Shoulder and Serve

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Hi Everyone,

Can somebody tell me how is it that the shoulder, around the rotator & muscle, feels a little crush, and I think there's a little snapping/clicking sound there, when I extend my arm fully up to hit the serve ball and on the way down?? There's some sort of mild pressure and pain in the area. So, I think I'm not doing this correctly, or perhaps my shoulder isn't trained for this.


Do you tilt the body so you arm can be straightened upward?? Do you toss & hit the ball to the side more or roughly directly over the head? Which, or if anything else, promotes a natural shoulder movement for the serve, ie pain/pressure-free ?

Thank you.

user
 

tricky

Hall of Fame
Can somebody tell me how is it that the shoulder, around the rotator & muscle, feels a little crush, and I think there's a little snapping/clicking sound there, when I extend my arm fully up to hit the serve ball and on the way down??

It sounds like shoulder impingement, which could lead to RC issues later. If you're still feeling it, you want to let that subside before practicing again. Usually that's related to technique, especially the backswing (especially if your trophy position is "high".) But you may have other issues going on with the serve. Such as . . .

Do you tilt the body so you arm can be straightened upward??

It should be the rotation/uncoiling of the torso that aids in the arm coming out of the racquet drop and straightening upward. There may be an issue of your center of mass not moving into the court. If so, the sequencing of your kinetic chain may be off as well.

At the beginning of the windup, you want your center of mass slightly forward (i.e. toward the court), slightly ahead of your bent left hip. This is usually helped by shifting your weight onto the front foot. Most people have that.

Then, as you windup sets up the trophy position, you want your center of mass to move further forward into the court. To do that, the left hip straightens out and moves into the court. This also causes the body/trunk to be tilted and aids in setting up the trophy position.

Ideally, the hip moving into the court initiates the twisting/turning of the torso in the windup. Lean before twist. In effect, the windup is like a cartwheel motion.

This sequence is important for the upward swing out of the racquet drop, especially for the arm extension.

If the above is not correct, then you may bend or lean excessively at the hip to aid in the upward swing, as if you were throwing a baseball from center field.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
If the above is not correct, then you may bend or lean excessively at the hip to aid in the upward swing, as if you were throwing a baseball from center field.

Tricky, I turn and lean the shoulder forward first, then goes the arm... I think the baseball throwing analogy is close.

"(especially if your trophy position is "high".) "
I notice that if I raise the racquet in the trophy position even slightly high the pressure/pain starts. It's more natural and pain-free if the arm is kept low or leveled to the shoulder.

Now I start to see why so many recreational players stick with lousy serve. It sucks but safer that way. :-?
 

tricky

Hall of Fame
I notice that if I raise the racquet in the trophy position even slightly high the pressure/pain starts

Yeah, you may want to take a break from service practice until you don't feel pain at all. There may be irritation in the RC, and you don't want to aggravate that.

One thing to check is that the trophy position is "low" That is, the hand is below the head at trophy pose. If it isn't, you may be actively lifting the upper arm as you set the trophy position. That causes shoulder impingement.

It also makes sense some of your questions about pronation and wrist snap. The truth is, most who are asking about it

I turn and lean the shoulder forward first, then goes the arm... I think the baseball throwing analogy is close.

Yeah, it sounds like the sequencing is off, and your weight distribution (center of mass) is off. When you toss the ball, your weight distribution probably is going backwards.

Now I start to see why so many recreational players stick with lousy serve. It sucks but safer that way.

You probably want to work on the windup first. That's not that hard to fix, and you can practice with a sock with a ball in it. Then work on that backswing and see how you can avoid the shoulder issue.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
Yeah, it sounds like the sequencing is off, and your weight distribution (center of mass) is off. When you toss the ball, your weight distribution probably is going backwards.



You probably want to work on the windup first. That's not that hard to fix, and you can practice with a sock with a ball in it. Then work on that backswing and see how you can avoid the shoulder issue.

trick, I appreciate your helps.

Re weight distribution, so where should my weight be at the toss?


I do not get "a sock with a ball in it". Please clarify. Thanks. :)
 

tricky

Hall of Fame
I do not get "a sock with a ball in it". Please clarify.
Common drill is to practice service motion with a long sock. You'd put a tennis ball or two into the sock to stimulate the torque of a racquet. It's a good way to practice windup as well as develop a loose arm.

Re weight distribution, so where should my weight be at the toss?
Weight distribution should into the court, as if your body was leaning into the court. (Hips and legs tend to lean well forward at this point.) The actual weight on your feet will be about even and on the balls of your feet.

Windup tends to be really individual, person to person. But there's still a sequence that is followed, so that these elements come together naturally.
 
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