How do you prevent over rotation on serve?

AnyPUG

Rookie
I often hear coaches talking about the need to avoid over-rotation on serves to prevent the leak of power sources. What are the tips and checkpoints to prevent over-rotation? especially serving to the deuce court.
 
I often hear coaches talking about the need to avoid over-rotation on serves to prevent the leak of power sources. What are the tips and checkpoints to prevent over-rotation? especially serving to the deuce court.
Take a look at your stance: if it's a McEnroe-like, you might be over-rotating.

I guess you can also be mindful of where your chest is pointing as you're starting your upward swing [which should the point of max rotation]. If you can see the side fence directly on, that's 90 degrees. If you're staring at the back fence, that's probably too much.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Some tips:
- Focus on the ball as your target, not a location in the opposite service box;
- Swing at the ball "up the hill", not forward from behind the ball;
- Think of "Climbing a rope" kind of pose to keep shoulders closed:
 

AnyPUG

Rookie
Take a look at your stance: if it's a McEnroe-like, you might be over-rotating.

I guess you can also be mindful of where your chest is pointing as you're starting your upward swing [which should the point of max rotation]. If you can see the side fence directly on, that's 90 degrees. If you're staring at the back fence, that's probably too much.
Sounds good on swing initiation. What about the next part - over-rotation during acceleration through the contact point?
 

AnyPUG

Rookie
Some tips:
- Focus on the ball as your target, not a location in the opposite service box;
- Swing at the ball "up the hill", not forward from behind the ball;
- Think of "Climbing a rope" kind of pose to keep shoulders closed:
This picture of hanging onto the rope is just, well, "picture perfect" for what I was looking for. How did you come up with it? This is really amazing - and also seems to work great for keeping the shoulders closed during contact.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
How did you come up with it?
8-B I was looking for some metaphor, chewing some "hugs" idea but with one arm extended upward... The key is to keep your body within a "tube" and not lean one way while swinging the other way - away.
 

AnyPUG

Rookie
8-B I was looking for some metaphor, chewing some "hugs" idea but with one arm extended upward... The key is to keep your body within a "tube" and not lean one way while swinging the other way - away.
Excellent - I owe you a big one for your timely intervention.
 
Sounds good on swing initiation. What about the next part - over-rotation during acceleration through the contact point?
You must be mighty flexible to be able to over-rotate during/after contact. I'm not quite sure how you'd stop yourself since that would require restraining where your body naturally wants to move, which will cause stress.
 

AnyPUG

Rookie
You must be mighty flexible to be able to over-rotate during/after contact. I'm not quite sure how you'd stop yourself since that would require restraining where your body naturally wants to move, which will cause stress.
Did you read Draggy's posts? What he said made perfect sense to me (of course, it's my own interpretation of what he wrote) to keep the shoulders closed as much as possible during contact (within the limits of non-stress body maneuver)
 
Did you read Draggy's posts? What he said made perfect sense to me (of course, it's my own interpretation of what he wrote) to keep the shoulders closed as much as possible during contact (within the limits of non-stress body maneuver)
No, I just did. I guess I'd have to see exactly what you're doing to judge whether his advice makes sense to me. But if it makes sense to you, that's all that matters!
 

r2473

G.O.A.T.
Some tips:
- Focus on the ball as your target, not a location in the opposite service box;
- Swing at the ball "up the hill", not forward from behind the ball;
- Think of "Climbing a rope" kind of pose to keep shoulders closed:
This nails it!!!

I’ve heard it said that you want to pretend there’s a hill or mountain on the baseline and you have to go “up and over” the hill, not through it. I like to think “mountain” so it’s taller and I have to swing up even more to get over it
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Ok, so I guess we're talking about over rotation of the body rather than over-rotation of the forearm and shoulder
It's easier to prevent over-rotating if you land on your left foot. (for righty serve)
When landing on that left foot it should be pointing, more or less, in the direction of the serve. Not pointing off to the left somewhere. Also helps to have the right leg kick back (toward the back fence). This should help to keep the hips from over-rotating on the follow-thru. The body drives upward and forward. Rather than upward and to the left.
 
Just like a batter that starts focusing on hitting the long ball and can’t hit the outside pitch because they “open up,” you have to focus on keeping that front shoulder in. If your shoulders are in line with the target or more closed, and you keep your lead shoulder still from the time you start your toss until you push off from the ground, you should be fine. There will be no leaking. Just send the racquet to the ball on the path you want to hit your target and you will only over rotate if you try to. The biggest problem with opening up early happens when you are still on the ground. Especially if you are a pinpointer.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
If anyone has a video of 'over rotation' please post it.

For the serve as viewed from above, the line between the shoulders rotates counter clockwise and the rotation at the wrist from ISR rotates clockwise. So considering those two rotations, fast rotation of the body subtracts from the faster rotation of ISR. (For many years I had the idea that faster rotation of the body would simply add to racket head speed. I have not measured the rotation speed difference or timed these two rotations.)
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
If anyone has a video of 'over rotation' please post it.

