".
You seem to be missing this point as well: in both of those articles, and in @SystemicAnomaly 's previous post, the waiter position is described as occurring during the racquet drop, prior to maximum external rotation and the forward motion of the swing. If you want a specific "reference" to better help you understand this position, consider it the 'early cocking' phase of the tennis serve.

google "phases of throwing" to see how this description applies to a baseball pitcher

In OP's case, his racquet appears to be opening up during the swing, not during early cocking. Your identification of this as a traditional waiter's tray error is inconsistent with all of the source material describing a typical waiter's tray error
 

Morch Us

Professional
Seems like you are happy with your progress.

By the way, you may get 100 suggestions on your serve, since there is a lot of room for improvement (of course, since you are just starting).
But I will say only look at ONE THING at a time, and don't get distracted, and that one thing be the lowest step in the progression.

If I am your coach, I would say, that one step for you now is.... "stop following the ball after toss".
See the difference between your shadow swings at beginning (without balls) and how it changed once you started tossing the balls.

Practice catching the balls with tossing arm after the toss. If you cannot catch it with your tossing arm, that toss is bad, and doesn't deserve to be hit by the racket. Keep the body sideways (exaggerate it), keep the foot at the same place (just like in your shadow swing) and swing "slow" and free into the ball if you think you should be able to catch that toss with tossing arm (after practicing catching 25 balls on toss).

(PS: forget about all the waiter tray talk for now.....)

Goals for today:
Didn't work on anything new. Just served a bucket of balls to establish a new baseline for where my serve is after a week of asking for advice on Talk Tennis.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
TMK, this is pretty much what was meant by WTE or waiter's tray in the late 90s / early 00s.

Revolutionary Tennis was referring to this usage of waiter's tray back in mid/late 00s

(WTE has been explored and I now understand the history better and your point of view.)

On another subject

This link to Revolutionary Tennis does not agree with what is seen in videos regarding the pro serve.

In 1995 ISR during the serve was correctly described by tennis researchers. That research was well known to the ITF by 2000 or before and acknowledged. Maybe this Revolutionary Tennis link was written before knowledge of the ISR research was known?

Image

"I include some photos of pros where you can clearly see how the racket remains on its edge going up to the ball until literally just before contact. Emerson, rocket Roddick, Sharapova. Graf, second from right, has just begun turning the racket face into the ball."
No. Graf's racket continued to turn into the ball from ISR (assuming Graf had a high level serve).

I have pointed out many times that the ISR turns the racket from when ISR starts to impact. There is no special "Graf, second from right, has just begun turning the racket face into the ball."

The wording is often ambiguous. It is often misstated by posters, "at the last second the racket face is turned into the ball". For a service motion that lasts about 1-2 seconds does "at the last second" convey any useful information? Near the ball is in the last few milliseconds before impact.

Rather than argue over the loose & undefined wording, everyone should see what they believe is being said in high speed videos. The racket head turning can be explained by ISR acceleration of the racket that aligns at impact. There is no 'last second' special motion as is often stated.


We are in a cut and paste Information Age, and misleading tennis word descriptions are getting pasted often.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
This link to revolutionary tennis does not agree with what is seen in videos regarding the pro serve. In 1995 ISR was correctly described by tennis researchers...
Not sure how that is relevant to the discussion at hand. Just because Mark Papas does not mention ISR on that particular page does not invalidate his insight on the subject.

Note that the late Mark Papas (owner of Revolutionary Tennis) did not have a background in anatomy / biomechanics. He studied English in college. His background was as a writer and a tennis coach. I believe that he wrote that page back in 2006 or 2007. Most tennis coaches were not talking about ISR or ESR.

Even today, many coaches will talk about forearm pronation w/o ever mentioning shoulder rotation. Many good coaches get their point across without even saying the word, pronation. Elsewhere, on his website, Mark P does mention shoulder rotations. Don't know if he specifically talks about ISR. Note that Mark P passed away nearly 9 years ago. So it has been at least that long since his pages have been updated. Again, his failure to mention ISR in that one article does not invalidate his insights as a tennis coach.


 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Not sure how that is relevant to the discussion at hand. Just because Mark Papas does not mention ISR on that particular page does not invalidate his insight on the subject.

Note that the late Mark Papas (owner of Revolutionary Tennis) did not have a background in anatomy / biomechanics. He studied English in college. His background was as a writer and a tennis coach. I believe that he wrote that page back in 2006 or 2007. Most tennis coaches were not talking about ISR or ESR.

