Originally Posted by Postpre
My son's a pretty good 8 year old player, especially groundstrokes. His serve is coming around, however since changing to a continental grip a few months back, he's still inconsistent. Last spring/summer (first exposure to a few tournaments) he served underhand during a few matches. He's doesn't particularly like doing it, but he enjoys playing and it was the only way to avoid double faulting more than half his serves (at the time).
As of today, I'd estimate that in a competitive environment (continental grip and pretty decent serve technique) he'd double fault about half his serves. Do you think he should hold off on tournament play until he becomes more consistent? Should underhand serves ever be an option?
I would avoid the underhand serve, just keep him working on the regular serve in practice and matches. I would work a lot on spin, consistency, height over net right now and it will get more consistent. As also stated, DF's are par for the course at that age among most competitors, I call it a breakfest when they start playing. Good to do some drills were he has to get 4 out of 10 in, then 5,6 etc., if he can get 7 or higher that can be his match serve as he continues to build power with the consistency.