Coaching Tip - October 2009

The return of serve is the least practiced stroke in the game of tennis

  • Improve Your Return of Serve
  • Keep it simple to get the ball back into play

  • Keep your eye on the ball
  • Watch the ball from the time it leaves the servers hand; this helps to anticipate the direction of the serve

  • Stand in the ready position behind the baseline
  • (1) neutral or continental grip
    (2) players with a single hand backhand cradle the racquet throat with the other hand (3) players with two hand backhand keep two hands on the racquet handle
    (4) split step as your opponent serves
    (5) open stance
    (6) keep low with knees bent

  • Adjust your grip as the serve comes toward you
  • Only small change from neutral or continental grip to the forehand or backhand grip is then required

  • Returning Strategies
  • (1) keep your strokes compact with a short backswing and then follow through
    (2) be aggressive when the serve is in the middle of the service box
    (3) get into position early to hit the ball with your strongest stroke
    (4) when your opponent has a weak second serve don't let the ball drop but move forward to hit the ball at the top of the bounce into the open court

Use the above hints regularly when you are at tennis training and you will notice the improvement in your return of serve.

Do you have any coaching tips or comments that you would like to share with other tennis players? Do you have a coaching question? Send them to me via email.

Steve James
HEAD Coach