Updated: Feb 8
In today’s lesson, I want to share 3 powerful tips that you can use to win your service games.
Before I talk about the tips, let me share some of my thoughts on the importance of the tennis serve.
Why is the serve so important? Well, the serve is the only shot that is within your control because you are the one initiating the serve. The other shots like the forehands, backhands and volleys are dependent on what your opponent throws at you so you are not really in control of those shots.
Therefore it is important to make your service games count.
If you can hold serve, you will have a higher chance of winning the match. No doubt about it.
So as mentioned earlier, I promised to share 3 tips to help you win your service games. I can’t recall how many times these tips have helped me get out of trouble when I was facing break points. So I really want to pass these tips to you as they have worked well for me.
Have a Routine
The first tip is to establish your own routine before your serve.
Why? Because having a routine helps you to regroup and focus before the start of the point. Imagine after a long rally and you lost the point, you need to regroup and stay focus for the next point. Having a routine will help you to do that.
For me, I like to bounce the ball 5 times before I serve. It is a habit that I developed over the years. You can start developing your own routine, like bouncing the ball X number of times or adjust your wrist band etc.
Plan Your Serve
The second tip is to plan the serve direction.
Have a idea where you want to serve, for example, serving out wide to your opponents backhand or serving to the body to jam the opponent etc.
It is so important to have a mental image where you want the serve to go and most of the time, your brain will follow your orders.
If you have no idea where to serve, then you are giving yourself a lot of uncertainties. Chances are you may commit a service fault which you hate!
Positive Cue Words
Finally, the last tip is to use positive cue words.
I have seen situations where players scolded themselves ‘idiot’ ‘hopeless’ after the first serve. Some rec players tend to be nervous when it comes to second serve so they kept reminding themselves, “Don’t double fault, don’t double fault”. All these negative words don’t help you at all!
So if your first serve is a fault, I recommend that you use positive cue words to reinforce your second serve technique.
For example, I may use words like “brush higher“or “add more spin” etc to remind myself to spin the ball higher to clear the net, assuming the first serve went into the net. These positive words will tell the brain what to do when I am making the second serve.
Watch the video above where I will give you a demonstration on how I incorporate the 3 tips when I am serving.
Go ahead and try these tips. I am confident that you will see positive results in your service games.
Let me know what you think in the comment box below.
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