Hows this serve looking?

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
I tried the Salzy three quarter start for the serve, trying to keep palm down and elbow up... with a loose wrist. I was also trying to make contact at the highest possible spot (trying to stay more upright instead of leaning to the right).

Observations: my racquet now appears to be "on edge" before contact, however the drop has now diminished. Although, it is still bigger than last week.

I'm not sure why, is my elbow falling too low? I'm trying really hard to keep it up. Is it because my front (tossing) arm reaches up too high? Or does it fall down during the swing? I don't understand it



@IowaGuy @ChaelAZ @Keendog @FiReFTW @Curious @sredna42 @S&V-not_dead_yet @GuyClinch @Bender @nytennisaddict @ByeByePoly @Keendog @IowaGuy @Raul_SJ @dak95_00 @Fxanimator1 @fuzz nation @Chas Tennis @atp2015 @TennisDawg @ChaelAZ @sac65849 @coupergear @Hmgraphite1


things i tried to implement:


*Start in 3 quarter serve... toss first then hit from this position (shoulders already turned), should make rhythm better

*elbow the enemy: palm down, elbow high and going behind
 
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Keendog

Semi-Pro
Well you're keen, I'll give you that!

Actually looking better. Too windy again
 
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Keendog

Semi-Pro
I've hit so many serves lately I'm losing my mind. Surprised my arm hasn't fallen off!!
I think just take four balls out there so you have more breaks, and incorporate shadow swings before actual serves. Remember the serve doctor said he made his students hit agianst the fence a few times before turning around and hitting into court, and kept alternating back and forth. You lose form after a while in your vids
 

Raul_SJ

Legend
I tried the Salzy three quarter start for the serve, trying to keep palm down and elbow up...
I have never seen Jeff start like that. Below is his 3/4 and 1/2 starting position.
Your high elbow starting position looks uncomfortable. Do any pros start like that?

First move in the 3/4 drill is with shoulder turn. Toss is released after all/most of the shoulder turn is done.
"Elbowing the enemy" comes in at the trophy position.




 
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D

Deleted member 54265

Guest
I tried the Salzy three quarter start for the serve, trying to keep palm down and elbow up... with a loose wrist. I was also trying to make contact at the highest possible spot (trying to stay more upright instead of leaning to the right).

Observations: my racquet now appears to be "on edge" before contact, however the drop has now diminished. Although, it is still bigger than last week.
Salza is good for inspiration. My best advice to you is to get a real coach to go over your serve. It is a complicated motion, and money is well spend on a serve coach IMO. If you create bad habits, they will later be very hard to unlearn. Dont trust the internet gurus too much.

I wish you the best of luck.

Cheers, Toby
 
Take a piece of blue painter's tape and put it on the upper arm extending up from the elbow (between the elbow and shoulder joint). The most important single thing to look for is the angle of ISR that has occured prior to impact. ( I think of this angle as the FiReFTW syndrome). You really cannot see it with a 30 fps video since you are only taking one frame every 33 milliseconds. But the ISR, start to impact, probably lasts less than 30 milliseconds. = only one frame at a random time is captured during IRS start to impact.

Motion blur was very small. What camera?

To check camera alignment before videoing serves - to make sure that you get impact within the frame - video one serve. If the full racket head is not well within the camera frame at impact, realign the camera and repeat the video.

I have a tripod that costs about $20. It has a little plate that screws into the camera and then that clamps on the tripod. Take camera off to view video and clamp back on the tripod, then the camera alignment stays the same. If using a smartphone they have adapters that screw onto the tripod and the smartphone clamps in the adapter. Maybe $10 for the adapter.

Some of your serves might have your upper arm angle too high regarding the recommendation that Todd Ellenbecker gives in the video, "Rotator Cuff Injury". This safety issue has been discussed many times. The video is not free any longer. See Tennis Resources and join at about $30 for 3 months to view this video. You should also study videos of high level ATP serves and look at how they orient their upper arm relative to their shoulder joint. Search: David Whiteside Ellenbecker shoulder

Look at all your serves and, using a protractor, measure the angles of the forearm to racket shaft at impact and before impact as best you can. Since you only have 30 fps and one or two useful frames per serve, estimate the racket distance from impact as best you can. Using a protractor also on this high level serve below and others that you find, at impact or other racket positions before impact, compare your forearm to racket shaft angles. Is your forearm to racket angle always smaller for the same racket position before impact? This works much better and quicker with high speed video. Just compare two videos and you see it. You need that changing angle to develop racket head speed from ISR. In other words, you need the racket head to be at a distance from the rotation axis for ISR, the rotation axis is through the upper arm's long axis.


