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  1. #1
    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Default [Video] Backhand short serve

    We all know how important the first 3 shots are in doubles, especially much so the serve. It is the only shot of which we have complete control, and especially after so much hard work to win the previous rally in order to get the opportunity to serve, we better not gift it away easily.

    Hence I've been practicing half hour before and after my recent regular playing sessions.

    I strapped my S3 smartphone onto the post of an adjacent court and recorded my serves. This is just a short clip. Due to the angle of the camera, the tape level at the centre of the net is just an inch lower than the top of the post, right where the hole is near the top of the post.

    As you can see, my serves are pretty good, I'd like to think. They're usually just within an inch or two over the tape and land within 2-3 inches inside the service line.

    The action is a fast but short push with a tad of supination with a crisp contact onto the bird with the cork aimed at the stringbed. I prefer fast push as this action is very similar to a flick action.

    The contact point on the stringbed is at the top of the racket, at 1-2 o'clock within the first few strings closest to the serving hand. I find this area has the least rebound and the best control and consistency of the shuttle angle, direction and distance.

    My aim is usually within a few inches of the racket shoulder and cheek, varying depending on whether the receiver biases to his forehand or backhand. The trajectory after crossing the net seems good and low, usually falling below tape level within a foot of the tape, so that looks not killable.

    What do you think, any comments or suggestions for improvement?


    Last edited by visor; 09-05-2013 at 12:11 AM.

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    The serves are good, but can you really flick with this very short movement?
    A comparison would be niche: Some flicks, some short one... Just to compare your movement.

    Because seriously: If I can distinguish your serves by the length of the stroke, I'm gonna rush every short serve, no matter how good their trajection is...

    If you're really able to do flicks with the same movement, then the serves are top quality...

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    It'd be good to see front view also, when you do the consistency test (between low and flick serves). That should be what your opponents see.

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    My flicks are only a tad more action upwards with more forearm supination for added power. From a frontal view, the two actions are less distinguishable. I usually don't flick if they're receiving from midcourt, only if they're toeing the line and rushing my short serves. Just to keep them honest.

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raymond View Post
    It'd be good to see front view also, when you do the consistency test (between low and flick serves). That should be what your opponents see.
    Good point. I'll have to do that next wk.

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Actually for flick serves, I have to admit I'm kinda sneaky about it.

    I do it more when I see that the opponent is tired, eg after a tough rally, or end of the game or night. And I usually take a quick peek at their stance and deliver the serve faster with less preparation than usual to catch them off guard.

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    It's a good serve.

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    I imagine its fairly easy to flick with that kind of service action. Its not as if you need any power for a flick serve. Just squeeze with the thumb!

    This is a nice service delivery. Keeping it short and crisp like this will probably stop most players being able to rush it.

    However, very different to what I do Im a pusher - my serve is much more gentle!

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Thanks for the feedback everyone. Much appreciate them.

    One of the reasons why the action is a short sharp "jab" is because I'm contacting the cork at the top few strings at around 1-2 o'clock. Learned it from that survey thread on contact point at serve, and having switched from the sweetspot 2 yrs ago, this is much better for better feel, consistency and control.

    Where on the stringbed do you fellas contact the bird?

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    I use the "corner" of the racket, very close to the frame. It would be about 2.30 on a clock face.

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    Is that what you did on Tuesday night, I was wondering why didn't you come over to have a couple of games. We only have 14 ppl on 3 courts.

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    Regular Member Tadashi's Avatar
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    Well, the litmus test: would you feel threatened if you have a Thomas Lund on the other side?

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tadashi View Post
    Well, the litmus test: would you feel threatened if you have a Thomas Lund on the other side?
    Or R20190's adversary.
    @R20190 Can you post a video of you serving a half a dozen times in a row? That may help us understand your serve situation better.

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tedski View Post
    Is that what you did on Tuesday night, I was wondering why didn't you come over to have a couple of games. We only have 14 ppl on 3 courts.
    Didn't want to crash your games. Maybe next wk I'll join in?

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    Regular Member visor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSeeley View Post
    I use the "corner" of the racket, very close to the frame. It would be about 2.30 on a clock face.
    Yep, very similar. Nowadays if someone asks me to help with their serves, the contact point is the first thing I mention. It is *that* important.

    And also something to point out: higher tensions provide a more stable stringbed for more accuracy and better feel on serves.
    Last edited by visor; 09-05-2013 at 05:10 PM.

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    Our serves are quite similar. I use the corner at about 3 o'clock - with slight supination to knock at the cock. This gives a bit of "top spin" and shuttle wobble after passing the tape (or pitched, no yaw, no roll).

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    Quote Originally Posted by visor View Post
    Or R20190's adversary.
    @R20190 Can you post a video of you serving a half a dozen times in a row? That may help us understand your serve situation better.
    I'm very camera shy (which is ironic being an amature photographer! lol)

    I'll see what I can do - probably be a couple of weeks though as my shoulder is still recovering from injury after the last stint.

    Btw, do you hold the shuttle near the cork as opposed to at the tip of the feathers? I do this too. I find I have more control and more consistent doing it this way than holding the feathers. But there is a risk of hitting your hand before the shuttle if not careful.

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