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  1. NextLevel is offline
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    #1

    Any Service Advice for Me?

    I am trying to improve my forehand serves. I have only been seriously doing forehand pendulum and reverse pendulum serves for about a year and a half now. I think I finally have the right technique, but wanted to know if anyone had any suggestions. Thanks.



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    Cobra Kai TT Exponent - No mercy in this dojo, no matter your rating or the score. All spin, no power or footwork.

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    #2
    Great serves NextLevel ! , the only thing I could say is to vary the placement and the length of the serves in practice . Especially , practice half long and long serve that bounce on the white line

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    #3
    The spin is good enough and I can't see any big inefficiencies in the technique either.

    Only thing I can really comment is to add a feint movement, faking topspin for example, because it's quite obvious what spin is on the ball before the bounce on my side. Change the angle slightly, sometimes more sometimes less. Pull the racket slightly up instead of backwards when serving backspin. Push the racket down when serving no spin etc.

    It's not some magic trick, and it'll only really work on people who don't pay attention or if your motion and actual produced spin is very tricky, but it's better than giving up your serve spin entirely.

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    #4
    Nice serves! I don't know how good are your opponents but mine usually loop the longer balls (which doesn't bounce twice) so you could practice to keep short the pendulum serves (like in ghost serves). You are very good in hide before-touch movement, so try to do more varied spin serves!

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    #5
    Thanks, guys. I am varying between backspin and topspin in the video. Is it obvious?
    Last edited by NextLevel; 03-16-2016 at 08:41 PM.
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    Thanks, guys. I am varying between backspin and topspin in the video. Is it obvious?
    The ball's path and velocity after the bounce on your opponents side gives more information than your racket motion, so it's not that your racket motion is a terrible telegraphed move or anything. It's small and fast enough to not be a dead giveaway, and you DO perform feinting motions which have you second guessing.

    Although most of the time, the racket motion corresponds with what spin appears to be on the ball. Your serves are still good enough that you can't be any sure until the bounce and then you're a bit tight on time to respond to the ball accordingly.

    So what I said is not really a critical problem, because I don't think people at amateur level can be 100% sure of the spin before contact with their side.

    If you really want to screw some people up, serve as you do, but sometimes do a more exaggerated feint, to keep them on their toes even more.

    The quality of your serves are good, though. I see Brett's coaching has been of use.

    Also, your backspin serves are routinely higher than your topspin serves. Now, if you do that deliberately, you could trick a player into thinking you served backspin when you really served topspin.

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    Last edited by Archosaurus; 03-16-2016 at 11:14 PM.

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    #7
    Your serves are great, but you had the same problem as me before. Some of your serves seem to be a bit long. In addition, when you toss your ball, its not as high, like me. When serving, if you want to serve a short ball, normally you hit the ball when its higher in the air. If you want a longer serve, you contact the ball at a lower stage in the height when the ball is dropping.

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    #8
    Do you do more pendulum serves in games, or do you ever switch to backhand serves? For me when I do a pendulum(ish) serve, I start with my right foot behind me, toss the ball, and then turn my body and move my right foot forward at the same time as I make contact with the ball.

    This gets me in position right away so if my serve is returned quickly (which it often is since I do a lot of nothing ball serves when I'm feeling lazy), I can then be ready for their quick return. For backhand serves you're already in position, just need to get in a ready stance.

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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Shiro
    Your serves are great, but you had the same problem as me before. Some of your serves seem to be a bit long. In addition, when you toss your ball, its not as high, like me. When serving, if you want to serve a short ball, normally you hit the ball when its higher in the air. If you want a longer serve, you contact the ball at a lower stage in the height when the ball is dropping.
    Thanks. I am trying to serve short and fast and this makes the risk of going long a bit higher. I do have a high toss serve, but it is for my backspin/no spin combo - my pendulum and reverse pendulum tosses are not high. I try to make my first bounce and my contact height on my short and long serves as similar as possible. I do contact higher when trying to serve very short, but I don't do that here.

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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Shuki
    Do you do more pendulum serves in games, or do you ever switch to backhand serves? For me when I do a pendulum(ish) serve, I start with my right foot behind me, toss the ball, and then turn my body and move my right foot forward at the same time as I make contact with the ball.

