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IvanAndreevich
11-20-2009, 10:55 AM
A few words about myself. I am a noob, never coached. I always get crushed by decent players. I am talentless, lazy, and undisciplined.

I am working on my kick serve: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8BXhAk93hE. Best point of view starts around 2:00.

My height is 177 cm (5' 10"). The height to which the ball kicks in the above video is shown below. Some of those balls are to the deuce court out wide (appears at waist height), and the one at head height is to the ad court out wide (appears at head height). It seems that the actual height is between waist and shoulder.

http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/17abb50d7c.jpg (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)

Image sequences of a few kick serves:

http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/2a5fb40466.jpg (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)
http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/e73e51f8a6.jpg (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)
http://www.freeimagehosting.net/uploads/091f45ebbc.jpg (http://www.freeimagehosting.net/)

Concerns
1) Consistency - I get 80% serves in (as of right now) when I am hitting it as in video. Even after just 5 hours, though, it has improved considerably.
2) Spin - I don't think it's kicking high enough, and (related) I don't think it has enough net clearance, and hence consistency.
3) Smoothness - During the step-up my shoe squeaks. I think in a perfectly relaxed and a smooth motion this should not happen. My rock-back is very jerky too - same. Having seen this for the first time on video, I will attempt to do away with both of these problems.
4) Toss - is inconsistent. When I miss, I think it's often because of the toss being crappy.

The fundamental question is whether I should work out a few kinks and keep practicing without changing it much, or I need to make a major adjustment before I waste any more time doing it wrong.

Please advise.

PS: this post has been adjusted in accordance with my previous experience posting in this section.

pooldog
11-20-2009, 11:07 AM
I'd bring the toss back a bit and hit up more (6-12) In your video, it sounds like you're getting a little too much of the ball.

jazzyfunkybluesy
11-20-2009, 11:30 AM
Yes hit straight up on the ball. Also you might want to rethink those strings. If you want more kick, spin Id go for Prosupex Big Ace Micro, Weiss Cannon Turbotwist, MSV Hex Focus 1.10. I have played the Cyber Blues. They are powerful but provide minimal spin. If you are experiencing spin, that is due to the racquet which is very spin friendly.

LeeD
11-20-2009, 12:34 PM
You might be doing a topspin serve, but not a kick or twister.
First of all, for a kick, you have to swing UPWARDS slightly, not directly into the court, to get high net clearnance, usually around 3-5" ABOVE the netcord.
Your swing is into the court, for topspin.
I'm one inch taller than you, and my twists bounce easily 6' high at the baseline.
My topspins maybe a foot lower, and my flat firsts lower still.

lethalphorce
11-20-2009, 12:49 PM
Why do you move your right foot BACK, then forward into a pinpoint stance? It seems like this is adding unnecessary movement into your service motion.
Maybe try starting with your stance slightly wider?

IvanAndreevich
11-20-2009, 01:55 PM
Yes hit straight up on the ball. Also you might want to rethink those strings. If you want more kick, spin Id go for Prosupex Big Ace Micro, Weiss Cannon Turbotwist, MSV Hex Focus 1.10. I have played the Cyber Blues. They are powerful but provide minimal spin. If you are experiencing spin, that is due to the racquet which is very spin friendly.
I currently have different strings in this stick (as you can see) - Weisscannon Silverstring. But I absolutely love the Cyber Blue for ground strokes and volleys, so I'll probably stick with it. Would you recommend a string to hybrid with them for more spin on the serve? I like MSV Focus Hex too.

You might be doing a topspin serve, but not a kick or twister.
First of all, for a kick, you have to swing UPWARDS slightly, not directly into the court, to get high net clearnance, usually around 3-5" ABOVE the netcord.
Your swing is into the court, for topspin.
I'm one inch taller than you, and my twists bounce easily 6' high at the baseline.
My topspins maybe a foot lower, and my flat firsts lower still.
I think I do get that kind of clearance, but not consistently. I'll aim for that. What is the minimum height at the baseline for the serve to be effective?

Why do you move your right foot BACK, then forward into a pinpoint stance? It seems like this is adding unnecessary movement into your service motion.
Maybe try starting with your stance slightly wider?
Good point man. I also noticed that and I am trying to do that. I believe I only do it when I accidentally start with my feet too close.

