Clamping left arm to chest on serve

Wuppy

Professional
So I've been working on my service form and videoing myself, and I've noticed that I tend to clamp my non-serving (left) arm to my chest after the toss, when I'm striking the ball.

I notice a number of pros do this as well, most notably Fed and Nadal. Roddick, Murray, and others tend to "cartwheel" or "windmill" their non-dominant arms back rather than tuck them to their bodies during the follow-through.

Now that I'm aware of it, I don't like the fact that I clamp that arm to my body, because when I run through the serve slowly, it seems I can get more shoulder turn if I drop it and then cartwheel it back as I'm swinging toward the ball with the other arm.

And it more accurately mimicks a baseball throwing motion, which my serve is a lot like. Pitchers don't clamp their arms to their chests when they pitch, in fact the motion of the left arm and shoulder backward is an important part of the throwing motion.

Any ideas about this? I'm surprised many pros "tuck" their non-serving arms to their chests. Should I even bother worrying about changing my motion? I don't have a problem changing my motion because it's still sort of inchoate anyway and I want the optimum motion.

thx
 
Serving is pitching upward, not forward like a baseball pitcher.

Skaters spin faster when their arms are tucked in - so will you.

Stick with the arm tuck.
 

WildVolley

Legend
Serving is pitching upward, not forward like a baseball pitcher.

Skaters spin faster when their arms are tucked in - so will you.

Stick with the arm tuck.
This is correct. Reaching out and then pulling the arm in as your shoulders pivot increases the speed of the shoulder rotation.

All the guys who serve over 140mph do this. That should tell you something.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
So I've been working on my service form and videoing myself, and I've noticed that I tend to clamp my non-serving (left) arm to my chest after the toss, when I'm striking the ball.

I notice a number of pros do this as well, most notably Fed and Nadal. Roddick, Murray, and others tend to "cartwheel" or "windmill" their non-dominant arms back rather than tuck them to their bodies during the follow-through.

Now that I'm aware of it, I don't like the fact that I clamp that arm to my body, because when I run through the serve slowly, it seems I can get more shoulder turn if I drop it and then cartwheel it back as I'm swinging toward the ball with the other arm.

And it more accurately mimicks a baseball throwing motion, which my serve is a lot like. Pitchers don't clamp their arms to their chests when they pitch, in fact the motion of the left arm and shoulder backward is an important part of the throwing motion.

Any ideas about this? I'm surprised many pros "tuck" their non-serving arms to their chests. Should I even bother worrying about changing my motion? I don't have a problem changing my motion because it's still sort of inchoate anyway and I want the optimum motion.

thx
Roddick right after contact w/ arm tucked into the chest


Roddick follow through


Federer right after contact w/ arm tucked into the chest


Federer follow through


looks pretty similar to me so not sure what you're talking about.
 
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arche3

Banned
The reason you use your left arm across your chest like roddick fed etc.... all top pros basically. Is because prior to contact this blocks your upper body from rotation further. This in effect makes your arm whip faster as the chest stops rotating at the last moment and the arm whips more. The racket head moves faster by limiting the chest rotation prior to contact. Like a whip. The handle of the whip is pulled to a stop right as you snap.

At least that's the reason I was given when I trained as a kid in the 90s with some coaches with weird nicknames. :rolleyes:
 
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TennisCJC

Legend
I thinking tucking is prefered as long as it is smooth and natural. Tuck the off side to speed up the hitting side.

Actually, there is an old adage in baseball called "punch the midget". It was used to get a pitcher to tuck his left hand/glove by his hip. This causes the pitchers elbow to stick out behind his body. Imagine there is a midget standing behind you and the pitchers elbow would "punch the midget". Some may find this not so politically correct but I don't make this stuff up - just repeating what I've read and heard. The concept applies to pitching and serving.
 
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