    This gets me in position right away so if my serve is returned quickly (which it often is since I do a lot of nothing ball serves when I'm feeling lazy), I can then be ready for their quick return. For backhand serves you're already in position, just need to get in a ready stance.
    I serve more backhand and backspin - no spin. The forehand serves are more recent. Basically, I just look for a serve that my opponent is struggling with. The backhand serves I prefer for the reason you gave about recovery because I had no footwork and no forehand. Since I have the semblance of a forehand now, I have more balance.
    Cobra Kai TT Exponent - No mercy in this dojo, no matter your rating or the score. All spin, no power or footwork.

    "We don't rise to the level of our expectations, we fall to the level of our training" - Archilochus

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    #11
    Short servs don't have to be fast. If you serve a spiny short ball a lot of players' reaction a slow push. And the slow push on a spinny ball often ends in the net. And who can flick short spiny balls usually won't use a fast flick on a slow ball, and you can attack the weaker opening flick.

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    #12
    When I saw this thread, my first thought was to say "Look at my post in "solo Drills" thread... however, you are already at a level where you got this impact down pretty well. The drill I suggested will still be useful to help the tough even moar, but you require a more advanced level of tips.

    Should I get Carl, BOTH the Goon Squads, and the NSA spy phone recorder in the same room at the same time as long as it isn't a detention facility?

    For the public record and for TT froum memebrs who are new and haven't seen Next level over the past few years, next Level is not afraid to show a weakness and discover/uncover root causes in a pubic viewable manner and work on them. His Star trek captain's log of his approaches are a public record worthy of study and the attitude he uses could be useful to many adult TT learners.

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    #13
    Overall not bad but since you want advice i might as well be harsh.

    Normal pendulum:
    I'm not sure of your opponents' level but unfortunately this level of serving is not sufficient at my club. Your fast long serve is not bad but could be improved by making it faster. Try adding more forward momentum and speed using your waist as you mostly use your arm and wrist. Also aim to have the ball bounce near the edge of your table instead of the middle as the ball will kick and fly to your opponents side if you hit near the edge of your side.

    Your short serves could be improved by adding more spin. I personally find the spin slightly lacking and it seems to stay on the table due to a lack of forward momentum which makes it open for flicks. Thats why when you add a little bit more power, your shots goes to the middle and does not bounce twice (not a long serve which is excusable). Most of the spins are also quite pure (such as pure side or pure back with insignificant amount of other types of spin). This makes it easy to return serves so if you're doing top/side or back/side, try and balance the spins more as its more difficult to return the ball this way

    This is up to personal preference but I also think you serve too close to your body. Maybe thats why you dont have alot of power/speed and spin on your serves as your mind will subconciously withhold the full swing of your serve to avoid hitting your body. Its also probably why your blade angle is quite close (60-75 degrees maybe?). Having a more open (horizontal) racket angle will allow you to impart more spin with less forward momentum compared to your current technique. Thus your serves can be shorter yet more powerful and spinny at the same time. You can still impart sidespin with an open racket angle if you can brush and contact the ball well but this requires practice.

    Finally some your serves bounces quite high. I think this is because you take the ball quite high when you serve. Your body stance is also quite high. Most people and professionals will adopt a low stance (hunching/bending feet slightly) which makes it easier to contact the ball closer to net height without making a service error but this is not compulsory (Example: Samsonov). Hitting the ball closer to net height makes the ball bounce lower and harder to flick

    Reverse pendulum:
    This is very good. Only thing I can add is to make it less obvious that your going to perform a reverse pendulum. In your FH pendulum you add extra movements to confuse your opponent as to what serves your doing. Try actually implementing (if you haven't) the reverse pendulum into this to disguise your serve. Also try to aim for 2 bounce or 1 bounce. Usually when the ball bounces 3 or more times, there are strong indicators that it will be short so your opponent already instinctly eliminate certain things he should do when he attempts to receive it (such as looping if its going to be short). By having 2 or 1 bounce, your opponents will keep guessing which adds mental work load and increases the probability of them making a bad return.

    Conclusion
    Overall quite good. Your reverse pendulum is good but your fh pendulum requires some work. You're at the point where you just need to keep practicing to maximise the amount of spin/speed/ power while maintaining a low bounce and making it short/long. This requires finnese and is only obtainable trough practice.

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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by SilentRain
    Overall not bad but since you want advice i might as well be harsh.

