Training Fundamentals - (part 2) Working on the Technique of Your Second Serve (Kick/Top Spin Serve), by Mariano Peinado

Last newsletter we started with the progressions of different strokes, teaching you the fundamentals so you can learn the different stroke mechanics in a simple and concise way. When you simplify the techniques and mechanics you will quickly see your progression taking place.

Objective: Once that you start feeling the feel with the topspin (kick) and you are familiar with the movement of the racquet to cover the ball, you must then coordinate and synchronize both arms with the racquet, as well as the tossing motion. In today's modern game most of the players use the same ball toss to hit all types of serves (flat, slice and kick) to avoid the opponent reading and anticipating their serve selection. The trick is to use efficiently the wrist and the racquet head to disguise the serve.

Description: Stand on the service line from the normal service ready position. As soon as you feel the spin and the motion, move to the baseline and start serving from there. Start moving the racquet as soon as you start the tossing motion. Make sure the strings are facing down as you are moving the racquet back and up toward your head while keeping the arm nice and relaxed. The racquet needs to drop behind your head and then start the upward swing with your entire body.

Remember what all the pros have in common:

1 - Coil with the shoulder turn at the beginning of the motion.

2 - Bend your knees.

3 - Start uncoiling with the upward motion as the racquet reaches to the ball on edge.

4 - Pronate by turning the forearm.

5 - Move the face of the racquet upward, forward and toward the right to hit the ball.

When you contact the ball, the face of the racquet is still slightly open and you must feel it. Once you make impact with the ball, you must freeze holding the hand up. Remember, you must use a continental grip to execute this drill properly.

You must start the stroke very slowly, focusing on the fundamentals we have covered above and controlling the coordination with the toss and upper body rotation (coiling motion). You can first do this drill against the fence to avoid having to pick up the balls, and this will also help you to focus solely on the fundamentals and technique, rather than where the ball is going. Once you become comfortable with the technique, start with the same drill from the service line.

In the next issue, I will demonstrate the last drill that I personally recommend to develop a great kick 2nd serve.