I was at the courts yesterday and a well built middle aged man took the court next to me to practice serves. I noticed that he was pretty darn good so I immediately struck up a conversation with him with the ulterior motive to get him to let me return his serves.
When you do this, make sure you politely acknowledge that you know that sometimes people just want to be left alone to practice, but that if he/she wants, you will stay over there all day and return their serves.
If they say no, then just drop it and go about your business. I can assure you after reading this blog, that there will be times when you just want to go out and practice without being bothered.
In this case I hit the jackpot. Not only did he not mind me returning his serves he suggested that we play out the point. Whoopie! Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding. It was just the kind of practice I needed.
Also, keep in mind that it’s more difficult to get someone better than you to practice with you because most of the time they feel they are not getting better so, this was a double bonus.
This guy had a pretty consistent and hard flat first serve. When I backed up to handle the pace he promptly hit the corners and aced me. This exposed a large weakness in my game. When he hit a pretty good paced second serve that bounced high, I pounced all over it an won most of those points.
So, now I’m on a mission to get lots of return of serve practice. This is not that easy unless you know lots of people that like to practice their serve.
The message here is to jump at any chance to practice the return of serve and also to play points with someone better than you.
In the next post I’ll show you a very expensive serve ball machine that I’m dying to try out.