pistol grip for serves ????

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I know, I've been holding conti with about a 45 degree offset from my forearm for serves since 1976.
About 2 months ago, I was messing around with aligning my racket with my forearm, ala John McEnroe, and hitting some serves. It worked for consistency, much better than I would ever expect. I didn't stick with it.
Last week, desperation time in bad doubles, I used that forearm aligned with racket grip again, and was hitting 60% first flat serves IN. Abberation, I thought, and went back to 45 degree offset alignment for the rest of my serves.
This week, rained on Monday, so had plenty of thinking time. Today, went to empty courts, serve normal (45 degree alignment, like EVERY other server) and got maybe 30% first flat serves IN.
Switched to pistol grip aligned forearm to racket, got easily 70% IN, about the same pace, same bounce height around mid thigh at the backfencing.
OK, I should add, my left shoulder is screwed up, I can't brush teeth or shave using the left side, and there is much less flexibility in left shoulder compared to the right shoulder.
Scheduled to hit with USTA National #67 Girl's 12's, tomorrow and hopefully will remember try that service grip alignment.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I guess, less effect of adding RHS with pronation, so removing one variable, the consistency seems much much better, while the loss in velocity seems very little so far.
Played Lefty John and crushed some serves he couldn't come close to timing, although they were in his strike zone. He and I have played well over 50 singles sets, at least 200 doubles sets, over the course of 18 years, so he was astounded at the change in my serves. The serve really bothered him, and pressed home the point he can't really continue playing with the serve he currently has.
He's 6' tall, 220 lbs., can throw a football nearly as far as me, and thinks nobody can throw farther than him, until he met me. His serves should whizz past mine by at least 15 mph, based on the length of his arms and his technique.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
It's not the finger positioning, but more the aiming technique.
With pistol, like JohnMacEnroe uses, his racket is aligned with his forearm, so shoulder rotation/pronation has LESS effect on racket head speed.
I've been serving "normal" for 36 years now. Normal is having a 45 degree angle (open 45) with the racket NOT aligned with the forearm, but having an angle to promote RHS with shoulder rotation and pronation.
Like how you aim a PISTOL, one handed, compared to aiming a rifle, using the sights.
 

Aretium

Hall of Fame
LeeD do you mean this.

Mcenroe -


45degree Forearm (federer)


All I can say is, perhaps its known as the honeymoon period.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I think that pic of Mac is not representative of his actual grip he normally used, perhaps a spin serve. Watch his prep position for a better view of his grip.
Honeymoon period? Sure, it could be. Nobody else who can serve decently use the aligned idea.
Trying to head for courts now, hope I remember what I want to try.
 

comeback

Hall of Fame
I know, I've been holding conti with about a 45 degree offset from my forearm for serves since 1976.


ok then, can you provide a picture of what you used to do? so we can compare.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Not too difficult for you to imagine what aligning the racket with the forearm, is it.
An offset, like what every server ever in tennis, is my usual angle.
Played 3 sets of doubles today, used the aligned grip exclusively. While first serve percentage (flat fast serves) was only around 45%, lefty serving into the 10-noon sun, that percentage is about 20 higher than normal, with some hops up to waist high on the backfencing.
I played against a solid 4.5 (League team No.2 singles) all 3 sets, rotating the two other 3.5's between us.
4.5 wasn't on with his serves, but still serves much much better than the 3.5's, of course.
Won two handily, the third a tiebreaker.
 

comeback

Hall of Fame
i think i get the difference now..It's funny, for many years i did the McEnroe way...I recently went to a 45 degree angle but now hit spin 90% of the time..The McEnroe way does seem to work better for flat serves..
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Yes, the aligned grip hit's flat's better than spins, but it's OK on spin serves, I just haven't adapted to it yet on spin serves. I think it's fine for sidespin slice serves, maybe hard to do for pure topspin serves, and I didn't try any twist serves with it because the first flat kept going IN at a high percentage.
Seemed VERY effective when it goes in, but maybe my opponent's today were off their usual game, allowing me to think I can play tennis.
Any experiment like this needs at least 10 days of tennis before any conclusions can be made.
Main thing I noticed was that my flat serves seemed to impact the ground at a steeper angle, causing a higher bounce than usual. Speed doesn't seem any different, but percentage IN increase is huge.
 

comeback

Hall of Fame
Yeah makes sense..All the years i used the McEnroe i was a S&V and i could consistently hit flat semi bombs to each sides' backhand and get in for a good volley..Now i stay back 95% but i am near your age and that SV game on hard courts was getting to too phyisical for me.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
At least you can still play at a high level. I keep going downhill almost every other week. Not starting from very high, the bottom is right there.
 

comeback

Hall of Fame
Thanks Lee, your injuries are serious and no joke and you have my sympathy..Your game is classic, all you need is a good partner in doubles and you can still hold up your side..:) Not sure how much better i could do vs Maxx..But you have led a full and great life..Better than money can buy..I can just imagine the stuff you can't be explicit about on TT..It's cool man, you got memories and a GF..Many don't even have that..
 
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LeeD

Bionic Poster
Thanks, life has been good to me, and I do appreciate that.
Got to play 3 doubles sets against a league 4.5, a sandbagger who plays Open tourneys. We partnered with 2 3.5's rotating the partners, but always played against each other.
That's the way tennis should be played. Solid good shots, no picking on the 3.5's, and no quarter given...none asked for...:)
 

comeback

Hall of Fame
Thanks, life has been good to me, and I do appreciate that.
Got to play 3 doubles sets against a league 4.5, a sandbagger who plays Open tourneys. We partnered with 2 3.5's rotating the partners, but always played against each other.
That's the way tennis should be played. Solid good shots, no picking on the 3.5's, and no quarter given...none asked for...:)
I know, when the mix is right doubles is really a good time..Power kills the good doubles at our age.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
To me, both guys are holding conventional style, the racket around 40 degrees off the forearm.
I've only seen McEnroe hold true pistol, at least in my mind, but he influenced my generation of lefty servers, so he's more in my mind.
 
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