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View Full Version : In much need of a bigger kick


theartoftennis
05-20-2006, 07:55 PM
Just came back from Newks Tennis Academy(Great academy! Broke 100degrees, though), and I couldn't do anything on my serve. I've been playing for 8-9 months now, and I use a slice/flat first serve. Maybe around 70-80. My second serve is a very "consistant" kick serve. Most kids my level have never even SEEN a kick serve, so I feel I would usually have the advantage, but it's not like that at all. It's like it pops up with a little kick to the right and balls are pounded back at me. I've tried increasing my racquet-head speed by alot, but all that gives is more pace and a ball that bounces really high and barely misses the fence. I toss the ball maybe a foot to the left, and my front-back placement is very inconsistant. Sometimes it's above my head, sometimes into the court, and even behind me.

Could it be my swing path? My toss? Footwork?

snoflewis
05-20-2006, 08:55 PM
wow...70-80 mph after playing less than a year? was your serve clocked?

theartoftennis
05-20-2006, 10:14 PM
Yeah, I play alot. Maybe 3-4 times a week for a couple hours. Trying to catch up to my age since I started so late.

andyroddick's mojo
05-20-2006, 10:15 PM
how old are you actually?

Rep. Timothy Calhoun
05-20-2006, 10:21 PM
Just came back from Newks Tennis Academy(Great academy! Broke 100degrees, though), and I couldn't do anything on my serve. I've been playing for 8-9 months now, and I use a slice/flat first serve. Maybe around 70-80. My second serve is a very "consistant" kick serve. Most kids my level have never even SEEN a kick serve, so I feel I would usually have the advantage, but it's not like that at all. It's like it pops up with a little kick to the right and balls are pounded back at me. I toss the ball maybe a foot to the left, and my front-back placement is very inconsistant. Sometimes it's above my head, sometimes into the court, and even behind me.

Could it be my swing path? My toss? Footwork?That makes no sense. In the title, you wrote that you wanted a BIGGER KICK. Well, from what you just wrote in the body of the post, you already have a big kick. Look at what you wrote here:

I've tried increasing my racquet-head speed by alot, but all that gives is more pace and a ball that bounces really high and barely misses the fence. A high bounce is "BIG KICK"! What the heck are you saying? Huh? You say you what a BIGGER KICK yet you say that you HAVE a BIG kick after the adjustments, so what are you asking???

MTChong
05-20-2006, 10:45 PM
That makes no sense. In the title, you wrote that you wanted a BIGGER KICK. Well, from what you just wrote in the body of the post, you already have a big kick. Look at what you wrote here:

A high bounce is "BIG KICK"! What the heck are you saying? Huh? You say you what a BIGGER KICK yet you say that you HAVE a BIG kick after the adjustments, so what are you asking???

I suppose this is why the American (I'm assuming) education system gets so much bad rap; we can't teach the kids to write coherently! :mrgreen: Just kidding, theartoftennis... I think.

Perhaps you mean a more effective one? It really seems that all you are doing is hitting up; put some more sidespin on it instead of topspin. You also might be throwing it too far behind you; try into the court a little more to get some forward velocity on that.

And do a search; you'll find loads on it.

theartoftennis
05-21-2006, 03:43 AM
I'm 15 in June, Andy.

It's hard to explain. I get more pace when I increase racquet head speed, but it's like once it bounces, it's right in my opponents' "striking-zone." I'm looking more for a bounce that moves into their body, or stretches them out wide. I'm up at 5:00AM again going to Newks, for 4 more matches in the heat, can't wait. I'll try swinging more left to right and I'll see if that works.

J-man
05-21-2006, 06:06 AM
Your kind of like me. Expect i started when i was 11

nViATi
05-21-2006, 07:56 AM
I'm 15 in June, Andy.

It's hard to explain. I get more pace when I increase racquet head speed, but it's like once it bounces, it's right in my opponents' "striking-zone." I'm looking more for a bounce that moves into their body, or stretches them out wide. I'm up at 5:00AM again going to Newks, for 4 more matches in the heat, can't wait. I'll try swinging more left to right and I'll see if that works.
If you want it to move into their body or stretch them out wide then aim the serve at their body or the corner!

theartoftennis
05-21-2006, 04:35 PM
Well, I can do that, but all that does is give them a high backhand(in the corner) that is easily returnable if they back up a bit, or an easy run-around FH, that eventually drops down. I'm looking more for something that once they see the ball coming their direction and they try to run around it, once that ball bounces it forces them to actually adjust.

TennisAsAlways
05-21-2006, 05:06 PM
Ok, so we know that the OP can hit a topspin-type serve that bounces up high, and he can hit it with pace too (this is all according to what he stated). What I think he is asking about is how to get more "kick" .... not "kick" as in bounce, but "kick" as in the type of bouce from a "Twist serve"/"Kick serve" — the type of ball movement that for a right-handed server, the ball would curve to the left (server's left) in the air and then bounce towards the right (server's right).

For a right-hander, if you want the ball to bounce more towards the right, you need to impart more horizontal spin. That sounds obvious and easy right? .... well the problem some face when going with that what-is-supposed-to-be-a-quick-fix-approach is, they simply end up with more sidespin but without the ball jumping/bouncing up. You see, by simply brushing the ball closer towards the 9-3 o'clock points (right-hander), you just end up with more sidespin (slice). The ball wouldn't even bounce up nearly as high, plus, it is unlikely to bounce to the right — the ball most likely would curve to the left in the air, and skid to the left after the bounce.

So how can you impart a more horizontal spin whilst still enabling the ball to jump high/kick???? You need as much pure topspin as possible, but not just any topspin, a horizontal topspin. It is perhaps impossible to impart perfect topspin that spins sideways (or in the case of the Twist serve, topspin at a 45 degree angle with the flight path of the ball), but the idea is to attempt to attain it.

In order to better attack the ball, imparting extreme horizontal spin on the ball, without adding the undesired sidespin (We are dealing with a kick serve afterall, not a slice!), it really helps to toss the ball to at least the 11 o'clock position (Still dealing with a right-hander for this example!). Over time if you improve and are able to handle it, you may even want to experiment with 10 o'clock (Though I find it not necessary, as I myself am happy with my 11-12 o'clock Twist serve toss location.). Anyways, toss it to your left and be sure to attack the ball from left to right. You swing upwards from the bottom left side of the ball, upwards across over to the top of where the ball "was positioned". The swing path should be from between 7-1 o'clock to 8-2 o'clock. There are no strict rules really.The more you want the ball to jump towards the right, the more you brush from the 8-2 o'clock points (The ball curves in the air towards the left more when you impart that type of spin, as well.).

To really get the extreme horizontal topspin, leaning your back (aka, arching your back (although the spine really should be true/straight)) towards the left really helps. Not only does it load up different muscles, it also enables a different angle of attack on the ball, making it more accessible to impart that horizontal topspin. At first (by at first, I mean as long as you do not have the skills and flexibilty of a pro tennis player) you do not want to go all out and lean back with your torso being nearly parallel to the ground etc. (like Federer)! Start off slowly by not leaning too much. You do not want to risk injury! Also note: Not everyone is capable of leaning their back beyond a few inches .... not everyone is capable of executing a Kick serve with lots of action. Does one need to be able to have a deep lean in order to attain a nasty Twist serve? .... Not necessarily, just as though not everyone (right-handers) has to toss the ball at 3 o'clock in in order to impart extreme slice.

If you do not understand the difference between sidespin and the horizonatal topspin that I am referring to, my previous posts may clear this up.

theartoftennis
05-21-2006, 09:31 PM
Great post. Might check that out tomarrow.

One more question. I believe I read somewhere that when hitting a twist/kick serve, that when you make contact with the ball, you're back is still facing the opponent. That sounds very weird, considering you don't get any forward momentum doing that.

Mattle
05-22-2006, 02:39 AM
Just came back from Newks Tennis Academy(Great academy! Broke 100degrees, though), and I couldn't do anything on my serve. I've been playing for 8-9 months now, and I use a slice/flat first serve. Maybe around 70-80. My second serve is a very "consistant" kick serve. Most kids my level have never even SEEN a kick serve, so I feel I would usually have the advantage, but it's not like that at all. It's like it pops up with a little kick to the right and balls are pounded back at me. I've tried increasing my racquet-head speed by alot, but all that gives is more pace and a ball that bounces really high and barely misses the fence. I toss the ball maybe a foot to the left, and my front-back placement is very inconsistant. Sometimes it's above my head, sometimes into the court, and even behind me.

Could it be my swing path? My toss? Footwork?

Toss inside the court, perhaps a little higher so you can get below the ball, explode and hit the kicker with pace and kick.

theartoftennis
05-23-2006, 04:15 PM
Was messing around in practice today and hit a couple serves. Tossed a bit farther into the court, and tried to get my racquet down farther. I got much more racquet-head speed and when I brushed left-right over the ball I hit a fairly good paced ball that clipped the side line and shot over to the gate. Of course when I tried to repeat it, I couldn't help miss-hitting/timing, but I'm sure practice will help a bunch. Thanks for your help, everyone.

Silentgunz
05-23-2006, 06:23 PM
so how do u do a kick serve i want to know...

TennisAsAlways
05-29-2006, 09:38 PM
This thread isn't about "how to do a kick". THe OP asked how to fine tune his kick serve to be a certain way.

If you want information on how to do a Kick/Twist serve, then run a search. There are plenty of threads with good explanations on the Kicker (recent ones too).

Good day now. 8)