Help with consistent ball toss

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Jodoveepn, May 13, 2004.

  1. Jodoveepn

    Jodoveepn Guest

    I'm a 4.0 player with a decent serve if my ball toss is ok. But more often than not, I find myself fishing for a serve because my toss gets a bit wristy.

    Can anyone suggest different tossing techniques that could help? Perhaps holding the ball differently or swinging my arm differently? Or maybe just tossing 100 balls before each match.

    Thanks.
     
    #1
  2. ucd_ace

    ucd_ace Semi-Pro

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    Keep your arm straight; bring it down along your front leg (which should be angled into the court a bit); raise it; release the ball with the palm of your hand, not your fingers... and that's all I've got to say about that.
     
    #2
  3. montanatennisacademy.com

    montanatennisacademy.com New User

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    How To Practice a Perfect Ball Toss

    A poor ball toss is one of the most common causes of serving problems. Fortunately, you can practice your toss easily on your own.
    Difficulty: Average

    Time Required: 5 minutes

    Here's How:
    1. Stand on the baseline where you normally do for serving.

    2. Point your right foot parallel to the baseline and your left foot (for righties) at the right net post.

    3. Place a spare racquet so that its butt end touches the toe-tip of your shoe and its tip points toward the right net post.

    4. Holding your playing racquet in your right hand, reach as high up as you can, approximately one foot in front of you.

    5. Hold a ball in your fingertips, a few inches in front of your right thigh.

    . Push the ball up and release it with your left hand fully extended upward.

    7. Practice tossing the ball so that it peaks at the tip of your extended racquet.

    8. Bring your racquet back down to the normal starting position for a serve.

    9. As you make your normal service windup with your right arm, push the ball up to same height you were practicing in step 7, but now try to get it to land on the face of the racquet lying on the ground.

    Tips:

    1. Note that when you practice with the windup, you still don't hit the ball.
    2. If you're having trouble getting the ball to land forward enough, imagine that you're pushing it up a pipe that extends from in front of your right thigh to the spot where you'd be hitting it.
    3. Remember to release the ball from your left hand with that hand fully extended upward.
     
    #3
  4. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    I have suffered through toss problems for a long time. I have tried many different methods(even ones I invented myself), but nothing works for long. I think my problem stems from tensing my left arm as I make the takeaway. I also unconsciously curl the fingers at the moment of release, which causes the ball to go straight up instead of out in front of me. I had to watch the release in slow motion to finally identify it. The only way for me to solve it is consciously keep the fingers rigid. It reminds me a lot of the putting yips that some golfers suffer from. Anyway, the best advice that I can offer is to try as much as possible, and film it to get a picture of your mechanics. Also, practice your new toss while using your true motion and body mechanics with the racquet, believe me, it doesn't transfer as well to the full motion when you isolate the two in practice. Good luck!
     
    #4
  5. Jodoveepn

    Jodoveepn Guest

    That's a good analogy. My golf game suffers from that once in a while too.

    Looks like I've got some practicing to do. Thanks for the suggestions.
     
    #5
  6. Printer099

    Printer099 New User

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    Yes like it was said above to get a good ball toss make sure you LIFE the ball with your palm and don't roll it up with your fingers. To understand what this feels like you can buy a cheap device called the TOSS DOCTOR I think it is on offcourtoncourt.com or it is oncourtoffcourt.com ...this device will show you the feeling. Also make sure you don't release the toss to law...try releasing your toss when your tossing hand gets to your nose because some people release their toss at their hips and that is a longer distance hence more inconsistent.
     
    #6
  7. anton785

    anton785 New User

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    The method that a tennis pro showed me once that greatly helped me with my toss (and serve in general) is as follows:
    1) Do NOT move your legs (or shift your weight) during the toss.
    2) Knees should not be bent (except for slightly, as during a normal standing position).
    3) All of your weight should be on your back foot (right foot for righties).
    4) Do not snap your wrist on the toss, simply lift up your arm and release the ball from your palm.

    It is only AFTER you do all this for the toss that you should start your typical motion for the serve. Just remember, the serve begins with the toss, so you shouldn't really start moving until you've tossed the ball.
     
    #7
  8. Printer099

    Printer099 New User

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    If you keep all your weight on your back foot the whole time you will have trouble tossing the ball OUT IN FRONT for your flat serve.
     
    #8
  9. Cigo

    Cigo Rookie

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    I actually don't know exactly where the weight should be during the toss, but some pictures here 'edit' SEEM to back up the rear foot claim.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG][​IMG]

    But these are not pinpoint stances, I can't seem to find tosses for those.
     
    #9
  10. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    Having viewed many pinpoint serves, I have noticed that the servers have approximatley 60%-70% of their weight on the front foot at the point of release. The players that I viewed were Dent, Krajicek, Safin, and Ivanisevic. IMO, Roddick seems to keep his weight neutral at the moment of release. Keeping the weight on the backfoot definitely seems to be platform technique characteristic, which is evident by Sampras and Federer above.

    Many people view the toss as just a means of getting the ball in the strike zone, but it is much more than that. It controls the entire tempo of the serve. Any uncomplimentary movement will completely destroy the momentum and leverage in the serve. You shouldn't toss to your serve, or serve to your toss, it should be one working unit. Ernie Els probably possesses the best swing in golf and he is mainly self taught. He says that he imagines a swing with no beginning and no end, just a single working unit that allows the ball to get in the way. Watch some of the best serves and it is clear that everything just flows like no individual parts exist. This is why no single toss technique will work for all, and differences can be clearly noticed between platform and pinpoint techniques.
     
    #10
  11. fastdunn

    fastdunn Legend

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    Nicely put. This is a writing came from someone who really suffered
    thru bad toss problem. I know because I did/still does sometimes. :cry:

    Another thing about this is mental. You develop this bad pattern
    of tossing badly (almost chronic fear). Monica Seles was never
    able to overcome it and she always tossed reluctantly.

    Look how Roddick conciously placing palm up. Look at
    Federer's mechanical tossing motion(and his tossing palm).
    I'm almost 100% sure that even these guys had a period
    or tossing badly at one time or another of their tennis career
    and overcame it successfully.

    So the tossing business might have somewhat elusive factors
    and mental elements which makes it hard to fix. But just be
    aware of these and be commited to fix this problem !!!

    Good luck.
     
    #11
  12. PHSTennis

    PHSTennis Semi-Pro

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    I toss about where my waist is... Dont bend the wrist or elbow just toss straigh up... and hit... I like my serves a lot :) before I would bend and balls would be all over the place... I rarely have a bad toss either.
     
    #12
  13. montanatennisacademy.com

    montanatennisacademy.com New User

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    #13
  14. Cigo

    Cigo Rookie

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    #14

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