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  • Serving Rhythm and Serving Stance

    Let's get your thoughts on Nick Wheatley's latest article, "Serving Rhythm and Serving Stance"

  • #2
    Nice article. Always interesting with the debate between pinpoint and platform. Having seen and read enough on this site, my opinion is shifting and much more open minded to the platform perhaps being more conducive to many of the key elements to great serving. I can hit with both but for my own style and natural habits, I'll stick with my pinpoint.

    https://vimeo.com/173408500

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by klacr View Post
      Nice article. Always interesting with the debate between pinpoint and platform. Having seen and read enough on this site, my opinion is shifting and much more open minded to the platform perhaps being more conducive to many of the key elements to great serving. I can hit with both but for my own style and natural habits, I'll stick with my pinpoint.

      https://vimeo.com/173408500

      Kyle LaCroix USPTA
      Boca Raton
      One thing I wish the article had addressed more is a server like Monfil's who pretty much starts in a pinpoint and stays there.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by klacr View Post
        Nice article. Always interesting with the debate between pinpoint and platform. Having seen and read enough on this site, my opinion is shifting and much more open minded to the platform perhaps being more conducive to many of the key elements to great serving. I can hit with both but for my own style and natural habits, I'll stick with my pinpoint.

        https://vimeo.com/173408500

        Kyle LaCroix USPTA
        Boca Raton
        looks like you are even hitting the ball still on the rise. Just like Tanner... Will soon see it live...
        Regards, Phil

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by gzhpcu View Post
          looks like you are even hitting the ball still on the rise. Just like Tanner... Will soon see it live...
          If it ain't broke don't fix it.

          Kyle LaCroix USPTA
          Boca Raton

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by gzhpcu View Post
            looks like you are even hitting the ball still on the rise. Just like Tanner... Will soon see it live...
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwT5n9E6qjQ

            I have always been somewhat infatuated with the Tanner serve. I am not usually much of fan of the youtube instruction, but this piece I kinda like. It is at the least thought provoking about serve rhythm.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by stroke View Post
              One thing I wish the article had addressed more is a server like Monfil's who pretty much starts in a pinpoint and stays there.
              In my book, Monfils is a platform server, because the back foot doesn't move through phase 1. I think he modeled his serve from Roddick, but in any case, the same 1-2 rhythm principles apply. The end of part 1 sees the knee bend complete and ready to fire, with the tossing arm extended. Monfils completes phase 1 quicker than most, but the explosive phase 2 will last the same very short amount of time as we see pretty much across the board at pro level.

              Despite Monfils being a bit quicker through phase 1, when you watch him in real time, the two phases are clear, and for me phase 1 still maintains the smooth and deliberate qualities associated with 1-2 rhythm.

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

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by stroke View Post
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jwT5n9E6qjQ

                I have always been somewhat infatuated with the Tanner serve. I am not usually much of fan of the youtube instruction, but this piece I kinda like. It is at the least thought provoking about serve rhythm.
                I do like Simon and Alex, fellow Brits trying to make a positive impact on YouTube, but I've found they often mis-interpret what's going on when they analyse pro strokes, and that's the same here.

                Kyrgios' racket slows right down soon after the start of the motion when the racket is still very low, yet when Simon tries to imitate what Kyrgios does, his racket goes straight up to trophy, and depsite his claims of building momentum to make more power, you can clearly see in his Kyrgios attempt, his racket also slows down in trophy before going into phase 2, so if he did indeed get any extra power, it certainly wasn't coming from racket momentum.

                As for Kyrgios, that slowing down of the racket in phase 1 is fitting in with the smooth and deliberate nature of 1-2 rhythm. His racket doesn't pause in the trophy, and does appear to be building momentum from just before trophy position, but it's minimal, and the majority of racket acceleration will still be occurring during phase 2, in line with the studies on this site.

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZ7hwsx1MmU

                If you pause Kyrgios at the completion of the knee bend, when he is about to fire the legs, you'll see the tossing arm stretched, and actually the racket position very close to trophy position, and quite 'normal'. If you watch in real time, I think the 1-2 rhythm is clear too, despite the quick motion.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Nick, Thanks so much for your response on Monfil's and that piece on the Kyrgios serve. Do you think there is a benefit to the step up/move to the pinpoint vs someone like Monfil's who just starts in the very narrow platform or pinpoint stance, and stays there?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by stroke View Post
                    Nick, Thanks so much for your response on Monfil's and that piece on the Kyrgios serve. Do you think there is a benefit to the step up/move to the pinpoint vs someone like Monfil's who just starts in the very narrow platform or pinpoint stance, and stays there?
                    It's an interesting question. I love the stability of the platform stance, but when you have it Monfils style, it's not quite the same.

                    I think the main restriction with Monfils is that he can't use a classic rocking motion because he has nothing to rock back onto, with his feet so close together. I'd imagine that's more difficult to feel and generate rhythm from, but then the simplicity of it might be a benefit once you've mastered it.

