Don't Be Second Serve Shy,
Attack And Dominate

Hi, Coach Tom here with Coach Elias. Today. We're talking about attacking second serves. That's your opportunity. Right exactly. We want to develop that as a good good weapon for yourself put some pressure on your opponent. Yeah. So any wimpy second serves are going to be punished.... exactly. So what what kind of technique do you  work on when you're practicing that shot. 

Okay, so  for returning the second serve aggressively we'll give you guys a few pointers. Number one. We want to be nice and low with our base on the return. So we are here nice and low we have good posture racket is nicely in front of us now right before our opponent hits the serve...

We want to split step slightly forward and then use the abbreviated motion of our back swing. So we step forward shortening up or back swing and then we move nicely forward, pushing our weight forward. Do you have a target area that you want to ideally target 70 to 80% of the time? Yes, hitting it long towards your opponents backhand because that way you can cut away the angle they hit and you can set yourself up for a great aggressive shot on the next one as well.

Okay? Yeah, I like that. You know that split step forward and then try and move to the ball on a diagonal forward. That way you're going to get your weight into your return and you're going to have a deeper more penetrating return. Exactly. Yeah. Okay. Let's demo it. We got the demo man right here.

Just before my opponent hits the ball I'm split stepping forward. I shorten my backswing and I press my weight forward into the ball, which allows me to take the speed of the shot as well as press my opponent into the corner which gives me a chance of a shorter ball where I am in control of the point.

Okay here from the side. Let's take a look at Elias' return in slow motion. Okay right here he's going to go up into his split step.  Right there. He split steps and goes forward now when he lands he sees the ball is to his backhand and he's going to take a short backswing and move to the ball. Now notice he's going to step in as he hits with his right foot and his weight is transferring into the shot.

He's got his weight now into this return he's hitting it out in front.

All right, as you can see the key thing again, I'm shortening my backswing that allows me a little bit more time. And then I'm pushing my weight forward and I'm split stepping forward as well. Okay from the front. Let's take a look at the split step, split step is going to happen very soon here.

Now watch, he's going to split step right there - his foot steps forward starts to move to the ball. It's a backhand he's going to take that short backswing.

He's not taking a big backswing there... now he steps in. And transfers the weight into the return.

Okay, another one from the front now. on this one and you should try and do this as well. There's the split step. And he's running around the backhand going for the big forehand. And this is something you should try as often as you can.  Be aggressive make that forehand a weapon on the return. Okay again footstep again.

He's running around the backhand going for the big forehand.

Now if you're returning from the Advantage side, you can prepare yourself for a great Inside-out forehand, especially if you know that your opponent uses a lot of kick serves to your backhand. You can anticipate that shot, lean to that side a little bit and hit a great forehand inside-out. And then again, prepare quickly after the return to be ready to either come into the net or recover back to the baseline.

Okay now returning in the ad court. Okay,  Elias is in the split step right now. I'm just about to hit the ball and he wants to be landing when I make contact now, he's shuffling out to the side wants to hit the big inside-out forehand. And he hits a little short. I just bunt the ball back and he basically goes down the line on this one and gets a weak return which he puts away.

Okay on this last one split step, right there. He starts to shuffle. He anticipates that kicker to the backhand, but he runs around it. Look how much he's bending his legs right there. He's going to hit this ball up around his shoulders, but he just lifts into the shot and just pummels it for winner.

Well, we hope you enjoyed that video. Please hit the like button subscribe to the channel and share it with your friends. Nice job. Elias. You've got a great second serve you're just crushing the ball. What are the keys you take away from it, key points? Key point here, being ready, split step in.

And then press forward shorten your backswing and again practice that shot. The more you practice it, the more comfortable and confident you will feel and the more pressure you're able to put on to your opponent's second serve and 80% of the time you're going to the backhand side. 

You always have to mix it up a little bit, but about 80% just pound it to the backhand.  Exactly and then be ready after that shot quickly as well... even if you hit a great return serve your opponent might frame it, and that gives you an uncomfortable shot. So you want to be ready and then be ready to move in or move back to the baseline as well.

Okay, all the best guys. Have a good one.


Tom Avery
Tom Avery

Tom Avery has been helping and coaching students for 40 years. Tom has appeared everywhere from the Tennis Channel to YouTube. His coaching and clarity is second to none. Tom empowers every player to excel at any level of the game. He has a quick fix for every problem and is often referred to as the Godfather of Tennis Video Instruction.

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