Look at the elbow area shadows as the near-straight arm rotates rapidly from ISR.

To do stop action single frame on Vimeo hold down the SHIFT KEY and use the ARROW KEYS. Use full frame.
 
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Hmgraphite1

Hall of Fame
Still think your twirling your lower body below the waist. The part below your waist should just drive up. The only uncoiling , twirling twisting should come from the torso. Its because your not driving off your back leg upward. Watch Salzy I think first video where he says he not using the legs and watch his feet through the finish , they don't twist around. You do appear to be getting a lot of slice but with no power.
 
Edited my previous post, and added here.

FWIW I dont know how much benefit you will get from elbow the enemy, as your elbow is in an excellent position moving in AND in the trophy position, so that is not the problem. Half serves are good to help focus on one thing without muscle memory taking over, but a half serve won't help unless you're able to successfully implement a full drop, then you can use half-serves to help burn it in your brain. Undoubtedly there are some good drills for developing a proper racquet drop all over YouTube, and probably some that are terrible as well. Drill #6 by Tomaz might also help you:


Caveat: I dislike the standard fixed backscratch position, but this "dangling" concept might prove useful, if you're willing to try it. At any rate, it seems like you do the push serve he mentions at 13:06 (where he also demonstrates your current racquet drop). That is a major inhibitor. Imo you're going to have to do a lot of these drills over and over with shadow swings incorporated, as @Keendog mentioned.

Get the drop down and you are almost set, as the rest of the motion looks excellent. Good luck!
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
I think perhaps my elbow appears to drop lower because my tossing arm goes so high and vertical it makes my shoulders tilt so far down.

Really the toss shoulder angle is the same as the contact shoulder angle, the body seems to rotate around this axis. It seems the same for my serve and for Salzy. He tosses at 45 degrees, and makes contact roughly at that (maybe a tad more vertical, but less than 5 degrees more). I toss at like 80 degrees, and seem to make contact at like 85 degrees. I'm literally almost 90 at contact, that has got to be the reason why i'm falling to the right so much.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
I think perhaps my elbow appears to drop lower because my tossing arm goes so high and vertical it makes my shoulders tilt so far down.
Salzy is more vertical when he's serving "for real."

Check him out against Chang. He's even a little past vertical (like Roddick) on some serves. 13:21 for example:

 

Curious

Legend
I tried the Salzy three quarter start for the serve, trying to keep palm down and elbow up... with a loose wrist. I was also trying to make contact at the highest possible spot (trying to stay more upright instead of leaning to the right).

Observations: my racquet now appears to be "on edge" before contact, however the drop has now diminished. Although, it is still bigger than last week.

I'm not sure why, is my elbow falling too low? I'm trying really hard to keep it up. Is it because my front (tossing) arm reaches up too high? Or does it fall down during the swing? I don't understand it



@IowaGuy @ChaelAZ @Keendog @FiReFTW @Curious @sredna42 @S&V-not_dead_yet @GuyClinch @Bender @nytennisaddict @ByeByePoly @Keendog @IowaGuy @Raul_SJ @dak95_00 @Fxanimator1 @fuzz nation @Chas Tennis @atp2015 @TennisDawg @ChaelAZ @sac65849 @coupergear @Hmgraphite1


things i tried to implement:


*Start in 3 quarter serve... toss first then hit from this position (shoulders already turned), should make rhythm better

*elbow the enemy: palm down, elbow high and going behind
Very impressive, mate. Best I’ve seen from you so far. Watch it slow and you will see now your throwing motion starts when the racket is still pointing up, not when it’s already dropped a little like before. That take back looks great(y).
Now just get rid of that excessive falling to the right and most of the problems will be fixed.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Very impressive, mate. Best I’ve seen from you so far. Watch it slow and you will see now your throwing motion starts when the racket is still pointing up, not when it’s already dropped a little like before. That take back looks great(y).
Now just get rid of that excessive falling to the right and most of the problems will be fixed.
Thanks!! This motion feels amazingly simple also. Its almost like my racquet holding hand relative to my shoulder barely moves, until i swing at the ball. In fact, it seems like all really good technical serves do this - Fed, Salzy, yours, FireFTW's - its hard to go wrong i guess if you start like this

My strings are even more closed than Salzy :-D:-D
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
But WHAT are you trying to achieve? More power? More control? More variations? More kick?
I'm trying to get the basic technique correct (for more power). Right now i seem to do a lot of things right, but i still lack depth on the racquet drop and i fall off to the right
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Salzy is more vertical when he's serving "for real."

Check him out against Chang. He's even a little past vertical (like Roddick) on some serves. 13:21 for example:

Damn i can't argue against that. What do you suggest i do to get more drop? Just try to mentally focus on exploding up and out toward the ball more? Will that also stop me from falling to the right?
 

Curious

Legend
Damn i can't argue against that. What do you suggest i do to get more drop? Just try to mentally focus on exploding up and out toward the ball more? Will that also stop me from falling to the right?
I think so. Also focus more on being loose in the grip, arm and shoulder. That thing will eventually whip, mate, doesn’t have another option!:D
 

bfroxen

Rookie
To stop falling to the right, you need to toss the ball further to your left. Look at the horizontal position of the ball relative to your right foot, and compare that to others.

I struggled with this for a while and still do a bit. It felt wrong when a coach corrected me, and for a while, I tried to step towards (chase) the ball with my front foot.
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
1 racket drop is too shallow - elbow should be above the hand at max drop - now the position is reversed - work on more ESR
2 still coming under the ball, instead of coming over the ball
3 racket face opens too early - 3/4 of swing is still in waiter's tray territory.

I have tremendous amount of respect and appreciation for you - you are putting in the hard-work and willing to listen.
tbh, I think you are rushing your learning - a proper serve takes a long time. After working on it for couple of years by myself, I saw not much progress other than stronger shoulder and an insignificant improvement. Working with a coach, I was able to make really good progress within a few weeks. IMO, you would save 100s of hours of time if you get a coach to help you with the basics. It's just very frustrating to learn by ourselves.
 

pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
I'm not an expert but just speaking from the same lefty experience.

You are arming the serve, don't use your arm you will hurt yourself. Try use your right hips and legs to drive the body rotation for the serve, let your left hand just do the whipping. Another issue I am seeing is that your legs is not stable, your left leg should be supporting your back when you lean back (if you are aiming for a federer toss). Otherwise try do a simple walking motion like how Djoker is doing here in this video, notice he is NOT arming his serve, he is using the walking motion to generate the swinging motion to hit the ball:

Let me know if this helps.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
I'm not an expert but just speaking from the same lefty experience.

You are arming the serve, don't use your arm you will hurt yourself. Try use your right hips and legs to drive the body rotation for the serve, let your left hand just do the whipping. Another issue I am seeing is that your legs is not stable, your left leg should be supporting your back when you lean back (if you are aiming for a federer toss). Otherwise try do a simple walking motion like how Djoker is doing here in this video, notice he is NOT arming his serve, he is using the walking motion to generate the swinging motion to hit the ball:

Let me know if this helps.
what do you mean by "federer toss" - how does his toss differ from others?
 

pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
I am just using names to emphasize my point but it is actually very common among top pro tour players to serve like that. The differences is that recreational serve don't do that much backward leaning than those who are at least 4.5+ in USTR.

However I would say that federer popularize the term: platform stand, which is the stand I was referring to specifically as other pros slightly variation of those stands.
 

sac65849

New User
I tried the Salzy three quarter start for the serve, trying to keep palm down and elbow up... with a loose wrist. I was also trying to make contact at the highest possible spot (trying to stay more upright instead of leaning to the right).

Observations: my racquet now appears to be "on edge" before contact, however the drop has now diminished. Although, it is still bigger than last week.

