Monthly Tip

SERVICE PRACTICE - November 2010

One’s service is so important and it gets a relatively short amount of attention during practice sessions. I don’t think the pros practice their serves enough, (except strangely the ones who have amazing serves…) and I know that generally speaking the serve is the weak point for most club players. So apart from working on the technique, what good ideas do we have to make serving practice fun and varied?

First, you need a big bucket of balls!!

Start by warming up your serve with a minimum of body action. To get your arm going, swing through quite a few serves easily, just tossing the ball up and with an abbreviated action hit the ball without moving your feet. Once you feel you like the rhythm of your swing, you can begin adding to the fuller swing and getting your body weight into the action. When you’ve served to both sides of the court and are feeling pretty good, start aiming for targets. It’s always better to actually put some targets in the corners for you to aim for, 6 inches from the tee, or about 3 feet from the service line out wide on both sides. Remember also to serve into the middle of the box, which would be into the body of the opponent.

OK, so you’ve served first and second serves to all parts of the service box. Now, how about playing a little game with yourself. Think that you’re playing a match, and you serve your way through to win 6 games on your serve. You serve a good first serve to the deuce court, 15-love, now serve to the ad court. You miss your first serve, so you have to hit a second serve, which you hit well and it’s now 30-love. So you go on till you’ve served out the 6 games, and you’ll find that you’ve practiced thinking the way you would in a real match situation.

Virginia Wade with Roger Federer