I Want A 120 MPH Serve

TennisCJC

Legend
not sure if serious? If a 4.5 level player had a serve like an average ATP pro 2nd serve he would have never lost a serve. I'm clearly playing tennis at some USTA deficient location. Because the serve (or for that matter anything else except shorts\shirts perhaps) of 4.5 players in my area is nowhere near anything ATP pro does on the tennis court.

Agreed. I was just being generous to 4.5 players. My point is trying to serve 120mph is not as productive as trying to serve 80-90mph with spin, placement and a high percentage in the box.
 

v-verb

Hall of Fame
First, how did you radar them? It makes a big difference as the ball slows down a lot as it travels over the net and bounces.

Second, it's true there aren't a lot of rec players that serve consistently over 100mph. It's also true that a lot of rec players don't know how to serve properly. And teaching a lot of adults is an exercise in losing your mind. A lot of them think they know it already. I tried in vain to try to get a couple of guys on our USTA team to stop foot faulting. You've probably run into this if you've played rec tennis. They swear they don't do it, even after you've convinced a couple other people to corroborate for you so it's not just one person they have to believe. I gave up calling foot faults in matches. You can watch grown men totally lose their mind by calling some foot faults.

Hey Kevo

Pocket Radar Ball Coach radar standing behind the player - as per instructions.

LOL so true on the foot faults!!
 

weelie

Professional
Off topic, maybe, but in my recent matches, I realize I am not interested in the 1st serve. If I hit and place it well, I get some free points, for sure. But the points on the 2nd serve is what I tend to count, so I want to build a 2nd serve that guys have trouble with. Need to work on it still, but I can see it coming, I can swing out as big as the 1st serve already, aim to a 1/3 of the box and hit the service line... just need to get more spin on it. If I am motivated to practice this coming winter, maybe in a year, it will be what I win with against lower class players.
 

Bender

G.O.A.T.
main-qimg-1d8f716e438657e304d3aa73ec080543


J
Bring back Taiss and BSSH, we need to motivate them further
 

timaku

New User
So did you ever make it to 120/100 mph??? This has become my goal as well. Maybe we can team up if you live close (unlikely)?
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
You have a clinic? Sign me up plz. Actually, do you have evidence of a 130+ serve as I've read?

I can take some video of a few fast ones after my lessons today if there is an open court.

I don't know about 130+ but I hit some 120+ this weekend feels good to start serving big again after the winter.

J
 

timaku

New User
I can take some video of a few fast ones after my lessons today if there is an open court.

I don't know about 130+ but I hit some 120+ this weekend feels good to start serving big again after the winter.

J
Yes please! How did you develop such serve?
 

travlerajm

Talk Tennis Guru
My current serve as old guy is trash. But when I was a young guy, I spent many hours hitting serves and experimenting with ways to add power, using how high my serve would hit on the back curtain/fence as my feedback. At my serving peak, I could consistently hit 6-7 feet high on the fence still rising.

Here are a few tips that worked for me:

1. Lean your left hip further out in front into the court. This will naturally allow you to get more forward body momentum into the shot.

2. Before your forward hip lean, rock your weight back further behind the court with a wider stance. This will further naturally exaggerate your forward momentum and hip lean into court.

3. Raise your contact point. The more fully extended you are at contact, the more leverage and racquet head speed you will have for the same amount of effort.

4. Pay attention to where your front foot lands on the court. The farther forward you are landing, the more forward explosion you are getting with your lower body. At my peak, my front foot used to land about 5-6 feet in the court. I know this is further than most pros land, but it is also why I was able to have one of the biggest and most explosive serves around when I was in my college years despite only being 5’11” tall.

5. Rather than letting gravity drop your racquet from the trophy position, actively yank the racquet downward. This will do two things to enhance racquethead speed. A. It allows you to use the muscles and tendons in your shoulder like spring. B. It allows you to get the racquet lower, so that you can accelerate upward over a longer distance before contact. Of course, you should always warmup with 10-15 serves before incorporating the yank down on a given session. This active yankdown trick is one I taught myself and added to my serve when I was around 29-30 years old, while watching Roddick in 2002-2003.

Good luck!
 

timaku

New User
Why? You don't need it. Strive for 100% first serve percentage, with good variety.
Analogy: No one needs a Tesla or BMW, but some people want one to show off, get their kicks in, etc.... You could just as well drive a Honda.

