What is the basic learning progression of the serve?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Dandow93, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Dandow93

    Dandow93 New User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Relatively new player here, only attended about four or five lessons. I have just been taught a pretty basic service motion, and I feel like I will have reached as "good as it can get" pretty soon without changing my technique.

    I was wondering what is the pattern of learning for the serve. After I've got my feet right, can get to the trophy pose, hit the ball etc - where do we go next? Is pronation next? Do we start jumping? Do I try to master my current motion in terms of placing the ball down the T/into the corners, all before basically having to overhaul my serve and learn to pronate etc? Or is it all just an incremental, minor adjustment process?

    I know all this depends upon my goals/willingness to be worse in the short term to be better in the long term, but assuming I wanted nothing but to improve my game as best I can - what's the standard progression?

    Thanks,
    Dan

    Included a quick clip below from a week or so ago (before my coach had taught us anything about serving). Since then I've fixed up my foot placement so that my front foot is facing the netpost - with my back foot parallel to the baseline, and my toes in line with the heel of my front foot. I've also started bending my knees more. Roast me.

    https://i.imgur.com/i3tYLho.mp4
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
    #1
  2. heninfan99

    heninfan99 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    18,718
    Here you go:


    Recommend the continental grip.
     
    #2
  3. Dandow93

    Dandow93 New User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Will take a look! I should have mentioned the continental grip too, another thing I knew needed to be implemented. Thanks!
     
    heninfan99 likes this.
    #3
  4. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    7,360
    Location:
    Bay Area California
    Your video shows a Waiter's Tray technique. This is hard to change. It is unlikely that you have changed technique with a week of instruction. Welcome to the Tennis Serve Nuthouse!

    High speed video provides you with feedback on what you are actually doing now. Since 60% or more of active tennis players are using a Waiter's Tray type technique all players should determine whether or not they are serving with a WT (>60%?), a miscellaneous other technique or a high level technique (20%?) as used by the top 100 ATP servers.
    http://www.hi-techtennis.com/serve/big_l_student.php

    [​IMG]

    The stroke reference book Technique Development for Tennis Stroke Production,(2009) Elliott, Reid, Crespo has basic stroke descriptions. Available ITF Store or Kindle. If something does not follow what is in this reference, be highly skeptical of what you are hearing.

    For many serve analyses search this forum or Google: internal shoulder rotation Chas
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
    jga111 likes this.
    #4
  5. Dandow93

    Dandow93 New User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Haha I had never heard of the waiter's tray serve before, but if the boot fits. Offended :p

    [​IMG]
     
    #5
  6. samarai

    samarai Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Messages:
    458
    Go to any court and look at the serves of recreational players. The serve is the hardest stroke in tennis especially if u are an adult when starting the game. People have played and practiced for decades and some never come close to having a good serve.
     
    mbm0912 likes this.
    #6
  7. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    7,360
    Location:
    Bay Area California
    http://www.hi-techtennis.com/serve/big_l_student.php

    If the racket is facing the sky the serve is definitely not a high level technique. It is very likely to be a Waiter's Tray. There are no other techniques described other than the high level technique and a little on the Waiter's Tray.

    I had never heard of internal shoulder rotation until I read about it on this forum in 2011. I had practiced serve for 35 years using the wrong information - a dead end street to nowhere. The top tennis researchers did not understand what was being done until it was confirmed in 1995. Earlier badminton researchers had realized that internal shoulder rotation was very important for the badminton smash and tennis serve and stated so in conferences by 1985 or earlier. All research used high speed cameras. ...........all part of the Tennis Serve Nuthouse!

    The high level serve should be performed with a certain upper arm to shoulder angle to minimize the risk of impingement injury. High level ATP servers almost always use the correct orientation with the upper arm not raised too high throughout the service motion. Search: Ellenbecker Whiteside impingement
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
    #7
  8. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    7,360
    Location:
    Bay Area California
    You can definitely see a Waiter's Tray by eye when someone is serving toward you. Look for the racket to face the sky at the position shown in the High Tech Tennis webpage. Everyone reading this will see the WT serve from now on......

