How to add knee bend to my serve?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by RCizzle65, Dec 27, 2009.

  1. RCizzle65

    RCizzle65 Hall of Fame

    Jul 2, 2008
    I have short toss (more I just toss it up becaus I don't have a consistent toss) and I think this may be my problem, but it feels really unnatural for me to bend my knees, I don't think I bend at all. I have an old video of me if it helps, it's just one point and I'm far away, my serve has changed a bit but he fundamentals are pretty much the same, besides me tossing the ball a bit higher than that video
  2. aimr75

    aimr75 Hall of Fame

    Apr 2, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    I think your toss is too low.. with knee bend, your attempting to jump and get some height before contact, with your toss, there is no room to jump since its so low..

    I have the opposite problem.. i have way too much knee bend i think
  3. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Feb 25, 2006
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    ^^ Very generous knee bend to be sure but not certain that I'd say that it was too much knee bend. Nice high toss -- 2 feet or so higher than the contact point.

    Yup, you will definitely need to get that toss quite a bit higher if you want to get much knee bend at all. Shoot for a toss height that is at least 1/2 foot (15 cm) to 2 feet (60 cm) higher than the reach of your racquet.

    Slow your service motion way down -- everything prior to the racquet head drop (scratch position) should be relatively slow. You can bend your knees as your tossing arm is rising to release the ball. Alternately, if you have a much higher toss, you can bend the knees right after the ball release.
  4. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Mar 31, 2008
    Man, that is a really nice looking serve!
    If looking for ways to fine tune it, consider a toss slightly more into court and
    maybe hitting at the last part of the way up. I get a slight sense of you starting to descend just prior to impact.

    see how Fed seems to still rise slightly after impact?
    You have a real nice serve and I'm only pointing to very, very
    minor adjustments that are only if you are seeking that little
    Nice Vid too!
  5. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

    Mar 31, 2008
    Agreed, as I don't think he can get full extension even without a good leg push.
  6. Zachol82

    Zachol82 Professional

    Dec 8, 2007
    You definitely are tossing too low and abbreviating your service motion too much. It looks as if you're only using your arm and nothing else.

    I would recommend just serving more often while keeping in mind to "bend your knees." I wont go into the specifics of how to bend your knees since this is a very complicated concept to grasp from just reading words alone.

    Trust me, just spend more time serving, it will eventually feel more comfortable to bend your knees. If anything, look up service videos performed by pros and see how they do it.
  7. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

    Oct 3, 2004
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Sorry ............ I looked at the wrong video.
    Silly me.
    But I will leave my comments about the other video anyway.
    I have to disagree on two counts.

    First, your knee bend is just fine.
    Check/Stop the video at 11 seconds.
    That is a fine knee bend.

    Also your toss is not too low.
    In fact I would say it is high.
    The technique you are using needs a high toss.
    And this allows you to release your wrist so much thru the ball that the tip QUICKLY points to the ground.

    Man, I wouldn't change a thing.

    You can develop variations though.
    Can you hit the T or corner with the same or similar motion ?
    Can you slice or kick it with the same to similar motion ?
    Can you do that with a nearly same ball toss for disguise ?

    I used to hold my wrist thru to the target the way Steffi Graff does it.
    But a Brent Abel Youtube video convinced me to fully release just the way you do
    and now I have another 10-20 mph on my flat one.

    Cheers and Happy New Year to all
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  8. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

    Oct 3, 2004
    Bangkok, Thailand
    As for the OP video .......

    Yes you need to develop another motion and keep the one you have until the new one is ready.

    I suggest you take tennis balls and throw them straight up to the sky as if you were a center fielder trying to throw a man out at home plate.
    That means throwing with a wide arc and extended arm to get maximum distance on the throw.
    This will develop a full throwing motion that is a model for a full service motion. It will take time for you to be comfortable because such a full motion [in contrast to your present compact motion] can go wrong easily.

    Oh and look at the other video posted in your thread as a model.
    That is an excellent motion.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2009
  9. xFullCourtTenniSx

    xFullCourtTenniSx Hall of Fame

    Sep 28, 2009
    Try Roddick's motion?

    Place toss as you vigorously load up your knees, and then explosively reach up and hit up on the ball.
  10. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Legend

    Aug 12, 2004
    It's not a jump shot - knee bend is used to facilitate sliding the hips into the court - and angling the chest correctly to maximize power..

    If you want a visual think of a bow and arrow.. Depending on one's flexibility level and stance you might have very little knee bend at all or alot..(like some flexible pros do).
  11. Dags

    Dags Professional

    Aug 29, 2008
    Two things I've focussed on that have helped:

    1. In your mind, think you're going to bend them to the extreme. To comical proportions. Really exaggerate the motion. As it feels alien to you, you won't be bending nearly as much as you think you are.

    2. Focus on getting your weight on your toes and lifting your heels.

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