For the serve as viewed from above, the line between the shoulders rotates counter clockwise and the rotation at the wrist from ISR rotates clockwise. So considering those two rotations, fast rotation of the body subtracts from the faster rotation of ISR. (For many years I had the idea that faster rotation of the body would simply add to racket head speed. I have not measured the rotation speed difference or timed these two rotations.)
Plenty of TT user videos in the past that exhibit over rotation of the body. There has been a few pro examples as well. Here is a user video from 5 years back from Thailand

https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/check-my-ground-strokes-and-serve-please.545293/#post-9692850

 
Last edited:

AnyPUG

Rookie
If anyone has a video of 'over rotation' please post it.

For the serve as viewed from above, the line between the shoulders rotates counter clockwise and the rotation at the wrist from ISR rotates clockwise. So considering those two rotations, fast rotation of the body subtracts from the faster rotation of ISR. (For many years I had the idea that faster rotation of the body would simply add to racket head speed. I have not measured the rotation speed difference or timed these two rotations.)
Shoulder rotating counter clockwise and ISR rotating clockwise is what's needed to power the ball in the forward direction. Both add to the forward momentum of the ball - similar to a ball machine's two wheels spinning in the opposite direction.
See the pic below. The over rotation means that one wheel is not in alignment(shoulder is displaced in one ore more planes) with the other wheel and the ball does not get the full power in the forward direction.
The misalignment could be in one or more of X,Y,Z planes.

 
Last edited:

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Shoulder rotating counter clockwise and ISR rotating clockwise is what's needed to power the ball in the forward direction. Both add to the forward momentum of the ball - similar to a ball machine's two wheels spinning in the opposite direction.
See the pic below. The over rotation means that one wheel is not in alignment(shoulder is displaced in one ore more planes) with the other wheel and the ball does not get the full power in the forward direction.
The misalignment could be in one or more of X,Y,Z planes.

The viewed-from-above clockwise rotation of ISR lasts about 25 milliseconds, start to impact. My guess is that the counter clockwise body rotation has slowed or stopped when the very rapid ISR occurs. ?

Let's see for Frank Salazar's slice serve from FYB footage.
Single frame on Youtube using the period & comma keys.

How do you see the line between the two shoulders CCW rotating and the ISR CW rotating at the instant of impact?
 
Last edited:

AnyPUG

Rookie
The viewed-from-above clockwise rotation of ISR lasts about 25 milliseconds, start to impact. My guess is that the counter clockwise body rotation has slowed or stopped when the very rapid ISR occurs. ?

Let's see for Frank Salazar's slice serve from FYB footage.
Single frame on Youtube using the period & comma keys.

How do you see the line between the two shoulders CCW rotating and the ISR CW rotating at the instant of impact?
I don't see any slowness at all. All I see is the possible perception of slowness because some people may not pay attention to all 3 axis of rotation. It could appear slow based on viewer's angle with respect to the axis of rotation.
Over rotation (or lack of it) is not about slowing down the speed of rotation, it's adjusting the co-ordinates of one or more axis of rotation.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I don't see any slowness at all. All I see is the possible perception of slowness because some people may not pay attention to all 3 axis of rotation. It could appear slow based on viewer's angle with respect to the axis of rotation.
Over rotation (or lack of it) is not about slowing down the speed of rotation, it's adjusting the co-ordinates of one or more axis of rotation.
I don't get a clear picture from your word description.

But there are some very interesting things to be seen in the overhead two frames at impact.

Go to the frame of impact in the Salazar serve overhead view.
Go full screen.
Now use the period & comma keys to go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth........ We are directly seeing the forward motion resulting from many joint motions acting together.
ISR can be seen and identified but has to be separated from other joint motions causing the forward racket head motion.
The arm tilting forward can be seen.
The uppermost body rotation can be seen.
The shoulder mass can be seen moving forward.

It takes a 3D motion capture approach to identify all the separate joint motions that are causing the forward motion that we see.

I think that we can all see the same things and better understand what is going on just before impact.

I do not know how Frank Salazar's serve would compare to the current high level servers in this kind of detail from the overhead camera view.

To study this, measure the forward movement of the racket head from for example, say, ISR plus the arm tilting forward, and then try to separate ISR from the forward motion of the arm tilting forward. And next the shoulder mass moving forward from body rotation. It looks feasible to see them and separate them.
 
Last edited:

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
That looks like a Waiter's Tray serve. Maybe "over rotation" is often associated with the WT?
Nope. Would not jump to that conclusion. Coincidence quite likely. Not everything is about WTE and ISR. Stance, degree of coil, timing of the uncoil, rear leg kick direction & a number of other factors possibly come into play.

As I mentioned previously, a few high-level (d1 & ATP) players also exhibit this tendency. It did not take me very long to find a 3rd TT poster with this issue. This one was posted in 2018. No WTE here.

 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Nope. Would not jump to that conclusion. Coincidence quite likely. Not everything is about WTE and ISR. Stance, degree of coil, timing of the uncoil, rear leg kick direction & a number of other factors possibly come into play.

