SERVICE SHOULDER ROTATION
The most common mistakes people make on their serves are to open the
shoulders too soon and not turning the shoulders enough on the serve.
Let me explain.
To hit a good serve one must position oneself at approximately
sideways to the net or at a 90-degree angle to the baseline. The feet are
sideways as well but toes might be slightly pointed towards the baseline.
The first motion is to turn the shoulders back 15 degrees. So if the
shoulders are at a 90-degree angle to the net they should turn away from
the net 105 degrees. This slight shoulder turn allows the body to fully use
its rotational forces when hitting the serve. Some of us knew how John
McEnroe stood to serve and then turn his back to the net on the toss. He
was very good a using his body to serve.
The second common mistake is to open the shoulders too soon. I see
many players turn their body open towards the net before the arm pulls
the shoulders through the contact. The best method for me to help
someone is to have them hold their toss arm up longer than normal. This
is because when the toss arm drops, it tells the body to start rotating. The
tossing arm is critical because itâ€™s the first movement of the body after
the toss is completed and itâ€™s the first movement towards striking the
ball. Holding the toss arm up longer allows the racquet arm to build speed
bring the shoulders around.
It is also important that when serving that the shoulders are tilted. When
the toss arm goes up that shoulder is higher than the hitting arm shoulder.
As the toss arm drops (it should drop down towards the midsection of the
body) the shoulders are not only turning up shifting places. Now at contact
the racquet arm shoulder is at itâ€™s highest point and the toss arm is
down low, almost pointing to the ground.
Doug Hofer, USPTA July 16, 2005