Twist Serve Lesson

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Cheetah, Sep 22, 2012.

  1. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    There has been a lot of twist serve talk here lately so I thought I'd post a nice video series I found on youtube that explains the serve in detail pretty well. The videos are of an instructor giving a student a lesson on the twist serve and was filmed by the student's father. The instructor breaks down the serve in detail and walks him through it step by step in 4 or 5 videos.

    IMO the twist serve is not complicated. It's just hard to explain in text online. Once you know what to do and practice the movements it's like anything else. This series covers everything you need to know. I like how he explains how to to do the turn and toss.

    They also have a couple of other vid series where they work on ground strokes and serve and volley which are good too. The instructor gives a lot of info on mechanics and strategy in certain situations so I'm sure a lot of you can benefit from watching these.

    Enjoy the vids.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw6hYOyeQqo
     
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  2. Torres

    Torres Banned

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    If by the coach, you mean the guy in the blue, he is pretty eccentric in the way he teaches. Not my type of coach at all. Lower level coach at best with some pretty iffy ideas, and potentially injury inducing instruction.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
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  3. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    No, by the coach I meant the little girl in yellow 2 courts down off camera.

    Which idea did you consider 'iffy'? I just posted the link and it's like 45 mins long so you couldn't have even watched the 1st part yet.
     
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  4. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

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    Only watched the first but I'm quite interested.

    Is it true that pinpoint serve stance is bad for a twist? I'd never thought about that but I suppose it sort of makes sense, though I find it hard to believe that it's impossible.
     
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  5. boramiNYC

    boramiNYC Hall of Fame

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    Not true at all. The coach knows some stuff but there are too much misinformations to be a serious coach. Don't wanna get into details however since I'm sure he can be helpful to some people.
     
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  6. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    My main objection is he is stressing bending in the "small of the back". I have seen other instruction where you can get in the same position by bending at the knees and the angle of the torso from the knee to the shoulder is pretty straight. I think tossing to 11 o'c above and bending at the knees is better for you long term health.

    Watch Marin Cilic at 5 seconds into this video. The toss could be pulled back more over his head for more kick. But you will see a fairly straight line from his knees to shoulder - no severe bend at the back.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qy2ABEJAFGQ
     
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  7. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    Sam Stousur also has a great kick serve and she pulls up into a pin point stance.
     
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  8. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

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    From what I have read there are two competing schools of thought on whether an arch in the small of the back is necessary on a kick serve. One author on Yandell's site insists that: it is beneficial, does not lead to injury with proper training, and is more common in less litigious societies. The reason beingthat many American coaches are afraid of teaching a back arch, for fear of being sued if the student develops problems. In other countries, such as Spain, it is more common.
     
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  9. PhrygianDominant

    PhrygianDominant Hall of Fame

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    That's true but she leaves her right foot pretty far back. It's almost like she's transitioning into a narrow platform รก la Roddick.
     
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  10. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Yea I hear you about the back bend but most players w/ a twist serve still bend their back. My personally I bend my knees instead of arching my back. The cilic clip you showed is not a kick serve.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2012
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  11. austen5566

    austen5566 Banned

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    #11
  12. austen5566

    austen5566 Banned

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    #12
  13. Bergboy123

    Bergboy123 Semi-Pro

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    Omg I can't get the Snake down :( It keeps spinning the wrong direction
     
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  14. beernutz

    beernutz Hall of Fame

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    Make TT better, use the Ignore List!
    FWIW the instructor, John M. Shaw, died earlier this year at the age of 54.
     
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  15. Cheetah

    Cheetah Hall of Fame

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    Yes I saw that a couple of days ago when I googled him. I thought he was 52 though.

    Too bad.
     
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  16. nyc

    nyc Hall of Fame

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    Any recreational player that doesn't have an extremely fit core should not attempt this.
    (unless you want to ruin your back, of course)
     
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  17. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yes, twist serves are hard on the lower back. That said, you live once.
     
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  18. crash1929

    crash1929 Hall of Fame

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    I have no clue if this is correct but it sounds good and interesting. More stuff I never knew!!!!!! Can't wait to try it. It is really frustrating how little I know. Let me finish watching
     
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  19. crash1929

    crash1929 Hall of Fame

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    keen insight
     
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  20. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

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    I keep hearing about this twist serve. Seems to me just a kick serve, what's the deal with calling it "twist"?
     
