Hi guys this is Alex from Top Tennis
Training and I’m here with Emily Webley-Smith who is a WTA tour player and
today we’re going to do the video on the five steps to the perfect WTA serve. So Emily despite being not the tallest player on the WTA Tour you still have a
great serve so what do you think that comes down to? I think it comes down to
good technique and from a young age I’ve always had good technique on my serve and
that limits the possibility for it to break down under pressure and also
enables me to create a great deal of power for someone of my height and build
which I think there’s no reason everybody and all women can’t do on their
serves. So there’s a potential that shouldn’t really be a big difference
between the men’s and the women’s serve perhaps just you know some power issues or the height but technically this shouldn’t be much difference.
Absolutely I mean I think we are able to hit the variety of serves that men do we
should be able to obviously from a strength and power point of view that’s
always going to be slightly down but from a consistency basis and also from a
good technique there’s no reason why we can’t serve well. So now Emily is going to show us the
5 Steps To The Perfect Serve so Emily get into Position Number 1: Emily
is now holding the chopper grip, she has her body weight on the front foot and
she’s ready to serve So Step Number 2: here Emily’s going to
shift back onto the back foot so the body weight is going to the back foot and
she’s starting to separate the arms. Now this is how throwing arm is going up and
the playing arm so the hand holding the racket is moving back into the back
position. So Step Number 3: this is where Emily is going to completely separate her hands and now she’s going to transfer her body weight forward onto
that front left foot. Now this is the step that’s the most important, it’s the
crucial step that most of the WTA players actually fail at and that’s why
they sometimes don’t have the same kind of serve as the men and this is due to
the left shoulder not being high enough over the right shoulder. Now Emily gets
into a great position there where you see that elbow is almost in line with a
throwing arm and it’s that trophy position with the left shoulder above
the right that’s creating a nice stretch here over her side her hip is getting
inside the court and now she’s able to release upwards and forwards but also
use her body almost like a seesaw and now she’s able to generate power also
from her side not just from her shoulder and her from her arm. So together the
body synchronized so the legs their side the arm and the wrist is all going to be
used together in order to create the maximum power she can on the ball. Step Number 4: here Emily is going
to drive up with her legs and at the same time her rack is going to drop
behind the back so she’s going to have that looping, looping shape behind the
back so that lasso action almost around the back as she’s driving up so its that lasso action and drive up into the shot. So let’s see one more time so it’s
back and BAM! Now let’s take a closer look at the throwing action and the contact on the ball. Now just like using a tennis ball or throwing a heavy object from your hand you want to use as much shoulder and rotation and you want to
have this this arm being quite loose through the throw you don’t to have a
tense arm so it’s that throwing action where the hand actually drops behind
the back here and then the shoulder and elbow, the elbow almost comes up first
and then the elbow generates that quick release at the top. So let’s have a look
at that in action on the serve. Now one of the other crucial parts that
we’re going to look at is the pronation and the wrist snap on the ball. This is a
problem that a lot of players especially club players, juniors, actually all the
players in the world they struggle with this just to get the right connection on
the ball and this will depend on where the ball will travel and whether you’re
going to hit the ball flat with spin or with slice and it all depends on that
contact on the ball and the pronation that you have on the wrist. So alex is
just explained about the pronation of the wrist on the serve and here is an example of why the chopper grip can be so useful in enabling you to hit a variety of
serves and a variety of spins, as we come to hit a flat serve the pronation
of the wrist becomes more important as you come up to the ball you want to
pronate the wrist and make the contact on the ball for the racquet is
completely in line so it’s a flat racquet face on the ball but she’s still
using her chopper grip so she’s opening up the wrist almost like high-fiving
the ball with her hand but then the racket face is nice and
flat on the contact and that can be compared to a slice serve when you would want to come around the outside of the ball with a slightly more closed racquet face and hitting the ball at around 2 o’clock if you were to imagine that the ball was a clock
face. So this again will create the ball rotation to be going a little bit more
sideways because she’s hitting the right side of that ball. Similarly on the
second serve if you want to hit kick or topspin you would come around the
opposite side of the ball and you need more wrist pronation for this particular
serve. So as you come up to hit the ball you are brushing up the back of the ball
with the wrist pronation going left to right over the ball. This is now hitting the
left side of the ball. So there we have it – we have the slice serve which is the right side of the ball which is a little bit less pronation, then we have the flat one
which is medium pronation and we have the extra pronation if you’re trying to
get that topspin serve and the racket face is actually going to be traveling
sort of outwards so up and out so that you’re able to generate that easy
topspin that a lot of the pros use. Now a lot of the WTA players prefer the slice serve and the flat serve compared to the topspin serve why does that happen?
I think it’s because naturally the women aren’t the strong in the wrist to pronate on the kick serve yeah and although you will see a few players playing like
that like Stosur or some of some of the younger girls coming through but there’s
also an element if that serve isn’t good enough and it does just set up from the
spin the women are very aggressive off the second serve return so it does set
you up and get you into trouble if it’s not done perfectly. The women
prefer to use the slice serve into the body on the second serve to jam the
opponent up and also the flat serve for the first serve as they seem to find
this easier and when throwing the racket head at the ball. Do practice all of
those serves and it doesn’t matter whether you’re WTA or ATP player still
try and practice the topspin the slice and the flat serve because it’s that
variety and that skill to actually do things with the ball when it’s up there
that’s what’s going to set you apart from the competition Step Number 5 is also one of the most
crucial steps. Here Emily will finish onto her left foot and she will allow
her right shoulder to come forward to come through allowing her to create that
rotation through her trunk and also will help her with her balance because she’s
pushing back with the right leg she’s not able to really involve the body and
push her body forward and again gives an extra power on the ball so let’s see it
one more time. Now after this position because she’s finished the shot there
her front foot after she’s landed can either continue going forward if she’s
coming into the net or it can be a push off step in order to recover back onto the baseline so let’s have a look at that. And there Emily chose to come
forward into the net and this one Emily is going to recover back into it more
the defensive position. So Emily why do you think you have such a good throwing
action why do you have such a good serve? I think from a young age I played a
variety of sports and a lot of them involved throwing like cricket and rounders
and I actually used to practice throwing a lot, not necessarily for myself but
just for the other sports and through that transference from from those
kind of sports I was able to develop a good throw which also then developed
into athletic javelin and on my serve I feel very comfortable launching the
racket head at the ball from a throwing position. So being coordinated with your
body in order to do the throw will actually help you on your serve so do
practice the throw a lot and it doesn’t matter what you’re using it could be a
baseball it could be a cricket ball could be a tennis ball anything you can
throw will help your serve. Someone like Serena and Venus Williams
their dad actually made them throw tennis racquets so if you have an old
tennis racquet how best to recreate a tennis serve is to have an old tennis
racquet that you can launch and you can throw forward and you can actually see
the racket go far and you’re going to be holding it exactly the same way as you
would be a normal racquet. If you want more tips on how to hit the serve
including the pronation and what happens bio-mechanically on the serve we do have a serve of course that’s available and you can find that on our website. Anyhow I hope you enjoyed this video I hope you learned something new if you
did like it please press the like button please share it with your friends leave
a comment down below if there’s something that you struggle on your serve and do subscribe to the channel will really value your opinion

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Dennis Veasley

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