American Twist serve

myservenow

Semi-Pro
Have played tennis going on on 3 decades but have never been able to hit the American Twist serve. Can someone list 3 or 4 pointers that one should focus on when trying to hit the American Twist? Things such as grip, stance, toss, swing, contact point, etc. I am not too far off from being able to hit this serve myself, but so far cannot get that huge change of direction twist kick of the ball once it bounces. My competitive tennis days are mostly over but would love to pass this weapon down to my kids who are just now picking up the game.
 

Kevo

Legend
It's the same as a kick serve but you have to brush the ball from the inside bottome to the outside top so it sort of spins spiral like a football. American football if you're from one of the places that calls soccer football.

There are some pretty good videos on youtube. I'd recommend you check some of those out. It's going to be much easier to pick it up watching a video than reading about it I would say.
 

Curious

Legend
Thinking about it now my second serves are all twist serves as pure topspin serve requires a lot of flexibility and balance and is a little hard on the body. That is, I always hit 7 to 1 or 8 to 2 rather than 6 to 12.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Have played tennis going on on 3 decades but have never been able to hit the American Twist serve. Can someone list 3 or 4 pointers that one should focus on when trying to hit the American Twist? Things such as grip, stance, toss, swing, contact point, etc. I am not too far off from being able to hit this serve myself, but so far cannot get that huge change of direction twist kick of the ball once it bounces. My competitive tennis days are mostly over but would love to pass this weapon down to my kids who are just now picking up the game.
Why did they rip off the Kick serve and name it American twist ? wasn't the kick serve originally created in European nation somewhere ?
 

Searah

Semi-Pro
think he means a kick serve? apparently 7-1 very fast.

still trying to figure out the next step. mine just seems to curve and not a hard bounce away.
 

Steady Eddy

Legend
Why did they rip off the Kick serve and name it American twist ? wasn't the kick serve originally created in European nation somewhere ?
Pretty sure it's the other way around. Long long time ago an American Davis Cup team used the serve against a Brit team. So they called it American Twist. That's the old name. Now people mostly call it a kick serve.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Fyi

Its basically a kick serve.

A kick serve is a serve hit from inside out and thrown more behind you than a normal serve.

Now the kick serve can have many variations depending how far behind u toss and the swing itself.

It can either kick UP alot, or kick to the SIDE alot or any variation inbetween.

Apparently some call the UP one a kick, while the SIDE one is a twist.

But alot call all of them kick and dont even use the twist terminology.
 

Dragy

Legend
1. Tweaking grip towards easternBH might be of help.
2. Toss above your left (for a righty shoulder) along the baseline or just into the baseline.
3. Rotate torso away from the target.
4. Limbo to get chest still face the ball, despite overhead toss.
5. Swing accross the ball, close to along the baseline. Catch the ball a tide lower than for faster serves.
6. Keep the the racquet face pretty closed (feelwise; grip tweak of poor 1 helps here), make contact with a brushing motion from low inside towards high outward part of the ball.
7. Stay sideways as long as you can.

Generally the more brushy you hit the ball while producing high racquet head speed, the more loop, kick and noticeable sideways break you get. Faster serve with thicker (a tad less brushy) contact might look not that breaking... but is also effective as hell.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
For Kick serve - relation to American Twist unknown.

Stroke spin and pace are closely related only to about 4 milliseconds of racket-ball contact. There are few competent sources describing those 4 milliseconds.

Suggest that you purchase the reference book, Technical Tennis, Cross & Lindsay for a clear explanation of how rackets contact the ball for various spins. Great illustrations and a logical analysis. Readable.