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  21. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Kick serve is supposed to be pure topspin, but twist serve also has side spin which causes it turn to the right (rightie server) after bounce. I find that I serve a twist serve most of the time instead of a kick serve (such as it is).
     
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  22. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Most guys consider any topspin serve a "kick" serve, like rightie server, ball curves to the left upon leaving the racket, bounces, and curves to the left after the bounce.
    Even topspin serves can be called "kick" serves, ball curves like a topspin forehand.
    But a TWIST is a rightie serve curving the left after leaving the racket, it bounces, and curves to the RIGHT as seen by the server!
    Some guys hit all 3 "kick" serves, often confusing the returner as to which way the ball bounces.
     
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  23. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    That is a slice/topslice serve
     
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  24. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Yes, to me it's also a simple top/slice serve.
    But I hit twist serves that my lefty curve goes to my right, bounces, then kicks violently off to my left, or wide to your forehand side.
    I"m delineating the top/slice, the pure top, and the twist as THREE different kind of serves.
     
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  25. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oh, top/slice.
    If you read Shroud's report after we played some doubles, you'll find that some of my top/slices can bounce well over his head!
    Not always for sure, but when I hit it deep into the service court, and the court temps are over 70 degrees.
    I cannot twist, top, or top/slice over anyone's head if the court temps are under 60 degrees.
     
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  26. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No, top slice serve is not considered kick serve
     
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  27. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I think if it bounces OVER Shrouds head, or higher than his eyes, and he's 5'10" tall, it can be considered a kick.
    A actually don't count top/slice or pure top as "kick", only twist serves.
    But other's on here seem to count ANY high bouncing serve as a kick, so I was making concessions for a group hug.
     
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  28. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    No any ball that bounces is not a kick serve
     
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  29. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    No way to get pure topspin on a serve. The racket would have to be horizontal at impact, which the human anatomy does not allow for.
     
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  30. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    True. It is a matter of degree. There will be some element of slice or kick in it. The twist serves are the ones which turn to the right viciously after the bounce.
     
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  31. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Since a top/slice curves one way, and a twist curves the other, can't a pure topspin serve be hit with a toss in between the two above?
    I"m talking about AFTER the bounce. The arc of the ball leaving the racket doesn't matter to the receiver.
     
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  32. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

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    All serves (assuming the server uses a continental grip and knows how to serve properly) are hit with a combination of topspin and slice. Flat serves have very little spin relative to ball speed, so they don't curve much. Slice serves are nearly all sidespin with very little topspin, so they curve to the left and slide off the court. Twist serves have enough topspin relative to slice where the ball curves to the left but grabs on the court and therefore bounces in the other direction. Topspin serves have more topspin than slice serves but less topspin than twist serves. So they grab the court somewhat, enough to bounce directly at the returner, but not enough to reverse direction entirely.
     
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  33. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I can hit topspin serves, where the ball bounces up and at the target, not left nor right, like top/slice and twists.
    It's the least used, because it fools no one.
    Lately, I've been finding that a slower first serve that goes IN more often might actually be a somewhat smart ploy, so maybe 90 is better than 100, it the percentage IN goes up by 20pts.
     
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  34. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    100 kilometers per hour versus 90 kilometers per hour just to be more specific.
     
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  35. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    100k is 62 mph, like my forehand.
    100mph serves beats most 4.5's when hit where I want it to go.
    It's beaten the No.1 USTA League 4.5, and caused missed returns from the then current No.2 for Harvaard.
     
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  36. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I don't understand why you east coast guys find it so rare that an old guy, at 4.0 singles skills, can serve 100.
    I USED to play A/Open tournaments around SanFrancisco. I used to go THREE, that's 3 rounds in both the Q's I played for the TransAmerica Pro Men's' tourney.
    Heck, I went 3 rounds in half the 13 A/Open tourneys, and in those days, the draw was always over 32 players, some as many as 64.
    100mph is about 30 mph slower than I could serve when I was 28.
    And currently, like yesterday, my serve is faster than anyone not in the top of the 4.5 level.
    I'm not saying I can play at the 4.5 level. I'm hobbled, can't run. But I can throw a tennisball, first try, no warmup, over the backfence that is usually around 14' high, from behind my baseline.
    Serving 100 is nothing for someone who used to play sports.
     
