Marcin Bieniek explains how to approach and play the second serve.
Many players have a problem with the second serve, especially when they are faced with a pressure situation. The reaction to the pressure is often a defensive one with the focus not to make an error with the second serve and "just get it in". Unfortunately, many second serves are not in because of this focus.
We play to improve ourselves by working on and achieving our tactical goals. But what tactics do we have by thinking only about "just get it in"?
If we want to make our goals attainable, then we must have an idea of where to put our second serve and it must be an aggressive one.
I decided to change something, and I made my focus to "go for it" on the second serve. It does not mean I started to blast the second serve with 100% risk, but I put all my energy and speed into developing spin and kick from the serve.
Players think that the "slower you serve the more control you have" but it is not the case. Spin is what makes you a good second-server and the more spin you get, the better the serve you have.
Remember, when you serve slowly, you think about "getting it in" so there is a lot of pressure. When you serve an aggressive kick second-serve, you think about tactics so less pressure.
All players should practice the second serve because it is a required weapon in your tennis armoury nowadays. You need a stressful situation to practice the second serve, so play a practice set where you are only allowed one serve - no second serve.
To sum it up
With the second serve:
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About the Author
Marcin Bieniek is a tennis coach from Poland and a former professional player (Polish National Juniors Team). He is a certificated tennis coach by the Polish Tennis Coaching Association and the Professional Tennis Registry. Marcin has worked with many of the top 20 Polish Juniors and the top 150 players in the world.
The following Sports Coach pages provide additional information on this topic: