5 Easy Tips to Improve Your Tennis Serve as a Beginner

Photo by Marcos Paulo Prado / Unsplash

Practice makes perfect in tennis serve. The serve is the game's most difficult and crucial shot. As a result, mastering this stroke's technical components is crucial. Improving your tennis serve will help you gain free points over your opponent, especially at the beginner level. Your tennis will improve if you follow the tennis serve tips below in order.

Tip #1: Choosing The Appropriate Serve Stance

Let us start with the stance. A good posture is essential for a good serve. There are a few things to remember while going up to the baseline.

Turn the Other Way

To begin, if you are facing the baseline with your chest towards the net, you should turn 90 degrees towards your dominant side. You should be facing the side fence!

Tennis Serve Technique – 7 Steps To Correct Serve | Feel Tennis
Your chest should be facing the side fence, parallel along the baseline!

Separation of Feet and Shoulders

Second, your feet positioning. For this, place your feet shoulder-width apart, with your non-dominant foot (left for righties) at a 45-degree angle to the court.

Consider pointing your toes toward the net post. This foot placement provides a solid base for the serve.

Tennis Without Talent: Service Footwork
Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, with your front feet (non-dominant) pointing 45 degrees towards the net post.

Tip #2: The Continental Grip

To learn to serve well, a player must first master the continental grip. You can't service properly without it. It's easier to just show you a diagram:

Different continental grips for different shots? | Talk Tennis
RIGHT-HANDERS: The base of your index finger (Copula, red) should be rested on the red bevel indicated in the diagram above. LEFT-HANDERS: instead of the TOP-RIGHT bevel you instead focus on the TOP-LEFT bevel.

Begin by locating the knuckle at the base of your index/pointer finger (of your dominant hand).

You should hold the racquet like a hammer, such that your finger base rests on the top-right bevel (for RIGHT-HANDERS) or top-left bevel (for LEFT-HANDERS).

The face of your racquet should be facing sideways!

Choosing the Correct Grip: Continental Grip
The face of your racquet should face sideways with a continental grip. Yes, it feels awkward!

Tip #3: Establishing a Rhythm During the Serve

Just as each of these tennis serve technique phases is crucial, so is the service rhythm. To accelerate smoothly and fast up and through the contact point, proper rhythm is required. Placing a tennis ball inside a sock has shown to be the most effective and easiest way to develop the beat.

Rhythmic sock and tennis ball

To do this, bring your hands around your tummy. Swing both arms down and up in unison. Make a snow angel. Now "throw" the tennis ball (in your sock) up over your head into the finish like you would if you were to serve. Your goal is to keep swinging the sock ball back into the starting position and repeating.

The Serve Series March 2020 — Spherical Yellow Tennis
The tennis ball in a sock drill helps you get into the rhythm of a racquet.

Tip #4: The Point of Contact

Having reliable contact is crucial for the tennis serve. How do we check our touch point's location?

The Serve's Contact Spot

As you practice a shadow movement of the serve (pretend you're serving but without actually hitting a ball), and freeze just before the moment you would impact with the ball.

For right-handed players, the racquet should be frozen high in front of the lead foot (left) while extending somewhat in front of your right shoulder.

This method of freezing the racquet allows you to observe where you hit the ball and visualize where you should toss the ball. You can then improve the contact point as needed as you practice your toss.

Tip#5: Maintain Balance During Serve

The 5th and most important tip for beginners with the tennis serve, in order to create an exceptional service motion, is to maintain balance. Balance can be improved with several simple drills. As your service motion ends, stop your shot by pivoting your back foot forwards

Best Tennis Instruction GIFs | Gfycat
Stop your service motion and maintain balance by pivoting your back foot forward.

Bottom Line

To summarize, perfecting a tennis serve takes practice. You may start practicing your tennis serve using these few tennis serve tips and hopefully you'll feel more confident on the court. Focus on one area at a time and enjoy the transformation of your tennis serve into a weapon. If you want more tips for the other parts of your game, read our A Beginner's Guide To Playing Tennis.

You can also check out our full online tennis program for beginners, packed with 30+ video lessons & drills designed to get you from zero to hero!

Richard Wu
I'm the founder of oneCoach and also a huge tennis aficionado. I want to make the incredible sport of tennis accessible to everyone 🎾