How to Improve Your Serve in Tennis

We can’t deny that everything worthwhile takes a lot of practice and determination. Everything about tennis takes time in order to perfect. Even simply hitting the ball takes a lot of practice if you want to return it inside the court. Otherwise, you’ll just whack it out of the tennis court like most beginners without proper technique do.

All of this can be said for tennis serves as well. Sure, you can have the best racket, best tennis strings, and all of the right equipment, but without the right methods and practice, you won’t improve. In this article, we will cover all you need to know about how to improve your tennis serve and score as many aces as you can.

Learn the Main Types of Tennis Serves

Before you can ever start to improve, you need to make sure that you know the 3 most popular tennis serves. If you haven’t learned the proper techniques to serve, then what is there to improve? There are a few main types of tennis serves that most pro players use to their advantage. You don’t have to become a master at them, but practice enough so that they start feeling natural to you. After this, we can begin to practice techniques for improvement.

3 Steps to Improve Tennis Serve

tennis serve jump

Some types of serves are going to be easier than others. This is different for every player and it’s completely normal. These methods of improvement apply for all of the serve types, no matter if you’re trying to perfect the kick serve, or flat, or any other. So, follow this guide and don’t give up. You’ll be there in no time if you practice hard enough.

1: Know How to Position Your Body (The Stance)

man serving in tennis

Beginnings are usually the hardest. When you serve in tennis, how you position your body will determine much of the outcome of your serve. Because of this, you need to perfect the beginning in order to improve further. Here are a few ways to practice improving your tennis serve stance.

The first step is to make sure you achieve balance in all directions. If you want to make things easier, make sure to practice on the ad court first. This will make it easier to understand and move on to more complicated methods. So, here is what you have to do in order to achieve this.

Place your left foot in a way that your toes are facing towards the right net post. This is, of course, the opposite for left-handers. Then, position your right foot so that your heel is parallel with the baseline. This way, your right foot toes should be facing outside of the court. Perfecting the perfect stance will take getting used to but it’s the first step towards improving your overall tennis serve.

2: Perfect Your Grip

Many overlook the importance of a proper grip. Whenever new tennis players hold a racket for the first time, they look for a grip position that feels most comfortable. They don’t take the time to learn the proper ways to grip without knowing that every grip type will start feeling comfortable once practiced enough.

The best and most recommended tennis serve grip for beginners who wish to improve is the Continental Grip. There are others, but this one is easy to master and offers faster improvement than the rest. It’s true that each grip offers its own benefits, but this is all you need to improve your tennis serve for now and start looking like a pro.

Tennis Racket Grip Bevels

tennis racket bevels

In order to learn the Continental Grip, you will need to know what tennis racket bevels are first. This image shows where each bevel is positioned for both right and left-handed players. Now, the Continental Grip requires the use of bevels 1. It’s quite simple. All you have to do is hold your hand out flat and place your index knuckle on bevel 1. Then squeeze the racket.

It may not feel comfortable at first but the more you practice, the more natural it will start to feel. If you perfect your grip, then hitting the ball will also come naturally. However, the ball toss is an entirely different factor.

3: Tossing the Ball Just Right

hand holding tennis ball

One of the most hassling things about improving your tennis serve can be tossing the ball. Beginner players struggle with this a lot. They either toss it too far away from them or too close, not having enough time or space to fully swing and hit. It’s a crucial step that you must learn how to do properly. Here are a few tips on how to improve.

Avoid Adding Spin to the Ball

A common mistake is to grip the ball with your entire hand and toss. If you grip it like that when you toss the ball the tips of your fingers apply spin. This can set the ball off course and make it harder for you to position it and yourself. Keep in mind to hold it with your fingertips only and toss lightly and not too fast.

Don’t Rush

No one is forcing you to toss the ball right after you’ve grabbed it from your pocket. Take your time, assess the situation, decide how you’re going to serve, and gently toss. It’s important to keep focused and aim accordingly. Rushing only increases your chances of failing.

Ball Toss Height

Regarding how high you have to toss it, the general rule is about 2-3 feet from the height of your racket as you’re about to serve. But obviously, you can’t measure this mid-game. The only good advice to keep in mind here is to practice. The force you apply when tossing the ball will come naturally.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

woman holding tennis ball and racket

The last tip is probably the most powerful. However, without the right type of guidance, you wouldn’t know what techniques to practice. Now that you’ve seen what to focus on, all you can do is practice. There’s a difference between serving 50 balls per day and serving 250. Dedicate some time if this truly matters to you and there’s nothing enough practice won’t improve and perfect.

About The Author

Vladimir Kovacevic

Vladimir is a former journalism student and an active freelance writer. He has a lifelong passion for sports, especially soccer, basketball and tennis. His basketball playing days ended after high school but he still likes to play hoops with his friends. Vladimir also likes to ride his bike at some of the most popular green areas in Belgrade, Serbia.

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