Disguising your serve...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by racquet_jedi, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. racquet_jedi

    racquet_jedi Professional

    Jul 2, 2007
    Just wondering, at what level of recreational play should you really be vigilant about disguising your serve and your toss? Does disguise really matter if you hit all of your first serves flat and then you hit all of your second serves with topspin?
  2. ananda

    ananda Professional

    Sep 7, 2007
    1. Disguise also pertains to where you intend placing your serve (wide, body, T).

    2. On a "bad serve day" you might want to kick serve on your first serve.
    Or if your opponent can return fast serves well, you might even at a lower level wish to topspin on the first. Fast _flat_ serves can be very easy to return even at the beginner level.
  3. Bagumbawalla

    Bagumbawalla Hall of Fame

    Jun 24, 2006
    Imagine this-

    You have two players--

    One with a better serve that he/she gives away by always hitting the same palcements and spins, by looking, obviously, toward the target, by turning one way or another depending on the placement, by tossing left or right or overhead depending the spin, and so on.

    The other, has a less forceful/dominating serve, but is able to place it well with disguise.

    Who will do better? But wait. Don't answer that question. It has a false premise. Why not be able to do both?

    An already good serve yill be aided by adding disguise and variation.

    A fair serve with disguise can be improved with practice and attention to form.

    The spin and placement of the ball is determined, mostly, by the path of the racket head through the ball during the few microseconds of contact during impact.

    If you can learn to toss your ball to (very nearly) the same place and simply hit THROUGH it differently, it will go a long way to making your serve harder to read-- also try keeping your body alignment virtually the same, avoid "tells" such as changing your grip, looking to the placement point, turning your feet and so on.

    You say you have a good serve. That is an excellent starting point. Now stop giving away your placement and spin-- and your results should be even better.
  4. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

    Jun 22, 2007
    Good reply by Bagumbawalla.

    A lot of lower level players vary their tosses on different serves. With some it is wide to the right: slice, over the head: topspin, in the middle: flat, etc. I think a toss in front and over the head (as seen by the opponent) will allow you to slice, topspin, or hit flat depending on how you bring the racquet into the ball. Using the same toss, practice hitting either corner. Easier said than done, but it will get you some points. Good luck and keep practicing.
  5. snvplayer

    snvplayer Hall of Fame

    Aug 6, 2006
    The most important thing is to be able to hit effective serve.
    This is the key element in any serves.

    So, the first key is not to worry about making the same toss for all 3 serves, but to learn to hit effective serves first and then adjust your toss to minimize toss variation.

    It will be easiest to minimize toss variation between flat and slice serve. It's a lot harder to disguise kick serve toss.

    Once you can hit effective serves, then start thinking about hitting the serves without much toss differences. Make sure you are still hitting good serves, because what's the point of hitting bad slice / kick serve with disguised toss? As long as your serve is effective, giving away little cues are ok.

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