Racquet drop quest continued...

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
I've decided to break down the serve into progressions as outlined in this feeltennis video:

1st progression: starting the serve from the drop
2nd progression: starting from the trophy pose that Tomaz recommends
3rd progression: start normally, toss the ball, pause in trophy, catch the ball, then do 2nd progression
4th progression: the full monty serve


In the video below, basically i'm doing the first progression (my 2nd time doing it - but first time filming it) mixed in with some 2nd progressions (first time doing this)

What do you think?
@IowaGuy @ChaelAZ @Keendog @FiReFTW @Curious @sredna42 @S&V-not_dead_yet @GuyClinch @Bender @nytennisaddict @ByeByePoly
 

Curious

Legend
I doubt that this will help. The problem is not being able to drop the racket as a result of timely leg drive and upper body rotation. Just putting the racket behind your back actively and starting from there is not likely to help IMO.
 
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Deleted member 23235

Guest
I've decided to break down the serve into progressions as outlined in this feeltennis video:

1st progression: starting the serve from the drop
2nd progression: starting from the trophy pose that Tomaz recommends
3rd progression: start normally, toss the ball, pause in trophy, catch the ball, then do 2nd progression
4th progression: the full monty serve


In the video below, basically i'm doing the first progression (my 2nd time doing it - but first time filming it) mixed in with some 2nd progressions (first time doing this)

What do you think?
@IowaGuy @ChaelAZ @Keendog @FiReFTW @Curious @sredna42 @S&V-not_dead_yet @GuyClinch @Bender @nytennisaddict @ByeByePoly
your racquet drop phase looks the same as the tomaz vid (I like his progression). seems like your toss is a bit erratic making you look (to me) unbalanced


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Deleted member 23235

Guest
I doubt that this will help. The problem is not being able to drop the racket as a result of timely leg drive and upper body rotation. Just putting the racket behind your back actively and starting from there is not likely to help IMO.
agree. was gonna suggest trying from the “bouncy” phase, but thought it was more important to fix toss consistency first. because many folks (myself included) do crazy/incorrect things to chase a bad toss.

when breaking down serve swings, I think it’s better to video what the serve swing looks like without a ball or even video throwing the racquet. often the swing will look correct when someone isn’t thinking about lining up the racquet face with the (arguably poor) toss location.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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Keendog

Semi-Pro
This a way to construct a new serve and leave the old one behind. It is a long road though. You have a choice. Pursue this serve for 12 months say, probably avoiding competition initially so you don't fall back to your old serve under pressure.

Or, you can opt for a piecemeal improvement on your current serve, which can probably be achieved with a better ball toss position, and leave ideas of trophys, drops, leg drive etc behind.

Just want to make sure you know what is involved here, your serve wasn't top level but wasn't bad IMO and had a lot going for it, especially to the deuce side.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
This a way to construct a new serve and leave the old one behind. It is a long road though. You have a choice. Pursue this serve for 12 months say, probably avoiding competition initially so you don't fall back to your old serve under pressure.

Or, you can opt for a piecemeal improvement on your current serve, which can probably be achieved with a better ball toss position, and leave ideas of trophys, drops, leg drive etc behind.

Just want to make sure you know what is involved here, your serve wasn't top level but wasn't bad IMO and had a lot going for it, especially to the deuce side.
Really? I was thinking each progression might take 4hrs or so to master... so 16 hrs total time?

Right now i've only done about 2hrs, but i've kind of rushed into incorporating some of the 2nd progression already
 

Keendog

Semi-Pro
Also, you should know that you are pushing the ball not throwing the racquet at it. All the other movements are superfluous if this is how you serve. To maximise this serve style watch the first half of this serve doctor video. The second half addresses a full motion. This is a legitimate and accessible way to serve, I think you can get up to 150kmh with this serve and can be difficult to return up to a certain level. But basically making the swing higher and longer actually detracts from this way of serving.

 

Keendog

Semi-Pro
Really? I was thinking each progression might take 4hrs or so to master... so 16 hrs total time?

Right now i've only done about 2hrs, but i've kind of rushed into incorporating some of the 2nd progression already
Yeah you can do them that quick but the moment you go to serve in a match, say hello my old friend...
 

BetaServe

Professional
Racquet drop isn't achieved by elbow flexion but rather by external shoulder rotation. Flexing your elbow is a cheap way to get racquet drop.

