OK, I also want a 100mph serve! Suggestions please

Which serve is better?


  • Total voters
    17
F

FRV

Guest
Go through the serve tennis lessons playlist here for basic form:
https://www.youtube.com/user/FYB2007/playlists
Edit: Some people don't like the whole pointing the front foot at the net post thing.

Have you ever tried using a platform stance rather than a pinpoint stance?
 
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F

FRV

Guest
@Cobaine was right about using your legs. Personally, I'm not good at using the legs with a pinpoint stance. But, notice how when you serve, you do coil a bit as you rock backwards. Now when rocking forwards, what I do is I then coil even more and start my hip drive by getting the front hip (your left hip) elevated and I get into the trophy position. This is also the moment are really start involving the legs. What you do is kind of just lose all the power you were starting to store up.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Serve straight down from the top of a building. Should be able to get the ball at 100 mph if the building is tall enuff. ;)
If I jump into the court I am usually way behind the ball to transform power, if I jump upwards the ball goes to the fence , I lose my balance.
You can use more leg drive w/o jumping really high. Just make sure that you are driving upward and forward. Notice how your left foot points way off to the left when you land. You are over rotating your landing. Try some shadow serves where you get your left foot to point in the intended direction of the serve (more or less) when you land. Right leg/foot should kick toward the fence behind you rather than swinging around. This all might help you to drive upward and forward more.

Max (or moderate) knee flexion by the time you get to your trophy phase. As the racket head starts to drop from the trophy position, the legs should start to extend. Full extension (no knee bend) by the time your racket drop is at its lowest position. That way your upward swing will happen immediately after your leg drive.

If I have time, I'll look at your video again later for more feedback.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
One more thought for now. Didn't notice whether or not your heels came off the ground when you bent your knees. If not, it is important to do so for a good knee bend, body orientation and leg drive.
 
F

FRV

Guest
Is this 30 fps?!?!?! If so you are already hitting it pretty fast with bad form.
Edit: Nothing lower than 30 fps that I can find so must be 30 fps?
 
F

FRV

Guest
Is this 30 fps?!?!?! If so you are already hitting it pretty fast with bad form.
Edit: Nothing lower than 30 fps that I can find so must be 30 fps?
You will be hitting bombs with correct form.
 
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Closer to the camera
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Serve at 3 sec.

For high level serves that use internal shoulder rotation (ISR) the upper arm swings forward and rotates at the shoulder joint. If the upper arm is at too high an angle there may be shoulder impingement and injury. The Todd Ellenbecker video "Rotator Cuff Injury" discusses this in detail. This video is no longer available free on the internet. You should subscribe for 3 months to Tennis Resources for a short membership and study the video. If you are doing ISR with that shoulder orientation it might risk impingement. You should not experiment with new serving techniques without understanding this issue or having a well qualified instructor.

There are many posts on Ellenbecker's explanation and recommendations for safety during the high level serve technique.
Search Google and Forum search: Ellenbecker impingement Whiteside Chas

I can't see your technique. Your camera has too slow a frame rate and the lighting under court lights is probably only 1% of the level of direct sunlight. If you video again in direct sunlight your camera's automatic exposure control will probably select a much faster shutter and the racket will have smaller motion blur and be visible.
 
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Torque

New User
As you toss, stretch with your left hand upward (all the way). As you do this your right arm should be behind your head with your elbow high. This will tilt your shoulders. Then you bring your left down and rotate up with the right.

You can practice this without a racquet. If you can smooth out your motion and do it properly you will begin to have a consistent serve and eventually a high power one.

You can try to develop a smooth flowing motion or try to emulate someone like Caroline Garcia who starts with a racquet behind the head position. The mechanics from that point on are the same though.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Hey man, you need to rebuild from scratch if you want to hit 100 consistently and also apply same racquet head speed to create sweet spin serves. This doesn’t mean you have nothing good in your current motion, and need to throw all your previous experience out of the window... but going from the very basics, ingraining them or verifying you have them good, then getting all right things together. Check some videos @FRV linked...
Start with conti grip, don’t preliminary drop the racquet behind the back - go from trophy pose. Practice some cylinder drill - google it.
 

weelie

Semi-Pro
I am no expert., but I have hit 100mph to a radar exactly once. :D What is your current best speed?

Your serve looks like it is mainly hand action, like waiters tray push style. Your grip might be a bit too open, not "real" continental. You should aim to have leg drive, torso turn, cartwheel action, loose hand, hand acting like a whip, like throwing the racket (or a baseball).

You could get a better video setup (such that you can really slow it down and see) and some way to get measurements of speed at certain intervals (like once a month).
Watch youtube videos of slow motion pro (level) serves and compare to yours.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru


@Chas Tennis makes a great point about a possible shoulder impingement. Your vertical arm at contact could eventually lead to painful and limiting shoulder/rotator problems. Notice that Roger's arm is not really vertical contact. It is angled off to the right somewhat. Additionally, his racket is angled off to the left... it Is not directly in line with his arm.

