Improving Overhead Service
An overhead service is one of the most commonly used types of services in tennis. Learning the proper technique of overhead service is a great advantage for beginners and intermediate players.
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When practicing an overhead service, there are five important points to remember:
1. Position Your Body
An overhead service requires turning your shoulders fully. To do this you should look at your target, then position your feet such that your back is directed towards the target. Your left foot must be parallel to the base line, and your right foot must also be parallel to the base line but behind your left foot. Your left foot is your “front foot” and your right foot is your “back foot”. After coming in contact with the tossed ball, your left foot must stay planted, while your right foot must step over the left foot. The purpose behind this is to catch up with your momentum when playing.
2. Toss Consistently
Regular practice of tossing the ball using the same technique will help you hit the ball more accurately and place it in the correct box on your opponent’s side. This can be done by performing a full extension of the arm holding the racquet. Tossing the ball requires a very smooth action.
3. Shift Your Weight
Transferring your body weight is necessary to do a proper overhead service. This has something to do with your footwork. When preparing to toss the tennis ball, your weight must be on your front leg/foot. Once you toss the ball, step using your back leg/foot to put the weight on it. Form a reverse C position with your back. Then, move your weight to your front leg/foot by stepping with it upon ball contact. Use a rocking motion for better accuracy.
4. Move Your Arm
Another key to a successful overhead service is to make sure that the serving arm is in full extension upwards with the ball toss. This should be done with the first weight shift (front leg/foot) simultaneously. Then, loop the serving arm down, behind the head during the second weight shift (back leg/foot). You will notice that the weight shift will allow your elbow to guide your serving arm. Your hips and shoulders will unwind while your arm, grip and racquet will be un-looped.
5. Do a Proper Grip
For beginners, the topspin grip is recommended. This kind of grip allows you to create a high arc motion that contributes to the accuracy of the serve. This can be done by rotating the top ridge of the racquet to the right side of your palm, away from your thumb.
Here are some SECRET that can enable you to execute a more accurate overhead service:
1. For a better overhead serve, you must keep your eyes focused on the ball at all times.
2. Practice the overhead service steps without a ball, facing a mirror. Practice the proper grip, appropriate weight shifts, the correct footwork and the execution of the reverse C position of the back.
3. Put a tennis ball can on the service box. Use your overhead service to knock it out.