With a proper first serve form and delivery (We shall be publishing a pattern on correct serve form soon) in place, parents can now focus on building strength as their child progresses towards U-14 upwards. Focusing on superior strength early probably is not a great idea as strength comes with a certain age. Focus on developing strength at times is counterproductive as it takes our eye off from developing required form, technique and tactical aspects of the game as training time is limited, well in most of the cases.
There is a lot of research work out there which talks in detail about poor serving techniques in terms of the kinetic chain which uses all of its body parts. If this kinetic chain goes wrong in some way or the other, over the long period of time it can lead to injuries. One such research work was done by Physical Education and Sports Department, Middle East Technical University, Faculty of Education, Ankara, Turkey is published here which touches on these facts.
Also, Bruce Elliott, et all do touch base in these areas. Growing children must focus on building a good rhythmic tennis serve and then involve their legs and trunk to be the part of it.
With age as trunk and legs keep getting stronger so will the racket speed and hence serve velocity will increase.What is at times observed is that legs and trunk do not become the part of a serve and this should be avoided. As mentioned above – poor form can lead to injuries too.
We live in the world of information overload but sometimes it is a good thing. My team pointed many nice videos to me around serves. In one such video, you can see Del Potro and Marin Cilic. When they were 14 years of age. Please do note their first serves. Do you think these serves were well developed for their age at that time? Maybe you can view more videos of this type and see what you can observe in terms of serve and age relationship. However, don’t be surprised if you find some of the pros of today serving bad when they were 12-14, hopefully, there won’t be many such videos. Here is that video.