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The Serve: Twist Versus Forward Rotation

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  • #16
    Originally posted by seano View Post
    Wasn't there a rule previously on the serve, that the back foot had to land first in the court after contact? Which would make sense about the twist rotation. Not sure when the rule changed.
    Yes, but there could be more going on here than a rule change. Another option for anyone. And for me a better option than a hoption on a knee replacement.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by seano View Post
      Wasn't there a rule previously on the serve, that the back foot had to land first in the court after contact? Which would make sense about the twist rotation. Not sure when the rule changed.
      The rule was that one foot had to keep in touch with the ground. The front foot. You crossed over with the back foot to get to the net. Rule change, I believe in 1960, when you were then allowed to jump.
      Regards, Phil

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      • #18
        Plenty of twisting seems to be going on here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DkxpHHnjdA

        Keeping your front on the ground back then simply must have impaired the driving upwards element.
        Stotty

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        • #19
          Originally posted by stotty View Post
          Plenty of twisting seems to be going on here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7DkxpHHnjdA

          Keeping your front on the ground back then simply must have impaired the driving upwards element.
          Nice counter to what I am saying. But he is so bent over, so hugely arched into leftward lean, that I wonder if his twist (I agree that is what it is) isn't enough to compensate? It's freakish and has to go up! Oh well, it's just a theory. If I were to try that I would lose three more vertebrae.
          Last edited by bottle; 09-21-2018, 01:18 PM.

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          • #20
            An Anti-Hoption Screed-- Bring Back Taylor Dent

            Originally posted by bottle View Post
            Same Vertical Rotation Despite Old-Fashioned Footwork (Which is Extremely Good for Getting One to the Net)

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


            But I don't see Jack Kramer, in this next video, driving off of rear foot. He rather just skates it up in the air to start the tumble.

            https://www.tennisplayer.net/members...ServeFront.mov
            I play with old guys so passionate that when one rips something in his shoulder, he plays with the other hand. So sympathetic, that when one guy starts to play with his other hand, a second guy does the same thing just to give the first guy some company and support.

            Serving in the Jack Kramer, Pancho Gonzalez or Don Budge mode for a similar reason of health is small potatoes compared to playing tennis with one's opposite arm.

            Quite apart from all that, it produces a better net rush. Look at how far in Kramer is when he hits his first volley. (But note who the other player is-- the guy about to hit a second backhand. He liked to hit a first short angle slow chop off a high bouncing serve to his backhand, but maybe he didn't do that here--I don't know.)

            Am I implying that the almost universal modern hoptioners are overly set in their way? Of course. What's the fun in being an old dude if I can't do that?

            Note: The second video here shows what to do when you don't want to go into net-- left heel lowers to court.
            Last edited by bottle; 09-22-2018, 06:00 AM.

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            • #21
              Hero Worship and Mode Identification are not the same Thing

              When I was in eighth or ninth grade, I played against Steve Crampton of Middletown, Connecticut, a player with a Jack Kramer serve.

              Steve's serve carried some driving topspin that bounded very high every time he hit it. Neither David Peoples the Oakland script writer nor I could do much with that serve.

              We all three were together our freshman and maybe sophomore year at Middletown High School. Our fathers worked for Wesleyan University. David went to Choate, Steve to St. George's Prep, I to Hotchkiss.

              Despite plagiarizing in the St. George's literary magazine my story "The Dragon and the Candy Fag," Steve played high on that Rhode Island prep school's tennis team.

              Seems strange in my own efforts to be coming around to Steve's and Jack Kramer's mode of serving a tennis ball.

              Just tried it for the first time despite the therapy sessions I am about to undergo for trouble in my sacroiliac.

              Great ease is possible in the way this serve can be delivered.

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

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

              Steve stole my story. I'll steal his serve.
              Last edited by bottle; 09-22-2018, 04:46 AM.

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              • #22
                From a Design Perspective: One Could be Aware of the Connectedness of Elbow and Shoulders Line without Realizing the Extent of Loose Motion from the Elbow Joint both Long Before and Long After the Hitting Zone.

                I would like to apply this observation to the serves of Jack Kramer and Ellsworth Vines but am only examining the available films of Kramer right now.

                Despite the prevalence of the oarsman's serve today-- so called by me because of the huge contribution from both legs-- there is an older way of serving that still may be effective and useful.

                Am I the first person to think this? Of course not.

                What I may offer however is a fondness for and belief in circling back to old tennis subjects again and again.

