Keys to the Kick Serve (DVD)

Features and Benefits

Discover the three keys to an effective kick serve and learn how to teach them to players of all ages.

  • Create height, direction and spin sound to get the ball to fall into the serving box
  • Learn how to angle the kick serve to force opponents away from the center of the court and set them up for a surprise serve
  • Watch Coach Lewit teach a young player with no kick serve experience, as well as players who are more conditioned to see how to instruct various types of athletes

Chris Lewit, certified USTA High Performance Coach, presents a video packed with skills and drills designed to help athletes learn the difficult kick serve. Coach Lewit's three keys to a successful kick serve are the angle, height and spin sound generated by the player. Through a series of three individual lessons, you'll see how Coach Lewit teaches this technique to his athletes, transitioning from a beginning-level player who's never done a kick serve before, to an experienced player that only needs to fine tune the details.

Lesson 1: Starting the Kick Serve

For a beginning player, Coach Lewit begins by moving the athlete closer to the net for the Mini Tennis Serve drill. One of the first points instructed is the importance of tossing the ball slightly to the left (for a right hander), which will put it into the correct spot needed for solid contact.

A challenge for beginning kick servers is learning not to slice. Spin should be put on the ball, but it should be primarily downward, not to the side. Key aspects of the serve include extending the triceps on contact, turning the shoulders and keeping an exaggerated sideways position. Coach Lewit believes that if the player is struggling with the full motion, then breaking the serve down into different steps can help them learn more effectively.

Lesson 2: Technique

Once players have graduated from the beginning phase, then you can begin to teach them more advanced techniques. In this lesson, Coach Lewit teaches an athlete how to add more height to the serve by changing the racket face angle and pushing up more on the contact with the ball. He also goes over how staying sideways can help create the proper angle and maximize spin.

Keeping the lower back straight when executing the kick serve is necessary to prevent a stress injury. Coach Lewit explains how to keep the lower back straight while bending the neck and pushing out the chest to create a slight curve in the upper back. The resulting body position is perfect for players as they execute the kick serve.

Lesson 3: Fine Tuning the Serve

The final phase of the kick serve is working on the small details that can be the difference between a good and great serve. In this lesson, Coach Lewit reinforces keeping an L-shape with the elbow on the toss in addition to keeping the head up on the serve. When athletes are consistently hitting good kick serves, Coach Lewit has them begin to work on a "surprise serve" to break out when their opponent begins to cheat too far to one side.