The serve is unique. Not only is it the most important shot in the game but it is the only shot where our opponent has no influence and so we are in complete control - which makes us happy. Right?! So why is it that, in my lessons when I announce we will be doing serving practice, do some people screw their face up like they have just eaten a lemon. The problem often lies with the most important part of the serve - the toss. You could have the best serve in the world but if the toss is 2 metres away from you you won't have a very good serve. Similarly if you toss the ball in 10 different places you will end up with 10 different serves. So how do you make the toss better? Firstly by not thinking of it as a toss - it's a deliberate placement like placing something on a high shelf. Take your time over this bit of the serve to get it right. Keep your arm straight and don't cock you wrist on the placement. Let the ball go at the highest possible point - probably about eye level. Practice in front of a fence or wall. Stand a metre from the fence/wall place the ball in the air and it should drop between you and the fence/wall. Keep practising!
Over the years I have seen many different serves. What I find extraordinary is the amount of unnecessary movement people put into their serves before and during the action. I have seen players rocking their arms back and forth like they are sawing wood, pointing their racket up to the sky as if they are duck shooting or even doing the hokey cokey before they serve – left foot in, left foot out, in, out, in, out, shake it all about – SERVE. The serve is actually quite simple – throw the ball up and hit it. Cut out any unnecessary movement and see your serve improve