Reply To: My Serve

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Hey Herman how are you? I really appreciate your last review and suggestions. Unfortunately I haven’t been able to play any actual tennis recently (weather, courts, work, travel issues). But I did work on those high/low elbow exercises as well as swing no racquet, on edge, and grip drills. Mainly this had to be indoors so I could rarely even swing fully with a racquet.

I am sending you videos from the one time I could get outside to try serving, although this wasn’t on a court so I don’t know what the results would have been. I was thinking through my serve and I think that I start my tossing arm too late which is one reason I have that ugly double pause in my take back. I am trying to start it earlier and do see some improvements. I think my left shoulder is lower when I release the ball now. Also it seems like I’m getting a bit closer to a full motion (butt of racquet facing almost 90 degrees up when I start my swing). But when I look at my serve with and without an actual ball toss it still look so much better without. The takeback is much smoother and I get an even fuller/looser swing overall. If you compare the two videos I think you will see that. I think this might still be a timing thing and that if I start my toss even earlier maybe I’ll lose that pause in my takeback all together and have overall a more smooth and complete swing. Not sure what you think about that. I’m not at all aware of the pause in my takeback and I’m having trouble breaking that habit. I

I am not sure if any of this makes sense to you. I have been told that my ball toss is never high enough and think that may be why I started tossing so late (to make sure I can catch up to the ball and hit it with a straight arm). It took me a long time to develop a ball toss that was relatively predictable, and whenever I try to toss it higher it again becomes very erratic. But maybe the height of my ball toss is fine and I should just focus on starting it early and swinging smoothly; that pause in my takeback seems to guarantee that I won’t be loose enough to let the racquet head fall all the way down and the follow through to be complete. I am pretty sure the relaxed swing on my no ball swing is way faster than that of my actual serve.

In terms of the grip, you are right that I start with a continental grip, but often (not always) switch to more of a forehand grip mid serve. For some reason sometimes it feels like I am going to shank the ball if I don’t change grips. During my practice session I did focus on keeping my racquet on edge for as long as possible and I never shanked it. I would be interested in whether you think I keep my racquet on edge long enough and my grip continental in this video.

Hopefully I’ll have the chance to practice more on an actual tennis court next week and will let you know how it goes. In the meantime any comments/suggestions are much appreciated.



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