Step 5The fifth step of the serve progressions is to hit the ball like we did in the previous step, except now you start with your hitting arm and tennis racket in the “L” position. If you remember from the serve fundamentals section of the website, the “L” position is the completion of your backswing. It puts your arm and the tennis racket in position to swing forward correctly later in the service motion.

At 30 seconds in the video I demonstrate the motion. From the “L” position, I drop the tennis racket onto my shoulder. Once I do this, I’m in the exact same body position we started from in the previous video. It’s worth noting that this transition is essentially how you transition to the racket drop during a “normal” serve. I’m not 100% in the racket drop when the racket is resting on my shoulder, but that’s fine. You DO NOT want to try to get to a full racket drop when you’re first learning the serve. It will only complicate things.

Once I’ve got the racket on my shoulder, I use the mechanics we previous discussed to get to my contact point. I swing up on edge and pronate to get the racket to contact. At the same time, I transfer my weight to my front foot and rotate my body toward the net.

When you’ve master shadowing the motion, then you can try and hit the ball starting in the “L” position. Just like in the previous videos, you should hit as soft as possible so you can really work the technique. I demonstrate this at about 1:45 into the video.


  1. Edilson da Silva says


    I’m from Brazil and here we don’t have so many good teacher like in USA. Your site is making me a better tennis player. I’m getting some classes with a brazilian teacher on clay court, but he’s not so detailed like you are. In every strokes I have improved because of you. Thank you and your team for this site. 

  2. Pat says

    Will, I start with the Continental grip from the racket drop position, raise the racket on edge, pronate at the last moment, hit the ball, and freeze – when I freeze I see that the racket has shifted in my hand from the Continental grip to the Eastern Forehand grip – I have been working on the entire Serve Progression series for many months, but cannot figure out how to stop the racket shifting in my hand at contact – my coach said to grip the racket harder, but everything else i read on the serve says to grip the racket loosely not hard – hope you can help me with this! (if it matters, I am a righty, learning to play lefty due to a permanent rotator cuff injury tomy right shoulder)

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