Ultimate Tennis Serve Lesson – How To Serve In Tennis. The tennis serve is the most complex shot in the sport, there are so many elements that we must master in order for us to develop a reliable and consistent serve. In this video, Top Tennis Training coach Simon Konov, will share with you, the ultimate tennis serve lesson, how to hit a flat, kick and slice serve in tennis.
In the first part of the video, you’ll learn how to hit the perfect flat or first serve in tennis, in five steps:
Step One – Using the ideal grip which is the continental grip. This is the same grip you should use for your forehand volley and backhand volley, your tennis overhead smashes and your slice backhand. This grip allows you to use supination and pronation on your tennis serve. It also allows you to hit all the different types of serves and spin variations with the same grip, this includes the tennis slice serve, the tennis kick serve, the tennis flat serve and a mixture of all three.

Step Two – A consistent ball toss that goes no higher than six inches above your contact point. The higher you toss the ball, the faster it will be traveling downwards when you try to make contact making it harder to hit in the sweet spot. However, if you toss the ball just slightly higher or exactly to your ideal contact point, the ball will stop for a split second at the height of the toss so it’s almost as if you are hitting a stationary object.
The other main reason to keep your ball toss just around the contact point height is that the higher you toss the ball, the more out of control it gets, it’s much easier to consistently toss the ball is the same zone if you toss it lower.

Step Three – Reaching a good trophy position. A good trophy position is very similar to a good throwing position, the main difference is the tilt of the shoulders as are target is the contact point on the serve whereas with a throw it might be forwards.
The characteristics of a good tennis serve trophy pose include the non-hitting hand pointing upwards to the ball to help balance the body, the hitting arm in about a 90-degree angle and the tip of the racket pointing upwards towards the sky. If you can you will also have a good knee bend in this position,

Step Four – Using pronation during the contact zone.
By using the continental grip you allow the forearm, arm and shoulder to supinate prior to contact and start pronating during contact and completely pronate after contact. This is the ideal way to accelerate the tennis racket head during the contact zone.

Step Five – Using a good follow-through and finish to complete the service motion. For right-handers, a good indication would be the racket head finishing close to the left hip. This will allow the shoulder muscles to slow down in a natural relaxed way without stressing the shoulder or elbow joint.

In part two of the video, you’ll learn how to hit perfect kick serves in tennis, in three steps:
1. Using the continental grip. This grip will allow the proper mechanics to occur prior to, during and after contact. If you don’t use this grip these actions will not be possible and the kick serve will not work.
2. The ball toss – toss the ball more to your left and slightly behind your head on the kick serve. This will allow you to hit the ball from 8 o’clock to 2 o’clock on the ball (bottom left-hand side to the top right-hand side).
3. Shoulder over shoulder action and staying sideways throughout the serve which will help you actually hit the ball from the 8-2 o’clock motion.

In part three of the lesson, you’ll learn how to hit perfect slice serves in tennis, in three steps:
The slice serve in tennis is one of the most effective ways to start a tennis point on serve for both right and left-handed players.
If executed correctly, a good slice serve will open the court up on the deuce side for a right-hander and the advantage side for a left-hander.
The tennis slice serve is also a great weapon to use when going down the “T” on the advantage side for right-handers and also for jamming players into the body on both sides of the tennis court.
The key to imparting good amounts of spin on the ball is the angle of the racket face at contact. For a typical flat serve you would want to hit the ball more or less flat on with the string bed to gain the most amount of power from pronation.
For a slice serve however we want to hit the ball on the top right-hand side of the ball (top left for left-handed tennis players).
If the ball was a clock face, at impact for the tennis slice serve we would want to hit around 1-2 o’clock. This will give us good levels of spin but also allow the ball to dip down into the service box. Some coaches will say to hit the ball at 3 o’clock but if you add any real power to that serve it would drift wide as there is no dip on the serve.

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40 COMMENTS

  1. Download our FREE serve guide here – https://www.top-tennis-training.com/serve-guide/

  2. great content, but is there really anyone besides a beginner who does not use a continental grip? I wish people would just say "you have to use a continental grip" once and be done with it. Maybe give a link to some other video rather than including a discussion in EVERY video.

  3. Some players argue that slice serve does not pronate. Please confirm there is pronation, even for slice…

  4. I can consistently serve decently paced balls, have been playing for 10+ years. However guys around my height who have been playing longer can generate much more pace than I ever can. I don't know the secret and feel like I've hit a plateau since I'm not getting anywhere with the practice I put in.

