So, before we go into how you can improve your serve, improve staying up on your serve by focusing on your off-hand, I’ve got to show you the problem that I see with a lot of wrecked players. When players are serving and when they toss the ball, their fingers are contorted. Study the best pros in the world such as Rodger Federer, Pete Sampras, and others, and you’ll see that there hand and fingers are extended.

When I see a tennis player struggling with their off-hand, I try to get that player to focus on really spreading those fingers after they toss the ball. So, you can practice this by doing a shadow stroke, getting into trophy position, and just putting your tossing arm up and spreading the fingers.

Now keep in mind that when you toss the ball, and you actually hit the serve, you’re going to have a harder time doing this if you’re not used to it, so, you’re really going to have to practice shadow strokes first, then you can you try to do it when you actually hit serves, and you’re really going to have to commit to spreading those fingers.

It will allow you to stay up on the serve, and to really explode, because you’re taller when you do this. If you have your fingers all contorted, and your arms slightly bent, you’re not going to be able to extend up to the ball as much.

So, that’s a great tip that you can focus on the next time you step on the court, or you can actually focus on what your off-hand does when you’re serving to improve your serve.

Leave a comment or a question down below, and I look forward to seeing you at the next lesson. Thanks so much for your time today, and go take action on the courts.

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  1. Brian Johnson

    I notice that each time you demonstrate the shadow position for the raised hand with spread fingers, your palm is facing away from you, toward the right fence and directly at the viewer, but each time you actually serve, your palm is facing the back fence, which is a much more natural and less forced position. I agree that spreading the fingers is a great tip to maintain elevation, but I’m afraid your video will have viewers practicing what you’re showing them to do, rather than what you’re actually doing, which may cause them problems.

    • Jeff Salzenstein

      Hi Brian,

      The best position is the hand facing the right fence. SO my demonstrating could be better. Either way will work for players compared to what most do and that to have the palm of the hand face the net too early.

  2. Ed Rozier

    Thanks for this lesson. I actually found myself doing this a few years ago with good results, as well as slightly pronating my toss hand toward the net after the ball release.

    • Jeff Salzenstein

      Ed, You are welcome.

      I am not a big fan of the turning the off hand palm toward the net. It causes the body to open up sooner.

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