7 Tennis Serve Drills For Beginners And Advanced Players

Table of Contents

The service is the most vital weapon in any tennis player’s arsenal. Whether your style is countering, power, or speed, improving your serve is a sure way to gain more points on the court. 

When broken down biomechanically, the serve depends heavily on how good you are at transferring weight and energy. The serve is not dependent solely on speed or power but a combination of both along with accuracy, precision, and timing. 

Before we get into the top 7 best tennis serving drills, refresh your mind on the correct form/technique for serving.

Tennis Serving Drills

#1 The Box Drill

The box drill is excellent at isolating the trunk and shoulders, focusing solely on twisting and swinging to build torque momentum from a very still position. This will develop your timing and power resulting in a more effective serve.

Setup for the box drill:

#2 Focusing on the angle of release

This drill focuses on perfecting the right angle of release for your serve.

The Serve-master is an excellent way to judge your angle of release. 

Perform regular serves with the goal of creating a perfect ark cleanly over the net. The serve master replicates the ball’s journey, and the impact your racket’s angle has on the ball. This will train your muscle memory to release at the perfect angle.

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#3 Serve Consistency Drill

A powerful serve will only get you so far; however, a consistent service will make your weapon more effective and substantial. 

Serve to one service box and start on the number 5. Every serve you get in, go up one number until you reach 10. Every service you miss, go down one number.

The goal is to go from 5 to 10 in as few serves as possible.

#4 Building strength - supination and pronation

Our focus on this drill is to improve supination and pronation while executing your tennis serve.

Before contact, the edge of the tennis racket should be leading the way towards the ball; just before the contact point, the strings start to open towards the target, and the racket will be flat towards the ball at contact. After contact, the racket will continue to turn outwards; this motion is called pronation.

Tennis players struggle with this action worldwide, yet it will help you direct your service and get more power once mastered.

Setup for the motion drill:

#5 The Bosu ball Serve

The focus of this is to emphasize generating momentum and power from the trunk and shoulders alone.

Removing leg drive/influence is also a great way to build balance, timing, and coordination.

While also gives you a chance to identify weak points in your arsenal, whether that be balance or the ability to generate power from your shoulder alone.

Leading to a more confident and assertive serve.

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#6 Reaction time Drill

This drill emphasizes unpredictability, putting you in a high-intensity situation where you will have to react fast.

You will need a partner for this drill.

Go for a typical serve; however, just before your racket connects, have your partner call out a direction (middle-left-right). This will force you to think fast and react.

Making yours serves harder to read and, therefore, more clinical.

#7 Perfecting the ball toss

This drill is to help players differentiate between lifting the ball and throwing the ball up.

The purpose is to start slowly and lift the ball without releasing it first. Then you slowly add some speed to your serve toss movement, which adds just a little bit of height to the ball.

Keep your palm open and catch the ball back in your hand. Then slowly keep adding height to your toss and see how you can eventually find the exact location of the toss over and over again.

This builds consistency and muscle memory in the serve, causing your point of impact to be consistent, leading to better overall execution.

The Tie-Breaker

We have covered drills to cover all aspects of the serve, power, speed, coordination, and reaction times/timing. It’s now up to you to dedicate the most time to what you feel your weak points are in the serve.

All drills should be performed in a controlled manner:

  • Good warmup
  • Sets and reps 
  • Cooldown exercise’s
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Brenton Barker
Brenton Barker
Brenton holds a Degree in Sports Coaching from the University of Delaware and was the former Head Advisor for the Japanese Government's Sports Science Institute. He has held Managerial and Head Coaching roles with Australia's National Governing Body, Tennis Australia, and served on the Dunlop International Sports Advisory Board for eight years. Brenton currently consults with several professional athletes and clients in the areas of Self-Accountability, Health, and Goal Orientation.