Most of my male friends have been playing all kinds of sports since early childhood and are still in good physical condition. Additionally, many of my buddies stand six feet tall or greater and often weigh over 175 pounds.
Whether they are playing a pick-up weekend basketball game or they have playing in a golf tournament, they have immense sports talent. When the boys finally hit the tennis court, they possess a big first serve (maybe it goes in 40% of the time and they just love whaling on the ball regardless where the ball lands. Now, many of the friends have married well; many of the wives are not tall or burly and many of the women did not focus on sports during Middle School or High School.
So, it begs the obvious question – -Is it realistic for any of these wives to hit their serves hard? When a child begins to throw a ball with their father or neighborhood friends, it becomes natural and effortless. Conversely, when kids omit sports and focus on academics and other awesome interests, face a tremendous challenge later in life when they take up golf or tennis. Now, it is not impossible but it is challenging. My top recommendation for anyone learning to serve is to throw a ball back and forth with a friend.
If the person is able to toss a tennis ball or better yet, a small football, this person is beginning to imitate the proper service motion. One of the many reasons people serve softly is due to their inability to maneuver their legs into the serve. Specifically, many people only use their forearms; a non-sports person who weighs less than 125 pounds will not generate much power. Also, too many tennis players fail to toss the ball in front of the body and thus are unable to generate power.
Sadly, too many husbands fail to understand the game of tennis – a player who hits the serve (regardless of power) in the right regions of the service box will net dividends. As I have mentioned before, a harder hit ball is usually easier to deal with as the player can use the speed to develop a good rhythm. Therefore, when a woman serves a soft ball down the Texas T (middle area of the service box) it can be puzzling as the returner must create his own angle.
We continually advise our players to hit their serves down the middle because we don’t want our opponents to enjoy easy angles of the tennis court. When players serve down the middle, it can be perplexing. Here is my advice for these competitive husbands – -Encourage your wife (new doubles partner) to serve to the weakness of the opponent and start to target the middle line of the service box, as it will net great results. Good luck!
Doug Browne is the Hideaway Beach Tennis Director and the new Collier County USPTA Pro of the Year. Additionally, Doug has been the International Hall of Fame Director of Tennis this past summer. Doug has been writing his tennis column for the past fifteen years and welcomes your feedback.