I'm not sure why, is my elbow falling too low? I'm trying really hard to keep it up. Is it because my front (tossing) arm reaches up too high? Or does it fall down during the swing? I don't understand it



@IowaGuy @ChaelAZ @Keendog @FiReFTW @Curious @sredna42 @S&V-not_dead_yet @GuyClinch @Bender @nytennisaddict @ByeByePoly @Keendog @IowaGuy @Raul_SJ @dak95_00 @Fxanimator1 @fuzz nation @Chas Tennis @atp2015 @TennisDawg @ChaelAZ @sac65849 @coupergear @Hmgraphite1


things i tried to implement:


*Start in 3 quarter serve... toss first then hit from this position (shoulders already turned), should make rhythm better

*elbow the enemy: palm down, elbow high and going behind
The high elbow at the start of your swing is counterproductive and it is a tribute to you that you are able to recover from it and still get a decent swing going. You have a great setup with your throwing shoulder high and your racket shoulder low at the start of the swing so let your elbow drop naturally at that point. As you start to uncoil your elbow should get high enough to allow your racket to lag where your handle is as close to vertical as you can get it. Whatever motion you have there will be a point where your racket is behind you at its lowest position (close to vertical, handle up, racket face down) and ready to launch. At that point your elbow should be as high or higher than your racket hand. Then swing away. Super complicated to figure out without a coach but you are getting there. If all else fails get an old frame and start tossing your racket. Your trajectory should be almost straight up with a nice end over end spin... Funny to watch but it works wonders esp for juniors. Anyway don't over do it, do not fixate on the high elbow early in your setup, focus on quality swings and crack that whip...
 

Keendog

Semi-Pro
Salza is good for inspiration. My best advice to you is to get a real coach to go over your serve. It is a complicated motion, and money is well spend on a serve coach IMO. If you create bad habits, they will later be very hard to unlearn. Dont trust the internet gurus too much.
I wish you the best of luck.
Cheers, Toby
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Okay so far from this thread as a summary:

1. I need to toss slightly more to my left so i dont fall to my right so much
2. I need to focus on making contact at the highest point, and pushing up into contact (also so i dont fall to my right so much)
3. I need more of a drop, which the following drills will hopefully help... need to get my elbow higher

this drill:

and this drill ("pull and throw" as opposed to "push");

also another good one: he says to be really loose holding the racquet as key to a good drop. his tip 5 and 6 are good also, swing path etc.
 
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atp2015

Hall of Fame
can you post a pic of what you mean by this?
Left side is your serve - the racket face is very open and as if you are carrying stuff on the string bed.
The right side (second pic) is what I'm talking about - the racket face is closed and you need to come on top of the ball for consistent topspin serve.
I could not rotate the racket face to the correct extent, it's more closed than I wanted it to be, but hope you get the idea when I say come over the ball with a closed face


 

Dan R

Semi-Pro
Okay so far from this thread as a summary:


3. I need more of a drop, which the following drills will hopefully help... need to get my elbow higher

also another good one: he says to be really loose holding the racquet as key to a good drop. his tip 5 and 6 are good also, swing path etc.
I think 3 is the most important thing to focus on. You're drop barely gets to your shoulders. In some serves it doesn't get even that far. There's no external shoulder rotation, and without that you can't get any internal shoulder rotation which is a huge source of power. I think part of the problem is that you pause the swing at the trophy position, which interrupts all the momentum from the beginning of the swing. That's like stopping your forehand right as the back swing stops and the forward swing starts. That's the point where you should be building up momentum not stopping it.

In the video of Federer below you see he has a slight pause right before he gets to trophy, and then it's like he flings the racket backwards which begins the stretch and release to send the racket up to the ball (and these are causal serves it's more noticeable at full speed). The serve at 45 seconds is a really good example of this. It's like on his forehand - he sort of throws the racket backward at the last second, which helps creates the lag that then propels the racket forward. The serve is the same but it's happening vertically and instead of horizontally like the forehand. Kyrgios does the same thing, it's like he's throwing the racket backward to create the deep drop and lag he needs to really go after the ball. I think this is what's missing.

