*VIDEO* Critique my serve!

Gmedlo

Professional
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft7nJaO5oWs

The first cut is first serves, second cut is second serves, then the first cut form the other angle is first serves, then the next cut is second serves.

I don't really know how to describe my first serve, it isn't completely flat, more of a sampras-style heavy slice that kicks unexpectedly. All second serves are kicks.

Leave nothing back when critiquing, but if you say I suck, tell me why and how I can improve what I suck at.
 

supersmash

Semi-Pro
Looks Soderling-esque. I'm not one to give critiques on serves, but sometimes, your toss is a bit off. No one is perfect.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ft7nJaO5oWs

The first cut is first serves, second cut is second serves, then the first cut form the other angle is first serves, then the next cut is second serves.

I don't really know how to describe my first serve, it isn't completely flat, more of a sampras-style heavy slice that kicks unexpectedly. All second serves are kicks.

Leave nothing back when critiquing, but if you say I suck, tell me why and how I can improve what I suck at.

That's a really good motion there... technically very solid
 

Gmedlo

Professional
but sometimes, your toss is a bit off. No one is perfect.
Yeah, I know exactly what you are talking about; On one of my kick serves (the second I think), my toss was waaaaaay off and before I even hit the ball I was thinking "Oh **** that is going to look ugly!", and it just happened to drop down right on the outer line, perfect as could be.
 

quicken

Professional
You don't have hip rotation.
At contact your body should be facing the net.
I think with proper hip rotation, your serves would vastly improve.

I liked how your hips were going into the court, but lower and upper body was pretty still.
Great knee bend, I need that haha.
 
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Other than the hip rotation mentioned above ^, I like how you watched the ball and kept your head up. Pretty good knee-bend too. You might want to really emphasize the racquet drop, especially since you have a shortened takeback.
 
I thought your first serv in the vid had the perfect toss because it was in sync with the motion... very flowly= excellent. I do see you restricting your motion on times because the toss wasn't perfect, ya know? Like knee bend wasn't 100% because the toss was a little bit shorter. It's something very important to get right and require some time.. like from what I read, some pros do this with their coach as practice tossing for like 30 mins.
 

dowjones

Rookie
Very good technique...I like your serve. My only comment would be that all your serves that I/we could see except for one went to a right handers forehand. I would have rather seen the opposite mix.

DJ
 

Gmedlo

Professional
Very good technique...I like your serve. My only comment would be that all your serves that I/we could see except for one went to a right handers forehand. I would have rather seen the opposite mix.

DJ
Thanks, I noticed that the first time I watched the tape they all went to the FH or body. It's a bad habit that's formed since my coach is a lefty, so I serve there pretty often, but I can place it elsewhere pretty easily, I just wasn't thinking about placement at all.

Thanks for the tips so far, keep 'em coming!
 
Others have posted some great tips, so I won't bother. You have a really nice serve and accomplish it with very little or no excess movement. It looks like a very clean and reproducible serve.
 

crash1929

Hall of Fame
looks decent enough. what level are you? hard for me to tell if someone has a good serve unless I'm returning it.. -)
 

Gmedlo

Professional
looks decent enough. what level are you? hard for me to tell if someone has a good serve unless I'm returning it.. -)
I actually have no ranking as I just went up a level (like in texas with ZAT->champs->superchamps), and right before I could play a tournament, I sprained my wrist!. I imagine that by the end of this summer I will be somewhere in the top 50 in PNW for 16's.

EDIT: I have used a radar gun, and I would estimate that the first serves are all 90-105 and the seconds are a good 75+, just for a reference/to gauge the serve better.
 
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Vision84

Hall of Fame
Some things I have noticed.

1. Your toss needs to be more consistent. I noticed the rest of your motion sometimes having to compensate for this.
2. I suggest lining up your feet so your body is less open to the court. Putting your front foot more parallel to the baseline may help prevent some excessive movement as you end up doing this after your toss. Your front foot seems almost perpendicular to the baseline when you set up. Also putting your back foot further back slightly may help you and is worth considering. This should allow for more rotation into the serve to help aid in more power and spin.
3. Kick out your back leg more. When I was working on a kick serve and started doing this I noticed a lot more explosiveness on the ball. Really key for a powerful kick serve.

I really like your motion so far. Good luck and I hope these comments help.
 

Gmedlo

Professional
So, since it seems that my serve is mostly technically correct, is the only thing left to do exaggerate all of the components I already have to gain some pace? I already have a sizable serving advantage over most of my opponents, but I think upping my speed by 10-15mph would make my serve virtually unbreakable against my current competition, no matter where I hit it (not that I'm downplaying the importance of placement).

Any recommendations as to how I could put a little more zip on my serve?

Also, what pro would most of you say that my serve is most comparable to?
 
Well...first of all, it is not that easy to just "exaggerate all of the components." But just get some private lessons and see if a pro can tell if there is anything worthwhile you can change to add some more zip like you want.
 

5263

G.O.A.T.
I thought the serve looked pretty darned good. I won't say the suggestion that you should be facing the net at impact is wrong, but that I don't agree and that Pete is not chest on with the net at contact either. I went back to video just to make sure. Roddick is more chest on, but while it doesn't hurt his velocity, I feel it hurts some aspects of his serve effectiveness.

Nothing wrong with your serve that a more consistent toss won't fix, and move the toss more into the court if you can back it up with leg drive, but you can't toss out there if the legs don't back it up. This will give you that back leg kick someone suggested.

Racket drop was good, but with more leg drive, you can delay the elbow extension and get more racket speed, which means more ball speed if you hit it well. This could give you another 10%+ in velocity if that interest you.
 
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