How to Position Your Feet for a Great Serve
Now that you know where to stand along the baseline when hitting your serve, I’m going to recommend that you start off learning how to position your feet in the ad court if you are right-handed and in the deuce court if you’re left-handed.
Doing so results in less of a difference between the swing path of your service motion and the flight of the ball, which helps simplify things when you’re first getting started.
The deuce court is simply the half of the tennis court that is to the right of the service mark when facing the net. The ad court is the half of the court that is to the left of the service mark when facing the net. They get their names because you’ll always stand to the right of the service mark if the score is deuce and to the left of the service mark if the score is ad-in or ad-out.
If you’re a righty, you’re going to want to approach the baseline with your left foot forward and your feet roughly shoulder-width apart.
The front of your left shoe should be positioned behind the baseline about 1-2 inches, and your toes should point toward the right net post at roughly 1-2 o’clock. You’ll then want to position your right foot so that it’s parallel with the baseline.
If you were to draw a straight line from the heel of your front foot to your back foot, it would hit roughly at the ball of your back foot.
For lefties, you’ll simply want to flip the instructions from the ad court.
The front of your right shoe should be positioned behind the baseline about 1-2 inches, and your toes should point towards the left net post at roughly 10-11 o’clock. You’ll then want to position your left foot so that it is parallel with the baseline.
Again, if you were to draw a straight line from the heel of your front foot to your back foot, it would hit roughly the ball of your back foot.
At first, this position might not feel natural, but you should at least feel stable. Remember, your serve stance sets the foundation for your entire service motion, so it’s important that you have the stability required to control your body and effectively transfer your weight forward through your service motion.
The Ready Position
Now that you know how to position your feet for a great serve let’s talk quickly about what to do with your hands.
To complete the serve stance, you’ll want to hold the racquet out comfortably in front of you. Your dominant hand should be holding the continental serve grip, your opposite hand should be holding the ball, and you’ll simply bring the two together in front of you. Some people will place the ball against the strings, while others will bring the ball to the throat of the racquet, but do what feels comfortable to you.
This position is known as the ready position for your serve.