New camera, new serve video, critique!

Enano

New User
Don't take this personally, but I'm guessing your loosing at least 50% of the feedback just because your filming it sideways. Really hard to see, especially for people without labtops :p
 

Trainer

Rookie
Something that jumps out at me is that on your backswing, you pick up one of your legs. If you pause the video at 16seconds, you'll see it. I don't think I've ever seen that before. Have you ever noticed this? Have you ever tried keeping your leg down?
 

WBF

Hall of Fame
Agreed. It's quite difficult to see. I would grab a small free video editting utility and rotate it, then re-upload it!

Interesting windup :p

Now that trainer mentioned that leg thing... It looks like by doing that you're losing a lot of power that could be generated through the body (Is this wrong? I think a lot of the power I can generate is through my body turning, to the point where I am falling forward and to the left).
 
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Nellie

Hall of Fame
There are some idiosyncrasies, It looks effective.

However, I think you are a strong guy who is trying to muscle the ball. I think you could get a lot more pop (and better accuracy!) by working on the kenetic chain.

In particular, it looks like you are trying to wack the ball with your arm strength. I think that you could get more power by developing more of a whip like action by tossing slightly higher, bending your knees more, droping your racquet head with the dropping of the knees, start to straighten your legs while continuing drop the racquet head, the whipping the racquet head at the ball with a good arm pronation right before contact.

On more simple thoughts, I think you are dropping your left arm and head too early and consequently, do not seem to have good upward motion of the serve, as shown in the weak second serve.
 

rosenstar

Professional
I have always raised my right leg like a basketball layup.
You should really stop doing that. The way I see it, the serve is a very complicated motion. I think that one should try to keep the serve as simple as possible to make the timing as easy as possible. You'll notice that many of the best servers in the pro game have a very simple motion.

not only that, but by lifting your right leg, you open up your shoulders too early. about 75% of the power on your serve comes from that torso turn. By turning too early you loose not only power, but the ability to create different spins.

You don't see an pro's who do this... there's a reason why. This is something that really needs to change if you want to improve.
 

JCo872

Professional
Nellie is right. You are trying to muscle the ball rather than let a kinetic chain build up.

You start your motion off at about 1000mph. You need to relax and sloooooow down.
 
You should really stop doing that. The way I see it, the serve is a very complicated motion. I think that one should try to keep the serve as simple as possible to make the timing as easy as possible. You'll notice that many of the best servers in the pro game have a very simple motion.QUOTE]

Exactly. :) CC
 

BravoRed691

Semi-Pro
Kev,

Sidenote: Who are those guys playing in your "rally videos". They are impressive. I was thinking it was you, but not sure.

Can you enlighten me?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiOZhaXs_G0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lpyYt-qsQA&feature=related

I suspect it's a college match, since you can sort of make up something written on the back of the servers shirt.

Just curious.
Kevinjhin wrote, "These are a couple of D1 guys, Iowa vs Minnesota. I think they play #4 for their teams."

Br
 

herosol

Professional
Effective.

But this is basically how you hit your serve.

You throw the ball up, you hit it into the corresponding service box.

Overall, you lack the actual form to the serve.
To tell you the truth though, don't change it.

Unless you're some up and coming pro player, i'm sure you could probably beat alot of people you know with that serve.

keep it. no need to change. just keep practicing to add more "mph" to the serve.
 

WBF

Hall of Fame
Effective.

But this is basically how you hit your serve.

You throw the ball up, you hit it into the corresponding service box.

Overall, you lack the actual form to the serve.
To tell you the truth though, don't change it.

Unless you're some up and coming pro player, i'm sure you could probably beat alot of people you know with that serve.

keep it. no need to change. just keep practicing to add more "mph" to the serve.
No reason to change? He could vastly improve his serve through using his bodies motion for power.
 

iradical18

Professional
That certainly is a very odd serve, but hey it works right? I do agree with the others in that you could probably improve it a bit by using kinetic energy to your advantage.
 

rosenstar

Professional
Effective.

