Tip of the Week (Coach Dave): Practicing Tennis (Part 2) June 23 2016, 14 Comments
Question: How should I practice if I have a court, but no practice partner?
Answer: Hit some serves! This is the most important shot in this sport and it is often under-practiced.
Before each serve, make sure you do these 4 things:
1) Stand sideways
2) Feet should be shoulder-width apart
3) Knees should be slightly-bent
4) Racket and ball are together with loose, tension-free hands
Be sure to start all your practice serves in this position, just like how 8 year old Ethan is demonstrating in the picture above.
Below is a picture taken by Coach Dave when he was in Melbourne earlier this year for the Australian Open.
World #7 Milos Raonic with one of the most-feared serves at Australian Open 2016.
How does he serve so fast? Apart from his obvious physical ability, take note of his "trophy position":
- Left arm extended very high
- Left hip shifted inside the baseline
- Shoulders tilted, left above right
- Elbow pointing toward the back fence
- Racket face slightly closed, no "waiter's tray" there, which is very common with recreational players
Tip for improving your serve: Pay attention to your trophy position.
Adding on to how else students may practice without a practice partner, shadow swings and working on footwork patterns on the court are excellent drills as well. Practice moving for the wide ball, the deep ball, the short ball. The possibilities are endless!
Do check with any of our tennis coaches on some drills you may use to practice on your own. The ball is in your court. ;)