Originally Posted by Cindysphinx
Urg. It's so hard to know what to *say.*
We had a conversation about her match last night (she called me). She said she was frustrated that she had to hit so many second serves (her second serve is a more conservative version of her first, meaning it is still a strong serve and not a cream puff).
I decided to say something.
The something I said was that she shouldn't sweat it if she has to hit second serves. A good first service percentage might be 50%, I said. That means you should expect to have to hit second serves half the time, so it's no big deal if that happens. Rather than lament the missed first serve, just hit the second, be ready for the ball to come back, and play the point from there.
Why do people get so darn wound up about their serves? Everybody has good serving days and bad serving days. I think maybe she gets so upset that her first serve isn't firing that she feels on defense when she really shouldn't?
I couple of guesses, which is all anyone can really do when we're talking about women (Oprah's words, not mine):
* If her game plan is to win with 1st serves then she either needs to work on 1st serves or change her game plan. I think a lot of advice would be to develop a more complete game plan. The other interesting statistic is 1st serve win % and second serve win %. As an example, yesterday I served about 10 service games. I bet my win % was only marginally better on 1st serves than 2nd serves, and in your description of her serve I bet that would pan out for your friend too.
* Just ask her what she things she needs to do, and ask her how she's going to accomplish that. If she talks about improving her strenghths, ask her if she thinks she has any weaknesses. Try to lead her into developing a more complete game plan and a more complete approach to the game.
Obviously she has the skill and ability, she just needs the game planning and a positive mental attitude.