– Hey guys. Scott and Nate
from playyourcourt.com and today we’re gonna show you how to hit a beginner’s serve. (swooshing) So today we’re talking about serves and to be clear, this
video is for beginners. If you’re in the
PlayYourCourt rating system, this is for players with
a PlayYourCourt rating of 49 and below or a USTA 2.5 or below. This video is for beginners and since Nate’s serve most
closely resembles a beginner, we’re gonna let him do the coaching today. So Nate, go ahead and take it from here. – Cuts like a knife, Scott. All right, so let’s be clear. This is a beginner serve and learning the beginner’s serve can be a pretty scary thing. It’s one of the most difficult
things we’re gonna do when we’re first learning the game. And so we’re going to keep
this very, very basic. We’re not gonna jump into
talking about pronation and everything else. – Yeah. For you internet
trolls out there, take it easy. We’re not going over the
Roger Federer serve today. – Right. – This is for the beginner. If you’re just getting out there and you’re trying to be
proficient with the serve. That’s what Nate’s doing for us today. – Yeah. This is, you know,
you’ve been out there and you’ve been hitting some
balls off the ground shirks and now it’s time to get in to match play and we gotta introduce a serve. So the first thing we’re
gonna do with the serve is we’re gonna introduce
the continental grip and there’s a lot of
different thoughts out there that there’s easier ways
to first learn the serve but honestly, the continental, we want to get this as soon as possible because if we start with another grip, it ends up being really difficult to change at a later time. All right? So the continental grip
is often referred to as the shake hands grip. So what Scott’s gonna do here is he’s gonna put the racquet on an edge. And if you’re not sure what the edge is, that means like you should be able to read who manufactures the racquet. So here, it’s a Pro Staff. So now Scott is going to shake hands with the grip and what we’ll see here is if you look, he’s on bevel two. So what that means is bevel
one is this first bevel and his index knuckle is
on bevel two. All right? And this should feel pretty comfortable. If it doesn’t feel
comfortable in your hand, you probably have the
wrong grip here. Okay? So now that we’ve got
the continental grip, we’re gonna start talking about what it means to toss the ball correctly because you can actually
have a really good serve even at a 5.0 and above and have a horrendous toss and just be plagued with double faults. So in the beginning phase
of learning the serve, the most important aspect is really keeping this toss consistent so your racquet has a
chance for proper contact. So what we’re gonna do
is we’re gonna get Scott to demo a little practice here
of what the toss should be. All right, guys. So as you can see, we have Scott at the baseline and as a righty, his feet
are facing to his right. So his shoulders and his hips are stacked and his racquet is on the side of his body with his tossing hand being his left hand out in front with the racquet. And so this is the most
important thing with the toss. What Scott needs to do here is focus from tossing with his shoulder. Often times, what will happen beginners get out and they keep a joint, they put a hinge in their
elbow and their wrist, tossing with too much of
a joint, too many joints and therefore creating erratic tosses. So what Scott’s gonna do
to ensure this is correct, he’s gonna toss with his shoulder keeping his arm straight and
he’s gonna catch the ball at the very, very top. All right and as you can see,
the ball came back to his hand so it tells you it’s in a straight line and it’s gonna be a pretty good toss leading to a successful serve. – To add on to this, guys, too especially if you’re a beginner when you’re just getting started here, think about starting your
arm in a straight line from underneath where
you’re gonna release. So for me, I’m gonna release here at 1:00 and by 1:00 we mean, you know if this is the clock, noon
is directly in front of us. 12:00 noon is directly in front of us. 1:00 is right here so I’m
gonna actually start my racquet directly underneath where I want my arm to push straight up so I’m not creating any
sort of windmill motion. I’m just moving in a
linear line directly up. – Yeah. And if Scott can’t
essentially balance his hand holding the ball off his
thigh, off his left thigh, then he’s not in the
correct alignment. Right? Obviously if you’re somewhere else, you’re lined up incorrectly. All right, so Scott’s
just gonna run through a couple of these exercises. Tossing and catching with his left hand and he’s just gonna practice to see what this toss feels like. This seems like it’s gonna be really easy. I promise you, this is
one of the hardest things with the serve at all levels. Now what you’ll see is if Scott lets go a little to early here, the ball is gonna go into the court and there’s no way that we’re
gonna get through the ball. We’re gonna chase it and
we’re gonna hit it in the net. In this next serve, Scott’s
gonna toss a little bit late and you can see it’s gone behind his head. We want to avoid that
in the beginning phases as we’re learning to hit this serve. So with a little bit
of practice doing this, I think we’re gonna be
ready to get out there and practice hitting the
serve into the court. – Hold up, Nate. That’s not everything they
need to know as a beginner. We’re not ready to jump out there and hit serves quite yet. What if I can’t get this? What if I’m trying this and
my toss is all over the place? What do I do now? – Well no. No, we’re not. We did say this is the hardest thing that you’re gonna learn in tennis. You are not ready yet. All right? So we’re gonna show you an exercise that you can start
practicing to get you ready. I’m gonna show that to you right now. – Yeah. Give me a drill. Gosh. – All right, guys. As you can see, we’ve got Scott up against the curtain
here in a indoor facility. If you’re not indoors and you’re outdoors, you can use the fence. It doesn’t really matter what you’re on as long as there’s some give. – A wall in your house even, right? If you want to practice it at home? – There might be some rebound of the ball off a solid surface so you
want it to be kind of soft. But so let’s just start with
what we’re gonna do here. One of the most important things is there’s really no result. There’s not a ball going
in or a ball going out. We’re not looking for success. We’re looking for failure. This is the beginning stages and a lot of times when
we’re serving for success, “Did the ball go in?” A lot of times, the
