This is a guest post from Brian Montez, tennis pro and owner of K Factor Sports. Brian is a teaching pro working with players of all levels and abilities, from kids to adults, beginners to open-level, and everything in between. Here, Brian gives a great tip for improving your serve.
Without a good toss, your serve will be inconsistent. To improve your toss, first, place your toss correctly. To do this, imagine yourself in the middle of a clock and noon is directly perpendicular to the net from where you line up for your serve. If you are a righty, your toss should be at 1 p.m. If you're a lefty, your toss should be at 11 a.m. (since you will be facing in the opposite direction from a righty).
Next, adjust how far in front of you that you place your toss. There is a difference here between the first and second serve. Since you usually want a more aggressive first serve, your toss should be farther in front, but still located at the correct “time” for either a righty or lefty. Your second serve needs to be more consistent, so your toss should be a little closer in. And add some spin for more net clearance.
Developing a good first serve and a super reliable second serve is key. Just getting the second serve in is not good enough. You must develop confidence in the spin, depth, and placement of your serve, so that your opponent does not eat up the second serve every time!