Five Simple Steps to a Better Tennis Serve
In tennis there are many strokes that can be greatly improved by only a few simple tips. The serve is often the most technically difficult stroke. Luckily, I have five simple tips that can help you improve your serve.
1. Relax your arm and wrist. The wrist provides 10-20% of the power in a serve. The motion that provides this power is called wrist pronation. What this basically means is that the wrist snaps downward when it contacts the ball. Pronation will occur naturally if your arm and wrist are very relaxed. Snapping the wrist not only adds power to the serve, but it adds more consistency and control. When you serve, you hit the toss when it reaches its peak. If you did not snap your wrist down, the ball would go long more often. By pronating your wrist, you can more easily hit the ball into the box.
2. You need to have a fluid service motion. I view the service motion as an energy chain. The energy starts at your feet, and your motion adds more energy until you release the energy when you hit the ball. If you have a choppy service motion, your energy will not compound like a chain. You will lose all of the energy from previous parts of the motion. Try and keep your motion very fluid. Your arms and legs should not stop moving until the service motion is complete.
3. Jump into the court. A large portion of the power in a serve comes from the legs. Your legs allow you to throw your entire body weight into the service so greatly increasing its speed. If you use just your arm, then you are missing out on plenty of energy that is generated by your legs. Jumping allows you to also hit the ball at a higher height. This means that you will have an easier time hitting the ball into the box.
4. Line up your body with your target. By lining up your body, you should have your shoulder facing the service box. When you hit your serve, your body weight will be moving towards the service box. This will increase the speed of your serve, its consistency, and its accuracy.
5. Last but not least, practice your serve. The serve requires precise timing and technique. You can not expect yourself to have a great serve unless you put in the practice time. Go to your local courts once a week with a hopper of balls, and just practice serves. You will notice that after practicing your service it will be more powerful, more accurate, and more consistent.
These tips are simple and you can apply them now with relative ease. If you follow these five simple tips, you will be serving better in no time.