View Full Version : Which serves should I use and/or work on?

04-16-2008, 05:44 PM
Basically I have a flat, slice and a kick serve in my serving "repertoire."
I'm not exactly sure when to use which (other than flat first, spin second). Nor am I sure which serves are best to hone.

My flat serve is a flip of a coin. Some days it's on and I can bang away the aces, other days I might as well only take one serve.
Hitting a medium pace flat serve feels really weird and I'm not too good at it...

My slice serve used to be my serve of choice. Way back when, it was really consistent, but it was really spinny and didn't have that much pace.
I use it once in a while, but it just doesn't seem that useful to me.

My kick serve is what I'm working on now. It's gotten pretty good, I can really make the ball kick (I got a bunch of aces by having it kick over a short kid-but I felt like a total d-bag).
I can get good pace and spin, but it's a mix and match- sometimes I can get both, other times it's just spin. It just depends on how well I'm serving that day.
Lately I've been hitting it long alot. Perhaps I'm tossing it too far back?
It used to be really consistent, but after I've started playing outside it's been a whole-nother story...
I used it as my first and second serves, but a coach told me at the varsity level I should hit a flat for a first serve and save the safer serve for the second.

Anyway. What serves do you think I use use and/or work on?

04-16-2008, 08:16 PM
know what? i think you should learn the invisible serve. the short kid wouldn't even be able to see it.

anyways, what is your main goal on why you're trying to improve your serve? are you trying to build up a consistent serve and finish the point with groundstrokes? or a killer first serve and a reliable second?

you might be tossing your kick serve ball a little far back. that happens to me sometimes. you can always opt for a topspin slice serve. i'd work on your kick serve cause that's the most important for me, and is a good foundation to start from.

04-16-2008, 08:51 PM
The best servers are ones that have the best second serves. Work on your kick, you could mix it in as a 1st serve.

04-16-2008, 09:04 PM
Don't rule out a slice first serve or a kick first serve. These differe from second serves as they incorporate more spin and margin for error than a flat serve but you still get good pace and more than your second serve variants.

If you aren't getting your flat serve in then get used to taking a little bit off of it. This is good to be able to do and right now it may be awkward but try to get comfortable with it. Taking a bit off doesn't mean you should hit it lowly though. Still get good acceleration through the contact.

04-16-2008, 09:05 PM
Quicken, I think that is the best advice. The second serve is the key. If you have great confidence in it's quality, then it really opens up the options for the first serve, while providing a platform to build a better first serve.

Now this is why I don't care too much for the kick serve in singles. I find it real easy to return in singles and doesn't provide a great foundation to build a first serve on.

I do find the kick much more effective in dubs though, where it even makes a good first serve too.

04-17-2008, 05:13 AM
work on your second serve. i find it really boring playing against players who hit as hard as they can on first serves, getting it in once a game, and have a powderpuff second serve.

04-17-2008, 05:16 AM
work on your second serve. i find it really boring playing against players who hit as hard as they can on first serves, getting it in once a game, and have a powderpuff second serve.

You mean you don't enjoy standing on top of the service line on seconds? That's the best part. :)

04-17-2008, 05:25 AM
no cause then i feel bad.

04-17-2008, 05:42 AM
If you make them pay maybe you'll inspire them to change their ways.

04-17-2008, 09:35 AM
Completely agree with quicken, baek, 5263...
First develop a great topspin or topspin-slice second serve with good pace.

Very often you can use a great second serve as a first serve by aiming closer to the T or sideline. The chances of it going long or into the net are small, so your first serve percentage will still be high even when going for the lines.

Also keep that slice serve in your arsenal.. Great to use against tall guys with 2 handed backhands. Tall guys with 2 handed backhands will kill your kick serve.