I took their descriptions and looked for the kick serve, looked for racket to first contact the upper half of the ball. I found a few examples and that is what I believe. Researchers said it and I saw it myself in high speed videos. My conclusions are based on very few observations. More observations are needed to confirm. Racket face closed at around 15 d is my current best estimate based on a few video observations of likely kick serves. Toly posted some early posts, 2013(?), on the closed angle of the kick serve. Great illustrations. I probably read them but did not pick up what he was talking about even with the clear illustrations.....
For stop action single frame on Vimeo: click "Vimeo", full screen, hold down the SHIFT KEY and use the ARROW KEYS.
A racket must be closed to first contact the top half of the ball. (Note - this fact is very useful because you cannot see the racket strings contacting the ball but you can usually see how closed the racket is just before impact - all with low cost high speed video cameras!) To check this out get a racket and ball and look - Close the racket face and look at where contact on the ball is. Open the racket and look at where contact is. Have the racket neutral between open and closed and see where contact is. Then use the reference book to see what Cross and Lindsay have to say about ball & racket contact.

(My definition of a closed racket - the highest part of the racket face is more forward in the direction of travel than the rest of the head.)

If you practice without this closed checkpoint just before impact, Cross & Lindsay's description and my few video observations indicate that you probably never will get the bounce to the right of a kick serve. Have any other references on this subject?

The above is the tricky fact that is very hard to find discussed. There is another racket motion for a kick serve. The racket has to rise before during and after impact. I did not know how that came about and looked for high speed videos of it for years. Here is Toly's gif showing what happens, before impact, at an instant during impact, and after impact.
link

The Waiter's Tray technique - the most common technique used by more than half of active tennis players - does not appear to have a way to apply heavy top spin and pace to a serve, a way to make the racket rise during impact. WT can hit slice though.

There are many threads on this kick serve issue. Here's one related post that shows how the racket rises.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"Your toss depends on your serving technique. Your serving technique is unknown. There is a lot of variety in poster's 'kick' serves.

First, the Waiter's Tray technique is used by probably over 50% of active tennis players. All servers interested in serving technique should first check their serving techniques.

A tell tale checkpoint for the high level kick serve is the angle of the forearm-to-racket at impact. The angle has to be smaller so that the racket can still be rising as it contacts the ball. The flat and slice serve are seen to impact the ball closer to the highest point that the racket reaches. If you don't know what to look for you will not see it even with high speed videos.

Forearm-to-racket angle for impact of the kick serve. The racket can rise more effectively during impact. For this relatively lower impact location either the ball has to drop lower or the server must jump higher.


Forearm-to-racket angle of slice serve for comparison.


If you do not use the high level kick serve technique, I don't think there is any vetted advice for how an unknown kick serve technique should be performed.

While the ball is impacted more 'over the head' for a high level kick serve the head moves forward from toss release to make that happen. So the often heard advice 'Toss the ball over your head for a kick serve' is not what is seen in videos of most high level kick serves - the head moves forward. Look at the head location at toss release and head location at impact.


For comparison to slice serve
https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/ind...-do-i-hit-a-slice-serve.574777/#post-10708267 "
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Have played tennis going on on 3 decades but have never been able to hit the American Twist serve. Can someone list 3 or 4 pointers that one should focus on when trying to hit the American Twist? Things such as grip, stance, toss, swing, contact point, etc. I am not too far off from being able to hit this serve myself, but so far cannot get that huge change of direction twist kick of the ball once it bounces. My competitive tennis days are mostly over but would love to pass this weapon down to my kids who are just now picking up the game.
Clearly you know how to serve. So the question is what is keeping you from hitting one. My hunch is that it's your elbow that is stopping you. If your elbow comes too far forward you will never get any kick.

If you have thrown and watched football, mimic throwing the ball down the field and watch where your elbow ends up. Now pretend you throwing to the wide out to your right say just past the line of scrimmage. Look at where the elbow ends up. It's not I front of the body like the other serves. If your elbow comes forward forget a kicker
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
Have played tennis going on on 3 decades but have never been able to hit the American Twist serve. Can someone list 3 or 4 pointers that one should focus on when trying to hit the American Twist? Things such as grip, stance, toss, swing, contact point, etc. I am not too far off from being able to hit this serve myself, but so far cannot get that huge change of direction twist kick of the ball once it bounces. My competitive tennis days are mostly over but would love to pass this weapon down to my kids who are just now picking up the game.
can you hit a topspin serve?
if you can, just toss slightly more left and make contact just left of your head (if a righty)

have you seen any of the million kicker vids on the youtube?
they will show you better than anyone can describe it. what part do you get stuck with?
 

