Different serves on the same toss?

AnotherTennisProdigy

Professional
When I serve a kick/flat/slice, the position of my toss changes. This makes it easy for my opponents to tell what kind of serve I'm going to hit.

So my question: is it practical to use the same ball toss to hit different kinds of serves? Is there a way to make your serve less predictable?
 

Nellie

Hall of Fame
A lot of people aspire to this because it is a fairly high level technique. You basically have to toss, and then move you body to adjust to the toss for the desired serve (e.g, move forward and under the ball for a kick server).

Honestly, I would not spend that much effort unless you are pretty good player because you could use your practice time for other gains (e.g., getting the serve in more reliably).

Also, You can disguise your serve by moving the toss back and forwarding (far forward toss = slice serve, forward toss = flat serve, overhead toss = topspin serve). It is really hard for the opponent to tell from the other side of the court if you are moving the ball forward and back.
 

AnotherTennisProdigy

Professional
A lot of people aspire to this because it is a fairly high level technique. You basically have to toss, and then move you body to adjust to the toss for the desired serve (e.g, move forward and under the ball for a kick server).

Honestly, I would not spend that much effort unless you are pretty good player because you could use your practice time for other gains (e.g., getting the serve in more reliably).

Also, You can disguise your serve by moving the toss back and forwarding (far forward toss = slice serve, forward toss = flat serve, overhead toss = topspin serve). It is really hard for the opponent to tell from the other side of the court if you are moving the ball forward and back.
I didn't know that people move their body instead of the ball, that's interesting. That sounds easier than your second option (moving the ball forward and backward) though. I'll try it later to see if it's hard to do.
 
at the lower levels execution is much more important than deception.

would it really help you against djokovic if he told you before the serve that he is hitting a kicker to your BH?:)
 
D

Deleted member 120290

Guest
Lately I've been fooling my doubles opponents quite a bit by hitting opposite serves. In the deuce court, I toss the ball as if I'm hitting a slice serve but hit a moderate topspin serve down the T. Or I throw the ball up like a kick serve but slice it wide to the FH side. I saw a video of Dolgopolov do this to his opponent at Indian Wells. It was RIDICULOUS. Mine is a 4.5, poor man's version of his deceptive toss serve.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
At my poor level, execution is everything. If I hit the serve like I should, it don't matter who's returning the serve, I should get a weak return. If I miss my spot, I will get a pummelling off their return.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
When I serve a kick/flat/slice, the position of my toss changes. This makes it easy for my opponents to tell what kind of serve I'm going to hit.

So my question: is it practical to use the same ball toss to hit different kinds of serves? Is there a way to make your serve less predictable?
I toss the same way, and give my opponent the same view (in terms of my turn and set up), no matter what side of the box I'm hitting to, or what kind of serve I'm hitting.
 

LeeD

Bionic Poster
Let's see.....
Perfect disquise on kind of serve and serve direction.
The most knowledgeable of all the guys who dissect strokes.
So, what level do you play?
Lots of 5.5 don't bother with disquise and know little about form or function.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
Let's see.....
Perfect disquise on kind of serve and serve direction.
The most knowledgeable of all the guys who dissect strokes.
So, what level do you play?
Lots of 5.5 don't bother with disquise and know little about form or function.
Sea level.
 

TeflonTom

Banned
limpinhitter = definition o keyboard warrior

his posts make it pretty clear he dont play very high level of competiton. good on theory, not real grounded in reality
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
Makes good sense to avoid answering the question, doesn't it?
I can't answer the question because I don't really know. I don't play NTRP leagues and, frankly, I think that system is a bit of a failure. When you look at the description of what, for example, a 5.0 level player is supposed to be, and then you see the players who are actually playing 5.0, and even 4.5, it's not reconcilable, IMO.

PS: Having said that, my serve is my biggest weapon (when my shoulder is healthy), and I exploit it for all it's worth. I have spent many 100's of hours practicing my toss and set up for the purpose of disquise and surprise, which comes in all the more handy as I get older and the pop on my serve isn't what it used to be. And, I recommend my approach to anyone. For some players, serving is a point starter. For others, it's the foundation of their game.

When I played men's open, 30+ years ago, in one match I was able to hold serve 3 times against a top 400 ATP ranked player. He beat me 6-2, 6-1. Since then, given the new technology and the complete metamorphoses of my game, my groundstrokes are probably better now than they were then, although my movement is nowhere near where it was then. So, what does that say about my NTRP level now? Who knows, who cares.
 
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LeeD

Bionic Poster
Thanks for taking the time for the detailed answer.
I'm sure you know that you are one of the most knowledgeable stroke mechanic analysers around, so it's nice to put a level behind the advisor.
Sounds like we're about the same generation, but I don't know a thing about stroke mechanics, choosing instead to hit the ball, see where/how it goes, then choose to replicate it or not.
At our courts, there's contantly an influx of USTA leaque and tourney players, so it's easy to compare myself to them.
Having played 2 years of A/Open helps me figure out what's what when comparing, and getting the chance to hit and play doubles and singles against all those guys pretty much gives an idea of where I'm at.
 

Limpinhitter

G.O.A.T.
Thanks for taking the time for the detailed answer.
I'm sure you know that you are one of the most knowledgeable stroke mechanic analysers around, so it's nice to put a level behind the advisor.
Sounds like we're about the same generation, but I don't know a thing about stroke mechanics, choosing instead to hit the ball, see where/how it goes, then choose to replicate it or not.
At our courts, there's contantly an influx of USTA leaque and tourney players, so it's easy to compare myself to them.
Having played 2 years of A/Open helps me figure out what's what when comparing, and getting the chance to hit and play doubles and singles against all those guys pretty much gives an idea of where I'm at.
I don't know about that. There are some very knowledgeable high level coaches on this board. Although I may disagree with some of their ideas, I don't try to compare the scope of my knowledge to theirs. But, I've been playing tennis a long time, and have put in a lot of time and effort, and have learned a lot, transforming my old school game to a modern game. So, I understand both approaches. I'm also a very analytical, observant type, and I get a kick out of sharing what I've learned and helping out other players trying to figure this stuff out.
 
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LeeD

Bionic Poster
Well, in every crowd, there has to be at least ONE neatherdahl, so it might as well be me.
I"m pretty analytical when it comes to making a windsurf board go fast though, and a techy gearhead to boot.
 

AnotherTennisProdigy

Professional
I went out and played doubles with some guys and played with my toss a little. I found I can hit every kind of serve off the same toss, but with SIGNIFICANTLY less spin, I'd say about a third less. What do you think is better, unpredictability with less spin or just not bothering with it in the first place?

BTW about my level. I'm still in highschool, so I don't have an ntrp rating yet. However, I'm #8 on the team that does decently well in states and the doubles I mentioned were with 4.5 players and I would say I was a little better (but not better enough to be 5.0 I think)
 

spaceman_spiff

Hall of Fame
When I serve a kick/flat/slice, the position of my toss changes. This makes it easy for my opponents to tell what kind of serve I'm going to hit.

So my question: is it practical to use the same ball toss to hit different kinds of serves? Is there a way to make your serve less predictable?
Try learning to hit all of your serves with a toss that is above your head and a bit out into the court. This type of toss should allow you to hit a kick serve, a slice serve, and a reasonably flat serve. Here is a video of Safin practicing serves to show you what I mean http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTm2GEXwsd8&playnext=1&list=PL2E293C537F0CAAF1&feature=results_video.

The good thing about doing it all with one toss is that, in addition to adding disguise to your serves, it should help you develop a consistent toss since you're always tossing the ball in the same spot every time.
 
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