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Hello! I'm Dana. I've been told a lot of times that I have a lot of strength. But I don''t know how to use it. When I serve especially, I get it in only 5 out of 20 times. And that's only when I use strength. When I serve, i usually just tap the ball so it would go into the box, but I'm trying to improve it. How do I keep my serves consistent and with power but also getting it into the box every time?
First, you have to accept that you're not going to be able to get your first serves in every time. Look at the best servers in the world: people like Roddick and Federer usually get around 65% in. If you're lucky enough to be blessed with enormous power then maybe you can afford to serve at three quarters of your full pace to ensure consistency while still putting your opponent on the back foot. Verdasco does this quite often: he rolls them in at 130mph usually, but if it comes to a crucial point or if he is facing a break, he can crack a 148mph bomb that almost guarantees him the point.
Originally Posted by dana
I used to be in a similar situation to you, with a powerful but inconsistent serve. Honestly, practice makes perfect once it comes to serving. Once you have ensured you've perfected your motion, just spend an hour or so every so often just hitting serve after serve after serve and trying to get as many in as possible. Once you're getting about 75% in with your second serve speed, start cranking up the pace and serving kickers and slicers as well until you're getting over half your first serves in.
You may be lucky in that you have a powerful serve which allows you to get away with less consistency. I find that, even though my first serve is only around 50% or so, if it goes in, oftentimes it isn't coming back.
But, there is no substitute for practice. Serving is all about rhythm and confidence. If you aren't confident about your serve, your whole game will suffer. During your ball toss, if you don't know exactly where, how fast and with what spin you're going to deliver, as well as how these things are going to be achieved, then you are under-practiced. I also find that it helps my consistency a lot if I practice my serve for half an hour immediately before a match just to get into a rhythm.
Last edited by AlexLogan; 03-23-2010 at 07:24 PM.
"The depressing thing about tennis is that no matter how good I get, Iíll never be as good as a wall."
"Whoever said, ĎItís not whether you win or lose that counts,í probably lost."
Here are couple of things that I used to rein in my first serve because I definitely had the power before the consistency. If your serves go long try tossing the ball a bit deeper into the court. Even on first serves make sure your swing up as well as forward and keep the racket head slightly closed at contact. If the serves are going into the net then make sure the ball isn't coming down too far before contact and try to swing up more.
Sounds like your service stroke is not grooved or correct, yet.
You need a correct motion, to start with. Only practice and knowing the correct motion, then applying that knowledge and practicing the tennis serve for at least a year will you come close to getting a real service motion.
Watch vids of top players. Notice they hit slightly differently than each other, but all have the trophy pose, a similar setup, and similar leg thrust.
Copy them for a year, then you will hit serves in half the time, 2/3 power.
When you go for full speed, never better than 40%.
http://fuzzyyellowballs.com Has progressions and proper service technique. Trust me, it really works in teaching you the fundementals.
Since this thread is about service issues, sometimes i feel that I've sprung up, and have a great deal of racquet speed, yet my contact seems muddled.
I'm sure the technique is pretty much correct, and I've figured out my toss. (Though I haven't gotten to trying it out yet).
Muddled is a strange word.
Are you serves going consistently long, short, or just plain mishit?
What do you mean by "toss figured out"?
Post vid, on youtube.
Well, i was usually put spin on the toss somehow, but I saw a photo of Andy Murray tossing the ball, and he spread his index + middle finger wide and held the ball primarily in those 2, the thumb provided support, and the ring + pinky also provided support but didn't hold it.
With this toss, almost no spin, and always on target.
My serves are just being mishit. I feel that I'm moving forward with quite some force, because I shadow the serve w/o a ball or a racquet before I actually hit to improve on technique, but it just seems mishit. If I had hit it properly, it seems to me like it would've been an ace. The balls I do manage to hit properly, they usually all are aces, and my weight transfer is usually perfect.
Well if your technique is perfect than try moving your ball toss around a bit like I mentioned earlier. If it's going too deep toss the ball a bit farther into the court. If it's going into the net bring the ball toss back abit. Once you find the right toss to use with your serve you're set assuming your technique stays the same.
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