RetroSpin

Hall of Fame
One of the better videos. I love the monster kick he hits with basically a warm-up swing.


You can see the racquet action on this slo mo very well.


Slightly different technique.
 

myservenow

Semi-Pro
I can kick serve all day long. No matter what you call it, there is a difference between a kick serve and an American Twist serve. The AT is probably just an advanced variant of the kick serve. The best way to describe it is the ball seems to loop up over the net and dives down into service box. From the server’s perspective, the ball appears oblong and misshaped as it flies through the air and jumps high and away from the returner once it hits the court. It almost seems to jump sideways off of the court. When someone hits one at you, you definitely know it is a different kind of serve. My high school coach (who is no longer around to ask how) was an evil expert on the American Twist.

There was a really good demonstration of this serve by a young female player on YouTube but I can no longer locate it.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
I can kick serve all day long. No matter what you call it, there is a difference between a kick serve and an American Twist serve. The AT is probably just an advanced variant of the kick serve. The best way to describe it is the ball seems to loop up over the net and dives down into service box. From the server’s perspective, the ball appears oblong and misshaped as it flies through the air and jumps high and away from the returner once it hits the court. It almost seems to jump sideways off of the court. When someone hits one at you, you definitely know it is a different kind of serve. My high school coach (who is no longer around to ask how) was an evil expert on the American Twist.

There was a really good demonstration of this serve by a young female player on YouTube but I can no longer locate it.

This video refers to this serve as a kick serve. Whatever it is called, the American Twist jumps away from returner like this serve does.
Here are some good vids


Sorry about your coach man.
 

Dan R

Semi-Pro
I think it helps to think about the physics involved. If you hit a slice serve the ball is rotating mostly horizontally, and this reduces the pressure on one side of the ball relative to the other side. This allows one side of the ball to move through the air more efficiently than the other and the ball moves sideways (from right to left for a right hander). This is called the Magnus Effect. Gravity is also pulling down on the ball, which has an effect not only on the path of the ball but on the spin too. With each rotation the direction of the spin is changing to become a little more vertical. As the ball is being pulled downward (one side of the ball is rotating a little bit toward the direction of the gravitational force, and the other is rotating away. So gravity is pulling a little harder on one side than the other, which starts to change the direction of spin (assuming you don't have perfectly horizontal spin, which you don't). So gravity wants to convert slice spin to top spin.

For the AT serve you have start out with just enough slice to cause the ball to move right to left in the air, and then let gravity start to convert this to top spin which causes the ball to hit the ground in a manner where the flight path of the ball does not match the spin anymore. If you have to much slice spin on the ball then the ball hits the ground moving to the left and the spin takes it to the left. To much top spin and the ball is moving straight and bounces straight. But if you have just the right amount of slice on it then the ball is moving through the air to the left, but by the time the ball lands its spin has changed into mostly top spin that wants to take the ball to the right off the bounce even as the ball is still moving left in the air. And you get a jump in the wrong direction. If you hit this from the add court, standing out wide the effect is more dramatic because the ball is moving more in the direction of the bounce you want to begin with.

This means to hit it right you have to have a lot of spin on the ball and you have to hit it relatively slowly to give gravity time to work, and you have to enough but not too much slice spin on the ball initially. All this said, I can occasionally hit one but not on purpose. It's difficult to master.
 

Moveforwardalways

Hall of Fame
The only people I have ever heard use the term “American twist serve” are older players, probably 60+. It must be an outdated term for a kick serve?
 