This will completely screw up your timing at first, because you will need more time to get to the ball since the racket is dropping way further, and you are already rushed as it is. You'll have to either toss higher, or start you swing sooner. There's a lot of good stuff too.


 

pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
Keep in mind, all of the post above shown serves of varying degree, a lot of them are from pros which have already developed the basics. You should be focusing more on the basics instead of mimicking everything that the pros do.

I tried to do that, and it is not easy and it will hurt yourself if you don't know what you are doing.

My understanding of the serve is that the more you use your arm, the more you will actually "pull" down the shot and hit it in the net as the natural direction of your arm after contact point is downward, and in this case unless you are super tall, you don't want to pull down the ball.

Now I tried to watch you serve in slow motion and I noticed something that explains why you look like you are having a pancake serve.

Your grip is wrong. You are gripping too close to eastern, make sure your index knuckle is on number 2 (make your racquet facing a bit more close) or if you want some more spin, try between number 1 and 2, or number 1 and 8 (to make your racquet face a more more close).

You are just starting out on serve, your level is not as good as those shown in the video. Start simple, start stupid, if you can't even serve with a smooth motion slowly then you can't serve with pace. Don't force it, start one thing at a time.

I would recommend you to watch the video I posted again but again, I'm just a random stranger on the internet trying to help, if you focus too much precision of form and mechanics, you will not learn the serve, you just learn how to pose a "serve" like motion.

However as typical on TT forum, my advice works for me but it might not work for you, but try it out and see if that really helps.

Also since I'm a bit bored, let me counter point your conclusion:
1. I need to toss slightly more to my left so i dont fall to my right so much

No, tossing in this case is not the issue you should worry about, once you understand your natural body rotation and feel, where to toss would be clear as day even before you make a swing.

2. I need to focus on making contact at the highest point, and pushing up into contact (also so i dont fall to my right so much)

Making contact on the highest point is really hard to do this consistently, a good serving motion is not discrete that you can meet certain milestone before you move on, it is all about a continuous motion. Focus more on the continous follow through, such as the body rotation that doesn't hurt yourself first.

3. I need more of a drop, which the following drills will hopefully help... need to get my elbow higher

At your level of serve, drop is not really a concern, you will not get much out of drop, but just frustration. Just focus on the overall body motion and the drop will come naturally.
 
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StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Keep in mind, all of the post above shown serves of varying degree, a lot of them are from pros which have already developed the basics. You should be focusing more on the basics instead of mimicking everything that the pros do.

I tried to do that, and it is not easy and it will hurt yourself if you don't know what you are doing.

My understanding of the serve is that the more you use your arm, the more you will actually "pull" down the shot and hit it in the net as the natural direction of your arm after contact point is downward, and in this case unless you are super tall, you don't want to pull down the ball.

Now I tried to watch you serve in slow motion and I noticed something that explains why you look like you are having a pancake serve.

Your grip is wrong. You are gripping too close to eastern, make sure your index knuckle is on number 2 (make your racquet facing a bit more close) or if you want some more spin, try between number 1 and 2, or number 1 and 8 (to make your racquet face a more more close).

You are just starting out on serve, your level is not as good as those shown in the video. Start simple, start stupid, if you can't even serve with a smooth motion slowly then you can't serve with pace. Don't force it, start one thing at a time.

I would recommend you to watch the video I posted again but again, I'm just a random stranger on the internet trying to help, if you focus too much precision of form and mechanics, you will not learn the serve, you just learn how to pose a "serve" like motion.

However as typical on TT forum, my advice works for me but it might not work for you, but try it out and see if that really helps.

Also since I'm a bit bored, let me counter point your conclusion:
1. I need to toss slightly more to my left so i dont fall to my right so much

No, tossing in this case is not the issue you should worry about, once you understand your natural body rotation and feel, where to toss would be clear as day even before you make a swing.

2. I need to focus on making contact at the highest point, and pushing up into contact (also so i dont fall to my right so much)

Making contact on the highest point is really hard to do this consistently, a good serving motion is not discrete that you can meet certain milestone before you move on, it is all about a continuous motion. Focus more on the continous follow through, such as the body rotation that doesn't hurt yourself first.

