When i had a coach this summer he would have me serve out a whole hopper full of balls at the end of every practice session* unless i was particularly worn out, i.e. couldn't move, was dizzy, etc... It helped my consistency lots, although i could probably use specific instruction on my serve now to get to the next level.
You have to put in the work to get consistency, just like the other tennis strokes (forehands, backhands, volleys). The difference is that you generally don't get much serve practice during matches/play, but you can practice serves on your own.
Why not serve a hopper-full after your next practice session or match? A 75 ball hopper is equivalent to serving 12 or so games, i.e. as much as you might do in a best of three match.
I never play through pain though, or if i pull a muscle or have any kind of injury i stop and rest for a few days/a week until i'm 100%. This is not serve specific, i don't get paid for this and want to play for decades to come.
* Practice was generally an hour long of hitting with the coach, ground stroke drills or simulated points.
Disclaimer: I'm NOT a coach...
Real tennis: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yDqnkLJ9BtM
Last edited by Relinquis; 01-21-2013 at 04:00 PM.