The serve is the most important shot in tennis. It is the only shot that you have 100% control over and it can give you a big advantage at the start of the point.
There are two key things that you should always remember on the serve. If you are doing these two things well, you will be able to hit a good consistent serve:
- You should always go up! One of the most common mistakes (especially when players are nervous) is to to pull your head down or dropping your left arm (right arm for lefties) too soon in the serve. So remember, you want to keep your head up and looking at the ball as long as you can, and you want to keep your left arm up and reaching as long as you can. These two things will help you go up!
- Keep your toss at 1:00. For a quick exercise, try reaching up as high as you can with your racket. Don’t slouch, really reach up and stretch out your body. Now, look at where your racket is. That is about where you should toss the ball. Your goal is to make contact with your toss at the peak of it’s height. If you are reaching up as high as you can, and the ball drops at all before you hit it, your toss may be too high.
Keep in mind, if your toss isn’t perfect, but you are going up with your body and your legs, and you are paying attention to tip #1, you still have a high potential of hitting a good serve. With a good toss, your serve gets that much better.