Quick release low toss serve

#1
I always served with low toss and Dolgolpov type motion. But as I got older and especially last few months I have been focusing on higher toss and slower delayed accel. Things were great and I have been serving some of the best serves I have hit since my 20s

Last night I tried some of those low toss quick release serves and was amazed how low I could toss and hit the ball in. And how much more spin it seemed to be producing on twist serves. Flats seemed to have a bit more pace too

Any idea why??
 
#2
I think the slower delayed acceleration creates a better whipping motion by building the momentum in a kinetic chain way. I.e. less arming the serve. That's what i've been working on also but with a higher tosss
 
#3
I think the slower delayed acceleration creates a better whipping motion by building the momentum in a kinetic chain way. I.e. less arming the serve. That's what i've been working on also but with a higher tosss
Yes, it eliminates any hitches in the swing. I've tested the pace theory at the USTA National Campus with the radar guns. The quick toss gives me the fastest pace. I didn't pay attention to spin but I will next time I get back out on the Playsight courts.
 
#4
Yes, it eliminates any hitches in the swing. I've tested the pace theory at the USTA National Campus with the radar guns. The quick toss gives me the fastest pace. I didn't pay attention to spin but I will next time I get back out on the Playsight courts.
Hey mikeler I am now more confused. @Hmgraphite1 seems to be saying the opposite of what you are saying

What am I missing?
 
#6
I use a higher toss, but don't have any hitches so I don't need to speed things up. But my toss isn't high just not low. Still in development.
Its pretty universal that the high toss is desired. It is something I am working on but man it is tough. Everything seems sooo slow that way. And I have too much time to think. And that whip you are talking about, not sure that happens like Indiana Jones
 
#7
I think perhaps the high toss would go off in a direction too over your head which is harder to accelerate through, the low toss perhaps moved it more into the 'hot zone' for you and is easier to get it there consistently. Just a theory with no video comparison available
 
#8
Its pretty universal that the high toss is desired. It is something I am working on but man it is tough. Everything seems sooo slow that way. And I have too much time to think. And that whip you are talking about, not sure that happens like Indiana Jones
It kind of does if you use the loose wrist, i'm not sure i'm going to keep it, changing so many things, couldn't serve for a while, everything was massive spin into the net.
The whip is felt more if you start with the wrist in the ulnar deviation with forearm king of neutral, then during racquet drop the forearm supinates, wrist goes to radial deviation, then back to forearm pronate wrist to flexion. Thats how I feel it.
 
#9
Hey mikeler I am now more confused. @Hmgraphite1 seems to be saying the opposite of what you are saying

What am I missing?
A low toss does not allow your arm to hitch (stop moving) anywhere like waiting in the backscratch position while the ball drops. If the toss is low, you just have to do one continuous whipping motion with your arm which builds momentum. Note: I'm a high ball tosser who catches my toss way too often because it is terrible.
 
#10
Just from reading I would assume that your
Low toss is moving further out in front of your body because it spends less time in the air thus you get more ambitious with it.
High toss is moving closer above your ahead because you are less familiar with it and probably won't build slowly enough to burst at it, since you're used to building quickly.

I would place targets in front of you and aim for your toss out in front...try to hit slow accel high toss and low toss high accel. Report back
 
#11
You feel the process like a roller coaster approaching a peak , it slows through the apex or trophy position, and as you work on getting your elbow up then when you see the toss in that right position, you do max acceleration Thor gh the rest of the serve. The slowing action through tp is when you can adjust to the toss height and burn time if you need to .
 
#12
A low toss does not allow your arm to hitch (stop moving) anywhere like waiting in the backscratch position while the ball drops. If the toss is low, you just have to do one continuous whipping motion with your arm which builds momentum. Note: I'm a high ball tosser who catches my toss way too often because it is terrible.
My toss is erratic. Often the fingers grab the ball and it slides off wrong. So now I use the knuckles to toss its better for me.

Sadly i dont necessarily know where it should be....
 
#13
Just from reading I would assume that your
Low toss is moving further out in front of your body because it spends less time in the air thus you get more ambitious with it.
High toss is moving closer above your ahead because you are less familiar with it and probably won't build slowly enough to burst at it, since you're used to building quickly.

I would place targets in front of you and aim for your toss out in front...try to hit slow accel high toss and low toss high accel. Report back
Ok. I can try. I think its the knees. High toss needs more knee bend or more pressure longer to get into the court. Low toss I get out of the knee bend faster with less stress

And my head doesnt have time on the low toss to f things up.
 
