Sec serve toss over my left schoulder in not natural and not consistent

toth

Professional
I am 48, 3,5 player, i always had problem with the serve tosses.
After more than a year i succeed to find a natural toss with good location for my first serve and now my first serve is much better than was before.
But i have still problem with my sec serve toss – if i succeed the toss over my left schoulder, my sec serve is decent. But this toss is very unconsistant.
My coach says, relaese later, and the toss location will be more behind.
But it is the most difficoult according to my experience, to timing the toss release.
I tried with more bent arm, but the natural toss location is still too in front for a sec serve.

Any advice is appriciated
Toth
 

TennisProdigy

Professional
I am 48, 3,5 player, i always had problem with the serve tosses.
After more than a year i succeed to find a natural toss with good location for my first serve and now my first serve is much better than was before.
But i have still problem with my sec serve toss – if i succeed the toss over my left schoulder, my sec serve is decent. But this toss is very unconsistant.h
You said yourself it took over a year to find a good toss for your first serve, with hundreds or even thousands of repetitions.

It’s very possible it could take over a year to a find a good serve toss for your second serve, no?
 

toth

Professional
You said yourself it took over a year to find a good toss for your first serve, with hundreds or even thousands of repetitions.

It’s very possible it could take over a year to a find a good serve toss for your second serve, no?
The issue with my first serve toss was not the location of the toss, rather let the ball release from the finger.
The issue with my sec serve toss is the location, the ball wants to go more in front, it is difficoult to the right place (over my left schoulder).
 

toth

Professional
10 minutes per day for two weeks and you will be fine. Put a basket on the ground and toss the ball so it lands in the basket.

J
I does not feel so.
I does not know how schould i place the ball to the correct spot, i feel it is yet only a try out.
 

Fintft

Legend
My coach says, relaese later, and the toss location will be more behind.
I tried with more bent arm, but the natural toss location is still too in front for a sec serve.
Toth
Yes to what your coach is telling you, no to your bent arm.

Actually why don't you try it with a locked and stiff elbow? And keep extending the arm up, while stretching your left side and bending the knees?
It's relatively easy to relax, afterwards the right shoulder and racquet arm arm.
 

EddieBrock

Professional
This is the same issue I have. I even tried pending my arm for a while, but that's not a good long term fix.

For a slice or flat serve the toss is relatively simple, but to get the ball the go over your left shoulder at the correct height takes more practice and is more prone to break down for me. Before my last match I went out and practiced hitting both serves and then alternating between them and the toss just worked and I felt confident in it. It's almost like I relaxed my tossing arm and was able to focus on looking where I wanted to hit the ball and suddenly it worked. Not quite sure how to explain it. When I first step out on the court though I never quite know if I'm going to go have that toss or not.
 

Chas Tennis

G.O.A.T.
First determine your serving technique with high speed video. How far forward from toss release to impact do you move to impact the ball?

I would say and have pointed out that for a high level technique the body moves forward a considerable distance between toss release and impact. Two or three words cannot cover what videos show. For unknown reasons, posters often describe the location of their tosses as if forward body motion to impact does not occur - and maybe it doesn't for their technique. ?

There are many threads and posts with illustrations on this subject.
 
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sureshs

Bionic Poster
I does not feel so.
I does not know how schould i place the ball to the correct spot, i feel it is yet only a try out.
Yeah it doesn't help. Once you bring in your serving hand motion, it will couple with the toss and destroy it. Best is to focus on where you want to toss it, and let your entire body work towards that goal.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Try a drill: stand with your back to a wall and imply you're going to serve along the wall (or a tad into the wall, like it was aligned with mid service line, and you aim to deuce T). Toss a ball like you do for 1st serve. Then notice/make a target on the wall, around contact height, a tad closer to "baseline". Now toss with same motion, with no major changes, but aim to hit your target mark, better just after toss peak. Just don't care about the mechanics, let your body find a solution to hit exact visible target. For several days in a row go with say 2 dozens of tosses into the mark on the wall and then 2 dozens of serves with no court target, just the toss and hit the ball. As you progress, try on-court second serves with the new toss, but keep reinforcing the "target-tossing" with regular short sessions for as long period of time you manage to maintain.
Yeah it doesn't help. Once you bring in your serving hand motion, it will couple with the toss and destroy it. Best is to focus on where you want to toss it, and let your entire body work towards that goal.
The OP claims he's good on first serve, so shouldn't be an issue. The toss for second is the same, just launched through slightly different trajectory.
 

