View Full Version : Toss

03-12-2004, 02:34 PM
I recently changed my toss motion so that my arm is extended into the court. This makes it easier for me to get the right horizontal (left to right) location and get the toss out in front.

However, I was watching a Tom Avery video on the tennis channel that recommended starting your toss with your arm in front of your belly button in moving your arm upwards at an angle to get the toss out in front.

The Tom Avery way seems more complicated to me. Am I missing something? I've seen some pros use my new method, but most use the Tom Avery method. Any comments?


lendl lives
03-12-2004, 02:55 PM
one thing i've been wondering about is when I see players like roddick toss, at the very top his fingers and hands look full energy and extended to their limit. When I try to copy this the ball always goes too high from the energy in my hand. Most of the pros seem to have the the same look in their hands at the top of the toss (sort of like a mini explosion). I hope this makes sense. Also, I noticed in picture roddicks fingers point backward not foward so does that mean he doesn't hold the ball in his palm and go straight up? Or does he twist his palm around? One other side note....Bungalo, is it correct to try and incorporate the shoulder pointing tip you gave on the overheads to the serve? thanks!!

Bungalo Bill
03-12-2004, 04:08 PM
Let me ask you a question: How often do you simply practice your toss? Just the toss. How often do you practice your toss and your serve and nothing else?

Pros practice their toss, they practice their serve, and they practice their rythym. It is that simple.

Vin, if that toss works for you then keep it. Throw the video in the trash - it is confusing you. Tennis coaches are notorious for teaching one way and one way only. I can get like that. I really try to offer different tips from different researchers so that I can teach or provide tips from a huge database of good sound methods and techniques that work. So that if one way doesnt work we can try another way. None are wrong - but I can guarentee one will be right. People are different. Just look at the different serves of the pros. Look how Roddick sort of bends his head while Sampras goes down. They have confidence in their technique and have added their personal touch to help them serve well. You should feel the same.

Just because one authority says this is the roght way doesnt mean it is for you. You should try it because that coach/researcher wouldnt say it worked if it didnt work.

Tennis is an individual sport. You can have lessons on technique and skill development but at some point room has to be made for individual preferences and only you will know what is right for you. A good coach even though he didnt offer the solution should go with it and help you develop your game as you feel comfortable.

Now keep in mind, if it is something weird then that is different. If your constantly poking yourself in the eye and yelling YIZAAAA as you head into your serve motion - that might call a coaches attention.

Lendl, I do not recommend the pointing of the elbow as you do in the overhead, that arm should get tucked into your body - like its in a sling. The serve motion is a tad different.

03-12-2004, 07:01 PM
Thanks for the reassurance Bill. I'll stick with my tossing technique as long as it works well for me.

I'll have to work on the YIZAAAA though. :mrgreen:


03-13-2004, 03:05 AM
However, I was watching a Tom Avery video on the tennis channel that recommended starting your toss with your arm in front of your belly button in moving your arm upwards at an angle to get the toss out in front.

The reason one would start with the hand in front of the navel is to utilize the natural physiology of the body. If your arm starts crossed in front of you, then as you begin your toss, it naturally will move outwards and towards the court, because the ball and socket of the shoulder naturally rotate outwards as it extends.

I've not seen this video, but that's the same I toss, and what I teach my students, because it gets the toss moving in the right direction without any thought to technique, gets the job done properly, and becomes somewhat an unthinking action, so they can focus on everything else, yet still get a proper toss.

One thing though- don't bend your wrist to get the ball there, let the whole arm cross your body.


03-13-2004, 10:51 AM
Maybe I'm doing something wrong here, but as I go into my hip stretch, the plane of my shoulders tip back (left shoulder goes up with the tossing arm and right shoulder goes down). The toss motion Avery describes is not at all natural with this motion. Having my toss arm more out in the court towards the net and raising my arm simultaneoulsy with my hips going forward and into the court feels much more natural.