    I can't see how a Waiter's Tray technique can produce a kick serve but I have a friend with a WT that has a nasty slice serve. I did not know about the WT until I videoed his serve in high speed. All I had to do was look.....
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2018
    #8
  9. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    16,402
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    Go for the conti grip (bevel 2) if you can make it work. If you cannot get past the awkwardness, after some honest effort, try a semi-conti grip (2.5, between bevel 2 and bevel 3). This is the grip that Serena and Boris (Becker) employ for 1st serves. They use something close to a standard continental grip for second serves.

    I’ve had quite a few students that felt more comfortable with the 2.5 grip at the beginning. After a while they were able to incorporate a standard continental grip. When using the semi-conti grip, make certain that you are still dropping the racket head on edge and coming back up on edge — this grip variation should no be used as an excuse to adopt the dreaded WT Error.
     
    #9
  10. Ruark

    Ruark Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2017
    Messages:
    413
    Be careful about things like "pronation." This is in the realm of what happens during a serve, not something that you consciously do. Many components of the various tennis strokes are of this nature, and many "pros" that give lessons don't know the difference, while they happily take your money.
     
    Gazelle likes this.
    #10
  11. Dandow93

    Dandow93 New User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Thanks guys, and everyone above!

    I went down to a local court yesterday and spent a solid hour trying to learn to serve with the conti grip. I was pretty much woeful the entire time, but I feel like it's slowly coming together. It made it much easier to think of it as:
    1. Assuming the trophy pose position with my palm out.
    2. Switching to a "throwing a hatchet" pose.
    3. Then finally extending my arm out, and rolling my arm over as I extend, and continuing thumb down across my body.

    Many tutorials which simply advised: rolling your arm "out, in, and then out again" made it feel extremely unnatural. I feel like achieving three distinct positions makes it feel much more functional.

    I am heading back again today, and will post another video once I have it dialled. Thanks for all the tips.

    EDIT: When I posted this thread I assumed that my service form (which I now know to be the "waiters tray") was merely a stepping stone in achieving a strong serve. It's kind of annoying to find out that I've been taught a service motion which essentially is just...wrong, and requires completely reworking in order for it to ever be reliable and successful. I had assumed it was an incremental process of adding things to my current form in order to have a good serve - clearly not.
     
    #11
  12. Dandow93

    Dandow93 New User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    https://i.imgur.com/Nlah8is.mp4

    How is this looking?

    This is where I'm at currently after two sessions of trying to learn the continental grip. I think I have a rough idea of the motion now, just got to master the timing.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
    #12
  13. heninfan99

    heninfan99 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    18,718
    Nice. Doesnt look like you're quite at continental grip. Get your index knuckle to sit right on bevel two has indicated by the tape this photo.
    [​IMG]


    Eventually you wanna get into a similar position as this, try without the ball?
    [​IMG]
     
    #13
  14. Dandow93

    Dandow93 New User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    28

    Jeez, I see. The palm-out phase continues for so long into the serve. I was shifting from palm out immediately into palm in before the ball even goes up...

    Stark contrast between mine and ->


    I do know (mentally) how the grip should be, might just be that it shifts a little throughout my attempts. I'll try harder to keep it locked into the continental.

    Damn, I thought I just about had it. Now I'm realising I'm still quite a ways off.

    Thanks so much for responding.
     
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2018
    heninfan99 likes this.
    #14
  15. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    16,402
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    Only slightly better. Lose the knee bend for now. You have it in the wrong place and it adds nothing to your current serve. It will be difficult to time it properly later. You will likely end up with a double dip motion if you don’t get rid of that superfluous knee bend for now.