#14
You feel the process like a roller coaster approaching a peak , it slows through the apex or trophy position, and as you work on getting your elbow up then when you see the toss in that right position, you do max acceleration Thor gh the rest of the serve. The slowing action through tp is when you can adjust to the toss height and burn time if you need to .
Ok will play with that.
 
#15
@Shroud : I think it all depends on your rhythm. I like a high toss because it gives me more time to set up, and lets me contact the ball higher more consistently. One thing I've discovered recently is how important it is, at least for me, to have the body behind the ball, even for the serve. Success for me is when the contact feels sweetly solid, with the arm seemingly not having done any work. I have started tossing directly in front of me (12 o'clock) about a foot into the court for the most part and have got good results, so I'm sticking with this for the foreseeable future!
 

Raul_SJ

Hall of Fame
#16
I always served with low toss and Dolgolpov type motion. But as I got older and especially last few months I have been focusing on higher toss and slower delayed accel. Things were great and I have been serving some of the best serves I have hit since my 20s

Last night I tried some of those low toss quick release serves and was amazed how low I could toss and hit the ball in. And how much more spin it seemed to be producing on twist serves. Flats seemed to have a bit more pace too

Any idea why??
Low toss: About 6 inch drop from the peak. My toss accuracy is pretty good.
High toss: About 1.5 - 2.0 feet drop. My toss accuracy is terrible.

But Brady told me the toss has to drop at least 1.5 feet and it's too difficult to copy the few guys like Dolgopolov with low tosses.

I tend to agree. When I get the high toss correct, my trophy position is better and resultant serve is better. The challenge is getting the toss accurate.

Fed, Sampras, Serena, are all dropping at least 1.5 feet.
 

acintya

Hall of Fame
#17
guys i had problems with my toss - until i played with my non dominant hand (forehand for half a year). suddenly my tossing arm became more controled, stronger and i barely make a toss mistake ---------- and i didnt work on this - i didnt do any drill just trained my left hand. now its stronger than ever. i dont say you should play with your non dominant hand - but you could do some exercises with it - to get rid of the erratic toss. believe my - my toss was everywhere..... :D

and i also started to use the short dolgopolov motion. i toss it a little higher though - as i like to have a little slower overall motion - the important point is - its a natural stroke, and i dont stop during it ever. but the biggest problem solver was that i dont go up with both hands at the same time anymore... first tossing and then starting the service motion has changed my tennis life.


i think we all should find our own way of serving and our own tossing height!

if only i would start playing tennis at a young age - i would maybe become a tennis coach - because i really like to learn about the natural approach to tennis. there are players who use the power from muscles nad there are players that use natural kinetic power and there are players who use both. :D


you see... thats what i am talking about. But I do it different. he says you should bring both hands together up - i stronly disagree - but this depends on the individual player and his preferred way of the motion. but I think either HE is blind or he didnt study Dolgopolov well.

Dolgopolov brings the tossing arm up first and then the racquet hand ---- i think this is far more natural - a left hand is not the mirror image of the right hand - they are separate - just think of a bass player - we are not SIMETRIC --- there is a lot to gain if you use non-simetric methods - if you are music instrument player or whatever.

Tossing arm up first and then the serve hand is a very efficient non-simetric way of serving i think. its the best. Fed does it - Dolgo does it - Sampras does it - ALL THE OLD GUYS DO IT. almost. Its the holy grail of the tennis serve!!

one note: if I would teach I would first teach a low toss serve without jumping! then when you are confident you can jump how much you want!

if this young boy can do it..... we can do it too:


but again , he brings both hands up together which i
dont preffer.

i just think for non-pro players its just ridicolous to toss far beyond you reach with your racquet.. :)
 
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Dragy

Professional
#18
I always served with low toss and Dolgolpov type motion. But as I got older and especially last few months I have been focusing on higher toss and slower delayed accel. Things were great and I have been serving some of the best serves I have hit since my 20s

Last night I tried some of those low toss quick release serves and was amazed how low I could toss and hit the ball in. And how much more spin it seemed to be producing on twist serves. Flats seemed to have a bit more pace too

Any idea why??
I have a theory here)
Initially you adopted some serving sequence including good and not so good elements. Actually it’s inevitable that your initial form is imperfect - and then you either keep it practicing or seek to improve it here or there... for a beginner you were some day it’s much easier to use lower toss shorter motion - just less could go wrong. But possibly, as you told - no time for thought - it limited room for improvement.
Once you started working on higher toss and likely some other tweaks, you built in overall better, more complete sequence, which improved your serve. But actually although you needed that room to incorporate those moves, you actually might need much less room to keep them working. So now you can perform flawless sequence with your lower toss, no thought, no pause, no tweaks...
 