                Note: The right foot lifts while going forward without turning for a short way. This indicates a lack of "twist" as defined for this discussion. It further indicates that the shoulders have started their cartwheel or somersault or rise-and-tumble even before that foot leaves the ground. The vertical rotation thus begins before the foot lifts and continues far beyond contact. Also contributing huge push is jackknifing at the hips. Hips press slightly backward as shoulders press substantially forward. Jackknifing by Jack. Jack and Jill went up a hill. So did ta and ha.
                Last edited by bottle; 09-22-2018, 06:42 AM.

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                • #23
                  The least talked about of the 3 trunk movements is the Trunk extension and flexion, which is the jackknifing you are referring to. The flexion begins before contact and continues to after contact. If you watch Federer, he even brings his knees up some during trunk flexion.
                  Last edited by seano; 09-22-2018, 06:31 AM.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by seano View Post
                    The least talked about of the 3 trunk movements is the Trunk extension and flexion, which is the jackknifing you are referring to. The flexion begins before contact and continues to after contact. If you watch Federer, he even brings his knees up some during trunk flexion.
                    I know. It's amazing. Like a jetplane retracting its landing gear.

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                    • #25
                      Oh Boy. Now I Get to Possibly Reverse Myself.

                      And thus make myself seem like a silly person. Like someone who has loved John McEnroe all his life but now hates him for thinking that a referee should cool it and not mess up a U.S. Open final.

                      If cartwheel starts before foot lifts in a Jack Kramer serve, it can start with pressure from quads and other muscles in both legs even though left leg will never leave the court.

                      Can, I say. But that isn't what happens in this clip: https://www.tennisplayer.net/members...ServeFront.mov

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                      • #26
                        Hi All:

                        gzhpcu - glad my video potentially helped your serve. The video you posted describes a cartwheel very different from my definition. I'm describing a lateral rotation of the entire torso around a forward axis - the server in the video is simply tilting his shoulders (torso remains upright) - very different than a torso rotation and not a "cartwheel" in my world.

                        For bottle and others on older versions of the twist oriented serve - Certainly respectable serves can be hit with the twist based mechanics and to an extent overheads are still hit that way (not having the time and/or static conditions to set up the full forward rotation). It requires a different contact point and segment orientation to allow the twist to help the arm segments.

                        My point is that much "bigger" serve potential is available from the forward rotation oriented mechanics and I've seen that is what big servers tend to utilize. This comes with a cost however in that it is very dynamic requiring a lot of energy and force output. For many (including myself in my decrepit state) the twist oriented approach, or a hybrid, is a much more reasonable alternative.

                        The video stotty posted is interesting in that it represents a hybrid - the left leaning torso (also evident in the forward rotation version) optimizes the upper torso twist (around the tilted torso axis) such that it aids the arm segments more vertically. The difference from the forward version is that twist is generated from a twist influence from the ground and lower body whereas in the forward version the upper torso twist is derived from the forward angular momentum - big difference.

                        For seano and regarding trunk flexion - There is not much discussion about this (from me anyway) because on a well executed forward oriented serve this motion of the torso is a flaw - a major flaw at the extreme. Flexion will be evident only if not enough forward angular momentum is generated by pushing on the ground - in this case the trunk flexion is one last ditched effort to get the upper torso moving forward. But... this has a negative influence on the progression of the arm segments and interferes with the upper torso twist influence on arm progression - bad thing.

                        Based on this hopefully it is clear that should one NOT have adequate forward rotation of the entire body by design (twist based or forward based around a diagonal axis like Fed) some trunk flexion may required to compensate. That is why the serve is so fascinating to me, there are so many variables packed into a very short period and it is interesting to see the variety of solutions individual players build or acquire.

                        I'm hoping some of these things will be explained more in upcoming videos - don't remember so I'll find out with everyone else. Interesting points by all and a very good discussion - thanks.

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                        • #27
                          This is one guy who will chew on this. Fun.

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                          • #28
                            Brian, is this relevant? From Stanley Plaegenhoefs "Fundamentals of Tennis".
                            Is the “juttung buttocks” a sign for what you meant?
                            Last edited by gzhpcu; 09-23-2018, 10:34 PM.
                            Regards, Phil

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                            • #29
                              Brian - The trunk flexion tidbit is fascinating and contrary to several videos I have seen from "so called" ATP/WTA tour coaches. They stress the importance of the trunk flexion. Very thankful to have your insight and can't wait for the upcoming months for more on the serve. The videos and your correspondence are invaluable, thank you again.

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                              • #30
                                Brian - To help me further understand why "jackknifing" of the trunk (flexion) is not ideal, could you please give me a practical explanation using Roger Federer as an example? Roger's serve is widely considered one of the best on tour and Tennisplayer has video of him still raising up even after contact, yet he does "jackknife" to some degree. What can Roger do differently so he doesn't "jackknife" yet makes his serve even better? Thanks once again for your input.

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