This article talks about tennis serve speed techniques to execute in order to increase the speed or power of the tennis serve. There are several forms of the tennis serve, which include the flat, slice and topspin serve.
No matter what type of serve you use or no matter how accurate your tennis serves are, you will still be at a disadvantage if your serve is at a very low speed. A slow tennis serve means an easy return for your opponent, since he or she will be ready and in the right position to attack your serve. If this happens, you will even lose a point because you will be vulnerable since you are still in the serving position and not ready to return the ball from your opponent. Therefore, to be most effective in your tennis serve speed, is needed in order to produce a very fast tennis serve.
Tennis Serve Grip
The best tennis grip to use to speed up your serve is the continental grip. This is the tennis grip most professional players use in their first serve. Although some players are using other grips continental grip is normally used by players who are well known to have powerful tennis serve.
Each variation of spins on the tennis serve are used by players in every tennis match, although some are used at a lesser frequency like the slice serve. The most commonly used serve especially in professional tennis matches is the topspin serve.
To be effective in your tennis serve speed improvement you should have the proper toss preparation. The best way to hold the ball when you are about to toss the ball is to place it on the tips of your tossing fingers (fingers of your left hand if you are a right handed players). If you place the ball near the center of your palm, there is a possibility that the ball won’t be properly tossed.
To improve the serve accuracy with high speed, you have to toss the ball in a straight vertical line. If you don’t bend your arm slightly, it can happen that the ball toss will be in a curve pattern instead of a straight line which can make the timing of the ball release difficult and the toss will not be done accurately.
Wind up movement
Another technique to increase tennis serve speed is to add explosiveness to your serve. Players can choose variations to the wind-up to create a faster serve. Some players prefer to bring the racket up and back eliminating the classic wind up (which is to bring the racket down and back.) If you do the full or classic wind up, your serve will be smoother but if you do the shorter version, you will have an explosive serve (Roddick style)
The toss release is also important because it can affect the power of your tennis serve. To increase the speed of your tennis serve, release the ball as high as possible or up to the farthest point your tossing hand can reach. Then naturally open up all your fingers all together and have your eyes glued to the ball.
Knee bend and body arch posture
An important aspect to increase your tennis serve speed is to bend your knees more than what other players do, and at the same time accentuate this by aligning your body correctly for the serve. These movements allow your legs muscles and torso to accumulate energy. The speed of your tennis serve comes from the high racket speed caused by the power you have stored while doing those movements.
Elbow up and racket drop posture
The next important racket and hand posture is when the elbow is bent upward with your racket hanging down. In this case, the racket speed is attained when the elbow starts to strengthen from the bent position. With the elbow fully bent up and the racket hanging down at your back gives you an assurance that a high point of contact (when the ball comes in contact with the racket face) is attained. As your elbow is straightened at the same time your legs lift and bring your body upwards. These movements (elbow straightening and legs lifting from ground) create force to make your wrist whip the ball at a very high force.
Legs thrust and lift from the ground
As mentioned above, the upward movement of the legs or the lifting motion of the legs adds force that creates powerful force in the wrist. The more force you exert on your legs the more powerful your tennis serve will be.
Start of racket upward swing
The way you swing your racket upward can also affect your tennis serve speed. To increase tennis serve speed, the upward swing must occur on it’s own accord once the rest of the body is beginning to uncoil. The result is that the mass of the racket resisting against the upward movement (a downward pull) is created in your wrist, and your forearm (which is originally was facing sideways) is then stretched in a forward direction. The stretching movement of your forearm will add power to your racket head speed.
Racket-edge approach before ball contact
Another technique for tennis serve speed is to approach the ball with your racket edge first. This means that instead of the racket face (strings) facing the ball; it’s the edge or side of the racket head that is facing the ball. And then seconds before the actual contact of the ball and the racket face, you have to execute pronation with your forearm changing the direction of your racket face from edge position to the position wherein the racket face is facing the ball. One thing to remember here is that you should loosen up and relax your wrist and forearm at this stage of the serve. If you do this you will be able to execute the pronation naturally without exerting any effort. The pronation is produced due to the forces exerted largely by you lower limbs (legs), the torso and of course with you upper arm.
Full stretch point of contact
Another feature to consider in tennis serve speed is the point of contact between the ball and the racket face. To get the most power in the tennis serve a player must reach to the point of contact at full extension or the highest possible point. Different players vary on how they execute their tennis serve in terms of how they do the wind up, how they thrust their legs and even how they grip the racket. But the most basic thing in adding tennis serve speed is the point of contact between the ball and the racket face.
To create more tennis serve speed and at the same time create a mixture of sidespin and topspin in your serve; try to brush your racket head upwards and across the ball at a certain angle. By doing this you’re not only producing a very powerful tennis serve but also the ball can kick or bounce very high which can be very difficult for your opponent to return.
Furthermore, to add more power in moving forward to hit the ball, it is also ideal to lean slightly with your body in a forward direction. You need to practice this technique often because if you lean your body too much, it can be very difficult to hit the ball correctly.
Follow through for the Tennis Serve
The follow through will not contribute much tennis serve speed but rather, the pronation process still continues and this results to the change of direction of your racket face from your left side to your right side. The follow through completes with the downward movement once you hit the ball, eventually the racket face will complete near the left side of the body.
Body posture up high
Last, but not least, the way a player will hit a powerful serve is dependent upon how you carry your body on the follow through. You will know if you used the proper technique to execute a powerful tennis serve if the upward and forward momentum of your legs brings your body into the court.
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