Things to Consider in Hitting Spin with your Serve

  1. Hit with topspin to force your opponent to hit the ball up and out of his/her strike zone. Use topspin for your second serve. Topspin allows for higher net clearance and margin for error.
  2. Hit with slice to jam your opponent for serves hit at the body or to pull your opponent off the court for serves hit to the outside target (target zone).
  3. Hit a flat serve for power (which is particularly effective for serves hit to the middle target or target zone).
  4. Use a hybrid slice/topspin serve as your main “bread and butter”, meat and mashed potatoes”, fish and chips”, “rice and beans” serve for all occasions.
  5. Hit a “kick” serve to “really screw up” your opponent and send him/her “shopping for food”.
  6. Vary the spin of your serve to disguise intent and disrupt the rhythm of your opponent.
  7. Accelerate the racquet head (generate more racquet head speed) to successfully hit with more spin. Incorporate all body components in a kinetic chain to maximize torque, momentum and racquet head speed. Components include bend and drive with legs, rotation of hips and shoulders and bend and extension of elbow. Maintain a relaxed (continental) grip through your service motion to create snap and acceleration of the racquet head.
  8. To impart slice on the ball, toss the ball more to the right (at one or two o’clock) and brush across the ball (on a vertical axis) from left to right. Left handed players should toss the ball more to the left and brush across the ball from right to left. Remember to accelerate the racquet head to generate more spin. The pros can generate ball rotation on their spin serves in speeds (much like a milkshake blender) of more than 4,500 revolutions per minute (rpm’s).
  9. To hit with topspin, toss the ball slightly overhead. Following a more horizontal (rather than vertical axis), brush up to the sky and then to right if you are right handed (or to the left if you are left handed). Using a non food analogy, simulate the action required to throw a dart straight up in the air to stick in your ceiling. Maintain a more sideways position. Make an effort to not rotate the hips and shoulders too soon. Likewise, hold the elbow back longer on the swing. Lead more with the racquet rather than the elbow.
  10. To hit a “true” kick serve, follow the same considerations noted above in number 9 (in reference to hitting topspin). Focus on hitting the inside and back side of the ball in the brushing up action.

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