toth

Professional
Try a drill: stand with your back to a wall and imply you're going to serve along the wall (or a tad into the wall, like it was aligned with mid service line, and you aim to deuce T). Toss a ball like you do for 1st serve. Then notice/make a target on the wall, around contact height, a tad closer to "baseline". Now toss with same motion, with no major changes, but aim to hit your target mark, better just after toss peak. Just don't care about the mechanics, let your body find a solution to hit exact visible target. For several days in a row go with say 2 dozens of tosses into the mark on the wall and then 2 dozens of serves with no court target, just the toss and hit the ball. As you progress, try on-court second serves with the new toss, but keep reinforcing the "target-tossing" with regular short sessions for as long period of time you manage to maintain.

The OP claims he's good on first serve, so shouldn't be an issue. The toss for second is the same, just launched through slightly different trajectory.
I feel for the first serve toss is my movement natural and for the second serve toss not natural.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
I feel for the first serve toss is my movement natural and for the second serve toss not natural.
It should be fundamentally one same action. You just need environment to practice placing it a bit differently. That’s my opinion.
 

Will Wilson

Semi-Pro
Perhaps don’t think technically about what you have to do and figure out a different cue. For example make the toss so you could catch it in your mouth. Let your body figure out how to get it there


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

toth

Professional
Unfortunately it does not work.
Important: the sec serve toss goes much more behind than the first serve toss, which goes a little in front.
When the sec serve toss does succeed, goes ovet my left schoulder, my sec serve has decent topspin. I just have began to learn top serves, with toss more behind it is easier to impart topspin.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Unfortunately it does not work.
Important: the sec serve toss goes much more behind than the first serve toss, which goes a little in front.
When the sec serve toss does succeed, goes ovet my left schoulder, my sec serve has decent topspin. I just have began to learn top serves, with toss more behind it is easier to impart topspin.
What exactly doesn’t work? Have you tried any of the suggested practice drill? Working for several days to achieve consistent performance in the drill? And then applying the outcome to actual serving?
 

toth

Professional
What exactly doesn’t work? Have you tried any of the suggested practice drill? Working for several days to achieve consistent performance in the drill? And then applying the outcome to actual serving?
The toss is always inconsistent.
It is very difficoult to release the ball so that it goes his demanded spot.
 

dgold44

G.O.A.T.
I am 48, 3,5 player, i always had problem with the serve tosses.
After more than a year i succeed to find a natural toss with good location for my first serve and now my first serve is much better than was before.
But i have still problem with my sec serve toss – if i succeed the toss over my left schoulder, my sec serve is decent. But this toss is very unconsistant.
My coach says, relaese later, and the toss location will be more behind.
But it is the most difficoult according to my experience, to timing the toss release.
I tried with more bent arm, but the natural toss location is still too in front for a sec serve.

Any advice is appriciated
Toth
Just do a slow flat serve with a toss that is more centered !!!
 

pencilcheck

Professional
Everyone is different, sometimes it also depends on the stand you are using, if you are using platform stand, then the forward momentum and timing is all done with your left leg pushing off the ground at the right time, but if you have a pinpoint stand, then it is a lot different as you already have some forward momentum as you rock forward before your toss.

I noticed some improvement on my serve pace and toss consistency when I started using pinpoint stand, it might not work for you but might as well try it :)

Also, if you want kick serve, the biggest issue that I imagine most players would have, is that the racquet was supposed to be going up in the sky but it still goes into the net, because players wasn't fully aware of how they ended their racquet swing and they push forward and down too early.

How I was able to do a good kick, is to make sure I don't toss way too above my head, (i'm a lefty so my stuff is mirrored, but I will do it for you as if I'm a righty). I will toss slightly to the left side of my head, and still slightly into the court so I have space to swing over, but not too far away from me that I can only swing forward.

My goal of the swing is to make sure I can end up where my racquet points towards the sky (just force yourself to stop after you swing).
And I made sure I grip it with my index finger knuckle at the backhand eastern grip, while having trigger finger (that means my index finger wraps around the handle almost in parallel).

