Weight Shift During Serve

RiverRat

Rookie
A lot of threads involve discussions of undefined terms. What is your meaning of "weight shift" on the serve?

Can you show it in a high speed video? To single frame on Vimeo, hold down the SHIFT KEY and use the ARROW KEYS. Sometimes it skips a frame. You can use the time scale and count frames after each second, In the first video, impact has occurred at 20 seconds plus 3 frames. Or describe the time relative to Trophy Position or impact. Weight shift is around ?? seconds or 'ends at impact'.

If you Google weight shift tennis serve can you find information that describes your meaning?

Note the motion of the racket head at impact, and its direction.
Thanks for your video contributions. I'll take a look. I also appreciate your videography instructions. Please read the explanations that I provided Jake Speeed in post #36 with no ROI. I can tell you would be more forthcoming. I was mostly interested in gaining some specific understanding of weight shift and toss coordination differences between platform and pinpoint serves. I'm not a technique maven though. From my experience with teammates, I believe it's often overemphasized. I appreciate your willingness to get into the weeds, but that's beyond me.
 

Jake Speeed

Rookie
Over my many years of tennis I've observed that most tennis coaches aren't competent. In fact, there are no tennis players at a non-competitive level of tennis that are worth paying to teach anything more than beginner clinics. Tennis has an industry of hustlers that claim to understand stroke production who can't play a lick, and if you can't play a lick you obviously don't understand shot production.
Yes, there's absolutely some truth to what you wrote and are saying. We both know the USTA qualifications and requirements for someone to become an instructor doesn't factor in tournament play, unless they've changed?

I've mentioned, broad brush, about poor instructors a few times. Buyer beware.

There's a big difference between a coach and an instructor. Yea, and there are those that hang around courts to hustle lessons at all levels.

This might make you feel better.

"Many tournament players can become excellent instructors, however, I've seen some, "over my many years of tennis," who are not.
 

Jake Speeed

Rookie
USTA qualifications and requirements to become an instructor are, perhaps, the biggest hustle of all.
You're smart, I like that. Kudos.

Congratulations on saying this. I personally cannot see why anyone would disagree with you.

Possibly an uneducated student?

JS
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Thanks for your video contributions. I'll take a look. I also appreciate your videography instructions. Please read the explanations that I provided Jake Speeed in post #36 with no ROI. I can tell you would be more forthcoming. I was mostly interested in gaining some specific understanding of weight shift and toss coordination differences between platform and pinpoint serves. I'm not a technique maven though. From my experience with teammates, I believe it's often overemphasized. I appreciate your willingness to get into the weeds, but that's beyond me.
I would hear about forehands and 'step forward' and 'weight shift'.

I would hear about the more modern forehand involving circular motion.

I did not clearly separate which words belonged to each technique or even whether there were two distinct techniques. The tennis term 'weight shift' has never been explained as far as I have found. How does shifting your weight speed up your forehand, after all, the body does not move very fast and it may stop or slow down before impact. There are many tennis terms that originated when a motion or feeling was first noticed decades ago, but many tennis terms tend to hide what is true.

Things cleared up for me quite a bit when I saw the Dan Brown video, "I'm on your side tennis." See forward weight shift in the linear forehand but does the circular forehand move forward at all? Almost every time I watch this video I learn something new. Please post similar videos.

Notice that both the 'weight shift step forward' forehand and the circular forehand are perfectly shown and well described by Dan Brown. You can also see that the player's uppermost body turns in a very similar way for both the linear and circular forehand motions. Somehow without 'weight shift' the circular forehand seems to get the same racket head speed. Is there 'weight shift' if the player's head stays about the same location?

I believe that the tennis term 'weight shift' is not describing what is important, the tennis term 'weight shift' hides it. I believe that the body is accelerated in such a way that useful muscles are being stretched. I see that in all strokes, acceleration is a way to bring the stretch shorten cycled into the strokes.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Search thread: Thoracic Extension tennis serve

I heard about 'face your chest up', never understood it, but now see it differently when considering Thoracic Extension.

Note- observing things in videos is not instruction for learning the stroke. That's tough!
 

