The serve is often regarded as the most difficult shot to learn in Tennis. And it is true that the motion can be quite complex and it usually takes a while to learn it properly.
The good news though is that you can practice your serve without a partner and the serve is also the only shot that is not influenced by how your opponent hit the ball to you!
Here I would like to share with you a couple of my favorite tennis serve tips that hopefully help you improve!
Lead With The Edge
Leading with the edge is a fundamental concept for a great serve and in this video I explain what it means and how you can work on it!
Tennis Serve Tip
Imagine You Are Playing Serve And Volley!
One phenomenon I have noticed over the years is that most players tend to serve better in doubles than in singles. I first noticed this on myself and was always puzzled as to why my serve was so much better in doubles.
After a few years of teaching I finally realized why this is the case. In doubles I would usually serve-and-volley like most people do and in singles I would normally stay back behind the baseline.
Studying endless slow-motion videos of great servers I finally understood what was happening. Great servers tend to toss the ball way into the court, making contact about a foot inside the baseline. This of course happens much easier when you are trying to serve-and-volley since you want to get to the net as quick as possible!
Ever since I realized this I have my students practice their serves pretending they are serve-and-volleying. There are several ways to do this. Oftentimes I tell them that they need to get at least half-way to the service line before they can go back to hit another serve.
Another trick that works is to simply put the basket of balls somewhere a few feet inside the baseline so that you automatically move forward to get the next ball!
Tennis Serve Tip
Hit Up And Not Down On Your Serve
One key aspect for a great serve is to develop a motion where you hit up rather than down. On the serve this can be especially deceiving because you naturally have a very high contact point which leads to people trying to hit down way too much.
Now the ball does not actually go up off the racket but looking at great servers in super slow motion we can see that it moves down at only a very slight angle.
Check Out My Video Tip Hit Up And Out
I recommend that you try to hit the ball up more than you are doing right now. Imagine your body and your arm moving up through contact. Don't worry about overdoing it either. The chances for that are very small!
Tennis Serve Tip
Swing Up With The Racket On Edge!
The concept of pronation is often discussed in tennis teaching. Pronation is a big source of the power in a service motion and therefore it is important to get this right.
So what is pronation and what does it mean for your serve ?
Basically what you can see with all great servers is that the edge of the racket moves towards the ball and only in the last second do they square the racket up for contact. This entire movement is called pronation and results in maximum racket acceleration!
Pronation is usually not a conscious movement though; it is rather a consequence of bringing the racket up on edge.
So if you want to incorporate this important move into your serve I recommend that you focus on bringing the racket up on edge. Start with some shadow-swings and then move on to hit a few serves that way. This can take some time but if you get it right it will be a great feeling!
So that was it for my tennis serve tips. Let me know if they helped you on your serve!