3. I need more of a drop, which the following drills will hopefully help... need to get my elbow higher

At your level of serve, drop is not really a concern, you will not get much out of drop, but just frustration. Just focus on the overall body motion and the drop will come naturally.
You mean snap that right hip more up and into the court? I think right now i'm rotating too much from left to right, maybe i need to rotate more up and to the left? (i.e. towards netpost should be my destination - chest to back fence then to net post?)
 

pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
Since we are both lefty, let me try to explain that in a way hope that will help you.

Let's make sure we know understand what we are talking about here. I assume the following scenario so it would be easier to communicate
1. You are serving to the ad side. That means you are serving to the right service box.
2. When you make your platform stand, what you should feel like your feet is aligned almost perpendicular to the baseline but with both feet pointing ~45 degree to the left.
3. You have your grip at the "real" continental grip
4. And that you perform your platform stand in the way that is comfortable to you

Now to explain what I mean, I'm not going to tell you the exact "form", but to tell you the "idea" of platform stand
1. Your right leg bends and lean right
2. Your left leg straighten up, but in the back supporting your body
3. Your body is leaned back as much as you can, maybe around 20 degree backwards to the point that you can see clear sky without trying to look up.
4. Your right hand is able to lift up straight up in about 20-30 degree from your head (but to other observer your hand looks straight up)
5. Your left hand doesn't need to do a chicken wing, just make it natural, stick your upper arm close to your body, and your lower arm pointing towards the ball like you are shooting an arrow from the bow

By this point, your body automatically face towards the back fence without thinking about it. Your head can't see the court, as it is limited by your torso.

Now, when I say body rotate, I meant that after you got into this position, the next logical thing is to imagine your try to rotate your body rightward, and that your left leg will push off the ground, and your right leg will move backwards (pulled by contracting your right hip muscle). Since your body is leaning back, you will naturally feel a rotation that bring your left arm vertical up to the ball. You don't even need to think about it. It happen naturally.

Once you practice shadow rotation without ball, and get this motion in your back of your mind, the next trick is about timing, after you toss the ball, how fast should you rotate your body so your arm can hit through the ball without arming it. You should only use your arm to readjust to hit the ball (since your toss is never going to be perfect 100% of the time).

Optimally, your serve should feel so smooth that your ball magically land into the service box, and all you did is rotate your body.

And that's where you can finally think about pace, and all of those optimizations will come in handy, but before you can use them, you have to understand the basics, which is the continuous body rotation.

So to answer your question, I don't think about left or right, up or down. I just get into the right back leaning, and rotate. Also when your back is leaning back, there is only one way to rotate, you are limited by your torso, so don't worry about if you are rotating wrong, the point of serve is to use your body rotation to gain the basic pace, the way you grip will determine what kind of serve it will produce. Your toss should be coming "after" you understand how big your body rotate, and where you hand is comfortable swinging through. Then practice to toss to that area.

And as a bonus: In my mind, pronation is not even something you have to think about, since it happen "AFTER" contact and it will happen naturally, and not everyone will do it, just do whatever your body is feeling the most comfortable.


Let me know if this makes sense.
 
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joffa101

New User
I'm trying to get the basic technique correct (for more power). Right now i seem to do a lot of things right, but i still lack depth on the racquet drop and i fall off to the right
Do you have a 2nd serve? Do you have a topspin/kick serve? Or do you just have a slower (or pancake) 2nd? My point is that you should think about developing a topspin serve before spending hours getting the flat/1st serve ‘right’??
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
...get a real coach to go over your serve. It is a complicated motion, and money is well spend on a serve coach IMO. If you create bad habits, they will later be very hard to unlearn. Dont trust the internet gurus too much.
IMO, you would save 100s of hours of time if you get a coach to help you with the basics. It's just very frustrating to learn by ourselves.
This is really the best advice for developing a solid, reliable serve. Find a good coach.

