How To Boost Your First Serve Percentage (in 4 Steps)

Are you looking to improve your first serve percentage in tennis?

We’re going to walk you through every step so you can start hitting more first serves in the court, and get you well on your way to winning more tennis matches.

Let’s take a look at how to improve your first serve percentage in 4 simple steps and get that serve in consistently!

Why is it Important to Learn How to Boost Your First Serve Percentage?

The serve and return are often viewed as the two most important shots in a tennis player’s arsenal. The serve is arguably even more important as it is the only shot we can actually control. All other shots we hit in tennis are reactions to what our opponent is doing. 

As far as the first serve goes, it is supposed to be a tennis player’s biggest weapon and can actually make life a lot easier for you if you can hit it in the service box consistently. However, having a good first serve is not as simple as trying to hit the ball as hard as you can somewhere near the service box. There is actually a lot more to it than that! 

You may think that the best tennis players hit all of their shots extremely hard and inside the lines every single time. However, the average of the ATP professional players with the highest ever first serve percentage is around 70%

This is pretty high of course, and most players actually aim for around 65%, but that figure may actually be quite surprising to most amateur players. 

So, you don’t have to get every single first serve in to be a great tennis player. In fact, aiming for around 70% of first serves in the court is a pretty good target if the pros are anything to go by! But, more important than just getting the ball in is what you actually do with your first serve. 

So, let’s take a closer look and see how you can up your first serve percentage if you are one of those players that always have to rely on their second serve.

How to Hit the Perfect First Serve in Tennis

Step 1: Look at’s Secrets of the Serve Course

The first step to improving your first serve percentage is to check out our Secrets of the Serve course. This will allow you to take your tennis game into your own hands before you even step onto the court! 

Master the fundamentals with our resident coach and ex-tennis professional Dave Ireland. He has coached and played at the highest levels of tennis and has a wealth of experience to share. If anyone can help improve your first serve percentage, Dave can! 

Choosing to enrol in our Secrets of the Serve course will be a proactive step to improving your game, so you can reinforce good habits on the court instead of bad ones. You’ll learn how to use the trophy position, leg drive, pronation and serving tactics more effectively, all of which enhance your game!

Secrets of the Serve
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Step 2: Find a Routine that Works for You

The next step towards boosting your first serve percentage is to find a routine that helps you relax and focus before you hit your first serve. Too often do we see players rushing into their service motions, trying to get it over and done with. 

However, if you step up to the baseline with a set routine, be that bouncing the ball 5 times, breathing deeply, or spinning your racket, you’ll be able to feel more calm and relaxed before your swing. This not only helps with your focus, but it also helps relieve tension from your body, helping you to swing more freely. 

Once you have a familiar routine nailed, the next thing to focus on is your game plan. It is important to have an idea of where you want to serve, what sort of spin you want to hit, and where you would like your next shot to go. 

Focusing your attention on these details gives you a clear intention behind your serve, which again helps to relieve stress and tension from your mind and body as you are consciously focussing on the process rather than the outcome.

Step 3: Consistent Ball Toss

A crucial part of boosting your first serve percentage is to have a more consistent ball toss. If you can place the ball in the same place time after time, your first serve will be so much easier to hit! 

Think about it, if your ball toss is over your right shoulder one minute, then over your left shoulder another, how are you going to be able to hit the ball where you want it in the service box?!

In order to get the most out of your first serve and get it in more consistently, you need to be hitting the ball from pretty much the same place as often as you can. The key to doing this is to improve your ball toss.

Step 4: Placement Over Power

Finally, a very simple yet important tip to boost your first serve percentage is to think about where you are aiming the ball rather than how hard you are hitting it. Whilst power is important and helps take time away from your opponent, it shouldn’t be chased to the detriment of your positioning. 

Being able to move your opponent around the court with a 7/10 power serve, but make it 70-80% of the time, will be a lot more effective than hitting a 10/10 powerful serve but only making it 40% of the time.

Once You’ve Mastered the First Serve It’s Time to Improve the Second Serve 

Once you have a more consistent first serve, the next step to improving your game is to make your second serve more robust. The key to doing this is to improve your topspin serve, which is exactly what we guide you to do in our Kick Serve Buckaroo course

You’ll learn how to improve your racket head speed, add more spin to the ball and increase both the consistency and power of your second serve in no time!

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Simple Guide to Boost Your First Serve Percentage In Tennis

Overall, boosting your first serve percentage is a key part of improving your game and making you a more aggressive and well-rounded tennis player. Consistency is very important in tennis, but so too is being aggressive and getting your opponent out of position whenever possible. 

You can learn how to boost your first serve percentage, and improve your ball toss and the placement of your first serve in our Secrets of the Serve course. So what are you waiting for, check it out today!

Secrets of the Serve
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