Tennis Serve Tip: How To Pronate For More Power

Hello! Gregg Le Sueur for Online Tennis
Instruction. Here’s a tip on the serve and how to swing up leading with the
edge of the racket. So you often hear teaching pros say “you want to lead with
the edge of the racket and then last second go to pronate out”. Now this is specific to players who are possibly thinking of changing grips or
you just changed your grip. If you were on a full hand grip and now you want to
move over to a continental (grip 2)…. What happens is you’re so used to the strings
facing your target, but when you make that grip change the strings actually face
the left. So now what happens is you lead with the edge of the racquet and right
before contact turn the racket out. Also some players just find the concept difficult where they just pronate early and they end up
leading with the strings facing straight up instead of delaying the pronation
until right before the contact point. So let’s take a look at the two
examples. We’ll look at in slow motion and show you what I mean by leading with the
edge of the racket and pronating, and then just pronating too early leading
with the string and the strings and the palm of facing upwards. Alright if you
look at the two examples. On the left hand side you can see how the strings
are starting to face upwards. On the right hand side you can see I’m leading with
the edge of the racket. So the edge of the racket comes through and then the
pronation happens right before the impact point and the racket continues to turn
out. Let’s take a look at that a second time. And again you can see how the
strings start to open up and face upwards. So as a result on the left
hand side i end up hitting more underspin on the ball. Then the right hand side I’m able to hit
different kinds of spin slice in this instance. Okay now that we’ve shown you
what we mean by leading with the edge of the racket and then pronating. Let’s go
through a a sequence of drills to help you if you
are struggling with this concept. So i like to call this the half pipe drill. So it’s just
like a skateboard halfpipe. I want you to vision your racket going down the half
pipe and then turning out at the bottom. So what we’re going to do is we’re going
to start by just about bouncing the ball. So I’m gonna drop the ball and we go
down the half pipe and turn it out. Let’s be careful, often when students start to
do this they turn the racket this way and just hit down you want to try to
avoid doing that so go down the half pipe and you’ll see when I go up to
contact the very similar movements. So this is the same move as I’m
doing it down here. Nice thing about this I can see this. So you do this drill and
when you feel comfortable with it you can go on to the next step where we do
the same drill but you keep going further back with your strings of
facing backwards. So now you’re getting that good pronation going and you keep
doing that. Once you feel good with that then you go into what we call the racket
drop position and that’s way the butt cap is facing the sky and your racket is in
this position right here where the tip of the racket is pointing all the way down. Now I like to have players start with what we call ‘One, Two, Three’ so you’re
going to do this….1 down the half pipe…. 2 and 3. Then you set up in this
position the racket drop toss the ball and try to make that same movement up at
the top. Let’s do that again. 1….2….3, into the racket drop Then once you feel comfortable that and
I recommend using your phone or tablet to film yourself to make sure you are in
fact leading up with the edge, then you can start in what we call a half serve
position and all you want to do then is bend from the elbow and go
right to left this way. So again you can start with ‘1 2 3’. 1….2….3 go
down the half pipe, I start in the half position, have the racket pointing
towards the side fence. You see how the palm of hand is facing down. We toss the
ball I try to make that same movement up at the top and I check the check point…
see how the strings are facing my knee and the butt caps facing the sky. That’s
a good indication that you have pronated. Let’s try it again!
We’re going to go 1…2…3 start with a half serve. I’m going to bend right to
left, I toss the ball right to left and I swing up to contact. Then once you’ve
checked yourself on your tablet or your phone or you’re comfortable with
it, you can go into the full serve but I still recommend you go 1…2…3 so you’re
going down that half pipe. Then go into the full serve and try to make that happen
and then check your check points and you’ll notice how I’m standing here on
the service line because I’m not too worried about the outcome I’m just
working on the mechanics of the serve and the pronation. So try these
drills at home and let us know how you do!