But this is basically how you hit your serve.

You throw the ball up, you hit it into the corresponding service box.

Overall, you lack the actual form to the serve.
To tell you the truth though, don't change it.

Unless you're some up and coming pro player, i'm sure you could probably beat alot of people you know with that serve.

keep it. no need to change. just keep practicing to add more "mph" to the serve.

If your happy with your game right now, you can leave your serve the way it is. if you want to improve at all CHANGE IT. I hate to be so blunt, but it really isn't a good stroke at all. It's not accurate at all and it's really not going to be effective at all. I would start from scratch and re-do your serve, but again, this is only if you want to improve.
 

onehandbh

Legend
If your happy with your game right now, you can leave your serve the way it is. if you want to improve at all CHANGE IT. I hate to be so blunt, but it really isn't a good stroke at all. It's not accurate at all and it's really not going to be effective at all. I would start from scratch and re-do your serve, but again, this is only if you want to improve.
I wouldn't be quite as harsh... It may be effective as is and have decent
pace, but it could be *MUCH* better with better technique.
 

CAM178

Hall of Fame
Why the leg hop on the serve? Looks like you could be generating at least another 20 mph if you stayed planted and used that power to accelerate up and into the ball. Have you tried staying planted? You've obviously got good power, so I would be interested to see what you could do if you fixed that one minor hiccough.
 

tbini87

Hall of Fame
sounds like you are getting the same thoughts by most. the one leg thing definitely stood out to me. but i will let others give the advice. your one legged serve is already better than mine...
 

volusiano

Hall of Fame
I would also surmise that the reason you're rushing on your serve is to support your leg hop. If you would slow down and not rush, you would not be able to 'leg hop' effectively, therefore you seem to rush by rocking back and forth to give you the momentum for the leg hop.

I agree with the other posters. Stop rushing your serve and lose the leg hop and retrain the conventional way to get a more effective serve. Even if your current result is 'good enough' already, I wouldn't stop there like some posters suggested just because it's 'good enough'. I would try to improve it more.
 

D-Bomb

Rookie
Many good points have been made in this thread, but unless you want to change the serve, I don't think you should.

One thing I've noticed is that more you focus on trying to make your technique "perfect", the less focus you place on the rest of the game, like shot selection and consistency. Although good form can give some added power, it takes a while to perfect and sometimes in can get in your head during big matches, when you start thinking too much about hitting the "right" way. Plus if you could end up making a worse technique-related error.

That said, if a shot is giving you problems because your form is bad, like really late preparation, and is therefore taking away consistency, then you would want to change that shot.

But from what I see in that video, although the leg hop is unconventional, it looks to be working for you, as you are getting plenty of pop and spin (though I THINK one of those may have been a mis-hit), so unless it is giving you problems, stick with it. Plus I'll bet it gets in people's heads (especially those with "better form"), eh?
 

Hot Sauce

Hall of Fame
I don't think he wants to change it so I don't really see the point in asking for critique (correct me if I'm wrong). There is a lot of great advice in this thread and I think that if you're really serious about tennis and want to improve you should drop the leg thing. I don't know what level you're at now, but it certainly is an effective serve.
 

herosol

Professional
I don't think he wants to change it so I don't really see the point in asking for critique (correct me if I'm wrong). There is a lot of great advice in this thread and I think that if you're really serious about tennis and want to improve you should drop the leg thing. I don't know what level you're at now, but it certainly is an effective serve.
Exactly. Having to restart an entirely new form might be even worse for him. I believe if he just keeps hitting that one serve he has, he can eventually hit it even faster, with more spin, and control.