I don't know if this will help you but it certainly helped me.
 

toth

Professional
I would like yet focus only on the timing the release of the ball, i feel this is the main problem.
Is there any trick, is it only a practise or what can i try in this issue?

Thanks again
Toth
 

pencilcheck

Professional
You release when you feel ready, you toss higher than your contact point so you have time to unwind.

Don’t think there is a universal trick, my trick is to toss slightly higher than I would usually throw, and I will keep throwing until the ball is in the right position


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

rrortiz5

Rookie
Practicing juggling with with tennis balls might make the release of the ball from the hand feel more second nature. Just a thought.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
I used to sit or kneel on the floor and toss at a spot I choose on the ceiling. I tried to just get the ball to touch the ceiling without bouncing off it or being too short. I did this in front of the TV during commercial breaks.

Ideally, I like to toss to the same place regardless of the type of serve I'm hitting.
 

toth

Professional
After two years with a lots of toss practise i feel my sec serve toss is now decent!!
So my topspin serve is decent!!
 

toth

Professional
My toss over my head is terrible, after 1 year practise.
It goes natural a little forwards.
My coach says, release later, i try, very inconsistent...
 

Knox

Semi-Pro
Rather than putting your second serve toss over your left shoulder, try putting it over your right clavicle and toss it slightly into the court. You won't get pure topspin this way, more like top-slice, but I think it's a healthier and more natural toss location.

Toss over your left shoulder sounds like a recipe for lower back problems and all sorts of weird compensations with your swing path.

Edit: Hmmm.. upon reflection, I think 'over your left shoulder' and 'over your right clavicle' are functionally equivalent because we stand facing sideways when serving... however I think the 'over the left shoulder' idea might be causing you to toss the ball behind your head, which I think may be the cause of some of your complaints about it feeling unnatural.

Can you post a video?
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
Have you tried different ways of tossing the ball? Perhaps the way Nadal does it would work better?

Do you use platform stance? Maybe try a pinpoint stance and move your whole body under the toss?

Have you considered that it might just take a lot of practice? You're asking your non-dominant side to do something rather complicated after all.
 
@toth

Here are a few suggestions that are exclusive of each other.

I would recommend you use the same toss for your first and second serve. If you are tossing the serve at 12 o'clock, there's no reason you should't be able to hit a proper kick serve from that ball toss position on a second serve. It certainly can be easier to hit a kick serve with a ball toss that is more to the left and less in front of the court, but it should not be prohibitively so. If you're first serve is too far out in front of the court to allow you to hit a kick serve easily, then I would recommend compromising and adjusting your first serve toss so that it is less out in front of you. Trying to have two separate tosses is madness. One toss, different swings / pronation for the type of serve you want to hit.

Without seeing your toss on video, it's hard to know what type of tossing motion you are using. Some players use a toss that is pretty much straight up and down that has very little arc to it. Some players use a toss that arcs (think Roger Federer). The nice thing about an arcing toss is that you can allow it to travel a bit more behind your head when you want to hit a bigger kick serve. You can swing a bit earlier and hit the ball when it is a bit more to the right if you want to go for a little more slice action.

In regards to your earlier comments, you want to release the ball slightly before your arm is fully extended. It is NOT a throw or anything that requires muscle strength. You simply allow your hand to open as your arm is moving upwards, and the momentum of your arm will carry the ball upwards to your spot. You will have to practice that arm motion and release location so that the toss height and arch sinks with your serve rhythm and where you want to contact the ball. Straight arm, don't bend the elbow (or maybe ever so slight bend).

Just my 2 cents.
 

toth

Professional
Rather than putting your second serve toss over your left shoulder, try putting it over your right clavicle and toss it slightly into the court. You won't get pure topspin this way, more like top-slice, but I think it's a healthier and more natural toss location.

Toss over your left shoulder sounds like a recipe for lower back problems and all sorts of weird compensations with your swing path.

Edit: Hmmm.. upon reflection, I think 'over your left shoulder' and 'over your right clavicle' are functionally equivalent because we stand facing sideways when serving... however I think the 'over the left shoulder' idea might be causing you to toss the ball behind your head, which I think may be the cause of some of your complaints about it feeling unnatural.

