How to Return a Kick Serve (Simple Guide)

Are you looking to improve your kick serve return?

We’re going to walk you through every step so you can start hitting better kick serve returns, which will improve your game and get you winning more matches!

Let’s take a look at how to hit the perfect kick serve return in tennis!

Why is it Important to Learn How to Return a Kick Serve?

In tennis, it is often said that the serve and return are the two most important shots you can play. At the end of the day, these two shots start every point, so whilst hitting forehands and backhands is important, if you can’t get your serve or return in the court, they’re pointless!

With this in mind, it is important to understand how to return serve effectively, as the return is actually one of the most difficult shots in tennis! Timing, anticipation, footwork and good hands are all needed to control your return of serve effectively.

Returning the kick serve is particularly important, as the ball will be coming at you at a very different trajectory than a fast, flat first serve or a low, skidding slice serve. What’s more, most players will hit their kick serve as their second serve, so chances are you’ll have the opportunity to get on top of the ball and dominate the point straight away when returning a kick serve.

How to Hit the Perfect Kick Serve Return in Tennis

There are a few steps to consider when you are looking to perfect your kick serve return. It isn’t just about stepping in and trying to slap a winner immediately!

Step 1: Look at’s Return Of Serve Course

The most effective, quickest and easiest course of action you can take to improve your kick serve return is to check out our Return of Serve online course. This is your one stop shop to improve your return in general, but there will also be tip that can help improve your kick serve return!

Inside the course, you’ll find expert tuition from our resident ex ATP professional turned master performance coach, Dave Ireland. Dave has a wealth of knowledge and wants to help you improve your second serve return!

Of course, there is no substitute for getting out onto the tennis court and practicing yourself. But, doing this without the proper guidance or instructions can actually reinforce bad habits and leave you stuck wondering what to do!

So, give our Return of Serve Online Course a try today and see yourself improve even faster!

Step 2: Focus on Positioning

The next step to improving your kick serve return is to try and understand your positioning on the court a bit better.

Returning a high bouncing kick serve is not necessarily the easiest thing to do. Whilst the ball will sit up high, ready for you to hit with power, you also have to remember that the ball will be aggressively spinning into you with more pace than you might think.

Therefore, once you’ve got your eye in and you have an idea of how fast your opponent’s kick serve will be coming, you need to decide whether to take the ball early, or sit back and take a big swing from a deep court position.

Taking the ball early will mean you’ll need a very short backswing, almost like a block or volley type technique. This will help you time the ball more easily and take time away from your opponent by using their own pace against them.

Stepping back and taking a bigger swing at the ball will give you more time, but because you are further back in the court, you should definitely aim higher over the net. The objective of this shot is to push your opponent back behind the baseline and dominate a shorter reply to take control of the point.

Step 3: Shorten Your Swings

A basic but very important thing to remember when you are returning a kick serve is to shorten your swings!

There will be a big temptation to take a big cut at the ball, simply because it is slower and higher. But, this is a big mistake that we see players make all the time! You still need to hit the kick serve return with a shorter backswing and think about using your legs and body position to get inside the court, rather than having a longer swing.

This way you can still add a bit of power to your kick serve return, whilst also being consistent!

Step 4: Think About the Spin Direction

Finally, a slightly more technical point to consider when you are returning a kick serve is to think about where the ball is going to spin after it has bounced. Bear in mind that for a right handed player, a kick serve will normally be hit to the left hand side of the service box (tee on the deuce side, wide on the advantage side). And of course, the opposite will be true for a left handed player.

But, as well as the positioning of the serve in the box, you should also think about the fact that the ball will be spinning up and away from you after it has bounced. Therefore, giving yourself a bit more space to swing outside of your body will help you anticipate your contact point more effectively and give you a better chance to make clean contact!

Once You’ve Mastered the Kick Serve Return It’s Time to Improve the Slice Serve Return

Once you’ve taken care of your kick serve return, the next area to improve on is your slice serve return! We cover all of this in our Return of Serve course, so it is well worth checking out!

Simple Guide to Hitting the Kick Serve Return

Overall, learning how to improve your kick serve return will definitely improve your game and help you win more tennis matches! The return of serve is a fundamental area of tennis that is not practiced enough, so having a solid second serve return will help you stand out from the crowd.

There are a few steps to consider when you are looking to improve your second serve return, including shortening your backswings, deciding on your return position early and trying to read the spin of your opponent’s serve.

All of this and more can be learned in our comprehensive Return of Serve course, so what are you waiting for, check it out today!

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