This is elbow flexion - "fake" racquet drop:

This is external shoulder rotation - true racquet drop (at 1:00):

Notice the angle between his forearm and biceps is around 90 degree whereas yours is close to 0 degree (elbow flexion).
 
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StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Racquet drop isn't achieved by elbow flexion but rather by external shoulder rotation. Flexing your elbow is a cheap way to get racquet drop.

This is elbow flexion - "fake" racquet drop:

This is external shoulder rotation - true racquet drop (at 1:00):

Notice the angle between his forearm and biceps is around 90 degree whereas yours is close to 0 degree (elbow flexion).
Thanks that was an eye opener for me. There was certainly something off, looks like this is it
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Also, you should know that you are pushing the ball not throwing the racquet at it. All the other movements are superfluous if this is how you serve. To maximise this serve style watch the first half of this serve doctor video. The second half addresses a full motion. This is a legitimate and accessible way to serve, I think you can get up to 150kmh with this serve and can be difficult to return up to a certain level. But basically making the swing higher and longer actually detracts from this way of serving.

Thanks - i'll try the fence!!

Also - i'm going for the new serve long road~
 

Curious

Legend
yeah thats basically the 2nd progression. I start doing that later in the video at like 1:22
Throwing needs to start when the racket is pointing upwards or even a little to the left and up. When the legs start to push, if the racket is already in a downward position, that’s not good timing.
 

MisterP

Hall of Fame
You’re missing some things from that Feel Tennis video. He says not to start in that static dropped position but to start a little higher and “bounce” the racquet. Also you aren’t doing his “step 2” of the swing path which is to pronate.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
You’re missing some things from that Feel Tennis video. He says not to start in that static dropped position but to start a little higher and “bounce” the racquet. Also you aren’t doing his “step 2” of the swing path which is to pronate.
you're right... im glad i filmed it LOL
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
BTW everyone and @BetaServe check out 17:30 freeze there then press the . to go frame by frame - it looks like Tomaz himself doesn't have a proper drop! Its fake elbow flexion! Do you agree


@Curious when i watched your video i noticed your drop had lots of ESR - the real deal ESR no fake elbow flexion. It was quite prominent
 

Curious

Legend
@Curious when i watched your video i noticed your drop had lots of ESR - the real deal ESR no fake elbow flexion. It was quite prominent
Forearm angle to the ground is the best indicator. I can get it slightly more than parallel ( Fed hardly reaches parallel as a reference:p). Djokovic goes a whopping 45 degrees beyond parallel!!
 

Curious

Legend
Well, actually forearms to ground angle is not an absolute indicator! Because you can cheat and make it look good by bending/arching the back a lot.
 

Keendog

Semi-Pro
BTW everyone and @BetaServe check out 17:30 freeze there then press the . to go frame by frame - it looks like Tomaz himself doesn't have a proper drop! Its fake elbow flexion! Do you agree
This is why I HIGHLY recommend Jeff Salzenstein videos over Tomaz' for serving instruction. I like Tomaz for other things.

A: They are more piecemeal and easier to digest

B: When Tomaz shows some earlier progressions they are not always the proper swing motion so I think it can be confusing what you are trying to achieve if there is no coach there standing next to you guiding you. Jeff's video are better for the 'self help' crowd IMO. As another example Tomaz has the tennis balls in bag exercise but it is flawed as you aren't throwing upwards and you don't use the left arm so it is not really the "feel" you are looking for.

If you follow Jeff's ideas his philosophy is get a good toss, get a good first move so you start your swing from the right spot, then everything else will follow naturally. You don't have to learn pronation, racquet drop etc, and your head doesn't blow up with too many concepts.

As you can see you tried Tomaz first two progressions, luckily you videoed and posted here, and turns out you haven't properly followed what he was trying to teach.

Anyways good luck with it! You will be probably get worse to start with but stick with it and it'll work out.
 

Curious

Legend
But how? What resources did you lean on? How did you identify your mistakes?
Seriously, because my biggest weakness is movement and I had a lot of throwing as a child I found the serve relatively easier than all other strokes. By the way the biggest help was using slow motion video of myself and seeing all the errors and correcting one by one as much as possible. Me being a perfectionist was the other big factor.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
This is why I HIGHLY recommend Jeff Salzenstein videos over Tomaz' for serving instruction. I like Tomaz for other things.

