When you get ready to serve, where do you look … and does it make a difference? It varies from player to player in many ways.
Focus on the Serve
If you watch tennis on TV, frequently the camera zooms in on the server’s face as they are bouncing and then tossing the ball. Sometimes, their eyes are darting in many directions. It doesn’t seem to impact them; but it probably does for us “lesser human beings.”
Most senior players will “peak” at the returner as they go from the bounce to the toss; but I consciously do NOT. I check out the returner to see they are ready to return serve (and where they INITIALLY are standing) and then I never look back at them; but rather focus on the ball and visualize where I plan on serving.
That pattern also helps me avoid being distracted by returners who are changing position in the hope of distracting me and my serving focus.
When you watch young American pro Sofia Kenin serve, check out how she strangely delays following the ball up as she tosses on her serve. For whatever reason, she keeps her head facing the ground for a half-second longer than all other servers.
Net Man’s Focus
Pelican Bay teaching pro, Mike Lewis once pointed out that when you are playing the net in doubles, you should not watch where your serving partner hits their serve; but rather, you should focus on watching the RETURNER and you will get a half-second jump on what happens next.
How about you, where do you look on the serve or at the net?
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