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1-2 Rhythm: The Serve

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  • 1-2 Rhythm: The Serve

    Let's discuss Nick Wheatley's article, "1-2 Rhythm: The Serve"

  • #2
    Such a nice article. Required reading for those recreational students struggling with the serve. Well Done Nick. Makes so much sense.

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

    Comment


    • #3
      Thanks Kyle, I very much enjoyed putting together the serving content for 1-2 Rhythm, and credit to John too, as he felt inspired enough to delve into the archives, and measure the timings for the Federer, Roddick, Sampras comparison.

      Comment


      • #4
        I think the timing of the videos is very powerful in support of the concept and really brings up a new way of keying the serve based on what the great servers do that had not been previously analyzed or discussed!

        Comment


        • #5
          1-2 concept and weight transfer

          An érudite and well written article. I have mulled over this one for a few days and came to the conclusion that weight transfer could be tacked on nicely to this 1-2 concept.

          Take someone like Gasket with minimal weight transfer.

          http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...splayer440.mov

          versus Roger who has good weight transfer.

          http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...stSAdSide1.mov

          I really do think weight transfer and the 1-2 concept work extremely nicely together from a coaching standpoint.
          Stotty

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by licensedcoach View Post
            An érudite and well written article. I have mulled over this one for a few days and came to the conclusion that weight transfer could be tacked on nicely to this 1-2 concept.

            Take someone like Gasket with minimal weight transfer.

            http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...splayer440.mov

            versus Roger who has good weight transfer.

            http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...stSAdSide1.mov

            I really do think weight transfer and the 1-2 concept work extremely nicely together from a coaching standpoint.
            Yes, a good point. The energy and explosiveness in part 2 can be directed in different ways, and one of those is weight transfer. Andy Roddick lands furthest into the court than most other players, surely a small contributing factor to the power he achieved.

            Comment


            • #7
              I still think almost everyone misses the boat in not identifying the essential nature of the link between the weight transfer/rock and the actual tossing of the ball. Anytime I see the separation of those two elements, for example tossing the ball with the weight back and then leaping into the serve or just pushing forward out of the platform stance after the toss, I know there will be a higher incidence of double faults and lower consistency and accuracy in general. Maybe you get a couple of more miles per hour, but I'm not even sure of that, but the trade-off is not worth it.

              Baseball pitching can't be compared because the pitcher has to keep his foot on the mound, but think about the outfielder's throw, or the track and field athlete's in the throwing sports or the NFL quarterback. They all drive up off the ground. Even in tennis, when hitting a bounce overhead, the player chooses to push up off the ground rather than jump.

              don

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by tennis_chiro View Post
                I still think almost everyone misses the boat in not identifying the essential nature of the link between the weight transfer/rock and the actual tossing of the ball. Anytime I see the separation of those two elements, for example tossing the ball with the weight back and then leaping into the serve or just pushing forward out of the platform stance after the toss, I know there will be a higher incidence of double faults and lower consistency and accuracy in general. Maybe you get a couple of more miles per hour, but I'm not even sure of that, but the trade-off is not worth it.

                Baseball pitching can't be compared because the pitcher has to keep his foot on the mound, but think about the outfielder's throw, or the track and field athlete's in the throwing sports or the NFL quarterback. They all drive up off the ground. Even in tennis, when hitting a bounce overhead, the player chooses to push up off the ground rather than jump.

                don

                Very interesting when you compare these two videos and watch exactly where their body weight is upon release of the ball toss.

                http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...LevelSide2.mov

                http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...LevelSide1.mov
                Stotty

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by licensedcoach View Post
                  Very interesting when you compare these two videos and watch exactly where their body weight is upon release of the ball toss.

                  http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...LevelSide2.mov

                  http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...LevelSide1.mov
                  Krajicek demonstrates the classic weight transfer/rock forward with the toss of the ball, while Federer represents the modern platform attitude of tossing and then leaping into the court pushing off the right side as opposed to already having almost all the weight on the left side when you really fire up to the ball. Federer's toss is just barely linked to the forward move of his weight transfer.

                  Some stats for their careers and Pete Sampras:
                  FS%: Krajicek - 58%, Federer - 62%, Sampras - 59%
                  FSPointsWon: Krajicek - 81%, Federer - 88%, Sampras - 81%
                  ServiceGames Won: Krajicek - 87%, Federer - 88%, Sampras - 89%
                  Total Service Games: Krajicek - 7761, Federer - 15972, Sampras - 89%
                  Aces: Krajicek - 7648, Federer - 9576, Sampras - 8713
                  Aces/Service Game: Krajicek - .985, Federer - .597, Sampras - .834



                  don

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by tennis_chiro View Post
                    I still think almost everyone misses the boat in not identifying the essential nature of the link between the weight transfer/rock and the actual tossing of the ball. Anytime I see the separation of those two elements, for example tossing the ball with the weight back and then leaping into the serve or just pushing forward out of the platform stance after the toss, I know there will be a higher incidence of double faults and lower consistency and accuracy in general. Maybe you get a couple of more miles per hour, but I'm not even sure of that, but the trade-off is not worth it.
                    don
                    I like this and the service videos Stotty has been putting up lately too since I've been-- for a while-- doing what tennis chiro says not to do, i.e., starting the motion with weight on rear foot in a platform stance serve.

                    If there is any argument for starting a serve with weight on rear foot as Charlie Pasarell taught in the book MASTERING YOUR TENNIS STROKES, or as Don Budge appears to do here (http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...DB1stSRear.mov), but one still wants to glean the consistency inherent in using a backward rock first, one could lift hands twice-- once with weight on front foot and once with weight on rear foot and in that way still enjoy the basic mechanics of the Budge.

