The tennis serve is very crucial to any tennis player and often makes the difference between winning and losing a game. It cannot be mastered in one day.
It has to be done in gradual progressions starting with learning the correct technique to strategizing and changing mindset. Once you master the tennis serve and can time and execute it with precision, you will be giving yourself an advantage over your opponent.
There are many different ways to hit the serve. You can actually use this as an offensive weapon to gain advantage over your opponents and win outright.
A good serve occurs when a tennis ball lands in the cross-court service box or line bounding it without interfering with anything in flight. A let occurs when a tennis ball hits the net cord but still lands in the service court.
A fault is an unsuccessful serve that does not start the point. Award of the point to the server is done when the receiver’s racket touches the ball before it bounces.
The four commonly used tennis serves
- The flat serve,
- Slice serve,
- Kick serve and the
- underhand serve(which is still not common in professional tennis).
If you master all of them well, you can mix them while serving.
The flat serve and slice serve are usually used in the first serve as they make it difficult for the receiver to respond well. The kick serve is ideal for the second serve as it is easy to clear over the net. they can be able to start using the overhead serve.
The underhanded serve is not commonly used in practice for experienced players since they prefer other types of serve. It is mostly recommended for young children who are starting out. They are encouraged to use it until that time when they can be able to start using the overhead serve.
In my opinion, the underhand is mostly at time of desperation or when a player feels very confident and is dominating with nothing to lose.
How to improve tennis serve
Failing to get a serve right can be very frustrating. It will be hard to almost impossible for you to win a match if you don’t always work towards improving your tennis serve.
If you want to be a professional player, you have to dedicate your time to learning new ways on how to improve your serve and practice them constantly otherwise you will always be on the losing end.
The first step to improving your serve is your hand-eye coordination.
One way in which you can improve your serve is through your toss. You don’t need a racket to do this, just a tennis ball. Stand in one place and practice the ball toss until it can land in front of your body once it falls down.
This may sound easy but is actually crucial for your game. It can take your tennis serve a notch higher if you can be able to master this technique well especially for the first serve.
Apart from that, having a favorite serve can help you improve your serve to a great extent. For instance, you can choose a flat serve or slice serve and ensure that you train each one to its full potential.
Doing this will not only put you in the right form of mind when playing but will also give you the assurance of never going wrong with it.
Additionally, preparing before serving can help you improve your serve.Try bouncing the ball a few times and some breathing exercises to calm your nerves before you start serving. This will help you concentrate on your serving in terms of grip and particular serve.
Another way is improving target efficiency through drilling. However, you have to ensure that the target areas vary to avoid monotony.
The ball has to have varying amounts of spin to ensure that the ball gets into the court without hitting outside the service box. You can also vary your standing positions while serving by standing in the middle part or the far side of the court.
Jump and sudden burst is also a great way to improve your tennis serve. Jumping for a serve not only gives you a height advantage but also increases your chances of getting the ball inside the service box.
At the same time, serving the tennis ball with a sudden burst allows you to create a powerful spin making it harder for the opponent to return.
Most importantly, you can improve your tennis serve by improving your mental game. It does not mean that after missing the first serve that you won’t get another chance to serve.
You should erase any doubts about whether or not you can make a good serve and actually do it. This way, you will find yourself achieving serves you never thought possible.
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