I want to blow people away with my serve. To be the John Isner of the rec circuit. To instill the fear of God in them. :happydevil: that sounds incredibly fun to me. More fun than traveling to some exotic place or even watching federer play tennis.
 

timaku

New User
My working first serve is around 80 MPH (from PlaySight). I can hit my thirds with it and I get about 60% in on a good day. I can crank one out at 100 MPH but I don't have good placement and I feel like I'm straining to hit it that big. I'll go big in a 40-0, 0-40 or a "Jesus take the wheel" situation.

If I try to hit it harder than 100 MPH then I don't get a clean hit, my shoulder starts feeling weird and my timing is all off. All signs that I'm doing it wrong. I want to add 20 MPH so that I have a 100 MPH working serve and save the buck 20 heater for special occasions.


Don't mind the foot faults, I was in rapid fire mode. Also please don't tell me to switch to a platform stance. I tried it and it was horrible. I think I open up the hips too much for trophy but I don't know what else to work on. Any ideas where I can find that extra 20 MPH?

Did you ever make it BallBag?
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Laugh all you want, the service motion itself can affect speed of service.
Ever wonder how John MacEnroe serves faster now than in his prime?
I tried his longesh sideslinger motion after not touching a racket for 3 weeks.
RHS improved immediately FOR ME, accuracy gone so aimed for big margin for error, but speed approaching 90+. not bad for a out of shape non tennis playing 70 year old.
First serves IN bouncing upper thigh high with old flat tennis balls, 57 degrees, worn out painted cement courts.
 

Dartagnan64

G.O.A.T.
My current serve as old guy is trash. But when I was a young guy, I spent many hours hitting serves and experimenting with ways to add power, using how high my serve would hit on the back curtain/fence as my feedback. At my serving peak, I could consistently hit 6-7 feet high on the fence still rising.

Here are a few tips that worked for me:

1. Lean your left hip further out in front into the court. This will naturally allow you to get more forward body momentum into the shot.

2. Before your forward hip lean, rock your weight back further behind the court with a wider stance. This will further naturally exaggerate your forward momentum and hip lean into court.

3. Raise your contact point. The more fully extended you are at contact, the more leverage and racquet head speed you will have for the same amount of effort.

4. Pay attention to where your front foot lands on the court. The farther forward you are landing, the more forward explosion you are getting with your lower body. At my peak, my front foot used to land about 5-6 feet in the court. I know this is further than most pros land, but it is also why I was able to have one of the biggest and most explosive serves around when I was in my college years despite only being 5’11” tall.

5. Rather than letting gravity drop your racquet from the trophy position, actively yank the racquet downward. This will do two things to enhance racquethead speed. A. It allows you to use the muscles and tendons in your shoulder like spring. B. It allows you to get the racquet lower, so that you can accelerate upward over a longer distance before contact. Of course, you should always warmup with 10-15 serves before incorporating the yank down on a given session. This active yankdown trick is one I taught myself and added to my serve when I was around 29-30 years old, while watching Roddick in 2002-2003.

Good luck!

I think if I tried these things I'd break something pretty badly.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
[QUOTE="LeeD, post:ter now than in his prime?
I tried his longesh sideslinger motion after not touching a racket for 3 weeks.
 

Wise one

Hall of Fame
Analogy: No one needs a Tesla or BMW, but some people want one to show off, get their kicks in, etc.... You could just as well drive a Honda.

I want to blow people away with my serve. To be the John Isner of the rec circuit. To instill the fear of God in them. :happydevil: that sounds incredibly fun to me. More fun than traveling to some exotic place or even watching federer play tennis.


My serve is very reliable, and two instances are worthy of note. In 1997, I hit at least 24 consecutive first serves in without missing, in a singles match (lost that match, because opponent has very good return of serve, but I did not give him any points during that streak). A week later, I hit 17 in a row.

In 2009, I played a doubles match, and lost only two points on my serve (one was a double fault, the other was a sitter that my partner missed).

After the match, the opponent who had received in the ad court told me that he was unable to return a single one of my serves. I was unaware of that.

