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View Full Version : Return of Serve - HOW TO PRACTICE ALONE ...


cervelo
09-09-2004, 01:00 PM
Are there any drills that can be done that will help develop a solid Return of Serve ... Specifically, how could I use a ball machine or a large concrete wall to practice my return ...

vin
09-09-2004, 04:12 PM
To improve clean contact and hitting through the ball, I've been practicing against the wall with no backswing and almost hitting flat. This abbreviated swing has proven to be very useful and has for the most part become the swing I use for returning tough serves. For as long as I've been playing tennis, return of serve was the worst part of my game. Not anymore :)

easitennis.com describes this forehand as a learning tool and also a defensive forehand. Although I don't think they mention it being use to return serves, they say it is good to use to hit winners on short balls when nervous.

Hope that helps.

papa
09-09-2004, 04:44 PM
If you have a portable ball machine you can prop in on top of several milk crates - also need a small jig (couple of bucks - couple of small pieces of wood and a couple of plastic closet pole holders) to pitch the ball somewhat downward from its normal low position and to held the ball machine on top of the crates. Each milk plastic mike crate is a foot and just using three will give you pretty good results - actually, I've never used more than three so you might want to do some test shots to make used everything is stable.

I'm not sure how you practice return of service off a wall by yourself but I suppose its possible.

gmlasam
09-09-2004, 05:24 PM
If you have a portable ball machine you can prop in on top of several milk crates - also need a small jig (couple of bucks - couple of small pieces of wood and a couple of plastic closet pole holders) to pitch the ball somewhat downward from its normal low position and to held the ball machine on top of the crates. Each milk plastic mike crate is a foot and just using three will give you pretty good results - actually, I've never used more than three so you might want to do some test shots to make used everything is stable.

I'm not sure how you practice return of service off a wall by yourself but I suppose its possible.I do something similar. I have a Tennis Tutor model 2 and I just prop it up on my ball cart, the large ones with four wheels, (LOOK HERE (http://www.mansionselect.com/tennisballcarts.html)) and I just adjust the speed to practically maximum to get a fast and high bouncing like serves. The ball machine is really a great invention, great to work on practically every tennis strokes. A great investment indeed. I've had my tennis tutor for about 6 years now, and have no regrets getting it.

Rickson
09-09-2004, 06:02 PM
Serve tha ball to yourself against the wall. The rebound off the wall will not be as hard as a good player's actual serve, but the ball usually lands deep enough to feel like a serve coming at you.

cervelo
09-09-2004, 06:28 PM
I'm not sure if the flat forehand drill is the same as the one I have used in the past ... but I can tell you that I do use a "kind of" flat forehand drill off a wall and it is really, really hard to hit an absolute flat forehand routinely! I inevitably put topspin even when trying not to ... I don't think I've ever hit 5 in a row where I could read the label after impact ...

Q: on the ball machine thing, where do you place it on the court? Also, I'm worried that I'll clock the thing and knock it over...

FYI: My Prince model 3 is almost ten years old and truly "man's best friend" ...

gmlasam
09-09-2004, 06:40 PM
Q: on the ball machine thing, where do you place it on the court? Also, I'm worried that I'll clock the thing and knock it over...

.I place my tennis tutor at the center maker in the baseline, and If I want to have more pace, I simply bring it closer to the net. I use some bungee cords to keep it in place on top of my ball cart. The wheels on my ball machine fits between the ball cart grids, so it helps to keep it secure..

papa
09-10-2004, 03:57 PM
Agree with gmlasam.

I've hit it many times and it hasn't tipped over but then again, my serves don't always hit four feet up on the back fence on the first bounce - actually I played around with that today and found most hit the fence on the second. Incidently, the fences on the outdoor courts are about twenty five feet in back of the baseline --- indoor court nets are closer - maybe twenty feet.

Keep in mind that when you serve into a wall you have little time to set up for a return - you have basically cut your time in half. Might work but when I practice serving into a wall, I have all I can do just to stop the ball after it hits the wall - isn't much time.