    Another problem is that you are trying to implement a “down together, up together” action with your arms. That is an old school service rhythm that many, if not most, people find difficult to implement correctly. I would suggest either a staggered rhythm or an abbreviated service motion.

    Probably better to start with the latter as shown in the video in post #2 (after 1:15). Start your right arm and racket in the “salute” position. Then initiate the toss. This would be much better/simpler than trying to synchronize your arms for the “down together, up together” rhythm.

    The biggest issue with your current rhythm is that you don’t have a decent trophy phase and, even more important, you are pausing in the middle of your racket drop. Best not to pause in the middle of your service motion. If there has to be any pause at all, it would be better to have it at the trophy phase or, better yet, prior to the trophy.

    The grip change you made has helped somewhat. Your WTE is much less overt than it was before. However, there is still a hint of WT in your racket drop. Again, refer to the video in post #2. “Salute” and then “comb your hair” as shown in the vid. If you do this properly the racket face stays on edge — it should not open up toward the sky as you are doing now.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018 at 5:13 AM
    #15
  16. heninfan99

    heninfan99 G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    18,718
    I'm sure it will click. It takes a while.
     
    #16
  17. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    16,402
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    I really wouldn’t worry about not being a true continental grip. As I mentioned previously, a semi-conti grip is fine. Eventually you’ll want to develop something closer to a continental grip, especially for second serves.
     
    #17
  18. Dandow93

    Dandow93 New User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Thanks so much for such a detailed response.

    I thought the rhythm was more or less personal preference, so I was more focusing on getting the pronation, and more or less ignoring the rest. I found the video in post 2 a little tricky with the different poses at first since I didn't understand exactly what he meant - but I'll work through that slowly now and try to implement that video in a more holistic way rather than just focusing on the arm rotation.

    Thanks again for all the feedback, helps a ton.

    It didn't click until I got the feedback from heninfan that I was meant to be starting the "throw" from the palm-out position. I was thinking I transitioned from there into the palm-in/throw the hatchet pose before "throwing the racquet". So perhaps being aware of that will make it a little easier to put together.
     
    #18
  19. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    16,402
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    @Dandow93

    Yes, the serve style/rhythm is more less personal choice. But I’ve seen far too many servers with rhythm/sync and mechanics issues when trying to implement a classic dt/ut rhythm. Andy Murray is one the closest of the modern servers to this classic rhythm. He incorporates a J-toss to implement this. But many students have problems with J-toss mechanics. Roger Federer is something between a classic rhythm and a staggered one.
     
    Dandow93 likes this.
    #19
  20. Dandow93

    Dandow93 New User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Yet another update. Where I'm at with the abbreviated rhythm, no knee bend + hopefully conti grip.

    https://i.imgur.com/fxemlOC.mp4

    Definitely still not happy with it. I feel like I'm shifting from palm out/salute pose into the racquet drop before the "throw" begins rather than putting it all into one motion. Work in progress.

    EDIT: This is a worse motion (bigger pause on the racquet drop), but it's slow-mo, so might be easier to see: https://i.imgur.com/KEcnZy3.mp4
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
    #20
  21. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    7,360
    Location:
    Bay Area California
    The motion blur of the racket is excessive. But the racket looks edge on to the ball at the Big L position, not now racket facing the sky, as discussed by Hi Tech Tennis.

    The racket must have been rotated to make contact.

    Take videos is bright sunlight and the camera will select a faster shutter speed and you will get less motion blur.
     
    #21
  22. Dandow93

    Dandow93 New User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    I agree, I think I am achieving the desired "edge-on" position right up until contact (with both the down together up together rhythm as well as the abbreviated rhythm). So I guess in a way I've mostly fixed the waiters tray, it's just a matter of now performing my new service motion properly/effectively.

    Sorry for the video quality, I try not to bother my girlfriend too much with filming, so she typically only records a couple of serves each session.

    Thanks for the reply!
     
    #22
  23. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    7,360
    Location:
    Bay Area California
    Watch the elbow shadows. See the fast motion.


