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Practicing the Serve
By:  Scott Baker | Tennis4you  | Tennis Forum  | E-mail

When do you practice your serve? Are you a player that only practices the serve for 3-4 minutes before each match they play? Even then, is that really practice, or just warm-up getting ready to play? The serve is a very important part of the game of tennis. Many people stay out all day and practice the forehand, backhand and volleys but never go out to practice the serve. The only time that these people get to work on their serve is during their matches. This would be the wrong time to work on improving the serve. The serve needs as much attention as everything else if you want your serve to be at it's best!

Practicing Techniques:
A good approach to practicing the serve (although somewhat boring) is to just grab a basket of balls and go out just to practice serving. A good goal while practicing the serve is to set up a pyramid of 4 balls in each corner of the service box on the opposite side of the court. When serving, aim for these balls. This helps people who have not yet learned to aim their serve. When you are able to aim your serve, on both the first and second serve, you will have a much more effective serve. Grab a partner and let them work on their service return while you hit serves and vise versa. Keep it interesting.

Another good practicing technique is to stand 10-15 feet behind the baseline and hit the serve with all spin. This is an effective way to get to learn to hit spin on the serve. This practicing technique was not designed to have you stand far back and try to slam serves. This technique is to develop spin. Stand back, and just use your arm, do not use your legs and to do not rotate your body and get used to the spin. Use the rainbow effect of topspin and learn to develop your topspin serve and kick serves.

When practicing the serve utilize both sides of the court. Do not just serve to the deuce side or just to the ad side. Make sure you practice equally on both sides to fully benefit your game. It is important to be equally comfortable serving on both the deuce side and the ad side.

There are tons of service drills you can do to work on your serves. Click here to go to the Tennis4you Workshop for a list of some drills.

Spend some time practicing the serve before and after the match! You only have yourself benefit, if you do not then you may be benefiting your opponents.

Good Luck on the Court!
Scott Baker