Service yips

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by zaph, Jun 6, 2018.

  1. zaph

    zaph Semi-Pro

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    My serve has never been great, but now it is comically bad. Yips is the best word for it, like golfers get. I lose control of the toss, to a comic extent, much worse than I ever use to. Tossing way to the left, backwards, anywhere really. Of course the more I try to correct it, the more tense I get and the worse it gets.

    A major problem is separating the left and right arms. I want the left arm straight for the toss and the right loose. However my body refuses to co-operate. If I have the left arm straight and stiff; the same happens to the right. Loosen the right arm and the same happens to the tossing arm; leading to a loss of control.

    I have tried splitting the racket take back and the toss completely, but I find I can't get the racket is position quick enough then and end up almost bowling it in.

    Has anyone got any ideas>
     
    #1
  2. bitcoinoperated

    bitcoinoperated Professional

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    I have issues with timing the two arms and switched to split toss and racquet. If you are having issues getting the racquet into position is sounds like you are rushing and not tossing high enough.

    Your left arm sdoesn't need to be stiff to be straight. What grip are you using on the ball? It should be just your fingers not your whole hand. Also try the ice-cream cone orientation of the hand. Where are you releasing it? It should be about eye level, releasing lower can cause issues. Also make sure you bend your knees *after* you release the ball.

    Edit: you could also try having your racquet up before tossing the ball for a while something like:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
    #2
  3. Bender

    Bender G.O.A.T.

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    Oh man, I have similar issues. I'm constantly re-tossing on serve.

    That said, I might be making progress--I did note last time I played, when my toss was good, my tossing arm did not go up so fast.

    When I did toss the ball too fast, I ended up under or overdoing it and had to start over.

    So when you do get a good toss, try and observe what it is that was different about it against all the poor tosses.
     
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  4. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Back to Basics!

    Put down the racquet and just work on your ball toss.

    Put an "X" mark on the ground in front of you in a direct line below where you would like to make contact with the ball. Then do 100 ball tosses a day for 30 days always with the aim of landing the ball on the "X".

    After that, pick up the racquet again, and see how your Serve works.
     
    #4
  5. zaph

    zaph Semi-Pro

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    Had a bit of a go at break at work, had to stop, low ceilings. I did find that rotating the wrist 90 degrees and holding the ball between my thumb and fingers seemed to help allot. Is that an ice cream toss?
     
    #5
  6. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    i have the same issues...
    my only solution atm is practice practice practice...
    but specifically identify/map cues that i can look for to more easily replicate under pressure (start toss with hand on left thigh, toss from palm, cheek on shoulder on toss follow through, no spin on ball, tension in right lat, tension in left front leg when i load my hips, etc...)
    i try to practice serving when my heart rate is elevated... (it's easy to look smooth, relaxed and in sync when i'm calm... but after a long point it's different, or if i'm serving to prevent ad-out on game/set/match point)
     
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  7. FiReFTW

    FiReFTW Hall of Fame

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    Practice toss and try different techniques of raising ur racquet arm and your toss arm, I found when I was trying different stuff out that some really mess up everything for me, but once you find one that feels very natural and comfortable its great!
     
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  8. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    +1
    and definitely always practice the racquet arm prep with the toss.. (tossing by itself might feel great, but when you add all the other loading parts of the chain, it will feel different)
     
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  9. 2nd Serve Ace

    2nd Serve Ace Professional

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    I think you could have a good toss with a bent left arm so long as the elbow opens as your hand goes up. That way, the arm would be straight at the moment the ball is released from the hand.

    Also, maybe widening your stance a little could give better control of toss location? Its helped me in the past.
     
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  10. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Hall of Fame

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    The challenge with that is that everything begins and ends with the ball toss being correct. There is no point practicing the rest of the chain until you can confidently place the ball in the same place every time. Otherwise, you end up chasing the ball toss which puts the rest of the chain out of sync and defeats the whole point of having a consistent ball toss.

    Player needs to be confident that the ball toss will always end up in the same place. Then work on the rest of the chain. (ie. The rest of the chain should have no bearing on the consistency of the ball toss. But the ball toss will have a significant impact on the rest of the chain.)
     
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  11. Bender

    Bender G.O.A.T.

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    I think you should practise the toss with the rest of the chain until trophy.

    For me, if I just practised the toss, it'd go out of whack the moment I involved the right arm because of its timing.
     
    #11
  12. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

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    Find a serve that uses a low toss. A low toss has less that can go wrong. You won't be much bothered by wind and sun also.
     
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  13. nytennisaddict

    nytennisaddict Legend

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    i needed that advice 40y ago :p nowadays i'm obsessed with having a consistent toss
     
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  14. GeoffHYL

    GeoffHYL New User

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    Most of us have good coordination in our dominant hand, but less so in our off hand. I recommend teaching yourself how to juggle. It really works on coordination and control of both hands. You really have to focus on releasing the ball straight up when you juggle, which applies to your service toss as well. I also agree that a low toss is usually more reliable than a high toss.
     
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  15. zaph

    zaph Semi-Pro

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    Update, I have managed to fix the problem, by concentrating on the ball toss. I have slow the service action down at the start, forced myself to keep the tossing arm in line and keep it up at the end of the toss.

    The result is a much more reliable serve, but at the expense of serving power. Which I hope I can gradually put back in. Thanks for all the advice.
     
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  16. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Hall of Fame

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    Excellent.

    So next thing is to work on your throwing arm. Go down to a field and throw tennis balls as far as you can while holding form with your throwing arm. You need to focus on using your whole kinetic chain, starting with your legs, and then hips, back, shoulder, elbow, and wrist to get that ball flying as far as possible.

