How do you toss?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Blue Beluga, Nov 24, 2009.

  1. Blue Beluga

    Blue Beluga New User

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    1) Do you look up first at the spot where you want the ball to be placed and toss?

    2) Do you just focus on the motion and guide your arm up then follow the ball as you release?

    I know there are probably many other ways of tossing. I am currently working on my toss and can't find a consistent way to place the ball where I want it. I can toss to the same height consistently, but the placement is not quite where I want it maybe 30% of the time.

    tips or advice ...
     
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  2. BobFL

    BobFL Hall of Fame

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    Well, I am not going to tell you anything smart or new. My answers to your questions would be 'no' and 'no'. I just toss the ball. I will quote my friend: "Tennis is just like sex - the less you think the better you perform" so just go there, do not OVERthink and toss that bloody ball :)
     
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  3. bertrevert

    bertrevert Hall of Fame

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    Have you alread done the basics?
    . level shoulder
    . release at shoulder level
    . hold ball in fingers (not palm)
    . elbow in
    . straight arm working central

    I tend to put the ball in one of three places and those don't vary much. The trick over time has been to bring those 3 places closer together or at least to disguise them.

    I guess my focus would be just feeling the regular motion is the same as always and then putting the balll where it should be is when I really look.
     
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  4. Blue Beluga

    Blue Beluga New User

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    Yes, I have all the basic down. My service stance and motion is very much like that of Federer. I also hold the ball using the "cup" technique to elimate the wrist and elbow issue. My toss is pretty good, except now and then the ball would be a bit left, back, front, etc. from where I intend it to be.

    I have basically been experimenting with when to look at the ball and how much to focus on the tossing arm and motion. So far, I have found that looking in the direction of where I am going to release the ball and focus on the release point for the particular serve I want have been the most consistent.
     
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  5. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

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    ^ The "cup" technique? Is that the same as the "ice cream cone" toss?
     
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  6. Blue Beluga

    Blue Beluga New User

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    Yes, it is the same. I used to use the palm up technique. I found that after a long match, my tossing arm gets tire and my toss would spray more due to the elbow and wrist using the palm up technique. Switching to the "ice cream cone" method has eliminate any elbow or wrist flicking altogether.
     
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  7. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Cup or icecream hands are good.
    Most top players track their eyes. From prep motion looking around the hands, they move their head and eyes upwards following the toss until focus begins around head heights, then really look at the intended strikezone.
    If you have a higher toss than strikezone, try NOT to track the ball above your strikezone.
    Since you control every aspect of the service motion, you try to eliminate all wasted motion.
    The reason you don't stare at your target (strikezone) before you start the toss is that it throws the whole kinetic chain into pieces which won't come back together.
     
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  8. Blue Beluga

    Blue Beluga New User

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  9. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I look up to the area where my hand releases the ball and follow it from there, but my elbow goes from bent to straight as I lift the ball through more of a straight line than an arc. For me, this makes my toss more predictable than if I use a straight elbow all the way. Very much a subjective issue of feel I suppose.

    I also use an upward facing palm, but I like to hold the ball on that more stable ridge at the base of my fingers than out in my fingers themselves. When I lift the ball to toss it, it's much like lifting it deliberately to place it on a very high shelf. In my case, I'm "placing it" in a spot in the air above me.
     
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  10. Cloud Atlas

    Cloud Atlas Rookie

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    How do you toss?

    In the privacy of your own home hopefully.
     
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  11. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Here are a couple of things I would recommend:
    1. Keep the arm straight and in a natural position - palm would be about at a 45 degree angle to the court
    2. Hold the ball without using the little finger and maybe even the ring finger - both can really screw up the toss
    3. The path of the arm prior to release should be the same at the path of the ball after release
    4. The ball should be going the same speed before release as it goes after release
    5. The arc of the toss should be similar to 1/2 of a McDonald "M" - release in the middle so the ball makes a slight arc back to you
    6. If wind is a factor, adjust your arm path accordingly
    7. Hold your racquet up to the fence - the height of your toss should be about to the tip of the racquet
    8. Bounce the ball prior to the service motion and take a nice deep breath
    9. Watch the racquet hit the ball
     
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  12. spacediver

    spacediver Hall of Fame

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  13. jwbarrientos

    jwbarrientos Hall of Fame

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    1. Look @ fence (right one, don't know why).
    2. Decide what serve wanna do (flat, slice, kick)
    3. Look @ place where the ball should be during the motion.
    4. Start the serve.

    PS: If I think, probably would mess up.
     
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  14. Ken Honecker

    Ken Honecker Rookie

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    I am so incredibly old school I hold 2 balls in my hand when I toss (pause for Cloud Atlas comment) and if you ask me what I do with the other ball if the first one goes in I'd have to admit I haven't a clue. It is all ingrained muscle memory in the same manner that when I started softball I decided to toss the bat against the right wing fence after a hit and now I don't know what happens but it sure isn't in my hand when I prance across firstbase.
     
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  15. papa

    papa Hall of Fame

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    Actually, holding two balls is one way to get the little and ring fingers out of the process. If you noticing some placement problems on your second serve, or the toss isn't as consistent, it might just be that with just one ball in your hand, the little finger starts to play a role.
     
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  16. BLX

    BLX Rookie

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    I agree with that comment.
     
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  17. Davis937

    Davis937 Professional

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    ... for myself, I have two somewhat distinct ball tosses ... one for my first serve and the second for my second serve (... a kicker) ... for some reason, for myself at least, I have more difficulties with the first serve toss (even though friends telll me that the second serve toss should be a little trickier ... more knee bend, sharper back angle, behind head ... to the left ... not quite as high a toss etc. that are requisite for a good kicker ... when you have toss difficulties, is it more likely to occur with your first or second serve?
     
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