    He is doing this with the proper upper arm to shoulder orientation to reduce the risk of shoulder impingement.

    This is not an instruction on how to do the serve. It shows what high level servers are doing to get pace and consistency.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2018
    Dandow93 likes this.
    #23
  24. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    223
    Can you take a video of you hitting the ball as hard as you can into the top of the fence behind you with a serve-like motion, with the goal being maximum ball speed?

    I agree with the advice above about the first knee bend. You could replace it with rocking back and forth.
     
    #24
  25. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    7,360
    Location:
    Bay Area California
    You are not comparing your serve to high level serves. That is not what they show, not what ISR does.

    Google and search this forum: Salazar kick slice flat Toly Chas

    OR Salazar kick slice flat Toly Chas pictures

    There are 3 pictures of server Frank Salazar from a camera placed above him.

    The sanity check is high speed video.........
     
    #25
  26. Dandow93

    Dandow93 New User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Sorry if I misspoke, I just meant I am swinging up to the ball with the racquet edge forward, and then opening the racquet face right at the point of contact - which I believed to be the desired pronation. I was agreeing with your earlier comment:


    I feel like I am managing to achieve the desired "edge on" position, and then right up at the point of extension I am turning the racquet. The serve could still be a looot better/smoother/faster etc, and I'll work on that, but I was just agreeing that I think I am achieving some level of pronation (as seen in the slow-mo) https://i.imgur.com/KEcnZy3.mp4



    I will, but not super soon, I am just trying to go through the motion slowly for now - I don't want to try the motion too quickly/incorrectly and risk hurting my shoulder.
     
    #26
  27. dennis

    dennis Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    Messages:
    223
    Well, not so hard you'll hurt yourself, just quite hard! The reasoning is I've seen so many players with efficient serve actions when they're hitting at an adjacent fence, it's just when they come to aim into the service box that things change dramatically and they do double knee bends, pause during the motion, waiters tray etc. So one way of working on serving is to refine the aiming and confidence of the faster motion, rather than only tweaking the slower one.
     
    #27
  28. Dandow93

    Dandow93 New User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Ahh I see, will keep it in mind! thanks mate!
     
    #28
  29. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    Messages:
    16,402
    Location:
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    Not happy! Well I’ve gotta say that I’m suitably impressed with the changes you’ve implemented thus far. You eliminated that improperly-timed knee bend and you’ve got a better racket head drop (not perfect, but much better). Racket definitely more on edge for your drop — don’t see any hint of the WTE you had before.

    Better right arm trophy position — since you are essentially starting the arm/racket there. However, you could pull the right elbow back a bit more so that you are stretching the the right pec and front of your right shoulder. You want to get a bit of tension in that area so that you can release it later (like stretching and releasing a rubber band). Eventually, you want to get that elbow back even more as part of a greater coil of the upper torso (chest and shoulders). But that added coil can come later in the development of your serve motion.

    You are keeping your left arm up (vertical) bit longer than you should. Slightly unusual problem since most people don’t leave it up long enough or never get vertical at all. You might have the arm extended longer than necessary possibly because you have a fairly high toss. However, I am not suggesting that you reduce your toss height. It is not excessive, so it is up to you whether you decide to lower the toss height or not. The left-hand should start to come down very shortly after the racket head starts to drop from the trophy position. You are not pulling your arm down until the bottom of your racket drop or as you are about to start your upward swing. By pulling the left arm down a split second sooner, you will get your left shoulder to drop a bit so that you are getting a good reverse tilt of the shoulders (opposite direction of the trophy tilt). Dropping the left shoulder a bit more will allow you to get the right shoulder up higher for contact.

    Perhaps you need to keep the right arm/racket in the trophy position a split second longer relative to your high toss. This might make it easier to pull your left hand/arm down at the proper time. Just a thought tho’.