I'd bring the toss back a bit and hit up more (6-12) In your video, it sounds like you're getting a little too much of the ball.
How much are we talking about? I am aiming to hit it above my forehead, which is a bit into the court. A few centimeters back?

LeeD
11-20-2009, 02:15 PM
My 3.5 thru 5.5 competition.
For my twists and high kicks to work right, I need to get them to bounce around 6' high at the baseline. Any lower I get lunch with a zipping tennis ball. To the backhand side, it comes back slower normally, but anything lower than around 5' gets sharp angled or DTL'd, out of my reach.
Of course, I"m thinking of a few specific opponent's, and they're the ones I measure myself against.
I play wid one guy who bounces it easily 6'6" or slightly higher, and he solicits weak returns only half the time.

IvanAndreevich
11-20-2009, 02:45 PM
My 3.5 thru 5.5 competition.
For my twists and high kicks to work right, I need to get them to bounce around 6' high at the baseline. Any lower I get lunch with a zipping tennis ball. To the backhand side, it comes back slower normally, but anything lower than around 5' gets sharp angled or DTL'd, out of my reach.
Of course, I"m thinking of a few specific opponent's, and they're the ones I measure myself against.
I play wid one guy who bounces it easily 6'6" or slightly higher, and he solicits weak returns only half the time.

What kind of pace do you get on your serves bouncing that high? Have you got a video?

I can get a high hop (maybe 6'), but the pace isn't there - it's probably 60-70 mph or something along those lines, and not very deep in the service box.

LeeD
11-20-2009, 03:00 PM
I'm an old 60 and weak (5'11" and 150 nowadaze) so the high kickers/twists maybe move thru at around 60-70mph, as I've stated elsewhere.'
First flats in the 100-110 range, can still solicit returners to stand 3-4' behind the baseline, but when you add arc and spin, you lose ballspeed. At least I do.

IvanAndreevich
11-20-2009, 03:12 PM
I'm an old 60 and weak (5'11" and 150 nowadaze) so the high kickers/twists maybe move thru at around 60-70mph, as I've stated elsewhere.'
First flats in the 100-110 range, can still solicit returners to stand 3-4' behind the baseline, but when you add arc and spin, you lose ballspeed. At least I do.

I need my 2nd serve to be effective (i.e. hard to attack) against 5.0-5.5 players. What should I aim for? Around 80 mph, 6' at the baseline, and not too short in the service box?

What do the serves in the video look like to you in terms of pace?

LeeD
11-20-2009, 04:00 PM
For it to bounce 6' high at the baseline, it HAS to hit deep into the service box, hence more twists/kicks out wide than up the middle.
Speed is important depending on YOUR ability to low volley and get inside the service line for the first volley. Your opponent has a say too, of course.
Higher ball speeds are great, but unless you're 6.0 or better, don't plan on much over 75. I'm closer to 60 mph. Maybe that 60 is great for moving into the net inside the service line.
Of course, Fed and DelPorto can kick it up around 6'6" up the middle, but they're not you and I.

IvanAndreevich
11-20-2009, 04:49 PM
For it to bounce 6' high at the baseline, it HAS to hit deep into the service box, hence more twists/kicks out wide than up the middle.
Speed is important depending on YOUR ability to low volley and get inside the service line for the first volley. Your opponent has a say too, of course.
Higher ball speeds are great, but unless you're 6.0 or better, don't plan on much over 75. I'm closer to 60 mph. Maybe that 60 is great for moving into the net inside the service line.
Of course, Fed and DelPorto can kick it up around 6'6" up the middle, but they're not you and I.

I am not a S&V'er, more of an all-court player. I am a good volleyball player, and I can swing hard (same motion) which I am not doing above. I am trying to work the technique.

I used the dimensions of the court and the number of frames that it takes for the ball to cross half of it (8 to 12) on some of the serves, and converted it to mph. Came out like this: Mostly 72.5, some 66.5, and 88.5, 100 (:) that's at 1:02 in the video, down the T on the ad side). This is the average speed of the ball over half the court, so it's a bit faster when it's leaving the racquet. My own guess of about 80 mph on average on these serves seems correct.

Does that sound about right?

