I have invented the greatest serving tool mankind has ever seen...

Keendog

Semi-Pro
Haha, some clickbait for you all as I know you cant resist, the title isn't serious so you can relax ;). Can't believe I'm doing this, but I thought with nothing better to do tonight I would share with you something that has helped me go from waiters tray to a proper pronation/ISR/ESR powered serve which is something I've done over the last 12 months. I don't profess to have all the answers but this may help you as I felt it helped me

Flame suit is on :cool:.

Ok, here it is, my great contribution to mankind:

SCW2558.jpg


Yes, a bottle of water. The concept is basically the same as the guy from feeltennis with the total serve or the bag of balls, but I feel this is better as it has auditory feedback and because it is solid you can swing as you would a racquet without fear of slowing it down and it becoming limp in your hand. Also I notice when the guy does it on feeltennis he is upright, not using a tossing arm and unable to start from a normal serving starting pose, so not really doing a service motion. The basic concept is to feel the momentum of the water through the swing so you can "feel" what the serve is meant to be as opposed to trying to hit using your hand mostly.

This is how it works:
  • Grab a 600ml bottle of water. 2/3rds fill it with water (important!).
  • Now, put the lid back on (also important!) and grab it by the top/lid.
  • Start in your normal serving stance. Unless you're Roddick the water should be at the bottom of the bottle.
  • Now perform your usual backswing. As you raise the bottle up the water will crash down to the top end of the bottle (into your hand) as it will be upside down. You should feel the weight shift in the bottle and a water gushing noise. When you hear it, this is your trophy position.
  • Now, rather than breaking your wrist to drop the bottle down, keep your wrist firmish and instead send your elbow upwards. The water will crash back down to the bottom of the bottle. When you hear the gushing noise this is like your racquet drop. As it weighs about 400 grams and is closer to your hand it will feel heavier than your racquet, and that may prevent a deep drop. This doesn't matter, the next point is the most important. By raising your elbow instead of engaging your wrist you will be leading with your elbow and the water will be at the bottom end of the bottle.
  • From the drop swing the bottle over your head as you would with your service motion. The bottle will start upright from the drop but as you swing it will be go upside down through the swing arc. Despite this the water will not crash back down towards your hand but remain at the bottom end of the bottle as momentum keeps it there. As you get past halfway or so the bottle will just want to keep going and you won't need to power it anymore, infact it will be hard to hold onto. This is the key feeling you are after, you accelerate the racquet through transferring momentum to the tip.
  • You may also notice that your shoulder rolls over naturally, mine did and I felt great snap from the ESR/pronation or whatever you wish to call it
  • It will actually be a lot harder if you try to swat the bottle waiter's tray style, the bottle being hard to hold onto and also the weight will make it difficult even if you try.
  • You should feel the point where the bottle just wants to get away from you and you might feel a (good) snap at that point, which is sort of where you want the toss to be and where you want to time the pronation when using a racquet.

Guys, give it a go and let me know what you think. The title wasn't serious, I just thought this might help those transitioning from waiters open serves to a full service motion. I know a lot of you like to be critical but look, it may just help someone make that first realisation of what they should be feeling so that's why I put it up. Don't post on here about positions being 1 mm out or terms being wrong or other pedantic crap, this is a feel based exercise. I'm looking at you Chas ...
 
Last edited:

Curious

Legend
Why does grabbing a stick at one end and throwing it up have to be so complex to execute or explain?!
 

Keendog

Semi-Pro
Why does grabbing a stick at one end and throwing it up have to be so complex to execute or explain?!
I think curious if you spend 10+ years doing a certain motion it can take a lot to override that muscle memory with a new one.

Also It is common I think to do perfect shadow swings but as soon as a ball is introduced a mental switch gets flipped and it is just hard to swing naturally. Have you ever teed up in golf, done some nice loose practice swings but then when you step up to the tee you completely try to murder the ball and it either goes 5m down the fairway or you miss it completely even? Same thing I reckon. Especially if you've got someone smashing the ball back at you.
 

Curious

Legend
Raul, my 2¢, from another amateur that has gone through this the past 12 months.

From this and other threads of yours, to me you are thinking about it WAY too much. These pointers you are talking about, trophy, drop, leading edge, WT, they are not things to think about or accomplish. Coaches in person wouldn't mention these things to you as it overloads your brain with way too much information and makes the stroke too self conscious and not natural. On youtube people mention it to descibe some of the common characteristics of top level serves for the reason of creating a langauge to enable talking about a serve analytically. But this is not how you learn.

Could you imagine someone describing walking; engage your right glute, move right foot forward, engage right hamstring to pull your leg back thus sending your body forward, while simultaneously engaging your lefte glute to send your left foot forward, but DON't use you hip flexor to send your leg forward etc... Just bloody walk you would say! Same with the serve.

Deep down you know the action required, grab a tennis ball and throw it into the service box. There, it is the same action. You will lead with your elbow, pronate/ISR/ESR, shoulder turn whatever all automatically. To serve is the same, you just need to let go of your mental block which is trying to "hit" a ball.

