Please help me with my serve

Tennis108

New User
Hi all,

I'd really appreciate some advice on how I can improve my serve. I'm sure there are many things which can be worked on so I'd appreciate it if you could perhaps suggest the most important 3-5 points I should prioritize in order to improve? I've taken some videos from different angles in the links below. From memory I think only the second video's serve actually landed in.



(excuse the comment at the very end!)

Many thanks.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
That's pretty good!

Somebody will come on here in about 5 minutes and tell you to use your lower body more and work on your toss and compare yourself to high speed video of pros.

J
 

Tennis108

New User
Is it very cold there?

I never try to serve above 70% effort unless I'm sweating.

J
Hey thanks for the reply. Yeah it was pretty damn cold! About 6 degrees when I recorded these last week. What is the rationale for not trying to serve above 70% effort?

Thanks.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Hey thanks for the reply. Yeah it was pretty damn cold! About 6 degrees when I recorded these last week. What is the rationale for not trying to serve above 70% effort?

Thanks.
You want to serve with all of your big muscles, and all your arm does is connect your racquet to your body like a string, so the body is the energy and your arm is the conductor. The looser your arm is, the better it conducts, the less energy you lose. My arm does not enjoy being whipped around until I am warm and have good blood flow.

J
 

Tennis108

New User
You want to serve with all of your big muscles, and all your arm does is connect your racquet to your body like a string, so the body is the energy and your arm is the conductor. The looser your arm is, the better it conducts, the less energy you lose. My arm does not enjoy being whipped around until I am warm and have good blood flow.

J
This is interesting thank you. Did you ask me about this because it looks like I'm using my arm too much in these serves?
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
What’s that racquet?

You don’t use true conti grip, do you?
Don’t drop racquet head behind your head before you actually start the swing, keep it vertical or slightly tilted towards the right fence:
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
What’s that racquet?

You don’t use true conti grip, do you?
Don’t drop racquet head behind your head before you actually start the swing, keep it vertical or slightly tilted towards the right fence:
Correct! Start of the racquet drop is out of sync with the lower body.

J
 

Tennis108

New User
What’s that racquet?

You don’t use true conti grip, do you?
Don’t drop racquet head behind your head before you actually start the swing, keep it vertical or slightly tilted towards the right fence:

It's a Wilson but will have to check the model later today.

I do use a continental grip - perhaps it doesn't come through on the vids. Or, I'm not using it properly.

Ok thanks I will avoid bringing the racquet back too early.
 

Born_to_slice

Hall of Fame
Your left hand in TP looks great. You're opening racquet head too early but I have even more severe problem with that myself.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
I do use a continental grip - perhaps it doesn't come through on the vids. Or, I'm not using it properly.
It seems to me your index knuckle is put against bevel 3 more than against bevel 2 which goes for conti:

And generally your RF orientation looks a bit too open. Try doing same swing with true conti grip - don't make changes to compensate, accept angled contact and some spin, it's good. You'd figure it out later - how to spin more, how to flatten out.
 

Tennis108

New User
It seems to me your index knuckle is put against bevel 3 more than against bevel 2 which goes for conti:

And generally your RF orientation looks a bit too open. Try doing same swing with true conti grip - don't make changes to compensate, accept angled contact and some spin, it's good. You'd figure it out later - how to spin more, how to flatten out.
Ok thanks I will work on these and upload at a later date.

By RF do you mean "racquet face"?
 
On the second video, when your racket shaft is about horizontal and going toward impact, it looks more like a Waiter's Tray technique than a high level technique as is often the case with most active players. For single frame on Youtube videos, use the "." & "," keys.

Your camera did a superior job with court lighting at night but there is still too much motion blur. Video again in bright sunlight for less motion blur. Wear a short sleeve shirt and get a closer picture of your arm, especially the upper arm between the shoulder joint and elbow joint. Look for shadows of bones and tendons at the elbow area. Video from behind looking along the ball's trajectory.

I've posted many times on serves and described high level serves with internal shoulder rotation (ISR) with pictures and videos.
 
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Tennis108

New User
On the second video, when your racket shaft is about horizontal and going toward impact it looks more like a Waiter's Tray technique than a high level technique as is often the case with most active players. For single frame on Youtube videos, use the "." & "," keys.

Your camera did a superior job with court lighting at night but there is still too much motion blur. Video again in bright sunlight for less motion blur. Wear a short sleeve shirt and get a closer picture of your arm, especially the upper arm between the shoulder joint and elbow joint. Look for shadows of bones and tendons at the elbow area. Video from behind looking along the ball's trajectory.

I've posted many times on serves and described high level sevves with internal shoulder rotation (ISR) with pictures and videos.
Ok will do.
 
Ok will do.
The high level serve should have the upper arm oriented so that the risk of impingement is reduced. Todd Ellenbecker has a video in Tennis Resources called "Rotator Cuff Injury". The upper arm should not be at an angle to the shoulder joint that is too high. You should join Tennis Resources for about $30 and view that video, they have a collection of videos. There are many threads discussing this subject. High level servers are almost all examples of good practice regarding the arm angle throughout the motion.

Post by tennis biomechanics researcher David Whiteside, also read the thread
 
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