My $.02? It all starts with the toss. The reason why you are leaning so heavily to the right is due to the toss. Your body will automatically lean to whatever location the ball is tossed. Try tossing the ball to your left and you’ll see it is impossible for you to lean right when you hit the serve. Toss the ball into the court in front of you and you won’t be leaning to the right when you hit the serve. Your body will go in the direction of ball so you need to get the toss right first. Easier said than done. Even pros like ivanovic and sharapova have trouble with the toss even after many years of practice. A good coach will show you a few different tossing techniques to try and allow you to see which one works best for you.

Hitting the serve is kind of like a drag race. The race is won or lost at the start. Mess up the start and you won’t win. The serve is the same. Mess up the toss location and it is hard to hit a good serve consistently. Nail the toss and it becomes easier to build and improve the serve. Good luck.
 

aimr75

Hall of Fame
This is really the best advice for developing a solid, reliable serve. Find a good coach.

My $.02? It all starts with the toss. The reason why you are leaning so heavily to the right is due to the toss. Your body will automatically lean to whatever location the ball is tossed. Try tossing the ball to your left and you’ll see it is impossible for you to lean right when you hit the serve. Toss the ball into the court in front of you and you won’t be leaning to the right when you hit the serve. Your body will go in the direction of ball so you need to get the toss right first. Easier said than done. Even pros like ivanovic and sharapova have trouble with the toss even after many years of practice. A good coach will show you a few different tossing techniques to try and allow you to see which one works best for you.

Hitting the serve is kind of like a drag race. The race is won or lost at the start. Mess up the start and you won’t win. The serve is the same. Mess up the toss location and it is hard to hit a good serve consistently. Nail the toss and it becomes easier to build and improve the serve. Good luck.
He seemed adamant about not finding a coach when I mentioned it. I would think given his enthusiasm to learn the serve he would explore a more reliable avenue than internet advice that can be conflicting and counter productive, especially for a complex motion like a serve.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
He seemed adamant about not finding a coach when I mentioned it. I would think given his enthusiasm to learn the serve he would explore a more reliable avenue than internet advice that can be conflicting and counter productive, especially for a complex motion like a serve.
Agree 1000% :)
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
He seemed adamant about not finding a coach when I mentioned it. I would think given his enthusiasm to learn the serve he would explore a more reliable avenue than internet advice that can be conflicting and counter productive, especially for a complex motion like a serve.
yeah but real life coaches also have conflicting views but eventually I think one has to pick a style and go with it.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Had a hit today played a few sets. IT was good to just play an not hyper focus on the serve, good to run a bit and get some sweat on. Groin seems healed. Groundstrokes weren't TOOO rusty, i lost 5-7 5-7 although against a better player. I'm glad i was competitive at least.

Anyway, i did try to incorporate a few things:

Getting the elbow up first, and launching myself more up and out into the ball. A few of them came of really good and i got insane power. I couldn't quite get it down consistent because it was a match and i wanted to do well, but it was really efffortless power where i felt like i wasnt over rotating and my body felt VERY different, perhaps this is what you meant @pencilcheck thanks for writing that long post of yours BTW.

Hopefully this weekend i can get another serve session in to see what it looks like, and try to perfect these two new elements.
 

Keendog

Semi-Pro
Had a hit today played a few sets. IT was good to just play an not hyper focus on the serve, good to run a bit and get some sweat on. Groin seems healed. Groundstrokes weren't TOOO rusty, i lost 5-7 5-7 although against a better player. I'm glad i was competitive at least.

Anyway, i did try to incorporate a few things:

Getting the elbow up first, and launching myself more up and out into the ball. A few of them came of really good and i got insane power. I couldn't quite get it down consistent because it was a match and i wanted to do well, but it was really efffortless power where i felt like i wasnt over rotating and my body felt VERY different, perhaps this is what you meant @pencilcheck thanks for writing that long post of yours BTW.

Hopefully this weekend i can get another serve session in to see what it looks like, and try to perfect these two new elements.
I was missing my daily video of stringsnapper serving, was starting to worry about you


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

pencilcheck

Semi-Pro
Had a hit today played a few sets. IT was good to just play an not hyper focus on the serve, good to run a bit and get some sweat on. Groin seems healed. Groundstrokes weren't TOOO rusty, i lost 5-7 5-7 although against a better player. I'm glad i was competitive at least.

