Kick Serve Progressions – Step 1 – Swing and Pronate
The first step of the kick serve progressions is to learn how to swing up at the tennis ball correctly. In the kick serve fundamentals section of the website, we said that you needed to swing up and across the tennis ball in order to generate both topspin and sidespin. However, we didn’t go into more detail about what direction you were swinging.
At 20 seconds into the video we focus on the tennis ball behind me. We’re going to pretend that the tennis ball is a clock. If you are right handed, you want to swing from approximately 7 o’clock to 1 o’clock across the tennis ball when hitting a kick serve. 8 o’clock to 2 o’clock works as well. The key is to swing diagonally across the ball in order to create topspin and sidespin.
At 50 seconds in the video I demonstrate a way you can visualize this motion. Hold a tennis ball in front of you, imagine the ball was a clock (visualize the numbers surround the ball), and then move your hand across the tennis ball from 7 to 1 o’clock.
If you are left handed, you’ll be swinging across the ball from 5 o’clock to 11 o’clock. However, the same concept applies: you want to be swinging up and across the tennis ball.
At 1:30 in the video we start discussing how to shadow the motion. To begin, choke up on the tennis racket handle. That will help you learn how to pronate properly. Starting at the service line with your hitting arm and racket in the “L” position, shadow the swing, pronate, and FREEZE right after you pronate.
Zooming in at 2:25 in the video on the swing, you’ll notice that when I pronate the tennis racket handle ends up on the side of my forearm. That’s key. Having the handle finish off to the side of your forearm ensures that you are pronating properly when shadowing the kick serve swing.
At 2:40 I demonstrate incorrect pronation. The tennis racket runs into my forearm.
At 2:50 in the video we apply a mirroring affect to my shadowing. This should help all you right handers out there understand how you should pronate – what the relationship between your forearm and tennis racket handle should end up looking like – during the swing.
At 3:10 in the video I start hitting the tennis ball. I start by framing the tennis ball. This helps me attack the ball with the side of my frame and might help you learn how to swing correctly.
At 3:50 I hit some tennis balls “for real.” Just like in the serve progressions section of the website, I start my hitting VERY softly. I’m trying to work the technique. Immediately after I hit and pronate, I freeze. There is no follow through.