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The Serve: The Rotations in the Upward Swing

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  • johnyandell
    started a topic The Serve: The Rotations in the Upward Swing

    The Serve: The Rotations in the Upward Swing

    Let's discuss Brian Gordon's article on "The Serve: The Rotations in the Upward Swing"

  • bottle
    replied
    Olimpia only got to the Olympic Trials. But I am struck by this similarity between crew coaching and tennis coaching: That often the when something is said is just as important as what. What an incredible article. I'm ready now to re-read the next three, too.

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  • stotty
    replied
    Originally posted by Olimpia View Post
    Other questions that keep getting re-opened: Toss and windup are from what to what? And "backswing" in more interesting way that Brian seems to define is from what to what? And the end of my first paragraph here is definitely another question about from what to what.
    If you work your way through Brian Gordon's articles on the serve in the Biomechanics section you will have a better idea of 'what to what'. Brian splits the serve up into four phases: wind up, backswing, upward swing, and follow through. I exclusively use this kind of way of breaking the serve down in my day to day coaching.

    Have a read. It's great stuff. Here is one of the articles explaining the four phases:

    https://www.tennisplayer.net/members...e_wind_up.html

    Leave a comment:


  • Olimpia
    replied
    Other questions that keep getting re-opened: Toss and windup are from what to what? And "backswing" in more interesting way that Brian seems to define is from what to what? And the end of my first paragraph here is definitely another question about from what to what.

    Leave a comment:


  • bottle
    replied
    Originally posted by BrianGordon View Post
    Bottle - Not sure I understand the question - if you mean the common teaching cue to brake the torso rotation in order to accelerate the arm, that has been shown to be not the way it works.The left arm is helpful in initiating the cartwheel at which point it is tucked to enhance the upper torso twist derived from the forward angular momentum.
    Thank you, Brian, for this perfect answer. Any ready made idea in tennis is apt to carry residual clout for us who haven't done the science, even when we think we ought to know better after a lot of crude trial and error.
    Last edited by bottle; 11-14-2018, 02:28 PM.

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  • BrianGordon
    replied
    Bottle - Not sure I understand the question - if you mean the common teaching cue to brake the torso rotation in order to accelerate the arm, that has been shown to be not the way it works.The left arm is helpful in initiating the cartwheel at which point it is tucked to enhance the upper torso twist derived from the forward angular momentum.

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  • bottle
    replied
    Yes, I thought of that. I can anticipate most of the rejoinders.

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  • bottle
    replied
    Maybe right leg to initiate, left leg to brake, i.e., provide "a firm left side?"

    Am looking for best way to stop or slow the vertical bod rotation, to make the arm shoot fastest before long bod rotation takes over again.

    Or maybe one shouldn't consciously do that?

    What is the most practical way to simplify?

    Anyone?
    Last edited by bottle; 11-06-2018, 02:49 AM.

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  • bottle
    replied
    Just lost serve a couple of times. I did have a broken string but won't give that as my excuse.

    Am I wrong about braking end over end rotation in the longitudinally oriented serves you advise? If so, I won't mind being wrong-- I'm far more interested in having a good serve than a correct supposition-- and I will assign to my left arm the sole function of orienting me properly for my serve.

    But the other theory I've heard is that left arm drop is essential initiation of right arm throw.

    What do you think, please, Brian?

    Leave a comment:


  • bottle
    replied
    It does, Brian. And moves my personal speculation toward something else-- confident, decisive action-- so thank you very much.

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  • BrianGordon
    replied
    Hi Bottle - a lot of questions/thoughts here.

    Yes, Fed is palm down I believe and this is an option - just not what I choose to teach - too awkward for most of my players. He is also not a true hesitation server.

    The rest of your post seems to relate to how one defines the backswing (particularly the end relevant to the last video) and as you note I define it literally (and computationally) when the tip of the racquet reaches it's lowest point. Others define it later at maximum external rotation (the pro drop I believe) - to me that does not make sense as the racquet is moving up at that time. Therefore I consider the period between the low point and maximum external rotation to be part of the "up"ward swing.

    Given my definition the abduction/adduction occurs in the early part of the upward swing and at least seven rotations occur rom the low point to contact.

    Hope that answers your questions - BG

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  • bottle
    replied
    Roger Federer keeps palm down too-- for a long time-- but then opens it out up top and to his left, no? Also, shouldn't one be going forward as one tosses? Other ideas filling my head right now for better or worse have to do with Yandell on abduction: "Actually," John wrote, "this motion starts before at the low point of the swing but continues as the racket moves through the drop and starts upward to contact."

    Other questions that keep getting re-opened: Toss and windup are from what to what? And "backswing" in the interesting way that Brian seems to define is from what to what? And the end of my first paragraph here is definitely another question about from what to what.

    Does the entire upward rotations one tenth of a second "ripple" really contain seven elements or more like four or five? Depends on where one thinks the backswing ends, no?
    Last edited by bottle; 10-24-2018, 10:12 AM.

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  • gzhpcu
    replied
    Thank you Brian .

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  • BrianGordon
    replied
    Hi Phil -

    Over the years I've grown fond of the phrase that "the windup can't help you but it can certainly hurt you". To me the transition from windup to backswing looks, for lack of a better term, cumbersome due to the technical choices in your windup. Based on this transition I think it will very difficult to attain the racquet drop position you desire on court.The coming videos should give you some ideas of things you can try. If not, we can readdress this post. As I tell my players often - keep fighting.

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  • gzhpcu
    replied
    Brian, my problem (forgetting the others... )is my racket drop. Connected is the fact that my racket does not come up towards the ball on edge. Here is a slow motion video of it yesterday. If you have any suggestion as to how to correct the arm motion up to impact, I would greatly appreciate it. I have been doing swings in front of the mirror and it looks fine. The moment I am on court, muscle memory takes over...
    Last edited by gzhpcu; 10-19-2018, 09:21 AM.

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