    Then move to actually throwing an old tennis racquet instead of the ball.

    If you are happy with your service motion, then it is time to look at Serve Pronation.
     
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  17. heninfan99

    heninfan99 G.O.A.T.

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    ..
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2018
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  18. zaph

    zaph Semi-Pro

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    I think pace can wait, just getting it in reliably is proving surprisingly effective. Don't run before you can walk.
     
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  19. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    Here is a poster trying to throw a tennis racket using a serving motion. He said that it was difficult to time letting go of the racket for control of direction because of ISR.












    REMOVEhttps://vimeo.com/219736311

    Click Vimeo and go full screen. To do stop action single frame hold down the SHIFT KEY and use the ARROW KEYS.

    If I were to throw a tennis racket my inclination would be to throw it end-over-end like a tomahawk. Of course, that would not be like the high level service motion using ISR.

    Are throwing progressions intended to simulate the service motion? Or are they intended for some other reason? For example, 'they just seem to work' - for reasons that cannot be explained...?

    Throwing a ball up as Pat Dougherty describes has a clear partial resemblance to the service motion if ISR is used in the throwing technique. The difference between the pitch and serve is in how speed is gained from ISR - there must be a distance from the ISR rotation axis to develop speed from ISR. For the throw that distance is provided by the changing elbow-to-hand distance. For the serve it is provided by the changing hand-to-racket head distance.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
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  20. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I've had a look at some of of your other contributions on these boards regarding ISR. Very interesting stuff and Thank You.

    My suggestion was based on a technique that we used succesfully to transition a junior player to a decent serve. He originally had a very poor throwing action. Initially worked on it using a tennis ball. Then moved to a junior tennis racquet to get a feel for the throw with something other than a tennis ball. Then moved to his normal tennis racquet and started serving tennis balls. Worked very wel for him.
     
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  21. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    I can't know the results of progressions except by what is said. Glad to hear about your positive experience and some others.

    I often examine progressions in videos to see if they appear to simulate the high level tennis serve in some parts. Very often they don't, so I'm skeptical about how progressions simulate the serve biomechanics.

    For example, here is a frame from a 'Throw the Racket' instructional video.

    1) The server has a Waiter's Tray racket face orientation - facing the sky.
    2) She shows no evidence of ISR.
    3) The orientation between her shoulder and upper arm is too high bringing up issues of risk of impingement if she were doing ISR.
    What do most people do when asked to throw a racket?
    [​IMG]
    I'd say that this progression does not simulate the serve and that the upper arm orientation to the shoulder joint is not correct for a high level serve. It would add to the risk of shoulder impingement for a high level serve. For this unknown technique, is there added impingement risk?

    Here is Pat Dougherty's video on the upward throw as a progression for teaching the service motion.


    Stop action on Youtube - use the "." key and the "," key. Look at the double exposure showing the arm for the throw and the serve.

    Throw with double exposure of forearm and ball showing motion
    [​IMG]

    Serve with double exposure of forearm and racket showing motion.
    [​IMG]
    These two frames show that the upper arm is being used in a very similar way for the upward throw and the tennis serve. [Upper arm is the humerus bone between the shoulder joint and elbow joint.]

    The elbow is bent for the throw so that ISR provides hand speed. (Exact time of release not available in this slow video). For the serve the elbow has hardly any bend and the racket is held at an angle to provide racket head speed from internal shoulder rotation.

    Read more: http://asmiforum.proboards.com/thre...overhead-baseball-tennis?page=1#ixzz5IKTUsPLl

    Take a racket in your hand and try ISR. Change the angle between the forearm and racket with your wrist together with ISR arm rotation.

    In my opinion, Pat Dougherty's video looks like an excellent way to apply a throwing progression for the serve. Even the body tilt and the angle of the upper arm is similar as the two frames show.

    Note - both the serve and throw use stretched muscles for the motion.It is not simply going to positions.

    When it comes to throwing the racket I can see that would be useful to exercise the elbow extension that is part of the serve as the arm becomes near straight. But I don't see the ISR as being used. One reader understood that point and experimented in trying to throw a racket with ISR. He said that it was difficult mainly in controlling when to release the racket.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
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  22. Karma Tennis

    Karma Tennis Hall of Fame

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    I'm not sure that contolling the release of the racquet is actually that important in this whole process. The main idea is to feel the throwing action with something heavier than a tennis ball in the hand. Obviously, a tennis racquet is ideal. The aim isn't to throw the racquet in a controlled manner or as far as possible. It is simply to emulate the tennis ball throwing action with a racquet.

    I see it akin to practicing hitting tennis balls with a racquet that has a very small head size. Do it for a little while to get the feel of hitting clean.
     
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  23. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

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    If it works OK but It becomes less clear to me how it works as soon as ISR is left out.
     
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  24. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Lead the toss with the inside of your elbow, in other words with a straight arm. Not with your wrist.

    Are you doing that? This is essential.
     
    #24
  25. Dolgopolov85

    Dolgopolov85 Legend

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    I can relate. I had massive issues with the toss. Tried all sorts of things without lasting success in fixing it. Then a combination of observing my partner who almost never loses the toss and Jim McLennan's videos helped me. In particular, his advice to toss into the swing rather than swing into the toss was what I found very useful. Think about where and how you want to be able to swing the racquet to hit a good serve and then try to toss such that it lands up there. Try to simplify the motion as much as you can so that you are able to hit a decent serve with a relaxed and easy swing. Ultimately different cues work for different people but maybe thinking about it this way helps you. Good luck!
     
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