RiverRat

Rookie
I'll take a shot at the explanation of "weight-shift" but it won't involve video, so it may not suffice for you. Remember, I was talking about the serve, although I could make a similar case for closed stance forehands where people can step forward. There's is ample movement from weight being on the back foot to weight being on the front foot. In the serve the weight-shift even propels you forward. I can hit a serve without any jump where my back foot will come past my front with the momentum of the weight shift after contact. That weight shift initially began way before contact, in my experience, occurring in-synch with the initiation of the tossing motion. With the closed stance forehand the same weight transfer occurs, with the weight finishing over the front foot after the step. Whether or not the distance is long makes little difference in physics because force equals mass times acceleration. It often comes to an abrupt halt on the front foot moments after contact. I hope that helps. If I can help explain it better I'm willing to handle a follow-up question or two, but I'm not interested in debate. I came here asking for others opinions about a specific technical issue. I've honored all contributions. If someone doesn't believe something I have to say, so be it. I'm not interested in trying to convince anyone. As I've stated, I think technique is often over-emphasized. Technical expertise helps but mastery comes more from putting in your 10,000 hours in a conscientious and productive fashion. I've put in more than my 10,000 hours and have attained a relatively high level of achievement.
 

Jake Speeed

Rookie
I'll take a shot at the explanation of "weight-shift" but it won't involve video, so it may not suffice for you. Remember, I was talking about the serve, although I could make a similar case for closed stance forehands where people can step forward. There's is ample movement from weight being on the back foot to weight being on the front foot. In the serve the weight-shift even propels you forward. I can hit a serve without any jump where my back foot will come past my front with the momentum of the weight shift after contact. That weight shift initially began way before contact, in my experience, occurring in-synch with the initiation of the tossing motion. With the closed stance forehand the same weight transfer occurs, with the weight finishing over the front foot after the step. Whether or not the distance is long makes little difference in physics because force equals mass times acceleration. It often comes to an abrupt halt on the front foot moments after contact. I hope that helps. If I can help explain it better I'm willing to handle a follow-up question or two, but I'm not interested in debate. I came here asking for others opinions about a specific technical issue. I've honored all contributions. If someone doesn't believe something I have to say, so be it. I'm not interested in trying to convince anyone. As I've stated, I think technique is often over-emphasized. Technical expertise helps but mastery comes more from putting in your 10,000 hours in a conscientious and productive fashion. I've put in more than my 10,000 hours and have attained a relatively high level of achievement.
I enjoyed reading this. Thank you.

About those 10,000 hours. Congratulations!

Ever have someone say, "You earned it?"

Well, you not only earned it, "you deserve it!" (y)

JS
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
I'd venture to say most tennis pupils are incompetent, fail to grasp what an instructor is trying to teach, cannot grasp simple theory, and physically uncoordianted.
Worse, there are actually MANY ways to learn, and more ways to teach.
 

RiverRat

Rookie
I'd venture to say most tennis pupils are incompetent, fail to grasp what an instructor is trying to teach, cannot grasp simple theory, and physically uncoordianted. Worse, there are actually MANY ways to learn, and more ways to teach.
I'll let one of the teaching pros comment at length, but there's ample opportunity for more failure than success. What boggles my mind is the stories of students who either refuse to follow instruction or even argue with it. Why pay for something you don't want to buy?
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@ballmachineguy
Start the toss yes(as you rock forward), but what about keep pushing the left hip into the court as you raise your tossing arm?
I assume you are referring to the Archer's Bow. Roger doesn't seem to do this. But he may incorporate a mild AB later in his motion. The AB is quite common with many PP servers. But can also be seen with platform servers such as Pete.

 
@ballmachineguy

I assume you are referring to the Archer's Bow. Roger doesn't seem to do this. But he may incorporate a mild AB later in his motion. The AB is quite common with many PP servers. But can also be seen with platform servers such as Pete.

Yes it is popular with pin point servers, as you fall over if you don’t do it. If you bring your rear foot up to your front, lift your toss arm and drop your hitting shoulder, you have to do it to keep your balance. It is a cart before the horse thing in my opinion. It happens because of things you are supposed to be doing/focusing on. But, to stick your hip out, to stick your hip out, as in pushing, doesn’t do anything. At least that is how I see it. I’m open to being corrected.

