Tennis Serve - How to MEET the ball to minimise contact errors

Sharapova Serving
Dear Reader

I am sure most of us season players have often experienced ball contact problems when serving.

As a coach I would break down the reasson due to the following root causes
- ball toss
- setup readiness

Many coaches focus on good ball toss, or rather how to get a consistent ball toss. But they forget about the readiness of the body setup to MEET the ball.

As a player, I feel I am BETTER able to achieve consistent contact point if I adjust my priorities as such
- good setup readiness
- a reasonable good ball toss but not necessarily always the SAME sport

I would like you to consider a analogy with the FOREHAND stroke.

A good setup just for a FOREHAND hit would be, accomplishing the following
1. early movement to the ball
2. slowing down to a complete stop on outer leg (just about to achieve a PIVOT) as the ball is coming down and extending your non-hitting hand at the incoming ball and bringing racket back pointing at the fence at the same time
3. Without stopping, rotating forward and pivoting on back leg to take racket swing upwards to MEET the ball

A good setup for a SERVE would be, similarly accomplishing the following
1. bending front leg and achieving a PIVOT point (front leg) early as the ball is RELEASED and racket head is being raised facing skywards.
2. Pointing at Tossed ball and and letting the Racket head drop only after point 1 has been achieved.
3. Without stopping, rotating forward and upward pivoting on front leg to take racket swing upwards and forward to MEET the dropping ball

In both cases I emphasise MEETING the ball . This is a KEY concept.

MEETING and WAITING are a whole world of difference.

By MEETING , we can adjust in REAL time
By WAITING,  we have much LESS time to adjust in REAL time

If you try it and understand what I mean, you would be on the way to achieve a consistent contact point on your serve as opposed to a consistent toss to suit your stance.

Happy Serving



Albert Teo
Author: Albert Teo

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