The Wrist Snap during the service motion. The wrist "snap", or rather the flexion of the wrist during the service motion, is a very debated and often misinterpreted topic in tennis.
Brian Gordon's "The Serve and Tennis Science" clearly shows the % contribution of wrist movement on a serve, a.k.a. extension, deviation, flexion. The numbers show the wrist contributes second in global usage only to the twisting of the trunk, yet ahead of elbow extension, shoulder movement, upper arm twist and forearm pronation.
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At ball contact, ball velocity is determined by shoulder internal rotation and wrist flexion.25,26Elbow flexion (20° ± 4°), wrist extension (15° ± 8°), and front knee flexion (24° ± 14°) are minimal at contact.29Trunk is tilted 48° ± 7° above horizontal in Olympic professional tennis players.29.
The typically held view from most tennis coaches is that the wrist snap on the serve involves taking the wrist from a position of extension, and ‘snapping’ it to a position of flexion as we hit the ball.
The ball is rapidly thrown using only a wrist flexion motion (the elbow remains fixed in approximately 90° of elbow flexion) toward the ground whereby the player catches the ball and quickly returns it back to the floor using a snapping type motion.
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That is the extensor muscles about the wrist joint act concentrically to develop racquet speed ...
The study found that the majority of racquet head speed on the serve is generated by internal shoulder rotation (approximately 54%) with hand flexion (the outward turn of the hand after forearm pronation, erroneously referred to as the “wrist snap”) contributing 31%.
For many moons I have heard the term "snap your wrist" on the serve. I don't recall being told this by a coach as a youngster but have certainly heard many a pro player mention "wrist snap" when describing how they get pop on their serve. You might have heard others say that one should […]