    Note that many pros will lift their tossing arm up parallel to the baseline rather than out in the direction of the net. This aids in getting a more pronounced coil of the upper torso. It also helps them to achieve a better toss arc. It appears that your toss arcs backward = toward your right shoulder. You want a slight arc in the toss that moves primarily from right to left (relative to the baseline) rather than in front of the baseline to behind the baseline. Instead of lifting your tossing arm up parallel to the baseline, I might suggest lifting it at 30° to 45° angle relative to the baseline. You’ll probably find this easier than the parallel lift direction. See if you can get the toss a tad more forward so that your contact is, at least, above the baseline or somewhat in front of it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018 at 5:16 AM
    Dandow93 likes this.
    #29
  30. Dandow93

    Dandow93 New User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    You are honestly incredible and I appreciate all the feedback so much! Will do my best to keep those things in mind!
     
    #30
  31. Chas Tennis

    Chas Tennis Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Messages:
    7,360
    Location:
    Bay Area California
    Here is a clear composite picture by Toly of the racket motion regarding 'edge on' vs time. This not so clear in videos, especially those from ground level. Describing this in words has misled many players. Some, including me, have mistakenly believed that the racket rotates just before contact. It seems to accelerate and rotate with no special points as the picture shows. There are special checkpoints but they are just informative instants in time during the motion. Between the red arrows is when ISR mostly accelerates the racket. See videos from various angles to understand when, for example, the elbow has straightened.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018 at 8:45 AM
    #31
  32. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2010
    Messages:
    7,464
    The video in post #2 from Henin... is very good. I've seen it before but I think that's a very good progression to a full serve. I like the Salute position as a basic position to learn to serve. I sometimes will start 8-10 serves here when practicing. Also, I will sometimes start a few serves in the stir the paint position too.
     
    #32
  33. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,076
    Developing a decent serve is difficult. There is a lot of knowledge presented on these boards, but it is often quite difficult to translate to physical motion. Often trying to achieve a specific movement, ie "pronation", can be counterproductive. There is a very thin line between movements that are intentional and those that are reactive.

    My advice is to get a ball basket and hit a lot of serves. Concentrate on keeping a loose arm and wrist. Hot from service line with a choked up grip to learn racquet control and spin. Study video of top players and see where their hand and elbow are at various points in the motion. Video yourself and compare to top players.

    In general, the most common faults are waiter's tray motion, use of FH grip, tossing the ball too far to the side, windmill motion, use of wrist flexion to generate pace and not tossing far enough into the court.
     
    #33
  34. samarai

    samarai Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2011
    Messages:
    458
    hitting a bunch of balls is not gonna help if all u are doing is hitting it wrong. basically there are two options, get with a good coach and have him/her work on it. Otherwise take a good video and let someone decipher it for u. Even the posters on this site can give u really good feedback if u are willing to listen. What has really helped me in the last two years is to slow down the initial movements of the serve ( and concentrate on the location of the toss) before accelerating once the toss reaches its peak.
     
    heninfan99 likes this.
    #34
  35. Dan R

    Dan R Rookie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2015
    Messages:
    282
    First you've made a lot of progress in a short time.

    A couple of things to note on the last video. First, what exactly is the waiter's tray serve? When using a continental grip the tell tale sign of a waiter's tray serve is the palm facing up toward the sky prior to impact. Most people point the palm up on the racket drop and just keep it in that position the rest of the way, you were doing this in the begining. That's pretty easy to fix, which you have. BUT, what then happens is that as the racket comes up to impact just before you hit the ball the palm goes up again, and that's what you are doing now. The result is that you are not pronating through the ball. If you watch a high level serve you see the face of the racket pointing to the left just before impact, and then pointing to the right just after impact, and the palm never points up. You aren't doing that. Your never get the face pointing to the right.

