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Ultimate Fundamentals: The Racket Path on the Serve

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  • Ultimate Fundamentals: The Racket Path on the Serve

    Would love to get your thoughts on "Ultimate Fundamentals: The Racket Path on the Serve"

  • #2
    Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
    Would love to get your thoughts on "Ultimate Fundamentals: The Racket Path on the Serve"
    I liked the video article. It's good for coaches and players to understand the commonalties involved in the strokes of the top players, despite the diversity of styles. The biomechanics of tennis are highly complex. It's good to have commonalties to hang on to so players and coaches can at least have something concrete to work towards.


    • #3
      Very good. What I wonder is whether there are there biomechanical positions that set you up to trigger the sequence you showed?

      For example, is keeping the palm down on the beginning of the windup, prior to the racket drop, essential to get you in the groove?

      So, any commonality prior to the racket drop (even if the windups are very different)?


      • #4
        Timeless technique.

        Great video John. Many ways to skin a cat, but to do it successfully, you still have to meet required technical checkpoints along the way. That's for all strokes, but the serve seems to be the one shot with the most individual nuances, yet it all comes together for the great ones, no matter how the aesthetics are at the start.

        Kyle LaCroix USPTA
        Boca Raton


        • #5
          The wind up: the wind up sets the table for critical motions later in the swing

          As some players on tour (who all hit these checkpoints) clearly serve much better than others, it begs the question how significant the contribution of the wind up and backswing phases are. As Brian Gordon states: "the wind up sets the table for critical motions later in the swing".

          I have to say these checkpoints are invaluable to coaches. I have come to the conclusion that as coaches the best we can do is get students to make these checkpoints and leave it to their innate ability to see how far they can run with things. There is only so much we can achieve. So much is down to the player when you think about it.
          Last edited by stotty; 07-03-2015, 01:52 PM.


          • #6
            BJW - Senior

            Interesting video. It appears to me that all three players are hitting a flat serve. I have trouble conceptualizing the external arm rotation and contact for a slice or kick serve.


            • #7

              Those are first serves but not "flat" probably around 1500 to 2000rpm. It's hard to imagine this rotation because it is invisible to the human eye.

              Here is an article that discusses the same issue on both first and second. In the high speed archive look at any Fed 2nd serve and that will give you great imagery. There is more related stuff in my Fed serve series in the Advanced Tennis section.

              Welcome to the Forum.

              John Yandell
              Last edited by johnyandell; 07-07-2015, 09:13 PM.


              • #8
                Please note that I am just a beginner and this can be a stupid question.

                If my understanding of what is happening here is correct, than the racket drop is only a consequence of the initiated forward drive of the elbow?
                At least for me, concentrating on my elbow instead of the racket was key to implement the correct movement.


                • #9

                  Welcome to the Forum and not a stupid question.

                  The main point is that if that key is getting you into the racket drop position--and really video is the only way to tell--stick with it.

                  The elbow for most players collapses somewhat due to gravity. The backward rotation of the arm in the shoulder is another factor. The leg drive in speeding this rotation is another.

                  Post some video if you can. Would be happy to take a look.
                  Last edited by johnyandell; 07-10-2015, 06:30 AM.


                  • #10
                    Waiter's serve

                    I have a hard time timing the serve properly and I also get into the waiters position. I have read Gordon's articles and realize that the drop happens from using the kinetic chain properly, but I am wondering if you compare someone that serves well, doing the full motion or just starting from this drop position, tossing and hitting the other 2 biomechanically efficient points, how much more they benefit in power from the full motion as opposed to starting already in the drop position? If I tried to serve from the drop position, I would start already with shoulder in external rotation, so would eliminate the waiter serve and would just concentrate on tossing and exploding into the ball, using as a visual a shot put throw.
                    I am really keen on learning, so all help is welcome.
                    thank you!


                    • #11
                      That's exactly what I think you should do. Make sure you have some version of at least a mild continental grip. Make sure the racket is really falling along your right side. Then try the upward and outward motion and make sure you rotate to the extended position found in the article.

                      Once you have that working you can start from the trophy position and/or go to the windup. Wind up shape can be critical in getting the drop.

                      A more open circular windup helps most people. Check out this article on a former pro player and how that helped him. Good model.


                      • #12
                        Swing Keys

                        I can't get the video to start. Keeps going back to the same page with a box and number 0 in it. Whats that all about?


                        • #13
                          John, just wondering, but shouldn't the trophy position be included?


                          • #14
                            Sent you an email. It's fine on my iphone. Have you turned off private browsing?


                            • #15

                              You see some differences in that. Fed, Sampras slightly different. Raonic, Roddick more different still.


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