Over the past few years that I’ve been playing, my tennis game has become above average. Intermediate even. I actually have days where its good and I look like I know what I’m doing on the court. But there is a dark side to my tennis game. And for quite some time, I’ve known it – my serve is incredibly weak. While I can place it pretty well, it has nothing on it. No pace. No spin. In fact, I think I’ve developed a serve where I move backwards when I hit it, taking whatever little pace there is off of the ball. Don’t try to picture it. You’ll get a headache.
While the serve is something that we’re all told to use as a weapon, the only person getting beat up by my serve has been me. And this problem has reached very epic proportions. When I started keeping track of how often I won my serve in matches, I found out that, way more often than not, I lost my serve. I stopped keeping track just because the statistics were so disheartening.
So two weeks ago, I went to my teaching pro and told him I was ready to re-work my serve from the ground up. Start from scratch. Back to square one. Any cliche you can think of, I used. And I promised him that, if he would help me fix my serve so that is was something useful, I would not complain, I would not argue about why he was wrong, and I would absolutely not go back to my old serve.
Yesterday, we began our work. Half an hour per lesson dedicated solely to my serve. Yuck.
Then this morning, I played a match. I warned my partner, “I’m working on changing my serve and I’m not going back to my old serve. So just be ready for anything.” (Don’t you love it when your partner says something like that right before a match?)
I applied what my pro spent 30 minutes teaching me and, on one of the changeoevers, one of my opponents said, “You have a really beautiful, fluid toss.” Really! I’m not making that up! I just about cried. No one has ever had anything nice to say about my serve let alone used the words “beautiful” and “fluid” to describe any part of it.
So here’s where I’m going with this. I figure that I’m not the only person out there who would like to rebuild her serve. Maybe some of you have also kicked around the idea. But you thought it would be too hard or take too long. Or you were afraid it would be too expensive or the results just wouldn’t be worth it. Well, I’m going to take you through my process, letting you know all of the tips, tricks and insights I pick up and we’ll see if it can be done. Hopefully, you can learn something along the way that might help your serve. Maybe you’ll learn enough to rebuild your serve into something “beautiful” and “fluid” that you don’t dread bringing out in your tennis matches.
I hope you’ll come along with me in this series as I “Fix My Serve.” And, if you’ve got any great hints on serving, things that have made a big difference to you, I hope you’ll share them in the comments below.
Get ready for some interesting tennis fun!