The reason some platform guys do it, is the same - balance. Roger has his rear foot quite a bit behind his front foot and can keep his balance easily. Pete has a bunch of distance between feet but it is in an east-west arrangement kinda like McEnroe. Not enough to keep him from falling into the court as he, quite dramatically, raise left and drops right shoulder, therefore the Archer’s Bow look.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I'll take a shot at the explanation of "weight-shift" but it won't involve video, so it may not suffice for you. Remember, I was talking about the serve, although I could make a similar case for closed stance forehands where people can step forward. There's is ample movement from weight being on the back foot to weight being on the front foot. In the serve the weight-shift even propels you forward. I can hit a serve without any jump where my back foot will come past my front with the momentum of the weight shift after contact. That weight shift initially began way before contact, in my experience, occurring in-synch with the initiation of the tossing motion. With the closed stance forehand the same weight transfer occurs, with the weight finishing over the front foot after the step. Whether or not the distance is long makes little difference in physics because force equals mass times acceleration. It often comes to an abrupt halt on the front foot moments after contact. I hope that helps. If I can help explain it better I'm willing to handle a follow-up question or two, but I'm not interested in debate. I came here asking for others opinions about a specific technical issue. I've honored all contributions. If someone doesn't believe something I have to say, so be it. I'm not interested in trying to convince anyone. As I've stated, I think technique is often over-emphasized. Technical expertise helps but mastery comes more from putting in your 10,000 hours in a conscientious and productive fashion. I've put in more than my 10,000 hours and have attained a relatively high level of achievement.
Words and videos describing tennis strokes should always match. It may not be so clear at first. Using the video and the words together works best.


This video shows a distinct forward movement. Raonic has a platform stance. If you look at his head or the center of mass of his body, you can see its forward movement. We can all see that forward movement, it's clear, and there is a time scale for the video. Can you give your best guess for the start time to finish time of 'weight shift'? That forward motion is literally a mass shift or it could also be called a weight shift?

To move single frame on Vimeo hold down the SHIFT KEY and use the ARROW KEYS.
 

RiverRat

Rookie
Again, appreciate your efforts. I'm not interested in helping Milos with his serve. He's got that under control.:) I don't have video of this guy at the courts either, nor would I want to dissect his serve at a frame by frame level. He's just learning and doing fine. Thanks.
 
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Look, and with the utmost of respect, you can sell Jeff or any one you want who "advertises" on line for money or fame.

There's nothing there I need. I view the internet as a "detriment," not a "fix."

Sure, a place to view a variety of actual technique. To a small degree.

Look. It's great to see a student become "themselves." Being "who they are," and not attempting to be someone else is fantastic.

If you have the ability to accomplish this, as an instructor, your well above the grade and thinking correctly. My view only and I'm entitled to it because I've been there and done this. Also because I've never been told how to think, react or how to perform. I developed my own methods of instruction over many years working with many children, juniors and adults. I don't teach like a newbie instructor. Newbie instructors, unfortunately, this could be another Thread.

This is why, early on I used the word "parrot." I don't parrot anyone who sells tennis on line. It's a salad of of individuals competing for viewers, hits and money. They don't care about you or your daughter or your son. You can tell me I'm wrong, but I strongly believe I'm not.

If these guys are real tennis instructors, they know quite well this on line instruction isn't what it's made up to be.

Here! One of many feathers in my cap. I have a guy now hitting a SHB, only after less than two hours of instruction, better than the THB he was hitting with 10 years of playing. I mentioned this before.

He's tried everything and was unsuccessful. He said the net made him even more confused. I'll hit with him today and video his progress. I haven't seen him in a week. A bad thing.
Very well said!
 

Slowtwitcher

Hall of Fame
Words and videos describing tennis strokes should always match. It may not be so clear at first. Using the video and the words together works best.


This video shows a distinct forward movement. Raonic has a platform stance. If you look at his head or the center of mass of his body, you can see its forward movement. We can all see that forward movement, it's clear, and there is a time scale for the video. Can you give your best guess for the start time to finish time of 'weight shift'? That forward motion is literally a mass shift or it could also be called a weight shift?

To move single frame on Vimeo hold down the SHIFT KEY and use the ARROW KEYS.
Cool vid, thanks.
 

Jake Speeed

Rookie
I'm going to get in real trouble for saying this but I don't care.

I was never concerned with what you call "weight shift" throughout my entire tennis teaching career. And I'm still working with students BTW. I'm not surprised that there's plenty of unneeded conversation about it. Not at all.

Are you ready, It does absolutely nothing and isn't even needed!

My best suggestion, before you bully or troll and even block me for saying this, is to do some real homework, examine different service motions and I'll bet, given a bit of time for you to digest all this, many will agree.

Now "shape shifting" this is another issue.

