Serve Training for Beginner Players
The most important shot in tennis is the serve. Not only is serving an ace the fastest and most intimidating way to win a point, but having a strong serve can allow you take control of a point from the start. Without a strong serve, opposing players can make aggressive returns taking control of the point away from the server. Worse yet, a weak serve can result in a double-fault, giving your opponent a free point without so much as moving a muscle. Perfecting your serve requires a lot of practice and this article will focus on simple serve training for beginner players.
Serve training for beginner players absolutely begins with the toss. The toss is one of the most important but underrated aspects of the serve. Whether you’re hitting a hard flat serve or a slice out wide, having the toss in the right place is crucial to a great serve. To practice the toss, start with the player standing as if they were going to serve into the deuce court. Place a basket in front of the player and without a racquet, have the player practice their toss focusing on the fundamentals: how to hold the ball, toss height and smooth release. Aside from the fundamentals, the goal should be for the player to toss the ball into the or near the basket. Practice until the player has a good feel for the toss.
Watch this video and learn serve lessons by the legendary Roger Federer.
The Service Motion
Getting the service motion down requires as much practice as any other shot in tennis. Developing a fluid motion will give players the ability to consistently make their serve.
Same as the toss drill, position the player as if they’re going to serve to the deuce court, however instead of having the ball in their toss hand, put the ball in their dominant hand. Have the player raise their arms into a flying “t” position. From here, drop the dominant arm’s elbow and raise the tossing hand to form a “trophy pose”.
Finally, have the player drop the tossing arm, turn their torso, and extend their dominant throwing arm forward where they can then release the ball. Repeat until the player has a good feeling for extending their arm upward and forward towards the service box.
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