best abbreviated motion to copy?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by lawrence, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. lawrence

    lawrence Hall of Fame

    Feb 14, 2007
    i figure my serve is inconsistent because of the toss.. ive tried all the techniques
    the straight arm
    the imaginary chute
    the ice cream cone
    and a whole lot of others, combining them all together, mixing them up

    maybe im just really uncoordinated for my ball toss.

    who has the best abbreviated toss on tour? would i be better off looking at roddick, nadal, or perhaps someone who has an even simpler motion?
    ive tried roddicks a few times but it feels weird, like theres no momentum to get the ball in the air when its already at shoulder height almost
  2. ForehandFiend

    ForehandFiend New User

    May 30, 2009
    I like Roger's service motion, i based mine off him because its fluid and doesn't hurt my shoulder.

    just my 2 cents.
  3. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

    Jul 13, 2009
    I don't recommend learning Roddick's serve. Any of the servers who use incredibly unique motions tend to have great serves, but that's only because they developed that for a reason that we most likely don't know. I would imitate someone a lot more conventional like Federer if you want an abbreviated toss. Roddick's form gives you a lot of pace, but as you'll see, he can't place the ball anywhere near as good as any of the great servers from the sport. He has about a 6-8" range at 140+ mph, while Sampras and Goran had a .6-.8" range at 130+ mph. Which do you think is more devastating?
  4. theagassiman

    theagassiman Rookie

    Mar 14, 2009
    Federer is abbreviated?

    Why don't you copy Jay Berger?
    He had a simple, abrreviated serve.
  5. nousername

    nousername Rookie

    Sep 26, 2007
    your toss may in fact be the problem on your serve, but it is almost certainly not your form (just make sure it is smooth with a soft release and that you keep your arm extended until you start the racket drop). if your toss is inconsistent the only real solution is practice. tennis is a game of repetition, so that means practice is repetition too. back when i was first learning tennis i actually practiced my toss. here's some things to do:

    1) put the handle of your racket on your front toe with the racket angled into the court and slightly angled away from your body. toss the ball and let it drop. it should hit the middle of the racket face every time. continue practicing day after day (for as long as you need) until you can get 15 tosses in a row to land directly on the racket face.

    2) find a place with a high ceiling (or anywhere that has an overhead object such as a light fixture or a garage rafter) that is around the height of your natural toss point. once you find a good place. visually find (and mark if possible) a spot on the ceiling or the object. position yourself such that your toss at it's highest point would nearly hit that spot. practice tossing as close to that point as possible but without the toss touching the spot. keep doing that until you can consistently "almost" hit the point 15 times in a row.

    NOTE: for both 1 and 2, it doesn't matter if the toss you practice isn't your exact service toss, b/c those drills are really just teaching your body how to control your arm during the toss. if you can do the 2 drills above consistently then your will have developed the necessary control to put your toss where you need to when you are actually on the court.
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  6. nousername

    nousername Rookie

    Sep 26, 2007
    what do you mean by "range"? do you know that " mean inches? did you mean ' for feet. also where did you get those numbers? they are interesting if you have a reference.

    fyi .... karlovic has about the best accuracy of any server:
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2009
  7. nfor304

    nfor304 Banned

    May 4, 2009
  8. Kick_It

    Kick_It Semi-Pro

    Dec 27, 2005
    I tend to agree w/ nousername.

    An abbreviated swing motion won't necessarily fix that; it just simplifies the point of contact.

    The issue is most likely the toss and the motion of your tossing arm leading up to the ball release for the toss. It could simply be you aren't holding the ball in your tossing hand correctly.

    If you are serious about improving, try just simply repeating the toss motion to getting into the trophy pose - without swinging a racquet at all, until you get to the point where the toss is consistently where it is supposed to be. It might take you over 100 tosses to get this right. The point isn't how many reps it takes, it is achieving the result.

    Then add the racquet back into the equasion, and focus on hitting a simple target (e.g. aim for opponent's backhand side) consistently.

    Good Luck! K_I
  9. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    One of the best abbreviated serve motions to copy is Patrick Rafters. He had one of the best kick serves in the business.

    Be careful to open your chest out (spread back your shoulders) to avoid pinching a nerve everytime you hit the ball. As time goes on, this nerve can become injured.

    The abbreviated serve motion gets it power thrust from the legs and you really need to get yourself going to get the arm going quickly.

    The common denominator in all great powerful serves is you need to be completely relaxed in the entire shoulder/arm/wrist. Use the rest of your body and motion to accelerate the arm.

    Andy Roddick is also a good one to review and is more current. Andy uses an abbreviated serve motion but gets a lot of his power from his legs. And to many who dont study Andy Roddick, taking out his "style" stuff, he has a pretty basic motion. He just does it real real fast.

    Make sure you strengthen the shoulder muscles and arm.
  10. Ross K

    Ross K Legend

    Dec 20, 2006

    You might want to read through this 5-star rated thread from not that long ago. It contains lots of top-level contributions from TT's resident tennis professor 'tricky'... :)

    There's a load of sometimes very technical discussion on the particular mechanics of the the abbrev. serve (and other info too), and supremely good vid footage of different abbrev. pro serves (er, provided it hasn't been pulled.)

    Btw, imo the simplest abbrev. motion is maybe Monfils' (though of course none are simple if you properly study/apply the techniques to your own motion.) And Gasquet's too (who if you read the thread through, you see I ultimately came to emulating somewhat.) I'd also recommend looking at Nadal and Roddick.

  11. Tilden

    Tilden New User

    Jul 26, 2009
    Although I concur with the above poster, that Patrick Rafter had probably the most effective kicker of his time, I wouldnt recommend someone to emulate his motion. We have to remember why his prime was so short. His abbreviated motion took his shoulder out of commission after only a couple of years of peak use. Although strengthening one's shoulder and rotator cuff will help in alleviating shoulder pressure, at some point you will encounter the same shoulder tendinitis Rafter did. Perhaps even sooner, depending on how much you play, and your physical conditioning. Seeing as how Rafter was one of the best conditioned players of his era, it seems as if you cannot avoid the injury by strengthening the muscles. Ideally, you wouldnt be focusing on an abbreviated motion, but in achieving a heavy serve relatively effortlessly. If I had to suggest a service motion for a recreational player, it would be Boris Beckers. Why?
    1)His motion contains all the necessary elements of the kinetic chain.

    2) If you copy his serve to a lesser extent, you will be fine. Lesser extent= less deep knee bend, tossing the ball a little farther in, being less stiff, etc.

Share This Page