My suggestion, forget everything. Now throw a tennis ball or two into the service box. Notice how it feels. Pay attention to the wrist movements. Notice how natural the timing of you shoulders turning and arm sync up. This feeling is what you are aiming for with a serve. Grab a racquet and shadow swing a few times replicating this motion. Pay attetion to when you hear a wooshing noise, this is the max acceleration point on your swing. Look up at sky and see where this is, keep your gaze on this imaginary point and do a few more shadows. Then toss a ball into the path of the swing but don't adjust the swing to hit the ball at all, just see if you can toss a ball into the racquets' natural path. Keep repeating doing 8-10 shadow swings to one swing where you toss a ball into it.

Hopefully you manage to hit a couple of balls with the racquet and you will get a sense of the feeling of the swing. It will be hard to replace your old mental image of 'hitting' the ball, you may to do this everytime you go to serve for a while. But it seems apparent to me you haven't managed to "feel" what the motion should be yet and you are fumbling around in the dark a bit, too worried about leading edges and such.

As Patches O'Houhlihan says, if you can throw a ball you can serve. Anyways, good luck with it.
Your post above in another thread supports my post below! Why are you thinking so much about it and making it so complicated?;)

Why does grabbing a stick at one end and throwing it up have to be so complex to execute or explain?!
 

Big Bagel

Professional
As a coach, I actually like this a ton @Keendog, thanks for sharing! I've seen and used tools in a similar way involving a frame unstrung, but with a bar right down the middle with a weight that slides up and down the same way the water does in your example, and while using the racquet/weight might be more realistic, the water bottle is much cheaper! I might just use this in an upcoming lesson!
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I saw this coming but not from you!:p
Not only did you see it coming ... you instigated it's coming. :cool: Yeah ... given my early 10,000 words on ATP fh, and my 1000 pages of Head Velocity ... probably not the best to throw that over thinking stone.

I wonder what the point of an "under thinking" forum would be. I keep reading complaints about the level of ttw content from people that never leave. ;)
 

Curious

Legend
Not only did you see it coming ... you instigated it's coming. :cool: Yeah ... given my early 10,000 words on ATP fh, and my 1000 pages of Head Velocity ... probably not the best to throw that over thinking stone.

I wonder what the point of an "under thinking" forum would be. I keep reading complaints about the level of ttw content from people that never leave. ;)
Apple’s new IOS 12 has a great feature called screen time. It’s been a wake up call. It monitors and records all your activity on your phone and you can check your daily /weekly time spent online and where exactly, which apps etc. After the first week I had a look and couldn’t believe my eyes. I spent 23 hours on my phone and 6 hours of it was on TTW!!
This is a serious problem!
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Apple’s new IOS 12 has a great feature called screen time. It’s been a wake up call. It monitors and records all your activity on your phone and you can check your daily /weekly time spent online and where exactly, which apps etc. After the first week I had a look and couldn’t believe my eyes. I spent 23 hours on my phone and 6 hours of it was on TTW!!
This is a serious problem!
I don't Facebook ... so ttw is pretty much it for me, but Kindle and PC mainly, only a little on iphone.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
What if instead of this complex instruction you actually made a vid and show and explain it? Would be easier to understand and see in action.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Haha, some clickbait for you all as I know you cant resist, the title isn't serious so you can relax ;). Can't believe I'm doing this, but I thought with nothing better to do tonight I would share with you something that has helped me go from waiters tray to a proper pronation/ISR/ESR powered serve which is something I've done over the last 12 months. I don't profess to have all the answers but this may help you as I felt it helped me

Flame suit is on :cool:.

Ok, here it is, my great contribution to mankind:

SCW2558.jpg


Yes, a bottle of water. The concept is basically the same as the guy from feeltennis with the total serve or the bag of balls, but I feel this is better as it has auditory feedback and because it is solid you can swing as you would a racquet without fear of slowing it down and it becoming limp in your hand. Also I notice when the guy does it on feeltennis he is upright, not using a tossing arm and unable to start from a normal serving starting pose, so not really doing a service motion. The basic concept is to feel the momentum of the water through the swing so you can "feel" what the serve is meant to be as opposed to trying to hit using your hand mostly.

This is how it works:
  • Grab a 600ml bottle of water. 2/3rds fill it with water (important!).
  • Now, put the lid back on (also important!) and grab it by the top/lid.
  • Start in your normal serving stance. Unless you're Roddick the water should be at the bottom of the bottle.
  • Now perform your usual backswing. As you raise the bottle up the water will crash down to the top end of the bottle (into your hand) as it will be upside down. You should feel the weight shift in the bottle and a water gushing noise. When you hear it, this is your trophy position.
  • Now, rather than breaking your wrist to drop the bottle down, keep your wrist firmish and instead send your elbow upwards. The water will crash back down to the bottom of the bottle. When you hear the gushing noise this is like your racquet drop. As it weighs about 400 grams and is closer to your hand it will feel heavier than your racquet, and that may prevent a deep drop. This doesn't matter, the next point is the most important. By raising your elbow instead of engaging your wrist you will be leading with your elbow and the water will be at the bottom end of the bottle.
  • From the drop swing the bottle over your head as you would with your service motion. The bottle will start upright from the drop but as you swing it will be go upside down through the swing arc. Despite this the water will not crash back down towards your hand but remain at the bottom end of the bottle as momentum keeps it there. As you get past halfway or so the bottle will just want to keep going and you won't need to power it anymore, infact it will be hard to hold onto. This is the key feeling you are after, you accelerate the racquet through transferring momentum to the tip.
  • You may also notice that your shoulder rolls over naturally, mine did and I felt great snap from the ESR/pronation or whatever you wish to call it
  • It will actually be a lot harder if you try to swat the bottle waiter's tray style, the bottle being hard to hold onto and also the weight will make it difficult even if you try.
  • You should feel the point where the bottle just wants to get away from you and you might feel a (good) snap at that point, which is sort of where you want the toss to be and where you want to time the pronation when using a racquet.

