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View Full Version : Maintaining balance on a kick serve


tennis samurai
09-30-2007, 04:37 PM
To get more spin, I tried to not stick my hips out as much as my 1st serve and instead arch and twist more, but then I just him the balls into the net. How do you stick out the hips towards the baseline and arch/twist at the same time without losing balance or power/spin?

NamRanger
09-30-2007, 05:21 PM
Toss the ball slightly in front of you and actually manuvure yourself underneath the ball. This allows you to arch and hip bend foward. However, this is a really difficult thing to do as you have to move quickly to get underneath the ball.


One of the greatest examples is of course Pete Sampras. Off one ball toss he could hit any serve, due to his ball toss being slightly in front of him at around 12 o'clock and the fact that he could manuvure his body in a way that the opponent could not see what he was doing on his serve.

junbumkim
09-30-2007, 05:33 PM
Even Sampras toss slightly to his left on his kick serves.. There was an article feature Pete Sampras on his serve. He mentioned that it was important to be able to hit all serves from one toss. He also said that he tosses to his left for kick serves..

You really have to use your legs to push up to get more topspin out of it.
You will be jumping vertically rather than into the court.

Also, don't be so against using slightly different ball toss for different serves.
I could undertand this for hitting flat and slice off the same ball toss, but kick serve is just different. Try to exaggerate your ball toss to get a feel for hitting kick serve. Slowly make it less exaggerated.

It's more important that you hit an effective serve even though you give away some cues.

NamRanger
09-30-2007, 05:54 PM
Even Sampras toss slightly to his left on his kick serves.. There was an article feature Pete Sampras on his serve. He mentioned that it was important to be able to hit all serves from one toss. He also said that he tosses to his left for kick serves..

You really have to use your legs to push up to get more topspin out of it.
You will be jumping vertically rather than into the court.

Also, don't be so against using slightly different ball toss for different serves.
I could undertand this for hitting flat and slice off the same ball toss, but kick serve is just different. Try to exaggerate your ball toss to get a feel for hitting kick serve. Slowly make it less exaggerated.

It's more important that you hit an effective serve even though you give away some cues.


True, Sampras did have a slightly different toss, but it was still tough to tell because ocasionally Sampras did bomb a flat one down the middle as his second serve.


I do agree with you though that he should focus on trying to get his kick serve in with heavy spin rather then going for this hip foward into the court and arching his back at the same time.


To the OP, the kick serve is very difficult to attack, unless the returner is excellent at attacking second serves (which you will ocasionally encounter). Focus rather on placement, depth, and heavy spin delivery rather then trying to go for pace (which the hip bending foward into the court does, as it generates more foward momentum into the court).

Mike Bulgakov
10-01-2007, 12:09 AM
Pat Rafter's excellent balance on his kick serve:
http://www.**********.com/lesson-lounge/**********/serve/images/Rafter-kick.jpg

skiracer55
10-01-2007, 07:41 AM
...had a different approach, which was:

- At least while you're learning a kick serve, don't move. Meaning stay balanced over both feet, don't consciously try to use leg drive, twisting, arching, and all that other good stuff. What my coach emphasizes is let the face of the racket lead the stroke, then the body follows. If you let the body lead, you lose your balance because you're falling into the court, which also cuts down on your leverage and power.

- As somebody said, different tosses for different serves...at least to begin with. My first serve toss is in front and slightly to the right, when I was learning the kick serve, my coach had me try to put the ball right over my head.

- Every serve ought to be one where you hit up through the ball and out, then snap down into the court like you're trying to drape your hand over the curtain bar in your shower. Most people try to serve out and down, or maybe just down, which doesn't work unless you're Ivo Karlovic. Throw your racket up to the sky, through the ball, and then snap down. This is especially true on a kick serve. What you're also going to feel is more "brush" of the ball than you usually do on your first serve.

- The final thing is that once you get the mechanics going, you need to really go after a kick serve to (a) make it go in the court and (b) make it effective. You put just as much oomph into a second serve as you do a first serve, it's just a different motion. You're trying to hit the ball up and out, and then have the "kick" spin make it drop down in the court. This is not a casual stroke at all. You have to really go after it, otherwise it won't go in at worst, and at best, it'll be a helium ball...