These were done with wooden racquets.
 

travlerajm

Talk Tennis Guru
There’s a reason why really tall big servers on the ATP tour (karlovic, Anderson, isner) can compete well into their 30s, while shorter guys with big explosive serves where a lot of the power comes from the legs and shoulder muscles (Edberg, roddick, Herman, rafter) have a hard time when the explosive service motion becomes injury inducing when they hit their 30s.

Height ages well.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
There’s a reason why really tall big servers on the ATP tour (karlovic, Anderson, isner) can compete well into their 30s, while shorter guys with big explosive serves where a lot of the power comes from the legs and shoulder muscles (Edberg, roddick, Herman, rafter) have a hard time when the explosive service motion becomes injury inducing when they hit their 30s.

Height ages well.

As if Federer is a giant, and hes almost 40.
 

timaku

New User
I can take some video of a few fast ones after my lessons today if there is an open court.

I don't know about 130+ but I hit some 120+ this weekend feels good to start serving big again after the winter.

J
So were you able to get some video big J?
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
So were you able to get some video big J?

All my recent stuff is just warm up, I have a second serve with a high bounce but nothing really fast.

I'll get you some next week. This week I won't be able to.

Here is my second serve in slow motion so you can at least see what my motion looks like.

J
 

BMC9670

Hall of Fame
Don't get hung up on speed, it's just ego. 100mph is plenty. Placement, spin/kick, flat, and using all these with variety is the key. My son is a 6'5" junior who can consistently hit flat serves between 115 and 120 mph (confirmed by national tournament radar and playsight courts). It's nice to have but at a certain level, his opponents have no trouble with it if he uses it too much. Why? Because the faster the serve, the less variety you can use. When he uses the fast flat serve up the T, it's only effective because he mixes in a really good kicker, slice serve, and body serve to keep them guessing and off balance.

Think of it this way: What makes a MLB pitcher special? It isn't the fast ball...
 

FiReFTW

Legend
@BMC9670 He clearly said he wants to be able to hit a 120mph flat serve, that does not mean he will use only the flat 120mph serve... but have the ability to hit such a fast ball... meaning if he spins the ball with slice or topspin or some combo of both and lose say 10-15mph, he will be able to hit a 105-110mph slice or topslice or topspin or whatever.

If hes able to hit only a 95mph flat serve that means if he spins it the spin serve will then have 85mph... so yes, the ability to hit a serve with speed IS IMPROTANT, the faster you can hit the ball the better.
 

BallBag

Professional
Don't get hung up on speed, it's just ego. 100mph is plenty. Placement, spin/kick, flat, and using all these with variety is the key. My son is a 6'5" junior who can consistently hit flat serves between 115 and 120 mph (confirmed by national tournament radar and playsight courts). It's nice to have but at a certain level, his opponents have no trouble with it if he uses it too much. Why? Because the faster the serve, the less variety you can use. When he uses the fast flat serve up the T, it's only effective because he mixes in a really good kicker, slice serve, and body serve to keep them guessing and off balance.

Think of it this way: What makes a MLB pitcher special? It isn't the fast ball...
I used to top out at 100 MPH. That's going balls out with little intention to make it in the box. Regular first, flat serve was hovering around 80 MPH with 1 in 4 going in and I was rolling in my second serve. I figured if I practiced it would get better but I would be practicing bad form. So I decided that I need to improve my form and that I would know my form is good if I am able to produce a 120 MPH ball.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
I used to top out at 100 MPH. That's going balls out with little intention to make it in the box. Regular first, flat serve was hovering around 80 MPH with 1 in 4 going in and I was rolling in my second serve. I figured if I practiced it would get better but I would be practicing bad form. So I decided that I need to improve my form and that I would know my form is good if I am able to produce a 120 MPH ball.

You're almost 1 year into your 120MPH project.

Progress report?

What changes have you made so far to your form?
 

BallBag

Professional
You're almost 1 year into your 120MPH project.

Progress report?

What changes have you made so far to your form?
I was going to make a vid next month on the 1 year anniversary.
I don't have a 120 MPH serve. Its freaking hard. I've been making changes and had days where I was constantly over 100 but it wouldn't stick. I feel like I tried everything there is to try. If there's a YT video about then I tried it. Its easy to make a change but really owing that change is hard. I have to really focus on the new motion and everything else falls apart while I'm not watching.
 
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