Dragy

Legend
I think it helps to think about the physics involved. If you hit a slice serve the ball is rotating mostly horizontally, and this reduces the pressure on one side of the ball relative to the other side. This allows one side of the ball to move through the air more efficiently than the other and the ball moves sideways (from right to left for a right hander). This is called the Magnus Effect. Gravity is also pulling down on the ball, which has an effect not only on the path of the ball but on the spin too. With each rotation the direction of the spin is changing to become a little more vertical. As the ball is being pulled downward (one side of the ball is rotating a little bit toward the direction of the gravitational force, and the other is rotating away. So gravity is pulling a little harder on one side than the other, which starts to change the direction of spin (assuming you don't have perfectly horizontal spin, which you don't). So gravity wants to convert slice spin to top spin.

For the AT serve you have start out with just enough slice to cause the ball to move right to left in the air, and then let gravity start to convert this to top spin which causes the ball to hit the ground in a manner where the flight path of the ball does not match the spin anymore. If you have to much slice spin on the ball then the ball hits the ground moving to the left and the spin takes it to the left. To much top spin and the ball is moving straight and bounces straight. But if you have just the right amount of slice on it then the ball is moving through the air to the left, but by the time the ball lands its spin has changed into mostly top spin that wants to take the ball to the right off the bounce even as the ball is still moving left in the air. And you get a jump in the wrong direction. If you hit this from the add court, standing out wide the effect is more dramatic because the ball is moving more in the direction of the bounce you want to begin with.

This means to hit it right you have to have a lot of spin on the ball and you have to hit it relatively slowly to give gravity time to work, and you have to enough but not too much slice spin on the ball initially. All this said, I can occasionally hit one but not on purpose. It's difficult to master.
Never heard of gravity changing spin axis. @Chas Tennis get summoned!
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Never heard of gravity changing spin axis. @Chas Tennis get summoned!
I believe that Rod Cross in Physics of the Kick Serve says that the spin axis stays in the same direction as the ball travels across the court to impact. I will tend to believe that until I see some other evidence. After impact, I have not read anything.

The rotation axis of the kick serve has a side spin component that is larger than the top spin component. The kick serve has more side spin component than the slice serve. Also, all the serves have gyrospin. These relative spin components are seen in these spin vectors from researcher's measurements.


Have no similar information on the American Twist serve.

The dashed line in the XY plane show the top spin and gyrospin components. The vertical dashed lines show the side spin components. The Flat serve components are not visible.
 
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Dan R

Semi-Pro
I believe that Rod Cross in Physics of the Kick Serve says that the spin axis stays in the same direction as the ball travels across the court. I will tend to believe that until I see some other evidence.

The rotation axis of the kick serve has a side spin component that is larger than the top spin component. The kick serve has more side spin component than the slice serve. Also, all the serves have gyrospin. These relative spin components are seen in these spin vectors from researcher's measurements.


Have no similar information on the American Twist serve.
I don’t think this is correct, a kick serve has to have more top spin on it than side spin or it wouldn’t jump up, it would go sideways even more than a slice. I tried to download this publication to get the context for this diagram but it’s behind a pay wall.

Just like a topspin forehand, it would not suddenly behave different if you increase the side spin, it just starts to slice more and more.

I believe gyro spin is a way to express that the spin direction is not perfectly aligned to one axis, like a bullet. Most serves have gyrospin.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I don’t think this is correct, a kick serve has to have more top spin on it than side spin or it wouldn’t jump up, it would go sideways even more than a slice. I tried to download this publication to get the context for this diagram but it’s behind a pay wall.

Just like a topspin forehand, it would not suddenly behave different if you increase the side spin, it just starts to slice more and more.

I believe gyro spin is a way to express that the spin direction is not perfectly aligned to one axis, like a bullet. Most serves have gyrospin.
Agree, the measurement results do not fit the word descriptions of the kick serve. If I see a research publication I usually give that the highest credibility. Cutting and pasting what is not true the most times does not count in the end.

There is only one spin axis direction. It's direction and spin rate can be described in terms of three orthogonal components. (each of the 3 direction at right angles to each other) Vector component treatment. Trajectory directions - One component can be vertical for side spin, another horizontal for top spin and the last can be in the direction of forward ball travel. Court directions - These last two components might also be in the direction of the baseline and the direction of the center line. See publication for how publication authors defined the component directions.

