To disguise the direction of the serve; to prevent the returner from anticipating the serve’s direction.
Intermediate to advanced
the player prepares to serve in the normal way but without deciding the direction of her serve. the coach stands behind the player and instructs her where to serve only after she has tossed the ball in the air. this forces the server to hit to different areas of the court using the same ball toss. the drill is completed after the player has hit a total of 10 well-disguised serves.
the server should be encouraged to change the action only of her wrist on contact with the ball to vary direction and spin.
Drill 1.15 Serving With Accuracy and Variety of Direction
To emphasise visually the importance of second serve accuracy; to show how important it is to be able to cramp an opponent’s returning technique through the body serve.
the returner or coach sits on a chair instead of standing in the normal returning position. the server must hit the serve out of her opponent’s reach; that is, she must try to make her opponent fall off her chair to hit the return.
practice the body serve; this ball will be very difficult for the returner to create space for when sitting down.
DRILL 1.16 Moving the Returner Out of Position to Maintain Second Serve Dominance
To improve second serve accuracy with the slice or topspin; to disguise the direction of the serve and dictate the playing pattern that follows; to improve tactical awareness by observing how the returner responds to a given serve.
Intermediate to advanced
players play first to five points with the same player serving until completion. the server is allowed to use only one serve per point, and this serve must make the returner move two steps or more to return the serve. the point is played out only if this is achieved.
- If the returner hasn’t moved two steps or more, then the point is stopped immediately and the returner automatically wins the point.
- the point is allowed to finish even if the returner hasn’t moved enough. If the server wins the point, there is no score (i.e., she prevents her opponent from scoring). If the returner wins it, then she scores a point as normal.
the coach should encourage the server to notice which side the returner moves better from and which serve makes her move the most. She should also note whether the slice or topspin second serve forces the returner to move more. tactical awareness is improved because the server must note her opponent’s strengths and weaknesses as well as her own.
DRILL 1.17 improving Variety of Spin, Direction,
and Power When Serving
To develop more ‘feel’ on the serve; to increase its variety of spin and direction; to develop the use of upper- and lower-body strength with serve technique.
The player is asked to hit two serves from all eight positions on the court, hitting one wide and one middle serve, until reaching P8. After adequate rest she should repeat the exercise starting from P8 and finishing at P1. The player will hit 32 serves in all.
The coach should encourage more ‘feel’ by having the player increase the use of the wrist when serving from the short positions (because a loose and flexible wrist will help the ball go in from here). The coach should also encourage more leg drive and upper-body turn when the player is serving from the deep positions (because an increase in lower- and И Ffl upper-body strength is required to help the ball go
in from here).
Different serving positions that can be used to help a player increase the feel and strength on her serve.