I previously wrote Serving: Stand or Jump?. In that post I talked about the benefit of jumping vs. standing serves and shared some thoughts on when players should start to learn the jump. I don’t really want to rehash that here, as you can easily read it for yourself. Instead, let me take this space to make a plea,
For the love of all that’s good and right, if you’re coaching high school boys, at least teach them the jump float!
Please don’t make me watch anymore boys’ high school (or older age group juniors) matches featuring predominantly lollipop serves. It’s so painful! I don’t care if it’s ugly. I’ve seen some pretty funky stuff among even professional players. At least it shows me that work is going into developing it.
And don’t just work on it in training. Make sure they do it in matches. Don’t allow fear of mistakes – either on your part or theirs – to keep them on the ground. It only hampers their development.
By the way, having to face tougher serves in practice will only help your passing get better as well.
Yes, I know the players will make more mistakes in their learning process – probably a lot more. And yes, that can negatively impact the games and drills you use in practice. There are ways to mitigate that, however, such as using the tennis serve concept.
Note, I’m using boys here not because I don’t think girls should or need to learn to float serve. They do, and my same view applies to them. I think that as soon as an athlete has the strength to serve the ball deep into the opposing court – which comes a bit quicker for boys, generally – they are well positioned to learn to jump serve.
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