Guys, give it a go and let me know what you think. The title wasn't serious, I just thought this might help those transitioning from waiters open serves to a full service motion. I know a lot of you like to be critical but look, it may just help someone make that first realisation of what they should be feeling so that's why I put it up. Don't post on here about positions being 1 mm out or terms being wrong or other pedantic crap, this is a feel based exercise. I'm looking at you Chas ...
As an American i bowed out at the first bullet because i cant figure out what size bottle to get

And some of my racquets are over 400g so its confusing

Said another way it seems like a good contribution.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Haha, some clickbait for you all as I know you cant resist, the title isn't serious so you can relax ;). Can't believe I'm doing this, but I thought with nothing better to do tonight I would share with you something that has helped me go from waiters tray to a proper pronation/ISR/ESR powered serve which is something I've done over the last 12 months. I don't profess to have all the answers but this may help you as I felt it helped me

Flame suit is on :cool:.

Ok, here it is, my great contribution to mankind:

SCW2558.jpg


Yes, a bottle of water. The concept is basically the same as the guy from feeltennis with the total serve or the bag of balls, but I feel this is better as it has auditory feedback and because it is solid you can swing as you would a racquet without fear of slowing it down and it becoming limp in your hand. Also I notice when the guy does it on feeltennis he is upright, not using a tossing arm and unable to start from a normal serving starting pose, so not really doing a service motion. The basic concept is to feel the momentum of the water through the swing so you can "feel" what the serve is meant to be as opposed to trying to hit using your hand mostly.

This is how it works:
  • Grab a 600ml bottle of water. 2/3rds fill it with water (important!).
  • Now, put the lid back on (also important!) and grab it by the top/lid.
  • Start in your normal serving stance. Unless you're Roddick the water should be at the bottom of the bottle.
  • Now perform your usual backswing. As you raise the bottle up the water will crash down to the top end of the bottle (into your hand) as it will be upside down. You should feel the weight shift in the bottle and a water gushing noise. When you hear it, this is your trophy position.
  • Now, rather than breaking your wrist to drop the bottle down, keep your wrist firmish and instead send your elbow upwards. The water will crash back down to the bottom of the bottle. When you hear the gushing noise this is like your racquet drop. As it weighs about 400 grams and is closer to your hand it will feel heavier than your racquet, and that may prevent a deep drop. This doesn't matter, the next point is the most important. By raising your elbow instead of engaging your wrist you will be leading with your elbow and the water will be at the bottom end of the bottle.
  • From the drop swing the bottle over your head as you would with your service motion. The bottle will start upright from the drop but as you swing it will be go upside down through the swing arc. Despite this the water will not crash back down towards your hand but remain at the bottom end of the bottle as momentum keeps it there. As you get past halfway or so the bottle will just want to keep going and you won't need to power it anymore, infact it will be hard to hold onto. This is the key feeling you are after, you accelerate the racquet through transferring momentum to the tip.
  • You may also notice that your shoulder rolls over naturally, mine did and I felt great snap from the ESR/pronation or whatever you wish to call it
  • It will actually be a lot harder if you try to swat the bottle waiter's tray style, the bottle being hard to hold onto and also the weight will make it difficult even if you try.
  • You should feel the point where the bottle just wants to get away from you and you might feel a (good) snap at that point, which is sort of where you want the toss to be and where you want to time the pronation when using a racquet.

Guys, give it a go and let me know what you think. The title wasn't serious, I just thought this might help those transitioning from waiters open serves to a full service motion. I know a lot of you like to be critical but look, it may just help someone make that first realisation of what they should be feeling so that's why I put it up. Don't post on here about positions being 1 mm out or terms being wrong or other pedantic crap, this is a feel based exercise. I'm looking at you Chas ...

Sounds good.... but how much are you charging for said bottle of water?
 
Video documentation -

Pick a standard bottle. 16 oz Cool Ridge, *atorade, *oke, *epsi......., 20 oz, etc, ketchup bottle with long neck for handle. ? .
Experiment with and document various amounts of water. in the bottle.
Find a food dye that shows good contrast in bright sunlight.

Take some high speed videos and see if the fluid moves around in a reproducible way related to the motions. Record how it moves and match that to your description.
 
Last edited:

Rubens

Hall of Fame
I add some crushed ice in the water bottle to better hear the shifting of the water.


Then I drink the cold water after the practice.
 
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