Kick serve thoughts

BackhandDTL

Hall of Fame

So I tried tossing the ball a lot more left a few days ago on my second serve and noticed I was getting a lot more kick and margin. It’s a lot easier for me to hit the ball up and brush it up with this toss. Previously I had a toss right on top of my head which resulted it in a topspin/slice serve. Nice junk ball delivery that sometimes confused returners if it went in but much lower margin/safety. Too many DFs.

So is my current toss acceptable for a topspin serve or is it too extreme?

Also please critique my mechanics. Personally, I think I drop my tossing arm too early and I don’t stand on the balls of my feet despite bending my knees. Another user also previously pointed out that my landing is flawed.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Some say to swing out towards your right even more and shorten your follow thru more to your right.
But if it's kicking to the right and bouncing high, just keep practicing and it will naturally evolve.
 
It looks to me like you are not able to hit hard enough with that toss and a good player would just crush the return. Kudos for being able to make contact without framing it though. From that angle it is hard to tell what, but there has to be some other change that would make a more reasonable toss a more legit second serve.
 

Curious

Legend
Make sure you bend the knees to lean back instead of arching your back for injury prevention.
By the way how did you manage to toss the ball more to the left instead of straight up? A chronic issue for me.
 

BackhandDTL

Hall of Fame
It looks to me like you are not able to hit hard enough with that toss and a good player would just crush the return.
Yeah I don’t disagree. But when I was doing this, it was outdoors in 40-45 degrees with old practice balls. When I was doing the same thing indoors with newer balls it was more penetrating.


But yeah once I get the basics down I’m going to toss more forward eventually. Right now I’m just looking for margin and limiting double faults.
 

BackhandDTL

Hall of Fame
Make sure you bend the knees to lean back instead of arching your back for injury prevention.
By the way how did you manage to toss the ball more to the left instead of straight up? A chronic issue for me.
Out of all the moving parts of the serve, the toss is the only thing that comes somewhat naturally.

I use the ice cream cone method that Federer uses except my arm is a tad bent. This method works really well, I feel like I can toss anywhere.
 
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RickySpanish

New User
It's hard to critique the mechanics from that angle but the toss looks good to me. For me, my kick serve swing speed is just as fast or even faster than my first serve. The faster the racquet = more spin, more spin = better the margin of safety and also a more annoying kick. It took me a month or 2 of practice to get comfortable with a kick serve.
 
Yeah the viewing angle is crap. The toss was pretty much in line with the baseline. Not far out enough as you mentioned.
Don’t underestimate the way the leg drive coupled with the angle of your upper body/racquet caused by having thrown the ball out into the court helps keep you on top of the ball driving it down into the court. No DFs!
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Thread
Junior Twist Serve has a lot of information and videos on the kick serve.

Your foot looks as if it lands behind the base line. Not right.

Smartphone on ground camera angle is not good. Camera higher behind or on side. Camera off ground to show ball bounce and service box lines is always a plus.

Frame rate is too slow to show faster motions of the serve.

For a high level kick serve, the toss goes up and the server moves forward. Contact is often over the server's head. Take a video from the side to see forward motions on the kick serve.

Kick serve from side view. Notice there is forward motion between toss release and impact. If your foot lands behind the baseline there is probably little forward motion. For the kick serve, notice the racket head tilts closed at impact, about 15 degrees, unlike the slice and flat serves.

If you believed 'For a kick serve toss the ball over your head.' That instruction is misleading and it appears that some players have taken it literally.' See videos of the toss and movement of the head forward.
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Thread
Junior Twist Serve has a lot of information and videos on the kick serve.

Your foot looks as if it lands behind the base line. Not right.

Smartphone on ground camera angle is not good. Camera higher behind or on side. Camera off ground to show ball bounce and service box lines is always a plus.

Frame rate is too slow to show faster motions of the serve.

For a high level kick serve, the toss goes up and the server moves forward. Contact is often over the server's head. Take a video from the side to see forward motions on the kick serve.

