Serving With Confidence in Tennis

preparing to serve in tennis
I’ve always found that my tennis serve delivery depends on my mental attitude. 

As I prepare to hit the second serve, thoughts of “I’m going to hit it into the net”, “My opponent will attack me” or “I’m going to miss” often distract and impede me from hitting it with confidence. 

It took me years of playing and analyzing to realize that what was happening on the court was the result of what was going on in my mind.

You see, when we get ready for the first serve, most of the time there’s just the excitement of hitting the ball hard or placing it strategically. But when the second serve is about to be delivered that’s when the nerves take over. It is then when you must be in control of what happens in your mind.

One must understand that the serve is very sensitive to negative thinking: your racquet becomes heavy, the hand is tense, the whole body gets shaky…

To avoid these feelings when you are about to serve (second serves in particular) practice these:

1. Think positive thoughts (“I know I can”, “I have confidence”, “I can do this”).

2. Visualize positive outcomes (ball going over the net and inside the desired service box).

3. Have a ritual (bounce the ball a certain number of times, etc.)

4. Relax your body (exhale slowly).

5. Take your time… Position your feet, adjust the grip and hold the racquet in the most comfortable way. Take one more look toward your opponent’s position and the service box that you are about to send the ball to.

“If you believe you can, you might. If you know you can, you will.” ― Steve Maraboli

Cosmin Miholca

Cosmin Miholca

Certified Tennis Coach

Check out my work at WebTennis24 where I share with you my best video tennis lessons, drills and tips for players, coaches and tennis parents.

How to Avoid Double Faults in Tennis

avoiding double faults in tennis
Are you tired of serving double faults and giving your opponents free points?

How frustrating is it to see the tennis ball in your hand, giving you total control of the beginning of the point yet… you fail to get one out of the two serves in?

The following tips will help you avoid missing your serves and enjoy your tennis:

1. Use Spin
Imparting slice or topspin on your serves (on the second attempt in particular) will save you from giving points away or being put in defense by your opponent’s return.
The spin brings the ball down due to the air friction, therefore, you will not miss long too often. 

2. Relax Your Arm
Begin your serving motion with your hands and arms relaxed and in front of your hips. Many times I see people beginning their serve motion by holding the ball and racquet too high (chest level) before tossing the ball – this action tightens your shoulders and arms.
Keep a loose grip on the racquet at all times.

3. Breath
Your breathing should be slow and shallow before you begin your serving motion.
Inhale as you toss the ball up, then exhale as you swing up to hit it. 

4. Toss It Right
One way that will improve your toss consistency (and as a result, your serve) is to always “push” the ball up with as little spin as possible. That action will relax your arm and your toss will not affect your body balance.

5. Visualization
Before you toss the ball up, visualize the racquet hitting it, the ball going over the net, and landing in the desired spot inside the opposite service box.
This is probably the most powerful aspect of your serve – seeing and believing what you want to happen. 

Try these pieces of advice, not in the match, but in your practice first. Then, as they become habits, you will carry them into your matches too.

Cosmin Miholca

Cosmin Miholca

Certified Tennis Coach

Check out my work at WebTennis24 where I share with you my best video tennis lessons, drills and tips for players, coaches and tennis parents.