Good lesson on service toss!

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Limpinhitter, Oct 19, 2011.

  1. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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  2. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    Great tip on the service toss.
    This technique is, essentially, the "ice cream cone" toss.

    .
     
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  3. Giannis

    Giannis Rookie

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    For that toss, can it work only that way, with thumb and index finger on the sides of the ball, middle finger under the ball and the other 2 fingers free, because it feels a bit unstable like that. Would you get the same result with the thumb on one side, index and middle finger on the other side, fourth finger under the ball and little finger free?
     
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  4. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    I've never heard that term, but, I like it!

    Truth be told, I've had consistency issues with my toss ever since I converted to a 2hb, many years ago. WHAT does a 2hb have to do with a service toss you ask! Well, when I used a 1hb, like virtually all others in that era, I held 2 balls in my hand on first serve and became accustomed to tossing the ball with my thumb, forefinger and middle finger on one ball, while holding the second ball with my ring finger and pinky. Tossing this way, it was natural to hold my hand and wrist in the "ice cream cone" position. If I got my first serve in play, it was no problem playing my 1hb with a ball in my left hand.

    However, when I converted to a 2hb I couldn't continue playing with a ball in my left hand. When I started tossing with only 1 ball in my hand, holding it with all 5 finger tips, for some reason I began tossing the ball with my palm up. Not until discovering this video did I realize the underlying cause of my tossing inconsistancy.

    Thanks Brent!
     
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  5. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

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    The ice cream toss allows you to toss comfortably.

    To toss with your open hand under the ball means you have to strain your arm by supinating the foream more and more as you bring the arm up. It is just much more comfortable to leave your arm turned sideways on the ice cream toss. And if your arm is not straining to supinate and keep your arm under the ball, it is more likely you will have a smooth, relaxed toss.
    Plus you can continue to bring your arm up and up and up after ball release until it is straight over your head to get and maintain that very steep shoulder angle you need for an agressive trophy pose and great serve.

    Brent Abel's other video on the toss is even better than the one you post. It emphasizes that the toss has to be combined with the body coiling and getting into a bow in a smooth coordinated fashion as the tossing arm continues up at the same speed after ball release until it is directly overhead: Tennis Serve Tossing Motion Tempo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CeZp90h-Ar8&feature=relmfu

    Put those two videos together with the following, and you should be able to develop a consistant tossing motion - an absolute essential to a consistant serve.
    "Watch how Federer, Murray, Hass, Hewitt, Davydenko, Safin, Tsonga all make the same move when tossing the ball. Keys to a good toss: Upper body turn during the backswing, hang on to the ball by the finger tips, follow through after releasing the ball." http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIF-UaRUd6k&feature=related
     
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  6. Giannis

    Giannis Rookie

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    Do you suggest having the tossing arm parallel to the baseline like the video with the pros or sticking out like Brent Abel's vid?
     
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  7. Mountain Ghost

    Mountain Ghost Semi-Pro

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    Toss

    If only the pros knew about this secret!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-cloJB4LOk&
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vtfEP6bOrvI&
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B9iN1qPaKtw

    The same 100-500 practice tosses focusing on no elbow or wrist bends would be good too. Unlike FYB's, where they promote a significant down and then up motion with the toss, I think a one-directional toss is more controllable, and I advise starting down at thigh level.

    As for parallel to the baseline or up toward the net post, tossing in the direction of the hitting-arm swing (net post) eliminates the left-to-right variable from the mix, leaving only how high and how far into the court to control.

    MG
     
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  8. Magic of tennis

    Magic of tennis Semi-Pro

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    I used to have tossing problem using palm and fingers. Some day I found this Brent's video clip in youtube. Ever since then I use this ice cream holding toss but I still have some inconsistancy but far better than before. I need more practice. Chalie's advice for serve is always excellent. I appreciate it.
     
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  9. Mountain Ghost

    Mountain Ghost Semi-Pro

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    Using the Palm

    I think using the palm might have been the issue, instead of the angle of the hand when the fingers let go of the ball.

    MG
     
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  10. Limpinhitter

    Limpinhitter Legend

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    Well said. Completely agree.

    My tossing arm does extend straight up to the ball and remains there until my racquet drops behind my back, and my shoulder angle is about as steep as humanly possible. I didn't have any discomfort because I pronated my arm after I released the ball. I also get a huge bow shape and a deep knee bend, although, I don't get as much shoulder turn as I did in my younger days. The problem was an inconsistent release. I found it difficult to put the ball in the same small box in the air that I used to be so effective at when I held two balls in my hand.

    I'm just going to have to work on this ice cream cone toss with 5 fingers on the ball until I get used to it.
     
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  11. tes

    tes Rookie

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  12. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    The size of the hand can also be a factor here. I've found that the "cone" toss can sometimes be a problem for those with smaller hands.

    For those that might want to consider an alternative method, I'd suggest just keeping the little finger out of the equation (off the ball), and having the arm raise to release more parallel to the baseline - ball on the fingers and not in the palm. You don't want the ball traveling any faster after release than before (no flicking of the ball) and the fingers should just open naturally around shoulder height and the ball keeps going.

    An excellent way to practice this is just sitting in a lawn chair and practice the toss, keeping the release arm up and no flex in the wrist. From a chair, your toss should be around ceiling height so use a clean ball.
     
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