Critique my serve [video]

Ten_is

Rookie
Hi all, wondering if you can critique my serve and help me improve it.

Here's what i notice:
Every time i turn my shoulders more facing the opponent i typically get my serves in no problem (second serve from the side at beginning of vid you can tell my toss is parallel to the baseline where the rest are almost 75 degrees).

I also see that my toss is inconsistent so i know i have to place it exactly in the same place every time. What i am wondering about is the distance between my raquet and my head as i bring it up. The pros bring it close to their head and keep their elbow tucked-in almost, whereas i keep it far back, but i feel i get more power that way for some weird reason (i also see a bit of that in sampras serve that many pros don't really do).

Also, sampras put his hips into the court a lot and federer doesn't do that as much - i feel that gives me a lot of power too as when i uncoil and turn it helps me out big time.

http://youtu.be/Ur9nZieLTaQ

I really appreciate some positive critiques thx in advance guys :)
 
I think you're doing more right than wrong. :)

I would maybe incorporate a little bit more knees into your serves, but I'm not sure if that's paramount because some people simply don't have much knee bend in their motion and can still bomb serves.

However, you're footfaulting on basically every single serve...
 

dr325i

G.O.A.T.
You should take bigger pause between the serves :)

It is good serve for a recreational player.
A few times I noticed your toss arm comes down too early. A few times it appeared the toss was moving around. The follow through is sometimes short, meaning you slow down the speed.
You should "explode" up, with your legs, accellerating to the ball contact.

Nevertheless, I think these are nice serves for our level of play.
 

psv255

Professional
Your upper body and swing looks good, but you should be getting much more out of your serve. Try a higher toss and more weight on the back foot to get balanced. Once you do that, you can try to add some more leg drive to it.

Another thing: There's a very small amount of separation between every stage of your serve, and everything seems to meld into one big motion. This is great for incorporating all body parts, but to do so effectively you need to sequence and separate the power-generating parts of your body. This video explains it really well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLf_MJXzBVg&feature=player_detailpage#t=143
 

Ten_is

Rookie
Thanks guys, yes sorry don't mind the foot fault i'll fix that ;)

dr325i: thanks i really appreciate all of that. the tossing arm is coming down early you're totally right, and my follow through i've always found it tough to wrap all the way around like fed it always seems like i stop it i don't know what i'm doing wrong after impact.

psv255: I found sampras had almost a one big motion of a serve did he not? i see what you mean - funny thing is i just looked at that whole roddick video as soon as i posted this thread :p I find roddick's technique is more complicated but man is it effective obviously.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Nice overall.
Very inconsistent strikepoint. Some well inside the baseline, some at the baseline, but if correlates to the kind of serve, it's OK.
Swing faster, please.
Funny hitch just after trophy....you raise your rackethand. Don't.
When posting vids of serves, don't hit one flat, one slice, one top, one twist, but rather, hit them all the same.
 
G

guitarplayer

Guest
Serve looks great to me. Where is the ball landing? If its going in, and with what I see, I assume it's got a lot of pace on it...I'd leave well enough alone vs listening to all the armchair quarterbacks here.
 

Ten_is

Rookie
Yes almost all of them are going well in. I did hit a few in the net though.

LeeD is right, i think the strikepoint and hitting at baseline or inside baseline is a reflection of my toss not being exactly in the same spot time and time again. I did notice a few things though.. that i'll post with pictures in a sec..
 

Ten_is

Rookie
also this is what i meant by "the distance between my raquet and my head as i bring it up. The pros bring it close to their head and keep their elbow tucked-in almost".

Do all pros keep it close in like this?

 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
You are concentrating on what can be seen in your video. Unfortunately, the last acceleration of racket head speed to impact is too fast to ever see in your videos. The frame rate is too slow and the motion blur is too much once things speed up.

Look at this video until you can see the elbow bones of the straight arm rotate extremely rapidly. Easy to miss - it only lasts 1/4 second when played - at 1/8 speed - slow motion! Instead of the elbow bones, you can also see the straight muscle definition line down Federer's forearm rotate. The shoulder joint motion that accelerates the racket is internal shoulder rotation (ISR). Federer has stretched his ISR muscles, the pec & lat, with some of the discussed motions, and uses them to accelerate the racket to impact.
https://vimeo.com/63688132
See also other pro serves for the same exact signature of ISR.
https://vimeo.com/user6237669/videos

You cannot see it by eye and you cannot see it in slow videos. If you would like to observe the faster and most important parts of your serve, here is a high speed camera for under $200, complete, that can show you your serve.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showpost.php?p=7741038&postcount=47

ISR on the serve.
http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=478319
 
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psv255

Professional
also this is what i meant by "the distance between my raquet and my head as i bring it up. The pros bring it close to their head and keep their elbow tucked-in almost".

Do all pros keep it close in like this?