Kick serve from side view. Notice there is forward motion between toss release and impact. If your foot lands behind the baseline there is probably little forward motion. For the kick serve, notice the racket head tilts closed at impact, about 15 degrees, unlike the slice and flat serves. .

If you believed 'For a kick serve toss the ball over your head.' That instruction is misleading and it appears that some players have taken it literally.' See videos of the toss and movement of the head forward.
Pretty sure the op is talking over the head left to right and not front to back. Though my best kickers have the toss over the head in both directions!
 

BackhandDTL

Hall of Fame
Pretty sure the op is talking over the head left to right and not front to back. Though my best kickers have the toss over the head in both directions!
Yep. I do indeed also need to toss more in front of my head.

Do you think its too extreme of a toss? I watch guys like Djokovic hit kick serves with the toss barely above their head and I’m completely confused

it would be so much easier to hit a kick serve with an easily traceable toss like that.

perhaps I’m not very good at hitting up on the ball.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Look carefully at all angles and positions. (It's a simple picture!) These are Toly composite pictures made from high speed videos. They are wonderful because it is hard to remember where things were a few frames ago. If you view from your central viewpoint during the serve and have only tennis terms to guide you, these same forum posts will go on for more decades. Time to move on. I'll bet all the posters & readers together can't post the significant angles in the Stosur pictures. All you have to do is see differences!


Frank Salazar serves pictures created by Toly from Fuzzy Yellow Balls high speed videos. I wish we had more rare overhead videos.
 
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So I tried tossing the ball a lot more left a few days ago on my second serve and noticed I was getting a lot more kick and margin. It’s a lot easier for me to hit the ball up and brush it up with this toss. Previously I had a toss right on top of my head which resulted it in a topspin/slice serve. Nice junk ball delivery that sometimes confused returners if it went in but much lower margin/safety. Too many DFs.

So is my current toss acceptable for a topspin serve or is it too extreme?

Also please critique my mechanics. Personally, I think I drop my tossing arm too early and I don’t stand on the balls of my feet despite bending my knees. Another user also previously pointed out that my landing is flawed.
Just a couple of other things I noticed. I think you would do yourself a favor if your “rocking back” was completely finished before you toss. It will help you get your toss more into the court if you are moving forward when tossing. Helps with power too.
Also, you look great when you get to the trophy position, but, while there, you drop both arms while bending the knees. I think it would help if the knee bend happened on the way to trophy position. The left arm should only be going down because the right shoulder is going up. Your right elbow drops as your left arm goes down. It makes you almost have to push your serve. It may be adjustments to compensate for the extreme toss causing you to do some of these things. I believe you may have posted serve video before and I tried to dig back several pages but couldn’t find it to see if the same things were present.
So, finish rocking back, then toss. Get the knee bend completed by trophy position. Don’t drop the left arm until you are ready to hit the ball. Good luck!
 

BackhandDTL

Hall of Fame
Just a couple of other things I noticed. I think you would do yourself a favor if your “rocking back” was completely finished before you toss. It will help you get your toss more into the court if you are moving forward when tossing. Helps with power too.
Also, you look great when you get to the trophy position, but, while there, you drop both arms while bending the knees. I think it would help if the knee bend happened on the way to trophy position. The left arm should only be going down because the right shoulder is going up. Your right elbow drops as your left arm goes down. It makes you almost have to push your serve. It may be adjustments to compensate for the extreme toss causing you to do some of these things. I believe you may have posted serve video before and I tried to dig back several pages but couldn’t find it to see if the same things were present.
So, finish rocking back, then toss. Get the knee bend completed by trophy position. Don’t drop the left arm until you are ready to hit the ball. Good luck!
Thanks for this! My mechanics are almost completely the same, so this applies to all my serves.
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
Look carefully at all angles and positions. (It's a simple picture!) These are Toly composite pictures made from high speed videos. They are wonderful because it is hard to remember where things were a few frames ago. If you view from your central viewpoint during the serve and have only tennis terms to guide you, these same forum posts will go on for more decades. Time to move on. I'll bet all the posters & readers together can't post the significant angles in the Stosur pictures. All you have to do is see differences!


