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View Full Version : How long did it take to master the kick?


GRTen.
08-31-2004, 10:12 AM
hey, I was wondering how long it took you guys to master your kick serve. I haven't attempted the kick serve yet but I plan to today. thanks for the replys.

andreh
08-31-2004, 11:37 AM
It took me about a year of very hard work. And there's still plenty of room for improvement!

kevhen
08-31-2004, 11:46 AM
A good year of practicing them in warmups, maybe 1000 or more before I felt comfortable hitting them in competitive matches. Initially I lacked pace and consistency, but eventually I found by tossing more to the right I could generate pace. Now I mostly want my consistency to go up to over 90% on the slower ones instead of being around 80% so I don't have to resort to my slow, flat, but more consistent second serve.

Are you talking about the topspin serve or actual kick serve. I struggle to get mine to kick to the right at all, but they do kick up 4-5 feet or more.

Bungalo Bill
08-31-2004, 02:10 PM
I think if you practiced properly you can have a good kick serve in 8 months. From there, you begin to learn different uses for the kick serve and begin mastering placement, pace, no pace, amount of spin, etc..

papa
08-31-2004, 04:08 PM
Hard serve to master - for me anyway. Like many of you guys I practice serving daily (100+) and still find it difficult to get the ball to kick to the receivers right on a regular basis.

I've concluded that at my age my mind makes commitments that my body has difficulty fulfilling - wish it wasn't so but such is life. My serve is still pretty good but like everyone else, I have to work at it.

BB - is a serve with "no pace" just one that kicks to the left or right after it lands?

jayserinos99
08-31-2004, 04:38 PM
like everyone here, at least a year to get my kick serve match tough. the stroke itself was easy to learn, but to incorporate it into the normal repetoir of shots took very long. i guess for me it was all about having confidence in that shot.

jun
08-31-2004, 06:01 PM
Sometimes a player will have a flaw that would prevent him/her from hitting kick/topspin serves.

So many people pull down their head on serves (including myself), and don't go up for the serve. The person will have a hard time learning kick serve, and may never will.

Joe Average
08-31-2004, 07:10 PM
To do the kick serve? A year. To master it? I'll let you know. But it was a very determined year. I use it as a second serve. I didn't want a second serve to be simply a slower version of my first serve ... a serve that can be attacked. What it lacks in pace and kick, it makes up for in consistency. It gives me a chance to work (and let loose) on my first serve ... knowing that my second serve will get in ... and will not be attacked easily.

I guess my only advice is ... yes, eventually, you'll want a fast swing to get real kick action. But first, concentrate on getting as much "brush" up the back of the ball as possible. Slow down ... be deliberate. Listen for that "phhhtttt." And keep your head up ... keep your eyes on the point of contact (for a second) after you've hit the ball.

TwistServe
08-31-2004, 07:18 PM
I'm still working on mastering it, but it took me a good 2 months of about 3-4 one hour sessions per week to get the kick going.. I also use it on most first and all second serves to get more practice in.

On the day's that I'm hot, the kick serves are beautiful.. high bounce and good pace.. I know those are good days when I get lots of unreturnables from 4.5s and 5.0s.

On days that im not, the kick serves suck and i would call them dud kicks.. Those are the worst cause it gets into the player's strike zone.. ouch!

So I guess after those 8 months that BB quoted, I'm hoping to have more hot days than dud days.

James Brown
08-31-2004, 09:05 PM
took me about a month of casual messing around to figure it out. now to get it with perfect aim,timing and good pace? thats gonna be depending on many factors including how long you practice and your physical makeup. as for just getting one that works, doesnt take long at all if you catch things quickly. but to not get killed against skilled opponents is a different story, im like a 3.0 maybe 3.5, i tried kicking my second serve (not great pace) to my 5.0 maybe 6.0 friend and he just raped the hell out of me. so if you start getting into higher levels, gotta be able to hit it with some nice pace and placement. but for messing around at lower levels like myself, dont worry, be casual, dont force.

Kobble
09-01-2004, 01:22 AM
I have given my kick serve a fair effort in my opinion. I would say it took 5 months to get it to an acceptable level in matches. However, much room for improvement remains in my mechanics in general. Personally, I think people need to be able to serve a 100mph and over consistently before they should consider focusing on the kick serve specifically. The racquet head speed needs to be there to effectively achieve satisfactory topspin on the serve. With certain exceptions, the people with the biggest first serves typically have the biggest second serves.

drakulie
09-01-2004, 04:12 AM
I agree with the everyones comments above. It is definitely a difficult serve to get the mechanics precise. It took me about 6 months to feel confident hitting it as a first or second serve and to be able to move it around the box.

Go to EASITennis.com. They have an awesome breakdown of how to exactly hit this serve. I have never seen a video, book, or weppage that has explained it so clearly.

Good luck!

Camilio Pascual
09-01-2004, 04:15 AM
About 25 years and counting...

Tennis Guy
09-01-2004, 05:55 AM
I've been playing tennis for about a year and for approximately the last six months (maybe a little more) I have been trying to hit a true kick serve. (That goes to the right after it bounces.) I can hit a pretty consistent topspin serve with lots of spin, but only in the last week have I been able to hit a true kick serve. I can hit it was a good amount of spin, but it isn't very consistent. When I play matches and use it for my second serves, I usually double fault about twice a game. (Which IMO isn't too bad since I've only been playing for a year.) I feel that in the next couple months I will be able to hit it consistently.

Just make sure to throw it behind your head and hit up on it.

Bungalo Bill
09-01-2004, 09:51 AM
Hard serve to master - for me anyway. Like many of you guys I practice serving daily (100+) and still find it difficult to get the ball to kick to the receivers right on a regular basis.

