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Take The Road To A Better Serve!

Posted on February 25 2016

The serve yet one of the most important shots in the game can still remain one of, if not the most under practised shot. Let’s face it if you can’t serve, you can’t play, if you can serve then you’re on the right road to success!

I can remember a National Coach saying “If you don’t include the serve and return in your coaching session then it’s not a performance based session.” He had a point.

If you’re like me and now are coaching outside most of the time it isn’t particularly attractive to stand still for either myself or my pupil for a considerable amount of time, especially this time of year!

Partly because of the above reason it’s made me think a little more outside of the box as to ways I incorporate training this shot as it’s not an option to ignore the importance of it in the modern game.

There’s always a debate about practising repetition (out of the basket) as well as practising game based situations, to me both are important in a player’s development –  the skill is to know what your player needs and when.

With the serve, and to try and give it as much developmental time as it deserves, below are a few ideas I use to help me with this;

  1. I aim to start every rally using it, even in the service box. Why wouldn’t you?? After all this is how every point begins. If you think about how many new rallies you have in a 1hr coaching session now that can equate to a number of serves that your player has put into his/hers serving “bank”
  2. Include the serve action if a player is practising volleys at the net, get them to start the rally with an overhead.
  3. If the weather is a little warmer or you are lucky enough to be indoors instead of 1 part of the session dedicated to the serve why not start and end your session with a hopper of serves.
  4. Make sure your players incorporate it into their warm up (shadow the action) before the hitting part of the session takes place. A few minutes before every session shadowing the whole action over a period of time adds up to a lot of vital muscle memory/coordinated movements that are needed in order to have a quality serve.

Above are just a few ideas, hope they are useful to you.

Neglect the serve and it will come back to bite you and your players at a later date!
Happy serving coaches!!

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