One of the most vital aspects of tennis is the serve. This stroke, which begins each point of a match, can become a valuable asset for any player looking to score points quickly. See a photo slideshow on how to complete a successful serve.

One of the most vital aspects of tennis is the serve. This stroke, which begins each point of a match, can become a valuable asset for any player looking to score points quickly. The following steps provide the fundamentals for developing a consistent serve.

1 STARTING POSITION

Point the lead shoulder (left shoulder for a right-handing player) toward the net.

2 RACKET PREPARATION
As you begin to toss the ball, the racket and hands should begin to separate with the racket head still down.

3 THE TOSS
The racket head goes behind the head while tossing the ball out in front of the lead foot (left foot for a right-handed player).

4 CONTACT POINT
Contact is made above the head with the racket arm extended up and out in front of the body.

5 FOLLOW THROUGH
The arm and wrist rotate the racket down and to the outside.

6 FINISH
The racket should end up across the body with the bottom of the handle near the lead hip (left hip for right-handed player).

Demonstrator: Mark Nosek, who will be a sophomore at York High School this fall.

Instructor: Greg Spencer, tennis professional for Courts Plus in Elmhurst.