How Long Does it Take to Learn Tennis Serve?

A tennis serve is the shot fired to begin and sustain the game of tennis.

A basic tennis serve is one which is served diagonally across the court without being obstructed by the tennis court net.

How long does it take to learn a Tennis serve? With regular practicing and dedication, it takes 3 months to learn and master Tennis service. A good tennis serve involves a lot more than just sending the ball across the tennis court.

Professional tennis serves move at a velocity of 130 mph with impeccable spin and accuracy. 

This level of service demands talent, not just practice.

This level of perfection is yet to be achieved by some professional players as well. This level of perfection will demand life-long dedication and practice.

This article however will be restricted to how long it will take you to make a decent tennis serve.

Importance of a Good Serve

Tennis is a challenging sport. It demands both athletic perfection and soundness of mind.

The game is an exercise for both the mind and the body. In addition, the win or loss of the game depends on you and the quality of your service.

In truth, professionalism in this sport can’t be achieved by all. Only a few people can meet the level of athletic capabilities and mental soundness that tennis demands. 

However, not everyone needs to be a pro player. Anyone can become a decent player by putting a couple of hours of every week into practice.

Bear in mind that tennis is a game and just like every game, you do not have to master every complex skill before you can play. 

According to statistics, most points are won with the first serve. If you can consistently deliver a killer first serve, you can become a proficient tennis player.

You can also become a decent tennis player by combining the right skill and consistency.

Time Required to Learn How to Make a Good Serve

Tennis serve

The question of how long it will take to learn how to make a tennis serve depends on the level of commitment you have to practicing.

Your interest in the game will lengthen or shorten the time required for you to learn how to serve.

If you want to be a professional player, it will take a lot more dedication and time as compared to when you simply want to play around for fun.

Once you have gauged your level of interest, you have to accept the fact that every individual varies in terms of athleticism and learning ability, and as result your time frame might vary from the one described in this article.

According to studies, if you practise 1 hour/ day, It will take three months to learn the basic shots involved in the game of tennis

This time frame can be extended depending on the level of play you are aiming for. It is worth noting that learning is a continuous process and you will never stop perfecting your serves. 

In three months, you will be able to maintain rallies and effectively make the different tennis serves if you practise right.

How to Practise

If you have athleticism in you, you will most likely learn to serve in a shorter time frame.

However, this is not a requirement. Two things will be required of you if you want to learn to make a good serve: regular repetition and good mobility. 

With these two factors and a good trainer, you can become one of the greats in the game.

So far, a lot of emphasis has been made on consistency. Now, let’s consider possible barriers to consistency that beginners face. 

To maintain consistency, you have to divide the entire process into minor goals and measure your progress via those goals.

It doesn’t matter if you are training to become a professional or basic player, goals will ease the process.

Set goals

One mistake that beginners make when learning how to serve is they try to serve like the professionals immediately.

This is a feat that takes years of practice to accomplish and beginners should not expect to meet this goal within a few weeks or months of practice. 

Despite this shortcoming, they can set smaller goals that are easily achievable within a few hours of training.

In addition, rather than trying to serve full court at the initial stage, it is smarter to begin with smaller spaces, this will help vent off frustration.

If you watch professional players, you will observe that they usually warm up in the service box.

A service box is the area the ball must land in when serving. You can use the service box as a controlled space where you develop your serving skills.

With smaller courts, you can focus on perfecting your serve without worrying about the velocity of the shot. This technique makes it easier for beginners to grasp the different serve types and familiarize with the game of tennis. 

With time, you will be able to fine tune your aim and control. You can aim at perfecting your forehand strokes as a beginner. Playing in a confined space will make practicing this stroke easier. 

As soon as you master the forehand stroke you can move on to the backhand strokes.

Within a couple hours of practice, you will be able to volley the ball back and forth with or without letting the ball bounce.

Develop a feel for your strokes

To be a good tennis player, you have to know the right amount of pressure you are to apply to the ball at all times. If you simply hit the ball too hard, you can lose control of the ball. 

If you ever hit the ball too softly the ball will not go very far. Hence, you will have to get a feel of the ball as you practice.

This will improve your serve greatly. Once you develop a feel for your strokes, you can begin to work on your spin. 

Every tennis ball you serve will require two things: power and spin. You control the power you apply to the ball by developing a feel for each serve you make. 

You should begin your spin training with the top spin or under spin. The difference between the two spin types is top spin brushes up on the ball while under spin slices through the ball. 

You can’t make a good tennis serve that will not involve spin. If you master these simple steps, you will grow into a very good tennis player.

Mastering Hand-Eye Movement

Playing in a constricted area is good for mastering the hand-eye movement.

To make a good serve in the game of tennis, your hands must always go where your eyes want it to go. These two body parts must be in agreement for you to make a good serve.

The effectiveness of your service will always depend on your eye contact.

Without a working symmetry between your eye and arm, you will not be able to make any kind of serve.

Fixating your eye on the ball will require practice and practice will cost more time.

Mastering the Timing and Precision

A good serve requires proper timing and precision. When you try serving the ball for the first time, you will either be ahead or behind the timeline.

What this means is you will either be serving the ball too early or too late. 

Based on the timing, the ball will either go too far forward or stay too far behind.

Tennis demands that the ball moves from one point of the net to another point on the opposite side of the net. 

To accomplish this, you will need precision. When you attempt serving for the first time your precision will be off but with time and practice, you will be able to get the ball to where you want it to go.

Perfecting your timing and precision will take a lot of time and even after you do, there will always be the need to improve further.

Small court play can help you start to develop your sense of timing before you move onto the full court.

A professional coach

The place of a professional coach in your training routine cannot be overemphasized.

The aim is not to just learn to serve but to learn how to make the right types of serves and understand when best to apply them.

These are things that you will need a coach to teach you.

In addition, a coach might decrease the amount of time it will take you to learn how to serve.

If you learn to play on your own, there is a possibility that you will learn a couple wrong serve types that you will have to discard in the future.

This combined with regular practise is the best way to learn how to serve.

Tennis is an expensive sport but if you find that professional lessons are financially out of reach, there are other options. 


The amount of time it will take to master a tennis serve is a matter of your dedication and athletic abilities.

However, with proper dedication, you can learn to make a tennis serve in 3 months.