Updated: Feb 8
In this video lesson, I am going to share with you some tips to help you in your tennis serve training so that your training becomes more fun, exciting and relevant to your tennis matches.
Learn 5 Tennis Serve Drills To Win Your Service Game
The key to a good serve practice is always to plan with a purpose.
I strongly encourage you to plan ahead before you go for your next tennis serve training. Plan what activities you are going to do and understand why you are doing it. So, basically ask yourself what you hope to achieve after your tennis serve and what is your end in mind.
1. Serve to targets.
The first tip that I am going to suggest to you when you practice your tennis serve is to serve with targets.
In the video, you will see that I place three targets, one out wide, one to the body and one down the ‘T’.
Whenever you are serving, pick a target and make sure you get the feel of how to serve to the target. Here, what I am asking is to pick a spot and make sure you serve to the target continuously and consistently. There’s no point rotating two serves out wide, two serves to the body and two serves down the ‘T’ and you miss every one of them. So, first activity is to pick the target, stay focused and make sure you get the feel of the serving to the target.
In the shortened video demonstration, I focused my four serves out wide. You will also notice that even if I didn’t hit the cone, the four serves landed around the area. In a match situation, these serves are going to the opponent’s forehand side if he’s a right handed player. Hence, it is important to pick a target when you are serving.
2. Serve with points in mind.
The next thing I am going to share with you in your tennis serve training is to serve with points in mind. Imagine you are playing a game and you are serving from Love all (zero score). You can win one point if you can put the ball in the service box within two serves. You lose the point if you double faulted. So, when you play this game create some pressure in your serve, that will definitely help you win a tennis match.
3. Serve with different scenarios.
Another exercise that you can try is to create different scenarios when you are serving and this is also points related. For example, if you are down 15-40 and you are facing a break point. Then, you have to put up serve in so that you stay in the service game. This will give you lot of pressure. When you are facing the real situation, you know that you have really experienced that during your tennis serve practice.
So, play different scenarios, for example, think that you are serving at the game point, facing a break-point or even serving for a match. By creating such scenarios you are creating different experiences. This helps you bear the pressure of the real situation and you know what should be done. I am going to share with you how I create scenarios in the video demonstration. What I am going to tell myself is, I am facing a break-point. As shown in the image below, at 15-40, I put the ball in so that I am still in the service game.
So, I put the ball in and I imagine I am continuing with the rally. The next scenario could be I am facing a break-point at 30-40. Similarly, next scenario could be I am facing a match point and I am going to win the match. Sometimes when we face a match point a lot of players cannot close it out. Therefore, you can practice serving when you are facing match point. Here, in your tennis serve practice you can create different scenarios and play those in your mind. So, whenever the real situation comes you are definitely well prepared.
4. Focus on second serve.
The next thing you can try is to focus on your second serve. During the serve practice you can think that I am going to work on the second serve. You can create pressure by telling yourself that I am going to play with points and I only have one serve. If I lose that serve I am going to lose the point. This will force you to work on the second serve and therefore creating a reliable second serve for your tennis matches.
5. Serve when you are tired.
The last thing that I am going to share with you is to serve when you are feeling tired. Many times when you are serving and if you have a long rally you may feel tired.
For some players, if they are tired, they really can’t focus on the next serve. One good serve practice what you can do is – once you have put the ball in, perform ten shadow movements to mimic the rally.
After finishing the shadow movement, if you are feeling breathless, just move around and focus on the breathing and recovery. Attempt the next serve.
In the video, I demonstrated how I am going to serve and perform ten shadow movements. After the shadow movements, I imagine I have finished the rally and I am feeling breathless. So I focus on my breathing and recovery before the next serve. My suggestion is to focus on taking two deep breathes before the next serve. As you get better at this, it will help you in long gruelling tennis matches.
I have shared few tips that you can use for your next serve practice. Pick one drill that you like and use it in your next serve practice. Remember plan with the purpose, so that your serve practice becomes more meaningful.