Monday, March 18, 2013

"Sonic Serve" Revolutionized My Serve

A couple years ago, I found an old VHS tape by Nick Bollettieri called Sonic Serve and watched it. The major difference between my existing service motion and the Sonic Serve was the angle of my shoulders. My existing serve had my shoulders fairly level, and the Sonic Serve calls for the line of the shoulders to be in a 7-o-clock position (close to vertical). It took a couple weeks of really focusing on trying to get my shoulders in that position, but the results were dramatic. I found that my first serve became a lot more consistent because I was snapping down more and keeping it from going long. I also found that I could ditch my old second serve motion which was drastically different from my first serve motion, and use my new first serve motion with more spin (grip and wrist action change) for a second serve.

Below is portion of the full "Sonic Serve" video that goes over the fundamentals. The full video gets overly repetitive:

Drills to Practice Sonic Serve:
  • Throwing Form: Practice the elements of throwing with power including getting a full stretch of the chest and using the left (off) arm to pull to accelerate.
  • Throwing Up: Practice the serve without a racquet by throwing a tennis ball straight up into the air. Stand at the service line and try to throw the ball up so that it will come down on the same side of the net.
  • Set To Launch: You should be able to balance in the set to launch position. Practice the service motion with the racquet and tossing the ball in the air, but freezing in the set to launch position (hip out, knees bent, arm up) and letting the ball drop.

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