Hit the Ball Starting from the Shoulder
The fourth step of the serve progressions is to hit the tennis ball with an abbreviated service motion. We’re going to take the tossing motion, which we worked on in the previous video, and add it to the motion we developed in the first and second videos in this series.
You start in the party stance. All the weight is on your back foot and your body is sideways. The tennis racket is resting on edge on your shoulder. What you’re going to do is toss the tennis ball and hit is very, very gently using the swing mechanics we worked on in videos #1 and #2. I demonstrate this motion at approximate 26 seconds into the video.
The key is to work on all the mechanics we’ve discussed up to this point. Swing up on edge and pronate at the last second to hit the tennis ball. At the same time, transfer your weight to your front foot and rotate your upper body toward the net.
Also, freeze right after you make contact with the tennis ball. We’re not going to add the follow through just yet. I discuss this at about 53 seconds into the video.
One way to make sure you aren’t hitting the tennis ball too hard is to try and make the ball bounce three times before it gets to the baseline.
At 1:30 in the video we discuss how to get a feel for contact. We clip to a shot of me in the same position I was in earlier in the video, except now I am standing very close to the back fence. I hit the ball using the same mechanics, but I also trap the ball against the fence. The body position I end up in – with the tennis ball trapped in between my racket and the fence – is very similar to what your contact point will be when you actually serve. So this will help figure out exactly what contact is supposed to feel like.