Professional tennis players easily break 110 MPH on their serves. Head Pro Bob Hilborn at Scarborough East Tennis Club in Columbus, Ohio understands that weekend warriors can’t generate the same sort of velocity as Andy Roddick on their first serve.
Fortunately, Hilborn does have five tips for the recreational players that will increase the speed of their serve. While perfecting these tips will take practice, the end result will be a more powerful serve that can improve your game.
1. Generate More Racquet Speed
Your arm most move very freely, loosely and fast through the air during the service motion. While this might sound simple, there are additional steps that must be taken to ensure faster racquet speed.
2. Loosen Grip
To generate more racquet speed loosening the grip is a primary component. Recreational players tend to hold the grip too tight, especially in pressure filled point situations. By simply holding the grip less firmly, your racquet speed will increase and you’ll notice an increase in speed on your serve.
3. Flex Fingers
By briefly flexing your fingers before a serve it will loosen your grip. Baseball players follow this procedure before receiving a pitch as it ensures that they won’t be holding the bat too tight.
4. Take Pinky off Racquet
With three fingers and a thumb on the racquet, the player won’t grip the racquet as tight. This will allow the player to swing more freely. When you first attempt this, you’ll feel as if the racquet might fly out of your hand. This is certainly not the case but does prove how tight you’ve been holding the racquet in the past.
5. Keep Head Down
While you often hear this advice in golf, the same can be said for tennis. Making sure that you see your racquet making contact with the back of the ball is an extremely important component. This will not only improve consistency, it will also increase velocity.