mechanics are sometimes off and the ball goes out and
they’re actually closer to being correct than when
the ball actually went in. So what we’re gonna do here is Scott’s gonna make sure
he has his continental grip. So again, he’s shaking hands
with the tennis racquet. So Scott’s not really sure
how this racquet’s gonna move. It’s his first time swinging the racquet so what we’re gonna do is
we’re gonna put the racquet back behind his head. Okay? And what this should feel like is like you’re throwing a ball. Now here is the key. You’re not throwing the ball linear, not throwing the ball straight ahead. Scott’s actually gonna be in this motion as if he’s throwing but
he’s throwing very high. If it was a football,
he’s throwing the bomb. Baseball, he’s throwing from
the outfield all the way in. This thing needs to go up, not linear. – And to clarify, guys,
there’s two throwing arms here. The left arm is gonna throw the toss. The arm Nate’s talking about
right now is my racquet arm. – His hitting arm. Correct. – The path of my racquet is
what we’re addressing right now and I’m gonna swing up not out. – All right and so here
what we’re gonna do is Scott’s gonna track
the ball up the curtain but he’s tossing with his shoulder. Remember, you’re tossing
with your shoulder. And he’s gonna trap the ball
at the height of the toss and trap it against the
curtain for solid contact. That’s average. – That’s above average. Come on. – All right. Let’s see that one more time. Really thought you might miss that if I made you do it another time. So guys, a little tip here though. If you’re tossing too far
away from the curtain, you’re never gonna be
able to trap this ball. – Oh no. – The ball went over the curtain. That’s all time. – Cut. – Yeah, guys I told you. It’s gonna be impossible if you throw the ball that far away. Scott, come back. Come back. He’s horribly ashamed. So this time, he’s going to toss the ball closer to the curtain
and finding that success. There we go. So we want to get out there and we want to do this over
and over and over again until we feel completely comfortable. And I know some of you
coaches out there going “Wait a second. “You didn’t talk about the racquet drop. “You didn’t talk about pronantion.” – Take it easy, internet trolls. – Yeah. Slow down. This is a beginner serve
and what we often find is if you give somebody the correct tools with the continental grip,
tossing with the shoulder and we get this racquet
back behind the head so that it’s a throwing position, often times the mechanics
start lending to themselves. We’ll get into pronation, all
that stuff, at another time. That’s not this video. All right, guys. You can see we’re back on the baseline. Scott’s been working hard, he’s been practicing that toss, he’s been working on trapping
the ball on the curtain, working through the mechanics of the serve and so now we’re ready to actually start hitting the serve and focusing or getting
the ball into the box. As you can see, he’s on the ad court here. All right so the first
thing that we’re gonna do, we’re gonna make sure that
our feet are lined up. One of the best ways we can do this is if you can draw a line from your toes to the post, the far right post, you’re lined up and that’s
gonna work on either side. And so now that we have
him in the right position, we’re gonna get the racquet. We’re gonna go all the
way to the racquet drop. So what Scott’s gonna
do is take the racquet and he’s gonna make sure he
can pat the back of his head. And from this position he’s in, he’s in the loaded position where he’s gonna be able to serve. What we want to avoid here though, is to make sure this arm
doesn’t creep this way. We want to make sure that it’s back as if you were throwing a ball. – Like you’re flexing. – Like you’re flexing, yeah. The gun show. All right, moving on. So from here, we’re gonna focus on tossing with the shoulder and at the top of the toss, right before gravity grabs it and it’s starting to come down, Scott’s gonna reach up for contact and we’re not worried about power here. He’s gonna let it come through fluidly and make contact at the top for an up and out swing. All right, so good neck clearance. Nice and safe. And that’s really what
we want in the beginning. We want the ability to be
consistent with these serves and get the ball into play. So we’re gonna take it a step farther now. If you’re starting to feel comfortable, we’re gonna take a progression
to where we put you into something we call the bow and arrow. We hear this as trophy position. I like to tweak this a little bit and what we’re gonna do here is simply, Scott, show me your best
Green Arrow impersonation. So we have the bow and
arrow position, right? So he’s almost there. We’re gonna fix it just a little bit and we’re gonna loosen up his hand and we’re gonna get the
palm gown just a little bit and what this is gonna enable him to do is that when he goes with the toss, organically if the hand is loose, it’s gonna fall behind his head. If you’re holding it and you’re here, we’re gonna get a different result. So we want it kind of loose and when he goes through that toss, the racquet will fall
into the racquet drop and then we’re gonna swing up
to the ball for solid contact. Solid as a rock. So guys, if you work through
these three progressions, we work on the toss with
tossing with the shoulder and make sure that
you’re catching this ball with your arm extended. If you’re letting the ball fall and you’re catching it down here, you’re not gonna have the parameters to know whether it’s a good toss or not. And then using the curtain trick where I’m tossing to the
curtain and trapping the ball all the way at the top, that’s gonna help us with the contact. And then it’s show time. It’s ready to get on the baseline and we can run through these two. We can go through the
path to head position and then we’re gonna go into
the bow and arrow position. And I think if you work
through these progressions, you’re gonna find that beginner serve is a pretty solid serve in no time. – Yeah, guys. These three steps, I
know there’s a ton more than we could add and trust me, we will. But if you want to get out there
and have a proficient serve and build that amazing foundation, this is where you start. And guys, to be clear,
Nate and I just want to see you guys improve your tennis game but we don’t know a ton about you. So do us a favor. Click the button blow, answer
a couple questions for us about your game and we’ll
then send some custom coaching for you based on your skill level. Just click the button below
and we’ll do the rest.

