Is there a cure for double faults?

#3
I can’t get over them, specially at crucial moments.
What can I do?
Stop thinking "I better not DF" because that raises the chance that you'll DF. Instead, focus on what you need to do [ie swing loosely, don't slow down, keep the tossing arm up, etc] rather on what NOT to do. Think about process rather than results.

Even better is to not think at all; just let your training take over.
 

FiReFTW

Hall of Fame
#6
Yes

1.Develop and continue to practice the 2nd serve (kick serve is best but topslice also works fine)
2.Play alot of matches frequently to learn how to handle these situations and get more comfortable with them and gain more confidence in your 2nd serve until you trust it 100%
 
#7
Get your tossing arm up to vertical after releasing the ball. This helps considerably to accurately locate the position of the ball relative to the body. Don’t pull it down until the racket head starts to drop from the trophy position.

Keep your head up & eyes fixated on the ball as close to racket impact as possible. If you don’t see the ball 50-60 cm (1.5 to 2 feet) above your outstretched hand, you’ve either pulled the hand down too soon or you’ve pulled your head down too soon.

Make these 2 things a habit and DFs should become rare.
 
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#8
These are all good tips. For so long my kick second serve felt good, looked good but sat up now with more slice opponents aren't taking advantage of that second serve. Find what works and practice practice...
 
#10
The Alexander Technique might have you say to yourself 'I'm not serving' or 'I don't have to get this serve in' or 'We don't need this point'...... Repeat while serving.

Alexander's idea is that when you say the opposite of what you may be thinking - 'I have to win my serve' - just saying the opposite can stop tension and resulting bad performance. Saying the opposite may stop your usual response. I have found that this helps sometimes.

It can also relax your partner in doubles. Nah, 'We don't have to hold serve'.
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
#11
I can’t get over them, specially at crucial moments.
What can I do?
Learn to hit top spin serve. The real top spin serve and not just what you think it is.
On crucial moments if you are not feeling confident, hit two of your 2nd serves which are based on top spin technique and its going to be very hard to double fault.
 

Dragy

Professional
#12
Start with filming your practice and matchplay second serve and evaluate if your technique is proper. Post here if you want justified opinion and solid advice.
Once you have solid form on your serve, giving the ball good shape by spin, not by hitting slowly, you have to learn to trust it and perform faithfully. For me it’s concentrating on giving good cut to the ball, not on landing it in. Do I doublefault? Yes, at times. Do I get pressured and perform worse on brakepoints? Not so much. Just toss the ball, hit it decently, recover, watch what’s going on the other side of the court.
 
#13
Learn to hit top spin serve. The real top spin serve and not just what you think it is.
On crucial moments if you are not feeling confident, hit two of your 2nd serves which are based on top spin technique and its going to be very hard to double fault.
My problem is really serious. I double fault on top spin serves. Maybe it’s my faulty toss, or my loss of coordination, whatever.
 

FiReFTW

Hall of Fame
#16
My problem is really serious. I double fault on top spin serves. Maybe it’s my faulty toss, or my loss of coordination, whatever.
Learn a proper kick serve, if you learn a proper kick serve its IMPOSSIBLE to double fault, unless you get tight and tense.

The more im learning and practicing the kick serve the closer I am to it, ive had some things click recently and while im still far away from it being extremely consistent (timing, contact etc) I have a good feel of where the ball toss should be, where contact should be, where swingpath should be.. and when I manage to hit it the right way its IMPOSSIBLE to miss, it has a high net clearance and it gets pulled into the court after it goes past the net like a magnet, and the faster you swing the more it gets pulled down and the more it kicks up after, so its impossible to miss, unless you get tight and some part breaks down.
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
#18
My problem is really serious. I double fault on top spin serves. Maybe it’s my faulty toss, or my loss of coordination, whatever.
Missing long or into the net?
Either way, a top spin serve allows you to hit into the serve box. Typical tendency is to hit down rather than hit up.
 
#20
Funny is that I sometimes DF more at 30-love than at ad out.
You should only DF at 40-love, not 30-love. Serious about this. When servers are up 40-0, they will often go for a bigger, higher-risk 2nd serve. Less advisable to do this at 30-0.

NOTE: Noticed that my 2nd image in post #7 went MIA so I added an alternate image there
 
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#21
My problem is really serious. I double fault on top spin serves. Maybe it’s my faulty toss, or my loss of coordination, whatever.
You don't necessarily have to go for kick serves. If you have mastered them & can hit them reliably, then go for it.

If a topspin-slice serve is more reliable for you than a serve that is primarily topspin, then use that as your primary 2nd serve. As I suggested in post #5, primarily work on a robust spin serve that you can get into the correct box 17-20 times out of 20. Do this every week, if possible.

Do you see the correct spacing between hand and (tossed) ball that I spoke of in post #7? Vertical tossing arm for your trophy and head/eyes up close to contact should minimize your DFs -- as long as you have a reliable toss.
 
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#23
1. Pay for a coach to work on a topspin 2nd serve. Seriously, do it. The serve is very hard to work out yourself.
2. Play mainly singles for a while. So you serve much more.
3. Repeat until you stop double faulting
 
#25
Get the first serve in 100% of the time.
You are a genius! Many thanks for shedding light on this matter.
Why don’t you talk with Federer? He can get back to #1 again, his first serve is so good.
I hope Isner doesn’t find out, as I don’t like him winning very much.
 
#26
I have spent years practicing serving, where I would go out and spend one or two hours practicing and adjusting almost every night. How bad do you want it?
 
