Allen Fitzsimmons serves as chief executive officer of the Belchertown, Massachusetts, firm Transitioning Forward. A high-level tennis player, Allen Fitzsimmons maintains USPTA certification as an instructor and maintained involvement with tennis clubs as a pro for more than a decade.
As pros such as Roger Federer and Serena Williams can attest, achieving success in tennis involves developing a powerhouse serve. This begins with a proper grip that allows a streamlined service motion across the body, such as the continental or hammer grip. A simple way to check whether the grip is optimal is to make sure you can bounce the tennis ball using the racket’s bottom edge.
Proper ball-tossing technique is also essential, with the ball released when the hand comes to eye level. The ball should travel in a slightly forward-moving arc, which amplifies the direction of the serve and enables maximum driving velocity.
Stance is another critical component of the serve, with the back foot parallel to the baseline and the front foot positioned at a 45-degree angle toward the net post. A final element of the serve involves pronation: The racket hand initially moves toward the ball, pinky first. The hand is then quickly pivoted so that the thumb is pointed at the ball, in such a way as to provide a “whip crack” effect and exert maximum serving force.