It is crucial on your tennis kick serve that you keep your toss just slightly to the right of 12:00 (Lefties would keep the tennis kick serve toss on the left side of 12:00) When you line up at the baseline for your tennis kick serve imagine a clock where you are the center with 12:00 being out in front towards the net, 3:00 being directly to your right, 6:00 behind you towards the backdrop and 9:00 to your left. Vic Braden showed many years ago how the effects of a toss that is too far behind your head will lead to injury and inevitably a short tennis career.
On your Flat/Slice tennis serve you will be tossing out at 1:00 and into the court. You should feel like your toss is pulling you into the court. For the tennis kick serve your toss will come back towards the baseline and slightly to the left. Bringing your kick serve toss back towards the baseline will allow you to more effectively hit UP on the ball to create a very effective kick serve that kicks up above your opponents shoulders and in turn will create short balls for you!
If you were to draw that same clock on a tennis ball (go ahead I will wait while you go find a tennis ball and draw on it), on your kick serve you should focus on brushing up the back of the ball (similar to a heavy topspin forehand) from7:00 UP through 1:00. This will create the desired height and spin needed for an effective tennis kick serve.
As you brush up the back of the ball from 7-11 on your tennis kick serve there are a few key concepts you should be focusing on.
1. You should feel yourself rising through your kick serve like you are climbing a ladder (and not pulling that ladder to the ground).
2. After you aggressively brush up the back side of the tennis ball on your kick serve you will now pronate out and your swing and follow through will be in the direction of the baseline or parallel with the baseline.
Finally it is important that we understand that to get the maximum amount of kick on your tennis kick serve you must focus on height over the net. Spin is absolutely needed to bring the ball back down inside the service box on your kick serve, but without height it will never have that kick the kick serve is famous for. To understand this part of the kick serve better it is as simple as drop hitting a ball over the net. If you drop hit a ball over the net fairly low how hight does it kick off the court on the first bounce? What if you hit a 5 feet higher? Will this bounce higher that your first attempt? Absolutely! This should give you a clear understanding of why a tennis kick serve is called a KICK serve :)
Let us know how the kick serve video worked for your. Go out hit wayyy up the backside of the ball and watch your kick serve bounce higher than you ever imagined!! See you at the courts!
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