#27
I can’t get over them, specially at crucial moments.
What can I do?
how often do you actually practice your serve now?
how often do you practice with an elevated heart rate?
i'm a mid-pack 4.5, and this summer was practicing serve just about daily (on average 5d a week, an hour each time ~100 serves)
and i still double fault - and i have a decent kicker that i could get in 20/20 (if not more) during practice.
 

atp2015

Hall of Fame
#30
"Practice", tbh, is the most misleading and utterly incomplete and often a very bad advice. It's not how much you practice, it's WHAT you practice. If you keep practicing flat serve or slice serve for 25 years, you are still likely to double fault if that's the only one you can hit. First and foremost, learn a safer serve and then practice a lot, you will cut down double fault. The key here is learning the right type of serve and not the amount of practice.
 
#31
I can’t get over them, specially at crucial moments.
What can I do?
At every crucial point, use your most reliable, consistent, high-percentage serve when you serve the first time. If you miss it, then do the same again on the second try.

The point is that you should not tee off on your first serve on crucial points if you don't have very reliable second serves.

The same point can be made by other expressions such as:

• Spin your first serve in.
• Hit 2 second serves
• Just get your first serve in to get the point started.
 

StANDAA

Hall of Fame
#34
Practice serve. It’s most likely the hardest shot to perfect technically.

Also, try to play the first serve with less vigour. Try to get the serve in on your first try. Even if you probably won’t get a free point off a great first serve, it’s better than a DF. Make sure you make the first serve just to start a point, or to set up your next shot. Not overhit it to try and play an ace. Having to play a second serve gets you under pressure already.
 

FiReFTW

Hall of Fame
#36
Practice serve. It’s most likely the hardest shot to perfect technically.

Also, try to play the first serve with less vigour. Try to get the serve in on your first try. Even if you probably won’t get a free point off a great first serve, it’s better than a DF. Make sure you make the first serve just to start a point, or to set up your next shot. Not overhit it to try and play an ace. Having to play a second serve gets you under pressure already.
Not if you trust it and go for it.

Once you develop a reliable spin serve and trust in yourself to execute it, its just about being calm when serving 2nd and having complete confidence in it, not even contemplating the possibility of missing.

This thing helped me alot, I trust my serve more and more every week and I notice the more I start to trust it and feel confident in it and just go for it (not hold back or tightly push it) the more consistent and reliable it is becoming.

I can now hit topslice serves for 2nd serve inside reliably and consistently during match play, but im working on my kick serve so im just serving kick serves for my 2nd serve now, even tho I know they are not as developed or consistent yet, but I still hit only kick now, because I want to develop that currently and I don't worry at all about missing even for a second, just trust in it and swing fast and go for it, and im getting more and more success and confidence with this type of mentality, compared to before when I was afraid and decreased my swing speed which made me get less spin and my tightness gave me even more double faults.

Today I kept going for my 2nd serve kick serve, swinging as fast as possible, and trust it completely, hit like 3-4 then I missed one, but it did not change my emotions or mentality about it at all, I kept swinging fast and going for it and being confident, and I kept making them after.
 

FiReFTW

Hall of Fame
#37
And miss it only if you are prepared for a double fault. If you want to prevent double faults, don't ever miss the 2nd attempt. In other words, missing the 2nd attempt will result in a double fault.
Obviously.

However this type of mentality is exactly what will make you miss it.
 

StANDAA

Hall of Fame
#38
Not if you trust it and go for it.

Once you develop a reliable spin serve and trust in yourself to execute it, its just about being calm when serving 2nd and having complete confidence in it, not even contemplating the possibility of missing.

This thing helped me alot, I trust my serve more and more every week and I notice the more I start to trust it and feel confident in it and just go for it (not hold back or tightly push it) the more consistent and reliable it is becoming.

I can now hit topslice serves for 2nd serve inside reliably and consistently during match play, but im working on my kick serve so im just serving kick serves for my 2nd serve now, even tho I know they are not as developed or consistent yet, but I still hit only kick now, because I want to develop that currently and I don't worry at all about missing even for a second, just trust in it and swing fast and go for it, and im getting more and more success and confidence with this type of mentality, compared to before when I was afraid and decreased my swing speed which made me get less spin and my tightness gave me even more double faults.

Today I kept going for my 2nd serve kick serve, swinging as fast as possible, and trust it completely, hit like 3-4 then I missed one, but it did not change my emotions or mentality about it at all, I kept swinging fast and going for it and being confident, and I kept making them after.
While what you’re saying is true, it’s not just about being able to hit a second serve consistently. The other thing is to make sure your second serve is not a short, slow put-away. Playing a second serve that doesn’t put you into a defensive mode on your next shot. But yeah, having a good topspin serve is definitely a key to success in this department. But a lot of recreational players hit it flat, and that’s the burden.
 

FiReFTW

Hall of Fame
#39
While what you’re saying is true, it’s not just about being able to hit a second serve consistently. The other thing is to make sure your second serve is not a short, slow put-away. Playing a second serve that doesn’t put you into a defensive mode on your next shot. But yeah, having a good topspin serve is definitely a key to success in this department. But a lot of recreational players hit it flat, and that’s the burden.
True, thats why I said swing as FAST AS POSSIBLE, might be funny, infact the idea was funny to me not long ago, but now I see that it makes sense, if you hit it right the more you swing the more spin you get, the more the ball gets pulled down and the more violently it kicks up, and its impossible to hit long or into the net, if everything is done correctly, so the faster you can swing the better it is, since its going to be harder to deal with.
 
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