TENNIS SERVE | “Elbow The Enemy” Tennis Serve Drill

TENNIS SERVE | “Elbow The Enemy” Tennis Serve Drill

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Hello, it’s Jeff Salzenstein, coming to you from beautiful sunny Denver, Colorado, and I’ve got a great tip today to help you with your serve, and this is a tip that has really helped a lot of my students over the years. It’s something that I kind of invented out in the trenches. That’s what makes us unique at Jeff Salzenstein Tennis. We actually get in the trenches with players, and we experiment, we come up with fun terms and names that can really help, and this one’s all about “Elbowing the Enemy”. So first, I want to go over the problem a lot of players struggle with having their arm and their elbow in the wrong place, especially in that trophy position. So, I see a lot of players that when they take the racket back, the elbow is tucked in here, and then from there, you can’t really throw a ball, or throw that racket towards the ball. You can’t really have a natural service motion with the elbow too low. You also can’t do it if the elbow is too high. So, we want to get the elbow in the right place, and one of my favorite cues is “elbow the enemy.” So, the key is that when you get into this trophy position, you want to feel your elbow clear away from your body: you don’t want it here, you don’t want it here. This shows that it’s in line with the body; we want it away. So, you’re going to pretend like you’re “elbowing the enemy,” and let’s assume the enemy is shorter than you, and for one time in your life, you get to pretend to be somewhat violent, but we’ll try to be peaceful out here, just focus on getting the elbow away like this. That’s really going to help this trophy position. We’ve gotten instant results with that concept. I’m going to bring in the student right now to show us how it’s done. Alright, we’ve got Max up to the line, he’s going to show us, again, that low elbow and that high elbow, and then we’re going to elbow that enemy. So Max, go ahead and get into the trophy position with the low elbow, and this is the problem that we see a lot. You see, the racket’s here. We want the racket more close down once we get the elbow in the right place. We also see the arms stay straight, and the elbow stays high like this. It’s in that type of a position there, we want to elbow the enemy. We want that elbow back here, pretending like you’re elbowing your enemy to the side. Go ahead and do that for me. Hold the position, good. So, you can see the elbow is way away from the body, and as soon as people have that visualization, you can relax actually. As soon as they have that visual picture of elbowing the enemy, a lot of times that position gets so much better, and in tennis, it’s so much about position, position, position – how your body feels in space. So Max, go ahead and show us that serve, that great serve you have, and focus on the elbow the enemy concept. Good. So if you can even get it further away with that shoulder turn, feel like the elbow’s going out to the side. Good. Just hit a little bit, because I overcoached him. But the idea is to get that elbow away. Good. So that’s your tip. You’re going to focus on getting the elbow away, Elbow the Enemy. That’s going to help your serve a ton. I really hope you received a ton of value from this lesson today, so you can go take action on the court as soon as possible. If you want to see more in-depth breakdown of this lesson and many others, make sure to join us inside the Total Tennis Training in our circle, where you can get cutting-edge tennis tips and strategies that can fix your weaknesses, and improve your strengths. If you want to be a part of our growing online tennis community and get the best tennis lessons on the planet, go ahead and click the link below, and we’ll help you go to the next level with your tennis. I’m really excited to help you out, and thanks for taking the time to watch this lesson today.

69 thoughts on “TENNIS SERVE | “Elbow The Enemy” Tennis Serve Drill”

  1. Dear Jeff, i tried to see my serve stance in a mirror ( i knew that i was doing something wrong) and i tend to raise my elbow too much.Then I tried to apply your suggestion in some full motions, and i felt two things: my scapulas trying to "touch each other", and a twist on my normal axis, like i was facing my back at the opponent.
    Is it normal? or i "elbowed" too much? thanks for the great advice and for your kindness!

  2. yea its crazy how much different you actually look compared to how you "think" you look. I'm in a similar situation

  3. Great video.
    But,dear Jeff,could you make a video about difference between kick and topspin serve??Are kick and topspin the same?What is the difference??
    So many people are confused about it.
    Thanks in advance.

  4. great tip, also noticed @ roland garros players doing it.

    Is there something equivalent with the forehand?

  5. Today i tried this little change…well,the ball went at least 2 or 3 times faster with the same effort! i'm working now to increase the percentage of the first serves, but i'm getting the hang of it.
    Absolutely worth trying it!

  6. Since Jeff hasn't replied, I'll tell you what my coach said and that is the back of the front shoulder SHOULD face the opponent, then untwists/uncoils during the swing, watch Djok. and Fed. in slow motion they do from the start of the serve, Nadal does it, but turns away while getting in the trophy pose. It helped me a LOT! Now I'll try and incorporate Jeff's elbow….

  7. thanks, this works really well. but in my mind, i am picturing rubbing a stripper's boobs with my right elbow, that way my upper body stays loose and i serve better. thanks!

  8. Why do you use a speech pattern at the intellectual level of a guy trying to pass a freshman speech communications course at a community college?

    A for the technique observation, C for the verbal presentation skills.

  9. What's your point besides an indirect admission that you're probably on the down-low with Jeffie? Does she know?

  10. I already have problem with my elbow(golf elbow).I am worry that (elbow the enenmy) will put more pressure on my elbow and will amplified my problem. When i do kick serv it hurts less than flat serv. What do you think?

  11. A pro have his Elbow face down when he serves , like south . Where as this is more east or west ( depending if lefty or righty)

  12. Hello Coach , Please I have a fundamental question
    In the trophy position how should the racket strings be , sideways or frontal ?

  13. Those serves that Max hit seemed to have reached easily over 100 mph. Have you ever clocked his fastest serve?

  14. Just want to tell you that this tip helped me immensely. I'm able to serve now with less strain in the joints and muscle, as well as being more accurate and more powerful. Many thanks!

  15. Thanks a lot for the wonderful technique as this helped me a lot, i also added one more tip to this to watch the ball till it reaches the racket. This has really helped a lot. Thanks a ton.

  16. Jeff – At 02.05, the elbow is high. If you serve from that high elbow, I get a huge amount of top spin. Tomic and Wawrinka normally keep elbow quite high.

    Changing to a lower elbow (like elbow the enemy demo) screws up the timing and top spin. I use pin point serve.

  17. If you are interested in treating tennis elbow at home the greatest results that i've had was by following the Freds Elbow Helper (just google it) – I found it themost useful info that I've seen.

  18. Jeff! You nailed it. I have been stuck on that soo called "Trophy" pose since birth. This "ETT" goes into effect immediately! Thanks 🙂

  19. Thank you, great tip, but it would also be helpful to know where does it go from there to get into the proper supinated position.

  20. Serve myths debunked: Former Top 100 ATP Pro, Jeff Salzenstein, is exposing 3 common myths that could be crippling your serve potential. Most players make at least 1 of these 3 mistakes… Do you?

  21. it works, it really works, i was serving bombs from nowhere, but you have to train the mouvment , because it's a bit of a change

  22. Thank you Mr.Salzenstein. Thanks to this technique I have got a lot of benefits. I also got the same benefit in the forehand shot. Because if we keep the elbow away from the body in the forehand stroke, we get very good momentum. I got a lot of training in this video from the teacher can not give.

  23. Daim…your advice looks very good. I will test it next week because my serve is very bad (no time to get lesson), I am just playing sometimes with collegues!!! Regards. Bouzid From Paris France.

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