View Full Version : The motor mower serve

Silver smasher
10-11-2019, 12:08 PM
As a new but mature player I have learned a number of different serves and now use a range of pendulum, hook and backhand serves. However, my most successful surprise serve I developed myself when I first started. Now I play in local league matches and often win easy points using this serve but I cannot remember seeing it mentioned in any video or training session.

When using backhand I stand near the centre and usually use a variety of short back or back/side spins drawing my opponent in. I then use my Motor Mower serve as follows. 1) stand near the centre line with my left foot slightly back (for a RH player) with my bat near my left shoulder ready for a strong backspin. 2) I throw the ball up straight to eye level and drop my bat to above and left of my left knee. 3) pull my bat upwards towards my right shoulder as hard as possible like pulling a cord to start a petrol motor mower. 4) to add real power cock the hand back and bring forward when hitting the ball. 5) aim straight down the centre at the opponent- they have little time to prepare and, even if they realise it is top spin they find it difficult to use a soft hand and correctly angled bat.

This serve has surprised several higher ranking players and, even if they keep it on the table, it will be an easy put away. Rarely is it hit back with force or good direction. The combination of heavy topspin and sidespin straight at the body seems to be really effective. Am I being stupid or have I invented a new serve?

10-11-2019, 12:29 PM
Make a short video, in real time ok, without demo ok.

10-11-2019, 12:44 PM
Post a video

10-11-2019, 01:39 PM
Not being a visual guy (and considering any picture obviously capable of obfuscating many clearly written words), I think I perfectly understand that serve. Early '80s, BH serves were the bread&butter of everyday TT where I played, both Bengtsson-style short as well as the long top-side OP describes.

I still serve like that, but sparsely. I think the element of surprise is important.

10-11-2019, 02:25 PM
I have just read the title and hoped to find a video here. Still laughing about the name of the serve :D

10-11-2019, 03:12 PM

I see the title, I see a wall of text, I ignore. Post a video.

10-11-2019, 04:24 PM

I see the title, I see a wall of text, I ignore. Post a video.

I'm just the opposite. I see a meaningless pic, with no sensible text, and ignore. :-)

10-11-2019, 04:25 PM
I'm just the opposite. I see a meaningless pic, with no sensible text, and ignore. :-)

That isn't the opposite. That's plain dumb and I'd ignore as well.

All people need is a meaningful title, and if it is too descriptive, post a picture or a video. It isn't so hard to do is it?

10-11-2019, 04:42 PM
It pretty much sounds like the dream serve to receive with LP. I can visualise the seriously funky flight path of the ball clearly.

10-11-2019, 06:02 PM
Goals, description of method and how to disguise the serve are important aspects of selling it.

Still, I agree with many of the other posters, the description without a decent vid isn't gunna get many people to "get it".

I understand Yoass right side brain approach to it, TT has many paths. Unfortunately, by neuron connection would be greatly helped by seeing it with the proper effective description of how/when/why, etc...

Silver smasher
10-11-2019, 06:24 PM
It pretty much sounds like the dream serve to receive with LP. I can visualise the seriously funky flight path of the ball clearly.

True- but what if if I send the ball slightly to the side of your crossover point so you have to use your normal rubber?

As regards the numerous comments above I did not realise not including a video would cause so much negativity. I will try to put something on but I am just a normal player-not a video star.

10-11-2019, 06:52 PM

You would be surprised how well an LP player can cover the table on serve with just one step.

No one needs to be a star to post a vid, in this situation, it would be a lot more effective to get across what you are trying to make understood. Without the vid, players are relying on imagination.


10-11-2019, 07:04 PM
Agree. I’ll cover the entire table with my BH if I’ve eaten to many chocolates prior to the match.

10-11-2019, 08:25 PM
I knew someone who uses the serve you are describing and yes, it was tough because you are not used to seeing anything much like it and it would arrive in some unexpected places. I kind of like the name of the serve.

10-12-2019, 01:59 AM
It is true video would help. But it is also true that I can see the serve anyway. :)

In a lesson I did a long time ago with Michael Landers, we played a match and, at one point, I did just the serve described. As I was setting up, Michael started shaking his head and smiling. Then he moved and ripped the nastiest BH rocket from the FH side I have ever seen.

It worked for me on lots of guys my level and up to 2-3 levels higher. But Mike made it look like road kill. :)

One thing I have been told as to why top players only use BH serves very rarely these days is that, the whole time, your racket is visible to your opponent because it is in front of you. In a FH serve, during your backswing, the racket is behind your body so it means the opponent only has the amount of time after the racket comes out from behind you to have an idea what angle your racket is at. And, often, high level players leave their racket behind their body right till the moment before contact.

The easier it is to read the spin, the easier it is to find effective ways to return a serve.

But if the serve works for you to get a few easy points, use it. Just don't use it too often on a player who is decently higher level than you. Once they figure out the serve, that will be that. And it isn't too hard to figure out unless you have serve variations that are dead and heavy backspin that are the same depth and look the same. Disguise on serves is more important than the amount of spin once you get to a certain level. :)

10-13-2019, 01:43 AM
Danny Seemiller still uses a BH serve pretty effectively. And of course there is that very strange thing Dima does.

10-13-2019, 08:32 AM
the title of the thread should be guess that serve lolz...

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10-13-2019, 01:38 PM
Quadri serves a lot of backhand serves too. It is a Nigerian tradition.