A: They are more piecemeal and easier to digest

B: When Tomaz shows some earlier progressions they are not always the proper swing motion so I think it can be confusing what you are trying to achieve if there is no coach there standing next to you guiding you. Jeff's video are better for the 'self help' crowd IMO. As another example Tomaz has the tennis balls in bag exercise but it is flawed as you aren't throwing upwards and you don't use the left arm so it is not really the "feel" you are looking for.

If you follow Jeff's ideas his philosophy is get a good toss, get a good first move so you start your swing from the right spot, then everything else will follow naturally. You don't have to learn pronation, racquet drop etc, and your head doesn't blow up with too many concepts.

As you can see you tried Tomaz first two progressions, luckily you videoed and posted here, and turns out you haven't properly followed what he was trying to teach.

Anyways good luck with it! You will be probably get worse to start with but stick with it and it'll work out.
I have tried some of Jeff's stuff before but I still don't have a drop

I'm willing to look at his stuff again tho, what videos in particular do you recommend?

He's a lefty also so it might make it easier for me
 

Keendog

Semi-Pro
I have tried some of Jeff's stuff before but I still don't have a drop

I'm willing to look at his stuff again tho, what videos in particular do you recommend?

He's a lefty also so it might make it easier for me
That's true.

I've bookmarked these ones:




That last one probably addresses some of your issues. And that serve doctor video earlier for the concept/feel
 

Raul_SJ

Legend
Forearm angle to the ground is the best indicator. I can get it slightly more than parallel ( Fed hardly reaches parallel as a reference:p). Djokovic goes a whopping 45 degrees beyond parallel!!
Impressive. There is a high correlation between steep racquet drop and power. Guessing you can hit 100-110 mph...

Maybe I missed it, but have you figured out why OP can't get the drop despite having excellent flexibility?

I would first look to confirm he can achieve drop with shadow swing as things break down when toss is introduced.
 
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BetaServe

Professional
I watched your video. Here's why you don't have a good racquet drop.
It seems to me you try to hit the ball by leading with your hand first and this prevents your hand and your forearm from relaxing (dropping).
Next time try to hit the ball with your elbow instead, might sound a bit weird but try to visualize you're leading up with your elbow and completely forget about your forearm and hand (pretend that they don't exist).
Also, forget about the leg, lack of leg drive is not the cause of poor racquet drop. Any pro can drop the racquet without using their legs.

 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Also, forget about the leg, lack of leg drive is not the cause of poor racquet drop. Any pro can drop the racquet without using their legs.
So, just to clarify, you think this type of racket drop is possible without using one's legs? Do you think Djokovic could achieve the same racket drop serving from a chair?

 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Also, forget about the leg, lack of leg drive is not the cause of poor racquet drop. Any pro can drop the racquet without using their legs.
Another good racket drop that appears to correlate with leg drive. Can Roddick achieve this by serving from a chair or kneeling on the ground?

 

BetaServe

Professional
@lowaGuy Leg drive only promotes racquet drop (from decent to extremely deep) but it is not the main reason you can't drop your racquet. You can still have a decent drop without leg drive. Also you gave a bad/biased example of Djokovic since he is known to have serve issues prior to 2011 and that video was from 2009. I can easily give you countless examples of pros serving withoug using their legs and still having good racquet drop.

Here's an example (skip to 0:50)


The point is OP isnt gonna achieve more racquet drop by using more leg drive
 
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user92626

Legend
I wonder if you can do A SHALLOW drop but everything else correctly. Then, over time you can slowly increase the drop.

It's very hard to get the serve swing correctly
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
The point is OP isnt gonna achieve more racquet drop by using more leg drive
Here is Salzy serving from his knees without much explosion. Follwed by Kevin serving on knees without much explosion.

Neither reach 90 degree forearm angle.

Are you saying Salzy or Kevin won't achieve more racket drop by using more explosion/leg drive? If not, then why don't they have more racket drop on these serves? (same goes for Djokovic serve-on-knees I posted earlier)


 

BetaServe

Professional
@lowaGuy

not sure if you're serious. Who's gonna serve hard when they're on their knees? They could certainly serve hard even on their knees but they don't because that's not the purpose of the drill. Have you seen the guy who serves 99mph on his knees (the famous youtube ad "Did you know the serve comes from the arm action..."). You can clearly see his racquet drop even on his knees.

