ASK THE PROFESSIONAL
Director of Tennis
How can I add more power on my serve so I can start to ace my opponents?
Jim Pettit, Charlotte NC 4.5 NTRP
The serve is the most important stroke in the game. Look at all the top ATP and WTA Professionals. All of these players have made their serves into weapons that help them win. Plus they practice with their coaches weekly.
The serve is also my favorite stroke to teach. You can practice and improve your serve on your own. To add more power on your serve you must work in three areas.
First, the strength and power must start with your stance and your legs. You need to push up off the court with your legs. I like to lean under the serve and then push up. Think of flexing your ankles and knees and spring up!
Next, your ball placement must be consistent. Slow down the beginning of your motion and place the ball slightly forward and to the right of your body. (For left-handed players, the ball placement should be slightly to the server's left side.) This position will allow you to coil your body by turning your hips and shoulders. By coiling the upper body, you will be able to store energy in your core on the serve. Load and then explode up to the ball!
The third key to a powerful serve is racquet head acceleration before you hit the ball. Remember to use the Continental serving grip, which will add spin and power to your new serve - plus it allows your wrist to move smoothly. Try relaxing your grip by sliding your hand down so that the meaty part of your palm hangs off the bottom of the racquet. This will help you relax your wrist and increase racquet head speed as you generate a whipping of the racquet, up and through the ball. Pronation, or wrist snap, increases racquet head speed as you hit up on the ball.
So remember...everyone can have a powerful serve, but you must practice!
1. A forward ball placement helps uncoil the body.
2. Lean under the ball and push yourself off of the court with your legs.
3. A relaxed grip increases racquet head acceleration towards the ball.
You now have time, to improve your new serve. Start practicing today at the Marc S White Tennis School, so you can win your next match with an ace!
See you on the courts!
Director of Tennis, Oglebay Resort
USTA Tennis Ambassador
PTR National Tester