Frank Salazar serves pictures created by Toly from Fuzzy Yellow Balls high speed videos. I wish we had more rare overhead videos.
Behind the head
 

mntlblok

Hall of Fame
Look carefully at all angles and positions. (It's a simple picture!) These are Toly composite pictures made from high speed videos. They are wonderful because it is hard to remember where things were a few frames ago. If you view from your central viewpoint during the serve and have only tennis terms to guide you, these same forum posts will go on for more decades. Time to move on. I'll bet all the posters & readers together can't post the significant angles in the Stosur pictures. All you have to do is see differences!


Frank Salazar serves pictures created by Toly from Fuzzy Yellow Balls high speed videos. I wish we had more rare overhead videos.
Did I hear that something happened to Toly??
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
@Chas Tennis
Did I hear that something happened to Toly??
Anatoly Antipin. What've you heard?

Not seeing anything from him on YouTube or Twitter since 2015. However, a search on Google Scholar reveals that he might have been involved in some studies in math & physics after that. But much more studies in 2015 and earlier. If I've got the right guy, he appears to be 81 right now. Good chance he's not as active as he was 5+ years ago


 
I think you have one of the very best kick serves I've ever seen on these pages other than ones by professional players. Just work on hitting wide to right handers backhands.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Behind the head
What is behind the head?

Toss release aim point for impact is well in front of the head at the time of toss release, head moves forward and impact is usually over the head as in the Salazar video or behind the head as may be observed in videos with camera on the side. Stosur's impact looks behind her head in that picture but that camera angle shrinks the dimension toward of away from the camera, so don't draw conclusions from it. Get a camera view square from the side of the ball trajectory to see head, ball, racket positions into the court. Same for OP serve.


Stosur is not alone in having her head on its side for the kick serve. I have seen some others using head (and chest) on side. I think most do not use head on side. Needs statistical study but confirming kick serves on the serves found on the internet is difficult. I can often confirm top spin or kick by the racket rise after impact and the tilt on the racket face. Rare to see the bounce to the side that I use to define a kick serve vs a top spin serve. Racket tilt at impact for the kick serve is not a widely known angle and it needs confirmation.
 
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Shroud

G.O.A.T.
What is behind the head?

Toss release is well in front of the head, head moves forward and impact is usually over the head as in the Salazar video or behind the head as may be observed in videos with camera on the side. Stosur's impact looks behind her head but that camera angle shrinks the dimension toward of away from the camera, so don't draw conclusions from it. Get a camera view square from the side of the ball trajectory to seen positions into the court. Same for OP serve.

The toss in that picture before. The ball is struck over the head. To the left of the head. Not talking about into the court. Op is tossing over his head.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
The toss in that picture before. The ball is struck over the head. To the left of the head. Not talking about into the court. Op is tossing over his head.
The toss release occurs earlier than impact. The head moves forward between the time of toss release and the time of impact. For poster videos, like the OP, I believe that some players use the ambiguous instruction 'For the kick serve, toss the ball over your head' and do not use high speed videos to see forward motions and positions.

The OP should get a video from the side to see these forward positions.

You can hit a kick serve without much forward motion and an internet serve instructor does that. I look at better ATP servers and Stosur as reference standards.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
@Chas Tennis

Anatoly Antipin. What've you heard?

Not seeing anything from him on YouTube or Twitter since 2015. However, a search on Google Scholar reveals that he might have been involved in some studies in math & physics after that. But much more studies in 2015 and earlier. If I've got the right guy, he appears to be 81 right now. Good chance he's not as active as he was 5+ years ago


Toly stopped posting a few years ago, 2015.

He was last viewing the forum. May, 2017.

Last year, I was deleting old emails and tried an old address. March 2019, I got a one sentence reply that he was still around.

His composite pictures of tennis strokes clearly show many things. Many threads can be answered with just one of his pictures or videos. Unfortunately, he used picture hosting websites for forum posts that were later discontinued or added subscription charges for hosting photos, so many pictures in posts don't work. Often the composite pictures that he created from videos are also in his videos. See Anatoly Antipin Youtube.

