Do you have the service “yips”? If you do then this blog is just for you.
If you find yourself missing your serve for no apparent reason you might have the service “yips”.
This happens to the best of us and can happen to players beginner, intermediate and at any level.
We’re going to talk about how to overcome it and also we’re going to go through an exercise that can help you.
Good technique and proper court positioning are important for hitting a consistent serve that lands into the service box but in this blog we’re going to talk about the mental block.
Most of the times when players are missing their serve for no apparent reason it’s a mental thing.
Here are a few things that you can do to help with that.
Number one, clear your mind, try to not think about the serve.
Try to not think about getting the ball in. Just relax. Take take a deep breath and don’t rush your swing.
Clearing your mind will help you not think about getting the ball in or out.
Number two, develop a routine.
Any routine that you have is going to help with your consistency. Routines are always good.
If you do something different every time it’s going to be hard to create the same serve and the same situation. Everyone’s routine is going to be a little bit different.
Here we’re referring to before you serve so you can get a consistent flow.
What we like to do is call the score zero and bounce the ball a couple times,
Number three is very important. You want to keep your head down and your eye on the ball.
A lot of times people will get ready to serve and they’re looking at their target, where they want the ball to go. Then, as they get ready to serve, and as they start their serving motion, they then look up. This take their eye off the ball.
You want to make sure that you keep your eye on the ball through contact.
You can glance out to your target but once you know where that target is you’re going to get ready to serve and you’re going to watch that ball hit off your paddle.
Number four, you want a smooth swing motion. You don’t want to be really jerky and you don’t want a lot of wrist action.
Take the paddle back and then follow-through. As you swing through it it should be very smooth.
Now we’ll talk about progressive serving exercise that’s hopefully going to help you gain that confidence on your serve if you are missing your serve.
We’ll go in baby steps.
If you’re missing your serve and you have the “yips” then this is something that you can try.
You’re going to start off at the non-volley zone. Have a basket there with a lot of balls so that you can keep practicing this repetition on your serve.
You want to clear your mind, relax, take a deep breath.You’re just going to have that smooth motion while you keep your eye on the ball.
You’re only going to glance up at your target in the beginning and then you’re just going to swing through with a nice relaxed smooth motion.
Start at the kitchen line. The service box on the other side is right there in front of you (cross court). You’re not going to hit very hard.
Take a couple of serves nice and smooth.
After you practice a bit from there you just want to take a couple of steps back and then start practicing again.
If you can’t get it from there you need to start from the beginning and just work yourself up. Worked up your confidence.
If you can make them from the new position then take a couple more steps back and do it from there.
Glance out at your target and then keep your head down on the ball. Take your time. Develop a routine.
Keep moving back until you’re at the baseline. You should not change a thing.
If you miss, you know, it’s still mental. You need to just kind of relax and clear your mind.
Get out there with a basket of balls and do this. Maybe listen to some music. Eventually you’re going to get this set routine, set motion, on the serve.
Hopefully this exercise helps and the tips on this blog help.