Tennis Serve: Kick Serve vs. Flat Serve Pronation
Pronation is one of the most misunderstood concepts of the tennis serve among tennis players and coaches at all levels.
I’ve often get asked, should I focus on pronation on my flatter first serve and on my kick serve?
Well, that’s an excellent question and I’ll break it down for you today.
I’m going to explain the difference in pronation between the flat serve and kick serve, so that you can understand how pronation actually works and what you should focus on.
I’m sure that after you finish reading this article, you’ll probably look at pronation in a different way.
If you master pronation on the tennis serve, you’ll be able to hit a kick serve easily and level up your entire tennis game.
Let’s get started.
Flat Serve Pronation
I had excessive pronation on my flat serve because I had great technique, which allowed me to develop one of the best serves on the pro tour. On the flat serve, you’ll pronate more as you’ll have your arm going out more towards the target.
In fact, the strings will be facing away from you at the end of your swing. This will come from the shoulder rotating at the right moment.
Kick Serve Pronation
Now, let me explain pronation on the kick serve. First, you’ll not have as much pronation on this type of serve as you do in your flat serve.
The strings will face in a different direction at the finish. Your arm will bend more and stay to the side of the body with the strings facing towards the back fence at the point of pronation.
If you have a great stance, first move, toss, trophy position, racquet drop, and swing path, pronation just happens naturally. You’ll not need to think about it as you hit your tennis serve.
This is a concept that I often emphasize to my students. I don’t think that you need to focus on pronation, instead focus on building solid fundamentals on all the core elements of the tennis serve mentioned above.
I focus on getting the toss in the right place, making sure my technique is solid, having the proper finish at the end, and relaxing my hand. When you do that, you’ll be able to pronate properly on both flat and kick serves.
Finally, I’ll give you a powerful bonus tip. Make sure to perform shoulder strengthening exercises with a resistance band to be able to decelerate the racquet and reduce the chances of getting injured.
I hope you enjoyed today’s article on pronation and the comparison between the flatter first serve and the kick serve.
I’m committed and passionate about helping tennis players worldwide to develop their serves into a weapon, so that they can have more fun on the court and 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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