Throwing the Serve
Improve your throw – improve your serve!
The serving mechanics are very similar to the mechanics of throw.
The ability to create lag and a fast arm, for spin and power generation in the serve are important to creating a high-quality serve in the short and long term. Learning to throw well will only help your cause here.
- It teaches a good elbow position (Not high or low)
- Promotes lag (hand down for longer – rapid eternal to internal rotation)
- Increase the speed of the arm which relates to racquet head speed.
- Build a connective chain between lower body and upper body rotation and extensions.
- Encourages a relaxed and loose arm
- Improves overall athleticism and body awareness
What else does it help?
Not only is throwing a great way to improve serving attributes – but it’s also great conditioning for the shoulder to prevent shoulder injuries and strengthen the connective tissue and muscle of the shoulder. The rotator cuff (The tendons of the external rotators of the shoulder) take the brunt of a serve as well as through a throwing action. A throw (generally) will expose these tendons to less work than a serve due to the extra length of the racquet causing a longer lever (therefore greater force). So, throwing can be a great way to conditioning the anatomy of the shoulder safely whilst improving the coordination of a fast arm to build it up for large serving loads or as a return protocol for serving.
Return to play from injury
I have used throwing (Glove and Baseball to be precise) as a way of rehabbing a shoulder back to serving strength. It’s been very successful as they transition from rehab and strength building from various shoulder injuries throwing bridges the gap between this rehab to rapid movements associated with a service action.
Points to take!
- Encourage throwing from a young age
- Use throwing to enhance arm speed and technical development
- Use throwing when a player is returning from a shoulder injury prior to serving
- Learn to throw properly – technique can make all the difference.
- Throwing is awesome – go out and have fun throwing!