Help with my erratic Ball-Toss

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by BLiND, Jun 16, 2004.

  1. BLiND

    BLiND Hall of Fame

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    I am a fairly new player, but have progressed very quickly. I find that due to my good groundstrokes I always have a chance to break server. But also due to my erratic serving, I can sometimes win my serves easily, then other times loose. Most of the time I beat myself, and serve two double-faults in a game, but when I serve well its a good serve.

    I think most of my serve problems come from my ball-toss. Firstly I don't really know where to toss the ball... how far over my head to toss it (I use a topspin serve), how far infront of me... and even when I try to toss it in the same place twice, Its all over the place.

    So I have to rely on adjusting my service motion all the time.

    How can I get a more consistant toss to help my serve?
     
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  2. djbrown

    djbrown Rookie

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    I find that tossing the ball with my weight on my FRONT foot usually helps get the toss well out into the court. It's what I concentrate on when my toss starts to falter.
     
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  3. TennsDog

    TennsDog Hall of Fame

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    For a topspin serve, the ball should be slightly into the court, and right over your head, perhaps a couple inches behind, not too much, though, or you will end up losing control (or hitting a twist serve). As to gaining consistancy with the toss, the biggest thing is just to do it a lot without actually hitting it. Try putting a racket (or some other target) just in front of your front foot so the target is sitting in the court. Try tossing and letting it fall onto the target. Even if the target is not exactly where you want it, this will develop the ability to consistanly toss the ball where you want.
     
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  4. RajeshS

    RajeshS New User

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    Here are my suggestions. These have helped me - and I am and have been in similar situations.

    1. Make sure there is no bend in the arm when tossing. Simple suggestion and yet it helps develop a consistent toss

    - And-

    2. Relax. And remove the fear or apprehension of a bad toss. If you don't - the fear translates into tight stomach muscles which kind of pull your tossing arm and make you toss the ball behind you and to your left (i.e. exactly opposite of where you want it to go which would be to the right and in the front).

    Please note that I am a NTRP 3.75 and played for 4 years - so I may be wrong. Others are welcome to correct me and am looking forward to reading posts from others.
     
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  5. Brent Pederson

    Brent Pederson Semi-Pro

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    A couple of other things I have found to help:

    1. Don't grip the ball on the toss, as timing the letting go phase of the grip adds another element to control. Instead, let the ball sit in your softly cupped hand, with no gripping.

    2. Don't try to toss it with your arm muscles. Instead, keeping your arm outstretched, use your torso muscles to swing your arm straight up in front of you just enough to get the ball on it's way. It's more controllable, and you're less likely to overtoss the ball and get it off course. The torso movement should be part of the natural movement of transferring your weight from the front foot to the back, kind of like you're leaning back with the upper body as your arm goes up.

    3. Outstretch your racket to full stretch to see how far up you need to get the ball on your toss. I usually try to get it 6-12 inches above my contact point. Then, while you're watching tv some night, stand around and practice getting your toss to that point consistently. After a show or two, you should find yourself much improved...
     
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  6. Kobble

    Kobble Hall of Fame

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    Rajesh, those are some of the most important ideas for people with a bad toss to remember. They are 2 of my biggest problems. When my toss get bad, I tighten up, and then the elbow starts to bend slightly. Then my rythym is shot. Rythym is very important, the players with the best toss have a very fluid rythm.
     
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  7. BLiND

    BLiND Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for your help guys... I played last night, and my balltoss was much better, and consistant.

    What I did was... put all my weight onto my front foot... and didn't grip the ball with my fingers, I just cupped-it with my hand.

    Toss was much more consistant.

    Unfortunatly my serving was really bad, but I need to get use to hitting it now :)
     
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  8. jun

    jun Semi-Pro

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    ball toss is the most important thing in serving..
    It seems like you have found the answer but i will throw in my 2cents anyways.

    My toss goes erratic when i try to toss much higher than it needs to be. It only has to be a foot higher than your max reach. Go to fence, try to find out how high it should be.

    Slow it down. Think of toss as "placing the ball in the air". And try to keep your head up and look at the spot where you want the toss be at.

    For flat, slice, the toss should be about a foot towards the net, and at least half foot to your right (but shouldn't be more than one foot and half ) from your left foot.

    It helps a lot if you toss while your weight is transferring forward.
     
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