#19
I always served with low toss and Dolgolpov type motion. But as I got older and especially last few months I have been focusing on higher toss and slower delayed accel. Things were great and I have been serving some of the best serves I have hit since my 20s

Last night I tried some of those low toss quick release serves and was amazed how low I could toss and hit the ball in. And how much more spin it seemed to be producing on twist serves. Flats seemed to have a bit more pace too

Any idea why??
Roscoe Tanner was the dominate server of the late seventies and early eighties. https://www.atpworldtour.com/en/players/roscoe-tanner/t006/rankings-history

In his autobiography, he said that he thought the very low toss required high body speed to impact the ball. He also said the quick serve was more effective because it was on the returner before they expected it. He said that early he practiced the serve by hitting leaves on trees. Maybe that fixed position was helpful.

Unfortunately, like Shroud, there do not appear to be any high speed films of his serves from when he was the top server. He was the subject of tennis research so maybe those films still exist somewhere?
 
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#20
Its pretty universal that the high toss is desired. It is something I am working on but man it is tough. Everything seems sooo slow that way. And I have too much time to think. And that whip you are talking about, not sure that happens like Indiana Jones
so go for a medium toss
the low toss is a huge advantage though, so hard to read.
 
#21
so go for a medium toss
the low toss is a huge advantage though, so hard to read.
This year I 'Roscoed' my serves in some matches when I couldn't do a proper serve. Even though it wasn't quite as fast it was actually more effective as the returner just wasn't ready in time. I had great directional control of it too.
 
#23
Low toss: About 6 inch drop from the peak. My toss accuracy is pretty good.
High toss: About 1.5 - 2.0 feet drop. My toss accuracy is terrible.

But Brady told me the toss has to drop at least 1.5 feet and it's too difficult to copy the few guys like Dolgopolov with low tosses.

I tend to agree. When I get the high toss correct, my trophy position is better and resultant serve is better. The challenge is getting the toss accurate.

Fed, Sampras, Serena, are all dropping at least 1.5 feet.
By this criteria, I am in the low toss category. I would think my average drop is 6 inches or less.

Don't know if Federer has "at least" 1.5 feet. I think 1 foot is closer to his match toss. Also, there are loads of youtube Federer video where he is warming up his serve and his toss is much lower than 1.5 feet. In these warm ups, his toss looks close to 6 inches above contact and some even lower than that.

Serena's toss drop is at least over a foot, so it may be close to your 1.5 foot target.
 
#25
The downside was no real access to top spin although could still slice. But it was easy on the body and I felt I could make the serves all day so I will probably revisit it when the body asks for something a bit easier
Interesting. I can still hit kicks and find them to be maybe more effective because of the lower contact though it is probably harder on the body though i didnt notice anything
 
#26
@Shroud : I think it all depends on your rhythm. I like a high toss because it gives me more time to set up, and lets me contact the ball higher more consistently. One thing I've discovered recently is how important it is, at least for me, to have the body behind the ball, even for the serve. Success for me is when the contact feels sweetly solid, with the arm seemingly not having done any work. I have started tossing directly in front of me (12 o'clock) about a foot into the court for the most part and have got good results, so I'm sticking with this for the foreseeable future!
Hey Raj! Glad you are still out there playing and the back is doing ok.

Guess everyone has a different rhythm. Its a great point anout the body behind the ball. I find the low toss kind of MAKES that happen especially if you have any kind of forward toss. Think someone already mentioned the extra momentum.
 
#27
Interesting. I can still hit kicks and find them to be maybe more effective because of the lower contact though it is probably harder on the body though i didnt notice anything
I'm sure it wasn't literally this low but felt like I was almost hitting it out of my tossing hand. Super low toss, could only hit through it not under it. You are no doubt hitting it higher than I was I would imagine
 
#28
I'm sure it wasn't literally this low but felt like I was almost hitting it out of my tossing hand. Super low toss, could only hit through it not under it. You are no doubt hitting it higher than I was I would imagine
Well it could be contorsion. It seemed like I was about 1/2 and arms length anove the head over to the left of the body and contact with the racquet on the way up and ball maybe coming down a tad.