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  37. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Oh, this tread is about TWIST serves...
    My best twist serves go in around 55-65 mph, and if hit deep in the wide box on duece court, can bounce easily 6' high at the baseline, and NOT hit the backwall after the initial bounce.
     
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  38. boramiNYC

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    Pure topspin is possible on serves if wanted as LeeD says.
     
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  39. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

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    Seems like twist and kick are just different names for the same thing. According to Wiki, the Americao twist serve is what most others call a kick serve: curve left in the air, and bounce high and right. This is the only one I call a kicker. The one that curves left and turns even more left after the boune, we just call a slice. Pure topspin can happen when I go for a kicker but my toss is too far to the left and can't get much sidespin component.
     
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  40. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Pure tops seems possible, I've seen it, as it curves only downwards, bounces, then goes up and forwards, with no side component.
    One serve not mentioned by Attila is top/slice, where it can bounce head high, or overhead, when hit deep and hard. An overhead bounce would indicate some amount of kick.
    But TWIST is what I consider a true kick serve.
     
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  41. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

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    I'm not sure I understand the top/slice. My slice is my go-to first serve on both sides and it shoots off fast after the bounce, but never up high.
     
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  42. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Top/slice is where you toss it up atop your forehead, but not atop your head, use a moderate height contact point, and hit the serve with a combination of topspin and sidespin. I thought it worked more effective than pure sidespin, because the topspin component drives the ball down hard, resulting in you having more angles to hit into AND a higher bounce.
    Pure slice bounces only waist high or so, while top/slice can bounce over someone's head, if really placed deep and struck well.
     
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  43. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

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    It keeps going left after the bounce, while jumping up high? Should experiment with it.
     
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  44. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    NOT like ArthurAshe used to hit it, that was pure slice.
    I think the modern top 4 use more slice than top to get the serve out wide on duece court, maybe DJ uses top/slice.
    Most lefties use a top/slice, to go wide to your backhand and also to get the ball up around your shoulder level, or slightly above.
    The top component does eat up some of the side component, so top/slices usually don't go as wide as the pure slice serves, but can be swung faster creating speed and angle with a high bounce.
     
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  45. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    Me too and I have to watch the video now!
    B/c what in my isolation used to call "twist serve", was probably just a slice (granted served to the add court, from maybe 3-4 feet from the mid court, it goes down the T then curves left. From the same position from where I usually serve flat and wide).
     
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  46. cjs

    cjs Semi-Pro

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    A "twist" serve curves through the air with a similar arc to a slice serve, but then kicks away in the opposite direction to the arc due to the kick when the ball hits the court. A pure kick serve won't have the same curve through the air as the twist serve because its got less side spin and more top spin.

    If you get skilled at varying the combination of side and top spin you can cause havoc with a returner's rhythm.
     
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  47. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Usually, it takes a player at least 5 years to develop the flat first serve, the slower higher percentage flat serve, to hit it at least 2 of the 3 quadrants, and then develop a solid top/slice for the primary second serve and alternative safe 1st serve to at least 2 of the 3 quadrants, then a pure top spin for the same reasons, but no lateral bounce, and then the twist serve, used more likely only in one quadrant on each ad or duece court.
    A "quadrant" would be splitting the target service court into 3 different areas, left, right, and center. The center is for hitting into the body, to jam a receiver who is good at reaching out wide to either side.
     
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  48. Fintft

    Fintft Hall of Fame

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    ^^^
    Thanks, it looks that I'm still on graphic lol. Having said all of that, most of the tennis lessons in regards to serve were kinda useless.
     
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  49. Attila_the_gorilla

    Attila_the_gorilla Professional

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    Like I said, that's what we call a kick serve. I now understand that the American terminology is a bit different.
     
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  50. cjs

    cjs Semi-Pro

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    I'm Australian. I think you missed my point about the difference between kick and twist.
     
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