Have you ever played against someone with a really big serve? It is really hard just to get the ball back, isn’t it? Do you just pray that the serve doesn’t go in? Or do you have some techniques or tools that will help you return these fast serves?
Here, I’m going to give you some tools that are guaranteed to help. Although these techniques are easy to talk about, the bad news is that they will take some practice. Scratch that. They will take a lot of practice and of course, playing against someone who has a big serve.
One of the most important things to do is to stay relaxed. If you have ever looked into any studies done on quick reactions and reflexes, you will know that when a person is relaxed properly they will react faster.
So how do we do that when the ball is coming so fast? The best way I know of is to start a very relaxed exhale just before your opponent makes contact with the ball and allowing this exhale to continue through your hit. Relaxed breathing is a very important concept to playing great tennis and if you are interested, I have more information on how to breathe in my book,Playing Zen-Sational Tennis. I also have in my book other techniques and ideas for returning serve.
But there is more to returning a faster serve than just being relaxed. You have to know the direction the ball is going among other things. In order to know which direction the ball is going as soon as possible, you must see the ball come off your opponents racket and see the direction. This is not something that you need to try to do. Just like you are reading the words here and you are not trying to read the words you just do the same when you look to see the ball and the direction it is going. And again, this will take some practice. The thing you need to do is to allow your body to just see and react. Guard against thinking about where the ball is going. If you think about where it is going many times you will not see it and you will then react way too late, if at all.
Here is how you will know whether you are thinking about where it’s going versus seeing where it is going. If you don’t react at all or if you don’t, at the very least begin to move in the direction the ball is going, then you know that you weren’t seeing it properly. You may not always be able to get your racket on a big serve but you should at least be moving in that direction.
By the way, these techniques will work on every serve whether it is a fast serve or not.
Of course, there are the normal things that you need to do such as taking a split step and taking a shorter backswing, among other things. If you have ever watched Nadal play against someone with a big serve, you will see that he stands way, way back from the baseline. This also will help a lot. The biggest criticism of standing back further is that it opens up the angles. My reply is that most players can’t hit that accurately very often.
Now that you know how to hit these big serves back with ease, you should know that I have a lot of other tools in my book, Playing Zen-Sational Tennis that will help you play your very best. Or you can start by gettingMy 5 Inner Most Mental Secrets On How You Can Improve Your Tennis Game Immediately For Free by clicking here.