Specific kick serve problems.

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Ztalin, Jun 20, 2005.

  1. Ztalin

    Ztalin Guest

    I'm having some very frustrating problems with my kick serve. More often than not, the ball lands halfway up the net. I have no trouble generating spin, but it doesn't seem to have enough juice as always falls short. When I try to use more power and bend my elbow like I would on a first serve, I end up miss hitting on the graphite due to the different grip.

    Should I c ock (c ock is censored? wow) my wrist back and uncock on contact so that the ball doesn't hit the graphite so much? What can I do to generate power on the ball but still maintaining the spin and having it land in the service box? I am trying to swing up at the ball like I read in a different thread, but this serve is becoming very frustrating and usually ruins my time playing.

    Another thing that frustrated me to the point of giving up was my 1-handed backhand. My 1-handed backhand was pathetic and wasn't getting any better so I adopted a two-hander. I'm just having trouble keeping the ball low sometimes and hitting with enough power. Should I try to transfer my weight into the ball? It also seems fairly hard to generate a lot of topspin with a two hander. What are some tips for that?

  2. Kana Himezaki

    Kana Himezaki Semi-Pro

    May 18, 2005
    Cocking the wrist back won't help much, because that would generate more of entire wrist snap. What you're aiming for is the pronation, which comes naturally with a continental grip.

    The toss should be landing on top of your head or even behind, as a normal toss in front makes it almost impossible to brush up the ball. Arch your back, if it helps. Then just try to brush up and through the ball at the same time.

    If you're netting it, it's also possible you're aiming too low. Aim higher, it'll help. It'll also make the bounce naturally a bit higher, too. Remember while you're brushing up you also want to push through a bit, that should help with getting it over as well.

    As for giving up the 1HB, that's your choice. Personally, I actually used both on the court on the same time for a while, and now pretty much completely stick with a one hander. Yes, you definitely SHOULD try to transfer your weight into the ball. That should happen on all shots. Make sure you get a lot of trunk (shoulder/torso) rotation into the ball as well, that's absolutely necessary for two handers.

    Do a search on the forums for two handed backhands. I'd highly recommend looking for any posts on this by Bungalo Bill.
  3. Tennis Ball Hitter

    Tennis Ball Hitter Semi-Pro

    May 4, 2005
    mishits can possibly be solved by watching the ball. watch the ball go up from the hand and watch the racquet swing through the ball. My normal serve action does not do this, but when I do have trouble I make an effort to watch the ball.

    not sure what you mean about bending elbow, can't picture it.

    If you can not confidently do a kick serve then its very hard to change from a big flat first serve to a second serve kick serve [where you might also put yourself under more pressure]. I would say go the kick serve on both serves, when you get confident in executing the kick serve after a couple of service games, then bring back the big flat first serve.

    Also not sure about what you mean by wrist c ock, the kick on my serve comes from a big wrist flick, I could not do it with out a big wrist flick. Definietly swing up with your arm to get the kick.

    The pace on my serve comes from the legs/torso. I bend my knees and push into the court. I also arch my back so that I can "flick" my upper torso forward during ball impact. I think this is where the pace comes from.

    sorry no help with the 2HBH, my 2HBH is about as coordianted as my left handed serve. :)
  4. KickServer

    KickServer Rookie

    May 23, 2005
    I have a pretty massive kick that really really throws my opponent off. This is stuff you already know, but from my experience, I found that that holding inbetween the continental and eastern gives me the best kick. Toss should be above your head or a little behind for more spin. The ball should be a little forward (towards the net), which gives you more power on your serve. I try to keep my back relatively straight with a lot of knee bend. Try not to arch my back too much because doing a severe arch can put a heavy strain on your lower back. Another important thing is when you're springing towards the ball, keep your head and hitting elbow up. This usuallys drops your racquet down lower, giving you more racquet speed when you brush up against the ball. Unlike a regular serve, kickers will kick more they are hit while the ball is still in motion.

    I was frustrated at first when trying to develop that 1 handed bh, but it has paid off. It could become a serious weapon when you get comfortable with it. Learning both will give you more options. I switch back and forth depending on ball placement.

