Here’s the link to the public video article on how to correct the “waiter’s serve”: https://www.feeltennis.net/correcting-the-waiters-serve/
Excellent video. I am guilty of waiter serve. Ideas presented here will help immensely. I like also the stance used by the student.
I have this issue big time, I can drop the racquet on edge like a pro without the ball but once that little yellow ball is tossed the racquet face opens up.
You say go slow with the drop to feel it without the ball but once we toss the ball we need to speed up in order to make contact and that’s where it gets messy.
I will follow this protocol but I suspect it will be a long battle.
Michael in the UK
Hello Tomaz….Thank you for adding this case study Into the course site.
You’re welcome, Michael.
More to come now that my coaching season has started…
Do you loose the grip completely to let the racket drop between the thumb and index finger as you demonstrate in the video, or is this an exaggeration?
The loosening is an exaggeration but in reality that is the direction of the racket drop. Note that I never loosen the grip that much so that there would be space between my hand and the handle.
There is never any space no matter how loose I hold the racket.
Interesting that very few of the top seeds don’t open their racket very early on the drop
What is the reason you teach an on edge drop rather than open face?
Because when the face of the racket is open the arm is straining, it’s not going through natural movements. When we accelerate upwards on the edge, the arm is moving naturally, comfortably and therefore it accelerates faster hence we can hit faster serves with better control.
A bit more nerdy answer is also that it will go through supination first (when on edge) which will make transitioning to pronation much easier, more natural and effortless.
Check also these video articles:
I was actually referring to when the racket goes from trophy to drop rather than from full drop to contact
Same idea, as soon as the wrist is laid back and you accelerate the arm through the loop it is straining and slowing down the movement.
Why does the waiter’s tray serve happen in the first place?
Good question, short answer is that because it makes logical and intuitive sense to hit the ball by aligning the strings towards it.
Here’s a longer video article on the same topic, let me know if it answers the question: https://www.feeltennis.net/why-serve-difficult/
Yes, it all makes sense now. Thanks Tomaz! Your attached video is the first video I have seen of yours and one of the most enlightening in my opinion. I thought that the continental grip would be sufficient to correct the linear swing path but clearly we must learn to trust our body to do what it knows best during the acceleration/deceleration part of the serve
Yes, actually the most important and effective drills to correct the waiter’s tray position are pronation drills.
The player opens up the racket face into waiter because they don’t trust that the racket face will align correctly on the ball a few hundredths of a second before contact even though it was approaching the ball initially on the edge.
So that trust develops only over time doing pronation progressions: https://member.feeltennis.net/serveunlocked/serve-biomechanics/pronation-progressions/
I recently posted this Youtube short of my favorite pronation drill which is not included in the above video but it’s a good one to start the session with:
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