Following on with our new 5 Tennis Tips feature to the Four Seasons Tennis Blog, today's new 5 tips are focused on the serve.
The serve is the most important shot in tennis. It gets the point started, and with a solid, consistent serve, you can dominate your matches. However, with a weak serve, you're prone to be broken on your service games and that puts you on the back foot in matches.
For recreational players, the serve can be confusing and difficult to master. It is one of the most technical movements in all sports and requires patience and repetition.
These 5 tips today are the basics and fundamentals that you build from. Focus on one at a time and practice, practice, practice!
Tennis Tip 1 - Get a Grip!
Use the continental grip for a serve. That is grip number 2, with the index knuckle on the top right bevel. This is often uncomfortable and difficult until you become used to the grip. The use of correct technique and pronation with get the most out of the continental grip.
For kids and adults starting out it is ok to use the eastern forehand grip, number 3.
Tennis Tip 2 - Ball Toss
The most difficult element to master consistently is putting the ball where it needs to be. Use a straight arm, let go of the ball at about eye height and continue the arm so it's pointing at the contact point. Aim to put the ball at 1 o'clock, that is, slightly in front of you and slightly to the right.
Tennis Tip 3 - Bend Your Knees
As you lift your arm for the ball toss, lean your hips forward under the ball and bend your knees. This helps with balance, stability and power.
Tennis Tip 4 - Where do you finish?
Move up and forwards into the contact of the ball. You should finish into the court after hitting the serve. If you're finishing sideways or backwards, not over the baseline, your ball toss is incorrect and/or you're hitting the ball in the incorrect place.
Tennis Tip 5 - Follow Through and Split
Once you've swung your arms and turned your shoulders through the contact of the ball, they need to continue and finish to the left of your body. Making sure you have a clean follow through and trajectory of the swing will ensure the ball will go where you want it to.
Once the follow through is made, take a further step to push back into the recovery position and split step, ready for the next ball.
Remember to drill these aspects of your serve, you want them to become muscle memory so you don't need to think about them in a match. You want to think about where you're going to hit the ball and place your next ball.
Happy hitting everyone!