    To hit a bigger serve would I need to swing more freely and loosely? Everytime I think about hitting a big serve I tend to tense up more which I know is bad..

  5. The use of the shoulders for the different serves (back shoulder coming up and front shoulder dipping for the kick serve,shoulders rotating for the slice serve) will help me use these serves.

  6. Good stuff, but a little unclear on one thing.  For both kick and slice serves, you suggest making contact at around 2:00 on the tennis ball.  How, then, will they act differently if you hit it in the same relative position for both serves?

  7. So there you have it, guys, three steps to hitting the perfect kick serve. Step number 1: once again, the grip.

    Step number 2: the ball toss.

    And Step number 3: hitting the ball from 8 o’clock to 2 o’clock, while staying sideways-on with your shoulders and having that shoulder-over-shoulder motion, but also playing around with the feet position and the foot position, especially this back foot; playing around with how far you can bring it ‘round, especially if you use a platform stance, now if you use a pinpoint stance, you can still play around with foot position, so…

  8. Your video makes sense. But as an amateur, I having a hard time implementing it. With just placing the ball, I am not able to get the right height (6 inches over contact). Maybe I carried the "gentle placing" of the ball notion a bit too far. So I amped up the lift just enough and got the right height. Then I was not able to accelerate from the fully stretched arch/trophy position to make contact at the right height. I am not quick enough and the ball ends up dropping too low at contact. My natural toss is very high in order to sync with the right arm. With higher toss, I am able to generate 145-150kph (60% first serve). Would you advice change the rhythm to start lifting my right arm earlier in order to meet the ball sooner at a lower height? Would that compromise the kinetic chain/increase errors? Thanks and I really enjoy your videos. Long time subscriber

  9. Simon, honestly yours lessons, I like them all, and some are really super video's, see this serve lesson

  10. Thanks. Very clear when you show ball as clock. Toss is a fundamental to good service and my problem is my practice are in Indoor court and I do it well but when I’m serving on club I don’t get fixing the ball on the sky. Any help?

  11. Great video! Can u guys do a forehand analysis on Shapovalov? Would love that! Thanks in advance
    (We need 100 likes guys, so please like!)

  12. Best tennis instructional videos! I use them to try and teach my kids. My son is 11. He has basics but is opening racquet on drop. How would you recommend to fix? Seems easier in steps ? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

  13. Excellent video !. Thank you very much Simon!. I saw them in the past but was a great idea combined together for refreshing concepts. The importance of the proper technique in order to make progress and avoid injuries is crucial. I hope could assist to the clinic the next time you will be in USA. All the best for you.

  14. Great video. I think filming yourself or letting someone else film you while working on your serve would be great. You don't always notice the flaws in your game, especially with such a complicated swing like the serve. It would give great self-insight.

    By the way, what racquet are you using Simon?

  15. Your serve is the bomb. So flawless.

    I get tennis elbow and tricep pain when I really speed up my serve. I have been serving 60% for the past couple of years. Wish I could go full out again 🙄

  16. wish I was rich enough to have you give me one on one coaching for a year three months on serve, forehand , backhand and volley.. Would have totally revamped game.

  17. great video…damn, i think i have decent shots, but just cant handle my serve…haven't practiced enough..i need a basket of balls and a few hours alone on the court haha. keep up with the good videos!

  18. Outstanding, I did not ever understand exactly where to try and go after the ball on the slice until now, BACK of the ball 1 or 2 o'clock

  19. I am a right hander and I have a disability in my left hand and shoulder. I am doing okay with the forehand and backhand shots because I can do both with my right hand. However, I have been struggling with the serve since I started playing tennis a year ago. I can't raise my left hand high enough during the toss and therefore I can't reach the high to high shoulder position plus I can't place the ball properly as you said. Sometimes it goes behind me and other times forward or to the left or the right. I have been trying to find a way, that would be suitable for my situation, to fix my serve but it's just not happening! Thank you though for the video, it's so informative and enjoyable!

  20. Great compendium of your serve lessons in one video. Even though they contain fundamental knowledge, I’ve always thought your videos were more for intermediate to advance players working to improve or perfect their existing serve. I rewatch these videos a lot to make sure my form does not stray too far from the ideal. Thanks.

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