I've concluded that at my age my mind makes commitments that my body has difficulty fulfilling - wish it wasn't so but such is life. My serve is still pretty good but like everyone else, I have to work at it.

BB - is a serve with "no pace" just one that kicks to the left or right after it lands?

If we are talking about the twist serve, it is a serve that mainly requires a rearrangement of thinking. It sort of defies the normal serve.

Tossing more over towards your hitting arm and behind you is difficult to get your body to perform the task while you are fighting conceptual challenges in your head.

I do not recommend hitting a true to form twist for older players. I have calmed down the arch in my back and have resorted to a somewhat milder twist. I simply go for placement more. It also affords me some disguise as my toss is now very close to a topspin serve.

Once the arm and brain learn how to brush the ball with the affect you want, the motion for more pace is a matter of adjustments and learning to groove it.

It is the main reason I do not recommend trying to learn the entire serve at once. Only learn how the arm is to move to brush from 7-1 or 8-2 for a righty and see how it bounces. The ball needs to be mainly brushed rather than hit with forward movement. Even if it lands short in the box or long, it doesn't matter at first, you are only training the brain on how to move the arm and gain the feel of how to do it right.

Let me know if you need further explanation.

I do not toss the ball real far behind my head and over the hitting shoulder anymore, too many back problems cropped up. My toss is slightly behind my head and towards the hitting shoulder but not too far. I have a mild arch in my back and allow the hitting arm to go in its path to brush the ball appropriately.

You will get a lot of twists and turns from your wrist as the brain thinks something is wrong and tries to hit it flatter, that is why slow high balls that are only brushed is essential. Just spin it and spin it and spin it until you get it.

TennsDog
09-01-2004, 04:08 PM
I started using my kick serve regularly and effectively in matches after about 2-3 months of the first time I started practicing them. As with all strokes in tennis, it can still use plenty of improvement, but it has given me one of the two best serves on my team. I can get it to kick to the right when I want most of the time, but I find that that serve isn't as effective against most players as a faster, more consistant topspin.

papa
09-01-2004, 04:45 PM
BB - good advice as always, thanks. Amazing that the older we get the less flexable we become - ticks me off but gotta hang in there.

tennisplayer
09-01-2004, 08:42 PM
Took me five years to realize there was such a thing as a kick serve! I'm still learning, and it's getting close to ten years now...

Camilio Pascual
09-02-2004, 03:43 AM
BB is wise to caution you guys about the back. I made a decision years ago not to do anything to unduly stress my back in sports and I'm glad I've done that. That is why I've never given the kick serve a real try since I was about 17. I also don't have back problems.

kevhen
09-02-2004, 06:19 AM
I have backed off on hitting so many hard topspin serves which are hard on the back, and am hitting more hard slice serves now and then using softer topspin serves for second serves and my back says thank-you.

GrahamIsSuper
09-02-2004, 04:45 PM
but to not get killed against skilled opponents is a different story, im like a 3.0 maybe 3.5, i tried kicking my second serve (not great pace) to my 5.0 maybe 6.0 friend and he just raped the hell out of me.

...

What kind of tennis are you playing, exactly?

It took me about a year to get it....still working on getting more kick and placing it to backhand...but im currently serving around 80% with it.

Rickson
09-02-2004, 06:11 PM
I'll tell you when it happens.

Mikael
09-02-2004, 08:02 PM
You don't have to use your back that much for the kick serve...

Bungalo Bill
09-03-2004, 08:22 AM
BB - good advice as always, thanks. Amazing that the older we get the less flexable we become - ticks me off but gotta hang in there.

Yeah, I am 45 as everyone here knows, and I am just starting to feel the stiffness in my shoulders and lower neck area. I have been in two whiplash car accidents and have also had back problems in the past (not from tennis) from running etc.

My serve has definetly dropped down in pace just from flexibility issues. Of course, I don't practice that much anymore so my age has to be a factor as I consider making slight adjustments in my serve to compensate for age.

I guess that is just the way it goes.

Bungalo Bill
09-03-2004, 08:26 AM
You don't have to use your back that much for the kick serve...

I think your key words is "that much". You still have to use the back and some people especially older players need to be careful. It is not that you should shy away from it, you just need to know that you can still hit a twist serve but it will be in a milder form. SO that means you have to be shown how to do it right to avoid any back injuries or stiffness problems.

Another key area for twist servers is to really make sure you are strengthening your stomach muscles to help support your back.

papa
09-03-2004, 04:47 PM
Well, I'm quite a few years older than most of you guys and I find that I have to practice quite a bit - actually, I enjoy it. My "twist" is actually more of a topspin serve which explains why it generally doesn't jump to the receivers right - can get pretty good action on it.

And yes, I do get stiff but by the next day I'm back out there. Been very lucky with the back when you consider that I'm probably older than most trees around here.

vin
09-05-2004, 05:20 AM
Yeah, I am 45 as everyone here knows, and I am just starting to feel the stiffness in my shoulders and lower neck area. I have been in two whiplash car accidents and have also had back problems in the past (not from tennis) from running etc.



Try some Yoga. :)

I've had traumatic injuries to both shoulders on separate occasions and developed frozen shoulder on both during recovery. When that happens, you can't even raise your hand to shoulder height, let alone up above your head.

Now both shoulders are more flexible than those on an average person that have never been injured.

I can't say from experience, but 45 is not that old and I bet with some effort you can improve your flexibility.

Hedges
09-07-2004, 11:07 AM
It took me a good long year of double-faulting before I could depend on the twist. But it was well worth it.

ma2t
09-09-2004, 08:28 PM
It took a year to learn to hit a topspin serve. A lot of double-faults and lost matches to weak opponents. I would hit it for both my first and second serves. Before developing topspin, I used to slice all second serves.