Kick Serve Problems

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by LightningZI, Nov 30, 2009.

  1. LightningZI

    LightningZI Rookie

    Oct 6, 2009
    I recently started working on my kick serve, I use a Eastern Backhand grip for it, But my problem is, Whenever I hit the kickserve it's flight it too high, Even though it's got enough to go in even after the flight being so high, With that I can't get it to be faster, or more consistent. Whenever I hit my serve, It just feels like it's going out even though it's in, It just doesn't seem like the right fluid motion of the serve..

    To Confirm the Basics of it:

    -Toss Above your head
    -Hit in a 7-1 or 8-2 Motion
    -Hit it right above your head
    -Follow through with your right leg landing first (As a righty)

    It seems to hit the sweet spot, I just think it's something to do with how I'm hitting it.. Sorry I don't have any videos, I just started this serve two days ago, and The weather hasn't been great enough to get good video quality or visibilty. When I can, I will post a video..

  2. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

    Jul 13, 2004
    Lot of good discussions have taken place here about the kick serve. You might consider looking some of them up with the search option.
  3. Funbun

    Funbun Professional

    Aug 6, 2009
    I bet you're hitting it right, but not enough topspin. To get that, get more racquethead velocity and knee bend to propel yourself up more and forward (I think).
  4. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation G.O.A.T.

    Oct 20, 2006
    Well, at least it's going in, right? That's certainly a good sign.

    As a student of the serve, the freaky difference for me in the feeling of hitting the kicker compared with the flat or slice serve can best be described as a throwing motion. While the flat or slice serve is much like throwing the racquet through the back of the ball, the kick motion feels like I'm throwing the racquet upward through the ball. The mismatch there is that I'm not trying to hit the ball upward - the motion doesn't seem to click with the flight of the ball. It's also the case that contact is made with the kicker before the racquet tops out, but the flat and slice deliveries work right when contact is up at comfortable full extension. BTW, I use more of an EBH grip for that kick serve, too.

    Since the kicker depends on some angular contact, that's going to steal some of the racquet's energy to make spin instead of linear velocity on the ball. The plain truth is that if you want both significant spin and decent velocity on your serve, you need more racquet speed. A righty needs to toss the ball a bit more to their left to typically get a good kick serve working, but it's essential to still toss the ball out in front enough to get a good drive through it from the ground up. Making more pace with a given motion means going for a little less spin.

    After you've hit both kickers and flatter serves, check to see where your feet are ending up. In both cases, your momentum ought to be taking you toward your target, not sideways. Some right-handers lose power on their kickers when they toss the ball more to the left and then fall over that way as they hit the ball. Easy fix.

    If you've only been landing this serve for a couple of days, be patient. It will take a while for the essentials of it to become more second nature to you. As the motion for the kicker becomes more ingrained, you'll probably gain an instinct for shading between your flat and kick serves with only mildly different tosses and grips. This definitely won't happen over just a long weekend, but each bucket of practice balls you hit will help to groove this serve and build more potential for you to use it well.
  5. prattle128

    prattle128 Semi-Pro

    May 17, 2009
    Portland, Oregon
    Not exactly.

    Look at how ZP's left leg lands in the court first. This is because that's just the most natural way to balance yourself (as a right handed player). Although, if you personally feel that coming through with your left leg landing first is most comfortable and beneficial, then do it, but it feels forced, then I would do what's natural and lead with your right leg.
  6. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

    Jul 13, 2004
    A little bit of practice advice that some will laugh at but give it a try. Get some balls and go outside the court area and stand maybe 6 or seven feet from the fence. From there, serve a bunch of balls over the fence onto the court trying to keep the ball around the service line. You'll quickly get the idea of hitting up and it will really help.
  7. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Oct 4, 2004
    I agree - I notice that (right-handed) players that follow through with the right leg tend to hit across the side of the ball and not up the back of ball, as need for a good kick serve. Also you need to keep your swing path parallel with the baseline, and pushing through with the right leg (if you are a righty) will work against this desired swing path.
  8. tennis angel

    tennis angel Guest

    Hitting over the fence is a great exercise to help you get the feel of hitting up on the serve and is good for all the serves, not just the kicker. It is a basic misconception that you should hit down on the serve, but many players do it on the first serve, thinking that they must direct the racket down to make the ball move downward into the court. The opposite is actually true. The more you hit up the more your ball will land in the box. Players who hit into the net on the first serve will automatically hit up on the second serve; they seem to instinctively know that to get the ball in they must hit up. I have seen this over and over. For the kicker the movement is like throwing a hammer (with a continental grip) and lead with the edge of your racket, opening it up at the very last second; for more kick toss the ball slightly behind your head, hit up and across the ball from left to right, with the back of your hand toward your ear pronating your arm and snapping your wrist outward (not downward), finishing across the body.
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 4, 2009
  9. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

    Jul 13, 2004
    Yeah, good stuff.

    I actually have some old racquets that I use in a field so that players can see/feel what you are talking about. Just the act of throwing the racquet helps.

    Another device I use is that I have a racquet with a long string. I have them stand on the base line (in a serving position) and I then stretch the string to the service box. Its funny to see how many are amazed at how far out of the box the end is when you stretch the string. Now gravity, player height, etc are factors but its a good exercise.

    On the fence thing. Most players think they can do this little drill without any problems until they try it - its fun to watch and instructive as well.

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