    Normal pendulum:
    I'm not sure of your opponents' level but unfortunately this level of serving is not sufficient at my club. Your fast long serve is not bad but could be improved by making it faster. Try adding more forward momentum and speed using your waist as you mostly use your arm and wrist. Also aim to have the ball bounce near the edge of your table instead of the middle as the ball will kick and fly to your opponents side if you hit near the edge of your side.

    Your short serves could be improved by adding more spin. I personally find the spin slightly lacking and it seems to stay on the table due to a lack of forward momentum which makes it open for flicks. Thats why when you add a little bit more power, your shots goes to the middle and does not bounce twice (not a long serve which is excusable). Most of the spins are also quite pure (such as pure side or pure back with insignificant amount of other types of spin). This makes it easy to return serves so if you're doing top/side or back/side, try and balance the spins more as its more difficult to return the ball this way

    This is up to personal preference but I also think you serve too close to your body. Maybe thats why you dont have alot of power/speed and spin on your serves as your mind will subconciously withhold the full swing of your serve to avoid hitting your body. Its also probably why your blade angle is quite close (60-75 degrees maybe?). Having a more open (horizontal) racket angle will allow you to impart more spin with less forward momentum compared to your current technique. Thus your serves can be shorter yet more powerful and spinny at the same time. You can still impart sidespin with an open racket angle if you can brush and contact the ball well but this requires practice.

    Finally some your serves bounces quite high. I think this is because you take the ball quite high when you serve. Your body stance is also quite high. Most people and professionals will adopt a low stance (hunching/bending feet slightly) which makes it easier to contact the ball closer to net height without making a service error but this is not compulsory (Example: Samsonov). Hitting the ball closer to net height makes the ball bounce lower and harder to flick

    Reverse pendulum:
    This is very good. Only thing I can add is to make it less obvious that your going to perform a reverse pendulum. In your FH pendulum you add extra movements to confuse your opponent as to what serves your doing. Try actually implementing (if you haven't) the reverse pendulum into this to disguise your serve. Also try to aim for 2 bounce or 1 bounce. Usually when the ball bounces 3 or more times, there are strong indicators that it will be short so your opponent already instinctly eliminate certain things he should do when he attempts to receive it (such as looping if its going to be short). By having 2 or 1 bounce, your opponents will keep guessing which adds mental work load and increases the probability of them making a bad return.

    Conclusion
    Overall quite good. Your reverse pendulum is good but your fh pendulum requires some work. You're at the point where you just need to keep practicing to maximise the amount of spin/speed/ power while maintaining a low bounce and making it short/long. This requires finnese and is only obtainable trough practice.
    Thanks - none of the serves were designed to be fast and long. They were all designed to be short, but as fast and spinny as I can execute with double bounce length.
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    #15
    Quote Originally Posted by ajtatosmano2
    Short servs don't have to be fast. If you serve a spiny short ball a lot of players' reaction a slow push. And the slow push on a spinny ball often ends in the net. And who can flick short spiny balls usually won't use a fast flick on a slow ball, and you can attack the weaker opening flick.
    My serving coach has the philosophy that if your serve is slow it gives the opponent time to read the spin and the serve usually bounces high. His preference is for double bounce fast or single bounce fast.

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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by NextLevel
    My serving coach has the philosophy that if your serve is slow it gives the opponent time to read the spin and the serve usually bounces high. His preference is for double bounce fast or single bounce fast.
    This is correct.

    Only lower level amateur players play with the pace of the opponent: higher level players will force their pace on the ball.

    This is why ex-pro or current pro coaches will advise to serve fast short serves, also because you can disguise a short serve as a half long and vice versa very effectively.

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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Archosaurus
    This is correct.
    Rockstar

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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Shuki
    Rockstar
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    I guess.

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    #19
    nice serves nextlevel

    in ur fast pendulum serve video im not sure if you are trying to make it fast and spinny so that it catches the opponent offguard. (your serves are kinda half short which means that you are basically serving the ball into the oppenents "power zone")
    you can work on serve it longer so it hits the white line and making it faster.
    or if you want a shorter serve, work on getting more brush rather than hitting (gives it more spin and shorter balls)

    thats all i wanted to say, good serves

  20. UpSideDownCarl is offline
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    #20

    Any Service Advice for Me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Archosaurus
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    I guess.
    I like that.


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