                    One would have a new toy to work with, too. That's always fun.
                    Last edited by bottle; 04-12-2016, 12:56 AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by bottle View Post
                      I like this and the service videos Stotty has been putting up lately too since I've been-- for a while-- doing what tennis chiro says not to do, i.e., starting the motion with weight on rear foot in a platform stance serve.

                      If there is any argument for starting a serve with weight on rear foot as Charlie Pasarell taught in the book MASTERING YOUR TENNIS STROKES, or as Don Budge appears to do here (http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...DB1stSRear.mov), but one still wants to glean the consistency inherent in using a backward rock first, one could lift hands twice-- once with weight on front foot and once with weight on rear foot and in that way still enjoy the basic mechanics of the Budge.

                      One would have a new toy to work with, too. That's always fun.
                      In the classic paradigm, you could start on the back foot(Budge, Laver, Sampras) or rock back and forth (Smith, Gonzales, Krajicek), but you always rocked forward to get at least about 80% of your weight on the front foot by the time the ball left your hand in the toss.

                      I'm postulating the problem is not making that shift until after the ball is tossed.
                      However, I do consider the front-back-front rock to be the ideal.
                      Don

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Don I like that rock too--front back front. (Or some rock at least...) But you are not correct about the weight distribution at the release of the ball. It's the opposite.

                        A few players have the weight evenly distributed:

                        Fish:
                        http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...3%20500fps.mp4

                        But more have more weight still on the back foot at the release:

                        Sampras:
                        http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...as1stServe.mov

                        Serena:
                        http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/..._240fps_05.mp4

                        Fed:
                        http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...de1_250fps.mp4


                        Isner is an exception and probably has 90% of his weight on his front foot at the release but when the foot slides up he reverts to more weight on the back foot:

                        http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...1%20500fps.mp4
                        Last edited by johnyandell; 04-12-2016, 03:42 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by johnyandell View Post
                          Don I like that rock too--front back front. (Or some rock at least...) But you are not correct about the weight distribution at the release of the ball. It's the opposite.

                          A few players have the weight evenly distributed:

                          Fish:
                          http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...3%20500fps.mp4

                          But more have more weight still on the back foot at the release:

                          Sampras:
                          http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...as1stServe.mov

                          Serena:
                          http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/..._240fps_05.mp4

                          Fed:
                          http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...de1_250fps.mp4


                          Isner is an exception and probably has 90% of his weight on his front foot at the release but when the foot slides up he reverts to more weight on the back foot:

                          http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...1%20500fps.mp4
                          Sorry, but I have to disagree about Sampras. You have to look at the side view. His center of gravity is well forward at release of the ball

                          http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...stSAdSide1.mov

                          In any case, even for Federer, although his weight is clearly further back, there is a link between the toss and that weight shift. There's a clear link with Serena as well:

                          http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...DeuceSide1.mov

                          Some of the players toss the ball and then initiate the real weight shift after the ball has left their hand. Jack Sock is a good example of this kind of motion. He makes very little motion forward until he has fully extended the left hand and certainly until well after he has released the ball. In the past there was always a very clear link between the rock forward and the toss of the ball. That's the point I continue to try to make. And I do understand that is now the exception partly because so much emphasis has been placed on "leg thrust". I think it is misplaced emphasis and it is costing players a lot of consistency and accuracy. Guys 6' 5" tall with good motions getting excited about making 60% first serves. I'm not impressed!

                          Unfortunately, I have no scientific studies or even just a biomechanical breakdown I can point to; it is just my gut feeling. I don't know what the numbers were when I was playing, but I'm pretty sure I wasn't excited about getting 3/5 or even 4/6 first serves in even if they were probably barely over 100 mph. If I hit more than two df's in a match, that was a lot. We swung as hard as we could at second serves and went to the net most of the time on second serves. Of course you couldn't do that today, but the level of consistency and accuracy on serves was so much better. I hate to sound like Oscar Robertson or Scottie Pippen talking about Steph Curry, but basic serve technique definitely changed in the 80's as players reached for more and more power while sacrificing consistency and accuracy and deception. Certainly, there are still classic motions around (Fritz, Krajicek, Isner, Janowicz).

                          But no, that is not the prevalent motion in today's pro game.

                          don

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            OK, so first, I thought Stotty was talking about weight transfer into the court during phase 2 of the serve (maybe that's what you were talking about?)

                            Anyway, the discussion has moved on to what I would call weight shift, during phase 1 of the serve, and a detailed interesting discussion it has been.

                            I imagine players are delaying the weight shift, to try and use it to build more momentum before the explosive phase 2, and perhaps as don said, that might be sacrificing a bit of consistency.

                            As you know, I like phase 1 to be smooth and deliberate, and would agree that releasing the ball out of sync with the weight shift forwards would take away from the smoothness of that set-up phase. Perhaps, ideally, the weight shift forwards would be starting at the same time the tossing arm starts it move upwards (so by the time the ball was released, the weight shift would be near completion). I think that would promote rhythm very nicely, but it's not what we're seeing in most of the modern day examples.

                            I'm also not sure how much importance this holds, but sometimes little things like this can make a big difference, and I wouldn't be surprised if don's gut feeling was right. I agree it would need some biomechanical study.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Don,
                              Clearly we are seeing different things. To my eye none of
                              those guys has 80% of the weight on the front foot at the release--they front toe is still in the air for Pete! And neither does Krajicek:

                              http://www.tennisplayer.net/members/...LevelSide2.mov


                              The weight is going to come forward it's a question of when and what that may or may not mean.

                              There is some study of this by Ben Kibler based on some 3D work that argues the shoulder over shoulder is increased by keeping the weight on the back foot and that this is the major difference between the men and women.
                              Last edited by johnyandell; 04-13-2016, 08:07 AM.

                              Comment

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