How To Return The Body Serve
So, you’re wondering how to return the body serve?
Fast serves that are headed directly for your body can be very tricky to deal with. And I know that a lot of players can often struggle with getting jammed against big servers.
However, when you know exactly what to focus on, handling serves to the body can become much easier.
And lucky for you, I’ve got a few simple, yet powerful tips to share, that can help you neutralize a big serve and take care of those tricky serves into the body.
Let’s get started.
Serve Return Positioning
The first and easiest fix for dealing with body serves is to adjust your positioning.
Take one step back from your current position. This will give you more time to react to the serve. Make sure to do this on big points (30-30, deuce, and on break points).
By moving back on these big points, your going to have to more time to deal with the serve. This will allow you to rally for longer, and wear your opponent down during these crucial points.
Another option is to move way back behind the baseline to return. If you do this, it’s practically impossible to get jammed with a body serve. Being further back will allow you to take a full cut at the ball and you won’t fell as rushed.
But remember to make sure to aim higher over the net when you are returning from further back.
Return Of Serve Footwork
Another key, if you want to learn how to return the body serve, is to focus on your footwork.
Use the carioca footwork pattern, which is ideal for dealing with fast serves into your body. It will force you to move to the side as you step away of the ball, while maintaining a smooth rhythm.
A big key to the carioca footwork pattern is to keeping your hips facing the net as you handle the body serve. Avoid turning sideways as this will block your hips, and prevent you from moving efficiently to create space from the ball. Focus on having a quick, short shoulder turn, and continue to move after you hit the ball.
If you stop your momentum as you hit the ball you will have a greater chance of feeling jammed and miss your return.
Finish On The Serve Return
Last, but not least, you need to have a solid finish when returning balls that come into your body.
One of the big keys is to hold your finish after your hit the ball. If you bring your racquet down too soon, you might feel rushed and not hit the ball as clean off your racquet as you could. Ideally, finishing high will give you extension and depth on this return. And finally, avoid gripping the racquet too tight at the end of the swing.
If you implement these three powerful tips on how to return the body serve, I’m sure these tricky shots will no longer trouble you.