Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by luvforty, Mar 3, 2013.
pros and cons?
I pronate on all my serves, regardless of what spin I'm hitting.
Why wouldn't you pronate?
feels like there is better directional control with the no-pronate chop version.
How so? With a slice you're just "carving" the out side of the ball. I don't think pronation is something you do consciously, it just happens with a smooth motion to my knowledge at least.
I just pronate less, but I still pronate.
you want to use full pronation for any serve to maintain consistent high racquet head speed. the swingpath and the racquet head control around the contact point can be varied for control (amount and direction of spin and through component).
what people often don't realize is that the variation at the contact that results in wide or T serves is smaller than usually perceived. The full variation can be achieved by racquet control within the pronation.
This is a slice serve as indicated by:
1) the racket motion- mostly across the back of the ball
2) the label of the ball can be seen spinning in mostly a horizontal direction. (better seen in my copy than on Vimeo)
3) the ball has the characteristic slice trajectory curve and bounce for a right handed server.
The rapid internal shoulder rotation can be seen by looking at the rotation (axial) of the bones of the elbow.
I'm not able to see pronation before impact in this high speed video. However, I'm sure some pronation occurs on all serves before impact, possibly completed prior to the ISR. The server has a watch on; it's useful as a marker for total arm rotation at the wrist. When the arm is straight the total arm rotation is -
Total Arm Rotation Rate (at wrist) = ISR + Pronation.
If the rotation rate at the wrist is different than the ISR rate then that is pronation (or supination). In my opinion, the total rotation rate leading to impact might be due just to ISR. Needs better high speed videos with markers to measure.
I'm sure you can slice serve by carving on the outside of the ball, as Fuji describes, but this video is more of a rapid brush across the ball, exact angle not clear.
(The best stop-action single-frame can be done on Vimeo by pressing the play-pause button as fast as possible. I can't view Vimeo videos on my Samsung Galaxy S2 smartphone.)
^^^in that vid I can clearly see pronation. at trophy the hand is neutral but the upward thrust of the shoulder leads supination of the hand and rapid pronation through contact. Of course ESR/ISR is present as well.
typically 'pronation' in serve indicate not the pronated position of the hand but rotation of the hand toward the pronated hand position from neutral or supinated position.
I'm sure pronation and supination occur early in the service motion, at trophy position, etc. but have not looked much at that.
Where does the final racket head speed come from?
After the arm is straight and the racket has very little racket head speed toward the ball, in other words, when the racket head acceleration is about to start, I can clearly see forceful ISR (humerus rotation) but I cannot observe pronation (forearm only rotation) because it is too difficult or small to see.
the amount of rotation at wrist is greater than that at the elbow, which indicates presence of pronation.
From the arm straight to impact that's not clear to me. I don't know.
The racquet faces towards the right net post on the follow through, so I believe there is pronation occurring.
When I think of the question posed in this thread "hitting a slice serve without pronation", I take it to mean hitting a slice serve with the racquet face never facing towards the right net post on the follow through (purely carving the ball).
Is that a correct interpretation?
I should have clarified a little -
here he talks about the finish of a slice serve, so I guess another way to ask the question is do you finish (when the hand comes down to waist level) with
1) hand facing body? (or more extreme case, facing the ground)
2) hand facing the sky?
Haha, it's hard to describe how in my mind I slice. The way I learned to slice off a serve was something like "peel the apple" by carving/brushing along the side of the ball.
In this video that you posted he says that you do pronate on a slice serve, you just don't think about it. It's at 3:55
Here's the link:
In another reply, I mentioned that if you have a video of a serve and it does not show the ball impact, to forget about that video. This instructional video has the racket head at impact entirely out of the frame, a red flag? Also, you cannot see what is going on unless the video is high speed video, say, about, 240 fps more or less.
Instructional videos on the serve that don't use high speed video and very fast shutter speeds (= outdoors in direct sunlight) are likely to be misleading.
In my opinion, it is very misleading, when he demonstrates statically how the wrist brushes across on the kick serve, regarding joint motions which are very complex around impact. I do not understand it in detail yet, but the arm is rotating around its axis at impact from ISR - unlike in the static demonstration starting at 4:08 - and that will allow the wrist to move more freely through the motion at impact. If you held your arm from rotating on a serve as shown, it might be very stressful to the wrist and otherwise and might risk injury.
