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The Serve: Twist Versus Forward Rotation

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  • bottle
    replied
    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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  • bottle
    replied
    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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  • seano
    replied
    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, 07:31 AM.

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  • bottle
    replied
    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, 07:42 AM.

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  • bottle
    replied
    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, 05:46 AM.

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  • bottle
    replied
    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, 07:00 AM.

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  • bottle
    replied
    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, 02:18 PM.

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  • stotty
    replied
    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.

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  • gzhpcu
    replied
    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.

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  • bottle
    replied
    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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  • seano
    replied
    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.
    Last edited by seano; 09-21-2018, 08:37 AM.

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  • bottle
    replied
    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
    Last edited by bottle; 09-21-2018, 01:34 AM.

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  • gzhpcu
    replied
    Brian, I found this old Tennisone video, which also saya what you say, shoulder cartwheeling.

    Your article really opened my eyes, because I have lately had problems with my serve due to too much body rotation vs shoulde over shoulder cartwheeling. I noticed how a better tossing technique (getting tossing arm way up and holding it uo) helped me get the shouder over shoulder movement and a better, more consistent serve.

    Thanks again for your great article!


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  • BrianGordon
    replied
    Thanks to all for the great input. Makes me wonder why I spent weeks writing the articles but in reality that process helped me organize a lot of the concepts in my own mind and improve the process of converting the information into coaching methods and progressions.

    The serve is often compared to other activities especially throwing. To me it is a hybrid between pitching and purely overhead motions like the javelin (thanks Norman) because it combines shoulder internal rotation (pitching) with overhead non-twisting motion of the shoulder and forward oriented torso rotation (javelin) and elbow extension along with all four directions of wrist rotation - fascinating really.

    I like the throwing up drill of arturohernandez and have done the same with balls and racquets although the latter can get a bit dangerous and expensive. I also believe that strengthening the core is very necessary (Norman) to the forward rotation transfer. It is a bit challenging as the muscular driven trunk motion is lateral (the cartwheel) so isolating the oblique groups is the key - I've used many medicine ball drills to work on this.

    Finally, the tilt back leading to the torso lateral rotation (around the forward axis) should (if done correctly) reduce the strain on the shoulder in elevating the arm in the upward swing compared to other approaches.

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  • doctorhl
    replied
    Originally posted by ten1050 View Post
    Hello Brian,

    Excellent video on the forward rotation of the body on the serve. The cartwheel or somersault rotation seems somewhat similar to what javelin throwers go through. Javelin throwers spend a good deal of time strengthening their abdominal muscles by throwing a medicine ball overhead using both hands. Do you believe this could help tennis players? Also, do you believe that by leaning the torso back and bringing it forward rapidly, a player can propel his arm and racket into the ball with minimal strain on the arm and shoulder? The player who seems to do this in a pronounced way is Stan Wawrinka.

    Respectfully,

    Norman Ashbrooke
    My best serving at one time seemed to put demands on my abs for trunk flexion with the somersault.That would fit in well with medicine ball throws for development. But then I got focused on twisting trunk rotation and started stressing out my shoulder.

    Leave a comment:

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