Physics of the Kick Serve, Rod Cross
http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/kickserve.php

Publication with ball and spin axis drawing.
https://www.researchgate.net/public...e_tennis_serve_Spin_rate_and_axis_of_rotation

If you have trouble getting a publication free, some are available on Researchgate.

Also, search using Google Scholar, the free publications, if available, appear on links to the right.
 
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myservenow

Semi-Pro
Here are some good vids


Sorry about your coach man.
Coach isn’t dead, just no longer around the area. Terrific guy by the way who loved to beat me unmercifully with the Twist serve back in the early 90s. There was also a lefty college player who hit the American Twist the opposite direction. He was before my time but I got to play points against him in a July 4th tournament. He brought out the lefty Twist and made me — also a former collegiate player — look foolish.

And the “sick kick” video you posted above is one of the videos I alluded to earlier but could no longer locate. Thanks!
 

myservenow

Semi-Pro
The only people I have ever heard use the term “American twist serve” are older players, probably 60+. It must be an outdated term for a kick serve?
Ha ha. Old man words. This is sort of what I was afraid of —that I was really outdated in my terminology even though I’m in my forties. But, for real, there is a difference between a kick and a twist serve. Craziest thing when it bounces sideways away from you.
 

DarkMike

New User
Ha ha. Old man words. This is sort of what I was afraid of —that I was really outdated in my terminology even though I’m in my forties. But, for real, there is a difference between a kick and a twist serve. Craziest thing when it bounces sideways away from you.
no a kick and american twist is the same serve...it just happens that some people are able to give it a stronger side spin allowing the ball to "jump back" while others don't have enough side spin and it instead curves and then essentially becomes a topspin serve after the bounce and jumps towards the baseline or has a very weak "back jump".

Edit* Unless we are calling a serve with only top spin a kick serve and a serve with diagonal top spin a twist.
 
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Dan R

Semi-Pro
Agree, the measurement results do not fit the word descriptions of the kick serve. If I see a research publication I usually give that the highest credibility. Cutting and pasting what is not true the most times does not count in the end.

There is only one spin axis direction. It's direction and spin rate can be described in terms of three orthogonal components. (each of the 3 direction at right angles to each other) Vector component treatment. Trajectory directions - One component can be vertical for side spin, another horizontal for top spin and the last can be in the direction of forward ball travel. Court directions - These last two components might also be in the direction of the baseline and the direction of the center line. See publication for how publication authors defined the component directions.

Physics of the Kick Serve, Rod Cross
http://twu.tennis-warehouse.com/learning_center/kickserve.php

Publication with ball and spin axis drawing.
https://www.researchgate.net/public...e_tennis_serve_Spin_rate_and_axis_of_rotation

If you have trouble getting a publication free, some are available on Researchgate.

Also, search using Google Scholar, the free publications, if available, appear on links to the right.
It would be interesting to see the article, I like reading stuff like this too. I'm sure there's some point it's making.
 

Dan R

Semi-Pro
Have you seen one bounce or faced one on the court??
I have, but not very often. There's an instructor at the club I play at, he's older and he can hit it really well. I played a guy once, he wasn't that good, but every serve he hit had twist kick, not a lot but it was noticeable. I asked him how he did it and he said he didn't know but that he can't stop doing it. If you do it all the time it quickly loses its effect.

I wonder why the pros don't use it more? I wonder if it's because you have to hit it relatively slowly and as a result they can see it coming. I've never been able to do it except by accident, and even then I just get a little slice bend in the air and then it kicks more or less straight up rather than in the opposite direction.
 
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DarkMike

New User
I have, but not very often. There's an instructor at the club I play out, he's older and he can hit it really well. I played a guy once, he wasn't that good, but every serve he hit had twist kick, not a lot but it was noticeable. I asked him how he did it and he said he didn't know but that he can't stop doing it. If you do it all the time it quickly loses its effect.

