Don’t be idle after the serve!


(Players like David Ferrer, who don’t posses huge serves know the importance of being ready after the serve)

Chances are, if you are an average club player, you have an average serve. In fact, i would go so far as to say that if you are not consistently winning two points a game from an ace or un-returnable serve, then you need to work more on your recovery after the serve. Especially after a second serve. The player who is serving always has the advantage because they have control over how the point starts (and sometimes, ends) but often are caught flat footed to react to the return.

If you are playing tennis competitively then you need to put more work into your serve. That means taking a basket out to a vacant court and putting the time in to practice. There is no other shot that will improve your winning percentage faster than improving your serve. It’s the only shot you have complete control over in the game, so there is no excuse not to have good control over the way you start the point. For you to get the most out of practicing the serve it is very important that you visualize a returner down the other end. This gives you a more realistic target to aim for and keeps you from just pushing the serve in.

A great drill to improve your recovery time after the serve is to split step after your serve, at the precise moment you think the returner would make contact with the return. If you have a great serve this drill gets you ready to pounce on the short reply, and if you have a developing serve you will be able to prepare yourself earlier for the next ball if your opponent attacks.

Attention to detail in your practices will give you the little advantages needed to improve your game. As you get better and better, the gains in your game become smaller, so every little improvement will start to yield bigger results. Have fun practicing your serves but remember to avoid being idle after the serve!

See you on the courts

Joel Myers
Tennis Director
Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego
Sheraton Hotel & Marina San Diego
USPTA Elite Professional

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