Here is a video that I believe is of a kick serve but I'm not sure.
How can this compound motion at impact be described is a few words related to just one joint like the wrist?
the more I think about it -
maybe it's not about pronation.... instead it's about how the wrist moves.
the wrist can have extension/flexion or radial/ulnar deviation, or a combination of the 2.
if it has a lot of extension/flexion then you end up with a finish with palm facing yourself or to the ground.
if it is engaged mainly in the deviation action, you end up with palm facing the sky at the finish.
hope it makes sense.
thanks chas... i try to keep my arm a loose as possible and allow it to move naturally as much as i can. i feel the less stress i put on my joints the better my serve.
That Jeff Salzenstein video relates to a kick serve... Jeff Salzenstein is demonstrating 2 ways of hitting the kick serve, one with less pronation than the other, but both ways include pronation. It's not possible to hit a kick serve with a continental grip without pronation.
While with a slice serve, it is possible to hit it with a pure karate chop motion, although I have not seen any pros do it that way.
Either way, but the more advanced is with some pronation. You do not need pronation to hit a basic beginner kick or twist serve, just chop away up and out.
There should be some pronation prior to contact for the slice serve. This arm should be supinated previously so that the the racket edge leads coming up from the "scratch" position. The forearm/racket is pronated enough to present the strings to the ball in order to brush it for a glancing blow. Obviously, the arm/racket are not pronated as much prior to contact as with a flatter server -- where the racket face is squared up to meet the ball.
On a slice serve, much of the pronation of the forearm/racket actually happens after contact. This is done to minimize stress to the arm on the follow-thru most likely.
Here is picture of Salazar slice serve from above.
See also FYB original video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMgQWotcPYE.
Picture and video demonstrate that the arm pronation (Internal Shoulder Rotation + Forearm Pronation) rotates the racquet roughly 70°. In case of high angular speed of ball sidespin (good slice serve) there should be no arm pronation after contact.
Serena - no pronate slice.
serena clearly pronates there dozu. every pro pronates on every serve.
^ Yup, Serena does indeed pronate before and after contact.
This website - http://www.fawcette.net/2011/10/serena-williams-slice-serve.html agrees with you.
are you and Toly hanging out now?
This guy's video shows her pronating even tho' he claims she does not. Look at the orientation of her palm and racket just before her arm reaches full extension (before 0:20, 0:40 and 1:36). They both clearly change their orientation and continue to do so after full extension. The pronation, prior to contact, is quite a bit less than with her flat serve but it is still,nonetheless, present.
Less pronation does not equate to NO pronation.
ok - less pronation then.
i agree that no pronation = broken wrist lol.
I believe the pronation up until contact point is practically identical for both flat and slice serves.
As the following FYB Flat vs Slice comparison video shows, the strings are facing the exact same direction at contact for both serves.
In both the flat and slice serve, we are leading with the racquet edge, and we must pronate in order to bring the strings to the ball... The main difference is in the follow through and swing path after the contact point.
When we play the videos forward from the “L position” and freeze them at contact, the other key thing to note is that despite the fact that I’m swinging in different directions, my tennis racket strings are still facing the same direction at contact. What generates side spin on the tennis ball is the direction my strings move across the ball at contact, NOT the direction my strings are facing at contact.
Playing these clips forward one more time from the “L position,” what I’ve done to get my strings facing the same direction at contact on both serves is time my pronation a little bit differently on my slice serve.
For what it is worth, here is a very detailed, technical analysis with numerous slow motion videos and three-modeling at (paid site). Short layman's interpretation: the bio-mechanical PhD says that what teaching pros describe as pronation is not pronation, which has little role in pro serving:
"But if we look at pronation in the technical biomechanical sense, it actually refers to something more limited, which is simply the rotation of the forearm at the elbow joint. ...
"What Brian's work shows—and this is backed up by the video—is that pronation in the technical biomechanical sense isn't a factor in serve location. In fact, Brian has detected little to no independent rotation of the forearm in high level serving."
It seems there are several different ways of hitting slice serve. In your website video Serena uses extreme spine rotation and hits some kind of vertical forehand. She also uses severe wrist ulnar deviation to create sidespin.
Even if she applies arm pronation the wrist ulnar deviation can stop arm pronation before contact and this motion would be useless, see my posts in thread http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=393401.
