A day doesn't goes by without someone asking me how to improve their tennis game.
While it's hard to give specific advice without seeing someone play and practice, a good general rule of thumb is that improving your physical fitness and movement will help you tremendously.
More: 4 Steps to a Faster Serve
Aside from that, what separates the good from the great is their second serve.
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Having a top-notch second serve is something that everyone can work on, including beginners and intermediate players as well as the weekend tennis warrior.
There's an old tennis saying, "You are only as good as your second serve." While a lot of things have changed in tennis over the years, this saying remains a constant. There are six statistical serve categories for the ATP Tour.
Roger Federer is only in the Top 10 of one of these: percentage of second serve points won. That should say a lot considering he is the greatest that ever played the game.
How a Second Serve Can Help Your Game
You can be more aggressive with your first serve
- Returners will not attack your serve
- It sends a loud message to your opponents that they are in for a dog fight
- Allows you to maintain control of play versus trying to play catch-up
- Puts more pressure on your opponent's serve
The best part about improving your second serve is that you can do it on your own. You don't need a practice partner, just a bucket of balls and the willingness to practice.
Remember when you practice your second serve to be specific in your goals:
- Different spins
Only work on one of these goals at a time to maximize efficiency in your practice sessions. Once you've mastered the first item, progress to the second and so on.
In no time at all, you'll have a second serve that adds confidence to the rest of your game.
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