The arm and racket angles that Roger Federer employs will result in less stress to his shoulder then the vertical alignment in your serve. Roger's angles should also provide better leverage and allow for a more effective use of forearm pronation and internal shoulder rotation (ISR).




 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru

This image also shows couple of things that I mentioned previously. Note the over rotation of your left foot. When you land it should be pointed toward approx direction that you are serving. In this case your foot has already turned past that even tho you haven't landed yet.

Your right leg is also kicking off to the right. Instead, should be kicking back toward the camera. This should help to keep you from over-rotating your hips and lower body... so you are driving up and forward rather then off to the left.
 

3virgul14

Rookie
Tbh, I dont think I can imitate Federer or any top level pro since we are not at the same fundamental level. They are big tigers and huge lions whereas we recreational players are cats. Excuse my language..

The 100mph was a joke to colour things up but my main target is to stabilise a strong effective serve to trust it in match playing conditions.

This Japanese guy looks to do it so simple that I cant get how easy it can be.

 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
Ball toss. Inconsistent as all hell, you keep adjusting your body in response and hence it looks like you’re arming the serve rather often. Fix that and then you can start thinking about speeding up the rest of the motion.

One thing that helps: first serve while standing. Don’t jump or lean. Stand so that you’re stable on both feet, your trunk being straight. Toss the ball in front of you while maintaining a straight posture. Then rotate the hitting shoulder up and in to the court, following in with your right foot. Once you can serve like that, you can start trying to launch yourself into the court instead.

See Thiem’s warmups on serve, he’ll have a few where he really loosely follows the serve into the court with the right side of his body.
 

3virgul14

Rookie
Ball toss. Inconsistent as all hell, you keep adjusting your body in response and hence it looks like you’re arming the serve rather often. Fix that and then you can start thinking about speeding up the rest of the motion.

One thing that helps: first serve while standing. Don’t jump or lean. Stand so that you’re stable on both feet, your trunk being straight. Toss the ball in front of you while maintaining a straight posture. Then rotate the hitting shoulder up and in to the court, following in with your right foot. Once you can serve like that, you can start trying to launch yourself into the court instead.

See Thiem’s warmups on serve, he’ll have a few where he really loosely follows the serve into the court with the right side of his body.

He is stable as hell but still hitting a powerful serve.

 

SpinToWin

Talk Tennis Guru
He is stable as hell but still hitting a powerful serve.

Right. That’s exactly what you should be doing for now.

try keeping your arm loose and “launching” your right shoulder into the court. It should feel like your arm is releases into contact somewhat like a whip.

Another image that might help is a baseball pitch - though you will do the notion more upwards than with a literal pitch.

Again though, the ball toss needs to be on point for that. If you consciously adjust your motion with your arm to make good contact you’re defeating the purpose of it. There’s a contact point up in front of you where a loose motion yields good contact and easy pace.

Hope that helps.
 
Imagine a pole stuck in the ground and at 15 degrees to the vertical. You walk around the pole in a circle and look at it and estimate the pole's angle relative to a vertical plumb line. What do you see? The angle seen depends on your viewing direction. That same effect applies to viewing tennis strokes from different camera locations.

For the kick serve the arm will often appear vertical. The arm may often actually be near vertical. ? But look at the chest angle of the server, chest often somewhat on its side, and notice how the trunk itself tilts forward. Stosur is a good example of a very acrobatic kick serve. Draw a line between the two shoulder and estimate the angle of the upper arm from that. For these kick serves the arm is more toward vertical and the racket is tilted closed for a kick serve impact.


There are threads that go into detail on the upper arm's angle and how the scapula (shoulder blade) rises on the body - a complicated subject.

Look carefully at ATP servers and the angle of their upper arm to the hitting shoulder for each type of serve. ATP servers show mostly examples of good practice for the upper arm. You have to always observe and compare from the same camera viewing angles as the pole demo shows.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Lift what? Weights?

I am a thin guy but strong enough, can bench about 80 easily, 20-25 proper pushups.
If strong enough, you should consider working on power (explosive or speed strength) more rather than conventional strength. Plyometric training is the way to accomplish this. Includes a lot of jumping & sprinting. The jumping can include squat jumps and rope skipping. Medicine ball work for more upper body work. Instead of conventional push-ups try a dozen or more (explosive) plyometric push-ups.

https://www.sharecare.com/health/types-exercise/how-do-i-perform-a-plyo-push-up
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
https://www.sportsrec.com/469202-plyometric-exercises-for-tennis.html
https://serveandvolleytennis.com/9-plyometric-exercises-for-explosive-tennis/

https://www.itftennis.com/scienceandmedicine/conditioning/training/power.aspx
http://www.playerdevelopment.usta.com/Improve-Your-Game/Sport-Science/114699_Strength__Conditioning_Plyometric_Exercises_for_Tennis/


Explosive shadow swinging can be part of your plyo/power program. For your shadow serves (no ball), get at least a moderate amt of knee bend (heels off the ground). As the racket head starts drop from the trophy position, vigorously extend/drive your legs (and push upward with your feet).