You should search his Youtube videos, posts and download his pictures.

Link to Toly's threads and posts.

Toly, please post again.
 
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mntlblok

Hall of Fame
@Chas Tennis

Anatoly Antipin. What've you heard?

Not seeing anything from him on YouTube or Twitter since 2015. However, a search on Google Scholar reveals that he might have been involved in some studies in math & physics after that. But much more studies in 2015 and earlier. If I've got the right guy, he appears to be 81 right now. Good chance he's not as active as he was 5+ years ago


Sounds like I just misconstrued something you said about him. Had no idea about his age. *Loved* the pics he posted like those, though. It shall always amaze me that there are folks who can make sense of that level of physics and math. Kinda hurts my feelings that I can't. :)
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Sounds like I just misconstrued something you said about him. Had no idea about his age. *Loved* the pics he posted like those, though. It shall always amaze me that there are folks who can make sense of that level of physics and math. Kinda hurts my feelings that I can't. :)
I asked about his technique for doing the composite pictures. I believe that he said that it involved Photoshop layering.
 

mntlblok

Hall of Fame
I asked about his technique for doing the composite pictures. I believe that he said that it involved Photoshop layering.
Have wasted untold hours on Photoshop but never got around to fiddling with layers. Now using something called Pixlr, but looks like it also offers layers. Maybe it's time for me to stick my toe in. :)
 

Shroud

G.O.A.T.
The toss release occurs earlier than impact. The head moves forward between the time of toss release and the time of impact. For poster videos, like the OP, I believe that some players use the ambiguous instruction 'For the kick serve, toss the ball over your head' and do not use high speed videos to see forward motions and positions.

The OP should get a video from the side to see these forward positions.

You can hit a kick serve without much forward motion and an internet serve instructor does that. I look at better ATP servers and Stosur as reference standards.
its left to right not front to back. The red line is behind the head. If you turn your body so the chest faces the side fence which is a MUST on the kicker the ball toss is now behind your head....Again there are 2 orientations, you are talking about into the court and I and the op are talking about left to right from the back view like in this pict


In both orientations Stossur is making contact behind the head. Albeit not so far when looking from the side. So maybe it should be make contact behind your head or Toss so that it will be behind where your head will end up at contact.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
Sounds like I just misconstrued something you said about him. Had no idea about his age. *Loved* the pics he posted like those, though. It shall always amaze me that there are folks who can make sense of that level of physics and math. Kinda hurts my feelings that I can't. :)
Toly provided a lot of great insight with his enhanced images and videos. Outstanding with his math & physics presentations but then he'd often come up with some oddball theories & conclusions on stroke mechanics and other aspects of tennis. He was often out of his element with biomechanics.

I often challenged him on those. His math & physics didn't really support some of those points he was trying to make. One example was his insistence that we should toss the ball, for the serve, with a bent elbow rather than the de facto standard straight arm.

He noticed that some of the top players employed an elbow bend during their tossing motion. He proposed that this was modern ball tossing -- the future of ball tossing.

He produced a rationale for the bent arm actions of one of those players. The problem was that his idea / theory really only worked for that one player & not for the others. There is quite a bit of variation with players who bend the tossing elbow during the toss. Some players with have a consistent bend (angle) for most or all of the tossing motion. Others will employ a variable bend -- a bend angle that changes during the course of the toss. Some players will start with a bent elbow and then straighten the arm during the toss. And others will start with a straight arm and bend it during the course of the toss.

Too much variation to come up with a solid theory or some sort of new tossing paradigm.
 
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mntlblok

Hall of Fame
Toly provided a lot of great insight with his enhanced images and videos. Outstanding with his math & physics presentations but then he'd often come up with some oddball theories & conclusions on stroke mechanics and other aspects of tennis. He was often out of his element with biomechanics.

I often challenged him on those. His math & physics didn't really support some of those points he was trying to make. One example was his insistence that we should toss the ball, for the serve, with a bent elbow rather than the de facto standard straight arm.