    Part of the problem is that what you are doing is placing the racket into the drop position holding it there and then coming up and intentionally trying to pronate. People mention that pronation is a consequence of a good swing and happens naturally. I'm not sure if natural is the right word because if it was so natural it wouldn't be so hard to learn. But what they mean is that in order to do something think of first doing the opposite. If you want to jump you first have to bend your knees which is the opposite of jumping. If you want to step into a throw you first have to step back.

    So, to pronate you first have to suppinate (the opposite movement). If you bend your knees you have nowhere to go but up, if you step back you have no where to go but forward. If you suppinate you have no where to go but pronate. That's what makes pronation natural, or inevitable, in a tennis serve. The pros drop the rackethead to the left, and then it rotates out to the right (as the result of shoulder rotation), as that happens the forearm first suppinates, and then as the racket comes up to the ball it's primed to pronate. At that point all you have to do is let the racket go and it will pronate.

    This is an exaggeration but I think it will help you feel what is suppose to be happening. Drop the rack behind you head with the rackethead pointing to the left. Rotate your forearm as far as you can so that head of the racket is now pointing to the right. At some point you can't rotate it any further - you hit a stop - you are fully suppinated. Now start over and this time add a little shoulder rotation to make the movement more forceful, and just direct the energy of the racket head slightly upward right before you hit the stop and let it keep going. The energy will force the racket up and over the top of your hand and you'll have no choice but to pronate - there's no where else for it to go - you will pronate naturally. That's more like what you need to do. By emphasizing suppination you have made pronating inevitable.

    In reality, the pros don't suppinate to that extent but it's that loop outward that sets up the pronation. Without it you can't really get it right.
     
    #35
  36. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,076
    Without hitting a lot of balls, you are never going to develop a feel for the motion. The number of coaches I have seen who can effectively teach a high level serve is basically zero, except maybe Salzenstein.
     
    #36
  37. RetroSpin

    RetroSpin Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Messages:
    3,076
    Beginners tend to go at the serve backwards. They obsess over stance and takeback. They worry about trophy. A few worry about pronation. They should start at contact and work their way back. If you get the motion from drop to impact right, it doesn't matter much how you do the rest.
     
    Kevo likes this.
    #37
  38. Dandow93

    Dandow93 New User

    Joined:
    May 24, 2018
    Messages:
    28
    Thanks for the further feedback everyone, I will again do my best to implement it. I agree that I'm sort of forcing the racquet drop When I made this thread I more or less included the clip of myself as an afterthought, so I never really intended for it to end up being regular updates from myself for further feedback etc etc. I have very much appreciated all of the responses up to this point - but I'll probably stop updating so regularly now. I feel happy to have gotten away from the extremely typical forehand grip waiters tray, and to be serving continental and slowly getting a handle on the motion. Since I started working on it, I still haven't even had a tennis lesson with a coach yet (since I've been in the middle of my exams), so I'm sure if I devote time in a one on one setting I'll be able to come along even further and more quickly. I am absolutely amazed at how much there is to be conscious of during the motion, and how difficult it can be to self-regulate in practice. Will be sure to post an update to humblebrag once I well and truly have it down.
     
    #38
  39. Kevo

    Kevo Hall of Fame

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2005
    Messages:
    4,458
    This is the way I teach it. Start with where the contact should be then learn to toss the ball there. The toss is the most important part of the serve, and a sizeable proportion of rec players never develop a good toss. The second most important thing is learning how to "pronate" or rotate the arm into contact. Using a continental grip and turning the racquet into the ball is step two when I teach someone to serve. I have two beginners now working on serves, and after 3 lessons I see more promise in their serves with no swing and only a turn than I do in all the weekend warriors that show up at the courts on Saturdays at 7am. Waiter's tray as far as the eye can see. (The other seven courts.)

    Also, don't just hit a lot of balls until you are sure of what you are training yourself to do. Most of what I do when I teach serves is simply keep the bad habits that develop at bay and refocus people back onto the two or three things we are working on. Nothing derails people quicker than gaining a little bit of confidence with the stroke.
     
    #39

Share This Page