Wouldn’t it be great if you could crush those short second serves with your return? The second serve is usually very short and slow in recreational tennis and it’s so tempting to blast at it and yet you’ve surely realized that it’s not so easy to hit winners.

And you’re right, you shouldn’t be trying to hit winning returns off a short serve.

Instead you should be aiming at a safer target and looking to force errors. You will of course hit winners too when you miss your target a little bit and you will also force short balls which you can then put away.

Here are a few more tips that will help you hit more winning tennis returns:

– decide in advance where you’ll hit your returns
– hit the ball on top of the bounce
– create enough space between you and the ball
– watch the ball well
– immediately recover to the middle after your return

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34 COMMENTS

  1. Can you make a video on the other side of the mental technique? For those of us who have #1-6 down fairly well but cannot get onto the aggressive mindset, we tend to get ignored. Whether it be fear, being too nice or whatever reason we don't get aggressive very often.

  2. When you do decide to aggressively return a second serve with placement you have to factor in service the point score in game and the overall game score in the set. You want to be up or at add out and looking to break serve. I also use drills to develop placement skills on forehand and backhand before going to a return of serve drill like this one. Practice hitting down the line off both sides. Practice hitting inside out off both sides to,the opposite side of the court. You need to practice placement. Then If the service score is 30-40 especially at 3-4 you need to go for the break of service so you can seat 5-3 for the set.

  3. I really like the last point, don't hit and then admire your shot. Since I hit so few good shots I am often distracted when I do.

  4. I'll add this. Weak slow seconds for me, I have a good chip N charge. I am in the court early and short, quick chip to pre-designated target, close and volley. Won so many points this way it's crazy.

  5. Been playing over 23 yrs….EXCELLENT advice on all accounts. It may take you a few years to ingrain all four elements, but you need to be aware and thinking about these things.

  6. I think this video meets an essential need at the recreational or amateaur level. So many players will put everything into the first serve but because it's a very difficult technique it's very likely they'll need a second. As the game awards the opponent a point with a double fault, players will guarantee that they at least get the ball in and so that means a slow ball into play.

    So many times i've seen the opponent just smash it against the net because the anticipation and the knowledge it's an ordinary serve gets to their head.

    Personally my strategy is just to always make sure it's in, at best the opponent can make an error and you earn the point. Or you get another shot at winning the point if they return it.

  7. 2nd serves that i face do not bounce that high. They bounce about net height at best. The are slow and short (I play on red clay only). Any tips on what to do with those kinda of second serves? A lot of times their first serves do not bounce up enough to be attackable, but they are so short and slow. Thanks!

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