He notice that a handful of top players employed an elbow bend during their tossing motion. He proposed that this was modern ball tossing or the future of ball tossing.

He produced a rationale for the bent arm actions of one of those players. The problem was that his idea / theory really only worked for that one player & not for the others. There is quite a bit of variation with players who bend the tossing elbow during the toss. Some players with have a consistent bend (angle) for most or all of the tossing motion. Others will employ a variable bend -- a bend angle that changes during the course of the toss. Some players will start with a bent elbow and then straighten the arm during the toss. And others will start with a straight arm and bend it during the course of the toss.

Too much variation to come up with a solid theory or some sort of new tossing paradigm.
It's a fascinating subject. My wife and I got to be "ball-boys" for the Savannah Challenger tournament for many years. The last year that I worked it, I remember noticing that a surprising number of them were using a bent arm for the toss. I think I noticed it at the time because I had recently noticed that Nadal was using a bent elbow for his. Haven't looked at it since in any depth to see whether there were even any commonalities with them. Biomechanics is seriously tricky stuff.

Tried helping a friend with the tossing yips for a while, once, and finally had to conclude that it was a lost cause. Have had my own periodic issues with same. I don't wish it on anyone. :-( An odd fix - that has continued to work for months, now - was, oddly enough, loosening the grip on my *racquet* hand. :)
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
It's a fascinating subject. My wife and I got to be "ball-boys" for the Savannah Challenger tournament for many years. The last year that I worked it, I remember noticing that a surprising number of them were using a bent arm for the toss. I think I noticed it at the time because I had recently noticed that Nadal was using a bent elbow for his. Haven't looked at it since in any depth to see whether there were even any commonalities with them. Biomechanics is seriously tricky stuff.

Tried helping a friend with the tossing yips for a while, once, and finally had to conclude that it was a lost cause. Have had my own periodic issues with same. I don't wish it on anyone. :-( An odd fix - that has continued to work for months, now - was, oddly enough, loosening the grip on my *racquet* hand. :)
Oh yeah, had forgotten that Nadal has a rather unusual toss. He starts the tossing action rather high, like Roddick did. Close to chest height. Rafa employs a moderate elbow flexion whereas Andy's was pretty mild. Both straighten the elbow after release and actually go past vertical. Wondering if Rafa emulated Andy in this respect.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Toly provided a lot of great insight with his enhanced images and videos. Outstanding with his math & physics presentations but then he'd often come up with some oddball theories & conclusions on stroke mechanics and other aspects of tennis. He was often out of his element with biomechanics.

I often challenged him on those. His math & physics didn't really support some of those points he was trying to make. One example was his insistence that we should toss the ball, for the serve, with a bent elbow rather than the de facto standard straight arm.

He noticed that some of the top players employed an elbow bend during their tossing motion. He proposed that this was modern ball tossing -- the future of ball tossing.

He produced a rationale for the bent arm actions of one of those players. The problem was that his idea / theory really only worked for that one player & not for the others. There is quite a bit of variation with players who bend the tossing elbow during the toss. Some players with have a consistent bend (angle) for most or all of the tossing motion. Others will employ a variable bend -- a bend angle that changes during the course of the toss. Some players will start with a bent elbow and then straighten the arm during the toss. And others will start with a straight arm and bend it during the course of the toss.

Too much variation to come up with a solid theory or some sort of new tossing paradigm.
Toly has a special interest in things that varied from the usual. He would show these things with his composite pictures. He showed how very different the tosses could be by comparing Murray and Dolgopolov. One is tossing hardly forward and the other very forward. Look at the toss release locations and the toss trajectories!

Stop on one of the last few frames of each video and compare one above the other.
Toly's Thread

I have an interest because it seems as if the most used current techniques are so inadequately described, even with high speed videos. I'd like to understand and see videos of the techniques most used at the current time. If I come across things that are different great, but I don't look for rare differences as much as Toly often did.

