# Serve Toss

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by dlam, Nov 10, 2012.

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11 vote(s)
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1. ### dlamSemi-Pro

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Just wondering if any one you have thought about the shape of the toss?

2. ### LeeDBionic Poster

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While most pros have J shaped toss arc, for us, it don't matter.
What matters is where the ball is located for which serve we decide to do, at the moment of contact.

3. ### SystemicAnomalyG.O.A.T.

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The tossed (or hit) ball follows a projectile motion trajectory -- the trajectories, for the most part, are all parabolas. Note that the straight line (up & down) is a special case of the parabola. If the launch angle it precisely 90 degrees (perpendicular to the ground), then the trajectory will be a straight line (up & down) assuming that the wind is not a significant factor.

Try if for yourself with the following java simulation of projectile motion. If you move the middle slider control all the way to the right, then the launch angle is 90 degrees.

4. ### NLBwellLegend

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My serve toss shape is pretty random.

5. ### FrankaucProfessional

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somebody told me to use the j shape toss, and i've found that it helps me with core and shoulders rotation

6. ### SystemicAnomalyG.O.A.T.

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Dazed & Confused

It occurs to me that we may be talking about 2 different things in this thread. I was referring to the trajectory of the ball after release. It appears that LeeD and others are referring to the path of the hand/arm that tosses the ball.

Perhaps the OP can clarify which of these he/she means.

7. ### dlamSemi-Pro

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I am referring to the trajectory
What is a J toss?

8. ### SystemicAnomalyG.O.A.T.

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I believe that the J-toss refers to the motion of the tossing hand (and arm). Renowned coach, Vic Braden, advocated this tossing motion back in the 70s and 80s. I learned it from his younger brother, Dan Braden, in the late 70s.

The motion of the hand describes/simulates the letter J. The hand starts extended out toward the net. It moves downward and inward (closer to the body). As the hand reaches its lowest point, it hooks back upward (and often slightly forward) -- thus making the letter J. With the J-toss, the arm often lifted parallel to the baseline (or somewhat parallel).
.

Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
9. ### 3feesLegend

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Depends on the serve.

10. ### SystemicAnomalyG.O.A.T.

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To my knowledge, elite servers never employ a toss that rises and falls in a straight line (for either their 1st or 2nd serves) -- they always employ a toss with an arc. Many tosses that ppl assume are straight are, in fact, not.

While the Sampras toss does not seem to have quite as much arc as the Federer toss, the gif below from the old Operation Doubles web site shows that it had quite a bit of arc:

http://web.archive.org/web/20071023184108/www.operationdoubles.com/sampras_serve3.gif
click on the link if the image above does not appear

11. ### 5263G.O.A.T.

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I use the J toss and have to give Julian some credit on that.

12. ### 5263G.O.A.T.

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thanks,
I was thinking the J referred to the path of the ball like and upside down J,
which I like to reference since the ball path is the focus here and you don't
have to do a J with the hand to make it work like this.
None the less, good to know the proper reference history.
thanks

13. ### SystemicAnomalyG.O.A.T.

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^ Yeah, I think that CharlieF or someone else on these message boards changed the meaning of the term a while back. I'm fairly certain that Vic Braden coined the term, J toss, more than 35 years ago. I agree that a decent toss can be executed with or w/o the J motion of the tossing hand.

.

Last edited: Nov 13, 2012
14. ### slowfoxProfessional

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I was thinking the upside down J too. The trajectory will arc towards your tossing arm's shoulder. You make contact before the J becomes a U... haha

15. ### dlamSemi-Pro

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Ok thanks sysTem
Being more consistent with my serve is big difference between winning and losing for me
I'll try J toss for the deuce side
I am thinking my trajectory are always some form of parabola and trying to make it straight up and down makes me more inconsistent

16. ### charliefederererLegend

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I have to admit that I am guilty of promoting the idea that the J toss referred to the inverted J path (parabolic curve) of the ball as a result of the toss after it left the hand.

I had picked up the idea from someone's post here showing the J toss of Sampras using the same short video clip you just posted. http://web.archive.org/web/20071023184108/www.operationdoubles.com/sampras_serve3.gif

In it it is hard to see the hand/arm motion leading up to ball release in this clip taken from the front, but the inverted J, or parabolic path of the ball is quite apparent.

Thanks for the correction that the term was used by Vic Braden for the arm motion going back many years ago.

17. ### charliefederererLegend

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SA, would you agree your description of the J toss matches up with the above pictures this way?

"The motion of the hand describes/simulates the letter J.
The hand starts extended out toward the net.(not shown in the above pics.)
It moves downward and inward (closer to the body). (pic 1)
As the hand reaches its lowest point (pic 1), it hooks back upward (and often slightly forward) (pics 2,3,4) -- thus making the letter J.
With the J-toss, the arm often lifted parallel to the baseline (or somewhat parallel)."

18. ### charliefederererLegend

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You may find the following video describing lifting the arm parallel to the baseline helpful: