Tennis Tips - The Serve
"My theory is if you buy an ice cream cone and make it hit your mouth, you can play
tennis. If you stick it on your forehead, your chances are less." - Vic Braden
Ace takes pride in having a powerful serve. Sometimes (on extremely rare
occasions) the rest of my game drops down a notch or two. But, during those
infrequent events, I still feel confident that I have a big serve to fall back on.
Always remember that the server controls the point. And since half of all the
games in a match are served by you, you control half of every match! (A fact relied
upon by Ace during many a tournament!)
So here are some of the most common service problems and some simple steps
to cure them:
Symptom 1: Ace, everytime I try to hit a hard serve, the ball goes right into the
net - what's up with that?
Tip 1: Most serves into the net are caused by dropping one's head at the last
moment. Fortunately, this does not require brain surgery to fix! Concentrate on
keeping your head up - follow your toss into the air and keep watching the ball
until you actually see your racket hit it!
This is simple stuff. You don't even need to be an athlete - all you have to do is
be able to see!
Symptom 2: "My serves are always too long and flat. I have to ease up on my
swing to keep them in the court."
Tip 2: You're probably using the wrong grip when you serve. I'll bet you're using
a forehand grip, a common mistake among recreational players. Try using an
Eastern Backhand grip when you serve, or at the very least, a Continental grip.
(See my Grip Page for more details!)
Concentrate on swinging up and over - this will put a lot of topspin on your serve.
As you get the hang of this, speed up your swing some more.
- the faster you swing, the more spin
- the more spin, the more control
- the more control, the harder you can hit your serve - you get the idea!