So, I mostly agree with you that Serena hits slice serve practically without efficient arm pronation around impact (before and after contact).
^ I actually see evidence of some "early pronation" as her arm starts to straighten up to the big L (inverted L) position in Jim F's video. I detect a little bit more pronation just prior to contact. She does appear to have less pronation after contact compared to other elite servers.
agreed I can count on getting it in and also putting it where I want it without pronation. Slice that is!!
so there is more than 1 way to slice the cat ha!
Serena rotates her body and racquet around spine counterclockwise (above view). An arm pronation rotates the racquet in horizontal plane in opposite direction - clockwise. To provide proper racquet orientation at contact Serena must use arm pronation. Unfortunately, these two motions compensate each other and arm pronation contributes almost nothing to RHS. How does she generate power, mostly due to spine rotation, arm rotation, and wrist flexion?
Here are FYB Frank Salazar different serves. There is big difference between Salazar and Serena slice serve. Which one is better?
Post 20 again, you should read it.
Anyone can slice with a pure chopping motion. Not saying it's the preferred pro level style, but you CAN.
A good server uses pronation on a slice serve to add that bit of rackethead speed.
If you are using the Continental grip and the racquet is leading on edge on a slice, how else could you bring the strings square to the ball without rotation of the forearm at the elbow joint?
Rotation from the wrist only? But that seems awkward.
Haven't read the linked article since it seems to require registration...
First of all, NO top level serving playing uses a pure slice serve without some amount ot TOPspin to their slice.
What is OP talking about here? A pure slice serve? Or a top level top/slice serve?
The former, hit with a forehand grip, can be a pure chop.
The later, hit with continental grip, is much stronger and more accurate with a pronation movement, which you can call a form in internal shoulder rotation.
Rod Cross disagrees with you see his article – Physics of the Tennis Kick Serve http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/kickserve.php.
I made the picture from Rod Cross video.
A player tried to hit kick serve, but struck pure slice serve. There is no topspin at all.
"A PLAYER TRIED" !!!! to hit a kick serve....
You can hit the top of the frame and hit a pure backspin lob serve that goes for a clean winner because it bounced back into your own court before the opponent get's there too.
A player DID NOT try to hit a pure slice serve. It was INadvertant.
If there is no topspin, there is no kick serve (unless you consider a high lob serve as a kick serve). (Nearly) pure slice is possible, but it will not kick and it will be difficult to serve into the service box. Slice serves typically have some topspin (and may have a a scosh of spiral spin as well).
OK, ElenaDementieva was known to hit a pure slice serve. We don't classify her serve as a real top level serve. Top level player, yes.
There is a little sense to impart topspin in slice serve. Slice serve makes a ball to curve in horizontal plane. This increases a path/time before the ball reaches the net and decreases ball’s speed due to air resistance. This lower speed helps the gravity to bring the ball down into service box.
I voted Pronate. I come up to contact a bit on edge and it is impossible to hit the ball if the forearm does not pronate to some degree. But, I don't consciously think pronate but rather think hit across ball at desired angle - shallow 9to3 for slice and steeper 7to1 for kick.
I think you must pronate the forearm to some degree if you come up on edge otherwise you'll hit the ball with the leading edge of the racket head.
Toly.... seriously now, look at a decent server.
EVERY one uses a combination of top and slice. A pure sidespin slice serve is too slow, and if hit faster, is too hard to keep IN the court. Yes, it bounces very low, so what?
EVERY decent serving player, when he chooses to serve wide, uses a combination of topspin and sidespin on the same stroke.
At 3.5 and less, this is not necessarily true, but we won't classify a 3.5 serve as a decent serve.
See Sampras slice serve http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6cqVAKpOx0.
I believe there is practically no topspin component because ball bounce is relatively low. The same we can say about Serena and Rod Cross example.
A brushing motion that creates spin is mostly done by using wrist ulnar deviation which is obviously restricted, for example 40mph. If you impart topspin you inevitably decreases amount of sidespin. You cannot maximize both. If you want to hit very efficient slice serve which curves out wide, away from an opponent, you should minimize/eliminate topspin.
ALL THIS WITH TOP/SLICE, and NOT pure slice.
shall we go on?
I generally agree with you about most modern players, but I also cannot ignore Peter Sampras and Serena Williams. Maybe they are using wrong technique? I don’t know.
sampras hit every serve with some topsin, no?
Separate names with a comma.