Can you post a video?
Now i do not have video, maybe later.
 

toth

Professional
Have you tried different ways of tossing the ball? Perhaps the way Nadal does it would work better?

Do you use platform stance? Maybe try a pinpoint stance and move your whole body under the toss?

Have you considered that it might just take a lot of practice? You're asking your non-dominant side to do something rather complicated after all.
I tried in a year a lots of ways, i feel i am doing something wrong.
Unfortunately my coach can only say release later, and this does not help becouse of inconsistency.

My coach does not like my toss, becouse i support the upward toss with leg push.
My first serve toss was terrible too, and this leg push support helped me, now my first serve toss is consistent.
It goes infront, i cannot just adjust to use it for kick serve.
 

toth

Professional
@toth

Here are a few suggestions that are exclusive of each other.

I would recommend you use the same toss for your first and second serve. If you are tossing the serve at 12 o'clock, there's no reason you should't be able to hit a proper kick serve from that ball toss position on a second serve. It certainly can be easier to hit a kick serve with a ball toss that is more to the left and less in front of the court, but it should not be prohibitively so. If you're first serve is too far out in front of the court to allow you to hit a kick serve easily, then I would recommend compromising and adjusting your first serve toss so that it is less out in front of you. Trying to have two separate tosses is madness. One toss, different swings / pronation for the type of serve you want to hit.

Without seeing your toss on video, it's hard to know what type of tossing motion you are using. Some players use a toss that is pretty much straight up and down that has very little arc to it. Some players use a toss that arcs (think Roger Federer). The nice thing about an arcing toss is that you can allow it to travel a bit more behind your head when you want to hit a bigger kick serve. You can swing a bit earlier and hit the ball when it is a bit more to the right if you want to go for a little more slice action.

In regards to your earlier comments, you want to release the ball slightly before your arm is fully extended. It is NOT a throw or anything that requires muscle strength. You simply allow your hand to open as your arm is moving upwards, and the momentum of your arm will carry the ball upwards to your spot. You will have to practice that arm motion and release location so that the toss height and arch sinks with your serve rhythm and where you want to contact the ball. Straight arm, don't bend the elbow (or maybe ever so slight bend).

Just my 2 cents.
My first serve toss goes infront and i can not adjust it to use it for kick serve.
Sometimes it succeed but often not.
I think my body weight is infront and this can be the reason my toss goes forwards.
I know video would be usefull, i try to have it.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
I feel for the first serve toss is my movement natural and for the second serve toss not natural.
If your first serve feels natural, maybe you should not try to change that much to create your second serve. Instead of trying to hit a lot of topspin, maybe try serving like your first serve, but with a little side spin (slice). Change in small increments, and it will feel more natural. Once you feel comfortable hitting a side spin serve, you can adjust the attack angle to add just a little topspin.
 

toth

Professional
If your first serve feels natural, maybe you should not try to change that much to create your second serve. Instead of trying to hit a lot of topspin, maybe try serving like your first serve, but with a little side spin (slice). Change in small increments, and it will feel more natural. Once you feel comfortable hitting a side spin serve, you can adjust the attack angle to add just a little topspin.
My slice serve goes natural to my opponents fh, i have tried it.
In a match does not work for sure, it would be very important to attak my opponents bh.
 

blablavla

Legend
My slice serve goes natural to my opponents fh, i have tried it.
In a match does not work for sure, it would be very important to attak my opponents bh.
@toth in the initial post you say that you are at 3.5 level.
let me assume that since then, you are either at same 3.5 or perhaps 4.0 level.
with this, I would say that:

1. if you do 80% of your second serves to the FH, not every opponent will be able to crush winner after winner after winner straight from return.
in fact, if you develop a consistent second serve, that doesn't simply "sit" high above the net, without pace, it will be a good beginning of the point

2. just like at the very top of the sport, 3.5 / 4.0 level consistency will beat a combo of 1 beautiful winner coupled with several errors
folks that can consistently hit the court with attacking shots, and score winner after winner after winner probably don't belong to 3.5 / 4.0

3. once you develop a consistent second serve, even if it mostly flies to the FH, but you know that you have 95% or 99% safety on it, and in any difficult situation you can simply use it, it will be much easier to "play" around and develop a proper second service that will be searching for opponent's BH.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
My coach does not like my toss, becouse i support the upward toss with leg push.
Your coach is right, and you are serving completely wrong.