I would say that there is just ALOT to change. The only reason i see for him to change is if his opponents somehow are always moving to the offensive on his serve. If that isn't the case, keep it.
 

rosenstar

Professional
Even if your current result is 'good enough' already, I wouldn't stop there like some posters suggested just because it's 'good enough'. I would try to improve it more.
I very much agree. As a competitor in any sport or event, you should strive to be the best you can be. I cannot understand why anyone would be satisfied with "good enough"

One thing I've noticed is that more you focus on trying to make your technique "perfect", the less focus you place on the rest of the game, like shot selection and consistency. Although good form can give some added power, it takes a while to perfect and sometimes in can get in your head during big matches, when you start thinking too much about hitting the "right" way. Plus if you could end up making a worse technique-related error.
Whenever I've changed my technique for the better, the consistancy has come naturally.


But from what I see in that video, although the leg hop is unconventional, it looks to be working for you, as you are getting plenty of pop and spin (though I THINK one of those may have been a mis-hit), so unless it is giving you problems, stick with it. Plus I'll bet it gets in people's heads (especially those with "better form"), eh?
I don't see the "plenty of pop and spin" that you are talking about... I don't think it's that effective of a serve...

I noticed that the OP is yet to reply to any of our critisism. If he is happy with is stroke as is, than this thread is pretty much a broken record. If he wants to improve his serve, then I'm sure we'd all be willing to help.
 

Trainer

Rookie
I don't see the "plenty of pop and spin" that you are talking about... I don't think it's that effective of a serve...
I wasn't going to say anything, but I'd pretty much crush a return on that serve down the T. I'm a lefty though and it would setup perfectly for me.
 

YonexDude

Rookie
toss the ball slower, you're just flicking it up. lift the ball up with your arm and hold your tossing arm up for a split second during your takeback so you can coil your body during your windup. that'll help you stop arming your serve. all the power from your serve is coming from your arm
 

drakulie

Talk Tennis Guru
I wouldn't be quite as harsh... It may be effective as is and have decent
pace, but it could be *MUCH* better with better technique.
Agreed. kehven has posted actual USTA results before and has done well>>> so it is obviously effective.

BTW, Kehven, nice spin on that third serve.
 

raiden031

Legend
I've actually seen alot of people with a serve like his. However his serve is definitely the best I've seen with that motion.
 

AJK1

Hall of Fame
Totally unconventional, but it works and you can't knock that. You've got your own style and i like it.
 

Katlion

Semi-Pro
Something that jumps out at me is that on your backswing, you pick up one of your legs. If you pause the video at 16seconds, you'll see it. I don't think I've ever seen that before. Have you ever noticed this? Have you ever tried keeping your leg down?
I agree. That is one of the weirdest serves I have ever seen... no offense. And I have seen some weird serves. It looks to me more like you are playing basketball, or some other sport that requires jumping. I would suggest you get some proffesional help with your serve. I mean, you get good power, and it goes in, but I think your feet will give you an issue at some point in time. So, I suggest you get a USPTA certified pro to help you with your serve. I might also suggest you take some private lessons, which would help with the rest of your game, as well as helping your serve.
 

D-Bomb

Rookie
I wasn't going to say anything, but I'd pretty much crush a return on that serve down the T. I'm a lefty though and it would setup perfectly for me.
Well good for you, buddy, but just because YOU can crush it doesn't mean it's not an effective serve. I'd call those serves 85 mph (except the third one, though I would LOVE to see someone crush that one :-D) with certainty, maybe I'm wrong. But I don't know a whole bunch of guys who can crush a well placed 85 mph serve. Clearly you are just that good, right?
 

A.Davidson

Semi-Pro
Looks awkward, but it goes in...Hmmm.

Just a quick question - has an opponent ever called a foot-fault or anything?

As you toss, the left foot seems to be across the center mark (on the ad side, when you're serving from the deuce side). Not sure if this would count, just something that jumped out as I watched.

Also, isn't it a rule that you must serve from a static (unmoving) foot position until you toss the ball, so as to take away the "surprise" element, such as running or hopping away from where it looked where you would serve? Thought I once read this somewhere...

Just a thought. It works, but what's the MPH.
 

