How to Hit a Second Serve in Tennis (That Gets You in the Point)

The serve and return are arguably the most important shots in tennis. This forms the foundation to matchplay, as they start the point on both ends of the court. The serve is an incredibly important weapon to master, as it is actually the only shot in tennis that we can fully control.

However, whilst the first serve is used as a big weapon by many players, the second serve is really where matches are won and lost. Sure, it's great to have a huge first serve that can win you free points. This is certainly a useful weapon that can get you out of trouble. But, the effectiveness of your second serve, particularly under pressure, is what will really make the difference.

Why is it Important to Learn How to Hit a Good Second Serve? 

The second serve is effectively a tennis player’s safety net. It gives you peace of mind that going big on the first serve is okay, since you have a strong, reliable second serve to back it up.

There are many different levels of progression with a second serve, and of course the first step is finding a dependable technique that works for you. Adding spin, disguise and variation all help make the second serve more of a weapon than a weakness, but developing these elements effectively comes with time and practice.

Fundamentally, possessing a second serve that is reliable brings you a great sense of calm on the tennis court. So many recreational players struggle with consistency on their second serve, and frankly it can ruin the playing experience altogether.

The anxiety of missing that first serve and stepping up to the baseline, worried about whether you’ll hit a double fault or not can be a real confidence killer.

The good news is, we are here to help! Learning how to hit a second serve that gets you in the point is not as difficult as you may think. It will require some practice, but when you know the fundamentals and the feeling you’re looking for, it can be done by anyone!

So, if you are looking to turn your second serve into a topspin weapon that will shock your opponents, take a look at our Kick Serve Buckaroo Course.

For more free content on how to improve your serve, check out the following:

How to Hit a Second Serve in Tennis

So, we have covered how important it is to develop a solid second serve in tennis that gets you in the point. It can give you a big confidence boost on the court and help improve your overall consistency, win more points and ultimately more tennis matches! Now, let’s take a closer look at a step by step approach to improving your second serve.


Step 1: Look at Dave’s Kick Serve Buckaroo Course

Using an online resource such as our Kick Serve Buckaroo Course can save you both time and money out there on the tennis court itself.

We have put our heads together and developed a step by step formula that will help you fast track your second serve improvement from the comfort of your own home! Learning not only the fundamental techniques, but more importantly how to apply them to your current serve will ensure that no matter what your level of experience is, progress can be made!

The course focuses on the kick (or topspin) serve. This is the most tried and tested form of second serve that is used by thousands of tennis professionals world wide. It is based on the same principles as the heavy forehand, relying on the proper grip, sound technique and using your body effectively to produce as much racket head speed as possible.

The kick serve is a shot that many recreational players struggle with however. This is primarily because in order to hit it effectively, you need to step out of your comfort zone. When a match is tight and you need to rely on your second serve to get you in the point, most players with limited match experience will tighten up.

This often causes the racket to slow down and this actually makes it harder to hit that all important topspin that is the hidden secret to a great second serve. Not only will we teach you how to hit the kick serve properly, but also how to trust the process and use this new weapon under pressure.

So, if you are looking to take on the kick serve and keep your opponents guessing, check out our Kick Serve Buckaroo Course today!

Step 2: Feel the Spin

The first step towards developing a great kick serve is to actually get used to hitting spin on your serve in the first place. Many recreational players simply aren’t used to hitting a lot of spin on their servers period. It is therefore a big jump to expect them to learn how to hit insane levels of topspin and use their legs to drive up to the ball as they have only ever hit flat serves in the past.

In exactly the same way as learning how to hit topspin on the forehand or the backhand, getting used to that feeling of brushing the ball to impart spin is the first step on the path to kick serve domination!

If you are more accustomed to hitting the ball flat on your serve, you’ll most likely hit with more power on your first serve, then slow your racket down to make sure you get your second serve in. However, when you start to hit with spin (whether it be slice, topspin or somewhere in between), you’ll need to cut across the ball and hit with more power. You’ll hear more of a wispy sound and less of a thud when you contact the ball, which is from the strings brushing the ball as opposed to contacting it square.

Practice brushing the ball and hitting up, from low to high. Do this from the service line and don’t worry too much about how fast the ball is actually going. The second serve is naturally slower than the first serve, due to the added spin, not because you slow the racket head speed down.

To learn more about adding different types of spin to your serve, check this out:

Step 3: Turn your Body

Once you have added some spin to your serve, you next need to increase your unit turn. This will add both disguise and power to the serve, but turning your back more towards your opponent and adding more rotational force to your service motion.

Your non hitting shoulder should be facing your opponent as you throw up the ball. This increased coiling of the body will help add a lot more power and spin to your serve, as well as helping you get underneath the ball. This will in turn make it easier to hit up and brush the ball with all that topspin!

Step 4: Add Racket Head Speed

The next step towards mastering the kick second serve is adding more racket head speed. This is arguably the most difficult part of improving your second serve. Not because it is particularly technical, but because it requires breaking down those mental barriers and preconceived ideas of hitting the second serve slowly.

Once you have got that feeling of spin locked in, and have the ability to coordinate turning your body with striking the ball, adding racket head speed is the real accelerator. This will show off your results and ensure you get the ball travelling higher over the net for more margin, but will also get the ball kicking up at your opponent after it bounces.

Start off again at the service line and even use an abbreviated service motion to just force on getting that wrist acceleration going. This will help when you then move back to the baseline, giving you more confidence to go for the kick serve and produce as much spin as possible.

Step 5: Repetition

Finally, the purposeful practice and repetition of these skills will help reinforce your good habits and make your second serve a force to contend with. If you are struggling with consistency, simply revisit the steps above and perform them from further up the court. This makes it easier to get the ball in as there is less distance for it to travel, helping to build up your confidence.

Practice doesn’t always make perfect, but it does make permanent!

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

Now that you’ve mastered the second serve, the next step to improving your game is to improve your returns.

Being able to make balls when you are under pressure from a big serve can go a long way to knocking their confidence and get you in the point, time after time. The ability to read a serve, react quickly and produce a solid return is an incredibly difficult skill to develop, but one that will serve you well in match play situations.

Ready To Supercharge Your Second Serve?

Overall, developing a solid, reliable and heavy second serve is a great way to improve your game. Not only will this give you more confidence on the court, but it will also make it more difficult to play against and ultimately help you win more tennis matches. Following the step by step guide above will definitely give you more direction on the court. But, for a great fast track to your development that will definitely shorten the learning curve, check out our Kick Serve Buckaroo Course today!

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