Will try to vid to see if what I think is actually happening. Though when I served that way and was younger everyone told me it would trash my back so maybe I am doing some big time arching

Said another way if the toss is in the normal place then yes hard to get under it, bit move a foot to the left and out in front and contact on the way up you can get some top
 
#29
Thinking about this if you toss far enough to the left you can make contact a bit above head height. Will try to see how low it can go
 

Raul_SJ

Hall of Fame
#36
By this criteria, I am in the low toss category. I would think my average drop is 6 inches or less.

Don't know if Federer has "at least" 1.5 feet. I think 1 foot is closer to his match toss. Also, there are loads of youtube Federer video where he is warming up his serve and his toss is much lower than 1.5 feet. In these warm ups, his toss looks close to 6 inches above contact and some even lower than that.

Serena's toss drop is at least over a foot, so it may be close to your 1.5 foot target.
Not sure why Federers' toss drop would fall to six inches in practice but 2.0 feet is confirmed by John Yandell.

I think 24 inches in closer and it was about the same for Pete. The technical elements are closely tied to height. There are exceptions but typically the more legs and body turn the greater the height. This is what sets the interval.
I agree Federer drops closer to 2.0 feet on first serve and probably second as well. Toly measures and claims 1.5 feet drop on second kick serve. Perhaps he lets it drop more on kick. I have not measured the kick serve toss height. But eyeballing the pic, it might be 2.0 feet as well as it looks like the drop height = racquet length.



Picture from Toly.

Here is a WTA video. Their tosses drop an average of 3 feet. :eek: Must be some advantage employing a high toss given that we toss accuracy with a higher toss.


In this video one can find measurements of the height of the toss and the contact point for top players on the WTA: Sharapova, Errani, Na Li, Kvitova, Kerber, Stosur, Jankovic, Pavlyuchenkova, Flipkens, Goerges, Safarova, Lisicki, Barthel, Beck and Lucic-Baroni. This is not a complete study but it provides interesting information about the toss and the contact point of top women players and an important conclusion: The ball should be tossed well above the contact point.

Summary of the results:

# These pros toss the ball at about 207% of their height.
# On average the ball drops 0.85 m to contact.
# The average height of the toss is 3.66m
# The average contact point is at 2.66 m​
 
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#37

However high that toss is, if you count the number of seconds between the peak of the ball and hitting it, it must be only half a second.
 
#41
Lol. Tennis today was cancelled because of WIND

I didnt have weather issues in cali.
Oh yeah ... I always got a laugh out of our ttw ca posters issues. Try some 20+ mph wind and 95% humidity. You will be retrieving that high toss from the ajacent court unless you can calculate the drift. Kickers with wind from behind you are a biatch.
 
#42
Oh yeah ... I always got a laugh out of our ttw ca posters issues. Try some 20+ mph wind and 95% humidity. You will be retrieving that high toss from the ajacent court unless you can calculate the drift. Kickers with wind from behind you are a biatch.
Oh, so you have watched some of our country club leagues?

Don't forget to add in clay and sun glare.

J
 
#43
Oh, so you have watched some of our country club leagues?

Don't forget to add in clay and sun glare.

J
Hey ... I live in the land of low tosses and knock down golf shots. Clay ... heck no ... I will leave that to you. Ironically ... as I lose my court coverage ability ... clay makes more sense every day. Maybe the ball would sit up enough for me to get this 2hbh ros thing down. Then again ... maybe not. :eek:
 
#44
Wouldn't call Fed/Sampras as high ball tosses. Maybe balanced as opposed to the ultra low Dolgo toss. High toss is what you find frequently on the WTA, notably Graf and Masha. You don't need that high a toss and it's likely going to dart around if it's even slightly windy. Try to get it out front and a little over your head. There was a discussion earlier about JimMcLennan's videos on the serve. He put the right way as tossing into the swing rather than swinging into the toss (Graf/Sharapova). I think that sums it up well. The key is not think too much about the toss. And when you don't think too much about the toss, you will be forced to hurry up on the swing as well and stop thinking about mechanics. Which usually works out well.
 
#45
I once say a lady who was under 5' tall with a service toss that was at least 2 feet higher than the 10' tall back fence. She literally tossed it almost 2 and 1/2 times her actually height. She had a long wait built into her serve and the ball was dropping like a meteor by the time it got back down to her height. Not that this add a lot to the discussion but it was pretty comical.
 
#46
I once say a lady who was under 5' tall with a service toss that was at least 2 feet higher than the 10' tall back fence. She literally tossed it almost 2 and 1/2 times her actually height. She had a long wait built into her serve and the ball was dropping like a meteor by the time it got back down to her height. Not that this add a lot to the discussion but it was pretty comical.
She must of been make multitasking...
 
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