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5 Step Strategy to a better serve

Updated: Dec 29, 2020

Let us start by saying that this is a 5 step mental strategy to improve your serving skills, therefore, like we mentioned in previous articles such as preparing for competition, it is not wise to expect results from any kind of routine or mental strategy if you don't use every time a situation requires it.

To verify the value behind the words that are put together in this blog post we shall mention that it was based on the study conducted in 1988 by the well known psychologist, Singer. 

In this case, we are talking about the serve motion so, if you want to see a significant improvement in this stroke without going into technical or tactical changes follow these steps:

1 Readying (optimal activation)


At this stage the player is going into serve position and starts placing the feet for execution, meanwhile should direct is attention to:

  1. Positive self-talk

  2. Awareness over his emotional state

  3. Achieve optimal state of arousal

  4. Start actions that will lead into a perfect execution (such as, bouncing the ball or touching it with the frame of the racquet)

2 Imaging


Now that the rituals before serving have started the player must direct the attention towards:

  1. Visualizing a perfect execution

  2. Confidence flowing in

3 Focusing


Right when the rituals before the serve (ball bouncing or any other) stop the player usually makes a pronounced break before the start of the motion itself - for those who want to spot it while watching a tennis match on TV this is usually when racquet and ball are together and the player is looking at the other side :

The player should then direct the attention towards:

  1. Making eye contact with the spot desired to target the ball to

  2. Make the chosen spot the only thing in the world at that time (block any other distractions)

4 Executing


This stage is of such importance that when a very famous sports brand build their company they started of with a trademark that ilustrates exactly what is required from you at this point in time

"Just do it", Nike 

5 Evaluate


At this moment the task is already completed and is now time to assess how well you did it! This will be done within two different time horizons:

- immediately after executing, where you get info of how well you performed compared to what you expected and how it can affect the next shot you make

- when the match is over, that will allow you to underdstand the reasons behind failure/success of the motion you did

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