The serve is widely regarded as one of the most technical shots in the game of tennis. one of the other four basic shots you will need to play effective tennis. The key to achieving a good, consistant serve is in two parts; Firstly understanding the general, technical actions at the various stages and secondly, PRACTICE! Due to the complexities of the motions required, it is important to clarify these with your coach in order to establish a good visual map prior to practicing. Also, it is a good idea to practice these motions at home especially in front of a mirror in order to get real-time visual feedback. Once you get to the stage where you can 'FEEL' the motions at each stage rather than having to think about them, you will be on your way to a more efficient, and enjoyable serve. Then just PRACTICE, PRACTICE and more PRACTICE!
The READY position for the serve is just as important as for the ground strokes. It consists of;
Standing sideways, feet apart, racket, ball and eyes all pointing towards the target zone.
The body weight is generally on both feet with a gradual transfer onto the front foot just prior to swing back.
During swingback, transfer the body weight to the back foot and;
Turn the shoulders and swing the racket back in a 'pendulum' fashion whilst sychronising the ball toss at the same time.
Elevate the throwing arm in front of you and slightly to the hitting SIDE of your body and;
Passing throught the 'crucifix' position, elevate the racket head.
Keep your eyes fixed on the ball.
Initiate the forward swing by;
Transfering the body weight forwards into the ball, begining with the hips and bringing the feet together.
As the feet come together, bend the knees to allow for a 'push up' or better, a jump up to the ball.
Time the swing such that the racket meets the ball at a maximum height and;
.Jump uo to the ball.
Snap the wrist forwards towards the target area.
Ensure NOT to touch the ground (court area inc. white lines) before striking the ball.
Try to land on the opposite leg to the hitting arm in order NOT to over rotate.
Allow the hitting arm to fully follow through to the other side of the body.
Recover the body back to the ground stroke 'READY' position ASAP!