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Serve Tip: Refining Your Serve
Serve Tip: Refining Your Serve
The serve initiates the point so whether you are a current fan of your own serve, it is your best weapon!
There are a few key components to consider when refining your serve-toss, body position, contact and follow through.
The Toss:As many of us have added some special touches to each piece of the puzzling serve, your goals should be kept simple. Your toss should be out in front of your body, crossing the baseline and two or three inches into the court. Even a slice serve toss should remain in bounds of the court, after all, that is where you are headed. A pendulum of tossing arm and hitting arm should be created, moving both from a dipping swing upward at equal pace. This movement generates momentum that helps to power your serve. If your arms are moving independently of one another, your body is having to disperse energy and offer less to more areas-this is not good! The wiser choice is to start your motion in a swooping pattern that can be duplicated and carried through to boost that serving strength.
Body Position: As you begin the toss, you bend those knees to achieve a spring upward! Your legs are a huge power source-use this energy to create the momentum up and into the court to boost your power. A common misconception is that power can only be generated by your arms and this swing at the ball. Your strong legs can thrust that momentum up and create the torque you need when coming up to contact the ball and push through into the court. When tossing, your weight should be on your back foot angled parallel to the baseline while using your front foot, at a 45 degree angle pointed toward the corner of the net, for balance. Your arms should be moving in unison, balancing your weight. Your arm and chest will be within the same flat plane. As you connect with the ball, your non-serving arm can be tucked in a bit to your hip to make room for the follow through. Your body weight shifts to the middle and finally should be coming down to follow through inside the baseline on your front foot, always keeping in mind that momentum should be moving into the court-not upward, to the side or backward, but forward, into the court!
Contact: As with the toss, many of us have perfected some wild round about swing to hit the ball and keeping that is great if you choose but reserving the energy is important, directing the racquet head where it needs to be at the right time is paramount. Contact with the ball should be at the highest point or at full extension of your arm and racquet up to the sky. This angle allows the ball to absorb any spin and power you may put on the ball and retain the best odds of clearing the net, thus beginning the point.
Follow Through: Your serve is NOT complete until you have carried your swing up to connect with the ball, continuing the elliptical motion around across the front of your body finishing on the opposite side of your serving arm down past your hips. Your racquet should finish behind you, pointing to the back fence. By the time you are coming down from full extension, you are pronating continually in toward the court until your shoulders are square with the net. Your arm moves across the body and comes down to about knee level but keep your shoulders square and your eye on the fast moving ball. Go ahead and jump into a split step to prepare for the return.
Nice job on your hard work, critically reading and contemplating your service action from start to finish. Use the following videos to help visually address each component of your serve! They are helpful!!!