I wonder why the pros don't use it more? I wonder if it's because you have to hit it relatively slowly and as a result they can see it coming. I've never been able to do it except by accident, and even then I just get a little slice bend in the air and then it kicks more or less straight up rather than in the opposite direction.
easiest way to do it is to grip it with a backhand grip. toss the ball up and behind you. bend back and then launch up and hit the ball as it comes down. you should be making contact with the ball slightly above your head and follow through your arm should be swinging forward and out.
 

Dan R

Semi-Pro
easiest way to do it is to grip it with a backhand grip. toss the ball up and behind you. bend back and then launch up and hit the ball as it comes down. you should be making contact with the ball slightly above your head and follow through your arm should be swinging forward and out.
Just to clarify, I'm not referring to hitting a kick serve. By that I mean any serve that has top spin on it, which you are describing. That's not very difficult. But I'm referring to hitting the American Twist kick serve, what I think is very hard to do. To the point where it's almost the stuff of legend.
 

DarkMike

New User
Just to clarify, I'm not referring to hitting a kick serve. By that I mean any serve that has top spin on it, which you are describing. That's not very difficult. But I'm referring to hitting the American Twist kick serve, what I think is very hard to do. To the point where it's almost the stuff of legend.
No thats the motion for the twist
 

RajS

Semi-Pro
I have been playing with this for a while now, with my second serve. I still don't know what exactly causes the ball to spin in the desired way, but here are my observations. If I toss the ball in front of me, going over my head, and hit a kick serve, it will kick straight. If I toss the ball slightly to my left in the ad court, and try to kick it wide, it will kick to my right as in the American Twist. If I toss slightly to my right in the deuce court, and kick it wide, it will kick to my left! I think it's all due to subtle changes in the racket head direction, and you have to find what works for you. Translating the theoretical ball spin to practice didn't work for me, I had to experiment.
 

DarkMike

New User
Ok, but how's that different from a regular kick serve? I feel like I do all these things but usually no twist.
how i imagine it is i want to impart a diagonal spin...so for a right hander you want the ball to spin diagonally up from left to right. the best way to see it happen is to stand there toss the ball up and behind you and then hit the ball when its behind your head...like literally behind your head. you should almost feel as though the racquet is brushing the back of your head when you make contact with the ball.
 

DarkMike

New User
That's what should happen when you swing low to high hitting through the ball from 8 to 2, isn't it? I reckon we dont get the result we want because we cant swing fast enough.
yeah basically. how i practiced it when i first learned such a serve existed is i read up on just the mechanical basics of it. and then went to the court with a basket of balls and just stood there hitting the ball with just the arm motion until i could see the spin. once i saw it spin somewhat correctly i would try to repeat it and repeat it until i can consistently get that spin. it will be a weak spin since all you are doing is arming it and trying to get the spin down.

the end of the motion your hand should be twisted with the back of your hand facing the net and the racquet head pointed at the ground.
 
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SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Is the american twist just a kick serve?
Some sources use the terminology interchangeably. However, many consider the 'twist' to be a special class of 'kick' serves. Many consider 'kick' to be an ambiguous term or one that applies to a general class of serve.

Many, if not all, kick serves have a component of spiral (Z-axis) spin. On many kick serves this component is very mild at the bounce. American twist serves OTOH, have a generous amount of Z-axis spin that results in a more dramatic bounce to the side (rather than primarily bouncing up and forward with just a hint of sideways deviation)


Why did they rip off the Kick serve and name it American twist ? wasn't the kick serve originally created in European nation somewhere ?
I had not heard the "kick" terminology used prior to the 1990s. If it was used prior to that, it's use was not all that common AFAIK. I do recall, however, learning of the American twist back in the 1970s. Apparently, it dates back to the late 1800s and was developed by H Ward and D Davis.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serve_(tennis)#Kick/topspin/American_twist/Reverse_kick
 
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coupergear

Professional
I always thought American Twist was yes, the early form of a kicker, but the difference in modern is they would finish the serve same side of body. So righty pronates out and the racket just stays right side, trails behind on FT. Same type of action on ball as kicker. Salzenstein recommends trying same side finish if someone's not getting the action. "American Twist" moniker kind of makes sense because the arm kind of ends up twisted behind you. Try it.
 
