How to develop a consistent ball toss while serving?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by erik-the-red, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. erik-the-red

    erik-the-red Semi-Pro

    Mar 23, 2005
    If I just toss a ball, then I can usually toss it quite well. It's high, doesn't spin that much, and lands about half a foot to one foot in front of me.

    When I actually start to serve, this toss goes awry. It shoots to the left and isn't that high at all.

    What can I do to maintain a good toss while serving?
  2. Kana Himezaki

    Kana Himezaki Semi-Pro

    May 18, 2005
    When it shoots to the left, you're probably tensing up and moving the tossing arm away too early. The leftward path is caused by your arm moving to the side before completely done with the toss.

    Losing the concentration or whatever focus you're keeping during practice is probably a result of pressure, watching the opponent, during your serve, or something else. Just focus on yourself and the ball. Or mostly the ball, I find for myself that I'm much more relaxed and natural when I'm not really focusing on the motion at all.

    To keep the transition from practice to matches easy, I'd recommend adding the pressure on even in casual play. Make winning worth something. Give yourself a handicap, maybe start at 0-30 or 0-40. Put money on the line, if you want. Make sure practice conditions aren't too different from match conditions.
  3. Kathy

    Kathy Rookie

    Aug 7, 2004
    Are you letting both arms go down and up together (in sync) as you begin the service motion?

    Sometimes when the toss is for real, a player gets just tense enough to hold the ball at about waist height (never letting it drop) and begins the racket motion. When the racket gets up to about waist height, he then abruptly starts throwing the ball upward from waist height.

    This is like less of a "backswing" for the toss, so you have to toss harder. It can cause you to throw the ball up instead of lift it.
  4. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

    Feb 19, 2004
    Parts unknown
    could be several things, but if you toss fine in practice sounds like you've got a bit of the 'yips'..try and relax and don;t get too quick with your motion...when you get quick, you often get jerky and toss the ball from a point too do whatever you do to relax, keep your motion smooth and not too fast, and make sure you dont release the ball until your tossing hand gets up high..perhaps shoulder level
  5. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

    Oct 29, 2004
    Montreal, Canada
    important thing: keep your left elbow as extended as you can during most of the toss.

    one hinge only: the shoulder.
  6. snowpuppy

    snowpuppy Semi-Pro

    Aug 5, 2004
    One of the reason why you lose control in game situation is that your body is tense up. The most important advice is not how to adjust yourself and how to move your X part of your body but to relax yourself. I can speak on this from my own experience. My first problem is that in the game I will be so tense that the arm refuse to life the ball a decent height. The second is that since my motion is the so call "down together and up together". You know what, I believe that teaching is flaw. when you bring both arms up you are really moving your body more than you have to to toss. For me i would sub consciously rock my body back. and when your body move, guess what, the ball goes with it. If it helps, try to pratcie smashing the ball again the wall repeatedly.
  7. Mahboob Khan

    Mahboob Khan Hall of Fame

    Feb 20, 2004
    As Marius said, "one hinge only, the shoulder". You don't want multiple hinges at elbow and wrist!!! Keep elbow and wrist locked so that the tossing arm goes up and down at the shoulder; and follow the following drill to add synchronization:

    -- Toss the ball with left and catch with right hand (without racket); and let your right arm follow-through, and left arm settle across your mid-section.

    -- Toss the ball with left arm and tap it over the net with right palm and follow-through (without racket). Your position: 3 steps away from the net.

    -- From T: Toss the ball with left arm and with regular service motion tap the ball over the net with your racket! Stay loose and relax!

    -- From Baseline: Serve a basket.

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