I got a funny look from my wife the other day. I was practicing the motion for a kick serve in front of the mirror in our living room (only a few times) but enough for her to think my tennis hobby is becoming a bit of an addiction.
No tennis player developed a great serve by simply practicing when they were on the court.
However, while it can be tricky to practice this at home, doing so is a good way to ensure that your serve has more consistency during games as well as better accuracy.
Here are the 4 most effective ways to practice your serve at home.
1) Focus on The Toss
The ball toss is one of the most important parts of a serve, as a player must know how to throw the ball so that it lands in the perfect location.
The good news is that this vital part of the serve can be practiced anywhere, even without a court.
You simply stand in position, even with a taped line on the floor, so that you can watch your feet. By focusing on the throw and trying to make sure that it goes high enough and lands in the right location, you can immediately improve their serve.
If you don’t want to toss a tennis ball in your house you can substitute this for a pair of rolled-up socks!
This has the same feel and weight as a ball, and is far less likely to damage anything if anything gets out of control.
2) Stand By a Wall
Practicing a serve toss in a room or outside in the yard is a great idea, but if you need a little more control, you will want to stand by a wall. This makes it easy to ensure that the serve is going straight up and down without any variation.
If the ball or rolled-up socks hit the wall on the way up or down then you’ll know that you need to adjust your throw.
This will give you a great boost of confidence when you initiate the serve on the court, which can lead to more consistency and fewer double faults.
3) Mark out an Area on the Lawn
If you are lucky enough to have a large lawn, you can easily mark out a section of it for practicing hitting a serve.
Once you’ve mastered the throw, then you can spend a little time actually hitting the ball, so you’ll have more control when you finally make it to the tennis court.
By marking out an area on the grass, you can easily visualize where you need to hit the ball and how hard to hit it – all without actually going to a tennis court.
Of course, the ball won’t bounce evenly once it hits the ground, but a return at this point isn’t necessary.
If you want to make sure that you’re hitting the ball high enough as well as hard and far enough, you can easily tie up a piece of string across your yard at the height of a tennis net.
This makes it easier to see if your serves would clear the net on a real court.
In order for this to work, you’ll need to make sure you have enough balls on hand to hit with…
Otherwise, you’ll get quite a workout walking back and forth to retrieve them!
4) Shadow Swings
I’ve done this is a bit, even without a racket as I don’t want to smash the ceiling light in the living room!
Looking in a mirror you can see your stance, perform the service action and practice your follow-through.
As I mentioned earlier, I did this when practicing the kick serve as this has a different swing path to the flat and slice serves.
I’ve also done it for learning the pinpoint stance, making sure my feet come together as I move into the trophy position.
It does help. Believe me.
Obviously, you need to hit the court at some point to practice these things, but doing a bit at home doesn’t hurt and it can help you in terms of muscle memory.