The Different Phases of the Trophy Pose
To simplify the trophy pose, we can break it into four essential movements.
However, before we get started, I’d like to point out that each of these four parts of the trophy pose happens simultaneously. I’ve broken them out into four sections to more easily describe each movement, which we’ll then link together to complete the pose.
With that in mind, I’d recommend you practice each movement and then work toward combining the motions as you read the rest of the article.
The first step to achieve the trophy pose is the backswing.
First, position your body in the appropriate serve stance, with your hands in the ready position. Next, drop both hands at the same time and let your dominant hand (the one that’s holding your racquet) swing down and back like a pendulum behind you.
You’ll then continue the backward motion with your racquet upward and behind your head until your bicep is roughly parallel with the court – your forearm is approximately at a 90-degree angle with your bicep.
As you perform your backswing with your dominant hand, allow your opposite hand – the one that’s holding the ball – to swing forward and up toward the sky so that you can toss the ball upward.
Your toss is crucial for an effective serve, so we’ve expanded on the topic in our article on perfecting your toss – check it out for more details on getting this exactly right.
Helpful Tip: To ensure your backswing and toss are in sync, many players find the mantra “down together, up together” particularly useful. With your feet in the correct stance and hands in the starting position, you’ll want to bring both hands down together and then up together as you complete your backswing and toss. Give it a try.
Next, you’ll want to add in the knee bend, which should happen simultaneously with your dominant hand’s backswing and your opposite hand tossing the ball.
By the time you complete your backswing and extend your arm for the toss, your knees should be fully bent. In other words, your lower body and upper body should finish their motion at the same time.
The amount that you bend your knees will vary quite a bit from player to player. Just remember that a significant share of the power on your serve comes from your legs, so make sure they’re fully engaged and bent enough so that you can take full advantage of the energy from your legs.
The weight transfer is another movement that helps set up your body for maximum acceleration and power, but before you add in the weight transfer, make sure you feel comfortable with the three parts we’ve discussed so far: the backswing, toss, and knee bend.
The easiest way to begin the weight transfer is to start with your weight slightly forward on your front foot. Then, with your hands in the ready position, you can slowly rock your weight toward your back foot.
As this happens, you’ll want to let your hands down together and begin to bend your knees so that you start to bring your weight forward toward the court. Then bring your hands up together and complete the backswing, toss, and knee bend all at the same time.
Your weight should be moving forward and into the court, as you complete your backswing, toss, knee bend, and weight transfer, and you should find yourself in the trophy position.