Make your own free website on Tripod.com
Home | Hazard | Partner | Junior | Basic

Tennis Anyone?

Serve - Develop consistency and power

 
 
Objective: Incorporate more power sources and move your serves around.

serve - Kimura

Things can get a little complicated at this stage. Although you don’t want to adopt a pure-power mind-set, to be effective you do need to put some pace on the ball. But you have to balance that with consistency and accuracy. At the beginner level, players tend to rely mostly on their arms to get power on the ball.

The biomechanics of movement

A phrase commonly used in tennis science is 'segmental interaction'. Coaches are now teaching their players that using the whole body in a fluid and integrated manner can dramatically improve the power of a stroke.

The idea is to co-ordinate movements so that motion progresses from larger to the smaller joints. This is the most effective way to transfer energy through the interaction of the different segments. As a result, the racket head moves much faster.

Incorporating a full shoulder turn and knee bend adds pace to your serve.

serve - Keiko

Now you have to start using more of your body and incorporating big muscle groups into your motion. Start with shoulder rotation. Turn away from your opponent during your backswing and uncoil toward your target as you move your racquet to contact. Then try to focus on getting your legs to drive you up and into the court. Tapping into more power sources while maintaining the fundamental mechanics of the service motion will give you controllable and consistent power.

cross train

serve - target

Quick whipping swing

Pre-1970s, players needed a long stroke to get the heavy wooden rackets up to a good speed for hitting the ball. The gradual acceleration gave them more control so that they could hit the ball exactly on the sweet spot of the racket.

With lighter rackets and larger sweet spots, modern players are able to use a quick whipping swing. They are less likely to find the same spot on the racket every time. Fortunately, new rackets are much less sensitive to the exact location of the ball on the strings.

As your serve develops, so should your tactics. Diversifying your locations will keep your opponents off-guard and open up opportunities on your second ball.
 
Serve and volley occasionally, or, if you’ve started to use one, hit a kick on your first serve up high to your opponent’s backhand—these plays will disrupt his return rhythm. And when you get to a big point, it’s a smart play to serve to your opponent’s more vulnerable side, as this will put pressure on him to come up with a big reply.