Trainer

Rookie
Well good for you, buddy, but just because YOU can crush it doesn't mean it's not an effective serve. I'd call those serves 85 mph (except the third one, though I would LOVE to see someone crush that one :-D) with certainty, maybe I'm wrong. But I don't know a whole bunch of guys who can crush a well placed 85 mph serve. Clearly you are just that good, right?
And you tell a guy that's asking for criticism on an obviously flawed serve to not worry about it....

But yea, that third one does get a good bit of action on it. I'm just saying that the others look like the one's I hope to get.
 

WBF

Hall of Fame
Well good for you, buddy, but just because YOU can crush it doesn't mean it's not an effective serve. I'd call those serves 85 mph (except the third one, though I would LOVE to see someone crush that one :-D) with certainty, maybe I'm wrong. But I don't know a whole bunch of guys who can crush a well placed 85 mph serve. Clearly you are just that good, right?
Right. So he shouldn't worry about changing it, because it might be good enough against some players.

Even if he plays against fking monkeys, the few that they would get back might not come back if he made some small changes to the serve.
 

rosenstar

Professional
For all the players here who think this is a good serve, I'm curious to see how consistant and accurate it is. the motion is so complicated. In order to serve the exact same serve twice in a row, he has to reproduce an identical motion, which is very hard.

My other question is how does this motion work on a second serve? How does he add spin? By opening up his shoulders so early, not only does he loose power (as many of us have already stated) but he looses his ability to control the ball.

Finally, how effective is this serve in a match? Can his opponent tell where it's going? Can he even tell where it's going?
 
Looks like an effective serve as some have mentioned...

I would be interested to know how it holds up when you are in a match situation and the pressure is on. This is when 'unorthodox' actions nearly always show up problems.

Have you filmed it during a match to see how it compares to practice?

If it stands up to pressure then prob not wise to make any drastic changes.

Cheers
 

WBF

Hall of Fame
While people can get away with poor form, even in matches (see the old drakulie post asking for "tips"), I can think of no reason why kevhen wouldn't benefit immensely from generating more power simply by using his body more effectively. The only time poor form is acceptable is when it isn't inhibiting your development, or limiting your success against players you could potentially beat. Kevhen looks like a pretty decent player, and I could imagine he might go up against players who simply eat that serve for breakfast. If he can improve vastly through very basic tweaks, why not try???

Of course, if he didn't chose to show us other serves where he perfectly places it cross court as well (indicating nearly perfect placement control), he might not need the power, but I'm guessing this is not the case.
 

tomng92

New User
my guess: Ball is hit to the right

The video shows that the ball impact is to the right of your body (or body projection). By about 10 inches. That explains the use your leg for correction.

This error is very frequent. It is very easy to spot because it is a purely geometric thing.

I dont know how to fix this error, but try to do the throwing motion without going for the hit. Just throw the ball. It should land to the left, and of course if front, of your body. I would say 1 feet.
 

kevhen

Hall of Fame
Agreed. kehven has posted actual USTA results before and has done well>>> so it is obviously effective.

BTW, Kehven, nice spin on that third serve.
Thanks, I still have the same motion with leg raise, but have improved my kick serve as well as the slice that you noticed and sometimes use the standard grip instead of eastern forehand for my flat serve to add a little bit of spin. I find the kick serve has been very valuable against righty's with slice backhands and often serve and volley with the kick. The slice is my main bread and butter as I can hit with decent pace while getting a high percentage in and making it tricky for opponents especially in doubles where my partner can pick off any easy returns. I still can get the flat up to about 110mph but I use it more as a surprise since my percentage in is like 30-40% whereas the slice I can get in 70-80%.
 

Ballinbob

Hall of Fame
interesting serve, but it looks like it works well. I'm not sure I can critique it, so I'll leave that up to others
 

kevhen

Hall of Fame
Serve

It is a different kind of serve that I have rarely seen anyone else do, but comes from me playing basketball before taking up tennis. Being 6'4, the serve is the strongest part of my game in general so I have no desire to change it. If I am lazy about not jumping very high, I have been known on second serves to land in the court before contacting the ball so I do need so push off and get some vertical otherwise I can footfault.
 
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