Learning serve on the backyard?

acintya

Legend
Would it hurt my technique (like holding the toss arm high - have proper elbow position - work on the toss position etc.)if I would work on my serve on a grass field without any lines or a net just to get some mileage for more power? Any experience with this?do we really need the whole tennis court to practice the movement?
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
My backyard is my own academy. Lots of craps were built from there.

Get a bunch of these balls and practice against a surface. They are pressure-less and soft and shouldn't damage anything.

 
Would it hurt my technique (like holding the toss arm high - have proper elbow position - work on the toss position etc.)if I would work on my serve on a grass field without any lines or a net just to get some mileage for more power? Any experience with this?do we really need the whole tennis court to practice the movement?
The only way I could see it hurting your technique is if you did it to the exclusion of court practice and developed bad habits because you didn't see the result of your modified technique.

I practice serving against a wall and, apart from seeing that the ball hit above the line drawn, I can't see where it would have landed. But I have a reasonable idea and it beats not practicing.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
You don't need a real court as long as you understand the fundamentals and you can review your form. And one more requirement is you sort of have a way to gauge the power. Slam a soft ball and observe the spin, the bounce.

I practice the serve form here and there in my home and implement it, gauge the power, at a block wall.

Yesterday was the first time i applied my new serve in doubles and singles and it worked very well. Ppl noticed improvement.
 

acintya

Legend
You don't need a real court as long as you understand the fundamentals and you can review your form. And one more requirement is you sort of have a way to gauge the power. Slam a soft ball and observe the spin, the bounce.

I practice the serve form here and there in my home and implement it, gauge the power, at a block wall.

Yesterday was the first time i applied my new serve in doubles and singles and it worked very well. Ppl noticed improvement.
thanks:) i somehow must get the "mileage" with my left hand.anything can be done but just with enough repetitions. thousands or ten thousands:) or even more.

glad i worked for you! we need to put in the effort..i know, when i am learning a very demanding groove on my drum set it sometimes can take really really long until the motion is "engraved" in my brain. when i repeat something properly for X amounts of time then it is forever in my "system" . i can have a year old break and i can recall everything i learned in a second!thats quite interesting.
its similar with tennis:)
 
Last edited:

tonylg

Hall of Fame
LOL, this is exactly how I learned to serve. Couldn't afford to hire a court to just practice serving, so measured out 18m and tried serving balls at a bucket from there. Almost half a century later I can still reliably hit the T and I think that backyard practice has a lot to do with it.
 

user92626

G.O.A.T.
thanks:) i somehow must get the "mileage" with my left hand.anything can be done but just with enough repetitions. thousands or ten thousands:) or even more.

glad i worked for you! we need to put in the effort..i know, when i am learning a very demanding groove on my drum set it sometimes can take really really long until the motion is "engraved" in my brain. when i repeat something properly for X amounts of time then it is forever in my "system" . i can have a year old break and i can recall everything i learned in a second!thats quite interesting.
its similar with tennis:)
Repeating is a must but equally important is you repeat the correct thing.

I wasted sooo many years being fuzzy with the serve knowledge and repeating wrong motions/concepts. I sliced up too much, resulted in a waiter's style serve.

Now i got the serve knowledge down cold, but implementing it is still a challenge because one's body isn't used to that stretch yet. Kinda like an old man attempting to do a ballet dancer's leg split. Not gonna happen over months' time span ;)

So OP, how would you ensure you are practicing a correct motion? Or gradually developing one (u don't necessarily need to do a perfect one on day 1 but u need to know if the form has potential)?
 

AnyPUG

Semi-Pro
Would it hurt my technique (like holding the toss arm high - have proper elbow position - work on the toss position etc.)if I would work on my serve on a grass field without any lines or a net just to get some mileage for more power? Any experience with this?do we really need the whole tennis court to practice the movement?
saves court fees and could be fun. but a total and complete waste of time.
A quality 2 hours with a good coach on a proper court is far superior to 200 hours on your own in the backyard.
 

TagUrIt

Hall of Fame
I think you can benefit from having a consistent toss and serve motion. However, not having any lines or a net can be detrimental to your overall serve. Your depth/line perception determines how you much you bend etc. You definitely don’t want to develop bad muscle memory.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
saves court fees and could be fun. but a total and complete waste of time.
A quality 2 hours with a good coach on a proper court is far superior to 200 hours on your own in the backyard.
Unless you have a full time coach, part of working with a coach is to go away and practice things so that they get ingrained.

You can always tell which students don't practice, they pick things up during a lesson then revert back a week later.
 

tonylg

Hall of Fame
I think you can benefit from having a consistent toss and serve motion. However, not having any lines or a net can be detrimental to your overall serve. Your depth/line perception determines how you much you bend etc. You definitely don’t want to develop bad muscle memory.
Hence the bucket, box, cone, sleeping dog, whatever. As long as the target is at the right distance and the ground is flat, it won't develop bad muscle memory. I started out with a net made of towels over a string, but it really wasn't necessary.
 

acintya

Legend
Repeating is a must but equally important is you repeat the correct thing.

I wasted sooo many years being fuzzy with the serve knowledge and repeating wrong motions/concepts. I sliced up too much, resulted in a waiter's style serve.

Now i got the serve knowledge down cold, but implementing it is still a challenge because one's body isn't used to that stretch yet. Kinda like an old man attempting to do a ballet dancer's leg split. Not gonna happen over months' time span ;)

So OP, how would you ensure you are practicing a correct motion? Or gradually developing one (u don't necessarily need to do a perfect one on day 1 but u need to know if the form has potential)?
Repeating is a must but equally important is you repeat the correct thing.

I wasted sooo many years being fuzzy with the serve knowledge and repeating wrong motions/concepts. I sliced up too much, resulted in a waiter's style serve.

Now i got the serve knowledge down cold, but implementing it is still a challenge because one's body isn't used to that stretch yet. Kinda like an old man attempting to do a ballet dancer's leg split. Not gonna happen over months' time span ;)

So OP, how would you ensure you are practicing a correct motion? Or gradually developing one (u don't necessarily need to do a perfect one on day 1 but u need to know if the form has potential)?
Trust me, I have watched millions of videos on the serve and watched slow-mos, and did a lot of shadow swings.
If I had a student really, the first thing I would do I would give him 10 videos to watch for homework.
There is nothing better if you start with a correct motion or?

two ways I would start from scratch:


or swing with a realy heavy racquet and focus on feel. The serve needs to be a continuos stroke with no stopage!

also what is really important for me is that I divide the toss motion from the serve swing motion. This is very important. Separation is something that the body is used to. And keep the wrist loose like this:


people wouldnt believe how similar some moves in drumming and tennis are. :D

I hope I could help.
And if you think you gonna never reprogramm your right..well,you still have your left arm which is basicaly an empty programmers text file :p

my two A-HA moments were:

separating the toss and swing arm

when I seen how relaxed Djokovics wrist in his new compact serve is,you really see its 10000% natural.
 
Last edited:
Top