Even today, many coaches will talk about forearm pronation w/o ever mentioning shoulder rotation. Many good coaches get their point across without even saying the word, pronation. Elsewhere, on his website, Mark P does mention shoulder rotations. Don't know if he specifically talks about ISR. Note that Mark P passed away nearly 9 years ago. So it has been at least that long since his pages have been updated. Again, his failure to mention ISR in that one article does not invalidate his insights as a tennis coach.


Science changes faster and faster. It could almost be defined as continuously changing thinking.

I believe that nearly everyone in tennis was ignorant of the biomechanics of the tennis serve and did not consider ISR before 1995, Elliott & Marshall, except some badminton researchers in the late 1970s and 1980s.

Waddell & Gowitze used high speed film cameras to analyze strokes.
 
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a12345

Professional
Pronation and ISR can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between the 2.

If you bend your arm at the elbow, its easy to demonstrate the difference between the 2. If you straighten your arm, its hard to differentiate it at times.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Pronation and ISR can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between the 2.

If you bend your arm at the elbow, its easy to demonstrate the difference between the 2. If you straighten your arm, its hard to differentiate it at times.
When the arm is straight the total rotation can be seen at the wrist (sometimes the server even has a wrist watch). The racket shaft is also fixed to the palm and that is easy to see.

Total Rotation (at wrist) = Pronation (in forearm) + ISR (upper arm bone, humerus)

Example, you estimate Total Rotation of 80 d. and ISR of 70 d. Then Pronation would be 10 d.

I have found that the pronation is very hard to see and estimate using the above equation. But the bones and tendons connecting the elbow can often display their positions by their shadows in bright sunlight, and that shows ISR. You need a fast shutter speed to reduce motion blur.

Here is about the best video for observing the elbow shadows that I've seen. Early or late in the day, long shadows Single frame with period & comma keys.

I want to know the angular change of ISR from start to impact. I'd guess 45-90 d. for a high level serve and I'd like to know it more accurately. Pronation would be small and hard to estimate.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Pronation and ISR can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between the 2.

If you bend your arm at the elbow, its easy to demonstrate the difference between the 2. If you straighten your arm, its hard to differentiate it at times.
With the arm straight, ISR or ESR can be observed by observing the rotation of the elbow.
When the arm is straight the total rotation can be seen at the wrist (sometimes the server even has a wrist watch)...
Ultimately, the hand is turned to turn the racket. So I usually reference the hand rather than the wrist.

For nearly all players wearing a wrist watch, it's on the tossing arm rather than the racket arm. So, you would probably need to visualize an imaginary watch on the dominant arm
 

a12345

Professional
When the arm is straight the total rotation can be seen at the wrist (sometimes the server even has a wrist watch). The racket shaft is also fixed to the palm and that is easy to see.

Total Rotation (at wrist) = Pronation (in forearm) + ISR (upper arm bone, humerus)

Example, you estimate Total Rotation of 80 d. and ISR of 70 d. Then Pronation would be 10 d.

I have found that the pronation is very hard to see and estimate using the above equation. But the bones and tendons connecting the elbow can often display their positions by their shadows in bright sunlight, and that shows ISR. You need a fast shutter speed to reduce motion blur.

Here is about the best video for observing the elbow shadows that I've seen. Early or late in the day, long shadows Single frame with period & comma keys.

I want to know the angular change of ISR from start to impact. I'd guess 45-90 d. for a high level serve and I'd like to know it more accurately. Pronation would be small and hard to estimate.
Under the serve whilst the order should be ISR followed by a tiny bit of pronation at the end, I think there is a tendancy for people to lead with the pronation first to cause the ISR to happen after, and this doesnt utilise the ISR at all.

What they end up doing is a mix of elbow extension to straighten the arm, followed by pronation to hit the ball, and ISR is almost an after effect, long after the ball has left the strings. They ISR only in the follow through.

Instead ISR must happen as the arm is straightening and then pronation happens right at the end.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Under the serve whilst the order should be ISR followed by a tiny bit of pronation at the end, I think there is a tendancy for people to lead with the pronation first to cause the ISR to happen after, and this doesnt utilise the ISR at all.

What they end up doing is a mix of elbow extension to straighten the arm, followed by pronation to hit the ball, and ISR is almost an after effect, long after the ball has left the strings. They ISR only in the follow through.

Instead ISR must happen as the arm is straightening and then pronation happens right at the end.
Yes & No. The following graph shows some forearm pronation that precedes the onset of ISR. This happens about 60-125 ms prior to contact. We subsequently see a large spike in ISR. The peak happens around 20 ms prior to impact. At that time there is a smaller onset of forearm pronation

 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Under the serve whilst the order should be ISR followed by a tiny bit of pronation at the end, I think there is a tendancy for people to lead with the pronation first to cause the ISR to happen after, and this doesnt utilise the ISR at all.