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DarkMike

New User
I always thought American Twist was yes, the early form of a kicker, but the difference in modern is they would finish the serve same side of body. So righty pronates out and the racket just stays right side, trails behind on FT. Same type of action on ball as kicker. Salzenstein recommends trying same side finish if someone's not getting the action.
i'm more inclined now to think that people call a topspin serve a kick and a twist an entirely difference serve with a curving action on it. i feel like thats where a lot of confusion in this thread is stemming from because people have different meanings for those two words.
 

myservenow

Semi-Pro
As a righty, what should I be doing with my right arm through the swing to get a Twist? As you brush the ball, do you sort of swing parallel to the side of your body — meaning swing along the baseline? Or do you brush the ball as you swing your arm forward toward the net/service box?
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
As a righty, what should I be doing with my right arm through the swing to get a Twist? As you brush the ball, do you sort of swing parallel to the side of your body — meaning swing along the baseline? Or do you brush the ball as you swing your arm forward toward the net/service box?
Along the baseline. Too far forward and no twist or kick.
 

DarkMike

New User
As a righty, what should I be doing with my right arm through the swing to get a Twist? As you brush the ball, do you sort of swing parallel to the side of your body — meaning swing along the baseline? Or do you brush the ball as you swing your arm forward toward the net/service box?
basically what shroud said above. your wrist snap should be along the baseline will your arm itself should be going 80 percent along the baseline and 20 percent forward. your ending form if you stand straight with your arms spread out to your side. your right arm should be about 15-20 degrees forward.
 

myservenow

Semi-Pro
Thanks everyone for all the tips and replies. I’ve enjoyed each. And, I am going to do what I should have done decades ago: I’m going to track down my high school coach and get the skinny from him if possible. No idea why I didn’t try to learn this serve from him. I swear I wish I could go back in time and record his serve so that you could see how it rocketed away from you when it hit AND kept ascending until it was head high. If I was lucky enough to make contact to return it over the net, he would be waiting at the net for the easy put away volley. Good times.
 

coupergear

Professional
i'm more inclined now to think that people call a topspin serve a kick and a twist an entirely difference serve with a curving action on it. i feel like thats where a lot of confusion in this thread is stemming from because people have different meanings for those two words.
That's why I think American Twist is more about the FT than the ball-strike. You can impart more or less kick or top depending on the initial path to the ball and the ball strike, independent of the follow through whereas American Twist describes the FT style specifically.
 

DarkMike

New User
That's why I think American Twist is more about the FT than the ball-strike. You can impart more or less kick or top depending on the initial path to the ball and the ball strike, independent of the follow through whereas American Twist describes the FT style specifically.

probably because the only way to get the side action on the ball requires you to swing in such a way that the FT has to end that way or you end up hurting yourself or not getting the correct spin.
 

coupergear

Professional
probably because the only way to get the side action on the ball requires you to swing in such a way that the FT has to end that way or you end up hurting yourself or not getting the correct spin.
Could be. I think more likely an early exaggeration of the pronation movement with more up and out...a cue for early adopters of the kick nee american twist. Kind of the way Sampras used to hang his elbow. Didn't need to, but it was a cue he used learning pronation and vestigially remained in the stroke.
 

chrisb

Semi-Pro
I hit 3 topspin serves straight topspin, topspin slice and american twist. First 2 ball is coes too top of head slightly in front. My hands feels similar motion to when I threw overhand curve ball I know I am hitting up up not over, but that thought works for me. The twist was first serve I learned great second serve. ball placement was directed up thru and back with hand even with my nose. Back arched back knees foward to counterbalance swing went hard across ball while hips snap driving my body and shoulders at side fence. Hard part in teaching it is getting the back snap to get balance and racket speed imo
 
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