How To Master The Kick Serve
If you want to learn how to master the kick serve, you’ve come to the right place. Many committed players to mastering the kick serve find that they are able to get more topspin on the ball. However it is only at the expense of the accuracy and consistency of their serve. Hence, they often end up hitting the ball straight into the net.
If you find that you’re struggling with these same types of mistakes on your kick serve, continue to read on. You’ll discover great drills and tips to fix your accuracy issues, and learn how to hit a good kick serve.
Kick Serve Toss
As a righty, you should get the toss more to the left for creating massive spin on the kick serve. On the other hand, you’ll toss more to the right and a left-hand player. However, the more the toss moves to the left, the more you have to hit up on the ball.
This may seem strange as the ball is already so high. But you have to exaggerate hitting the ball higher over the net to clear the need. Therefore, you can generate the amount of topspin that you want. If you want to discover how to master the kick serve, hitting up on the ball is key.
Thus, it may also help to move the toss back behind you a bit more. In other words, don’t toss the ball so far in front. If you are leaning too far forward, or even falling forward at contact, it could cause you to hit the ball into the net.
Here’s a detailed video where I demonstrate the perfect toss to easily hit a kick serve.
Watch from 4:20 to 6:19.
Make sure to really visualize your targets when you’re serving. Don’t just picture a spot in the box where you want to hit the ball. Instead, I recommend visualizing an arc that the ball will follow over the net.
See the ball travel up high over the net with lots of clearance, before diving down and bouncing where you want. If you focus on your shot path being high over the net, it will greatly help reduce your mistakes in the net.
Kick Serve Drill
I know this drill might sound a bit gross. Nevertheless, the “dirty diaper” drill is very effective at teaching you how to hit up on the ball properly. This is a vital aspect of learning how to master the kick serve.
Perform the drill from your knees; thus, you have to hit directly up on the ball to get it over the net. Choke up on your racquet, toss the ball where you would for a kick serve, and swing up at the bottom of the ball. Likewise, you can experiment with tossing the ball a bit more behind you.
From there, finish with your arm bent on the same side of the body that you made contact. Your racquet tip will point down, arms bent and strings that hit the ball should be facing you. In other words, at your finish, you should be holding your racquet just like you’d hold a dirty diaper.
The Over the Fence Drill
Another great drill for learning to hit upon the ball is called the “hit over the fence” drill. Stand one to two feet from the back and try to pop the ball over the fence. You really have to hit upon the ball to get it over the fence.
The acute angle you have to hit upon the ball will make it difficult to clear the fence. Consequently, it will force you to exaggerate this upward motion. Remember to use the correct kick serve ball toss (to the left and back behind the body for a right).
Move closer and closer to the fence seeing if you can still get the ball over the fence. Once you’ve practiced it consistently, return to the baseline and watch how much easier it is to clear the net.
If you put these powerful serve drills and tips into practice, you’ll eliminate your accuracy and consistency error. Moreover, your kick serve will soon become a weapon in your game and enable you to win more tennis matches.
By Jeff Salzenstein, Founder Tennis Evolution
Jeff is a former top 100 ATP player and USTA high-performance coach committed to helping players and coaches all over the world improve.
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