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By: Paul Gold
Everybody knows that the tennis serve is a very important shot but how many club players have a really good tennis serve?
Let's be honest if the Roddick tennis serve wasn't a very powerful tennis serve, his ranking would be a whole lot lower.
But what can you do to improve your tennis serve? Is there a way to the perfect tennis serve? Is there a way to get a faster tennis serve?
Well for the people still struggling with their delivery there is one main word that they should be looking to improve - THROW!
Yes that's it, there is a direct relationship between someone's throwing ability and their serving ability and that's a fact - do not forget that.
The fact remains that far too many people miss this point and do all the wrong things when trying to improve and even learn the serve and that includes many coaches who do all the wrong things when it comes to tennis serve coaching
It has nothing to do with strength, gender and/or muscle size as tennis serve biomechanics are all about throwing technique to such an extent that I regularly have my under 9 squad out-throw many of my adult squads just to illustrate the point. It causes a few red faces but everybody leaves with a better understanding.
Also high standard female players can out-serve male amateurs most of whom are bigger so that just proves the tennis serve technique over muscle or even gender issue.
This is not some revelation in tennis training as people were throwing rackets across the net many years ago when most courts were grass and the chances of breaking your racket was minimal and even now the Williams sisters throw their old rackets about to practise their serves and they are 2 of the biggest servers in the Women's game!
So how good is your throwing?
Can you throw a tennis ball from one baseline to the other or even better into the back fence opposite (with no run up)?
If you can't then you need to be working on it because I have 8 year olds that can so it is possible!
Biggest mistakes/things to get right! The main error I see is where people try to throw a ball with their body facing the target, rather than sideways on and rotating their hips, trunk and shoulders in order to accelerate the ball. The second BIG mistake is when the elbow is lower than the shoulder as you bring the arm forward. You must get the elbow higher just like you were carrying a javelin NOT a shot putt! The third BIG mistake is when the wrist is behind the elbow at the release point. Look at any slow-mo of great servers or even pitchers (same basic action) and you will see that when they release the ball, their throwing arm is fully extended and straight from the shoulder to the wrist. If you don't have these three "factors" in place you will end up with a pushing action rather than a chucking/throwing action and a very ineffective serve. So get those old tennis balls and get to work - remember you don't have to be a girl to throw like a girl!
Paul Gold is a Performance Enhancement Specialist and Speed Agility Quickness trainer. For info about products and services contact via http://www.tennis-training-central.com He has just released a special report on strength training for tennis, go to http://www.tennis-strength.com for details. He also has a tennis footwork special report, go to http://www.footwork4tennis.com for more details.
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