JS
 

RiverRat

Rookie
I would like to say something about video. My generation did not use a lot of it, so I may be unaware of some benefits. I actually think the best use of it in a highly analytical fashion is in the video of strokes you admire much more than your own, like what we have above. I think there's some benefit to seeing yourself on video in a far less analytical way, more for the shock of "I'm doing that?" As tennis players we all have to be technicians but most of the time we have to do it on the court, without the benefit of video. That's why I want to make sure my strokes and those of anyone else's that I'm helping fall within some rather broad parameters. Video can reassure me of that. But what's far more important, each player has to learn how to feel where things are going awry for themselves during the course of play or practice for that matter. Let's say someone could reproduce Raonic's kinetic chain to a milli-second. There are too many personal factors, including anatomical, that intervene and might kink this kinetic chain. A player needs to feel the chain and sense the near infinitesimally small difference that actually can feel quite stark, but might take a scientist a lifetime to detect. I've said it elsewhere on this forum but a tennis player needs to take and Edison-like science approach where they try 10,000 different things that fail, but all teach something.
 
You don't want to do this?
Not unless it happens because it has to happen. IMO you do not push the hip out on purpose. The rest of your body would have to adjust to that move (the parts of the body that are actually responsible for hitting the ball). It is the left hip that is adjusting to what the more responsible for hitting the ball body parts are doing. If you start your weight moving forward but keep your upper body behind the ball so you can hit it hard the “archer’s bow” thing happens. It is important to know what is driving what. I’m not doubting there aren’t 1000’s of instructors out there telling student to push their hip out. It’s what they see happening. They just have it backwards.

Archer’s Bow believer guy : “Hey, look at that guy over there! Some force is pulling him upward into the air and he is holding onto the ground with all of his might.”

Me: “Nah, he’s just struggling to do a push-up.”
 
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golden chicken

Hall of Fame
@RiverRat and @ballmachineguy

Sometimes you run into players who want instruction but who have little coordination and less self-awareness. A side by side video comparison of the player and a similar pro can reveal things to both coach and player.

Also, sometimes you have to give instructions that make no sense out of context. You might be asking for the player to tilt his shoulders, knowing if he does, the rest of the body assumes the archer's bow position, but the player may not respond to that specific instruction. Maybe that player will respond to the instruction of sticking their hip over the baseline.

Sometimes you just need to reword your instruction until it clicks with the student.

Finally, remember that new movements are awkward. (Try throwing a football or serving with the off-hand if you've never done it before) you have to consciously and mechanically practice those movements until you build the new muscle memory and it becomes fluid and natural.
 

Jake Speeed

Rookie
I would like to say something about video. My generation did not use a lot of it, so I may be unaware of some benefits. I actually think the best use of it in a highly analytical fashion is in the video of strokes you admire much more than your own, like what we have above. I think there's some benefit to seeing yourself on video in a far less analytical way, more for the shock of "I'm doing that?" As tennis players we all have to be technicians but most of the time we have to do it on the court, without the benefit of video. That's why I want to make sure my strokes and those of anyone else's that I'm helping fall within some rather broad parameters. Video can reassure me of that. But what's far more important, each player has to learn how to feel where things are going awry for themselves during the course of play or practice for that matter. Let's say someone could reproduce Raonic's kinetic chain to a milli-second. There are too many personal factors, including anatomical, that intervene and might kink this kinetic chain. A player needs to feel the chain and sense the near infinitesimally small difference that actually can feel quite stark, but might take a scientist a lifetime to detect. I've said it elsewhere on this forum but a tennis player needs to take and Edison-like science approach where they try 10,000 different things that fail, but all teach something.
Video can be a great tool for probably just about anything. Changing a tire? I'll bet even this is on line?

Tennis? It's the student who should decide. I never pushed video on anyone. I was fine without it and I still am today even though I had my video days and video students in the past. Another legitimate training tool, and a good one if used properly. I was supposed to video a guy this past weekend, but it rained and the courts were wet all day in the part of Georgia I was in. The topic for this training period was, service pronation and the SHB. I mention this guy before, now hitting a SHB after only a hour or so of instruction. Some catch on quicker than others and some have more ability than others.

JS
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Video can be a great tool for probably just about anything. Changing a tire? I'll bet even this is on line?

Tennis? It's the student who should decide. I never pushed video on anyone. I was fine without it and I still am today even though I had my video days and video students in the past. Another legitimate training tool, and a good one if used properly. I was supposed to video a guy this past weekend, but it rained and the courts were wet all day in the part of Georgia I was in. The topic for this training period was, service pronation and the SHB. I mention this guy before, now hitting a SHB after only a hour or so of instruction. Some catch on quicker than others and some have more ability than others.

JS
What is a SHB?
 
@RiverRat and @ballmachineguy

Sometimes you run into players who want instruction but who have little coordination and less self-awareness. A side by side video comparison of the player and a similar pro can reveal things to both coach and player.

