The Knee Bend
The fourth part of the serve is the knee bend. The previous two videos focused on what the upper body was doing during the preparation and in this video we will focus on the lower body. In the video we start with a shot of me in my stance. To begin my motion my weight rocks all onto my front foot and my back heel comes up. Then my weight rocks all onto my back foot and my front toes come up. From this position my weight is going to rock back forward and continue moving forward into the court over the course of my motion. As your weight rocks forward you will bend your knees. You want to time the knee bend so that you reach maximum knee bend when the weight is equally distributed on the balls of each foot.
At 46 seconds in the video we clip to the side view to see what it looks like from that perspective. From the stance my weight rocks forward and my back heel comes up, then it rocks back and my front toes come up. From here, I time my weight transfer back forward and knee bend so that I’m at maximum knee bend when my weight is equally distributed on the balls of each foot.
At 1:12 in the video we watch Sacha Jones transfer her weight as she prepares to serve. From her stance, she rocks her weight forward onto her front foot and her back heel comes up slightly. Then she rocks her weight all onto her back foot and her front toes come up. From this position her weight will move forward into the court over the rest of her service motion. As this happens, Sasha times the her weight transfer and knee bend so that her knees are fully bent when she has the weight equally distributed on the balls of each foot.
At 1:50 in the video we look at some pictures of Tim Henman transferring his weight. Henman starts with all the weight on his front foot and his back heel up. In the next picture he’s rocked all of his weight onto his back foot and his front toes are up. In the following picture he has rocked his weight back forward, bent his knees fully, and centered his weight on the balls of each foot. Just like Tim, this is what you want to do. Rocking forward and rocking back should help you develop some rhythm. The key is to have your weight centered when you reach maximum knee bend.