Are you saying Salzy or Kevin won't achieve more racket drop by using more explosion/leg drive? If not, then why don't they have more racket drop on these serves?
They will, but OP won't. I'm not denying the fact that leg drives improves racquet drop (only if your arms aren't stiff), I'm saying if your arms are stiff, doesn't matter how much knee bend you have you ain't get a good racquet drop. Lack of leg drive isn't the main cause.
 
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Curious

Legend
@BetaServe is spot on in his assessment. He said very well what I’ve been trying to explain but couldn’t put into words. He is subconsciously trying to lead with the hand! Because he is thinking of using the racket like a pen as if he will be doing a fine job with it rather than something to be loosely held and freely thrown at the ball.
 

Keendog

Semi-Pro
Here is Salzy serving from his knees without much explosion. Follwed by Kevin serving on knees without much explosion.

Neither reach 90 degree forearm angle.

Are you saying Salzy or Kevin won't achieve more racket drop by using more explosion/leg drive? If not, then why don't they have more racket drop on these serves? (same goes for Djokovic serve-on-knees I posted earlier)
Are you seriously trying to miss the point of every post??

Don't need leg drive for racquet drop =/= leg drive increases drop.

Every kneeling post you put up they have a drop. If you can't get it without legs you won't get it by using legs
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Every kneeling post you put up they have a drop. If you can't get it without legs you won't get it by using legs
They might have a little drop but it's less than 90 degree drop. Using legs/explosion these servers can go well past 90 degrees. How much racket drop do you measure in Djok's serving from his knees? If it were simply the mechanics of how loosely they hold your grip, lead with your elbow, etc, then why can't they get 130 degree drop on their knees?

Loose and whippy like @BetaServe and @Curious mention are important, but this goes hand-in-hand with explosion/leg drive.

More explosion (assuming loose/whippy) = more drop.

Do you think pitchers could do this without explosion/leg drive?

 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
The core of the matter! And this statement doesn’t necessarily deny the role of leg drive on the serve.
They are not getting their full leg drop without legs.

Just like a baseball pitcher does not generate the palm-to-the-sky arm cocking without utilizing the entire kinetic chain...
 

Keendog

Semi-Pro
They might have a little drop but it's less than 90 degree drop. Using legs/explosion these servers can go well past 90 degrees. How much racket drop do you measure in Djok's serving from his knees? If it were simply the mechanics of how loosely they hold your grip, lead with your elbow, etc, then why can't they get 130 degree drop on their knees?

Loose and whippy like @BetaServe and @Curious mention are important, but this goes hand-in-hand with explosion/leg drive.

More explosion (assuming loose/whippy) = more drop.

Do you think pitchers could do this without explosion/leg drive?

So that's a yes to missing points of posts then
 

Curious

Legend
More explosion (assuming loose/whippy) = more drop.
This is also the core of the matter!;)
Seriously I find this ‘explosion’ very interesting and important. And it sounds like some people are explosive some are just not. Not sure if it can be taught either. Another note though is that I always thought I’m explosive mainly using my upper body, shoulder uncoililing explosively.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
So that's a yes to missing points of posts then
I apparently missed your points :)

I can assure you that if @StringSnapper ever wants a high-quality serve, he will need to incorporate a much more explosive service motion. Unless he has a live arm like Kyrgios in which case, best of luck in your development...

I actually don't think about any of this when serving, I just toss the ball to where I want to hit it, and focus on exploding into the serve. But I learned to throw a baseball and football as a young kid before starting tennis, and baseball/football throws are taught (rather intuitively) by incorporating the entire kinetic chain from the get-go. My 10-year old nephew has a more explosive throwing motion than most rec servers, for example... He can hit the crap out of a serve, even though he has barely practiced it. YMMV...
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
This is also the core of the matter!;)
Seriously I find this ‘explosion’ very interesting and important. And it sounds like some people are explosive some are just not. Not sure if it can be taught either. Another note though is that I always thought I’m explosive mainly using my upper body, shoulder uncoililing explosively.
If I remember from your serve video, you get quite a bit of drive from your legs, especially considering you're in your 50's ;)

Link to your serve video for comparison?
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame

Well, Roddick estimates 40 MPH of his 150MPH serve is due to his legs:


edit: I do agree with Dent that a loose, whippy arm is critical for a good serve. So maybe both Roddick and Dent are right :)
 
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