How to Hit a Kick Serve

A kick serve delivers less power but more control. In other words, you can hit the tennis ball directly to the player’s weak point.  

However, hitting a kick serve is more challenging for a beginner as it requires plenty of practice to get it right. 

We’ll teach you how to hit a kick serve today!

5 Steps to Hit a Perfect Kick Serve

1. Learn How to Toss the Ball Properly 

You need to toss the ball a little further behind, holding the ball slightly longer, so you can produce the right spin. It works a lot like a topspin groundstroke.

Don’t throw a perceptible ball toss as it is a dead giveaway to the opposing player as to where you intend on hitting the ball and the serve you want to use. 

A kick serve also requires you to use the right grip to create topspin. Players often use a continental grip for a kick serve as it places your hand in the appropriate positioning to have the proper service motion. 

However, experienced tennis players use an eastern backhand grip to perform a good kick serve technique.

2. Get the Right Stance

You need to get into the right kick serve stance. Your shoulders should square to the tennis court as you stand behind the baseline. 

You need to stand sideways to the court with your shoulders in parallel to the baseline. Make sure that your body square enables you to put a spin into the ball. 

Your feet need to be 2 feet apart from behind the baseline. Adjust your rear foot to ensure it’s parallel to the baseline and roughly 2.5 feet behind the line.

The front foot is parallel to the baseline, which is about 2.5 feet behind the line. Therefore, your foot needs to be at a 45-degree angle with the toes pointing towards the tennis court.

Right kick serve stance

3. Let the Ball Fall at the Contact Point

You want to touch the ball on a kick serve while it’s still in motion, which is different from when performing a slice serve or a flat serve.

For right-handed players, toss the tennis ball to be on your left shoulder and behind the head. When the racket makes contact with the ball, it generates a left-to-right spin, making a good kick serve.

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4. Maintain Proper Balance

Ensure to keep a proper balance to prevent yourself from getting an injury, so mastering the right kick serve technique is essential. 

A kick serve requires you to toss the ball behind your head. In most kick serves, players attempt to hit a kick serve as they severely arch their body backward. 

After that, they twist themselves forward to hit the tennis ball, which places plenty of strain on the lower back. Doing these kick serves will eventually hurt your body. 


As the toss goes up, you bend the knees and bring your pelvis forward. It helps keep your balance in place as you won’t be leaning with your back while it bounces inside the service line, making it a great serve.

5. Finish Your Kick Serve

When you reach up to hit the kick serve, the upper body should uncoil towards the target. If you are unable to reach any higher, the racket goes typically forward. (1)

Your arm needs to be loose and enable it to naturally finish as it will help you get ready for the next shot.


You use the kick serve in the ad court when you are playing with a right-hander. When you’re at the ad side, it gives you a significant advantage against right-handers because of its high arc and force.

It’s different from other tennis serves because you don’t hit the ball at the peak.

Keep in mind that the racket swing path of a right-handed player and left-handed one is different. Therefore, the ball needs to be at shoulder height at the same side of your dominant arm.

You get power on a kick serve by loading up your front leg. The ball is right behind you, so you need your weight in balance between the legs, resulting in power and control.

Yes, you need a kick serve. The kick serve works best as a second serve because the high arcs have lower chances of error as it produces enough topspin. 

It reduces the probability of a double fault, making it a good choice as a second serve if you use the proper technique to create a topspin.

Key Takeaways on Hitting a Kick Serve

A kick serve in a tennis game gives you a high-bouncing topspin on the ball, giving you a strong play against players who have difficulty returning high balls, which makes it better than a flat serve in that scenario.

It’s a little different from other serves because of its high bounce. When you hit a kick serve, you brush back the ball using an upward motion, using the same speed as the first serve.

A kick serve in tennis is a topspin serve that’s hard to handle with the right technique as the ball bounces high. Depending on your swing path and hitting arm, it’s a fast serve that makes it into the opposite service box.



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