Over the years I have come up with fun terms and names for techniques and drills that can really help. This great tennis serve tip is called “Elbow The Enemy”. It is something that I invented out in the trenches, helping players, just like you, get better.  

A lot of players struggle with having their arm and elbow in the wrong place, especially in trophy position. If your elbow is too high, it has to come back down, before you can go up to hit the ball. This makes your swing disjointed and you will lose rhythm. Hence, you will lose consistency and power. 

If your elbow is too low, you will not be able to swing up at the ball. From there you cannot really throw a ball or throw the racquet towards the ball. As a result, you will lose topspin and lose power. Moreover, you will not  have truly natural service motion. 

Whether your elbow is too high or too low, you need to get it into the right place. Hence, I have used this little-known tennis serve tip to dramatically improve my students’ serve. Here is how you can practice it on the court.

First Move

First move on the tennis serve


Now before you get into elbowing the enemy, you must have a good first move and trophy pose. 

From your starting position, you have got to initiate your shoulder with your first move. This means that you want to start and lead your turn with your shoulders, instead of your arms. Moreover, ensure to keep your racquet arm slightly bent and relaxed.

Trophy Position

Tennis serve trophy position


Having a solid trophy position is essential to develop a great tennis serve. Thus, make sure to keep the elbow clear away from the body. Besides, your racquet should be angled down, not pointing straight up. The key is to feel your elbow clear away from your body and get your hand in the right position. This is a simple tip that can help to dramatically improve your tennis serve.

Imagine that you are elbowing an enemy and assume he or she is shorter than you. Just focus on getting the elbow away from your body and avoid letting it get too low or too high. This concept will get you instant results and really help your trophy position.

So, that is your tennis serve tip. You will focus to get the elbow away, which will dramatically improve your serve. In fact, you will turn it into a weapon in your tennis game. I am really excited to help you out. Thanks for taking the time to read this article today.


By Jeff Salzenstein, Founder Tennis Evolution

Jeff is a former top 100 ATP player and USTA high performance coach committed to helping players and coaches all over the world improve.

P.S. – Want to take your serve to the next level? Avoid power leaks on your serve with this little known “elbow the enemy” move. Click here to get instant access.


  1. Sandy

    Great tip! This has improved my serve and reduced my shoulder pain!

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