I also avoid spending time on the toss and follow through because I believe players have options that do not make much difference to the biomechanics of the last, say, 50 millisecond before impact. I believe that the toss and follow through get too much attention in the forum because they are slow and everyone can observed them without high speed video. The biomechanics of the approach to the ball for the serve was missed by the tennis gurus that I was reading from the 70's to 2011. In 2011, I discovered internal shoulder rotation on this forum.

Toly has some very good analyses of strokes. His interest in variations is more than mine. For example, for the toss his one picture Murray & Dogopolov showed that tosses could be very different and still work. (tiny.pics is not supporting his pictures any longer, the source videos are above.) I believe that you should toss to where you want to impact the ball with your serve technique. Toss height has a huge effect on the serve that often changes the movement of the arm & racket through Trophy Position, sometimes the arm & racket -
1) moves through TP,
2) sometimes it pauses/stops at TP and
3) other times the arm goes directly to TP and stops and waits.
Those 3 modes are crystal clear in high speed videos and the timing correlates with toss height.
 
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So I tried tossing the ball a lot more left a few days ago on my second serve and noticed I was getting a lot more kick and margin. It’s a lot easier for me to hit the ball up and brush it up with this toss. Previously I had a toss right on top of my head which resulted it in a topspin/slice serve. Nice junk ball delivery that sometimes confused returners if it went in but much lower margin/safety. Too many DFs.

So is my current toss acceptable for a topspin serve or is it too extreme?

Also please critique my mechanics. Personally, I think I drop my tossing arm too early and I don’t stand on the balls of my feet despite bending my knees. Another user also previously pointed out that my landing is flawed.
Brushing up on the ball will help a lot. You get good action but not enough vertical drive. Partially will the height. If you can get the toss to stay in the air longer it'll allow your racket to come from under (6 o'clock) to upwards (12/1 o'clock).

Think of how top spin is created for a forehand. Same core principal applies. The racket needs to accelerate vertically as well as a "pronation" to the right for the true kick.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
@BackhandDTL one thing I'd bring to your attention, which may allow you to hit better kick serve without such at extreme ball toss. Check yourself approaching the ball compared to Thiem:


Notice the difference in angle between racquet shaft and forearm. In your case, to get good racquet tilt to the left and upward swing you need to lean so much backwards with your body and your arm. Now how you do it more like Thiem? Well, just relax your grip and wrist starting the motion. For initial feel acquisition let your racquet literally dangle in your hand. Let it get closer to 90 deg angle with forearm comig off of the drop and let it rapidly accelerate approaching the ball. Pull/push the handle, don't focus on making RH brush up - it has no other route from position you see here:
 

BackhandDTL

Hall of Fame
@BackhandDTL one thing I'd bring to your attention, which may allow you to hit better kick serve without such at extreme ball toss. Check yourself approaching the ball compared to Thiem:


Notice the difference in angle between racquet shaft and forearm. In your case, to get good racquet tilt to the left and upward swing you need to lean so much backwards with your body and your arm. Now how you do it more like Thiem? Well, just relax your grip and wrist starting the motion. For initial feel acquisition let your racquet literally dangle in your hand. Let it get closer to 90 deg angle with forearm comig off of the drop and let it rapidly accelerate approaching the ball. Pull/push the handle, don't focus on making RH brush up - it has no other route from position you see here:
Ahh ok. This kind of clicks.

So the racket just has to be more perpendicular to the forearm and this forces it to accelerate up and through the ball.
Correct?

Will try this out in my next session and will let you know. Seems easier to visualize and execute now.

I’ve also shifted the grip a bit towards Eastern Backhand while tossing it above my head instead of using continental and tossing behind my head. I can see the ball better this way and don’t have to arch my back.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
So the racket just has to be more perpendicular to the forearm and this forces it to accelerate up and through the ball.
Correct?
Generally yes, experiment with this. Just don’t do it by using more of “hammer” grip - it should come from wrist some degree of looseness, so that it both gets close to perpendicular while pulled from trophy, and pivots freely up through contact.
 

