Merced County Times Newspaper
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Be a warrior with your serve, and practice, practice, practice

A Maasai warrior practices his tennis serve in the wilderness of Kenya.
A Maasai warrior practices his tennis serve in the wilderness of Kenya.

My fellow tennis players and fans of tennis! Did you watch the Australian Open this year?

I saw Serena close out a close three-setter with four service winners. She needed them as Sabalenka was tough. The serves were too fast and in too often for Sabalenka to pull out the third set.

Serena can hit the serve about 120 miles an hour. She didn’t develop a great serve by accident. Took hours and ours of practice.

If I had to do it again I would double the time I spent on serving, maybe triple it! I watch tennis pros up in the Bay Area coach potential Division 1 players and they devote the last 5 minutes of the lesson to working on the serve. Big mistake!

The serve is your most important shot. You need to get the first serve in at least 60 percent of the time with pace. Not an easy task.

If you don’t practice your serve you are guaranteed to fail that goal. Mother and fathers have a little talk with your kid’s tennis teacher and even with your son and daughter on spending more time learning to serve.

Interesting enough, once you see improvement you will want to work on your serve without any coaxing.

The warrior pictured above, and several of his buddies, were able to hit a tennis ball over 100 miles an hour while practicing serves after only 30 minutes of coaching!  During our medical missions to Africa, we encourage sporting events as a way to connect and enjoy a sense of community with the Maasai people in Kenya. Sometimes the male warriors pick up tennis racquets to play. Of course, it’s usually done without a permanent court and a fence. And those things are probably not happening anytime soon — too many lions in the area! The warriors, however, do like smacking that ball.

Double your practice time and you will be a warrior when it comes to serving!

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