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First Serve Direction Pattern (FSDP)

Your child does not have the ability to control the first serve directions at will. The serve falls in the right box, but the direction of the serve is uncertain.

Your child’s first serve direction could be the key to constructing the rest of the point. It makes a lot of sense to have your first serve percentage high enough before applying this pattern.
Pros typically serve 40%-45% of their serves wide from the deuce court. Another 40-45% of their serves are down the T, and the rest of them, around 10-20%, at the middle during a single match. From the ad court, we found the following percentages of serves: middle 10-15%, T 36-38%, and wide 45-47% [9].

It is important to understand the first serve placement capability of your child. Try to answer it by recording the percentage of placement. What number do you get?
We hope you know your child’s first serve direction percentages as this will later turn out to be a fundamental of serving that can’t possibly be missed. If a young athlete can place the serves well on all three spots – wide, T, and middle –he or she is doing well. Needless to say, first-serve placements are only productive by maintaining a good percentage of the first serve in, as explained in FSPP. If for some reason, your child is 12 and playing tennis for more than two years and not good at serve placement, you have to start working with your team to get this done.

First-serve placement is primarily one of the core serve patterns. A player with high confidence in serve placements has a good chance to get the upper hand early in the rallies, have easy service games, and do better in tie breaks. Some of the rallies in U-10, U-12, and U-14 levels are short rallies, and this pattern becomes the core for point construction at that time[10]. This also makes it difficult for the opponent to break your child’s serve. Your child’s service games can finish faster; putting the pressure back on the opponent’s serve rather quickly.

Known Issues:
1) Children, at times, serve without thinking about the placement of their serves, which in itself leads to not being ready for the next return ball from the opponent.
2) Serve+1+1 balls pattern is difficult to implement, as the opponent can usually guess where the server is going to serve.
3) You can’t keep the opponent guessing; however, a great ball toss is also needed for keeping the opponent guessing. More on ball toss in our Serve Ball Toss Pattern[SBTP].


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