can someone teach me to serve???! -
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post #1 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2002, 03:56 PM Thread Starter
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can someone teach me to serve???!

I've been playing for about 4 years and my serve is still lame, my groundstrokes are pretty safe but because my serve is so bad, I find it hard to hold serve.

I do ace my opponents but I'm having trouble with transferring all my body weight into it, also my serve doesn't go very far back once it bounces, so can anyone help??????????????????????????
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post #2 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2002, 05:54 PM
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Sounds like my problem too...


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post #3 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2002, 05:58 PM
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I have the same problem
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post #4 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2002, 08:24 PM
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i've used books and stuff.. but in the end I revert to the way my serve used to be. I haven't played in 3-4 months.. and my serve will prob be worse
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post #5 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2002, 08:34 PM
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i have the same problem
but i hope it will become better and better (like this season)

not my WTA-Tour anymore
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post #6 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2002, 08:40 PM
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well, i tend to slice the ball alot, throwing the ball more towards the right, and then just tilting the head of the racket, and bending my legs....bending the legs is a very importnat part of the whole serve thing...Just have a safe serve,don't try and hit aces all the time..The main thing is to get the ball into court.......
What kind of shot do you use for your serve tyk101???a hard straight serve,slice,...etc???
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post #7 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2002, 09:35 PM
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try throwing the ball a bit in front of you and to the right (if you are a righty). transfer your weight forward as you go to swing the ball and try to get a lot of racket speed on it.

ugh, why do they all suck????????
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post #8 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2002, 09:39 PM
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Don't ask me. My last match at Wimbledon against Anke...that Ping pong serve is forever printed on my mind

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post #9 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 22nd, 2002, 11:35 PM
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The serve is comprised of 4 main parts:

1 - The toss.
Actually the term "toss" is a misnomer. You don't really want to TOSS anything, What you want to do is "place" the ball at a certain place, at a certain time, so that the racquet can connect with it when the headspeed is at its greatest, and while the angle is sufficient to get it over the net. IMNSHO the most important part of the serve. Where you toss it varies a little on serving style. For the most power, toss it so that at its contact point, it's a little ahead of you, and slightly to your right (assuming you're right handed.) At the same time, once your left hand is up in the air, KEEP IT THERE. Track the movement of the ball with your left hand. (KEEP LOOKING AT THE BALL!)

2 - Racquet up.
Bring the racquet up over your head, and slightly behind you. This occurs at the same time as the toss. Your arm should be in the shape of a reversed "L." To create impressive power, at the same time, bend your legs a little, and slightly push your left hip (if you're right handed) forward, towards the net. (KEEP LOOKING AT THE BALL!)

3 - The Backscratch.
This is the second most important part. Keeping your wrist firm, bring your elbow forward, while dropping the racquet head behind your back. MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THIS: Make sure the head drops down, below your shoulder, and that is it not parallel to the court. You can serve drinks with a racquet that is parallel, but not a ball. At the same time, start to push up with your legs, a little forward on onto the court. You will be in the air when you hit the ball, so don't worry about faulting. (KEEP LOOKING AT THE BALL!)

4 - The Strike.
So your elbow is forward, the racquet head is down and behind you, and you're in the air. Now bring your right arm up, again, keeping a slightly firm wrist (again, assuming a right-hander) drop your left arm down INTO THE BODY so that your left hand is covering your navel. Don't let it drift out in front of you, else you'll screw up your balance. Your racquet should contact the ball either at the very top of the toss, or after it has dropped some, depending on your style. (Mine drops about 18 inches.) After you hit the ball, let your wrist follow the racquet head over and to the left. This is called "pronation." Make sure the racquet path follows through to the left of your left leg. Step into the court with your LEFT foot, and the ball should be flying at a great pace. (KEEP LOOKING AT THE BALL!)

That's the fundamentals of a killer serve. I use a ProStaff 6.0, which is not a powerful racquet by any means, and I serve around 100-105 miles an hour. (My serve is the best part of my game. I'm only a 3.5 serve and volleyer, but I have a strong 4.5 serve.) Not bad for a short, old fart, eh? And the reason I CAN serve and volley is bacause of that serve.

Get yourself a ball hopper, and stock it with about 50-75 balls. Go out to the court and just continually practice this. I say this to myself when serving: "Toss, track, (the ball) drop, (the racquet head) HIT!" Don't worry about placement for a while. Concentrate on making the motion as fluid and second nature as you can. Once you're banging screamers with confidence, placement becomes rather easy. The reason the service motion is so pretty is because it HAS to be. That fluidity is what makes for a good serve.

I still practice my serve more than anything else. I hit 300 serves 3 times a week. (75 Deuce-75 Ad-75 Deuce-75 Ad.) My coach doesn't even bother with my serve. I've aced him enough times, that he looks at it about once a month to make sure I'm not picking up any bad habits, and then lets it go.

Hope that helps.


Last edited by joegerardi; Dec 23rd, 2002 at 07:47 PM.
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post #10 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2002, 01:25 AM
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One of the things that helped me to improve my serve a lot is by observing a professional player as they go about their serve. or somebody you know who has a really good serve and preferably the same height and body type as you have ... though it isnt really a major factor.

If you analyze these people enough, you would be able to get really good tips on how to hit a better serve.

for example, the rituals before a serve. a lot think of these quirky little things (bouncing your ball a certain number of times, holding the ball up to the sun, etc) as non-useful. but remember, a big component of a good serve is consistency and a good ritual would be able to set you into a groove.

power ... again, look at the pro players when they serve. look where their feet are, the swing, the ball toss. looking at them long enough and experimenting from what you have learned from them and you are bound to improve.

again my tip to you... observe, observe, observe ...

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post #11 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2002, 02:34 AM
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very clever jacs... I'd give that tip myself also

Another one could be, besides from all the tecnical things there were mentioned to try and focus on a place of the serving square. And try, with lots of loads of repetitions to place it in the same place. With training it will become a usual thing and power can be added up later, but still with placement you can bother your opponent.

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post #12 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2002, 04:47 AM
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IMO, this has always been the hardest part in tennis...even professionals who train everyday could hit so many double faults in a single match alone.

"When I was four years old, we moved from England to USA, when my mother found out that I won't be KING!" -- Bob Hope--

Madame Oracene Williams could certainly teach the French & Belgian crowds on how to upgrade their respective primitive behaviours during a tennis match.
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post #13 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2002, 04:52 AM
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You can throwing a ball? If yes, then try with your racquet and hit a ball... it will help you!!

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post #14 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2002, 05:36 AM
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edited! lol..i read other people's posts who are more tennis 'oriented' and they describe it better

Good luck to the Aussie and Balkan girls!

Last edited by SM; Dec 23rd, 2002 at 09:33 PM.
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post #15 of 43 (permalink) Old Dec 23rd, 2002, 07:20 AM
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Originally posted by Pamela Shriver
Don't ask me. My last match at Wimbledon against Anke...that Ping pong serve is forever printed on my mind
Yeah don't ask Pam, that's the best advise I can give lol
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