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Does anyone have some effective drills for the (serve) toss? Even after 20 years of playing, I'm still inconsistent and so my serve is inconsistent....
First of all, try holding the ball with just your thumb, your forefinger, and your middle finger.
Try not to lower your tossing hand after you set up. A shorter toss gives much better accuracy.
Try tossing the ball about 12" into the court at first, and just move in slightly to hit the serve. After a while, try for 18" into the court.
Try to toss just barely higher than your strikepoint. Maybe 1' higher, but if there's any wind or sunglare, the lower toss is more consistent.
Thanks for the tips! I'll definitely work on with your suggestions!
A tip i was given is to start your service motion with the wrist of your serving arm over your wrist of your tossing arm.
It stops the arms from being too wild[U]as you star your motion.
Thanks haretrigger. I've realized I'm a visual learner so any suggestions on videos would be helpful as I don't quite get it..
If you watch a lotta TV pro tennis action, you'll mostly see the off hand right where the throat of the racket is. Pure personal preference, I"m sure, but moving that off hand close to your racket handle gives too long a tossing motion.
Some top pros, with errant tossing motions, keep the off hand right at the head of the racket, some even nearer to the top of the head, to limit their possible errant toss's.
Kinda like shortening your strokes to provide more consistency.
If you have toss problems, TRY to move the tossing arm upwards as the racket hand drops, to shorten the toss lever and lessen inconsistencies.
If you have no tossing problems, do whatever you like...
Oscar Wegner's DVD "Ultimate Professional Coaching Techniques" has a great section on the mechanics of the serve, including the toss. I was able to develop a consistent kick serve by watching this DVD repeatedly. It's not really that tough, just takes a lot of practice. Oscar recommends a great serve drill: take a bucket of balls and your racket and stand outside the court and hit your serve over the fence into the court. This forces you to hit up on the ball to get sufficient height to clear the fence. Hitting up on the serve is critical - you will notice that most club-level players have hit down on the ball when they miss their first serve - on their second (safe) serve they hit up and the ball lands in the box! Oscar shows you in the above DVD how to hit up and still get pace on top of spin. A few other things that I find work: keep your toss arm up as long as possible; toss the ball above your head, not too far out in front of you for first serve and slightly behind you for the second (spin) serve, moving across the ball from left to right; practice tossing the ball near the fence without hitting the ball, but just getting the ball in the same spot relative to the fence (height and distance-wise) until you can toss it consistently; open up your toss hand like a lotus flower blossoming; don't grip your racket tightly during the serve motion but keep it as loose as possible; videotape yourself serving a bucket of balls then see where you need to make changes. This is probably the single best tip I have - when you see what you look like you will instantly know what you need to work on. For the visually-oriented learner Oscar's book "Play Better Tennis In 2 Hours" also goes over the mechanics of the toss and other parts of the serve in photos.
Originally Posted by Sing-Song
Last edited by Tennis Angel; 02-11-2009 at 03:15 PM.
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My flat first serves needs about 9" or less clearance to drop into the service box.
My normal second top/slice needs maybe 3' to go deep.
My kick/twists is normally hit about 4-5' above the net to bounce nose to forehead heights even to players 6'6" tall.
Maybe I didn't read the coaching manuals.
I think the big thing is SING SONG is having trouble getting the ball toss right. Usually this means he is either throwing the ball then trying to chase it or his arms are working against each other causing the ball to fly
So before we decide how he hits the serve, he has to try to get it consistent.
Take a close look at NADAL he uses an abbreviated serve.
It just means both arms go up at the same time so there is the ball and racquet closer together during the entire motion.
He did this i assume because he was having trouble with his toss and, service motion and this allowed him to calm everything down.
So SING SONG watch Nadals serve to see what i mean. Also take a look at how the pros start their serves and were they place the hands and racquet at the start. That point was a great help for me on serve.
On the heavier racquets i am having good sucess on using my 12 oz racquet that i might have my other racquets weighted up to the same specs