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Dennis Veasley

12 thoughts on “How To Hit A Serve – Tennis Fundamentals for Beginners”

  1. Love your videos! Video idea: when to change baseline rally direction (ball is short/high). I see too many players trying to switch down the line from 5 feet behind the baseline 🙂

  2. Don't forget to check out the PlayYourCourt community to receive custom video coaching, find practice partners and improve your tennis game. Here's the link: http://bit.ly/2VTn34G

  3. Great video! I’m from Brazil. I’ve struggled to add spin on my serve. Can you guys talk about it?

  4. I want to show this video to my Wife who is a 2.5-3.0 needs to build some confidence in her serve. Even good for more advanced players that wants to make sure on the fundamentals.
    Nice job! Thanks!

  5. This was an amazing tutorial. Very helpful. Please keep putting out great detailed step-by-step content. Thank you!!!!

  6. Really nice Job – excactly what i need at the Moment Cuz in Badminton serve was way different 🤙🏻

  7. This is great guys, both of you. But I prefer it when one of you guys talk! It makes the video more compact, to the point and easier to keep attention. It also gives you guys a bit more flow in your way of explaining.

  8. Excellent use of the curtain (fence) to learn the basic serve technique. I would add tucking the tossing arm into the chest as a way to initiate the upward motion of the racket. The tucking motion helps keep the racket arm from coming around too quickly (stay sideways as long as possible). I agree it is better to start serving toward the add court but for true beginners I would also suggest starting to serve from the service line and then gradually move back to the base line. Great job gentleman.

  9. Great video. Too many coaches let beginner start with a pancake grip. Just doesn't make sense. I actually like to teach beginners to start with a spin serve. That way their forced to learn pronation.

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