Consistent ball drop and good stroke mechanics are the keys to a great serve. Make sure to use your hips and shoulder rotation along with wrist snap to generate more power in your serve.
To return serve, your racquet should be centered in front of your body in a backhand grip, as most serves are to the backhand side. When hitting the ball, your body should be facing a side wall, not the front wall.
For the forehand, your elbow should be aligned with the top of the shoulder with your forearm being parallel to the floor. Your elbow joint should be at a 90 degree angle.
Lead with your elbow, away from your body. There should be at least 8-12 inches between your elbow and your body. Extend outward and contact the ball at the furthermost extension point. At contact the ball should be just past the inner front thigh, the racquet face square to the front wall and the bottom of the racquet frame parallel to the floor. The step into the ball should be with the lead foot and should be straight, occurring the same time as the stroke.
The wrist should snap at contact and continue to follow through towards the front wall. The racquet should stay level and continue to circle around the body. It is important to follow through so that by the end of your stroke, your hips should be facing the front wall and your racquet head should have turned over and be facing the floor. The primary power force comes from elbow preparation with the hip and leg drive becoming secondary power sources.
For the backhand, your arm should reach towards the backwall (not behind the head) leaving the are slightly bent, in the shape of a bow. The elbow should be away from the body and pointed towards the side wall. Make sure you release the racquet with your free hand. Your weight should be shifted to your back foot.
Your shoulders and hips should be facing the side wall, the elbow should lead transferring your weight from your back foot to your front foot. Step forward setting your lead foot at a 45 degree angle, allowing your hips to open up more naturally. Point of contact should be off the front big toe, just as the weight has transferred forward. The racquet head should once again be extended outward, with the face square to the front wall and the frame parallel to the floor.
At contact, your wrist should naturally snap. The stroke should continue towards the front wall, staying on a level plane. Make sure your elbow stays level, lower than the shoulder.
On your drive serves, it is better to be short on your first attempt, as this can be adjusted by ball drop or aim point on the front wall. Keep your drive serves from hitting the side wall. You want to angle your serve to the corners to force your opponent to a deeper position in the back of the court.
Try to keep the service motion the same on all your serves. This will create deception and keep your opponent guessing. When serving, the ideal first bounce range is approximately 6" in front of the short line to 2' past the short line. This range will help keep your serves from coming off the back wall and being easy setups for your opponent.
When selecting your shots, if the ball is chest high or higher, go to your ceiling shot. If the ball is chest to thigh high, use a passing shot. If the ball is below your thigh, go for your kill shot.
If you opponent is behind you, pinch (hit the frontwall, then sidewall) to the same side as your opponent. If your opponent is even with you, use a passing shot. If your opponent is in front of you, use a passing or ceiling shot.
When in doubt, go with a down the line shot as close to the side wall as possible. This should force a weak or defensive return.
Good angles are more important the hitting the ball low. By using angles and hitting higher on the front wall, you eliminate skip balls or other unforced errors.
Kill shots aren't the only offensive returns. A good passing shot that bounces twice before hitting the back wall will win a rally and is less likely to skip.
Do not force your kill shots. Use your passing shots to get yourself in better position to hit kill shots.
When hitting a passing shot, don't try to hit the ball low on the front wall. Instead, use a hitting range of 6" - 24" off the floor. Then, if your shot is low, it will still be effective.
To get into the proper court position for an offensive return, watch the ball at all times, then move as your opponent swings. Remember, you want to control center court and keep your opponent behind you in a defensive position. The term "cent court" is somewhat of a misnomer because it doesn't really mean the exact center of the court. Instead, the "playing" center is about five feet behind the short line and equal distance from the side walls.
Dominating center court will allow you to capitalize on every mistake your opponent makes. At center court you have maximum scoring options from effective shots and you can also cover your opponent's best shots easier. However, there are times when you must relinquish center court. The rules state that you must always give up your position to give your opponent a fair chance to hit the ball.
Two of the best shots for enabling you to take control of center court are the ceiling ball and the pass or down the line shot. Both these defensive shots will require your opponent to move to back court to return the ball, thus allowing you to move to center court