As I mentioned previously, a few high-level (d1 & ATP) players also exhibit this tendency. It did not take me very long to find a 3rd TT poster with this issue. This one was posted in 2018. No WTE here.

Video post #17.

In the video there are at least two serves before 1:00, 14 sec & 25 sec that I'd say are a WT based on some blurry racket images, strings more facing to the sky. That's my interpretation of a blurry racket. See racket silhouetted against fence in 14 & 25. Looks likely WT to me.

At 1:00 he seems to have the technique, for a slice serve, to swing toward the ball with an angle on the racket face, make contact and then after impact in the follow through, rotate his arm. I don't see the racket head rotate much from ISR. That is similar to a WT for racket head speed - swing but little ISR. But the racket face is 'more edge on to the ball' at the Big L Position' than for the common checkpoint for WT.

Is there a serve in the video of post #17 where you think he rotates his arm with ISR?

Is the server of #23 an example of over rotation? His leg comes around and does not go up behind him. He tilts to the left and, I guess forward, he steps around to keep from falling forward. If you remember an ATP server with 'over rotation' please post.
 
Last edited:

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Video post #17.

In the video there are at least two serves before 1:00, 14 sec & 25 sec that I'd say are a WT based on some blurry racket images, strings more facing to the sky. That's my interpretation of a blurry racket. See racket silhouetted against fence in 14 & 25. Looks likely WT to me.

At 1:00 he seems to have the technique, for a slice serve, to swing toward the ball with an angle on the racket face, make contact and then after impact in the follow through, rotate his arm. I don't see the racket head rotate much from ISR. That is similar to a WT for racket head speed - swing but little ISR. But the racket face is 'more edge on to the ball' at the Big L Position' than for the common checkpoint for WT.

Is there a serve in the video of post #17 where you think he rotates his arm with ISR?

Is the server of #23 an example of over rotation? His leg comes around and does not go up behind him. He tilts to the left and, I guess forward, he steps around to keep from falling forward. If you remember an ATP server with 'over rotation' please post.
Irrelevant. This is not the OP. Not sure why you were doing an off topic in-depth analysis of a poster who posted 5 years ago and is no longer active on TT.

There have been 2 user videos posted here by me. Only 1 of them exhibited WTE. We have no evidence that the OP employs a WTE.

Sorry, I do not recall which ATP servers exhibited an over-rotation of the body on the follow-thru. I think that the two that I did see were performing practice serves (rather than videos of them in competition). No WTE.

Another example of over-rotation.

@AnyPUG
 
Last edited:

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@AnyPUG
Some serving & falling left in this video. There's a good example of her serve, back perspective, somewhere on the interwebs. But you'll have to settle for this for now. Some of Dimova serving about the 2:30 mark
 
Last edited:

Digital Atheist

Professional
Some serving & falling left in this video. There's a good example of her serve, back perspective, somewhere on the interwebs. But you'll have to settle for this for now. Some of Dimova serving about the 2:30 mark
Alright then, you convinced me! Interesting. Doesn't Lopez do this quite regularly and also rather a large amount?? Around 55s he starts hitting something resembling a real first serve.

 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Alright then, you convinced me! Interesting. Doesn't Lopez do this quite regularly and also rather a large amount?? Around 55s he starts hitting something resembling a real first serve.

Odd that Feliciano does this so much in practice sessions. When I've seen him in competition, he often does not do this. In fact, he frequently employs serve & volley. Falling off to the right, as he does here, wouldn't really be conducive to a S&V sequence.

OTOH, we've seen Federer barely bending his knees for his strokes when warming up or practicing. He also does other things in these sessions that he doesn't do in competition. Seen this with other top players as well. Rafa doesn't hit reverse finish FHs in practice but uses it prolifically in matches. Steffi Graf frequently hit topspin BHs in practice but very rarely ever did so in competition.

F Lopez in competition:

 
Last edited:

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@Digital Atheist

In looking at other videos of F Lopez, it appears that he is more likely to fall right when serving on the Deuce side. On the Ad he finishes in the direction of his serve. It could be that he often finishes in pretty much the same direction regardless of which side he is serving on.

I'd have to look at more if his serves. It appears that he tends to finish toward the Ad side -- even when he is serving on the Deuce side -- as he is in the practice session that you posted. It seems that this fall to the right on the Deuce serve is much more pronounced in the practice session above than it is for many of his serves in competition.
 
Last edited:

Digital Atheist

Professional
OTOH, we've seen Federer barely bending his knees for his strokes when warming up or practicing.
Weird that it never happens when he serves & volleys. There's only one serve to the deuce court where he doesn't S&V (at 1:11) in the highlights you linked, and it's the only instance where he lands slightly to the side (imo, although it is only minor).

Here's a practice match against Wawrinka, the very first point being a good example. His back leg kick always caught my eye and it really makes it obvious (again, mainly the deuce court). I wouldn't have thought a practice match and an official match would be significantly different in terms of serving technique. Curious.




Maybe for him this is just a case of being slightly lazy on the landing and we see it more in practices, since it doesn't affect his serve in the slightest?
 
Top