You can try it out, but if your way doesn't hurt, then no need to change it. It looks ok. What stands out more to me is if you were to freeze both you and Fed in your respective positions, one of you would fall forward. Guess who? :)
 

Ten_is

Rookie
Thanks Chas, i actually recorded this with a 120 FPS camera, i just exported to youtube at regular speed. I'll upload a new one with slow motion.

PSV255: nothing hurts on my serve, which is good. I just think i can use the full shoulder rotation a bit more, and have that arm up straighter and kept there longer and back more.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
If you have 120 fps record in bright sunlight where the light levels will be many times outdoor night artificial lighting levels. Your camera has an automatic exposure control and it will almost certainly pick a much faster shutter speed in direct sunlight. The motion blur will likely be very small.

Direct sunlight vs artificial lighting.
http://www.kinovea.org/en/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=2033#p2033

When I record at 240 fps my camera creates a video file for playing at 30 fps, that's 1/8 speed slow motion. I learned that a 60p fps recording from another camera of mine is converted to 30 fps by Youtube. YT deletes every other frame of the original 60p fps video file. 60p fps plays in real time with normal sound at 30 fps on Youtube.
 
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Ten_is

Rookie
how is the grip supposed to be in trophy position? i keep seeing "keep palm up" on youtube tennis serve videos, and i'm wondering if mine is being dropped early or whether i'm doing it correct.

Also,.. in this video Jeff S tells the kid to keep elbow up and away. Not down:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6hqLXc-8Lo

But Roddick here has the exact same trophy position with his elbow down and still blasts serves like there's no tomorrow:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZC_uAGut9s

So who's wrong here?
 

Lukhas

Legend
^You're looking too much at Roddick's forearm and racket. In fact, his elbow and arm are out and away from his body. Maybe with a line drawn you could see it. Take this analysis. Clock on "contact". See for yourself: elbow and arm out and away. The position of his forearm isn't that relevant, unless it screws his serve motion - which, it seems, isn't the case.
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/tennis/andy-roddick-serve.htm

EDIT: I uploaded some pictures on which I've put a line to make it easier for you to see what I'm talking about. Click on the pics for bigger size.
 
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WildVolley

Legend
how is the grip supposed to be in trophy position? i keep seeing "keep palm up" on youtube tennis serve videos, and i'm wondering if mine is being dropped early or whether i'm doing it correct.

Also,.. in this video Jeff S tells the kid to keep elbow up and away. Not down:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C6hqLXc-8Lo

But Roddick here has the exact same trophy position with his elbow down and still blasts serves like there's no tomorrow:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZC_uAGut9s

So who's wrong here?
It depends on how you interpret "elbow up" or "elbow down." In my opinion, Roddick keeps his elbow "up" in that it is away from his torso and in line with his shoulders. Because he has such a steep shoulder lean and pronounced archer's bow, it might seem that he's letting the elbow drop, but if you watch serves from the side, you'll notice that his elbow being close to his torso is an illusion from that camera angle.

My advice for ultimate power is to keep the elbow out from the torso and basically in line with the shoulders. Raise it higher than that or let it drop much lower and you'll lose power.
 

Macedo

Rookie
Long long swing, you lose power with that technique. You also need to create more amplitude, and after hitting go forward, not to your left
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
17 milliseconds before impact.

17 milliseconds before impact. Federer has stretched his ISR muscles using the various phases of the kinetic chain. Here he lets these muscles rapidly shorten, rotating his entire arm to accelerate the racket to just before impact. Probably about 70° arm rotation in 4 frames at 240 fps, the internal shoulder rotation rate is about 2800°/sec. Muscle shortening using pre-stretch is 'passive' and probably does not give the feeling of much effort. Impact was on the next frame, not shown.

The rapid wrist flexion may be a result of the ISR or earlier elbow extension and not wrist flexor muscles. ?

The racket 'edge-on' to the ball to the racket strings on the ball results mostly from the ISR turning the racket face as shown in these frames.

On the last frame just before impact, the angle between the forearm and racket is about 40° as viewed. (Probably a kick or slice serve.)

The angle between his shoulders and the upper arm is 145° (arm 35° up from shoulder line extended) as viewed in this frame. That is a little more than most, 10-20°(?) up. See Ellenbecker video on the shoulder, serve and orientation to avoid impingement.



This is what determines the pace and quality of the serve. How can you see it without high speed video?
 
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Ten_is

Rookie
^You're looking too much at Roddick's forearm and racket. In fact, his elbow and arm are out and away from his body. Maybe with a line drawn you could see it. Take this analysis. Clock on "contact". See for yourself: elbow and arm out and away. The position of his forearm isn't that relevant, unless it screws his serve motion - which, it seems, isn't the case.
http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sport...dick-serve.htm

EDIT: I uploaded some pictures on which I've put a line to make it easier for you to see what I'm talking about. Click on the pics for bigger size.
Lukhas: that is really interesting actually. Thanks for sharing! So what i think i'm doing wrong in my video is opening up way too much, correct? i just want to improve my serve.
 
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