849 N. Buffalo Dr. Saratoga Springs, UT 84045801-368-3927carl@saratogaspringstennis.com

Service Toss Problems and Corrections

Post 10 of 40

Having problems with your service toss?  Not getting it in the same location each time for a good serve?  This drill may help!

What’s in a Name?

The service toss has many different names depending on who you talk to.  Some call it the “service toss,” others call it the “service throw,” while others yet call it the “service lift.”  I believe the term “lift” leads to a more exact description of what’s happening and leads the player to slow down for more accuracy.  The other terms “throw” and “toss,” while being grammatically correct, suggest a crude, fast and random action.


How to Achieve an Accurate Lift

So let’s discuss accuracy for a moment.  The ball must be placed in a position where the racquet can easily find it—you shouldn’t have to call a taxi to hit the ball!  Let’s look at how to achieve accuracy on the “lift”.

When you watch the Pros serve, you’ll notice that their ball arm is across their body when they “place” the ball, not pointing to the net as a lot of recreational players do.  Their shoulders and trunk are at about a 45 degree angle to the net and baseline, not 90 degrees.  Also, you’ll notice that their arm is fully extended upon releasing the ball after a SLOW, DELIBERATE arm raise.  Most importantly though, notice the arc (ellipse) on the ball when it is released.  You’ll see the ball coming back towards the player—side to side, NOT front to back!

A Drill to Help You with Your Lift

Here is a simple drill to help you achieve a ball toss (or lift) just like the pros.  Using foam balls or decompressed balls (as used in Quick Start Tennis) stand close to the fence (or a wall) so you’ll have to place your ball to the side.  Now, place the ball so that it comes down on your forehead.  From here you’ll find the ball a lot more easily and be able to hit flat or slice serves.  For topspin, land the ball on the back of your head and hit a slice service action—this will result in hitting a topspin serve without really trying!

Try this drill, it really does work and can be very beneficial to your service game.  Make sure you use soft balls though.

Also, as for ball height control, use the following progression.  Toss the ball up and trap it against the fence with your racquet arm fully extended.  This will give you the ideal place to toss or lift your ball to.

Hopefully, you’ll give this drill a try.  Let me know how it works out for you by replying below.

See you on the courts!


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