Helping low toss on serve

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Reza, Jun 15, 2004.

  1. Reza

    Reza New User

    Feb 25, 2004
    I have been working with one of the local high school players on his game. he is somewhere between a 4.0-4.5 and is hoping to play d-III next year. Based on my college experience, he could find a decent school where he could play at the bottom of the ladder, or at worst make the team. He has a strong serve, but an extremely low toss. At its peak, it is probably at the lowest he can hit it and get full extension (actually his second serve toss is better, and higher than his first). He has very good timing and gets full extension often, but sometimes does not. We have been working on getting a higher toss, but he has been having a lot of trouble with his timing. he is getting good wood on the ball, but is lacking directional and distance accuracy. I suspect two things 1. he is not practicing enough or 2. five years of bad habits are tough to break. My suggestion to him has been to toss the ball higher and further into the court and really launch into the ball (his toss was low, so even though he landed well within the baseline when he jumped, he didn't throw it out that far). This way, he will still get good stick on the ball and extend. Do you people have any other suggestions? I have also noted that his higher toss has led to more spin, but when this happens, he is not getting much pace on it, and it sits up. Thanks for the help.
  2. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

    Feb 20, 2004
    Auckland, New Zealand
    He probably tosses it low so it forces him to rush into it which allows him to time it better than when he tosses it higher. He probably just needs to slow down the whole motion and start practicing the higher toss and readjust his timing. Maybe have him just toss the ball to the new higher point a few hundred times without even swinging the racquet so he starts to break down old bad habits. Then have him swing at 50-75% pace while tossing at the new height and not worry about if the balls are going in or not. Eventually with enough practice he should be able to overcome this if he wants to and feels it's a problem. I have a low toss too with a big serve but I get full extension while only putting the ball about 1 foot above where I actually hit it. Timing is much easier with a low toss, but it has to be a very consistent low toss.
  3. Bungalo Bill

    Bungalo Bill G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    There is nothing wrong with a toss met at its peak so long as the service motion is complete and the hitting arm reached its full extension.

    Take a look at Roddick's toss or if you have some old films on Roscoe Tanner you will see what I mean. Some players like the toss a little higher about a foot to two feet before it drops into the strike zone and others like to meet the ball right at its peak.

    I always try to get players to lower their toss so they meet the ball at full extension at the peak of the toss.

    The ball stays in the contact zone at its peak at least 15 times longer then a falling ball. It is much easier to hit a ball that is still then one that is falling.

    I wouldnt focus or change his toss - sounds like to me he has a good one. Especially if he has a good serve. Many benefits come from having a low toss in wind, sun, disguise, etc.
  4. TwistServe

    TwistServe Guest

    The James Jensen serve DVD has the Pro serving by hitting the ball on the rise after the toss. I thought that was interesting.

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