LeeD
11-20-2009, 05:07 PM
I'd say close, as topspin serves always go faster than the same player's twist/kickers. Lower arc can go faster.
Edberg, Cash, and Rafter used to first twist/kick around 85mph, and they played OK tennis.
Some bigger guys regularly hit their first flats up to around 140, and never won as many rounds.
Speed is great, but to back it up with an overall game is better.
Why kick/twist when you baseline? Opponent only has to hard slice CC to make you run and dig.

IvanAndreevich
11-20-2009, 09:19 PM
I'd say close, as topspin serves always go faster than the same player's twist/kickers. Lower arc can go faster.
Edberg, Cash, and Rafter used to first twist/kick around 85mph, and they played OK tennis.
Some bigger guys regularly hit their first flats up to around 140, and never won as many rounds.
Speed is great, but to back it up with an overall game is better.
Why kick/twist when you baseline? Opponent only has to hard slice CC to make you run and dig.

So what do you suggest for a second serve then? I was under the impression that most pros use a kick serve for a second, and they mostly stay around the baseline these days.

I guess I am using the term "kick" to refer to top spin, while you consider it equivalent to twist? I think it's a bit ambiguous.

SuperDuy
11-20-2009, 10:21 PM
Your in vancouver and there is no rain today? Last time I looked said rain all day there. But i cant complain wpg i had not a cloud in the sky this whole week, and it was around 10 c degrees all on average.

looks nice there with the palm trees and the blue sky. thought it was florida before i saw ur loaction

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-20-2009, 11:38 PM
Only one person mentioned the real key to your problems, which is rather disappointing. LeeD talks more about what to do with the serve as opposed to how to improve the serve in question.

Your problem is you're swinging THROUGH the ball instead of BRUSHING it. Even Federer who gets 95 mph average kick serves (with 6+' bounces) gets a heavy amount of brush on the ball and hits through the ball very little, if at all. If you want a 6' kicker, you shouldn't be hitting through the ball nearly as much as you are now. Now you have more of a pok/tok kind of sound, the kind of sound you hear when you hit a big flat serve, only not as loud. You want more of a shhhuk sound, especially if you're hitting a safe second serve. Make less contact with the ball and try to only catch the felt of the ball with the strings. From there, increase your swing speeds and your serve will eventually reach 80+ mph anyways. As you get better, you can probably hit through a few a bit to add the occasional changeup or to just add overall pace to your kickers, though you don't want to do this too much, since it'll take away the amount of spin you generate.

skuludo
11-21-2009, 02:26 AM
Which court is that in Vancouver? Is it public?

gzhpcu
11-21-2009, 03:17 AM
Seems to me that you should be staying sideways longer, and that you are opening up too soon (over-rotating). You need more shoulder over shoulder cartwheeling instead of horizontal rotation.

IvanAndreevich
11-21-2009, 06:12 AM
Seems to me that you should be staying sideways longer, and that you are opening up too soon (over-rotating). You need more shoulder over shoulder cartwheeling instead of horizontal rotation.
I.e. my idea that I don't have enough top spin is correct. Yes, it's very natural for me to swing through the ball, so I'll try giving it more spin.

Which court is that in Vancouver? Is it public?
Your in vancouver and there is no rain today? Last time I looked said rain all day there. But i cant complain wpg i had not a cloud in the sky this whole week, and it was around 10 c degrees all on average.
looks nice there with the palm trees and the blue sky. thought it was florida before i saw ur loaction

Guys, it's 5C outside and a heavy rain warning here. I was in vacation in Mexico (Huatulco). Everything terrible you heard about Vancouver winter is true.

Only one person mentioned the real key to your problems, which is rather disappointing. LeeD talks more about what to do with the serve as opposed to how to improve the serve in question.

Your problem is you're swinging THROUGH the ball instead of BRUSHING it. Even Federer who gets 95 mph average kick serves (with 6+' bounces) gets a heavy amount of brush on the ball and hits through the ball very little, if at all. If you want a 6' kicker, you shouldn't be hitting through the ball nearly as much as you are now. Now you have more of a pok/tok kind of sound, the kind of sound you hear when you hit a big flat serve, only not as loud. You want more of a shhhuk sound, especially if you're hitting a safe second serve. Make less contact with the ball and try to only catch the felt of the ball with the strings. From there, increase your swing speeds and your serve will eventually reach 80+ mph anyways. As you get better, you can probably hit through a few a bit to add the occasional changeup or to just add overall pace to your kickers, though you don't want to do this too much, since it'll take away the amount of spin you generate.
Thank you for the good points, will take this into account next time I get to practice.