Also, sometimes you have to give instructions that make no sense out of context. You might be asking for the player to tilt his shoulders, knowing if he does, the rest of the body assumes the archer's bow position, but the player may not respond to that specific instruction. Maybe that player will respond to the instruction of sticking their hip over the baseline.

Sometimes you just need to reword your instruction until it clicks with the student.

Finally, remember that new movements are awkward. (Try throwing a football or serving with the off-hand if you've never done it before) you have to consciously and mechanically practice those movements until you build the new muscle memory and it becomes fluid and natural.
I guess I don’t understand exactly what you are saying. If you are saying someone should “stick their hip over the baseline” to get them to respond, I would say the result would be the wrong response. The so-called Archer’s Bow is not a thing. Just sticking your hip out doesn’t make your body do the right thing. Also, I would never tell someone to “tilt their shoulders”. What does that do? Something specific is happening to make the shoulder tilt, but I can promise that just tilting the shoulders isn’t going to do the same thing as what movement tilts the shoulders. In my estimation, this is the crux of what is wrong with a lot of tennis instruction. Just throwing out positions of great strokes doesn’t make the person do what is required to get that great stroke. For instance, when I told the forehand thread guy how I see racquet drop happening, I didn’t just say “get your elbow higher!” That doesn’t mean anything. I also told him what it does and the rest of the mechanics to get it to the wanted result. I hear lessons going on around me all of the time “stay sideways, get your elbow higher, get your shoulder under your chin!” Why? That stuff doesn’t mean anything without context.

Not going off on you gc. Just ranting. If I misinterpreted your response, sorry!
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Cool vid, thanks.
If you watch Raonic's forward motion, it seems to evolve into the tossing side of the body being much longer and the hitting side being much shorter. In addition, from the rear camera view you can see another thing going on at the same time (all sub second) Thoracic Extension. Those two things are in all/most of the high level ATP serves.

If you want to pursue those things farther - Google or get a kinesiology reference ($15 used) that shows you the muscles that are lengthened, shortened or stretched when the body goes to the above positions and also where those muscles attach to the body and the serving arm. Next, consider how the positions seen in videos affects the length and stretch of those muscles. The lat muscle is tricky so pay attention to that.
Manual of Structural Kinesiology, Thompson & Floyd, edition 14 or 15. The recent editions are college texts and much more expensive.

If you study these issues and the excellent background information that can be found on the internet - everybody knows that there is bad information also - the tennis strokes can be much better understood.

'Weight shift' and most other tennis terms are blind alleys that hide the biomechanics unless you pursue it farther on your own.

If you don't understand any words regarding muscles, joints, and joint motions, Google them. It would probably take less than 2 hours total Googling time to search definitions and videos on 99% of the technical terms used on the forum.
 
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golden chicken

Hall of Fame
I guess I don’t understand exactly what you are saying. If you are saying someone should “stick their hip over the baseline” to get them to respond, I would say the result would be the wrong response. The so-called Archer’s Bow is not a thing. Just sticking your hip out doesn’t make your body do the right thing. Also, I would never tell someone to “tilt their shoulders”. What does that do? Something specific is happening to make the shoulder tilt, but I can promise that just tilting the shoulders isn’t going to do the same thing as what movement tilts the shoulders. In my estimation, this is the crux of what is wrong with a lot of tennis instruction. Just throwing out positions of great strokes doesn’t make the person do what is required to get that great stroke. For instance, when I told the forehand thread guy how I see racquet drop happening, I didn’t just say “get your elbow higher!” That doesn’t mean anything. I also told him what it does and the rest of the mechanics to get it to the wanted result. I hear lessons going on around me all of the time “stay sideways, get your elbow higher, get your shoulder under your chin!” Why? That stuff doesn’t mean anything without context.

Not going off on you gc. Just ranting. If I misinterpreted your response, sorry!
No worries, I'm cool with the discussion. (y)

I see and agree with your point about having the knowledge and understanding to describe the hows and the whys of a particular stroke.

My point is that sometimes a complete analysis is not necessary or not possible within the time allotted. Sometimes giving the student a cue is all that is needed.

In one case, you might be building a student up from nothing and you have already explained the hows and whys in detail but what they think they're doing and what they are actually doing are different. In this case, one thing to focus on at a time might be better than overwhelming the student with information or making a new correction after each attempt.

In another case, you may have a student who understands the hows and the whys and can execute under low intensity, but perhaps, falls back on old habits under pressure. In this case, a simple reminder might be all that is needed to snap the player out of their old habit.

In either case, a simple cue from the coach might be all that is necessary for the student to self-correct.

This has been true for the most part in my limited experience.
 
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