Power Serve - understanding the modern day biomechanics
The serve is the most dificult part of any tennis players game to master.
Like the modern day tennis forehand, modern day tennis serve has also evolved.
Today's modern serve involves using leg and torsional rotational power
We need to fully understand the KINETIC CHAIN if we want to achieve MAXIMUM power.
Up to today, there are still a lot of tennis coaches who emphasises the SNAPPING of the wrist at contact as a key component in power in serve.
That is essential but IMO the snapping or I would put it as PRONATION is the end- RESULT of the full kinetic chain.
To say that most of the power coming from the snapping is a totally wrong concept
These are the few elements I would add as KEY to delivering a correct KINETIC chain for SERVE
- Tossing AND Pointing
- Tossing Hand has to be straight all the way from the holding of ball , through its upward movement, to the point of release and after the release
- Tossed Ball should be felt as a release as the holding hand rises form bottom to top
- Release of ball should occur at mid point (or near to shoulder height) as tossing motion continues through after the RELEASE
- Toss hand should end with a STRAIGHT up pointing motion at the released ball
- Bending of legs
- Absolutely ESSENTIAL. Without bending, we will not have the SPRING effect to push up. When do we start bending is KEY.
- The bending of legs should follow NATURALLY in sync with pushing out of tossing arm from inner thigh out and up.
- Twisting and Leaning of Opposite Hip to hitting hand
- Absolutely ESSENTIAL. Without twisting, we would not have a Counter PIVOT point for EFFECTIVE torsional rotation
- As we bend our legs, we should also start adjusting our LEFT hip position.
- Get into a near off balance sitting position on LEFT leg with the twisting of hip and leaning over leg towards NET
- Action produces a strong PIVOT point AND tilted axis around which we are going to initiate a low to high circular throwing action (NOTE : There are abbreviated service motion where the tossing arms do not reach the inner thighs during the downward motion. In that case the bending of knee should coincide with the upward pointing of the tossing arm
- Arching of Torso
- NOT required if power generation is through legs and torsional rotation as per this method.
- Lauching of upward SWING
- Racket head has dropped below elbow and wrist and WITHOUT stopping launched into a upward CIRCULAR swing pattern pivoting around our twisted torso.
- This is where the KINETIC chain starts from the leg pushing up, hip twisting, shoulder turning, arm flinging and..
- Wrist pronation (snapping)
- At the end of the kinetic chain , wrist does a natural pronation b4 contacting the ball (middle of circular upward swing)
- Imagine if the wrist is NOT laid back but assume a normal position from the beginning of upward swing, the entire racket swing will follow a completely circular path. i.e. the pronation helps the racket to contact the ball in a more straight motion just b4 contact to just after contact
- Follow Through
- After contact racket arm follows through in a circular swing
Hope this helps.