How to Develop A Loose Wrist On The Serve

Apr 24

If you’re looking to hit fast tennis serves then your wrist must be loose in order to allow the racquet head to move really fast.

But if you have been hitting serves for a while with a tight wrist (thinking that you need to hit ball “hard”), then you’ve developed a bad habit that won’t go away just because you read somewhere online that you should serve with a loose wrist.

You actually need to teach your wrist a new habit – and the following drill is the one that in my experience unlocks the wrist very quickly.

This is the third and final free video from the Serve Unlocked video course – a unique course that goes beyond the technique and helps you realize your serving potential.

It’s already there, you simply need to unlock it…

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(23) comments

Nasar April 24, 2013

Excellent

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Carl Johnson April 24, 2013

Tomaz – Love the idea of using the grocery bag because of the ease of holding it and the noise it makes due to the speed. I’ll have to give this a try with my students.

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    Tomaz April 24, 2013

    Thanks and please let me know how it goes with your students, Carl!

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poida April 24, 2013

Excellent! Would this work for getting the wrist feel for the forehand as well or do you have another drill/aid to get the hand/wrist feel in the FH. I think/wonder if perhaps players “mix up the feelings” between these two strokes.

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    Tomaz April 24, 2013

    Yes, this would also work on the forehand and backhand – it would also give the player a better feel for swinging and letting go through the ball rather than pushing it or tensing at the moment of contact.

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      poida April 24, 2013

      Thanks Tomaz, very helpful. Can you do a quick demo video showing the bag drill for both FH & BH

      Reply
Joel April 24, 2013

Simple and easy to understand drill for tennis learners. Some coaches use long socks and stuff with tennis balls as an alternative but your idea of using grocery bag is very interesting!

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    Tomaz April 24, 2013

    Joel, the “problem” with long socks is that you still need to squeeze the sock otherwise it flies off your hand. So you don’t feel how it is to accelerate your arm but not squeeze.

    The grocery bag remains attached to your wrist (after a few twists) so you can feel that the squeeze of the handle is not needed to accelerate it…

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      Poida April 24, 2013

      agree, good point Tomaz

      Reply
Jim Ritter April 24, 2013

Great Video Tomaz!

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Olav April 24, 2013

Very nice drill and yes the bag definitely helps to NOT squeeze the grip as so many people do.

I would like to add a little something to also WITH the racket keep the grip loose.

In my classes I let the people serve with the HYPOTHENAR (the musclegroup under the little finger) and the LITTLE FINGER OFF the grip. I found that these two are the main components of the tight grip. If these are off the racket it it more difficult to squeeze thus a looser swing.

I hope this contributes.

Tomaz SUPER thanks for the video 😉

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    Tomaz April 24, 2013

    Thanks for the tip, Olav, taking the pinky off the racquet handle works well too…

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Aaron Liu April 24, 2013

Tomaz, I really liked this. I am working on the ball contact concept in general and the idea of accelerating at the point of contact. I hope to change the whole way I strike the ball. It has helped so far to let me play much more relaxed and with less pain.

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jean landry April 24, 2013

Bonjour Tomaz.
Once again, I am amazed of those great tactical drills. And to remember to throw and not to push the racquet, on the serve.
With all these brilliant ideas,Tomaz, do you have time to sleep ?
Take care.
Jean

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    Tomaz April 24, 2013

    Thanks, Jean! Yeah, I get some sleep. 😉 But in life we need to live…

    Reply
poida April 25, 2013

HI Tomaz,

I’ve tested this drill for the serve and it’s excellent, much better than the sock version! 🙂 You mentioned it could also be used for the FH and BH and it would be great to see a quick video of you and the technical stroke movements when demonstrating these strokes with the bag. The bag effectively shows and provides the player with good bio and auditory feedback in a number of ways on the way to developing proper/good “feel” for generating acceleration with proper muscle relaxation and utilization. Thanks for the great work and your passion! 🙂

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George April 26, 2013

Hi Tomaz
Again, a sensible and effective way to impart the necessary feel and sensation connected to the simple service action. One thought which arose as I followed the instruction and felt a slight distortion in the fluency of the action is this. The path from the back of the shoulder (racket drop position with racket) and up and out tends to be lost or feel sort of out of control and not as smooth as appears in your presentation. Until I realised that the tendency was to try and “push” or “lift” the bag with the arm rather than using the shoulder rotation to bring the bag up first. Your followers may appreciate the point.
Cheers,
George from Adelaide.

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    Tomaz April 26, 2013

    Thanks for sharing, George! Yes, you must look to simply generate a lot of rotational momentum and imagine a circular path as I also described in one of the videos…

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Tony February 11, 2015

..good idea to use 4 balls, each is 2oz so it’s like light 8oz racket, safe for repeating..

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Trevor November 12, 2015

Tomaz,

I have been having some pain in my right triceps when I do a flat serve. Many sources online say a tight grip and a lot of tension could be one of the causes of this. When I go out there and hit a flat serve, I think I am being loose, but perhaps I’m actually not? How can I test and find out for sure if I’m being loose or not?

Thanks,
Trevor

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    Tomaz November 12, 2015

    Hi Trevor,

    I suggest you record yourself from the side and see if after contact your racquet head is going down faster than your arm or whether your arm is straight and aligned with the racquet. (meaning tight wrist)

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John June 18, 2017

Hey Tomas,
I’ve seen clips of pros (mostly Roger) that try to add more spin of their first serves for more accuracy. Instead of hitting through it more for more speed but comes at the cost of inconsistency. So to make that happen do I have to think about physically moving the wrist in a certain direction to make that happen? Or do I just think about direction and it happens naturally? Please let me know your thoughts.

Thanks,
John

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