Often for myself as a tennis coach, I find that players struggle to embrace the concepts on the serve. In my opinion this is because the serve requires you to be aware and use more parts of your body than any other shot in tennis. I also believe that serving challenges a players flexibility, posture and strength a lot more than any other shot in the game.
Here are just a few of my tips for developing a great serve. These exercises can be applied to younger children all the way up to the most advanced players. Most of which, don't even require a tennis court.
1- Practice your ball-toss(any age and skill level). All players struggle with this. Even pros on a windy day!!! A great way to do this is simply to place a racket on the floor, with the but-cap of the racket touching the front of your front foot's big toe. If you're right handed, move the racket-head slightly to 1 o'clock, if you're a lefty, move it to 11 o'clock. Use your non-hitting hand and practice throwing the ball up like a proper ball-toss and trying to get it onto the strings of the racket. For more advanced players, you can practice adding serving progressions. I have a video on how to do serving progressions for a foot-up serve here if you want to check it out
2- For beginners(ages 3-6), practice throwing a tennis ball forward, then practice throwing it up as high and straight as they can. Be sure to practice with both hands!!
3- Players aged 6-8, practice the serve in 3 parts. Set-up correctly, ball-toss and swing
4- Players 8 or 9 and up - practice serving progressions to learn the correct body parts that need to be used and the correct sequence of body parts on the serve. (Stay tuned because a "foot-back" and part 2 of the "foot-up serve" will be coming soon)
5- Intermediate/advanced players(aged 9 and up) Pronation exercises - these are beyond the scope of this post, but if you want to learn how to hit a flat/kick/slice serve with pronation, these exercises will teach you the fundamentals of the correct technique. Contact me on 0421 560 235 or email me at email@example.com if you're interested in finding out more
There you have it. 5 tips and a bit of a progression for you all to follow to build your serve. Hope you can apply some of the more simpler ones. For the more advanced stuff, please contact us.