Rebuilding Your Tennis Serve
Article by Simon Harkin
Tennis Serve Progression Video
Player: Simon Harkin (Right Handed)
Coach: Stephen Nugent
Build a mechanically sound serve technique which will enable player to compete at a higher level. A powerful and reliable serve is the ultimate aim.
Tennis Serve Problem:
- Poor serve technique which has led to rotator cuff injuries.
- Simon has used the same poor serve technique for over 25 years.
- Incorrect set up and inconsistent throw up with late ball release (behind the head) which sets in motion the players mechanical / biomechanical problems.
Tennis Serve Solution:
Tennis Serve Setup:
- Body should be more side on – copy Roger Federer setup. Infact, copy his serve and your sorted 🙂
- Right foot to remain behind Body – Right foot is NOT to slide up during serve as this compounds existing problems.
- Left hand to rest beneath racket head and keep both low during setup.
Tennis Serve Throw-up:
- Tennis ball to be held in fingers to avoid spin.
- Early release on ball toss which encourages an “infront” contact point. Keep arms loose.
- Ball toss infront of body and to the right of head. For a T serve the ball toss will be further to the left of body.
- The left arm action will follow along a J path.
Tennis Serve Body Loading
- Knee bend and trunk rotation.
- Rotate shoulders to the right (think Pete Sampras). Remember the trophy position.
- Important for Simon to keep right foot well back and not to slide forward during the drive to contact point.
Serve contact point – Driving to the impact position:
- Legs are loaded so drive hard from this position up to the contact point.
- Remember shoulder-over-shoulder rotation (think cartwheel).
- Remember forward rotation (think somersault).
- Focus on keeping tossing arm (left arm) up as long as possible and keep head up.
- Impact ball just as its falling from peak height.
- Deceleration control to protect shoulder and arm – Keep doing your rotator cuff stretching and strengthening exercises.
- Land on left foot, take a recover step into court and recover as quickly as possible.
Serve swing thoughts:
- Think “loose” and be positive.