5 Steps to Improve Tennis Serve Technique
Updated: Oct 7, 2022
How to Hit the Best Tennis Serve?
The serve is indisputably one of the toughest strokes to master in tennis. But even if you're just a beginner, your service is an important part of your game. It's that first moment when you can put pressure on your opponent and it can dictate how the whole game pans out. And it doesn't have to be difficult!
With these easy step-by-step tips from a professional tennis coach, you'll have a powerful serve up your sleeve in no time at all. Let your serve be your weapon today!
Step 1: Ensure your stance is correct
To begin, you need to align your shoulder in the intended direction of your serve and you should be well-balanced. The ball is usually served diagonally across to your opponent’s service box.
Both feet have to be behind the baseline with the left foot pointing 45 degrees to the right and the back foot almost parallel to the baseline.
Your feet should be shoulder width apart with the weight equally distributed so that you can achieve stability in all directions once you execute the full-service motion.
Step 2: The Correct Grip
We should use the continental grip when we serve as it allows us to hit with topspin for higher net clearance. Hold the racket like a hammer with the edge perpendicular to the ground.
Try to avoid using the Eastern Forehand grip despite it being more comfortable as one of the limitations is that it may limit your ability to swing the racket along the correct swing path.
How tightly you grip the racket would also determine how fast the ball goes. Try to grip the racket loosely and ensure that your arms and body are completely relaxed.
Step 3: The Toss
Players should focus on having a consistent toss before they hit the ball. The ball should be held firmly with the fingers and not in your palm to avoid adding spin to the ball when you toss it.
Do not flick your wrist or bend your elbow when you toss. Try to keep your elbow straight. Spread your fingers as you release the ball and keep your tossing arm straight pointing towards the sky as you toss it through the air.
The toss should be around 12 o’clock and your hitting arm should be fully extended when you make contact with the ball.
Step 4: The motion
In order to generate power, with your tossing arm extended, bend your knees slightly in a 45 degree angle so that you are all coiled up in what is known as the trophy position.
Ensure that you shift your weight forward as you toss and continue to maintain this trophy position even as you release the ball.
You want to imagine yourself being like a spring, ready to explode and launch upward and forward. Get ready to make contact with the ball when it is at its highest point and harness the explosive energy as you use power that is derived from using your leg drive that comes into play.
You should also ensure the right rhythm and flow otherwise the power generated from your lower body will not be transferred to your serve. Rhythm and timing is everything.
Step 5: The follow-through
From the trophy position, push your legs off the ground as you swing towards the ball. Focus on developing a fluid throwing motion with your racket.
The edge of the racket should lead and be pointed in the direction of the ball. As you make contact with the ball, pronate your wrist such that the racket faces the net and snap it before swinging your arm towards the left side of your body as you follow through and finish. Try to land on your front leg when you finish and step into the court.
Is it Difficult to Learn Tennis Serve Technique?
Despite the serve being a fairly challenging stroke, with consistent practice, we’re confident you’ll be able to master it if you follow these pointers which will be vital to your success!
Start to practice your tennis serve the right way and gain control of your game now!
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