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Moves
08-29-2007, 08:36 AM
Hi all,

So last night I was working on my second serve to see if I can get some kick to it and I discovered a cool game.

I started playing a set based on my serve. I would hit my flat serve for my first and hit a "really going for it" second serve. If I hit either one in I would get the point.

To make it tougher I decided that on game point I had to hit a flat serve in instead of the kick serve.

Well, I won 6-0 and was suprised how often I got in my kick serve while still taking a hard cut at it.

So, I then upped the difficulty and said that I would only get one serve on game point and it had to be a flat serve. I ended up winning 6-1.

These two sets ended up taking me an hour to finish. I had some breaks as my arm was getting sore.


Well, I couldn't recommend this enough. While I was out there to improve my second serve (which I did) I ended up improving my first serve even more! I really loved the artificial pressure on my first serve on game point. And how true is it that your opponent is going to crush your second serve on Ad-in or Ad-out. So to win the game you have to get your first serve in.

Just thought I'd share my new serve improvement game.

Moves

burosky
08-29-2007, 08:50 AM
Thanks for sharing. Excellent way to practice serves when you are by yourself. If interested in upping the pressure more, include directional control to simulate serving to the opponents weaker side, serving to the body, pulling the opponent wide, etc...

widmerpool
08-29-2007, 08:53 AM
sounds like a good way to drill home the risk-reward prop of the 2nd serve.

i.e. it's worth trading a few doubles for the advantage of a stronger 2nd serve.

we tend to overrate the "worth" of the tangible and obvious. and we're risk adverse (eg we opt to win $100 100% of the time over winning $1,000 20% of the time).

a double fault is very tangible negative. point lost.

a strong second serve may lead to an increase in % of second service points won (including DFs) but that's not intuitive for most people (myself included).

dricas24
08-29-2007, 09:25 AM
I just got home from serving the heat drove me back home. Sounds like a really coool game. I have been recently praticing my second serve and it still sucks but I am getting the hang of it. I still cant do a kicker. How exactly do you do your kicker? There are billions of topics but I cant seem to understand it very well.

Moves
08-29-2007, 09:54 AM
I just got home from serving the heat drove me back home. Sounds like a really coool game. I have been recently praticing my second serve and it still sucks but I am getting the hang of it. I still cant do a kicker. How exactly do you do your kicker? There are billions of topics but I cant seem to understand it very well.

Hi Dricas,

Last night was the first time I really tried to do a kick. My usual second serve is kind of a mild side spin.

So my attempts at the kick were this. I would throw the ball up over my head, bend back to get underneath it, then try to drive straight up to create topspin.

It was kicking some, but not enough yet. The main benefit I got from the game I created was really taking a fast cut at the ball and still getting it in. That built my confidence that I can start taking a hard cut in a real game.

Moves

Bodacious DVT
08-29-2007, 10:00 AM
i've played something similar:

Play a full set serving each game.
-if you get your first serve in, you win the point.
-if you fail to get your first serve in, but make your second, you alternate taking the point and not taking the point.
-if you double fault, you lose the point (duh)

for added difficulty, you can do as you said and only take 1 serve on game point, etc.

Dricas24: i learned a kicker over the summer. the best thing you can do is to get with a pro and have them teach you. i tried learning on my own but could never get the hang of it. a few lessons later and i have a very strong kick.