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johndagolfer 08-01-2012 04:47 AM

How to turn a heavy spin serve into a flatter serve
I have a freshman in HS who started playing 2 years ago. She's gone from a exhibition player to 2nd doubles to vying for the #1 singles spot. The only thing that's holding her back is her first serve. She hits good serves but instead of hitting with pace she hits with super spin. She can hit mega slice serves. When she hits topspin her serve reaches my head 5'10".

I am trying to tell her to pronate (thumb up to thumb down) but this is only bringing limited success.

I do notice that her dominate arm doesn't bend as much as I would like, but I am not sure that is the reason.

Any suggestions?

floridatennisdude 08-01-2012 09:02 AM

Play with her mind some...see if she can hit the back fence off one bounce...doesn't matter if it's in or out. Then, once she is able to do that ask her why she can do it. She should figure out that it is a combo of striking more behind the ball with a slightly different grip. If she doesn't, repeat the drill a few times til she does.

It will take some time to break the habit. Be patient with her and encourage her to have patience with herself.

Might want to also set up a video camera behind her. Show her what she is doing.

tennis_ocd 08-01-2012 01:16 PM

I don't equate pronation with thumb up/thumb down. That sounds more like wrist snap. Two different, separate motions in my mind.

Number1Coach 08-01-2012 02:01 PM

Pace is overrated ,focus on placement. My player can make a radar scream mid 130's and he is rarley over 115mph but a lot of great palcement.

floridatennisdude 08-01-2012 02:10 PM


Originally Posted by Number1Coach (Post 6769257)
Pace is overrated ,focus on placement. My player can make a radar scream mid 130's and he is rarley over 115mph but a lot of great palcement.

Umm...duhhh. No one is saying to go frying pan grip 130mph. Just adding a tool to the arsenal.

tennisconsultcom 08-01-2012 04:22 PM

Just find a good tennis coach who understands how to teach serve (there are a few ones, unfortunately).

LeeD 08-01-2012 06:17 PM

Question is, does she WANT to hit a flatter serve? Flatter serve means less consistent, the ball comes back sooner, and more surprises happen, which makes her have to decide between more choices.
Start with conti grip, face her against a wall, tell her to flatten the racketface against that wall.

chalkflewup 08-01-2012 09:44 PM

The modern game on the men's side is all about serve and forehand. And in junior tennis, the serve is something the coach works on the last 5-10 minutes of a lesson. Most kids do not work on the serve and it shows. If you can consistently hold serve and can play doubles too, colleges are going to come a knockin.

ATP100 08-01-2012 11:50 PM

Tell me about her overhead.

peter 08-02-2012 11:55 AM

In my opinion, a flat serve in the girls game is just a waste of time due to a couple of reasons:
1. Girls don't hit with enough power for it to be a serious weapon - all good girls can return flat serves easily.
2. Girls are shorter - making it more difficult to hit it with good consistency.

Unless your name is Serena that is...

No, much better to spend time on developing a kick serve. That's more unusual and will give a lot of free points!

floridatennisdude 08-02-2012 12:03 PM

^^^hogwash. There are three serves that every aspiring junior (gender irregardless) should be able to use. Flat, kick, and slice. It's a weapon to be able to mix it up and change pace on the ball.

Step 1 is learning HOW to hit them. Step 2 is learning WHEN to use them. I've watched enough college tennis to be able to say that those women that can switch their serve up have a much easier time holding. Every UF player has these skills.

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