                    Lower level players might find pinpoint easier to master compared to Monfils' very narrow platform, so that could be the biggest benefit, being able to rock back, and then forwards into the serve.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think the narrow-base-servers are almost a category separate from pinpoint and platform. As Doug Eng once mentioned, very abbreviated service motions are associated with narrow stances and in fact very abbreviated motions won't work well off a wide base. It applies the other way round too; a narrow base and a full classic swing don't work well together either. I think Doug called these "associated techniques".

                      I think servers with very abbreviated motions don't benefit as much other servers in terms of rhythm, chiefly because the ability to rock and sway gets sacrificed. I doubt the load gets spread as even across the kinetic chain either, and I know there is some evidence that abbreviated servers get injured out of the game in the longer term. I think Roger spreads the load over the kinetic chain better than any other player in the game today.
                      Stotty

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Serving Rhythm and Serving Stances

                        Another great article from which players and coaches can learn.

                        Personally I like the serving styles of Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, and Justine Henin. They all use platform stance, good knees bend, excellent upper body coil, and aggressive leg drive to proper the hitting shoulder forward-upwards. There are others who use pinpoint stance; it's all how you feel comfortable. A minor but important detail is the tossing arm which stays extended through contact. The club players bring their tossing arms down too early causing upper body to pull the serve down in the net.

                        Players and coaches may read this article, view the videos, and learn from these great top players.


                        Mahboob Khan
                        High Performance Tennis Coach
                        Islamabad, Pakistan

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Pete Sampras: Hybrid stance?

                          Hi Everyone,

                          I liked this discussion a lot. I used the pinpoint for the first fifteen years I played and then the platform ever since. But I have struggled to develop a good rhythm since I switched. I can even see in some videos that I will move my back foot up on my own before I start my motion and have a somewhat narrow platform. I looked at Sampras and to me he seems to drag his foot forward and ends up with both toes together just before he lifts off the ground. At this point his two toes are much closer together than they are when he starts his motion. Federer also brings them together but in the air. So I am wondering if anyone has seen this as well. The two feet come closer together even in the platform. But they do so either in the air or right before they leave the ground. In this view, all stances are doing the same thing but just at slightly different points in time.

                          Or did I just forget to drink my green tea this morning?

                          Arturo

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by makhan67 View Post
                            Another great article from which players and coaches can learn.

                            Personally I like the serving styles of Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, and Justine Henin. They all use platform stance, good knees bend, excellent upper body coil, and aggressive leg drive to proper the hitting shoulder forward-upwards. There are others who use pinpoint stance; it's all how you feel comfortable. A minor but important detail is the tossing arm which stays extended through contact. The club players bring their tossing arms down too early causing upper body to pull the serve down in the net.

                            Players and coaches may read this article, view the videos, and learn from these great top players.


                            Mahboob Khan
                            High Performance Tennis Coach
                            Islamabad, Pakistan
                            Thanks Mahboob for the comments, and yes I agree that tossing arm comes down too early with many players at lower levels. Hopefully this article and all the videos can help as a guide towards keeping that tossing arm stretched until the completion of the set-up, and the moment when the legs start to fire upwards.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by arturohernandez View Post
                              Hi Everyone,

                              I liked this discussion a lot. I used the pinpoint for the first fifteen years I played and then the platform ever since. But I have struggled to develop a good rhythm since I switched. I can even see in some videos that I will move my back foot up on my own before I start my motion and have a somewhat narrow platform. I looked at Sampras and to me he seems to drag his foot forward and ends up with both toes together just before he lifts off the ground. At this point his two toes are much closer together than they are when he starts his motion. Federer also brings them together but in the air. So I am wondering if anyone has seen this as well. The two feet come closer together even in the platform. But they do so either in the air or right before they leave the ground. In this view, all stances are doing the same thing but just at slightly different points in time.

                              Or did I just forget to drink my green tea this morning?

                              Arturo
                              Hi Arturo,

                              Interesting observations, and hopefully others will throw in some opinions too.

                              For me, Sampras' back foot has cleared the ground when it starts moving up towards the front, albeit only marginally. I think this is simply happening because of natural momentum for the back leg to move towards the body once it's free from contact with the ground, seeing the body is propelling upwards and forwards. So maybe the pinpoint stance is getting this natural movement out of the way during part 1 of the serve.

                              I guess the main difference is that pinpoint, the movement of the back leg is a deliberate action during phase 1, whereas with the platform servers, the movement of the back leg is an effect of the explosive phase 2, and not a deliberate action.

                              Raonic tends to hold his back leg down longer than other platform servers, so this could also be a factor. The time the back leg drives upwards varies between platform servers, some are earlier than others, so perhaps the ones who lift the back leg earlier will more likely see that leg join the other as it has more time to do so. Raonic's back leg does go forwards after lift off, doesn't quite reach the front leg, before kicking back. Again, all this is happening as an effect of the explosive hitting phase of the serve.

                              Comment

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