You may have played tennis all your life, but you may or may not know the little fact that more points are won or lost during the tennis serve and return of serve. Next time you watch a tennis match on TV, count how many points in a game was won by the serve along. Here we will count down the Top 10 Tennis Serve Instruction Mistakes.
#10 - Asking You to Throw the Tennis Ball
If you don’t know how to throw a ball, you don’t know how to throw a ball. If you already know how to throw a ball, you wouldn’t have much problem learning how to serve. It’s really not so much about throwing technique, it’s really about having the muscle strength to throw something heavy at a fast pace. In order to do that, you need to systematically break down your muscles, eat adequate protein and rest. Your body grow to adapt to a physical challenge. If you learn to throw with something as light as a tennis ball, you will gain minimal strength.
#9 - Asking You to Hit Up to the Tennis Ball
The reason you have trouble with the serve is not because you need a coach to tell you to hit up to the ball, it’s because most recreational players have very weak upper body strength. The upper body strength training exercise mentioned in Monster Serve Formula 1.0 is the most effective way to improve your serve hands down.
#8 - Asking You to Toss the Ball and Catch it
The reason you can’t toss is because you are using your non-dominant arm to toss. Most people are not used to upward orientation, meaning that you feel disoriented when you tried to hit anything above your head while looking up. The reason why you feel disoriented is because you don’t feel balanced. In order to feel balanced at all time, you need to strengthen your core muscles and engage your core when you look up. It’s the same principal gymnasts stay balance and oriented.
#7 - Asking You to Loosen the Grip
For the love of god, please do not loosen the grip. Most recreational players has WEAK grip, on top of that, they don’t know how to use the torque the body or weight transfer. With a loose grip, you are essentially hitting the ball with a bunch of spaghetti. In order to have good control, you need hold the racket firmly and apply pressure on the side of the handle that align with the string bed.
#6 - Asking You to Hit it Like a Whip
It seems that most tennis instructors used to work in the circus and worse yet, they think everybody else work in the circus too. How could you teach someone something new by referencing something they have never done before? Unless you are a whip master, you should ignore this instruction completely.
#5 - Asking You to Relax
Since most recreational players have weak upper body strength, relaxing your body actually make it worse. You need to know that Modern Power tennis is all about STRENGTH. The looks of the top pros are very deceiving, they might not look very strong but I can guarantee you that they are strong to the core to strike the ball hard while staying balance.
#4 - Telling You There is Effortless Power
This is actually coming from one of the better tennis coach on the internet. There is no such thing as effortless power. It’s like someone trying to tell you how to effortlessly lift 200 lbs over your head. When you hear that from your coach, RUN! However, there is down to earth, step by step way to build your body up to lift 200 lbs. It takes plain old fashion drop set, good old protein and good sleep.
#3 - Asking You to Do The “Trophy” Position
What does it sounds like when a boxing coach ask a boxer to do the Rocky position? Are you kidding me?
#2 - Asking You to Use the “Kinetic Chain”
Kinetic chain basically means transferring force from one part of your body to another. When they mention kinetic chain, they often left out the most important aspect of the kinetic chain - Your core muscles. A strong core is the foundation of the kinetic chain. It is how gymnast is able to do handstand, lever, planche. You need strong core to be able to hit a modern forehand, a decent serve, stay balance and reduce injury.
#1 - Asking You to Snap Your Wrist
Showing high speed videos of top tennis players to older generation coaches is like show fire to cavemen. They were amazed to realize how wrong they were in their teaching for decades and how much the strokes mechanism and the game has changed. And they discovered pronation! Then they go around teaching people to snap their wrist to add 5, 10 or 15 mph to their serve. This is true if you have a decent volleyball spiker, baseball pitcher or quarter back. If not, you should learn to progressively strengthen your upper body. Otherwise, you really have no business snapping your wrist, it takes a lot of strength and conditioning to control that snap.