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The Jump Serve – Tips from Vincent Pichette - National Team Assistant Coach
Feb 09, 2012
Serving : The Jump serve – To train speed and accuracy, use the wrist!
What strikes me the most when I watch the best international servers is not only the speed but the precision and the consistency of their serves. These guys can place their serve wherever they want and they just don’t miss!
The question is ‘’how’’ do they get to serve like this? Well, here’s a hint! If you watch them more closely, you’ll realize that the one thing they all master is the contact, more precisely how they use their wrist to control the speed and the location of their serve.
Here are a few tips on how to improve your contact:
1) Focus on the toss: a lot of bad contacts are not created by the swing itself but by the toss. Toss the ball in front of your approach and your hitting arm. Find the right height and location. Be accurate and consistent.
2) Keep your eyes on the ball: focus on seeing the ball all the way to the contact. Servers sometimes swing their head when hitting which causes them to lose sight of the ball for an instant. Follow the ball to the contact.
3) Approach – Accelerate to the ball: time your approach with your toss and accelerate through your approach. Swing both arms to jump and get maximum height. Keep your arms loose. Arms should go all the way back on your second to last step and all the way up when you jump. Get your hitting elbow back.
4) Contact – Snap the wrist: extend the arm to get maximum height of contact and get on top of the ball. Use the wrist to create topspin. Keep it loose and snap it. Work on giving the ball a flatter and longer trajectory. Be consistent and precise.
5) Use targets to train speed and accuracy: When you serve in a game, you always have a target. It might be a seam, a zone or a specific side of a passer. Train the same way. Always have a target before you serve. You can use mats or other visual elements to act as targets in training to improve your precision. When you play or practice against passers, watch them to pick-up their weaknesses. Use your serve to exploit them. Vary speeds and locations.
Use video or pictures to show good examples or corrections can be very useful. Remember that training your spin serve takes time, repetitions and a lot of focus. Stay patient and positive!
All the best!