We all know players who CRUSH their first serve (and usually don’t get it in) and then they poke their second serve in at half that speed. Those players need to practice improving their second serve; and here is a drill from John Newcombe to do just that.
Add Pressure Practice
Newk says you not only need to practice the serve; but do it under pressure; so this is a way to accomplish that…
- Play singles, doubles, or cross court doubles
- Play just games or full set, with regular scoring…
- Except, you get only ONE serve to start each point
- And to add pressure to the receiver, they lose TWO points if they miss that easy return of serve
This little drill will help players try to be more aggressive on their second serve and have the returner work on their “controlled aggression” on attacking the second serve.
Balance the Power
What I tell players who suffer from the extremely unbalanced serving power is: take 15% off your first serve power and add it onto your second serve. So, if you were serving at 100% for the first and 50% for the second; you would then change the balance of power to 85% and 65%.
And one of the basic principles that I also have a problem with is: Accept double faults. Better to double fault going for a stronger serve than have your opponent get the satisfaction of crushing that sitter you just put in the middle of their service box. And in doubles, your partner at the net will also appreciate not getting one drilled at them.
What do you think about second serves?
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