Mastering the Serve: The Game-Changing Ball Lift Technique

Welcome to part 5 of our Game Changers series, where we unveil the secrets that can elevate your tennis game. In this episode, Emma takes you behind the scenes and reveals a hidden gem – a little-known piece of equipment that has been her trusted companion for a decade.

Whether you’re a seasoned player or just getting back into tennis, the ball lift is a fundamental aspect that deserves attention. Emma’s invaluable tips and insights ensure that your serve starts strong every time. 

The following is a transcript of part 5 of this Game Changers series. 


Now, the little hidden piece of equipment behind the whiteboard. Okay? So you can see here that it’s hooked onto my whiteboard by the top of a ball tube.

I’m going to have to get another one of these, Kalindi, because this one is all taped together because I’ve used it for like, 10 years. 

Yeah, that’s how much I love this. 

Most people think this is for picking up balls. You pop this little hook into the fence, you put it upside down, cone in, into the fence. 

If you have trouble with your ball lift, this is a real game changer. 

Tenn Tube 20-Ball Tennis Ball Pickup

You essentially want the tube lined up at 12 o’clock from your little toe, and what you’re doing is just simply lifting the ball up and having it land inside this numbered OnCourt OffCourt cone, which I also love because it’s numbered, which is so useful. 

Numbered Cones – 9″

I can’t tell you how many bad ball lifts that I’ve fixed using this tool, this way. 

Just make sure you have the racket like this, holding the bottom of the grip with your arm in that Nike, L-shape. 

The ball lift is often the first thing to go, too, if you take a break from tennis. And you come back and the ball is just flying all over the place. 

This is a great way to ensure the ball lift, which is the cornerstone of a good serve, so it’s really important to put in the time and practice. 

The ball lift is an important part of any good serve. Practicing the ball lift on its own is a surefire way to start off every serve with a consistently solid ball lift. 

Click here to watch the rest of this Game Changers video.