getting ready from the feet up

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by dlam, Apr 27, 2013.

  1. dlam

    dlam Semi-Pro

    Aug 3, 2010
    like to get some of your own individual techniques to get ready for the return of serve.
    I like how players split step.
    How do you do your split step? Hop? actually stepping? a bit of skipping?

    any other ritual that you do to get ready for the return of serve?
  2. ATP100

    ATP100 Professional

    Nov 19, 2010
    If you are moving forward, even walking, during the ball toss, you are way
    ahead of most people.
  3. dlam

    dlam Semi-Pro

    Aug 3, 2010
    I not getting a lot of responses to this inquiry.

    It maybe that a many rec players stand like a statue on the ROS and can do this as most rec players serve is slow.

    I am thinking for the 5.0 server and up... which is much faster serve , the ROS player must be nimble on the feet and able to adjust and anticipate with upper body.

    im watching ATP players when they return they seem to be like a goalie.
    Watching the server and then leaning one direction or another at the early possible sec.
  4. HughJars

    HughJars Banned

    Jan 7, 2013
    For me, I find that being balanced is the most important thing for return of serve. Initial momentum going forward, but when Ive seen where the ball is going and moved accordingly I create a stable base of support - feet quite wide and open stance. I concentrate on using the pace of the serve instead of generating power, and directing it. If I'm unstable and trying to wack it then things fall apart.

    Probably not technically right, but it works for me, and return of serve is probably one of my stronger parts of my very recreational game.
  5. Lukhas

    Lukhas Legend

    Apr 3, 2013
    Dunno, I try to be aggressive of the return. I step up on second serves, do a lot of little split steps when the ball is tossed, even try to guess the serve type with the toss (that doesn't always work though).
  6. GoudX

    GoudX Professional

    Aug 17, 2012
    My return of serve is my biggest weapon, and although I am not a touring pro, 'getting ready from the feet up' sounds like the wrong way to think about it. Given the limited time everything needs to move as soon as possible towards the contact.

    True, you need some kind of leg movement when the server makes contact, so that you can move in any direction quickly. However, as soon as you know the direction the ball is travelling you need to rotate your shoulders/hips and step into the shot. If you 'get ready from the feet up' the entire upper body will be late on a fast serve and you will miss the contact point.

    Though, the leg movement is just as important as the upper body movement. You often see players standing still on the return, wondering why they cannot track position themselves for a kick serve.

    There are two common ways to do the split step:

    -An Agassi/Djokovic style hop
    (split step from the ready position a few inches forward)

    -You can step into the ready position Murray Style:

    Personally I stand as close to the opponent as I can, which depends on how good their serve is. For the average serve I stand about half a foot back from the baseline, for big servers I stand up to 3ft back, and for rubbish servers I sometimes wait more than a foot inside the baseline for their second serve to intimidate them.

    Note: Standing more than a foot inside the baseline is more of a psychological game than a valid return technique, however it can work very well against certain players.
  7. mightyrick

    mightyrick Legend

    Aug 19, 2010
    Austin, TX
    ^ This is simple and sound advice. Agree 100%.

    Awhile back, I started walking mini-steps forward. It has made a lot of difference (for the better). The forward momentum I have gives me much solid returns off both wings -- especially chip/block backhand returns. The fact that my feet are moving help me get to an incoming ball a little quicker.
  8. dlam

    dlam Semi-Pro

    Aug 3, 2010
    I took a video of myself returning serves and i did find that im maybe not rotating my upper body as well and concentrating too much on my split step.
    I guess everything is important
  9. The Meat

    The Meat Hall of Fame

    Aug 9, 2012
    Left foot forward, slide right foot forward as opponent tosses, as soon as my opponent starts their swing and reaches the ball I take a very subtle small hop(that's all you need, if you hop to high you don't get anything out of it) with both feet and move left or right. I return well with this method.

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