Explosive shadow movement for groundstrokes and footwork as well. Here's an example of g'strokes with footwork (mogul move).

 
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ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Tbh, I dont think I can imitate Federer or any top level pro since we are not at the same fundamental level. They are big tigers and huge lions whereas we recreational players are cats. Excuse my language..

The 100mph was a joke to colour things up but my main target is to stabilise a strong effective serve to trust it in match playing conditions.

This Japanese guy looks to do it so simple that I cant get how easy it can be.

Oh yes ... the "crotches shot" ... lost in translation :p
 

ChaelAZ

Legend
I'd like to see two comparative videos from you.

First, put out three targets in the service box for line, body (middle), and wide. Serve 5 serves at each target at your current speed.

Second, with the targets out still, serve 5 serves at each target trying to achieve 100mph.

Post both for review.
 

Kevo

Legend
I would recommend to stop practicing your serve until you understand the fundamentals. Right now you are just training some bad habits that will be hard to untrain later.

I start people off with two things. The first and most important is the toss. You need to understand where in relation to your body to toss the ball and you need to be able to put it there consistently. The second thing is using arm rotation to hit the ball. You start with a continental grip and simply reach up and turn the strings through the ball. These things alone can take quite some time to get, but they are so important. Everything else can be fairly easily tacked on piece by piece over time. Some students can be serving with a full motion in a matter of weeks, and others it takes months. Just depends on how well you understand the basics and how well you stick to them during practice. A little bit of quality practice everyday goes a lot further than a lot of poor quality practice a couple of times a week.

Also, forget speed. Speed will come with technique and practice. You have to build up to it though. People really mess themselves up by trying to take shortcuts and never really getting comfortable with the basics.
 

3virgul14

Rookie
Main target is to get better at control , stability and placement. I can swing much faster for a flat serve but hardly catches a line every 5th time.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Your grip still looks forehandish. Go true conti. Forget flat as a term, just serve swinging up and accross the ball, more through for harder serve, more accross for bigger spin. You shouldn't feel restricted in terms of swing speed. Full, free flowing swing should be your only way to go.
 
There is a technique where the body leans more to left and the arm tilts more to the right and some ISR is used for speed. That seems more of what you are doing. ? Needs high speed video to see how much ISR may occur before impact.

Take video in direct sunlight end of the court and show the entire body.
 

Raul_SJ

Legend
Main target is to get better at control , stability and placement. I can swing much faster for a flat serve but hardly catches a line every 5th time.
It sounds like you're saying you already have the arm speed for a 100mph serve (although it does not go in much). That is some progress.
Now it is best to focus your efforts on the other issues before worrying about speed; you already know you can hit it 100mph. There is no point in focusing your efforts on a 100mph serve that hardly ever goes in.

In other words, the OP goal should be retitled, "I want a 100mph serve that goes in 50%."

To reach that goal you will first need to develop a 70mph spin serve that goes in 70%, etc.
 

3virgul14

Rookie
Right, It is forehandish. Conti grip is less comfortable for my arm somehow or maybe i need to get used to it. I am not there yet to combine all the leg/ hips/ body/ arm chain with good timing of full swing. Feels like %60-70 now. Maybe I should toss higher to have more time?



Your grip still looks forehandish. Go true conti. Forget flat as a term, just serve swinging up and accross the ball, more through for harder serve, more accross for bigger spin. You shouldn't feel restricted in terms of swing speed. Full, free flowing swing should be your only way to go.
 
There is a technique where the body leans more to left and the arm tilts more to the right and some ISR is used for speed. That seems more of what you are doing. ? Needs high speed video to see how much ISR may occur before impact.

Take video in direct sunlight end of the court and show the entire body.
Here is an example of your technique as done by Bigservesofthands


I believe that ISR is used for significant forward racket head speed but I don't think that there is as much ISR rotation as for a high level serve technique. The racket head closes as it moves forward plus rotates as it moves forward but there is relatively more closing than rotating. If the racket closing is in error, the ball will go high or low. If the ISR rotation (racket face points side to side) is in error at impact, the ball will be in error side to side. This is a different technique that I have seen maybe 8-10 times of 200 analyses?

In one type of Bigservesofthands's serves, he said that he measured 131 MPH. I don't know the type of serve.

I believe that the high level serve will be more consistent.

See Anatoly Antipin Youtube on the 142 MPH high level serve at 6000 fps. As the racket head moves forward it both swings (tilts down) and rotates from ISR. The OP racket and the video above will show less rotation from ISR.
The fact that the racket head gets speed from two, sources instead of simply closing, I believe makes the serve more consistent. ??
 
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Here is an example of your technique as done by Bigservesofthands
It's interesting that when OP uses this technique he seems to get a better shoulder to arm alignment. Maybe that's why he feels more comfortable using it (less stress??). From "Some flat frying pans" video:

 
I have two comments to make, the first of which is unrelated to your serve but far more important.
1. For purposes such as actual video analysis, always video in landscape mode.
2. Tossing arm stays up way too long, seriously inhibiting your shoulder over shoulder power generation. Compare to any high level server for correct timing.

 
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