    To excute my 1 handed bh, I use an eastern backband grip, which provides good stability for the wrist, IMO. I found that it gives me good power and enough spin to bring the ball down. Low knee bend, contacting the ball in front of you more that if you were hitting a double bh, and follow through really to helps lowering your shots while giving you extra power.
  5. Thanatos

    Thanatos Semi-Pro

    Jul 22, 2004
    To execute a second serve kick:

    1. Hold the racket loosely at end of butt. Relaxing your arm, wirst, and shoulder.
    2. Slowly extend your arm before releasing the ball.
    3. Keep the left shoulder up as long as possible with the palm facing the sky.
    4. Ball toss should be high and graze the back of the head
    5. Drop the hip and spring upwards whipping through the ball.
    6. Make sure that see the ball hit the SWEET SPOT on your racket.
    This will help keep your head up.
  6. Richie Rich

    Richie Rich Legend

    Feb 24, 2004
    one good trick I learned many years ago:

    1)position yourself at the baseline where you would normally serve from
    2)kneel down on one knee (put a towel down or something first) facing the net
    3)serve a bucket of balls just using your arm, wrist snap, and pronation to brush up on the back of the ball

    this takes your lower body out of the equation and makes you focus on the brushing motion.

    when you feel comfortable with this then youcan start serving regularly. you'll notice a big improvement.
  7. Carley1986

    Carley1986 New User

    Jan 30, 2005
    Depending on what you mean by power. The pace of the ball or the deepness of the ball. If you want deepness then take kana's advice of aiming it higher so you get a loopy ball on your serve. But if you want to add pace, and you keep edging it, there should be a problem in your timing. To improve timing, you need more practice and keep watching the ball when you serve feel it and improve it. Maybe you can find some post by BungaloBill they are also helpful. Good luck :D
  8. Ztalin

    Ztalin Guest

    All right, I was just serving in my backyard and I guess I'll take a trip tomorrow morning to the courts alone and just work on my serve. I wasn't hitting through the ball like you guys told me, and all the ball had was spin.

    One more thing though. How can I get good topspin on a two handed backhand? I find that I can control topspin better if I use pronation and supination (left arm pronates, right arm supinates; I use my wrists on my two hander). Should I be doing this? I read in another thread that said you shouldn't use any wrist on a two-handed backhand. I don't really see why... it seems to be effective for power and spin for me.
  9. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

    Feb 18, 2004
    You're trying to hit it in, and it goes short.

    So try to hit it long. Too high, and too long. You'd be surprised how quickly spin brings that sucker back down.
  10. Grimjack

    Grimjack Banned

    Feb 18, 2004
    (Please note: the advice everyone else has given you is the correct advice, and the best for your long-term development. My advice above, while it won't make you any better in the long run, should fix the problem you're having while you work on improving your mechanics.)
  11. takeuchi

    takeuchi Rookie

    Nov 20, 2004
    Vancouver, BC
    the best option would be to tape yourself and post it to see if you have the proper technique.

    the thing that helped me most was learn the upward swing while the forearm pronates. at first i was basically trying to spin the ball up and as a result i was just arming it up, leading to spin but no pace and no height while landing into the net.
  12. Ztalin

    Ztalin Guest

    That is EXACTLY the problem. Pronation it is...
  13. Ztalin

    Ztalin Guest

    One last thing. How should you follow through with the kick serve? Thanks. I've read two different sites. One said to follow through like any other serve (across body), and another site said to follow through on the same side of the body. Which is it?
  14. takeuchi

    takeuchi Rookie

    Nov 20, 2004
    Vancouver, BC
    my followthrough is on the right side of my body but i don't think where ends up is THAT important.

    remember to pull your buttcap up to the sky so that your arm is fully extended, if you do that you should pronate naturally and concentrate on swinging up and not forward. when you swing up, your arm will slow down and the racket head will come over (pronation) with the necessary racket head speed.
  15. Ztalin

    Ztalin Guest

    All right I'ma set my alarm clock tomorrow morning and serve. Hopefully I can finally get this kick serve to work consistently. My motion seems very good except for the whole wrist ordeal.
  16. ZhangM58

    ZhangM58 Rookie

    Apr 2, 2005
    Maybe you are also having trouble on your toss. If you toss the ball too far behind your head, you end up brushing up on the ball only, instead of a combo of driving through and brushing. Hope this helped, good luck!
  17. MegacedU

    MegacedU Professional

    Dec 14, 2004
    Rhode Island
    Toss the ball higher and contact the ball between 12 and 1

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