September 1, 2017
It has been awhile since I have tackled a specific stroke to analyze and give tips to improve. When deciding which stroke to fixate on, it was an obvious decision. Imagine playing a professional like Venus Williams or Rafael Nadal. Many of us would love the opportunity to do this but with the understanding that we have a slight chance to win…a point. JIf I had to personally prepare for such a match, my first focus would be on what Williams or Nadal couldn’t impact. There is only one stroke that this happens on and that’s the serve. Neither Williams nor Nadal can touch the ball until I have tossed and hit the ball over the net. If they hit a huge forehand return back at me; well, that’s a different story! The serve is also a stroke that you can practice on your own. So much time is focused on hitting during a rally but we often forget about what starts the point in the first place.
I’m going to take a different outlook on the serve in this blog. Instead of focusing on the technique of the serve, I am going to focus more on the serve types and serve placement so that the best decision is made before every serve you do.
A Lesson From The 4.5 Men’s Doubles National Champions
There is a club I teach part time outside of school hours. One day, I was filling in for a double partner to play some guys training for nationals. They were playing in the 4.5 level 55+ age division. While playing them I learned a lot about how to manage one’s serve. They realized their capabilities and negated any unnecessary risk when it was not needed but also was cognitive of the fact that risk was needed at different occasions. The main pattern of serving was simple for them. They served down the “T” about 85% of the time. We knew it was coming but they didn’t care as it put them in a position to give us t