If you’re a beginner, your focus is just to serve the ball without hitting the net or going outside the lines.
But as you get better, you want to strategically place the serve in one of the corners of the box. And the only way to do this is to practice. You’ll have to serve over and over again while aiming for a specific corner of the box. As you practice, you’ll become more accurate, and be able to hit that corner more often in an actual match.
An important part of this drill is to make sure you don’t aim for the same corner of the box every time. While this will make you good at hitting that spot, your opponent will quickly catch on that you serve to the same spot every time – and adjust accordingly.
By doing this drill regularly and constantly changing your target, you’ll be able to accurately serve the ball wherever you choose. This will allow you to approach each serve strategically.
3) Be Ready to Perform Under Pressure
When you’re practicing, there’s not much pressure. If you make a mistake, you simply try again until you get it right.
But in an actual match, the stakes are much higher. One wrong move could cost you the match. It might even come down to your serve to win.
Try to mimic these conditions in practice. Go against people who are better than you. Play in single set scenarios where the loser has to do push-ups or run a lap.
This will help prepare you to serve under pressure. By doing this, you’ll have a champion’s mindset when the time comes.
4) Avoiding the Net
A common issue people have with their tennis serves is that they come in flat and hit the net often.
If this issue is something you have trouble with, use use topspin or slice to get your ball up over the net. In order to develop this, simply toss the ball as far as you can reach. This naturally creates a topspin that should help the ball go over the net.
This emphasizes the importance of the toss. Go back to the first tip so that you can master it.
Once you have this special toss mastered and are able to hit the ball at this distance consistently, you’ll have no problem getting it over the net.
5) Keep Your Eyes on the Ball
This is a cliche people use in just about every sport. But when it comes to mastering the tennis serve – it couldn’t be more true.
Your eyes should be on the ball the entire time – even seconds after you’ve hit it.
After you make contact with the tennis ball, you should be following through all the way to the hip that’s opposite the hand you use to serve with. If you hit the ball with your right hand, you should follow through so your right hand hits your left hip. And the entire time you’re doing this, your eyes should be on the ball.
This will improve your overall technique by allowing you to be more accurate. And with this accuracy, you’ll be able to strategically place the ball in any corner of the box you choose.
6) Develop Power
As you improve your serve, the last thing you need to do is power. At this point, you’re able to accurately place the ball in any corner of the box you choose. Now, imagine you can do that, and make the ball travel ten times faster.
There’s a drill that will help you develop this power. You only need a ball for this one, too.
Start in your regular serving position and toss the ball. When the ball is as high as it gets, catch it and follow through to the ground. The ball should bounce in your box and the next one.
This drill is a little hard to master, but once you do, you’ll have outstanding power – and well-rounded technique.
Improving your tennis serve can be broken down into technique, mindset, and strategy. If you follow the tips in this article, you’ll have a well-rounded technique, a champion’s mindset, and be able to execute your strategy.