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Learning to Jump Serve

If you’ve reached the point in your serving progression where you think it’s time for some jump serving, here’s a great way to start teaching yourself.

Like all types of serves, the key to a successful jump serve is consistency. You shouldn’t start jump serve training until your overhand serve is effective, and you shouldn’t bring out the jump serve in a competitive situation unless you can complete 10 jump serves in a row in practice.

Once you’ve got the overhand serve down and are ready to move into jump serve training, you need to start by practicing your jump serve closer to the net.

This is easier to accomplish with a partner, but if you need some cardio you can try it on your own and chase down the ball(s).

  • You’ll need a net, and you should start at the 10-foot (3 meter) line.
  • Toss the ball into the air (use one hand) and approach with two or three steps.
  • Contact the ball with your arm fully extended and make sure it goes over the net.
  • Aim deep into the court.

Once you’re able to serve 10 in a row over the net and into the court, take a few steps back and start the process over again. Your goal is to be able to serve from the end line eventually, aka a successful jump serve.

A few things to remember:

  • Try to toss the ball the same height every time.
  • Contact the ball in front of you, not behind your head. This will prevent shoulder and back problems as well as allowing you fully transfer the power of your swing through the ball.
  • Piking at the waist as you contact the ball will allow you to use your core strength too.
  • It’s a good idea to be comfortable with a 2- and 3-step approach so that you can adapt to whatever distance limitations you might encounter in different gyms.

Good luck, and remember that practice (with proper form) is crucial to learning a new skill.

Photo by Steven Abraham on Unsplash

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