BackhandDTL

Hall of Fame
Generally yes, experiment with this. Just don’t do it by using more of “hammer” grip - it should come from wrist some degree of looseness, so that it both gets close to perpendicular while pulled from trophy, and pivots freely up through contact.
Makes sense, thanks! Yeah not using a hammer grip, more of a pistol grip with heel pad on 1 and index knuckle on 1.5.

I’ve also noticed that sometimes during match play my grip slips to a weak continental. I’ve used my middle finger to hold down my thumb when I hold the grip and this prevents any slip.

this creates more spin potential for me, even with a conservative 11:30/12 o clock toss.
 

BackhandDTL

Hall of Fame
@Dragy

I found out indeed that I was slipping grips, on all serves pretty much.

I was holding down my thumb with one of my fingers when I was holding my serve grip and, I was only able to hit a slow steep slice or a top slice.

For a kick I didn’t even feel like I was brushing up. I tossed above my head and tried to hit through the ball and swing fast and I would get a kick.

now my first serves are slow as balls but I don’t really double fault anymore atleast

thoughts on what I should work on next to get pace?
 
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Dragy

Hall of Fame
@Dragy

I found out indeed that I was slipping grips, on all serves pretty much.

I was holding down my thumb with one of my fingers when I was holding my serve grip and, I was only able to hit a slow steep slice or a top slice.

For a kick I didn’t even feel like I was brushing up. I tossed above my head and tried to hit through the ball and swing fast and I would get a kick.

now my first serves are slow as balls but I don’t really double fault anymore atleast

thoughts on what I should work on next to get pace?
I thought you've been after improving your kick serve :-D

Have video of first serves?
 

BackhandDTL

Hall of Fame
I thought you've been after improving your kick serve :-D

Have video of first serves?
Well the issue is I couldn’t improve my kick serve for years because I wasn’t staying on my grip.

If I grip the racket while holding down my thumb, my grip never shifts so getting spin is cake for now.

if I toss the ball around 12 and grip it slightly closer to bevel 1 without even focusing on the brushing motion, I get a natural heavy topspin slice, so I guess I have a second serve to work with now LOL:-D

But now I don’t have a flat serve.

My first serve looks exactly the same motion wise in the video except I toss at 11 and I don’t arch my back. I can take a video next session for sure tho lol.
 
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Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
I thought you've been after improving your kick serve :-D

Have video of first serves?
Do you have a clear high speed video that shows the arm motions, racket motion and impact for the high level kick serve?

Do you believe that the racket should be tilted closed about 12-15 degrees just before impact for the kick serve?

There are many threads on kick serves and posting clear high speed videos might move them along in the right direction.
 

BackhandDTL

Hall of Fame
Do you have a clear high speed video that shows the arm motions, racket motion and impact for the high level kick serve?

Do you believe that the racket should be tilted closed about 12-15 degrees just before impact for the kick serve?
Sorry man. I can’t think of tennis with all the degrees stuff.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
Sorry man. I can’t think of tennis with all the degrees stuff.
No angles.

To single frame on Youtube use the period & comma keys. To select the video, always use alt + left mouse click, otherwise the video starts playing and that is annoying.
To single frame on Vimeo, hold down the SHIFT KEY and use the ARROW KEYS.

Go back and forth switching between the videos, comparing single frames from similar racket positions.

I like high speed videos because I practiced serving on and off for 35 years using my own observations, interest and some reference books. Then I learned, on a forum thread here, that everything I thought was incorrect and had been completely misleading. I hate to see that happening.............. It even turned out that the tennis researchers missed it in high speed films until 1995! The Tennis Serve Nuthouse.
 
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Dragy

Hall of Fame
Oh sorry...I meant 1 o clock!!!

a pretty heavy slice with some topspin. I think it would be a nice 2nd serve for me on the deuce side but it’s a bit too slow.
Ah ok... I suggest trying 2 things:
- Hit with basically same swing, but get a bit of space "before" the ball, so that your arm and racquet can rotate more before contact opening up towards the ball. If you start hitting into the net - push yourself more forward and swing up steeper.
- Work a bit on what they call "full pronation" - particularly focus on reaching past-contact extension of this kind (high, before dropping into follow-through):
 
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