What they end up doing is a mix of elbow extension to straighten the arm, followed by pronation to hit the ball, and ISR is almost an after effect, long after the ball has left the strings. They ISR only in the follow through.

Instead ISR must happen as the arm is straightening and then pronation happens right at the end.
You are putting it together pretty well.

Now keep in mind that observing joint motions or accelerations doesn't tell you directly that muscles are supplying forces to the joint. If ISR muscles accelerate the rotation of the arm with racket (at a changing angle to the forearm) and then the muscles stop supplying forces, by inertia the arm and racket continue on at high speed.

Don't form opinions about what the ISR and pronation are doing in detail. Look for publications or at high speed videos that provide information. The Elliott and Marshall 2000 publication shows both forward racket head speed vs time provided for each significant joint and also the rotation speed vs time of each joint. Later an error was pointed out for the ISR measurement, but still it was the first scientific blueprint for the serve that I know of. And its biomechanical approach lends itself to corrections as better measurements become available.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Just an FYI on this. This is 2-minute Ryan from earlier this year, showing a classic WTE serve

I see the WT.

I can't evaluate whether progressions are useful or not.

But I can evaluate whether they simulate parts of a high level serve.

Here is a video of Pete Sampras serving, watch how he lifts his arm and racket. Identify the joint motion that Sampras's is using. Compare Sampras's External Shoulder Rotation, to the joint "lifting" demonstrated in the progression video. A difference in joint motions like that without an explanation later is enough for me to distrust the video, progression or not. Would Sampras have knocked off the Birthday Hat? Is the only take away - Knock off the Birthday Hat? (Does a Google Youtube algorithm show the popular Birthday Hat video more and more? Biomechanics not so much ......... )

Unless Ryan has a clear explanation later of how internal shoulder rotation fits into that progression, and clearly identifies ISR. I think the player viewing that video would take away these little progression moves and have no idea that ISR is there.
_____________________________________________________________________________________

Here is a word description from http://www.tennisserver.com/wildcards/wildcards_03_06.html
" The "Waitress Position"

Dennis Van der Meer estimates that over 50% of club level players serve from a "Waitress Position." That is where in the racquet back position the racquet face is parallel to the ground rather than on edge and down, very much like a waitress holding a serving tray. Dennis explains that when the racquet is back on edge and the elbow is bent, it straightens out as it comes forward. The forearm turns outward so that the wrist can roll and snap outward. This gives the racquet maximum acceleration. In the Waitress Position this secondary function of the elbow is eliminated, hence there is no wrist roll, only a wrist snap. This is a far less effective serve and puts stress on the wrist, which could lead to a strained wrist."

This seems like a clear explanation & usage for "Waiter's Tray" serve and it does not use the higher Big L Position as Hi Tech Tennis does. I understand now.

But for Servino again, there is no hint of ISR mentioned. Everyone does ISR whenever they are moving, why avoid saying or demonstrating it? I know why. Elliott and Marshall made it clear in 1995 that even the experts had missed ISR for the tennis serve!

I see now that you have good cause and history to use Waiter's Tray before the Big L Position.
And it even looks more like a Waiter's Tray than the Hi Tech Tennis picture. Search Waiter's Tray Error. Not many waiter's carry trays with a straight arm.

You have the purpose of instruction in mind and that is your checkpoint.

I have the purpose of analysis in mind. I only want to identify a likely Waiter's Tray and, more importantly, to know that the serve is or is not a high level serve. Once I know the serve is not a high level serve, I'm done with WT. Then I point out the differences between the high level serve and the poster's serve while viewing videos of the technique, and give some other information on the high level serve, Ellenbecker, etc.

My checkpoint with racket near the Big L - racket face points to the sky - indicates to me that the serve is not a high level serve. If I looked at a racket orientation earlier I would not know that because I have only looked at the Big L Position or close to it.

I notice when players post their serve videos that many times the Waiter's Tray Error is not mentioned by the first dozen or more posters. The checkpoint at the Big L Position or close is very clear. Racket facing the sky near Big L Position = not a high level serving technique.

The OP, posters and everybody really don't have to remember the rule, if they see racket face facing the sky, it is not a high level serve. Looking at a few videos or at your opponent racket head when they are serving at you a few times and you'll know.

The Big L Position.
I'm not sure now how well the Big L Position applies to the Waiter's Tray Serve. It applies to the high level serve.

If you want to study the WT technique and its variations here are some but not all. Is Big L Position there?


I have learned a lot about WT in this thread from your posts.
 
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