Anyway, i did try to incorporate a few things:

Getting the elbow up first, and launching myself more up and out into the ball. A few of them came of really good and i got insane power. I couldn't quite get it down consistent because it was a match and i wanted to do well, but it was really efffortless power where i felt like i wasnt over rotating and my body felt VERY different, perhaps this is what you meant @pencilcheck thanks for writing that long post of yours BTW.

Hopefully this weekend i can get another serve session in to see what it looks like, and try to perfect these two new elements.
I'm glad to help and happy for you that you are seeing some improvements :).

Yes, you are right about rotate up to the contact point, I would add more to it saying that it is also about trying to have your arm stay up there with your upper arm dangling to prevent arming your serve "down". And once you are good enough, this should feel so natural, and with the right grip and the initial rotational energy, your serve will definitely have enough pace.

To be more consistent it's really hard, even pros have trouble sometimes, that's why they have reliable kick serve to get the shots in instead.

I don't know how you play in the match, so I can't really say if what you are doing is really incorporating what I was saying, but I'm glad that it seems to be helping your serve a bit and instill more confidence in your game. Posting more of your serve session videos would help us all to take a look at your new form :)


I am also learning and getting better myself, the serve is definitely one of the most delicate shot in tennis ever.

Takes a lot of effort to even get into the basics, and then a long road to advanced level.
 
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Nellie

Hall of Fame
You are focusing on the preparation to the serve and I would look at the service motion itself. Biggest thing I would change is that you are stepping through with your forehand side leg (so your are rotating your body/shoulders as you serve). Good servers stay sideways and push forward with the backhand side leg (compare, for example, the cited Salzenstein video at 2:08 in which he turns sideways with his hips over the service line, tosses, and pushes to move forward and through the serve, turning sideways after the contact). There are several reasons for this motion: (1) you are pushing your whole weight through the serve; (2) you are stable so minimize moving parts before contact; (3) you hit with the big muscles in your body; and (4) by staying sideways, you avoid the waiter's grip serve.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
I'm glad to help and happy for you that you are seeing some improvements :).

Yes, you are right about rotate up to the contact point, I would add more to it saying that it is also about trying to have your arm stay up there with your upper arm dangling to prevent arming your serve "down". And once you are good enough, this should feel so natural, and with the right grip and the initial rotational energy, your serve will definitely have enough pace.

To be more consistent it's really hard, even pros have trouble sometimes, that's why they have reliable kick serve to get the shots in instead.

I don't know how you play in the match, so I can't really say if what you are doing is really incorporating what I was saying, but I'm glad that it seems to be helping your serve a bit and instill more confidence in your game. Posting more of your serve session videos would help us all to take a look at your new form :)


I am also learning and getting better myself, the serve is definitely one of the most delicate shot in tennis ever.

Takes a lot of effort to even get into the basics, and then a long road to advanced level.
Thanks yeah for sure. I feel like now though its slowly piecing together, and having researched it like a maniac I understand it better. Salzys first move makes the start of the serve amazingly simple too, it's almost just bring the hand up 4 inches... the rest is shoulder rotation. Then throw from there.

The problem is my throw and toss are dodgy.

But to correct my throw you're right it seems the way I rotate my body held the secret, I throw naturally to a better location if I rotate right.
Seems I still need to focus on getting the elbow up first for now, consciously, during the motion however. I will experiment with that in my next dedicated serving session.
 

Curious

Legend
Thanks yeah for sure. I feel like now though its slowly piecing together, and having researched it like a maniac I understand it better. Salzys first move makes the start of the serve amazingly simple too, it's almost just bring the hand up 4 inches... the rest is shoulder rotation. Then throw from there.

The problem is my throw and toss are dodgy.

But to correct my throw you're right it seems the way I rotate my body held the secret, I throw naturally to a better location if I rotate right.
Seems I still need to focus on getting the elbow up first for now, consciously, during the motion however. I will experiment with that in my next dedicated serving session.
That elbow up tip is a great one IMO. More shoulder than the hand!
 

Curious

Legend
The only thing you need to do for a great take back and trophy position is the simultaneous coiling of torso/shoulders and lifting the elbow up.

 
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