LeeD
11-21-2009, 06:38 AM
xFull is reiterating my first reply post. Your swing is not twist/kick, but rather a regular topspin serve.
Differentiation would be kick/twist uses an upwards swing arc, while topspin serves are struck leading into the court almost flat with the ground. Results would be topspin serves around 9-10' off the ground at it's peak, very near the servers service line, while twist/kick serves peak around 11-13', and peak it's height between the server's service line and the net.
With it's increase arc and upward strike, twist/kicks should move thru the air SLOWER than regular topspin serves.
The pros mostly jump on hard hit forehands. We don't.
The pros use 6 balls every 9 games. We don't.
The pros train 6 days a week, usually more than 4 hours per day. We don't.
The pros can rally 30 balls looking casual with no footwork. We can't.
So stands to reason, SOME pros, not nearly every, use twist/kicks, but we don't have to do exactly that.

IvanAndreevich
11-21-2009, 07:28 PM
xFull is reiterating my first reply post. Your swing is not twist/kick, but rather a regular topspin serve.
Differentiation would be kick/twist uses an upwards swing arc, while topspin serves are struck leading into the court almost flat with the ground. Results would be topspin serves around 9-10' off the ground at it's peak, very near the servers service line, while twist/kick serves peak around 11-13', and peak it's height between the server's service line and the net.
With it's increase arc and upward strike, twist/kicks should move thru the air SLOWER than regular topspin serves.
The pros mostly jump on hard hit forehands. We don't.
The pros use 6 balls every 9 games. We don't.
The pros train 6 days a week, usually more than 4 hours per day. We don't.
The pros can rally 30 balls looking casual with no footwork. We can't.
So stands to reason, SOME pros, not nearly every, use twist/kicks, but we don't have to do exactly that.

So then what the heck do you suggest for a second serve, prospectively to be used at the 5.0-5.5 level?

LeeD
11-22-2009, 09:38 AM
To be a real 5.0-6 player, you already OWN the twist, the kicker, and the topspin serves to both sides and into the body. Talking second serves.
You use the serve that gives your opponent trouble....not winning with the serve, but to solicit either a slow return or a short return. From there, you take over the point.
If you insist on standing behind the baseline and trading groundstrokes, then start the serve underhand to opponent's backhand....:twisted::twisted:
The reason we DON'T serve underhand is that we try to get an advantage on the serve....NOT start the point.

IvanAndreevich
11-22-2009, 12:20 PM
To be a real 5.0-6 player, you already OWN the twist, the kicker, and the topspin serves to both sides and into the body. Talking second serves.
You use the serve that gives your opponent trouble....not winning with the serve, but to solicit either a slow return or a short return. From there, you take over the point.
If you insist on standing behind the baseline and trading groundstrokes, then start the serve underhand to opponent's backhand....:twisted::twisted:
The reason we DON'T serve underhand is that we try to get an advantage on the serve....NOT start the point.

Alright, so I'll obviously be learning all of those serves then. To start, a top spin serve (with lots of spin should) be a good, right? Make it decent enough so that it doesn't get attacked too much, and eliminate DF's.

Djokovicfan4life
11-22-2009, 12:22 PM
You post a lot in the GPPD section, right? I wasn't aware that people from there actually played tennis. :)

IvanAndreevich
11-22-2009, 12:31 PM
You post a lot in the GPPD section, right? I wasn't aware that people from there actually played tennis. :)

Yeah, many of the people there are stupid fanboys :( That's why instead of actually talking about tennis related things many of them talk smack.

LeeD
11-22-2009, 03:20 PM
You busted me, Matt.....
I'm playing with 13 month old tennis shoes and strings from last Sept.
Getting really old helps keep gear in good shape !! :shock::shock:
Lately, playing better than anytime after 1979. Weaker first serves and court coverage for sure, but better everything else.