You should listen to him instead of asking a bunch of idiots on the internet who are just going to waste more of your time.

J
 

toth

Professional
Your coach is right, and you are serving completely wrong.

You should listen to him instead of asking a bunch of idiots on the internet who are just going to waste more of your time.

J
I have listened to my coach, but he could not help me with my ball toss.
I see pros do not do leg push to support their toss.
My coach unfortunately just said : practise, practise and i just practised, practised and my toss were after a couple month terrible.
I just tried this leg push support and today a can hit first serves can play tennis matches - with wrong serve or not.
I will send a video...
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
Again, asking your non-dominant side to do something complicated like an accurate toss takes practice and you should not expect results immediately. It sounds like you've stumbled upon a technique that works but is not optimal and then, in the interests of immediate results, chose to adopt that suboptimal technique. And now you have run into the limit of the suboptimal technique.

Realize that every time you toss the way you do now is reinforcing mental pathways that make it harder to do other techniques and it also takes away an opportunity to practice a better technique.

Fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once. Fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
 

toth

Professional
Again, asking your non-dominant side to do something complicated like an accurate toss takes practice and you should not expect results immediately. It sounds like you've stumbled upon a technique that works but is not optimal and then, in the interests of immediate results, chose to adopt that suboptimal technique. And now you have run into the limit of the suboptimal technique.

Realize that every time you toss the way you do now is reinforcing mental pathways that make it harder to do other techniques and it also takes away an opportunity to practice a better technique.

Fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once. Fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.
My problem with the toss was that it did not go high enough.
My coach said, faster toss goes higher.
I tried it a lot, but it was terrible unconcistent.
I had to toss the ball 3 times, my friends did not want to play with me.
MY COACH WAS ASKED TO HELP ME BY THIS TOSS ISSUE, BUT HE SAID IT IS EASY, JUST PRACTISE IT.
I could not play tennis, i was happy that this leg push support helped me to play again.
I will send a video from my toss without and with this leg push.
 

toth

Professional
Fir my coach was told that my friend dont want to play with me becouse my bad toss, he said, find an another tennis friend and toss the ball 3 times if it is needed.
Even on the training he did not care if i had to toss the ball 3 times, he said, my serve is good, i can practise the toss alone.
 

pencilcheck

Professional
Fir my coach was told that my friend dont want to play with me becouse my bad toss, he said, find an another tennis friend and toss the ball 3 times if it is needed.
Even on the training he did not care if i had to toss the ball 3 times, he said, my serve is good, i can practise the toss alone.
they don't want to play with you just because you need to toss 3 times? wow what a friend.
 

toth

Professional
I try again the toss without a leg push support, and it goes exatly over my head for sec serve.
Just not high enough.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
I used to sit or kneel on the floor and toss at a spot I choose on the ceiling. I tried to just get the ball to touch the ceiling without bouncing off it or being too short.
Have you ever tried this? For you I might suggest actually trying to bounce the ball off the ceiling first, in order to get the feeling of putting more effort into the toss, and then gradually working down to where the toss just touches the ceiling.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
How high do you think you need to toss the ball?! I'd be surprised if I toss any more than 4 feet.
A lot of 3.5 players have pauses, hitches or other superfluous motions in their service motions and by the time they are ready to hit the ball, it has dropped too low already. Without a video of OP’s serve, there’s no way to know what the problem is.
 

golden chicken

Hall of Fame
A lot of 3.5 players have pauses, hitches or other superfluous motions in their service motions and by the time they are ready to hit the ball, it has dropped too low already. Without a video of OP’s serve, there’s no way to know what the problem is.
Agreed. But if OP thinks he needs a 30 foot toss, then you can kind of infer there are weird hitches and pauses.
 

mad dog1

G.O.A.T.
Agreed. But if OP thinks he needs a 30 foot toss, then you can kind of infer there are weird hitches and pauses.
Based on what he’s described so far, it sounds like there are a number of issues. But how high a player needs to toss the ball depends upon their motion hitches all as well as how much they coil and their their toss/swing rhythm.
 
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