Developing a Second Serve with Sony Smart Sensor

The second serve is the bug-bear of many a recreational and club player. Most go hard at the first serve and then slow the racquet down to keep the second ball in play. The other method is to put the same serve down first and second time around. That’s nice in theory, but you generally won’t develop much “pop” on your first ball. Your opponent is also looking at the same ball serve after serve.

How the Pros do It

The method by which a professional transitions from first to second serve is not to slow the racquet down, and certainly won’t be putting the same serve down for first and second ball. They rely on spin to keep the second ball in without changing the racquet speed. This article is not about teaching you to add spin to your serve. That’s a job for your Club Pro. How you measure your improvement may require the help of the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor, however.

All serves in a practice session on the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor
First Serves within a practice session with lower spin but ball speed close to racket speed
Second Serves in a practice session with the Sony Smart Tennis Sensor showing more spin and less ball speed, while maintaining racket speed

Serving with Your Sensor

The first image above shows that my player hit 62 serves in a session. Focus on the group of dots down the bottom of the image. As the coach I know that the ones on the left are first serves, followed by a break, followed by a group of second serves.

On the bottom left of those dots, I can slide the curtain across to mid screen and then move the data across as well to show the first serve data (second image). I can then slide the data across to the left to hide the first serves behind the curtain and reveal the data for all the second serves (last right).

Note that my player in this case is doing a great job of keeping the racquet speed going from first to second serve. Swing Speed goes from 109 to 106 first to second serve. Ball speed drops significantly from 104 to 88.

If you’re a player who is slowing the racquet down to keep the serve in on the second ball, you might want to search ways to spin your serve. Then it’s just a question of finding the time to practice it!

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