Mike “Rambo” Rennels is one of our Newk Camp Wanker’s top singles players and we have teamed together in doubles several times over the last few years (four consecutive match wins). He has always struggled with his serve consistency; but here are his recollections of taking the late afternoon clinic with Roy Emerson, Charlie Pasarel, and Mal Anderson:
You are never too old to better your game. Old dogs can learn new tricks. The Monday serving clinic changed my serve for now going on eight consecutive matches. Last night my usual Friday afternoon doubles match was lopsided due to my holding serve 7 of 7 service games. Comments by all three players about my new serve made me feel great.
Here are the four actions I learned and now concentrate on:
1) Consistency of Toss – Use two ball bounces that are 18 – 20 inches into the court in front of my serving shoulder. This action will hopefully put your toss in the right spot into the court over the bounce spot.
2) Head Up – Eye looking up at the ball through the ball strike. Looking down early can result in short or netting your serve.
3) Body Motion – Your body should go up and slightly forward through your ball strike. Hit the ball with your arm fully extended.
4) Racket Grip – The racket should be loose in your hand with only your thumb and index finger. At your last upward strike toward the ball, you then use all fingers to grip the racket as your wrist turns through the swing. This action prevents you from having a clutched grip that can slow your racket speed and thus serve speed.
The Result – a former weakness is now a strength.
My deepest thanks to Emmo, Charlie and Mal. After hitting about nine hard serves with all three legends watching, Mal smiled and said, “Isn’t that almost as good as an orgasm!”